December 13, 2006

Episode V: Winter time


Did all of you already buy warm wooly hats, cotton gloves, jackets and scarves? Hey! It’s winter time in Taiwan. We have to be prepared for a few months of tough weather. Maybe you will not believe me but I’m telling you. Temperature in Kaohsiung, during cold weeks can drop to freezing 15 centigrade. No joking, it’s serious. Beware!
This winter in my home-country Poland, was really cold. They say it was the toughest winter in half of century. -20 or even -30 centigrade. Everything was stone-cold frozen. Staying outside made you hurt after 10 minutes. That’s one of the reasons I came to Kaohsiung to witness winter with no snow, no frost, no mud, and no minus temperatures.

But if you enter a clothing shop, you will have an impression that winter is going to be raw. All kinds of jackets, anoraks, coats, armed with wooly collars and hoods, warm caps, hats, drawers and socks are available. But where are you going to wear it? Are you planning a trip to Himalaya Mountains?
Actually, winter time in Taiwan is like late summer in Poland. It’s pretty funny to see people wearing jackets on the beach while water is fine to go for a swim. Any weather below 20 centigrade is considered here as very uncomfortable, annoying and strict. You should ask my friend from Canada what does he think about that.

Tropic areas are characteristic because of its stable and predictable nature. Annual amplitude is relatively low. Let’s exaggerate and say around 17 centigrade. In Poland it could be 40. Showers and typhoons appear in regular order on the tropic. Humidity in August makes people sweat even if remain motionless.

Tropic of Cancer crosses an island of Formosa. It exactly goes through Hua-lien County on the east and Chaiyi County on the west of the country. I think I will go there and take a photo next time when I visit my fellow in Chaiyi. Weather in Taiwan allows people to play outdoor sports during the whole year. It promotes exercises, healthy life-style, open-air activities, social gatherings and night parties. In Poland, for example football league usually has a winter break that lasts more that 3 months. To be the best you need to have the conditions to practice all year long I believe. Maybe that somehow explains poor performance of Polish sportsman on an international level.

To summarize briefly, Taiwanese winter is still summer for me, for young lad from Eastern Europe.

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