When I tell people we live in Cali, Colombia, there’s this question that comes up a lot: “What’s the weather like?”
My response: “Warm, not too hot, humid, and always the same. Really. No, there is no ‘winter.’”
And that’s mostly true.
Sofia’s take would be: “It’s hot and when it rains it rains really hard and there’s a lot of thunder and lightning.”
Because in California, where she grew up, she heard thunder maybe twice in her eight years.
Right now, October, everyone here considers it ‘winter.’ And they complain about the ‘cold’ in the morning. Even mine are becoming maladapted and complaining about the ‘cold.’ I think this is silly.
See, Cali is only 236 miles north of the equator. We could drive to it. That means that we are square in the middle of the tropical zone. But it isn’t sweltering hot because we are up in the mountains (~3200 feet above-sea-level). Since we’re that close to the equator, our days are always the same length and the weather is mostly the same. The average temperature is 78º F all year round. The coldest it ever gets here is 60º, hottest 95º. Altogether, it’s comfortable.
Except it can be darn humid.
And it can rain. A lot.
That’s the one thing that does change a bit: it rains the most in May and in October. Winter is associated with rain and the illusion of cold (the chill after the rain). It’s an illusion, I say, because the data shows that the cold temperatures are the same all year round. But anyway, this means we have two winters a year and two summers. No spring or fall, because they don’t even make sense. (This is why we are not in our usual pre-halloween, fall-color-happy states of mind.)
Right now we are entering a rainy month. Thanks to a hurricane in the Caribbean, it’s rained several inches in the last couple of days. The skies just open and it pours. Enormous, pounding drops just like those out of the shower-head. Blissfully, it cools things down. Until the sun comes out again and the humidity spikes to 100%. Ugh.
Back in California, I checked the weather pretty much every day. Which is sort of silly, because it was California and the weather really doesn’t change much. Basically, I checked to see if it was going to maybe not get to 100º again (May through September) or it might not rain (October through April). I don’t bother to check the weather here. Mostly for the reasons cited above: it just doesn’t ever really change. And also because when I do, the weather app shows the exact same thing every single day: high of 90, low of 60, chance of rain. Huh.
And so it amazes me that people here can still manage to talk about the weather. “It’s so hot,” “It’s so cold!” “It’s going to rain…”
I guess it’s a universal thing. No matter the weather, we’ll always manage to talk (complain) about it.