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Figure 1: Read anticlockwise from top left. (A) Umbrella. (B) Scarf. (C) Canopy hopping.

Figure 1: Read anticlockwise from top left. (A) Umbrella. (B) Scarf. (C) Canopy hopping.

Melbourne. 4 seasons in 1 day. We’ve heard it, experienced it, dreaded it. If you haven’t, perhaps when you do visit this oh-so-beautiful a city, this advice might just save your day. Or hair.

1. Always, always, always have an umbrella with you.

This can’t just be a $2.00 cutesy folded umbrella from the Chinese clothing store which fits into your handbag perfectly. This super umbrella is going to deal with thunderstorms, stubborn unidirectional wind, multiple-personality wind, hail, hail and rain, and the clash of the umbrellas walking in the opposite direction in a crowded pathway.

Figure 2: Windproof umbrella.

Figure 2: Windproof umbrella.

A really good umbrella is a windproof (double-flap) umbrella with a fiberglass handle, like this one here, but perhaps one that is more student budget friendly. This type of umbrella has been approved by a genius fellow engineering student.

2. Hood/scarf

In the case that you have forgotten your umbrella for the umpteenth time, wear your hood. A fancy scarf can often function as a hood as well. Try not the wrap it too tightly around your head as you may end up with hood hair. Wrap it loosely so that it reminds you of the hoods on the Elven cloaks from Lothlorien, and you can convince yourself that it is fashionable when passing a reflective window.

3. Canopy hopping. When left without umbrella, hood or scarf, this is your only choice.

This involves stealth and quick thinking and only works in the business and shopping districts. The general gist is that when it starts to drizzle, you must quickly decide a stopover destination where you can wait to see whether the weather worsens or clears up. Even better is when the store under the canopy is open and you can walk in, completely covered from the rain.

My choice of stopover canopies are usually those attached to clothing shops, stationery outlets such as Officeworks,  or pharmacies where I can scan the perfume. You could also make a game out of it such as finding as many kabuki brushes you can touch in the shops on the way to your actual destination. Or sales. Or leather skirts.

When you’ve been there for 15 minutes, usually the thunderstorm has passed and it is merely drizzling. You can now proceed from the shop onto the sidewalk again and keen an eye out for the next canopy just in case it rains heavily again, which is highly likely.

Next in the Melbourne series: How to deal with hail while walking in Melbourne