When we think of summer, we think of sun. The beach. Blue skies. Cool drinks. Our swim suit coming off as we swim in the strong yet warm ocean waters.
Summer’s my favourite time of the year in Melbourne – December through to February – for many reasons. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
We feel so much more productive, so much more eager about getting up during summer in Melbourne – there’s something about warmth that can be so inviting.
And so we get to go places in Melbourne when it’s warm, places so easy to get to by foot or public transport. Going out, we discover people and places, and have fun and exciting times. Be at one with everything and everyone. And we can get away without taking an umbrella with us most summer days – 4-seasons in one day doesn’t usually happen this season, more so in autumn and spring.
We get the chance to have some peace come summer in Melbourne. It’s the “silly-season”: Christmas, New Year and Australia Day celebrations left, right and centre. Much reason for celebration with the ones we love, or having some “me time”.
Then again, not all Asians like summer, fearing the hot summer sun. My Chinese-Malaysian mum has never been to Melbourne’s beaches in summer, afraid of getting tanned and turning “all dark and ugly”. And she hates hot air on her skin, something she was all too familiar with living in Malaysia.
Some Asians spend most of their lives in hot, humid parts of Asia, and maybe, naturally summer in the western world doesn’t feel nice at all to them. Plus, when the weather heats up in Melbourne, some of us get red Asian cheeks when we usually don’t. Happens to me. Some think it’s cute, but a lot of the time red cheeks are annoyingly painful. Another thing to dislike about summer.
There are flies everywhere come summer in Melbourne, flies that seem to be a bother to Asians. Countless times summer flies have flown around my face. Countless times I’ve seen flies annoyingly flying around me and my Asian friends but not my Caucasian friends standing an arm’s length away from us. Maybe sometimes five-spice sauce sticks on our lips after we eat Asian, sauce that flies probably like.
So there are some things I don’t like about summer. The string of 40’C-plus days last summer in Melbourne was uncomfortable – oven-like temperatures. I sat in my room for most of the heat wave, writing. Drawing the blinds down to keep my room cool and avoid looking sunburnt like a tomato. Laughing at flies outside my closed window.
Summer. It’s what we make of it. And if we make the most of summer, what’s not to like about it?
What do you like about summer? How do you spend your summers?