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Always be prepared

September 7, 2009

Today was a typical day in Melbourne, weather wise. I woke up to sunshine and warm air; a big grin forming on my face because it wasn’t cold. I dressed in a thin cardigan and jeans to match the weather, and headed off to university. When I got off my tram the weather had changed dramatically. The sun was gone and dark clouds were in it’s place. It was suddenly freezing and the threat of heavy rain was prominent. As the rain started to fall, umbrellas and ponches appeared out of nowhere in thr hands of everyone surrounding me. At first I was surprised that everyone was ready for the weather change but me. Then I realised.

All Melbournians know to take an umbrella everywhere in winter, and in spring, and in summer…We get used to the wacky and unpredicable weather patterns that rule our city and we’re always prepared for the weather to drop or rise 20 degrees. The day after our hottest day on record I wore jeans and a jacket. Melbournians are always prepared. You won’t see too many of us caught out in the rain without our umbrellas or wearing thick coats when the sun starts sweltering all of a sudden. We know the weather can change at the drop of a hat and we’re ready. We have our umbrellas and coats stashed somewhere in our bags for a rainy day, right next to the sunglasses and water bottle we carry in case the sun and a heatwave is to hit. Our weather is insane, but we choose to embrace it.

So why on earth was I without umbrella? I, like most of my city, am always prepared. I don’t think I ever leave the house without a cardigan, even on a total fire ban day (ie very hot). I even do it when I’m on holiday somewhere and people give me odd looks because in their city, if the weatherman tells them it’s going to be nice and sunny it will be nice and sunny. The weather report in Melbourne may as well be a comic strip for the use it has predicting the weather. All year round I carry sunglasses, sunscreen and a scarf.

The truth was I wasn’t prepared because I’d chosen to be optimistic instead. I’d chosen to imagine it was going to be a hot and sunny day, just the way I like my weather. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed if I’d known the rain was about to arrive. So yes, I got drenched.

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