Beijing is definitely getting colder, hovering between 2-10 degrees Celsius.
And this is only the beginning.
I'm bundling up just to go outside - and that means wearing a long sleeve long john top, long sleeve shirt, sweater, padded vest, scarf and coat.
The long john bottoms are ready to go on at a moment's notice.
I still need to get a long coat, preferably down to my knees, and some warm gloves. I may be able to survive without a pair of boots. Oh yes, and a hat to keep my brain from freezing.
Today I went to the China-Japan Friendship Hospital to get a flu shot. It was organized by my office after I complained other staff got it and I, their foreign expert, wasn't offered the jab.
The hospital is actually a series of buildings, one for teaching, one for pediatrics, emergency, surgery, and so on. And of course all the building signs are in Chinese so it was a bit of a struggle for me to find the immunization clinic.
At first a young girl in a traditional nurse uniform complete with the paper hat told me the clinic was on the ground floor and go north. So I went down stairs and headed north but that was the emergency ward.
I asked a security guard and he told me to go out of the building we were in, head north and then after that I didn't really understand what he said. I wandered out and headed in the right direction, but again there were several buildings in front of me. I picked one where I saw a few people coming in and out. And then I saw the characters matched the ones on my piece of paper. Bingo.
In the hallway I saw at least a dozen anxious parents with their babies bundled up probably waiting for some shots or a check up. I thought I was supposed to be in that line, but was told to go to another room where two women in uniform sat at two desks.
I showed them my piece of paper, telling them my company sent me. The first woman copied my name (which was spelled wrong on the paper) into a book and then asked me to sign my name on some form of which I was given a copy. I have no idea what it says.
She asked me if I had a fever, but I did say I just got over a flu. Oh that's fine, she said. Just checking.
Then, in front of everyone, I basically had to strip half way so that the other nurse could have access to my upper arm and give me the jab. I barely felt it and instead of giving me a cotton swab, she gave me a cheap Q-tip to press on my arm for a minute before putting my clothes back on again.
So hopefully I've done almost everything I can to keep warm and healthy for the next few months....