Some advice my brother gave me once that I ignored at the time but has proven to work in Kunming: if you have a problem, throw money at it. Kunming is called the City of Eternal Spring by the Chinese. Lee would like you to know that's "a large, steaming crock o'shite." I'm pretty sure that name was created by the Department of Propaganda in Beijing to justify not providing central heat to anyone in Yunnan province. The temperature drops to 1 or 2 degrees at night, with highs of 12-15 during the day. Sounds not bad, right? Except that when it's two degrees outside, it's two degrees inside. After shivering through the first two days of class, I decided to take your advice, Chris. I went and bought a jacket and scarf and fuzzy slippers. After a couple more days, I was still cold. Now I have bought a jacket with a zip-out liner that at least says "North Face," a pair of hiking pants lined with fleece, gloves, and thick socks. I didn't think I'd need that stuff until we went to Nepal, but now I'm all kitted out. And I wear it all to class and fill my water bottle with boiling water (known in China as "white tea").
Oh yeah, I bought the scarf at Zara. It cost more than the jacket and fuzzy slippers combined, but it's flannel and like wrapping myself in a large blanket. I love it. Am I the only one surprised there's a Zara here outside of Beijing or Shanghai? It's right next to the Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton stores. I guess it really is the new China.