Thursday, 18 August 2011

Nanjing in summer

lotus by hallucygenia
lotus, a photo by hallucygenia on Flickr.

The picture shows lotus flowers and leaves growing in Xuanwu Lake, near where we work. The lake is one of the nicer places to be outside at this time of year, as there is plenty of shade and often a cool breeze off the water.

Nanjing is known as one of the “Four Furnaces” of China, and we are appreciating why. Since we got back two weeks ago, the temperature has been consistently above 30 degrees centigrade, and usually near 35, every day. It doesn’t get much cooler at night. As well as the heat, the humidity is high, and it’s that which makes the city really uncomfortable. We’re told that it should start to get cooler in a few weeks, and that autumn is quite pleasant.

At the moment the weather is mostly dry, except for the daily thunderstorms. These and the humidity mean that we’re spending most of our time in the office or at home, and not going out very much. For exercise, we’re playing badminton or table tennis a few nights a week. Both are extremely popular in China (something to do with having world champions). We also see people playing badminton in the street, often without a net. The institute has three table tennis tables and a badminton court open at lunchtimes and in the evenings.

Our office is now fully furnished; we picked up (literally) two bookcases and a desk from the library, which is going to be refurbished. Our specimens are stored in trays on the bookshelves and the nice shiny new microscope now has its own desk, rather than sharing with a laptop. There’s even a stool to sit on that’s high enough to see down the microscope. The only thing we are lacking now is the library; the aforementioned refurbishment means that it will be closed until April. Fortunately a lot of the literature is now available over the internet, which means we don’t even have to leave the office to consult it.

No comments:

Post a Comment