Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm cold!

Ok not right now, but I was freezing in my apartment when I woke up. I checked the temperature and it read 18! Yeah, that's Celcius... in case you forgot the conversion formulas I'm sure you learned in like 4th grade, it's (C*9/5)+32. I'll give you time to bust out the calculator. Got it? So that may not seem too bad, and it isn't (unless you're just wearing boxers), but what makes it chilly around here is that Japanese apartments don't have any insulation in them, and the windows aren't sealed properly or double-paned or anything. There also isn't central heating/cooling, so if I want to use heat I have a couple options: 1) external heater, 2) blankets and layered clothing INDOORS!!, 3) a kotatsu (explanation to come), or any combination of the above. Unfortunately, I didn't pack any of my winter gear as I planned to have it shipped later, and it hasn't gotten here yet (hurry up with that package dad!!!).

So what's a kotatsu you ask? That's a kotatsu! It's this little table with blankets around it that has a little heater attached to heat the area underneath. You sit there with your legs under the table. You'll see the whole family sitting at these things, and if you check out the picture apparently some people use them to sleep as well. I've seen them but never really had to use one since Chiba doesn't get that cold and I didn't have the room anyway, so this'll be a first.

The funny thing about the whole situation is that I hear if you go up to Hokkaido (the Japanese version of Canada basically) then they DO have insulation and better heating and such, so despite the fact that it snows like every day, even in July (ok, I'm exaggerating a little... it doesn't start til August ;P), it's still more comfortable up there. I was up there in the dead of winter for the Snow Festival during my last stint in Japan and didn't have any problems at all indoors. To give you an idea of temperatures up north, my Canuckistanian friend Matt even said that he needed a touque (Canuck-speak for a skully, ie: wool cap) and gloves outside, and some locals told us that when they tell you the temperature in the winter, 5 would mean -5C since they take the negative as a given. If it's actually that warm (rare), they'd say +5.

Oh and it's 64.4F- you lazy, lazy person.

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