From One Extreme to the Next

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In the recent weeks, the temperature has been slowly decreasing, leading to the inevitable Boston winter. As someone who lived in a tropical country where it was summer all year long, this is quite a scary time of the year. In Malaysia, the average temperature year round is approximately 82 degrees Fahrenheit (or 28 degrees Celsius as I would say) and only decreased by 1 degree in January. So you can imagine how going from summer year-long to an actual winter can be a little jolting. Let me take you through what winter is like for people like me:

1. Initial shock of COLD air

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You mean it’s not humid? I’m not going to sweat off all my makeup?

2. Realization that the cold is here to stay

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It’s all fun and games until your fingers start feeling numb and the wind literally blows you off balance.

3. Trying to figure out how to dress

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In Malaysia, I knew I’d be sweating all day long and the only thing I had to worry about was rain. Now I have to predict how many layers to wear, what jacket I should bring out, and whether I need a raincoat or a hat.

4. Taking the first four layers off when inside

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It feels like Boston outdoors, but once you get indoors it feels like Malaysia minus the humidity and whizzing traffic.

5. Getting back outside and feeling like my face is frozen

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I’m used to getting pink cheeks from being in extremely high temperatures, but I didn’t know my face could turn red from the cold too. At one point, it felt like my speech was slurring because my jaws were freezing up.

6. Where’s the snow?

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I’m seeing -2 degrees Celsius on my weather app, so why can’t I see the snow yet? It feels wrong for it to be this cold without some winter wonderland.

7. Accepting that I look like a marshmallow

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My usual go-to outfit is a crop top and shorts or jeans. It’s obvious that’s not longer the case. I walk by people wearing one pair of leggings and a light sweater while I’m here with three pairs of pants on, two sweaters, and a light jacket. At least I haven’t pulled out my snow jacket yet — I’m not THAT dramatic.

8. Gloves? Hats? Scarves?

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Did you know that if your neck and head are warm, you will be warm too!? New discoveries for the international kids over here.

9. Discovering the beauty of hand lotion and lip balm

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I always knew moisturizing was a good habit, but I never thought of it as a necessity until it felt like I had 10 papercuts on my fingers just because my hands were so dry. Similarly, Blistex has become my best friend in preventing chapped lips. 10/10 would recommend.

10. Static shock? More like being struck like lightening.

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Fortunately I’m not walking around with things sticking to me, but the static shock is definitely not something I’m enjoying. Taking off a sweater and feeling like a thousand little pins are pricking me is not cute, nor is the face I make when it happens.