I have heard from friends and family how the States have been hit hard by a brutal winter. New York got over a foot of snow and the DC area has had some snow itself. While Qinhuangdao has not been hit by a major snowstorm, we have had some bitter cold weather.
It has been pretty cold so far. Since China runs on the metric system I don’t know exactly how cold it has been but we have had days where it has been way below 0۫ C. Sometimes it has been so cold that the condensation that formed on the windows in our apartment turned to ice.
While many of you have the comforts of central heating, I am not so lucky. The way my heating is set up in my apartment is that we have a little furnace that is supposed to heat the floor tiles. But of course nothing works as it is supposed to and many of the tiles don’t heat up at all. The hottest tiles in my room are along the edge of the wall, which doesn’t help me at all and the hottest tiles in the whole apartment are two tiles in the corner of the bathroom. So when I take a shower I have to aim the showerhead while I stand on these two little tiles.
It has been so cold that I have been using my big winter jacket as an extra blanket layer while I sleep. One of the teachers recently left and I rushed over to her apartment and took her comforter so that I could stay warm. It has been a godsend.
I have been so cold that I went out and bought a portable heater. I put it right next to my bed and use it as much as possible. I use it before I go to bed and when I wake up. Most importantly I use it when I get back from the shower to warm up. I even use it to heat up my clothes in the morning. It makes the clothes feel like they are coming right out of the dryer, which is the best feeling.
I have taken every measure to stay warm this winter. I have even gone native and bought a Chinese scarf (or at least that is what I call them). Now a Chinese scarf doesn’t go around your next, it goes around your ears and over your mouth. It’s kind of smart. It uses the heat from your own breath to keep you face warm. Now I understand why everyone has one, what I don’t understand is why people wear them during the summer.
Well I am doing everything I can to stay warm this winter and I hope you are too.