Monday, February 15, 2016

Finally getting around to Celsius

One useful thing I've never quite picked up is the Celsius mindset.

For most of life it was never a problem. Fahrenheit could take me anywhere (as long as anywhere meant the U.S., Belize, Palau, the Cayman Islands, or the Bahamas). But then I moved in with a Celsius thinker. Depending on which one of us was speaking, "it's 30° today!" could mean it was either pretty cold or pretty hot.

When we moved to Ukraine, suddenly Fahrenheit was useless. It wasn't just the person I was living with who used it- it was everyone. Every temperature sign. Every weather report. Forget language barrier or culture shock- why does no one ever talk about degree disorientation?

So I did the absolute minimum possible: memorized this poem to understand the theory of "what to wear with what number" and left it at that.
30 is hot
20 is nice
10 is chilly
0 is ice

The poem helped but it wasn't perfect. When someone would tell me that it was going to be 28° C tomorrow, I'd still struggle to figure out what that implied in Fahrenheit. 30° C is "hot"... but how hot? Light jacket or no jacket? Does 14° C mean I should wear gloves? (And why am I too lazy to just go Google it?!)

Anyway, fast forward a few years and we're back in the double-digit Fahrenheit bubble. 90 is hot, 70 is nice, 50 is chilly, 30 is ice, and all that. Obviously the perfect time to finally commit to Celsius, haha.

But I am. For real.

Every Sunday I pull up the weather report for the new week here in Portland and write down- in Celsius- the highs and lows for each day. It's working. I still don't instinctively "get" any temperature above 20° C but that will come with springtime. My skin can now anticipate what 8° C means (gloves = not a bad idea). And my husband is thrilled- "we understand each other at last!" :p

All these pictures, by the way, are from one of Kharkiv's most popular meeting spots: под градусником, or under the thermometer. I hope that the next time I see it, it'll make a lot more sense.

What temperature scale do you think in?

No comments:

Post a Comment