A Bit About The Weather

One of the big reasons that, after a year and a half there, I moved south from Dalian was I feared battling through another northeastern winter.

But, but, I'm Canadian… there's three things we Canucks all know: hockey, winter and how to make love in a canoe. Well folks, sorry to break the stereotype, but my boat-boinking skills are rusty, I can't stop on ice without the use of the boards, and I f'ing HATE the cold.

Originally I had planned to move us to either Xiamen or Hainan, two places that don't see much in the way of cold breezes, never mind subzero temperatures. In the end, the best offer for teaching came from Suzhou – and with a latitude of about 31°N, I figured it'd be alright. A few other places that share this line on the Earth:

  • Alexandria, Egypt
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • Baja, Mexico
  • Jerusalem, Israel

However, upon arriving here I was told that I should be prepared for cold winters. I was a bit confused by this, but chocked it up to "these people" not knowing what "real" winters were and the fact that there's no centralized heating. Looking at some climate information for Suzhou though, it does show some chilly weather come Dec/Jan/Feb, where the mercury might touch that freezing mark and coupled with the humidity here – I could see why bringing my winter jacket down here with me might prove not to be the waste of space I had initially thought.

Despite this, we've had FANTASTIC weather lately. Honestly, it's November and I can still comfortably get away with wearing a t-shirt when I go out. Yesterday I headed to Shanghai to meet up with some friends for lunch and a stroll through a few art galleries, and armed with just jeans and a t-shirt, there were points where I even broke a sweat.

My happiness with this pleasant weather was compounded when Maggie's mom called here this morning to tell her it was snowing in Dalian. And checking the weather back in my hometown, I can't help but smile that I'd be quite a bit colder if I was back home.

Despite loving the weather, my system is being thrown a little out of wack. The extended summer has not gone unnoticed, and I wake up every day wondering what month it is. Suzhou is the first time I've lived in a climate that wasn't pretty similar to that which I had grown up with. I've lived in four different "centres" in my life – Southern Ontario (Canada), Okanagan Valley BC (Canada), Dalian (China), and now Suzhou (China) – and Suzhou is the only one that has broken that Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter cycle. It's not that the seasons changing doesn't exist, it's just different. More subtle.

Still, I'm not going to complain – how can you complain about sunny skies and a temperature of about 24°C?

10 Responses

  1. I hate you. (no, I’m just jealous.) I live in southern Canada (Michigan) and the winter is well on its way. I’m totally ready for perma-summer.

  2. Ok smartass.;) just so you know, today is GORGEOUS here and I acctually got to cut the grass, wash the car and rake leaves. You might have t-shirt weather, but I have the smeel of a fresh cut lawn, the crunching of coloured leaves beneath my feet, and a crisp sweet breeze in the air. C’mon, you miss it. Even the white shit that falls from the sky!!!

  3. Haha… I totally jinxed it. Almost right after I posted this yesterday it got chilly and it’s now about 11°C (which should rise to 17° this afternoon, and back up to 22°C tomorrow). There’s no doubt that the weather here is changing and getting cooler… but this has, by far, been the longest summer I’ve ever experienced. It’s been great.

    I’ll definitely miss the white stuff come the end of December. Christmas without snow is like Spring Festival without fireworks (how’s that for cross-culture similes).

  4. OK, so maybe you don’t like the cold, but at least you’ve had practice dealing with it. I’m friggin’ freezing up here in Dalian, and everybody’s telling me, “It’s nothing. It gets cold in December.” Seriously, if it’s SNOWING, it’s plenty cold. In Southern California, this weather would be front page news.

  5. I could do with some t-shirt weather right about now. I shouldn’t complain thought. It’s like a heat wave right now (13C). We should be closer to freezing again soon.

    During summer we’re always looking towards the winter and snow. After about a week of snow we are dreaming about summer again. What the hell is wrong here? Or maybe this is just me.

  6. @Chris: Haha, yeah… that’s nothing. Honestly, I arrived in January two years ago and it was frigin’ freezing. My advice to you, go buy one of those little electric mats for your bed. Put it on about 15 minutes before you go to bed and you’ll sleep much better.

    @Shaun: I’m one of those people that continually complain about the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. I’m thinking of heading down to Kunming in Yunnan – a place that is called Spring City for its level spring-like climate.

  7. actually suzhou will definitly be cooler than dalian and the chills stays longer too. the reason dalian is fn cold now is because it is by the water…i’ve lived in both cities and have grandparents being weather …”workers”??
    the weather in vancouver…WET is the only word i can think of.

  8. global warming sounds good to you. It WAS F’ing cold and this year is just not as usual,which is a BAD sign.
    the above comments were derived from the fact from my parents about the weather in Suzhou as well as my SCIENTIFIC knowledge.well, not a chuck of science…..
    i love the live preview, by the way

  9. @Connie: Cooler than Dalian? Not on your life! I mean, Dalian reaches and maintains sub-zero temperatures for most of the winter – Suzhou hits the big 0 at best (worst?).

    @Marco: Bring on the global warming. If humanity is going to get baked off the planet – at least we’ll have a nice tan in doing so 😉 Really though, it does sort of weird me out that everyone (globally) seems to be reporting crazy weather fluctuations. Meh.

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