Eight Degrees Celsius in Toronto and in Kuwait City

Temperature is felt differently around the world

After living in Toronto for a number of years, I somehow had anti-freeze develop in my blood. I was able to walk out of the house with shorts and a t-shirt at 8 degrees Celsius, just like everybody else. When my family visited, they were shocked at my endurance, and how I insisted on going out without at least long pants in place of shorts. My argument had me pointing to everyone else outside who was also dressed in summer attire and explaining that I was sick of that dreaded coat. Eight degrees in Toronto, Canada is something to celebrate, especially after a long, cold winter.

Eight degrees in Kuwait City, however, has people coating up! And these are the same coats worn in Toronto at negative 10 and 20 degree weather. My first year in Kuwait introduced me to a cold that reached the bones, which is how everyone in Kuwait explained it. Dry cold is stronger than humid cold. The dryness allows the cold to pierce into your skeletal being. With my anti-freeze blood, I felt colder in Kuwait than at the same temperature in Toronto. But, it could’ve been that I hadn’t experienced the cold in a while or perhaps due to the fact that housing in this part of the world, is not equipped with indoor heating. I had no idea how cold tile flooring could get for bare feet! But, it was nothing a couple of oil heaters couldn’t fix. So, from my experience, it is well-advised to jacket it up in 8 degree weather in Kuwait. But, do not worry. It usually doesn’t last past a couple of weeks. Though some residents like to wear their winter attire for longer than that.

The difference in reaction to the same degree temperature is interesting. They are also at opposite sides of the spectrum in attire; one wears shorts and the other wears a coat – nothing in the middle. That’s why I drew this comic. And I have been in both of these girls’ shoes.

Have you experienced anything like this?

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