This is the first autumn I’ve been in Dalian, after our time in Guilin, so it’s all new for me. The autumn passed by in a flash because, while my family were reporting use of electric blankets and turning the heating on from early September, we still had 20 plus temperatures into October. Yet come the beginning of November, it’s time for the winter preparations. Making autumn in Dalian approximately one month.
I have always considered Chinese people to be the most resourceful on earth, and I think when it comes to hot and cold they’ve thought of everything. In most parts of China they really have to too, because they experience really hot summers and really cold winters.
So here’s a list of some of our winter preparations consist of:
1. Slippers 拖鞋
The flip-flops go away, and the snuggly warm slippers come out. Not just for the two of us who live here, but enough for a few guests, should they come round!
2. Hot water flask 暖瓶
Because hot water could be needed at any moment – one cannot wait for the kettle to be boiled!
It’s actually pretty useful in the night, as you really don’t want to wait for the kettle to boil and risk waking the baby.
3. Undergarments 秋衣/秋裤
The Chinese mother-in-law buys you funny sets of matching leggings and long sleeve tops, which are to be worn under your usual clothes at all times.
I’m really not in this habit. Back at home I may have worn extra thick tights, or tights under trousers and an extra vest top, but these matching sets are something else. I’m not really a fan, but I love them on my husband 😀
We are lucky enough to live in the chilly north, so our homes are installed with central heating, which comes on at a day of the local government’s choosing. This day has already come, so our home is lovely and toasty (but we now have a condensation problem)
It means we don’t really need electric blankets or very thick pyjamas (yet!). But my in-laws actually decided not to pay the fee to have central heating installed, so they do need all these other things.
Outside meanwhile, shops and businesses are making their own preparations. Many replace the hanging plastic door strips, which I think are to help keep the mosquitos out, with thick duvet-type hangings, too keep the warmth in.