Welcome to Tropical Shanghai. Today’s temperature will be -2 degrees.

According to official Chinese government regulations, if a city is located south of the Yangtze River it is considered tropical and therefore does not need to be heated in winter. Shanghai is located about one millimeter south of the Yangtze River, as can be seen from this map, stolen from the Wikipedia page on it.



Notice how the river conveniently goes waaaaay south just left of Chongqing. Now they are tropical down there, I’m sure. Up here in tropical Shanghai, we have snow. And poorly insulated buildings. And frequently unheated buildings. Like schools. And my students are wearing coats and hats and gloves in class. And now that I am sick (again), so am I. I had been wearing regular shirts (as one would, at work), wrapped with a shawl for a bit of warmth. Coats and gloves are awkward to teach in. However, Mrs Gu, the Year 2 classroom teacher, sternly reminds me every day that my lack of jacket indoors is firmly responsible for my bronchial issues. Not overwork, not viral strains or bacteria, not the persistently open windows blasting (fresh!) cold air into every unheated hallway.  No, it was my lack of jacket indoors that floored me.

This is Mrs Gu. She really does love me in spite of my naivete about how illness is spread.


Yesterday, Shanghai decided that a nice little snowfall and a hint of plummeting temperatures would do us some good.


It snowed


Even the bikes were snowed on


And the doomed fish


And the freaky doll hidden in the bushes at the primary school


And the lingerie model


Even Santa was snowed to death


So, yes, we are officially tropical. We’ve been trying to keep our flat warm but have not been quite successful yet. I’m wrapped in my huge Turkish shawl and have my feet deep in my big felted Kyrgyz slippers but my toes are still numb and my fingers are stiff and I can feel draughts everywhere even though the heater is on.  I ate hot soup for breakfast and I’ll eat it again for lunch because the warmth is just so damned lovely.

Kevin the Panda will show you what we are up against.


This was yesterday afternoon


And this was this morning


Did I mention it’s -2 out there? All you Canadians and Northern Europeans are probably laughing at me right now but you wouldn’t be laughing if you had unheated classrooms or uninsulated buildings or no central heating or windows so permeable that you can feel the cold from a foot away.


I want her big fluffy boots


If anyone wants to send me a million dollars (or RMB or Euro or whatever) so I can go retire somewhere warmer, please email me or leave a comment here. I accept PayPal donations, Amazon gift certificates and cash. I also accept applications for Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mommies and any other combination on that theme. Even a Sugar cat would suffice, providing it had the cash to keep me in cocktails in Bali for a few months.


Christmas cat is afraid of you


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About MaryAnne

I live in Hanoi. I used to live in Shanghai (hence this blog's title) but I left in 2013. I tend to travel. I cook stuff. I read a lot. I try to scare myself silly with regularity. I write about it all. A lot.