Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Culture differences

It’s not very difficult to notice how different cultures respond to climate changes and the weather. What do I mean by that? For the last days, London has been having amazing weather! It’s warm; it’s sunny with a minor breeze from time to time. The temperature stays above 22 degrees most of the time during the day. So, people have been crazy about it, including me!

I had to organise an outdoor activity with friends, even if not a bbq! I simply had to! I believe that the vast majority of the country’s population were in a park, common, by the sea or by a lake or river! Or at least if there weren’t, they hoped they were! These are all photos I took on Saturday! I had an amazing time.

Starting the day with a nice coffee

So, I went with my friends to Hyde Park! For those not familiar with it, that’s the main park of the city centre and it is massive! I’ve just checked and it’s smaller than New York’s Central Park (damn), but I’m telling you it’s still big. I think there are a couple of Olympic sports taking place there.

Hyde Park

So, there were around 7 of us. We had our freesbee, ball, food, rugs and everything. We must have spent around 6 hours in the park, playing, laughing and enjoying ourselves. It was so much fun. And the park was simply heaving! There were people sunbathing, cycling, running, roller blading, rowing on the lake, drinking, playing games or just relaxing at the park. And of course all that done under direct sunlight and not under the shade. People wanted so much to feel and enjoy the sun that they didn’t really mind the direct sunlight!

Playing with a child can be so therapeutic 

That is so different to where I come from. Maybe sun is somewhat taken for granted in Greece. Yes, people will enjoy it but still try to avoid it. You will not see cafes having tables under the sun even during spring time and people will not walk around bare-chested to get a tan in the city. I could even say that I grew up being afraid of the sun. Probably because the temperature there can rise to dangerous levels and staying under the sun for long means sun strokes or painful skin blisters. However, even when the temperature is not that high, maybe by instinct, people do try to stay under the shade.

The 7/7 bombing memorial

This brings me to the second point I wanted to make regarding the Sun. When I was really young, in Greece, during the early 80’s, my mother used to put sun lotion on us but I can remember not worrying too much about it. Back then, we could stay under the sun between the dangerous hours of 12 and 3 in the afternoon and play. Nowadays, staying on the beach between these hours for longer than half an hour can be unbearable and not using very high UVA & UVB lotions is unthinkable!

The squirrel stole a chip! 

I had a similar conversation with a very camp waiter the other day. He said that when he was younger, in Rhodes, back in the very early 80's, he used to put Ouzo (45% alc) on him to get a better tan, not a sun lotion! I got too frightened to ask for more details! Just the fumes of this, would probably get him so drunk!

Finishing the day with a cool nice cocktail


  1. Hyde Park looks great. Not very crowded. The cocktail looks great too...

  2. what a glorious london weekend that was! i was really soaking up the sun and enjoying the happy atmosphere. everyone looked so happy. it's like that in norway too- once the sun comes out, the people all shed their clothes and flock to the parks!

    ouzo to enhance the tan?? never heard of it, but sounds um...not very tempting

    ps, maybe we can grab a coffee the next time im in london if you're up for it! :)

    1. Definitely, next time you're in London, let me know.

  3. It was beautiful here in Boston this past weekend too. Hoping it is a sign of continued sun and warmth for the summer.

    1. I'm not delusional about London, the good weather will not last. It's great while it does, though... What did you do in Boston?

  4. I am all for finishing the day with a cocktail, indeed.

    1. It was called lemon bomb and very tasty. Can't remember what was in it, apart from lemon!

  5. The 7/7 bombing memorial is of an interesting design.

    As is the cocktail.