The weather’s change from a brisk fall into winter has been one of sharp descent – the temperature has fallen swiftly and curtly, and left everyone bundled up with scarves, hats, and mittens. Where the streets were littered with fruit vendors in the summer and into the fall, they have changed with the weather and are now selling baked yams. It’s a pleasant, if not foreign experience, to purchase a roasted yam during a long walk in the cold or during the daily commute to work and school. Steaming and warm, it is definitely is a welcome reprieve from the cold.
The cold weather has given way to small bursts of snowstorms. Indeed, I have woken to a white Beijing on more than one occasion. However, the arid nature of Beijing dries the snow up before it has a chance to cause too much trouble or become too slushy. It’s fantastic – all the beauty of snow without all the trouble it can cause!
As I’ve discovered with the drop in temperature, it’s not the snow that is to be feared – it’s the wind. Beijing is known for its sandstorms, and during the winter, the wind whips up the cold air and if you don’t have a fierce jacket prepared to fight it off, it is absolutely chilling. Without extreme temperatures back home, I thought I would be able to weather the winter with just a thick jacket or two – after my first week with the wind and the cold, however, I’m already prepared to spend my weekend procuring a number of scarves, mittens, and hats to make the winter more weather-able.