Beijing winter has really set in. A few days ago we had snow and even before then the temperatures overnight were dipping to -9 degrees Celsius, -2 degrees during the day. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
The capital will be in this deep freeze at least until March. And then we'll have to brace for the sandstorms.
But until then, here are my top 10 ways to keep warm:
10. Layers - It seems like a lengthy process putting all the clothes on and then stripping them off. For example, I wear thermal underwear, two pairs of socks, shirt, sweater, vest and then scarf and coat before walking out the door. Your body will thank you for it.
9. Long coat - The best investment I made at 169 RMB (US$23.33). Everyone wears these long ugly coats, but hey -- they keep you and your butt warm.
8. Cashmere - Wool sweaters are so itchy. Why not stay warm and bundled up in soft cashmere instead? There are some at the Silk Market at around 300 RMB (US$41.40).
7. Hat - Some say you lose 40 percent of your heat from your head. And here it's essential to prevent a brain freeze. Literally.
6. Boots - those with fur in them make your feet look cool on the outside, and toasty warm on the inside. That said I bought a pair a few months ago but haven't worn them yet. Maybe I should wear them tomorrow...
5. Hot Pot - Feed your stomach and keep the winter chills away by dining over a bubbling broth and drink it afterwards to heat you up even more.
4. Hot water - I fill my thermos with hot water and carry it wherever I go. It's a great way to drink some when you're standing at the bus stop and the bus seems to take forever to come.
3. Hot chocolate - The hot chocolate at Starbucks is a decadent treat complete with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.
2. Take a shower in the evening rather than morning - I'm a morning shower person, but now I take them after dinner because it's not as cold as in the morning when I'd rather stay in my warm bed just a few minutes more....
1. Face mask - It not only gives you some protection from the fine particulates in the air, but also keeps your nose and mouth from freezing. It feels hard to breathe at first, but just take deep breaths and you'll be fine.