Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Very Important Day

By Ruth
A Very Important Day is coming next week - - November 1 is “Turn on the Heat Day!!” I love this day of the year. In China, the central heating (in our apartments, classrooms, etc.) is controlled by the government and is turned on according to the date rather than the weather. The dates for heat vary according to region. In Weinan, which was a bit further south, our heat wasn't turned on until November 15.

In the south of China, there is no central heating at all. In Yangzhou, for example, I spent my first two years in China freeeeeeeeeezing. I was cold in class and cold outside and cold at home and the only time when I was warm was in bed (with long johns, pjs, several blankets, a hot waterbottle, and a small A/C heater unit. One of my friends from Inner-Mongolia had hard time adjusting to the cold in Yangzhou. When Kevin and I returned to China, one of my big requests for location was to be north of the heat line! I love heat!

Fortunately this year the weather has not been so cold leading up to "Turn on the Heat Day." Just two days ago Kevin and I were saying that it was still remarkably warm. Then – BAM – cold sneaks up and hits you in the face. Cold is sneaky and nasty that way. Today I pulled out the long johns, Smartwool socks, and my big down coat. I dressed Juliana in a turtle neck and thick sweater, leggings, and two pairs of pants, and she wasn't even going outside.

We have also moved Juliana's bed back into our room until the heat comes on. It's not a huge transition since she didn't move out of our room until two months ago. Besides which, she has recently gone back to waking up about 250 times a night because of a stupid tooth that is taking forever to come in. So she's been spending half the night in our bed anyway. (Note: Our double bed is not really big enough for two adult people and one very small but very squirmy child who now likes to claim her own fair share of space - ½ the bed.) We moved her into our room because hers is freezing. Almost as cold as the kitchen, so about 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house. That is because her room has two layers of single-paned windows but the outer windows are broken off. So there is about 1/8” of glass separating inside from out. Even though we have covered all the cracks between the windows with tape, it is still very cold. Hopefully once we have heat it will be warm enough to move her back. In the meantime, it is kind of cozy having everyone sleeping in one (sort of warm) room. Especially since last night Juliana only woke up once, at 5:45am.  Maybe it was teeth + cold that was keeping her awake.

At any rate, I'm so glad that next week the all powerful "They" will turn on the heat!

1 comment:

Anna said...

Yay, heat! Juliana is still a bit young to brave the 10-degrees colder then the rest of the house room. In our house, however, it was a bonding experience...