Hong Kong people’s “weather confusion”.

One year and a half in Hong Kong and I think I can say that I experiences all season there are. Spring that is warm like summer in Poland, summer that’s hot and humid like nowhere else, windy and dry autumn and cool, but not cold enough winter.

At first I would do what most tourists and foreigners do, always dress less than local people. In comparison, Hong Kong is rather warm, even in winter. But after a while your temperature sensitivity changes as well.

There are two tendencies in Kong Kong. Both can be seen throughout the whole year and next to each other. Underdressing and overdressing.

This year’s November was rather warm, but there were few cooler days, when it’s quite appropriate to wear long pants and long sleeve t-shirt. This is however not the issue for the Underdressers. They would be out and about wearing shorts or mini skirts, sometimes even flip flops. Bravely pretending they do not care for cold, they show their naked shoulders all over the city.

On the other hand, we have Overdressers, who would wear a scarf and winter jackets, together with winter boots sometimes already around early September when the temperatures change from 32 to 29 degrees Celsius.

Some people like to mix it up a bit and wear both shorts and winter boots and winter cap. Or winter jacket zipped all the way up with shorts inside and no tights or stockings.

Here are some theories of mine on how those people decide their dressing up for weather (or not):

1 – By daily schedule.

One word: AC. Office workers spend most of their day in air-conditioned offices. Usually AC in office spaces become stronger and colder the hotter it becomes outside, but nonetheless every day in the office is like winter. Especially when your office building is old and AC is sometimes like a typhoon out of sudden. Knowing this, it makes sense to have a sweater ready even when it’s super hot outside. And considering metro can get cool sometimes as well, why not wear the sweater at all times!

2 – By calendar.

Some people doesn’t seem to be checking the weather but rather their calendars. So if it’s November, it should be cool and soon-to-be-winter season, right? Who cares if it’s still like 28 C outside, it’s November and clothes should be chosen accordingly.

3 – By temperature changes.

This one is the same as I saw (and participated in) in Dubai; dressing according to temperature difference. Temperature difference between summer and winter in Hong Kong is really nothing in comparison to Poland where it can change from 30 C to -20 C, so by 50 degrees. Hong Kong winter usually go down to plus 10. That’s why some people seem to be sensitive to this small difference. In relation to previous days, if the temperature goes down a few degrees, it’s already “cold” and it’s totally time for winter jacket and boots. Having lived in hot countries for almost 5 years now, I do become a bit weird to my Polish friends as well, and always have my sweater ready for the air-condition-winter or wear a scarf in metro because it gets really cool there too. Who knows, maybe in another 5 years I will be seen wearing winter jacket for 20 C temperatures too?

Am I exaggerating or do you have similar experiences?


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