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Why is it that Americans seem to whinge more then Europeans about the heat?

Why is it that Americans seem to whinge more then Europeans about the heat?

Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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Why is it that Americans seem to whinge more then Europeans about the heat?


A recent observation on my travels through Europe through this current summer (donít call it a heat-wave, 2003 was a heat wave, this is just a hot summer) is that Americans travellers seem to be more whingeing (thatís complaining to non-English speakers) about the heat then their European cousins. And they all seem to expect that European places should have air conditioning, which is not too common in Europe except of course in southern cities and resorts.

I mean if you are coming to Europe in summer, then donít you expect itís going to be hot? Maybe in USA air-con is much more common then Europe and taken for granted (arenít American energy prices lower?)? I have lived in South East Asia, where the heat and humidity make air-con almost an essential, but even there I only used it to cool the house down and used fans to sleep with, as I donít like to sleep with air-con. Maybe people in Northern Europe come to Southern Europe precisely because they want to be warm, and the people in warm climates have adapted to the heat and the cycle of life (get up early in the morning, nap in the heat of the day, eat late etc).

But canít people just get on with enjoying their vacation in a new place without complaining about the weather and the heat?
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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My someone is in a cranky mood today, lol.

Not once did I whine while on my vacation, unlike you at this very moment.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Interesting. I live in the Bay Area, and I think we Californians are incredible whiners about heat, given that the temperature tends to stay in the 50-85 range all year. We recently had a 3 day heat wave where it got to 90-100+, and you would've thought the world was coming to an end with all the whining. We had an Australian visitor, and he thought the whole situation inexplicable and hilarious.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Ah, I wish I would be allowed to visit the UK page of my favorite Disneyworld board, to see if Brits visiting Orlando ever complain about the heat!
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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I love that word, "whinge." We say "whine" but they mean almost the same thing.
People just complain a lot, generally. Sometimes I think they don't hear themselves.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Australians will do you a couple of pages about "whinging poms" if you like, e.g.,

How do you know a plane's got poms on board?
You can still hear whining after the engines have stopped.

I just thought I'd get that in, in the interests of fairness.

But I think there are some very broad perceived cultural differences, in that I have the impression Americans are brought up to expect every problem to have a solution (probably a technological one) somewhere. All other things being equal, most Europeans are probably brought up to put up with things they don't like. Or at least, Brits will at most tut and mutter "It ought not to be allowed!" with no real expectation that this will have any effect; and most European countries have their own local variants of fatalism.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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But I wouldn't take a preponderance of posts here as statistically valid evidence of anything. One day it's all air-conditioning, the next it'll be all about Italy, another day France, or whatever.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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I think you hit on it. It's all what you're used to. Most Americans are used to A/C just about everywhere.

I do remember the bad old days before A/C--nights without sleep because one's bed becomes a sweaty swamp; misery in the car as skin sticks to the seat and the suns rays lance through the back window; going to offices where people sit half-passed out at their desks.

It's not terrible if you live in places that have relatively short periods of intense heat and humidity, but in much of the USA the heat and humidity go on for weeks and months--every year.

I have seen an increase in the number of places with A/C on our last two visits to Europe.

Another consideration is that people on vacation have trouble getting into the "rhythm" of the local lifestyle to adjust to the heat. People want to be out doing things while on vacation--not sitting around somewhere just to avoid the heat.

Some people think they can "handle the heat" because they come from a hot area in the USA--but they forget that they won't be in their normal rhythm of A/C house, to A/C car, to A/C office, to A/C car, A/C theater, A/C restaurant, A/C library, A/C etc. They'll want to be out doing and seeing things in the heat and humidity.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Only answer I can give is that Americans are spoiled. Stores and office buildings here in the U.S. are always freezing cold, and sweating is considered unnatural for some bizarre reason (hence the shelves stacked along entire walls with anti-perspirants of every brand and scent imaginable - quite toxic ingredients, too, but that's another story).

