Sun stress – ever heard of it? Well neither had I until coming to Norway. Sun stress has nothing to do with heat stroke. In the two months of summer so far, there have been maybe three days above 25 °C and certainly none above 30. So there’s no chance of passing out due to the heat.
Sun stress is a phenomenon that occurs when a sunny day materializes. The locals make plans for any and all outdoor activities; they all finish work early and then revel in the glorious sunshine for as long as they can. This doesn’t sound stressful though, does it? The stress (as described to me by a coworker) lies in the feeling that if it’s a sunny day, one must use it wisely. After all, it does rain 70% of the year round.
A month or so ago, there was a sunny period for a few days and every time I left the office (which was dead quiet in the afternoon) this playground under a nearby bridge was full of people basking in the sun. I mean every inch of grass was occupied. Office people would exchange their indoor coffee breaks for ice cream outside. On one of the hottest days I began my exercise routine of walking home along the sea. I saw people fishing, having picnics and using their portable barbecues on any patch of grass available amongst the rocky shore.
I also discovered a little oasis known as Vaulen. This place was family central. The car park was overflowing and everybody was either swimming on the beach, sunbathing or having a barbecue. Lots of little coves and mini-playgrounds allow people to enjoy themselves and the atmosphere was quite electric. It was going off!
Fortunately, Andrea and I have lived in places where the sun shines more often than not. So instead of suffering from sun stress we just look out the window, turn to each other and say “We don’t have a car to go anywhere, so I guess we’ll just take it easy”!