Thursday, December 04, 2008

To Convert Or Not To Convert?...That Is The Question

Don't worry, Fr. Mike and Fr. Greg...While living in the religious minority does pose some significant challenges, spiritually we're good to go...

The conversion I'm referring to here is actually quite scientific...I'm talking temperature.

During the summer, Beijing is predictably hot. No need to check the forecast...Just throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and you're all set. A quick glance out the window to see if it's sunny or rainy is all you need. Yet with the fluctuating temperatures of fall and early winter, a bit more attention to the thermometer is in order. Only snag? Of course, in the land of metrics, Celsius is the unit of choice.

At first, I was trying to convert to Fahrenheit, but when Steve made the blanket statement that he was not going to convert, suggesting that it would be a fun side project, and stating that he was "much more likely to become fluent in Celsius this year than Chinese," I decided to jump on board.

This mind-body connection poses a unique challenge. In the beginning, it was very difficult. I would take a peek at Beijing weather on the Internet and step onto the balcony for a physical "read." At that time, the stakes were low, since early fall is quite temperate. An extra sweater or a missing jacket was really no big deal.

Since I've been working on this for a while now, I've been able to fine tune my "readings" a bit. After making many a mental note, like..."Today it's 17 degrees Celsius and feels really nice out."...or..."Two degrees Celsius is really chilly...better put on the those long johns."...I feel confident on most days that I can successfully outfit myself. Now if only learning Chinese was that easy.


PS: Yes, I have had to "cheat" once in a while. For example, when preparing for a trip to southern China, we checked Beijing weather and it said the temperature would be around 20-25 degrees Celsius. While I know that this is in the mild range, I wasn't sure if that meant 70s or 80s (which would definitely affect our packing). When in doubt, multiply by 1.8 and add 32.


At 3:35 AM, Blogger Ugne said...

To convert between celsius and fareiheit use online unit conversion service like


Post a Comment

<< Home