How to survive a cold spell in Hangzhou

This weekend Hangzhou reached some of the coldest temperatures the city has seen in many years. My school got closed due to the weather, and Mitch had buggered off to Cambodia as he’s already broken up, which meant I was left alone in our very cold flat (no central heating or double glazing) . However, despite sub zero temperatures and water cut outs – I’m still here, alive and well. Here’s how I survived. If you find yourself in a cold city, these tips may work for you too.

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     Buy yourself some proper pyjamas. If you’ve ever been to some non touristy parts of China you may have seen some of the locals walking around in their pyjamas. A little odd, perhaps? No. These are the warmest things I have ever come across. I have a onesie at home but this doesn’t even compare warmth wise. I feel like I am constantly wrapped in a duvet. Divine.

  2. Stock up. With the water potentially cutting out, I made sure I bought some bottled water just incase. With the electric still on it meant I could boil it and still have a nice cuppa. I also stocked up on food to cook, so I wouldn’t have to brace the cold. However, the kitchen was freezing and  I could see my own breath stood in it; so that didn’t work so well. Keeping microwavable pizzas in the freezer, however, did work well.
  3. Walk in the snow. I don’t actually like snow very much, it’s caused too many problems in my past for me to get really excited about it. However, it wasn’t too heavy and the wonderful city roadsweepers worked so hard to remove it from the cycle lanes and pavements. There was a nice layer of snow and so I decided to go for a stroll. If you put some music on and crunch your feet in the snow it really is a lovely feeling.


IMG_4262Although it was the coldest temperatures I’ve ever experienced, I reminded myself that there are refugees living in tents in this coldness all over the world, houses in the US with crazy coldness and snow on their doorsteps, and countries where it gets much colder than -10 for a few days.  Sometimes we need a little perspective.  Stay warm everyone!

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