I laughed on a recent trip to Rome. A waiter was trying to lure in tourists into a restaurant for dinner as everyone was taking in the evening passegiata. It was a pleasant night, hot but not unbearable (lower 80's), and dry (late May). This American lady asks the waiter if there is AC inside, and to his reply of yes, says THANK GOD and agrees to have dinner there,a s if she'd been walking around in the Sahara.

Then there are the complaints of no elevators or no hotel access to the internet (to check how the portfolio is doing).

American are quite funny.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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Listen up, Pal: that "group" you think you represent will be whining the loudest when they turn the "other air conditioning" off (that's "heat" in case you didn't know) in the Winter so give it a REST
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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Hmmmm....speaking of whingeing...http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34843506...
Are you not just cranky from having your prior screen name banned?
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34843506
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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I think many of you are missing the basic point here. All of us learn to deal with what we have to live with day by day in our lives. You're comparing a European who lives with a few days of extremely hot weather where they live and NOT complaining about it but accepting is as a way of life, with American tourists who are paying a lot of money for a short vacation and end up somewhere where it is miserably hot and "spoils" their limited vacation.

This is not unlike comparing the person who commutes every day in a big city and once in a while runs into a huge traffic jam but accepts it, with someone who has driven to a location for a special event and gets caught up in the same traffic jam. Who's going to complain the loudest -- the one who is used to this happening from time to time, or the one whose special trip was ruined by it?

This post just sounds like another way to pick on Americans. Vacationing people from any country are just as likely to complain about unusually hot weather. What on earth makes you think this is an American issue?

 
Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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As mentioned above, I think its just something we are accustomed to. There are air conditioners everywhere and some places are downright freezing from them! I am cold right now, sitting in my office, and its over 90 degrees today in St. Louis.

But no, I don't whine about it. Of course, this is a reason why I don't travel to Europe in the summer. I am so used to air conditioning that I have to be a little cold in my room or else I have problems falling asleep.

Tracy
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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They don't. Complaining is universal.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 08:01 AM
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>>whinge<<

I speak English, and glad you explained that word to me, 'cause I never heard of it....I figured out what you meant, but maybe that word hasn't made it to California yet?

As far as why? I think it's because we're more used to being comfortable. For example, in California, barely any humidity...if I'm somewhere where it's humid, I admit I'm a whiner...my body is not used to it. But living in Sacramento, I can easily take 100/105 degrees without any problem, because it's not humid. I think it's what you're used to.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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When I first moved to California, and for 12 years thereafter, my car didn't have AC. On one trip to or from Sacramento to Spokane, the heel of my shoe where it rested on the floor of the car actually melted because of the intense heat.

Now, will someone dare to tell me that I didn't need air conditioning or that it just all depends on what you're used to?

That said, I don't have air conditioning in my house, though the past weekend the temps were so high (103 and 104 degrees F--about 40 C) that I did go to Victoria, B. C. because it was supposed to be 20 degrees F cooler there.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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If you want to hear whining about the heat in almost every language under the sun, go stand in line for the rides at DisneyWorld in mid-August. I assure you that Europeans on vacation can more than hold their own with any American in a whingeathon. And Brits are among the loudest complainers. You should also hear the sighs of relief from Europeans when they step into the air conditioned Mall of Florida--and all they had to do was walk from their air conditioned car in the parking lot to the mall entrance.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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I think Neopolitan has hit it right on the head. Naturally, people care more about being able to be out and about comfortably while on vacation.

Similarly, one could ask why Europeans on vacation in the SF Bay Area during the summer complain about the fog and chill, while the locals go about their everyday lives without whining.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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>>Europeans on vacation in the SF Bay Area during the summer complain about the fog and chill, while the locals go about their everyday lives without whining.<<

and all the tourists scramble to buy sweatshirts,while all the locals (even the semi locals from Sacramento ) are ready with sweaters even in July, August... etc...
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