When I arrived in Shanghai it was cold. It was actually a lot colder than I expected, especially as there’s no central heating. The first few days in the hotel were chilly, and I remember one night where I was really hungry but couldn’t face going out into the cold night so stayed under my duvet all evening.
I wore all the clothes I wasn’t expecting to wear until winter – hats, woolly scarves, mittens. I bought new, warm pyjamas. I felt like a bit of a wimp, to be honest.
Then, suddenly, overnight almost, it got warm. I first noticed that I’d been carrying my jacket around all day. Then I switched to a lighter jacket. Then no jacket at all. It was sunny and warm and pretty great.
Turns out, that was spring. And even spring was quite hot.
Now, my friends, it is summer. It’s been raining for the last few weeks. These rains are called plum rains, because this is more poetic than calling it “really really rainy”. It’s the sort of rain that, back in the UK, you’d say that wouldn’t last long. Except it does.
I’m not really an umbrella kind of girl but even I have taken to carrying an umbrella around. I’d wear a raincoat but it’s humid and sticky outside, so the thought of wearing anything like a raincoat is pretty off-putting.
We sleep with the air conditioning on, which I hate. Matt tells me that the breeziness can’t be adjusted but I don’t believe him. I know he likes sleeping in the wind. My work doesn’t have any windows, so it’s air conditioning central in there.
I miss rain that clears up a muggy day!
The “good” news is that the plum rain season is coming to an end. Unfortunately this means that summer proper will be here, and everyone keeps telling me how awful it will be. It also means the end of the yangmei season – a delicious fruit that’s grown in the neighbouring province.
Bring on September, I guess…