Surviving the Summer


In Germany there are generally two seasons: cool/rainy weather interrupted by occasional heat waves so severe that schools end early and the chocolate melts on store shelves. Which is why I have to pack anything from long-sleeve shirts to tank tops if I visit the Old Country in the summer. Heat waves are no fun because: very few places – or cars – have air conditioning; the main meal is a hot, hearty lunch, even if the temperature happens to be around 100° F; Germans do not drink beverages straight from the refrigerator; drinks are not served with ice and soon reach the temperature of bath water.

Before we moved to the U.S., my husband and I would find temporary relief from the heat by hanging around the freezers at our local commissary. Other than that, we did what every German does under the circumstances: complain about the weather.


Image: Walter J. Pilsak (


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