Woke up, drew back the curtains and gazed out at a snowy urban scene. While everywhere in China from Shanghai south tends to warm up post the Lunar New Year, up here in Dalian February is traditionally the coldest month.
Part of the reason for taking so darn long to move of Hong Kong was that I had become a southern poof. This is my first winter this decade. In Hongkers one quickly becomes used to the fact that winter simply does not exist – the slightest drop in temperature bringing out a ridiculous display of thick North Face jackets.
Dalian sits exposed on the Liaoding peninsula, overlooking and buffeted by both the Yellow Sea and Bohai Bay.
The other day I went outside having just washed my hair. I stepped out into the curious vortex of wind that is my building’s entrance and within five seconds I could feel ice forming on my bonce. As I stepped gingerly on the tricky ice outside my gaffe, behind me all of a sudden a loud, protracted female shriek echoed around the buildings. A well wrapped up young woman behind me was pushed 10 metres, sliding, along the ice by the fierce wind.
And yet here really is not too bad. The thing is Dalian is very dry, so the worst cold does not go to your bones like you get in other cities like Shanghai. And besides in New Zealand recently I bought a possum fur hat and that really can withstand any cold.
The forecast for tomorrow is heavy snow. I might have to pull a Dr Zhivago to get to the airport on time.