The Season Mix Up

It is common knowledge that the southern hemisphere operates a bit backwards from the top half of the world.Australia alone demonstrates to the highest degree many of the differences of the southern part of the globe with which those in the north are unfamiliar.Here, the swans are black rather than white, the trees shed their bark rather than their leaves and the drivers use the left rather than the right side of the road.Most peculiar of all, though, is that the seasons are completely opposite. Right now in Tasmania it is currently fall rather than spring.  Before coming here, I was aware that the school year was reversed and that Australia’s February was synonymous to our August, but after living here for a while, I still find it hard to believe that I am watching the leaves change for the second time in less than 12 months.What’s even stranger is that I came to understand that Christmas occurs at the peak of summer and outdoor New Year’s Eve barbeques are the norm.While viewing photos of one of my Aussie friends, I came across a family album, full of images with sunshine, green grass and children in bathing suits having a water balloon fight.  “Oh that was this past Christmas,” she said. “We usually set up water games just to stay cool.”Thus, the tune “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” could have never hit it big over here, and Santa would die of heat exhaustion without changing into a pair of shorts and sunglasses.It’s probably just the egocentrism kicking in, but I prefer my seasons during certain months of the year.  Even at this point, fathoming a bitter winter chill in July seems impossible and imagining summer vacation during November is out of the question.Maybe I just feel scammed because I am completely missing out on the beautiful blooming of spring flowers. The idea of waiting another year to feel the gradual onset of warm weather after a long winter leaves me feeling a little left out.Fortunately, it’s the little things like this that make me appreciate home so much more, and jumping from these chilly Tasmanian autumn days to the warmth of summer’s peak in a couple of months will be yet another novel experience.So, while all you lucky UVMers are counting the reasons why now is such a great time of the year, don’t forget to think about potentially living down under, where the fall semester is only halfway over and summertime is anything but close.