Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Goodbye to summer (at least for this year!)

Hong Kongers bundle up whenever it gets cool,
never mind really cold!

Another sure sign that it's no longer summer comes from
spotting the portable stalls that sell roasted chestnuts, 
sweet potatoes and quails' eggs :)

Each year that I've been in Hong Kong, it can feel like the summers are getting hotter and hotter, and also longer and longer.  But when I got into the MTR this morning, I received a sure sign that the summer of 2013's finally over -- in that pretty much everyone in the carriage I was in (except for me, actually!) had on at least two layers of clothing, the outer most layer of which tended to be dark colored.

Granted that I haven't seen any one clad in a fur coat or down jacket just yet -- so it's not quite winter yet.  But quite a few people are wearing woolen clothing already, and/or wearing scarves around their necks -- despite the highest temperature this week still being as high as 25 degrees Celsius (i.e., 77 degrees Fahrenheit)!

While I have yet to do that, I will concede that last night, I started taking some of my cold winter wear from the storage boxes that they've been in since around May of this year, and decided to pack a slipover (British English for what Americans call vests) into the bag I take to work.  In addition, I have been happy to once again catch the whiff of chestnuts roasting in charcoal on the streets -- and to find traditional Hong Kong cold weather dishes such as lor mai fan and ingredients such as lap yuk (preserved pork belly) back on restaurant menus!

The availability once more of Hong Kong's traditional cold weather eats and the drop in temperature to a level that's quite a bit nicer than the over 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) days of summer we regularly get here makes up for my having to temporarily say goodbye to one aspect of the Big Lychee's summers that I love: the higher frequency (compared to other seasons of the year) of bright blue sky and clear air days.  For like that of England, Hong Kong's cooler months are ones I tend to associate with gray, even misty and foggy, days.

In contrast, I remember many Wisconsin winter days with bright blue skies along with super cold weather.  More than once while there, I'd look out of my window and end up under-dressing because I had been fooled by the blue sky into thinking that it was warmer than it in fact was! 

Thus it was in the state that's been dubbed the "Siberia of America" as well as "America's Dairyland" that I began a ritual of listening to the weather forecast on the radio before I hopped into the shower in the morning -- a habit that I subsequently abandoned upon returning to Malaysia, where the temperature stays pretty much the same all year round and the seasons of the year are "dry" and "rainy" (or, really, "rainy" and "even more rainy"!) rather than spring, summer, autumn/fall and winter!

And although I have been known to complain about Hong Kong summers being too hot and long, I have to say that I do like being back in a part of a world with four seasons once more.  In addition, there's the bonus of there being no snow in Hong Kong -- because, as I've told more than one person, I honestly do feel like I've already seen more than my share of snow after living in Wisconsin, where, as the proverbial "they" say, winter comes with the Halloween ghost and only leaves with the Easter bunny! ;b


The Fragrant Harbour said...

HI YTSL -- you're one up on me taking out your winter clothes already!

Anonymous said...

In our area we have already seen snow, which is still pretty this time of year (rather than just annoying come early spring)! I love cool-weather food 'though and don't mind. Yum--the roasted chestnuts are making me hungry! : )


YTSL said...

Hi "The Fragrant Harbour" --

I only took out a few woolens -- but am feeling cold this evening, and may take out some more clothes from storage!

Hi Joy --

Snow in November -- yikes! Re cool/cold-weather food (and drinks): have to tell you that I miss Wawa eggnog! ;b