Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

A report on the weather

by : 
HannahG

I am going to write about something you've probably never heard of or spoken about …

Or on second thoughts let’s have a conversation we've all had before, and talk about the weather. It is that ‘go-to’ conversation we often rely on. I have always considered it a conversational habit, something to say in passing. However, I want to think about the weather conversation with a little more gratitude, as a tool to bond with others, especially those we do not know very well. The weather is something we all have in common; it is something that we all experience, and so we can all have something to say about it.

I have noticed the importance of this conversation ‘ice-breaker’ even more so recently, and I welcome it, as a subject for people of different nationalities to find a connection with each other. When you meet someone foreign for the first time, it is natural to be curious about the other’s country. Firstly you do not know their personal interests. You do not know if they like cooking or art or riding motorcycles, but one thing you can comfortably discuss is the weather.

I come from a country with extremely bad weather – cold, wet and windy Scotland. I’m now living in the South of Spain for my year abroad, and in October, the weather is still reaching up to 30 degrees. Therefore, it seems inevitable that the conversation has been had - how am I coping in the heat and how dreadful is the weather in Scotland just now? We can complain about it being too hot, or too cold and rainy, yet really what we are doing is forming relationships through this one world-uniting topic.

I was shopping in Zara last Saturday, and I wandered around in slight disbelief at the winter jackets and knitted jumpers already decorating the shelves. My aim was to find some lightweight and comfortable dresses to wear to work, which unfortunately for me, were non-existent. I might regret saying this, as the weather will likely take a turn for the worst ... but I am missing the infamously miserable Scottish weather! Or maybe I will welcome the cooler conditions, to discuss a change in our favourite conversation topic. And, so I can buy that blue knitted jumper I spotted in Zara …

Discussion

What is the weather like today in your country? Do people in your country talk about the weather a lot?