Friday, January 25, 2008
FASHION IS GLAMOUR!
A wee China update...
Tony (works with me at the factory) just told me that it's so cold in China right now that (local) trains have broken down due to the cold. 90,000 people are stranded on trains & the train company has been trying to put some diesel engines on the tracks to fetch the dead trains and move the people along. Most trains are electric and don't handle this cold well at ALL!
Normally this cold wouldn't be QUITE so bothersome, but trains are filled to their roofs with people heading the many days journey home for Chinese New Year!!
Fu, the woman who cooks for us at the factory, has friends who decided to drive the 4 days journey home. They have been stuck...stranded in the mountains... on the highway for 3 days now due to the broken down cars and accidents.
I've been working wearing long johns, trousers, tshirt, cashmere turtleneck, wool sweater, wool scarf and puffy down vest plus wool hat and wool fingerless gloves to do my work. Plus an additional wrap as a lap blanket. (Mom--- I'm wearing those wool socks you knit and I even those haven't kept my feet thawed!!!) 4-5 years ago there was a cold (freezing) snap in January almost as cold as this and thankfully I packed for it's return--just in case. (Usually it's 65-70F now.) Oh, and there's no heat in the stone/cement factory...they hardly ever need it. The locals are freezing! (Bernard -- I'm earning some extra sunny vacation time here!!)
So...I'm working early and leaving early as the temps drop at night rather than burning the creative midnight oil...when the thought of hot glue on my fingers is tempting to warm them, it's time to go home! [grin]
It's now 42F (6C) at 8:30pm expected to head near to zero tonight. Last night the hotel turned on the heat!! AMEN!!!
Of course, extra cold, like extra heat = more electricty needed...so the local gov't is putting through rolling "semi-scheduled" brown & blackouts. Which means everyone needs to have their generators cranked up and ready!!
My hotel advised us all that there would be low power for an hour yesterday as their generator would be in place rather than gov't supplied electricity. I missed the fun as I was at dinner.
All that said, everyone (myself included) is in remarkabley good spirits as they next few days will bring the start of Chinese New Year celebrations!
I see hot tea, hot soup and hot dim sum in my direct future!! Dinner time!!