20 Degrees – But Where?

When my girlfriend saw the Munich weather forecast before her visit, she said: “Oh no! Only 20 degrees celsius! It’s gonna be so cold.” I assured her it would be perfectly fine, and on the first day we went out – in shorts and t-shirts, I might add – she said: “Wow! You really don’t need a jacket here. It’s so warm!”

The lesson was that 20 degrees in London is not the same as 20 degrees in Munich or, in fact, 20 degrees anywhere else. Is it cloudy or clear skies? Does it rain or is the sun out? How windy does it get? Even if the main variable is the same, weather can feel very different.

This applies to much more than just the weather. In the right areas, Tokyo does not feel like a 30-million people city. Turn a quiet corner, and it’ll be as calm as a 1,000-person village. If a person with red hair cheated on you, someone else with the same color could still become your best friend – but only if you trust them, and whether that feels right is nothing a statistic can answer for you.

Don’t hold measurements in too high esteem. Demand their context. Experience it. Live it. Breathe it. Only then will you truly know what 20 degrees feel like. Pack both a sweater and a t-shirt, and prepare to be surprised.