It is Nov 20th and the leaves are starting to change and fall. The colours are not as brilliant as home, but there is some red, yellow and a lot of brown. No maple trees here is show their lovely shades of red, orange and yellow.
The temperatures do not do a gradual slide, but a quick drop over night. We had cold damp and grey weather for a week and I thought that was it; no more short sleeves and capris. The temperatures rebounded with the sun and we have had some nice days where a light sweater is all you need. It is hard to judge time when it is the end of November and there has been no talk of the dreaded “S” or “F” word… snow and flurries. During the day the temps are still in the high teens. It is hard to believe in 1 month (today) we will be flying home for Christmas! You have no concept of time when the weather is still mild… feels like early October back home. They still cut the grass here!
I am certainly glad it is still mild as I have found out there is NO insulation and the apartment does not hold the heat. At home the furnace wouldn’t be on in this weather, but here we have it on the take out the chill for a few hours each night. Many of the locals have been dressing like it is 20 below for a month or longer… the stores have the heat cranked to an unbearable level that makes you want to pass out. Another indicator of the change of seasons is the permanent haze of grey pollution that blocks out the rarely seen blue skies. Yuck! China still uses coal plants for electricity, so the air quality will steadily decrease until the warmer weather. I have been told this isn’t too bad compared to some other cities.
The stores are just starting to put up the Christmas decorations and the school is starting to get ready as well. It is nice not to see Christmas things for 2 months. 4 or 5 weeks is enough to feel good and not overwhelming. The kids saw the trees come out of storage at the school and went crazy last week… so the fewer weeks of hype the better!
Stay tuned for more adventures. I am sure there will be some interesting things around Christmas to share.