Today marks the first day I’ve seen the sun in over a week. Last I saw, it was setting over the NYC skyline on my way to the airport and since then, it’s been missing in action.* This is pretty normal for Germany, though – when I was in the U.S. over the holidays, I felt like a mole rat when I woke up in the mornings. “Good GOD, everything is so BRIGHT!” I would wail, clawing at my eyes and stumbling around. And that was just on a partially-cloudy day.
It’s not always raining here when it’s cloudy, but you should always assume that it’s about to. Since we’re back to our normal cloudy existence, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about umbrellas. And how all of our umbrellas here in Germany, no matter where they came from originally, have had a very short life span.
I think we are somewhere between umbrellas #6 and #9. One was purely lost. And one did come from the “Euro store,” so we were asking for a problem there. Some weren’t in the best shape to begin with and quickly deteriorated upon moving to Bielefeld. I first noticed breakage on my current umbrella the other night on my way to German class. I bought this in September, so it made it a full four months before becoming crooked, flappy, and full of stabby, rusty arms. It wasn’t even raining that hard, but the wind managed to turn it inside out two or three times before I gave up and let my glasses get covered in rain for the rest of the walk.
My question is: does anyone else have this problem? Are we buying the wrong kind of umbrellas? (I think not). Are we not providing proper long-term care and storage for our umbrellas? Should we be lathering them down and giving them cool-down walks to keep them in prime condition, like thoroughbreds? Or is the wind and rain here really just of a specific caliber to render all umbrellas worthless?
I’m getting really tired of shelling out money for new umbrellas. On the plus side, it makes it much easier to justify staying indoors and watching Netflix for the next few months.
*This is not an exaggeration. Not a ray of sunshine. It was sort of sunny this morning – or at least, there were some patches of blue sky. Then it started to snow. And now it’s back to the standard cloud layer.