Cold December

All the birds are heading down south but you're staying up north you say
I've got jackets, blankets, and sheets, it's going to be a cold December
-Matt Costa

Winter here is COLD. I have never been so cold in my life. The last few days I have been battling a vicious cold/flu, which has only exacerbated the feeling like a human icicle. Because I am in the midst of finals week, I have no choice but to leave my cozy apartment and make the cold 15 minute bike ride to work. After the ride through the frigid air, my toes and fingers scream for warmth. Fortunately, the classrooms and office are heated.

According to, the average December temperature high and low for Beijing are 37˚F (2.8˚C) and 19˚F (-7.2˚C). Today, the high and low was 23˚F (-5˚C) and 19˚F (-7.2˚C).  That's right, my California friends, the temperature is colder than freezing – ALL THE TIME. Not only is it cold, but it is about 15˚F colder than average for this time of year.

A few weeks ago, Beijing had its second snowfall. Unlike the first wet snow this season, this gentle snowfall inspired snowball fights and building snowmen. The snow transformed the gray drab building into white palaces. Barren tree branches were no longer naked, rather they were clothed in fluffy white snow. The sounds of honking horns muffled into silence. Bizarrely, the cold did not seem so cold.

Chinese Word of the Blog: 十二月 Shí'èr yuè (literally, 12 month)
English translation: December

Snowball fights!