Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Travel: Germany

There is no such thing as bad weather …

A favoured, and borderline irritating, expression of the Germans is ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.’ Typisch Deutsch, na? Brisk, bracing, annoyingly logical, essentially inarguable. I type this from my couch, in my warmly lit living room, a piping hot Winterzeit tea cooling by my elbow, listening to icy rain tap almost playfully against my firmly closed windows. Just moments earlier, my eyes were narrowed to slits against cruel, needle-like rain that was, through some sheer will of its own, flying horizontally into my face. I was bundled in the most appropriate clothing I own – a bulky hooded jacket that repels rain (only to a point, if I am to be completely honest) a scarf, and rain proof boots. The pram was wearing its customary plastic rain jacket. And you know what? The weather was still shit.

I am arguing the inarguable; there is such a thing as shit weather, Germany, there is, there is, there is.

Most of the time, my dear Germans, your logic is infallible. It is part of the Deutsch Mentalität, to be praktisch and logisch. You see it in the economy of your language, in the day to day of German life. You solve problems with seemingly fewer steps than any other nationality (the perhaps notable exception being the Swiss). But I find there to be gaping, cold, rainy holes in the aforementioned claim. Sometimes shit weather is quite simply shit weather. And cold, grey, rainy weather, regardless of the sturdiness of your boot and the impregnability of your rain jacket, is a perfect example of this. Cold, grey, rainy weather is good for one thing; sitting inside with a hot drink, wearing maximum two layers (a tee shirt and a tracksuit for example). And, rain lovers, simply because such ghastly weather can be avoided by remaining inside and drinking copious amounts of tea, doesn’t make rain lovely weather. Don’t even.

Furthermore, I find the Germans are quite unable to apply this rule to a certain type of weather; hot weather. Once the mercury tiptoes above 25 degrees, the Germans find themselves in a bit of a tizz. And the warmer it gets, the larger the tizz grows until, come 30 degrees, they – or those not prone nude on the beach, or on their secreted balconies and they are a whole different kettle of fish – are all wilting and groaning and unwrapping their lightest pashminas from their throats, muttering ‘es ist viel zu warm’.

That is where I, in a cotton dress, with thongs on my feet, smugly say; there is no such thing as ‘too warm’, simply too many clothes.


  1. Barbara Peters

    11 December, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Yes, yes and yes…and then off to Greece, Spain and Italy for holiday!!

  2. Lutz Mowinski

    11 December, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    The problem with the expression is that at least most german males learned it in the German Army where the Drill Instructors use it profusely, or almost so often that you begin to think that’s all they say 😉

  3. Jim Holder in California

    11 December, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Ach, was für scheißes Wetter!

  4. bavariansojourn

    11 December, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Loved this, made me laugh out loud! They also said this an awful lot when I lived in Denmark. Funny how no countries with amazing weather ever say it isn’t it?? 😀

  5. Ginger

    11 December, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    This is so funny – and so true! I have to admit that I can’t cope with the heat either, and that my South American in-laws think that it’s hilarious when they see me huffing and puffing at the first sight of sun. Needless to say, the moment it snows it’s payback time …

  6. sarahstaebler

    11 December, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Love, love, LOVE this. So true. Made me laugh.

  7. Sylvia

    11 December, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Being German and having grown up in Australia (still here) I so get this, Liv. Ha Ha. It’s kind of fun having both Deutsche Mentalität and Aussie ‘chillax’ … I can be either or, or both at the same time. 🙂 Whenever I call ‘home’, the first part of the discussion is always about weather, but heaven forbid anything over the mid-20s, then the whole conversation is about ‘zu heiss’ with lots of ‘stöhnen’ and they doubt my sanity living in Australia. Although, I had to laugh when this European summer my relatives went to Denmark and promptly abandoned their holiday because it was too windy and cold. Isn’t that why everyone else heads to Spain and Italy?

  8. Sabine

    12 December, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Oh, you see, but that is the problem: We feel that we can practically and logically do something against freezing or getting wet. But we cannot do anything once it’s so hot that being in a bikini isn’t enough anymore. Germans losing control! 😀

  9. Sabine (@Sheadquarters)

    13 December, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Yes, I absolutely agree! There is shit weather but concerning bad clothes it proves only another German expression “The exception proves the rule”

    To read you always makes me smile, least. Thanks for that and a wonderful festive season for you and your loved ones.

  10. Dana (@WantedAdventure)

    19 December, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Great points! Yes, I’ve heard this saying, and I must agree that it’s kind of BS. As someone who grew up in South Florida, I agree. I’m okay with the heat here!

  11. Ric

    27 December, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    You can put on clothes to make you warmer or colder. But there are no clothes that can be worn to make the gray days less gray. The gray, gray, gray skies in winter are the worst part of the weather here as far as I am concerned.

  12. J.

    16 February, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    The problem is that i can get no more nude than my boxers.
    Which is precisely what i hate about warm weather:
    With proper clothing i could theoretically get all the way to zero degrees Kelvin.
    But with heat you cannot take of anymore close than you wear, and if that is not enough… well, shit.

    Also, there is nothing quite as nice as walking through the rain while staying warm, dry and comfy because you have good clothing.

What do you think?