Monday, August 02, 2010

Where Did Our Beds Go?

This was the scene that greeted us when we opened the door to our room at the Tianshang Hotel. No frames. No box springs. No mattresses. Just an open and empty floor.

People in this particular part of the world have traditionally slept on kangs, which in some locations consist of brick platforms that are heated by fire from underneath. For our night on Changbaishan, we opted for the version of kangs where the floor itself is heated and blankets are laid out according to your comfort. The warmth emanating from the floor made for an interesting contrast with the cool mountain air blowing in through the open windows.

So how did we do all spread out this way?

I personally enjoyed the warm blankets, though the floor was a bit hard for my tastes. No harder, I should note, than many of the mattresses I have slept on over the years.

Desi remarked that shui kang (sleeping on kangs) would be great in the winter, but was kind of hot for the summer. "I kept looking for a cool piece of the floor. I wanted to turn the heat off under me."

As for Julie and Z, they both thought it was a comfortable night, except for when Z banged his head (against the wall, he thinks).

Maybe one day we'll try the bricks and fire version...

~Steve

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