It’s not that winter in Beijing is colder than winter in Minnesota. It’s just that average person spends a lot more time in the elements here. Whether it is the hour spent commuting on the bus each day, the 10 minute walk outside to and from the cafeteria for lunch, or the inconsistent heating in buildings, the cold just feels more omnipresent.
To handle it, almost everyone lives in their long underwear for about four months. Not only is it a layer for your working clothes, but it also is important at home. I have learned that it is customary in a Chinese family to take off your “street” pants when you get home and just wear your long underwear around the house because it is just plain more comfortable.
In October, I purchased long underwear along with my winter coat, and it definitely was a good investment. From mid-November through mid-March, I wore it continuously, minus breaks for washing (when I would wear my pajama pants instead).
Monday was a big day though! For the first time in 2010, Tian and I did not wear long underwear to work because we were finally becoming too hot. I am taking that as the official sign that spring has arrived! Hope this posting wasn’t TMI – too much information, but I promised earlier that my blog would be revealing.