Puck you winter!
Seemingly, as soon as the clock hits midnight Hanoi local time on December 31st, the Hanoi winter kicks straight into gear with the fury of an old man trying to send soup back in a deli.
So since the turn of the year, the mercury has consistently dipped to wholly uncomfortable highs of about 13 celsius or so. Not that bad right? Of course not when you compare that to a typical Sydney winter, or the hardships my dearest sister is enduring as she suffers through lows of negative eleven degrees in drab, boring New York City, slaving way at the Weinstein Company and then after all that, having to commute home to tend to her $8,000 dog….RIGHT KIM?!? RIGHT!!?
BUT! There are a few mitigating circumstances that makes a Hanoi winter worse than any I’ve endured so far (apart from Beijing ’08 when we had to deal with negative twenty five degree weather)
Ok, so what makes it worse here?
- Humidity – despite it being Winter, it is still humid here, which means that the air is damp everywhere you go, basically meaning it is neigh on impossible to escape the cold.
- Heating, or lack thereof – be it my house, my friends house, my office, cafes or bars, nowhere has heating.
- A similar lack of insulation anywhere. You have no idea how much we take this for granted back home.
- Constant drizzle/mist – seemingly a lot of the days here you are riding in a constant cloud. Meaning that if the aforementioned humidity don’t get you, this shit will.
Combine these four factors together, and what you get is this constant chill-to-the-bone type cold that is seemingly – unbeatable. Unlike Sydney winters where staying warm can be achieved by obstructing the chilly winds from meeting exposed skin, or in New York City – where young Kimberly can just wrap herself in wads of cash – here in Hanoi, it is neigh impossible to stay comfortably warm.
To partly offset this problem, it seems to me that random groups of men on street corners through Hanoi have taken to just simply collecting off-scraps of wood and furniture before simply lighting them on fire all-day-long to warm themselves as they sit around chatting. See below for a very small scale version of this occurence.
I vow that when I eventually get the financial clout, I will spend my life just chasing summer around the world. Waaah