I have decided. I hate winter.

Questions such as “Are you morning, afternoon or evening person?” or “Are you a summer or winter person?” have always stumped me. I have been unable to decide. Until now. Now I have conclusively decided on the latter at least. I am NOT a winter person. Does this make me a summer person?–The jury’s still out.

I realize now that the reason I had no clarity on this before can be blamed on growing up in Bombay. This great metropolis doesn’t really have a winter. Sure, we donned sweaters and sat around under blankets, shivering pleasurably and commenting on how cold it had got. But the temperature was in the mid-to-late 20s. Can this be counted as winter? I think not.

Thus, proper winter in Hong Kong, where the temperature hovers between 8 and 14 degrees, was something of an awakening. Okay, you’re probably smirking if you grew up in Wisconsin or Sweden or the like. Though I’ve noticed that people who grew up in these wintery climes seemed to have acquired heaters in Hong Kong while the likes of us from Bombayish weather profiles tried not to be wusses and spent at least a couple of winters braving the cold sans technology till we wizened up. Similarly, the lack of experience of winter can make it a novel experience initially, thereby dulling the full realization of one’s antipathy towards it.

And what may be the reasons for this antipathy?

The biggest, I would say, is bunching of clothing. By this I refer to the phenomenon whereby, necessitated by the cold, one has to wear a thickish long-sleeved sweater with a coat on top. Inevitably, the sleeves of the sweater will get bunched up in the arms of the coat, a VERY uncomfortable way of being. One may try inserting one’s genetically-gifted long fingers into the sleeve and prodding the bunched up inner clothing downward but this is never successful, especially if attempted with the left hand on the right sleeve. Thus, sometimes one ends up with one bunched up sleeve and one acceptable one and the asymmetry can drive you mad.

Try performing these upper-body contortions when pregnant and you’ll know why I’m particularly annoyed this winter.

Worse, this can also happen with long-sleeved pajama tops and fleece cardigans so you spend your entire evening twitching on the couch until you finally give up, fling off offending cardigan and crawl under a blanket in a huff, not quite warm and cozy and dreading the moment you have to get up to pee. Again, being pregnant, prospect of finding onself, uncardiganed and freezing, in toilet in middle of night, is multiplied manifold.

In addition to bunched up sleeves, one is also compelled to wear these appendages, and sometimes gloves, shuffling down the street like a clotheshorse gone mad, unable to grasp anything properly and generally disoriented. Then, try adding a baby bump into the mix.

The only good thing about winter is boots and being pregnant means that I cannot wear them because: a) I cannot bend down to zip them up b) I have sneaking suspicion calves are too fat to fit into them, a depression I am not willing to risk by trying them on. Thus, I am destined to wear ballet flat and black socks (because white socks and black shoes would be too Michael Jackson), making me appear like a little old lady.

And, of course, this being Hong Kong winter just swoops down on one literally overnight, killing one’s sinuses or inflaming one’s tonsils. It’s not just the cold but the fact that humidity drops from the crazy but constant 95% to suddenly 45%, an abrupt dryness only Superman could withstand. Even if one managed to avoid cold/cough/sore throat/flu for that one night, the next day in the MTR with everyone coughing and blowing their noses will do the trick.

God I’m grumpy. Gah!

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