winter mornings in L.A.

When I was home for Yankee Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago, heated houses were a novelty. It was actually strange for me to walk into a house and find it warm. In Southern California, buildings just aren’t heated. Or, if they are, it’s only to the temperature outside – which, these days, is 70F (20C).

The down side to this culture is that my room at the Shaque isn’t heated. And since I don’t have my faux-velvet curtains up over my single-pane windows yet, it makes for a very, very cold room in the morning. It may be 70F during the day, but concrete and sand do not hold heat well, and at night, it goes down into the ’30s. Which means that I sleep with the blankets over my head, like I do at camp. I have a wonderful space heater, one worthy of worship and devotion, but I don’t like sleeping with it on, and it takes almost an hour to warm the room up when I turn it on in the mornings.

I suppose the irony of this is, I’m thinking about how much I’m looking forward to going home to Victoria to be warm. My parents’ house is extra-insulated and energy-efficient, and is heated by cheap, BC hydroelectric. My mother, being from SoCal, had it designed to be extra warm in winter. I always teased Mom for being cold in Canada’s warmest city, but now that I’ve been in L.A. for 18 months, I’m getting declimatized. I actually feel the cold as something uncomfortable.

This is just one of those observations about having transitioned to SoCal. A year and a half in, I’m still getting used to some things. However, I still consider a little shivering in the morning to be well worth the weather during the day. I can find a workaround for being cold in the mornings. It still beats the hell out of being cold and damp all the time.

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