Not in Kansas anymore

I feel like Dorothy when she says, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Why is that? Because unlike Singapore, Hangzhou has SEASONS!


Part of why I moved to Hangzhou is that I wanted to live in a place that has seasons. So it’s not like I was actually surprised.

Still, not having seasons for 14 years left me more unprepared than I realized, especially since I landed at the beginning of winter.

Singapore to Hangzhou

Singapore looks like this all the time:

Banana plant in front of the community hospital next to the condo where I lived in Yio Chu Kang, Singapore

I lived in Singapore for over 14 years. I went on trips to places where it was cold, but I did not experience a whole three months of winter from 2007 to 2022.

So when I arrived in mid-December 2022, it was rough, even though Hangzhou isn’t cold by global standards. In fact, I believe the climate here is similar to where I grew up (in Atlanta), a city that gets snow sometimes but not usually.

Perhaps the worst part of landing in Hangzhou in winter is that my body thought I’d brought it from a place of eternal summer… to a place of eternal winter! Some part of my brain really thought it was going to be cold in Hangzhou forever.

But no, spring has arrived in Hangzhou.

Pink flower growing in my xiaoqu (residential complex) in Yuhang, Hangzhou

I don’t know if I’ll enjoy the hot weather here in summer, or feel it’s too hot. Singapore temperatures stay within quite a small range; it’s possible that while I became much more sensitive to cold, I also became more sensitive to any unusual temperature, including heat outside the “normal” range. We’ll see.

Whatever the weather is like, it’s really different knowing that the current weather is only temporary. Anything can be endured if it’s only temporary. By the same token, perhaps we can’t appreciate anything unless we know it’s going to end.