The Least Wonderful Time of the Year


Ah, Hong Kong in the gap between Christmas and Chinese New Year. It's cold and clammy and all the flats are badly built, draughty and un-insulated.

And of course, you can't close all the windows and turn on a heater, because people visiting for New Year are wearing fifteen layers of underwear and North Face outerwear because it's cold everywhere else. And then you're the weird foreigner with the stuffy house who loses face because he has these weird ideas about houses actually being warm places! Chee Sing Gwai Lo!

It's made all the more galling this year by the fact that we've just returned from Ireland, where it's far colder outside than you'll ever get in Southern China, but it's insulated, heated and supplied with roaring fires inside.

I've had to conduct a few educational experiences with the young'uns. When they feel warm inside, they think it'll just be warmer outside, so they balk at wearing coats and scarves. Fine. Shove them outside for a few minutes in their t-shirts. It usually only takes about thirty seconds before they realise that conditions are different, and it's full thermal gear before braving the elements again.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on January 6, 2008 1:14 AM.

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