Beijing · weather

Winter is here

I haven’t blogged for a while because I forgot my password.   Since then, autumn has passed and winter just arrived.  

I had vacuum packed all my long sleeves, long pants and thicker wear when summer started, because it was possible and normal to survive in tees, shorts and capris at most.  Just like in Singapore.  Come autumn, I had to drag out all the vacuum packed clothes and replace the bag with summer wear. 

Being the warm blooded Singaporean, I naturally started donning two layers of clothes and a layer of jacket the moment temperature fell.  And I would still feel cold.   Autumn was a bit more shocking than winter as it brought rain. The “one episode of rain, drop 10 degrees” type.  So weather was wet/cold/ warm/ dry, basically unpredictable!  The yo-yoing also made it harder to decide what to wear, as it would be pleasant like aircon one moment, and then freezing because rain was on the way!  I remember one day when we were cycling back from dinner and then downpour came suddenly.  It was like being showered by ice water!

As I write this, I’m wearing just one layer of Uniqlo heattech, sitting in my dining room with no warm aircon or floor heating on.  Sun is streaming into the windows in the living room and it is comfortable.  And this is the start of winter.  For now, winter is cold, dry, predictable, even pleasant when the sun comes out.  What is not so pleasant are the days after freezing nights, where the sky would be more polluted or look smoggy as many would be burning coals to keep warm the night before. 

Visually, the start of winter still looks like autumn to me. Except more leaves are falling. The trees are looking more bald than golden/red/brown. 

Do people still cycle? Yes.  Uniqlo is not the only thing that can keep warm (surprise surprise!). In fact, Heattech alone isn’t enough when you wake up and see the temperature prediction at -2, as it was this morning.  At the start you’ll go three to four layers plus hoodie plus down jacket.  Slowly, you learn to bask in the heat from the sunshine just like how cats do. After a few days of minuses, you learn to get by with one thermal, one sweater.   

Over time, you’ll acclimatise and say, “wow, it’s warmer today!” when you see a range going up to 12 degrees.  And you’ll feel warmer too. No kidding!  

So far, autumn and winter have been manageable.  Heating, when on, actually makes the house comfortable and the floor “normal” to step on.  In Singapore we always go ahhh when we step on cool floors.  Here, it’s the opposite and one starts to appreciate the warm floors back home. 

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