As I stood sizzling and sweating in the glaring sun outside the school gate on Monday afternoon, a fellow expat mom posted the temperature reading from her car (pictured below). In typical haughty seasoned Doha expat fashion, I thought to myself "Nice spring weather we're having, eh?"
Like any typical Canadian child of the seventies, I stood there in my jeans and closed toed shoes, reminding myself that nothing, but nothing, would detract me from the seasonal clothing etiquette rules that ban white footwear, gauzy dresses and spaghetti straps before Memorial Day (as a Canadian, that translates to Victoria Day, or 'May Two Four Long Weekend').
No matter that my thinking dates back 4 decades or that I am now sat square on the equator and not at a latitude several inches south of the North Pole. For the sake of this post, let's not let ourselves get bogged down in such minutiae.
I gained comfort in my resolve by reminding myself that I've seen the documented proof that many Doha expat children are like-minded to me and appreciate the value of simple traditions such as wearing winter apparel in winter, despite the fact that the thermometer here rarely, if ever, dips below 15C.
Yes, this younger expat generation seems to find nothing strange at all about donning a Canadian snowsuit manufactured to withstand -40C temperatures simply to protect oneself from a vicious clawing 1.5 kg cat in their living room. Really, how many chances will you actually have to get good wear from it? Take advantage of every opportunity, says I.
Even better was the picture I received today from another Doha friend of her daughter dressed for an afternoon of shopping in Doha.
More interesting still was the accompanying text.
Note that not a single expat mom responding to the original text found it even slightly odd that a 5-year-old would insist on wearing a tuque to the mall in 47C weather. Of course not. "Because it's not Memorial Day yet Mom, THAT's why!"
As I reflect on it all, sitting here with a hot cup of tea, typing away with frozen fingers, I really wish I'd brought some mitts from Canada. Oh well, at least my toes are toasty in my woolen socks. They're forecasting a cool night, with temps dropping as low as 29C.
And just in case anyone thinks I've gone completely stark raving mad, the pizza delivery boy just showed up on his moped and unravelled a wool scarf from under his helmet before handing me two steaming pepperoni pies.
How far I've come from -42C in January on the North Shore of New Brunswick.
It's not quite summer yet, folks.
This is Fashion Forward Gypsy, signing off 'mitt-less' in the ME.