|Même la Bardot a froid|
Now let me address my Brazilian readers, for many of whom a Currier & Ives winterscape has the same charm that a travel brochure image of beach and palm trees has for Frost Belters. What constituted cold weather when I was a kid growing up in New Jersey? Well, for one thing, the temperature had to hover around freezing, 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). It helped, too, if there were snowflakes swirling outside, and some large patches of ice to slip-slide on. Our mothers bundled us up and sent us outside to play. It was nose-reddening, eye-tearing cold, but it was exhilarating. Well, we were kids. When Mark and I moved to Brazil, we took only the most basic items of our winter clothing, figuring we'd use them when visiting colder climes. But our bodies have acclimatized to the weather patterns here, and although we don't wrap up as dramatically as the Brazilians when the thermometer "plunges," we're glad to have brought a couple of sweaters.
|Red wine & a fireplace, Campos do Jordão|
Here in Búzios, where the winter days are often in the mid- to high 20s C (75 to 80 degrees F), the nights are still chilly enough for the restaurants to run their winter "soup & wine" specials, and do a booming business, to boot. It's all very disorienting to me. How odd to have a bit of a shiver on July 4th while my fellow Americans are out there barbecuing and beaching. How strange to be experiencing cold fronts coming up from Uruguay while friends and family are enduring a brutally hot summer. I wonder if I will ever get used to winter in the tropics. It's as upside-down as Christmas in the summer.