Freezing… and I am sitting at the desk I use at Tabuse High School.
My thin sock clad feet are housed in cold green plastic visitor slippers that huddle together while tucked under the metal opening of my desk. My fingers are sluggish as I type away on my computer keyboard, erasing more typos by the minute. A chill continuously circles throughout my body, from my head to my toes. It is a chill that never leaves my body as I sit on a old desk uncomfortable gray desk chair. The chill could pass for a moment or two if I could just move about a class room during a lesson but… This is the life everyone leads in Japan. It is the life of a never ending winter chill, a cold no one can get away from regardless of whether inside or out.
I know I have mentioned the cold in blog posts of past, but January is one of the colder months in Japan. Or at least that is what I have been told by the various teachers around me. Sure only dealing with 32F (0c) for a day or two would be a walk in the park for my Minnesotan counterparts, but here in Japan it is a little different.
People dress in layers as a way to keep warm. They load up their wardrobes with heat teach gear and use hot backs to add extra heat.
Insulation in buildings is a thing, but it isn’t great here in Japan. Most of my building are old and heated by standing room heaters that are fueled by kerosene gas. It works, but it doesn’t work that well. Heat is constantly escaping out of windows, walls, and cracks.
Thus it is constantly cold.
The other day I was sitting in front of my computer watching some Netflix as I ate my dinner and I was chilled to the bone. I couldn’t get the apartment to heat up. The air con was blasting away as I tried to feed myself a bit of chicken with shaky chopsticks in hand. I was in thick sweats and hoodie wrapped tight in a blanket, but nothing seemed to warm me. My steaming cup of hot tea did do the trick either.
Temperatures might get way below freezing in Minnesota, and 32F (0c) might be a T-shirt and shorts kind of day, but here in Japan… I have lost my MN power. Maybe its the humidity that adds to the cold chill that is hanging in the air, but try having constantly cold toes and figures and not get a little whiny about it.
But in the end who really has time to be whiny about being cold when the influenza epidemic is upon us. Gawd help us all…