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My name’s Sophia and this video is for the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens website and their YouTube channel.
In today’s video I wanted to talk to you guys about the differences living in a cold and warm or hot climate. So, I’ve been living in Sicily now for the last five months, but before that I was living in Scotland. As you can imagine, the climates are very, very different.
So I wanted to just share some of the things that I’ve experienced living in a hot and a cold climate.
Of course, number one has to be the weather. Er, living in a hot climate you would think that it would be warm and sunny all year round, right? Wrong! In Sicily it actually has been pretty cold recently. As you can see, I’m wearing a turtleneck and long-sleeved jumpers. I arrived with just two jumpers and a lot of short, sleeveless tops, which was not very smart of me. In December it was actually snowing in Sicily! Yeah, where did the sun go? Living in Scotland, everyone thinks that it’s a lot colder than it actually is, when in reality I live on the east coast – or I used to live on the east coast – and it was only ever one or two, maybe three, degrees colder than London, so it isn’t as cold as everyone makes it out to be.
Number two: hair. Now, if you have curly hair like me or wavy hair then you’ll know the struggles of keeping your hair nice and defined in humid, hot climates. When it’s really hot here my hair just turns into a very big frizzball. When I was living in Scotland my hair was, erm, a lot more defined, as in, like, my curls were like little ringlets, it wasn’t all bushy and big. Erm, but here my hair gets dry very quickly because the heat and the humidity sucks out all the moisture.
Number three: houses. Now this might sound a little bit strange, but just hear me out. Um, in the UK and in colder climates, houses are generally built to have good insulation and to keep in heat. On the other hand, in warm climates, houses are built to keep out heat, and that is logical if it was warm all year round. So, I don’t know if you can hear the echoing in my house at the moment, but my floors are made out of marble and very tall ceilings, unlike most houses in the UK. And, on top of that, there’s no wall insulation. So, when it was December I was absolutely freezing. It was actually warmer outside than it was inside because the houses here are made to keep out the heat. So, ahh, the winter months are very rough if your hot climate isn’t as hot as it should be.
Number four: food. So, I think as well as culture shaping dishes and, erm, traditional foods, so does the climate. In the UK, a lot of our dishes, erm, use potatoes because we grow a lot of potatoes. A traditional British dish is shepherd’s pie, or it may be known as cottage pie, which is with minced meat and, um, kind of like a mash or mashed potato on top, kind of. That wasn’t a very good description! But in Italy, erm, a lot of the dishes use, erm, local produce, so a lot of local fruits and vegetable are incorporated into the national dishes. I also think that, in Sicily, food is much more seasonal. In the UK we find fruits and vegetables from all over the world all year round. In Sicily, a lot of the fruit and veg is generally sourced locally or in neighbouring countries like Spain. And, erm, because of that, it’s very seasonal. So, it means that only if strawberries are in season you’ll see strawberries in the supermarket. And that was something that I kind of took for granted, because in a cold climate we don’t grow those fruit and veg normally, so we always import them and we don’t really know the difference between seasonal food and non-seasonal food.
I hope you enjoyed this video. Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to stay tuned for our latest upcoming videos. As ever, please comment below, and let me know if you live in a hot or a cold climate, and, if you do, what is your favourite thing about that hot or that cold climate.
Until the next one, have a lovely day and I’ll see you soon. Bye!
Worksheets and downloads
What's the weather like where you live? Do you prefer hot or cold weather?