Sonntag, 23. Februar 2014

There is no bad weather, just wrong clothing.

What I admire the Chinese here in the Northeast for is their ability to brave the coldness of winter and still get to work the same way they do in summer - on their scooters. Regardless of streets being icy and snowy, and even with temperatures down to -20° C . Especially the migrant workers, who often have to get their tools with them to work and therefore neither can use public transport nor afford a car or even a cab ride.

Although I'm luckily not under this economic pressure every now and then I'm in the mood to go by scooter - if there's no ice or snow (what can happen in a dry climate like here, with sometimes weeks of no rain or snow fall) and temperatures are not tooooo low - around -10° C a 10 km-ride is bearable.

 If you wear the right outfit, that is. In the picture above you can see mine - a mixture of skiing trip and polar expedition. And benath still your regular work outfit, naturally.

above: salopettes
middle left: winter boots thickly lined, at best wear two pairs of socks beneath
middle center: lined cap russian style, below that ski googles
middle right: face mask "bank robber style"
below left: woolen gloves, worn beneath....
below center: ski gloves
and both pair of gloves in a third pair (below right), which I call "boxing gloves".

Basically a big lined sac with 2 openings and 2 laces to strap one end to the handlebar, and to put your hands into the other.  Offers additional protection for the most vulnerable spot, one's hands.

I haven't seen them anywhere else but here in Northeast China yet, but here everybody scooting in winter has a pair attached to their handlebar. Every year when winter is coming you can buy them virtually everywhere on the streets for 20 RMB, about 2,5 €.

Et voila, one is good to go. But even under all this layers, the weak point kept to be the freezing and after more than half an hour awfully hurting fingers. Can't do this every day, not if temperatures are below -10.

Life is rough, so you gotta be tough. And I'm not as tough as Chinese migrant workers. But their life's also way rougher.

And if someone's wondering why no helmet - well, we don't take kindly to people wearing helmets around here......

Just kidding - just barely anybody wears them in China - traffic safety is still an issue people are not yet very aware of. And when in Rome....