Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Cold Weather Friend

One of my textbooks talks about three kinds of trees being friends in the winter. They've got it all wrong, though. I think I met my best winter friend right in my own dorm room.

The other day, I heard some water dripping while I was sitting at the computer. It was just one of those passively noticed things. This building makes weird noises all the time, and if I were to take note of all of them and try to determine their sources, I would go mad within a matter of minutes. Besides, it was a day with especially low visibility, and that normally means it's going to rain.

Wait, allow me to qualify "rain," because it doesn't actually rain here. I haven't seen one downpour yet. There's either mist, or a light sprinkling that lasts for a few hours. Everybody pulls out their umbrellas and runs like there's a monsoon coming, but I just look around confused about the reaction. I walk to my dorm from class, and barely end up wet at all. I've been casually referring to this phenomenon as "Beijing Rain."

So as I was sitting at my desk, I thought some Beijing Rain might be falling. Then I received an instant message that said, "I hear water in my room. Go put your hand on your radiator." Sure enough, it was warm. They've finally turned on the heat. I'm very thankful, because the solar heating system I came up with stopped working once the sun got destroyed. Okay, it didn't get destroyed exactly, but the the smog has been pretty awful lately, so it's looked like the sun has just taken a break. It's been quite cold, too. I'm glad I have heat now.

I took the necessary precautions against fire once I realized the heat was on. My long hanging curtains are now pulled onto the windowsill, and the beds are pulled away from the wall with no sheets hanging it. You see, it's not just the radiator I have to worry about in this room. The entire wall opposite the entrance is covered in exposed pipes where it isn't covered in window. That's the other reason I pulled my bed away - I have no desire to be awakened by the smell of a burning, misplaced hand.


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