Thursday, December 9, 2010


Upon arriving in Taiwan at the beginning of August, the temperature was unbearably hot and it was incredibly humid. I remember spreading out on the bed in an attempt to have no part of my body touching itself to help alleviate the incessant sweating. Of course, all attempts ended in failure.

At school, the tiny black flies would swarm my legs and munch away. I walked around for months with little red dots that itched something crazy. It was during these months that I could hardly believe the word around campus—it will in fact, get cold. . . just wait. We were told we’d be craving central heat; which of course, does not exist here. We were told that the little black hellions would pretty much disappear. I could hardly wait for these times which seemed to never come.

Keeping track of the weather back home, I’ve felt very lucky to be living in a tropical environment. No ice storms, no snow, no nonstop drizzle that causes the cold to seep into your bones and take up residence. However, all said, “Just wait, the cold is a comin.”

Today, the cold hit. By cold I mean 18 degrees C or 64 degrees F. You may think that isn’t cold; however, I simply can’t get warm. My fingers have turned into ice sickles and the goose bumps on my arms won’t relax. This is one cold 64 degrees! There is no heat in the buildings and the granite floor (I used to think was so beautiful) is like walking on a sheet of ice. Oh but it gets worse, much worse. It is true that the black flies have disappeared; however, they’ve been replaced by huge mosquitoes that have voracious appetites and I am their favored dish. The mosquitoes huddle by our door waiting to be let inside to a bit warmer room and an ever present buffet. I am definitely sensing a mosquito net in the near future.

I suppose I’m still happy to not be battling the NW’s infamous Northeasters and to not have to worry about spending 5 months of the year completely soggy. However, at the moment all I can think about it getting warm and being itch free. I’d love nothing more than to curl up in front of a fireplace with a warm wooly blanket and watch the snow come down. And here I thought sweaters and hats were a thing of the past. . .boy was I mistaken! Even the dogs here are fully decked out in their winter attire.

From Random Taichung
Student decked out for the weather

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