Friday, November 30, 2012

Offensively Sweaty Gweilo IV: Packin' Heat

Greetings, dear readers. It's time once again for another installment in the occasional series of answers to your burning questions for Hong Kong's most overheated resident.

It's after Thanksgiving, kids, and you know what that means: Holiday lights are up, and the temperatures are down. I wasn't quite sure what to expect on either front--Mrs. Blog and I got here in late January, so the arrival of winter is a new thing for us. But I can safely say that things are definitely gettin' festive up in here, and in a development that seemed unimaginable in August, I am now wearing a coat to work. It is waterproof.

Q: Dear Offensively Sweaty Gweilo,
I see that you're now wearing a waterproof coat to work. Way to stay behind the curve! I have been wearing a fleece for several weeks now. You probably already have hypothermia.

A: Yep, I noticed that. But to be fair, you also carry an umbrella on sunny days. The thing is, though, it's still not cold--not really. Not like it was in Chicago. I could easily walk to work in shirtsleeves and not be particularly uncomfortable (assuming it's not raining. I'll get to that in a sec.). At night it has gotten just chilly enough, like in the 50s, to warrant a jacket. Plus, this particular jacket, which Mrs. Blog bought me in Beirut, is awesome, and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm glad I have an excuse to wear it.

Q: But OSG,
 it's raining so much! Aren't you afraid you'll ruin your coat? It is awesome, as you pointed out.

A: Aha! But my coat is waterproof. This also means I am somewhat protected if I'm caught without an umbrella... and that means I can leave my umbrella at home more often. Everyone wins, especially the people I accidentally poke with it on the subway.

In your home country, does it get gray and rainy just as you're putting up holiday lights?

A: Depends on where you are, really. In Chicago, my most recent city of residence in the United States of Awesome, it tended to be a little cloudier during the winter. But mostly it just got cold. The cold of deep space. The cold of a Antarctic grave. The cold of a political strtegist's heart. Often, the sun would be shining on what appeared to be a beautiful day, but when you went outside, your tears would freeze. Anyway, the point is, is that there were lots of beautiful decorations, but it would often be more comfortable to view them from inside.

Q: Hey, OSG,
What are you doing to get into the holiday spirit? Besides listening to all the Christmas music playing in our grocery stores over... and over... and over.

A: Well, we're getting a tree! That's a big step--it's our first actual Christmas tree since we moved overseas. So exciting that I'm not even really concerned about cleaning up all the pine needles afterward. We're also enjoying all the holiday lights that have sprung up in the last month or so. My office building, the festively named K. Wah Centre, is festooned with an almost-complete holiday message in 20-foot-tall letters made of colored lights. It currently reads "Erry XM," but I'm sure they'll get it finished by the time XM rolls around.
In the meantime, Hong Kong, a city with an impressive skyline already, is becoming full of displays like this:

Megawatts' worth of peace on earth.

And our apartment is getting full of visitors. That's the kind of thing that warms a heart, no matter how kind-of cold and perpetually rainy things get outside.

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