Yesterday was pretty hot day, shorts and sandals required. Yet you’re be amazed at how much clothing many Chinese still wear. Not many people wear shorts, very few show any sort of skin – even if it’s boiling outside. I found myself asking ‘When do Chinese people actually get hot?’
I remember being on the Subway in Beijing last summer and feeling like I was going to do die, and many of the Chinese were wearing long sleeves, jackets and trousers!
Maybe it’s different in the southern provinces? Is this something China-wide? I’d like to get an answer to this?
A good example of this happened when I was sitting on a bus, sweating and feeling terribly uncomfortable, and the man next to me was wearing a shirt and heavy jacket. He looked fine, and wasn’t even sweating.
He’s probably still wearing his long johns too! It annoys me a little, when it’s 25ºC and people close the windows on the bus because they feel cold from the draught,
or they might think they will catch a disease from the breeze through the open window. It’s all very strange and difficult for me to understand, but perhaps it has something to do with not wanting to expose their skin to the sun. I know many Chinese people dislike what the sun does to the skin, here pale is considered ‘more beautiful’. I’m no sun god either, I dislike being in the sunshine for any amount of time, but if it’s a hot day I will wear fewer clothes – beacuse I will feel more comfortable.
Maybe Chinese people more susceptible to the cold than Westerners? Or more afraid of ‘catching a cold’ and so over compensate by wearing too much.
Maybe there is something wrong with me?
I know generally Chinese people are smaller, slightly built and thinner than westerners and perhaps this explains the need to wear more clothes to keep warm. But I am just as thin as a Chinese person (though taller) and the heat really gets to me- It can’t be biological (we are all human), It has to do with something else.
To reinforce this point, people often come up to me in the street, and ask (almost every day someone will ask me this) ‘ 你冷不冷？’ or ‘你冷吗？’ Are you cold? – And when I reply with 我当然 不冷！Of course I’m not cold! It is met with a mixture of laughs and that “aren’t foreigners strange” look! 🙂
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