Not Exactly Frozen

If I can’t stand the cold in Hong Kong, then I’m guessing that there’s no way I can survive the winters in college…that is, if i’m on the East Coast.

In my seventeen years growing up in Hong Kong, it’s usually (by our standards) freezing from December to February.  Maybe it’s just me, but it has gotten cold earlier this year…and the “winter” is dragging on.  I never anticipated that I’d have to one day take out my ski clothes even though it isn’t snowing.

Apparently, the cold is bothering me, despite figuring that it really shouldn’t be.

My friend (and mentor.  And tutor) called Rhajiv came to Hong Kong from Pittsburgh, and he recently told me (and some friends) that it’s freezing in Hong Kong…by Hong Kong standards.  Just to clarify, “freezing” in Hong Kong is anything below 16 degree Celsius.  This entire week has been in its single digits, and I’m not really used to it because it was, quite frankly, unprecedented for a Hong Kong winter to be this cold.  Yet, Rhajiv’s friends in the States told us to “suck it up — it’s way colder here!”  True, but that only makes me nervous.

I’m excited to go to America, but I often wonder how I’m going to survive the winters there.  It’s not just the cold — there’s also snow!  Believe me, I love the snow; but I’ve never really been put into a situation whereby I live in that climate for more than a month.  Perhaps it’s just how I was brought up — in a city where I never truly experience the truth about the cold.  I guess I have no idea what cold is truly like…until I’m actually there.

Until then, I’ll still be wearing my ski mask to and from places.  Hot chocolate would be nifty too…maybe.  Who knows?

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5 thoughts on “Not Exactly Frozen

  1. As a desert child who spent several years in the snowy American Rocky Mountains while a young adult, I wish you all the very best in times of snow. For me, freezing is anything below around 21 degrees Celsius, so you can imagine how I never loved living in the snow…

    I tried to enjoy a peace within it by remembering the old story of what a zen master said when asked how he endures the elements as he does. “When cold, be cold until it kills you. When hot, be hot until it kills you.” I take that as this: simply let it be as cold as it is without resistance, allowing it to be so cold until it kills you (which in most cases it won’t). Same with being hot, which I don’t mind so much.

    Now, that didn’t work for me very often. Great idea in theory, but not really something I’ve been able to practice. Instead, while standing for a bus in a snowstorm, I imagined the hottest Arizona summer I’d ever experienced, just feeling the heat baking across my skin. I imagined drinking a mug of hot, hot tea with this hot, hot sun glowing through me, warming me throughout. And when too hot, I imagine a glass of cool ice-water with a crisp, chilly breeze flowing over me.

    When those didn’t work though, it really has helped me let go of the temperature by just letting it be cold until it kills me.

    1. It’s another cold day today so I tried to think of all the warm things like hot chocolate and my blanket. It hasn’t totally worked yet but I guess it might take some getting used to. Truth be told, it’s never really scorching hot in Hong Kong (if, of course, we compare it to the climate of the deserts) so I guess I don’t even know what real ‘hot-ness’ is either. Oh well…

      1. Oh, it never totally worked for me either! But it did get me interested in self-hypnosis, and other ways to shift how I’m perceiving something. Either way, it got me thinking about something other than how miserable I was in the snow, so I figured it was helping somehow.

        All the best to you, whatever the weather!

  2. I think it says something when even K doesn’t say “let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway”.

    When it gets cold in HK, it’s worse than when it gets cold in, say, Canada or the UK (and I’d hazard a guess, the East Coast as well, although I’ve never been). Firstly, HK is really humid and it feels a lot colder than it actually is. Also, HK really, really isn’t set up for the cold (*cough* school buildings *cough*), so nobody is really dressed for it, the buildings aren’t heated etc. etc. which will be different when you go to a place where it regularly gets really cold in winter.

    1. So much school references in that comment. That is all.

      Yeah Hong Kong isn’t the perfect place for the cold, which does bring out the downsides of this city (opportunity cost: make lots of money and sort of become the next Wolf of Wall Street, which is probably an inaccurate comparison considering how I’ve only watched the trailer 10 times, or freeze to death…by Hong Kong standards).

      Maybe we should bring our own heaters for mocks next week. Let’s totally do that.

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