“Is it always so cold in July?” asked an American visitor yesterday. London has been cold, windy and rainy for the last week. It comes as a shock to American tourists, who inevitably show up in shorts and t-shirts.
Europe has a milder climate than North America. Our guest comes from Ottawa, Canada.
“Everybody thinks it is so cold in Canada. But it’s much hotter there than it is here. A lot of houses in Ottawa have air conditioning. Here, almost no one has it. And I guess they don’t need it.”
But in the winter, the streets of North American cities turn bitter cold and bums freeze up on the sidewalks. That doesn’t happen in Europe. It rarely gets cold enough to freeze a bum here. Maybe that’s why there are so many of them.
Around the corner from our office is something we had never seen before. A mother-daughter team of ‘street persons.’ Dressed in black rags, they sit with their bags and talk. They are there when we get to the office in the morning. They are there when we leave in the evening.
The daughter appears to be in her 20s or early 30s. She is a pretty girl, as near as we can tell. The mother must be in her 50s…maybe 60s. The two look very similar – like the mother/daughter combinations you see in skin cream advertisements. They dress the same. They have the same very English faces. They have the same expressions and same postures…sitting on the sidewalk with the backs to the wall. Whenever we pass, they are chatting with each other – happily, it appears.
for The Daily Reckoning Australia