winter woes I

Being brought up in a tropical country, I’ve always hoped to experience the four seasons, specifically winter. Snowman, snowballs, snow-capped pathways, roofs, trees and cars and haphazard flurry of snow were some of the things that I wanted to see and because of the changes in global climate, I half expected to see them in Shanghai. My forecast came true, eventually, but I wasn’t exactly happy about it.

To those who are still not aware, China just experienced the coldest winter in a hundred years. The weather is getting warmer now and the temperature is about 3 degrees as I am typing this. For the past few days, the temperature lingered at around 0 degrees and it was unbearably cold.

When I first arrived here, the weather was dry and cold enough for me to breathe out clouds of water vapour and that cheap thrill kept me amused for days. Soon, the weather turned colder and it wasn’t fun anymore to stand in the open. Fingers and ears became cold and numb and lips began to split like cracked glass. My friends and I took cover in buildings and tailgated strangers when there were strong winds that proved to be most annoying.

Two weeks later, snow began to fall lightly. Pieces of snow that were as tiny as dust particles hovered and moved in Brownian motion. Those pieces melted when they touched the ground and because there was so much dirt on the road, puddles of murky water soon formed and grew in size to form swimming pools of it. Comparing to the streets in Singapore where I could almost sit on any pavement without noticeably staining my pants, streets in Shanghai need some serious vacuuming.

Adding onto the pollution issue, the sun is now a rare sight because of the smog. The sky appears to be cloudy all day long and the air doesnt smell as good. The PSI reading is probably 100-130 but no one seems to be too bothered by it. Maybe they had the PSI reading on the corner of the TVs some time back but realised that it didnt matter.

To be continued…


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