Heat! Praise the Lord!

Heating in China is a topic that most people would not consider unless they are staying during the winters in the northern parts. However, even in the southern part of China, the temperatures still go down to the low 40’s Fahrenheit or 4 degree Celsius. While most people from countries that have winter would call that type of temperature as normal in winter and say that it is not so bad, people from the southern parts of countries with no winter are freezing in their rooms.

In America, most dorms have heaters and the electricity bill is billed into a student’s tuition, so there is no worry about turning on the heater for prolonged amounts of time. In China, heating becomes an expensive energy usage issue. Electricity is still an expensive thing to use, and since Shanghai does not reach ridiculously cold temperatures as Beijing, most places do not have heating. Fortunately, Tonghe, the dorm that Davidson in Shanghai students are staying at, has air conditioning units that convert into heaters and help keep students warm at night. Still, the idea that most places do not have heating is a look on how modernity has not been completely achieved in China. Shanghai is one of the more advanced cities in China. Yet, if there are places here that do not have heating, one can only imagine how inner China faces the cold.

In comparison, Beijing seems to be fully prepared and used to the super cold winters. While in Beijing during the fall, the temperatures were already in the 30’s Fahrenheit or -1 degrees Celsius. Yet, the hotel Davidson students were lodging at, had heaters for all the room and even heated the hallways. Yes, the hotel is a fancy place and should not be considered a fair place to compare. So, I and fellow students, Nicky Coutinho and DJ Seabrooks randomly went to a hole in the wall restaurant at midnight for some food because they were hungry. The weather was sleeting at the time but as we entered the place, one could see how even those with no heaters were able to keep warm. There were plastic covers at the front door to keep the cold out and there were iron stoves in different parts of the room to keep the place warm. Although the place was not as warm as the hotel, we were comfortably protected from the cold and not chilly.

Therefore, I would like to say that heat is an expensive commodity that not everyone can afford and should be appreciated greatly. Many people in China still do not have heaters and still use old methods to keep warm. It is not bad for them, but as Thanksgiving draws near, I would like to say I am thankful for heat.