I’m sitting in my bedroom wearing my winter coat and sipping on a mug of hot chocolate. Sometimes I can see my breath, and my fingers get pretty chilly while typing on my computer. I have a heat lamp positioned at my feet that I sporadically turn on to warm up the two square foot area where I’m sitting.
Side note: I was talking with an American friend recently about how Chinese winter jackets are really pretty. They are fitted, have frills, lace, bows, and come in every color of the rainbow. Forget about utilitarian black peacoats! People don’t ever take their coat/jacket off, so it is their winter style statement!
Now here’s a little history lesson for ya. Many years ago, some awesome Chinese guy decided to draw a line through the middle of the country and declared that the northern part could have indoor heating, but in the south buildings will not be heated. To this day, that imaginary line still divides the country into heated and not heated. In the north, the government dictates a “heat on” date where all buildings switch on the central heating that powerfully (sometimes too powerfully) heats up homes and offices. Now, Kunming is pretty far south and has very mild weather, so not having indoor heating isn’t usually a very big problem. In December and January the temperatures during the day are in the 60’s and 70’s. However, as soon as that powerful Yunnan sun goes down, it gets chilly. Especially inside old apartment buildings like mine! Yesterday, when a blanket of fog covered the city and shut down the airport, I didn’t want to get out of bed all day! (I’m glad I wasn’t at the airport. I’ve seen angry Chinese travelers before and it isn’t very pretty.)
Thankfully, today Mr. Sun came out and I tried to take full advantage of his rays. I brought some grading outside and sat at a coffee shop where I feel like I got some sunburn!
So as night falls on Yunnan again, I’m trying to figure out how much longer I can sit at my desk and grade before I snuggle under my covers and watch a movie. Even though I don’t have heating, I am really grateful that I have a warm bed and a roof over my head.