Years from now I'll remember very clearly when the winter chills settled into Beijing.
On Saturday night there was a crazy rainstorm complete with thunder and lightning. The next day the sky was clear, but temperatures plummeted. I was just warm enough during the day visiting Panjiayuan, the outdoor antique flea market, but it was chilly just standing in the shade.
In the evening, I was literally shivering and turned on the heat at my place.
But after that night I turned the heat off again and am managing to keep warm... so far.
However at work, the central heating in the office building hasn't kicked in yet. I was told it won't be turned on until November 15.
Apparently it's a central government decree, that they can only be turned on when the national bigwigs say so in order to save energy. This also applies to air conditioning.
But would you rather have a bunch of freezing people who have a high chance of catching a cold and spreading it in the office, than warm ones who are more productive? Imagine how that could affect the GDP?
For now I'm wearing an extra quilted vest, but others are even wearing their coats in the office. I wonder if the offices of the central government are just as cold?