Are you a summer or a winter person? I’m a summer person. If I’d have to choose between summer and winter, I’d definitely choose summer.
In Vienna, summers are dry and temperatures are moderate. Highs are around 30ºC (86ºF). Summers are perfect for sunbathing, swimming in the Danube, having barbecue with friends and taking long walks in the evenings.
Moving to China’s South
In June, 2012, I packed a backpack and went to China. After traveling the southern provinces of Chongqing, Yunnan, Hunan and Guangdong, I ended up in the city of Shenzhen, where I found a job. I thought it was the perfect place. It was green, sunny with blue skies, but still a big city.
I met Y, my then-coworker, now-husband, right after applying for the job. In the past, I could imagine living anywhere in China’s South. I couldn’t imagine living in the North. I shuddered just thinking of the long, cold winters.
Y is from Northeast China. We have just moved to China’s cold Northeast.
I wasn’t forced to move here. Living in China’s South has made me appreciate the climate of the North.
In Shenzhen, summers are hot and humid. Highs are around 35ºC. Which really doesn’t sound too bad, but summers in Shenzhen are long. During the day, it’s usually too hot to be outdoors. During the night, sleep is hard to find without air-conditioning. Mold grows from every corner. And mosquitoes will sting you during the day as well as during the night.
Winters in Shenzhen are not -30ºC cold, but they are cold in their own way. There’s no heating in Southern China. You can buy an electric heater, but it’s not the same. The cold is a wet kind of cold, not a dry one. It’s the kind of cold you’ll feel in your bones. It’s the kind of cold that makes you want to stay in bed all day long (but then, your bedsheets are probably damp, so that’s not a good idea either).
It’s still fall and I haven’t experienced a real Northeastern winter yet. I’m sure winters here are cold. The good thing is, we have heating (starting from October 25th). These last few days, temperatures in Siping have dropped to 0ºC (32ºF). In the evenings, it’s cold. But it’s not as cold as I thought it would be without heating. Our bedroom is facing south and during the day, the bedroom is sunny and warm (on average, Siping gets about 140 more hours of sun a month than Vienna in winter). I often sit on the window sill and play with our son, who enjoys sunbathing just as much as I do. I go for walks in the sun. 0ºC here feel much warmer than 0ºC in windy and dark Vienna.
A summer person
I always thought I’m a summer person. Until I went to China’s South. Today, I’d say I’m a summer person in Austria. I’m not a summer person in Shenzhen. Because one thing I’ve learned in my 2 years of living in Shenzhen is that summer is relative.
Do you prefer hot or cold weather?