24 October 2005

Aren't You Cold?

It appears that people in Kyrgyzstan don't like to be cold. Jackets appear at the least hint of anything cooler than 80 degrees- people were wearing them when we arrived in August.

If this were a country that was hot all the time, I'd understand it better. But it's cold here half the year. Several of the places we lived in Idaho were colder than Bishkek and we all enjoyed not having cold weather for a while. You'd avoid bundling up for as long as possible. When it's 60 degrees outside and you know that soon it will be below freezing, that 60 degrees doesn't seem so bad.

It's nice that it's definitely jacket weather for us now also. But for about a month, I couldn't take the boys outside without being questioned on why they weren't wearing more clothes or if they were cold. I'd always ask the boys if they were cold, and they'd always deny it, which would stop the questions till the next person came along. We took a trip to the mountains and one of the men with us kept giving me jackets to wear.

The babies at the orphanage are over the top though. Even in 90 degree weather we had to put hats, jackets, and boots on the babies. We'd take off the extra layers as soon as we were outside. Now we have to put on two hats and extra pants to even be allowed out the door. That's in addition to the two shirts they're already wearing.

I hear the apartments are uncomfortably warm all winter. Joy.


  1. This is our 3rd autumn in Tokyo, and we have noticed a tendancy to dress according to the calendar rather than the weather. Lots of jackets and sweaters in hot, humid September and October. Fortunately there seems to be a bit more sanity in the "spring" which begins in early February on the Japanese calendar. Folks will keep their coats on during springtime ice storms.

  2. I think I'm just glad that I don't have a baby. I can't imagine the questions I'd get because I couldn't stand to overdress my own baby.

  3. All apartments that I stayed in here, in Bishkek, were uncomfortably cold. So I guess it depends on the apartment. But maybe it's just me - if it's below +20 Celsius inside, I consider it freezing temperature. The good thing is that electricity is quite cheap here, so I can keep my electric heater on all winter. :)

  4. We always kept our apartments in the US at about 60/15 degrees, so it would have to be pretty chilly inside for us to notice it.

    We were assured before we moved in (by two Kyrgyz) that this is a very warm building, so I think that we'll be on the warmer side of things.

    It would be nice if I had some kind of control over whether the heat was on or not though.

  5. I am a baby when it comes to temperature. I am either extremely hot or freezing if it gets above 78 or below 68. Thor has finally gotten used to me although it hasn't changed his SOP when it comes to heating and/or cooling the house (SOP=summer @80/winter@60)!

  6. Maybe these people are anemic. Drinking lots of tea will do that to you. Do they eat enough red meat? I noticed that in higher elevations its cooler in the morning and evening so people will keep a jacket, etc earlier.

  7. That's an interesting point, Carol. Many people here do eat a reasonable amount of red meat, but I wonder if there's something to that idea.