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Home in Winter

Shanghai is on the south east side of China. The latitude of Shanghai is similar to Austin, Texas.

Winter in Shanghai has some similarities to Seattle: cold and wet. It can go as low as -4°C (24°F).

But my experience of winter in these two cities are really different. I got frost bite every year when I was in Shanghai but never in Seattle. It's because there's no heating system in Shanghai.

The central heating system in China was built with Soviet Union's help in 1950s. At that time they could only build for the northern China because of the shortage of resources. (read more:

People in Shanghai have been using all kinds of ways to stay warm while sitting indoor. When I was a little kid, we didn't have air conditioner. And even if we had, air conditioner doesn't really work under 0°C .

So what we did was wrapping ourselves in thick coats, scarves and hats, holding hot water bottle on the belly. No one had the habit of taking off coat when they get indoor. In college, my Japanese teachers always took off heavy coats when they entered the classroom, that impressed all of us.

(photo from internet)

Here, compare my illustration with this photo from the time, you'll see huge difference. Things in my drawings look old, poor but kinda cute. In reality it was more like this photo: old, dirty, broken, messy.

I'm not beautifying things for purpose. It's because the details already disappeared in the time. What left in my mind are only some main parts.

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