Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

It’s all Relative

I lived in Florida for six years once, in another life. I hated it.

At first, I was enchanted. It was so warm! And the air was humid and soft! And I went into my first Home Depot and fell totally in love. We had our own pool, we had pool toys and a new Florida life style and we were having fun.

Then, September came. And it was still hot and humid. Nothing changed. I waited expectantly for the cool breezes to begin, for the leaves to turn, all the things I was used to happening in September, including getting out my winter clothes – none of that happened.

I remember the first cool breeze. It was October 20th.

At Thanksgiving, we were still using the air conditioning. I had figured out by then that the hot, humid air made me sweat when I did housework, and made exercise much less attractive. Even sedentary activities like needlework seemed steamy and undesirable.

As I put up the Christmas tree, still with the air conditioning on, I was NOT happy. I really wanted some winter.

We did get one cold month, January, where we had two days of possible frost.

When we left Florida, I felt like I’d been let out of jail – I moved to Seattle and relished the coolness, even the rain. We have air conditioning, but in Seattle, we have never had to use it – the house stays cool, and the night breezes freshen everything up. I can have the windows open most of the year.

Now, back in Florida – from Kuwait – I am noticing how soft and warm the climate is once again, even in the torpid heat of summer. Record highs? No problem. I drove during rush hour traffic yesterday, and it was calm, relaxed . . . almost boring. I am probably the worst driver on the road – I have to remind myself to signal, and to take a deep breath – driving here is totally NON-aggressive.

Little Diamond sent me a clipping from the Kuwait Times on the AWARE center having a diwaniyya on driving problems in Kuwait, with the outcome that if laws were enforced, Kuwait would have far less of a problem. Amen.

This morning I awoke to the chirping of a cricket and the cries of pelicans flying over. Big clouds, threatening thunder, crowded out the clear blue of the sky. And just down the street, I am not kidding, is a Lebanese restaurant. Life is sweet.


July 11, 2007 - Posted by | Biography, Building, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Living Conditions, Uncategorized, Weather


  1. I didn’t really like Florida much for some reason. Stayed in both Pensacola and Orlando, it’s something about the state itself…can’t really explain what.

    Comment by Я | July 11, 2007 | Reply

  2. R, I think Florida has a kind of end-of-the-road feeling sometimes. A lot of older people come here to retire and then find out they have to make new friends, and it isn’t easy starting life over. There is a huge aging population. But for me, the problem is mostly climate – hot and humid. The scenery is beautiful, and oh! I love the birds, and the more relaxed pace. . but I am always aware that my real life is elsewhere. And all the more I felt it when I lived here!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  3. My grandmother lived all over Florida. I hated it. Too flat. Too hot. Too humid. Cockroaches are huge. My grandmother lived near golf courses and sometimes she would get both alligators and huge snakes in her yard. She had a place on Marco Island that I wish she held on too before she died but she didn’t. I think I could live on Marco Island but nowhere else in Florida. I need mountains and crisp air – and yet I ended up in Kuwait! 🙂

    Comment by Stinni | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  4. Kuwait’s heat is so dry that it doesn’t bother me, not like this humid heat! and I like mountains, too, but at least Florida and Kuwait both have the sea. Hope you are having a great vacation, Stinni!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. I’ve been everywhere in Florida except the panhandle. I did hotels in Miami, Sunny Isles, up north by Jacksonville, Tampa and Ft. Myers. The only place I really liked was Sanibel and Captiva island.

    The sunsets burned the sky magenta and the beaches were mosaics of intact seashells.

    And there was a Hooters right across the bridge.

    Comment by heartodarkness | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  6. So how are the sunsets in the Sudan, Heartodarkness?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  7. Oh, the sunsets are crap in Juba. It gets so dusty during the day all’s to be seen is a brown haze.

    Now the sunrises, that’s a different story:


    Comment by heartodarkness | July 12, 2007 | Reply

  8. Heartodarkness, people would kill to take ONE photo like that in an entire lifetime. That is the most incredibly gorgeous sunset I have ever seen, and I am a sunset fan! Holy WOW!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 12, 2007 | Reply

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