Until winter suddenly fell upon us the first week of December.
Now, this winter has been consistently in the 50s and 60s, often overcast, windy, and rainy. Compared to a Michigan winter, it's nothing.
However, it's not really fair to compare it to a Michigan winter, because in Michigan, we are generally well prepared for winters--we usually have furnaces and space heaters and fireplaces. We have carpet on our floors, winter wardrobe with coats and boots and gloves and sweaters. Our houses are built to seal out the cold, and the majority of people drive everywhere they need to go instead of walk.
Green paisley scarf. Note: Angel is wearing a t-shirt.
Polka dot scarf. I only took the brown pleather jacket off for my photo op with a snowman.
In Michigan, I would put a space heater in the bathroom when I took a shower, to be more comfortable, because we only heated our house to 60 degrees when we didn't have guests over. Here, it's 60 degrees inside the house once again, but our bathroom is a "wet bathroom" and putting an electric space heater in the room while taking a shower would ensure death by electrocution.
I was used to hanging clothes out to dry in Malaysia--but standing out on the balcony in 55 degree weather and shaking the wrinkles out of chilly, damp clothing as I hang everything up doesn't feel quite the same. And I've never been a snob about washing dishes in cold water (no hot water at the faucet), but plunging your hands into a sink of what feels like ice water when it's already chilly in the house is less-than-pleasant. Of course I can heat up water in the kettle and try to find the perfect warm-but-not-scalding temperature for dish washing, but most of the time I'm lazy and just want to finish the dishes as fast as possible instead of filling up a pot and waiting for it to heat up.
Our school is also not heated, so I sit in our office with an electric "hot water bottle" on my lap to keep warm. In the classrooms, I stay plenty warm because I move around a lot while teaching, but our students sit in that chilly room for 8 class sessions a day--no wonder they wear scarves, gloves, and overcoats while at their desks! They do have outdoor exercise sessions each day, hopefully those are enough to warm everyone up again.
I have dubbed this the Season of Alternating Scarves, because this non-scarf lover brought 2 when packing for China. I have found my 2 scarves necessary for combating the wind, and I generally try to alternate between the black and white polka dot scarf and the green paisley scarf from one day to the next to add some variety. I'm determined not to purchase any new winter paraphernalia because I don't intend to experience many more winters. Our apartment had a little space heater and an electric hot water bottle in it when we arrived--those have definitely made life more comfortable!
P.S. I've been talking about feeling very cold this whole time, but Angel would like me to mention that he almost never feels cold, though occasionally, the temperature outside has been extreme enough to cause him to wear the one pair of jeans he packed, which really says something. He is alternating between a gray cardigan and a black soft-shell, usually with a short-sleeved shirt underneath.