The Christmas lights have been switched on across the city, and Hong Kong’s shopping malls are in a flurry of activity as the seasonal sales begin to set in. And with the promise of all manner of festive cheer, most Hongkongers are optimistic in unison over one thing – the promise of an end to the stifling summer. But are we there yet? If you’re not sure whether to dust off your parkas just yet, then look around for these telltale signs that winter is coming in the 852.
1. Cold Hands, Warm Pockets
Keep those frosty fingers at bay with the array of bizarre, egg-shaped hand warmers on sale at 7-Eleven and Circle K. These beauties fit perfectly into your pocket and make for the perfect winter warmer – if only for a few hours. You’ll only need to buy one case as refillable heat pouches can be purchased at most convenience stores, including Mannings and Watsons.
2. Mercury No Longer Rising
A quick scan of the weather forecast shows temperatures dropping this coming Monday to a startlingly low 19 degrees (there’s even a plunging blue arrow to prove it). While this may seem slightly dramatic to most, with your summer sunburn still a fresh memory, you’re likely to feel the change, no matter how small. But we’d still wait a few weeks before you don a hat and scarf.
3. Some Seriously Ugg-ly Shoes
Some trends just refuse to die, and Uggs are one such trend. The fur-lined boots cling to the legs of many a tween and fully-grown adult from December through February, with owners unwilling to admit just how hot their feet feel inside. Just do the rest of the city a favour, and don’t take them off in public.
4. Everybody You Know is Ill
This isn’t an exaggeration. You will come down with a cold, and if you haven’t already, it’s only a matter of time – in a city as densely populated as this, the flu spreads like wildfire, with your fellow morning MTR commuters merging into a sea of never-ending face masks. A steady supply of Lemsip, Strepsils, and Ibuprofen will help you put up a valiant fight, though it’s likely to be a losing battle. Click here for some expert tips on how to beat a cold.
5. Discounted Dehumidifiers
There may only be a few weeks of the year when your dehumidifier isn’t working overdrive, but these can save you in more ways than one. Not only are you saving on electricity, but during this time, electronics stores are desperately trying to shift surplus stock to make room for space heaters and the like. That makes it the perfect time to stock up on a summer staple.
6. Festive Fever Hits Hong Kong
Starbucks’ red cups are many a city-dwellers first sign of winter. This is helped in Hong Kong by the fact that its stores are decked head to toe in festive decorations and have been since Halloween. The stream of Christmas classics playing throughout shopping centres and Love Actually on repeat on home movie channels will, inevitably, follow suit.
Read more! Check out our Culture section for more quirky Hong Kong stories.