Monday, September 04, 2006


Season lag

While the trip here didn´t cause jet lag, I seem to be experiencing something similar but on a different scale-- a disconnect between the weather and the calendar. It´s late Winter here in Montevideo. It´s not terribly cold-- usually in the 40s-- although it can be windy along the waterfront. A windbreaker, a warm hat and a fleece are plenty.

It feels like the end of Winter; there are even some early leaf buds appearing on certain trees. (Although not the Sycamores, or Plane trees, that line many neighborhood streets. I´m sure they´ll be late. In Michigan our Sycamore is always last to leaf out.) Night comes early, very much like Winter in the north.

Anyway, it´s not particularly harsh and it feels like warmer weather is coming, and I have no problem accepting that. What seems inappropriate are the dates. When I´m reminded that it´s the end of August or early September, it feels wrong.

I don´t know if there´s a term for this North to South displacement.

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I googled on Hemispere disorientation and mostly found articles concerning the after effect of strokes on the different parts of the brain. However, I did find the following blurb about crossing the equater to live: [When I lived in the Northern Hemisphere (1970-1973 and 1994 -- between 3 and 4 adult years in total from a lifespan of just over 50 years) the most noticeable effect was a disorientation. I am used to finding my way around unfamiliar cities and countryside on foot. But in the Northern hemisphere I would get unaccountably lost. When I stopped and analysed it, I concluded that it was an almost subconscious effect of the sun going the wrong way around the sky! I could get my head around the fact that the midday sun would be in the South rather than the North. But I could not properly come to terms with the changed direction of motion. I would keep wanting South to be to the left of the sun in the morning and to the right of the sun in the afternoon, with obviously disastrous consequences for navigation. I have had other Australians also report the "wrong feel" of the way the sun moves around the sky in the Northern hemisphere.]
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