Beijing is known for its hot summers and cold winters. Sounds like Toronto.
But so far I've only experienced the heat with temperatures well past the 3o-degree Celsius mark.
And when the sky is clear, you can be sure it's going to be dry hot. And when it's overcast, it's humid hot, which is very similar to Hong Kong.
Everyone has their own strategy to beat the heat. For most of my colleagues, they're content with staying at home all day with the air conditioning on watching TV, surfing the Net or watching DVDs.
But here's my list to keep cool:
10. Wear clothes you don't mind sweating in. That's what you're going to do, so might as well feel comfortable perspiring.
9. Carry Kleenex with you at all times. It helps to have these tissues on hand to wipe your brow when sweat is pouring down your face.
8. Bring water with you everywhere. My thermos has been indispensable - it keeps my water cold, even after several hours. It's my little portable oasis of relief.
7. Use your umbrella. Back home, I used to think Asian women were weird for hiding under their parasols even for a few minutes in the sun. But once I tried it here, I carry mine everywhere. It's instant shade that I'm sure cuts down the temperature on my head by a few degrees.
6. Cut your hair short, or put it up. Makes sense.
5. Jump into a pool. Hopefully the nearest swimming pool isn't too crowded. Otherwise it's a test of your patience with kids and parents oblivious to others trying to swim a lap or two.
4. Have an ice cream or popsicle. It's a cheap way to cool down and treat yourself.
3. Freeze a bottle of water. It's so nice to have cold water when it melts, but then the outside of the bottle starts to build condensation too so you have a pool of water on your table. Which is why I use a thermos instead. But it's still a good idea.
2. Turn on the air conditioning at home. I turn it on when I'm eating lunch or dinner (otherwise I start perspiring) and in the evening. What's weird is that when I sleep I have to bundle up to avoid catching a cold from the air con!
1. Shower often. After a hot day outside, you can't beat the feeling of being clean, especially just before bedtime.