This time last year I was in New York. I was working on my thesis, there was snow piled up on the fire escape outside my bedroom window, and I was cozy warm. Amazing how much changes in a year, eh? Snow, how I miss it! Free heating, how I miss it! Being from Texas, I’m totally cool with endless summer, but if I’m going to be cold, there’d better be snow.
Lately Shanghai’s weather has been … odd. For a bit there I thought we had completely skipped winter. Last week there were a few days that were in the low 20s Celsius (60s-70s Fahrenheit) and it was actually kind of depressing, like seasonal affective disorder in winter but in reverse. Well, yesterday it snowed! Crazy, right? It dropped 20 degrees in a week! It snowed for a bit on Sunday and more yesterday, but it didn’t stick and the weather’s warming up again.
But it’s still really cold! Shanghai’s longitude is similar to Central Texas, but since there’s no central heating here and buildings are poorly insulated, it feels soooo much colder than New York. Either give me a radiator or give me snow! In New York I had both, in Shanghai I’d like at least one. This air conditioner/heater unit (which is mounted on the wall above me) is quite inefficient (because hot air rises) and it is totally drying out my skin.
New York, ah how I love thee. It’s great that heating is covered by the landlord and there are guidelines in place so they don’t skimp, but GOODNESS GRACIOUS, PLEASE TURN IT OFF ALREADY. It’s the latter part of May, the outside temp is about 84 degrees Fahrenheit. AND THE HEATER IS STILL ON. At this point it’s just wasteful because I have to have the fan on to combat the heater.
Last year my room had an overactive heater, but it was only really crazy during the winter, so it was just mildly uncomfortable with the windows open. I switched apartments and the heater here worked fine during the winter, but now it’s basically summer so having the heater on is just absurd. My room is not actually 97 degrees, it’s just that I keep my thermometer on top of the radiator. Regardless, it’s REALLY HOT IN HERE.
Tonight is going to be an all-nighter. Sigh. It’s that time of the year when massive amounts of caffeine and sugar get ingested and I seclude myself in my room and my room turns into an absolute mess. Oh yes, it’s finals time. No exams of course, just papers. And a presentation tomorrow … er, in nine hours. I kind of feel disgusting right now. A few days ago the weather was really warm, then cold, then kind of nice. Today my room once again turned into a sauna, because outside it’s cold and rainy and the heater (which I cannot control) only has two options: off or full blast. Apparently there’s this thing called the “Nor’easter storm” which is a type of storm that affects this area, which is causing the frigid rain outside and thus this tropical ecosystem in my room. Sigh.
Last month when I went to Boston over spring break, I visited the New England Aquarium. The jellyfish were so pretty. And so peaceful-looking. And definitely not dying of stress or heat. Sigh.
When I call my room a sauna, I jest not. Current outside temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In my room, 84 degrees. Well, now it’s at 82, which I guess is better. Because of New York rental guidelines, the landlord has to provide heat during the winter season and when it’s below 55 degrees outside during the day, the heater must be 68 degrees. The rest of the apartment is probably around that temperature. Why my room is so much warmer than the rest of the apartment is a mystery. Good thing I’m from Texas and I kinda like the heat, eh?
I think the warm sauna-like nature of my room is probably bad for my paper writing. I still have lots of stuff to do and I need to hunker down, but it’s just so darned comfy in here. I’ve also been sleeping a ridiculous amount, around ten hours (or more) a night. Even when I wake up early, I end up going back to sleep, which is quite unusual for me. Usually once I wake up, I might be really drowsy and non-responsive for a while, but I’m up for the rest of the day. I think I’ve been sleeping so much lately because it’s so cozy I just want to hibernate and not wake up. Hm … I guess I could leave. But I really like it in here.