The rain in Spain falls mainly in Germany

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.

The most recent victim in the war against German rain.

The most recent victim in the war against German rain.

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.

7 responses to “The rain in Spain falls mainly in Germany

  1. Ugh! Tell me about it. Though Scotland is no less rainy, Germany seemed so sunny the first whole month we were here thus giving me false hope. I have learned just to wear my ugly raincoat everywhere and hope that the hood will keep my face dry as well. Much more consistent than any umbrella I have tried.

  2. I hate umbrellas so I can’t really help. We had a great one from the British Museum but the boyfriend managed to lose it! Rossmann umbrellas suck, I can tell you that much!

    • We haven’t yet stopped at Rossman for umbrellas, since that seems like it wouldn’t go well. The one that I have that’s currently on its last legs (arms?) is United Colors of Bennington and it’s from TK Maxx, so I thought it would last longer than it has! We also have a Bass umbrella from the U.S. that seems to be doing fine…so far. (cue ominous music)

  3. I brought a comically ginormous golf umbrella with me from the US. It has vents in it to help keep from turning inside out with the wind gusts- that’s been holding up well. I’ve lost two or three smaller umbrellas to wind gusts though, so it’s not just you. One of them died a spidery, rainy death on the sidewalk near my office, to the barely supressed laughter of onlookers.

    • I always wonder how much of a dork I look like when my umbrella turns itself inside out in front of others here. Vents are such a smart idea! I maintain that the best plan, however, is to just stay inside until March or so.

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