Well, these are at least what I'm experiencing here in WuZhou and I would like to share with you. These information may varies depending on location and geography.
So, here are the 5 things about winter you might want to know from my experience:
1) Dry Skin
When the temperature is more than 10 degrees Celcius, it is still manageable and your skin won't go too dry as long as you're well hydrated and expose lesser outdoors. However, when the temperature decreases lower than 10 degree Celcius, it'll start to become really dry and your skin will dry and peel (if not well moistured).
To prevent this, you will be needing moisturing cream and not the normal ones. Normal moisturiser won't lasts more than 10 minutes on your skin before it dries off while the cream one, it can last for quite many hours. Another thing that I experience is that, for winter-first-timer, you might experience some rashes over your body too. DO NOT SCRATCH THEM. If there is wound, you'll pretty much suffer more than what you itch now.
Unlike other places, we do not really have the house heating system like in the Europes or other places. And especially for me who lived alone, I only have a small heater fan (next topic). So, clothing plays an important role here. If the temperature is above 10 degrees, I can still manage to wear just normal clothing plus another jacket/sweater.
But if the temperature is lower than that, normally I will wear more clothes, or even wear a long John/Thermal Underwear which acts like a second layer of skin that covers over my body. It gives good insulation and heat. Of course, you still need to wear more than that.
Another common problem for people during winter is athelete foot. People tend to wear socks all the time and our foot will sweat. And this is really bad. Thank God I was told to take note about this problem.
There are quite a few ways to heat up your body here. Alcohol will be the first. But I realised it only gives momentary heating and it won't lasts. So, not good. Second way is more people gathering in a room/closed space, body heat generated will make everyone warm but this will also, make the air stuffy when certain level of moisture is reached within the room.
Thirdly, heating devices. There are big ones and small ones and majority of them are electric generated. Here's the bad things about these devices. They consumed a lot of energy. In the most recent winter, China's electric usage exceeded 40% than usual rates and THIS, is really a lot for a population with billions of people in it.
And you might want to be careful if you're sleeping with these things. It generates heat and it took up the moistures in the room. You might feel comfortable because you're warm but you might come to realise that the very next day, you're having nose bleed. To overcome this, you can actually get a humidifier and put it in the room (but hey, I don't see this device in my place LOL). So in the end, I quit using that heater and just use my body warm to heat the bed and slowly fall asleep.
4) Interesting things that happened
a) Body waste
The moment your urine came out from the urethra, or your faeces came out from your body, you'll be seeing steams actually coming out from your body waste, just like pancake out from the oven. Served fresh and hot. HAHA. Someone actually asked me to take a picture of these but I think it would be not so nice if I am posting that kind of things here.
b) Breathing vapour
Hey, it is fun that you actually breathe vapour out from your nose or mouth. I like it.
Sadly to say, my place has got no snow. But it rains. Raining during winter days can make the temperature drop further by 1 or 2 degree Celcius. And this is very cold especially when the weather is already about 3 degree Celcius on average.
d) You'd love the sun!
Malaysian like me, we normally hate the sun back in our homes because it's so hot! But during winter here, you can see people actually bring out their dining table out at the road side and eat. Some of them played Mahjong by the roadside while some are sunbathing on a chair. Sunlight is quite rare here during winter. It warms the body a lot.
e) Gaining weight
I have to admit that it seems to be hard to keep fit during winter but maintaining the body weight is still in the okay level. Why is this so? When you eat during winter, you actually feel warmer. Much warmer. So, people keep on eating and eating.
5) Things that I hate about winter
This is the topic that actually motivated me to write up this post. It is the days after the cold winter. We callled it "回南天" (Hui Nan Tian) in mandarin but I'm not sure what you called this in English. This happen when the cold surroundings suddenly heated up and moistures in the air were condensed and become water droplets.
Just look at this! My clothes are hanging outside. How can you expect clothes to dry in this kind of situation? No, it don't dry.
The only way to reduce the moisture in the house is that, to close all the windows and doors. It stuffs the house too. If you're aren't lucky enough, molds might grow.
A shot at the window in my room.
And this is the worst of all. Look at the ceiling and floor. Water drips from the ceiling and forms on the floor. It is always like this and I REALLY HATE this part a lot.
Well, I think that's it from me at the moment. Will share more with you guys if I have something else. Oh, you might be interested in seeing how we BBQ during winter too.