Reverse Culture Shock: Central Heat

You may think that from my last post that I’ve gone crazy. Not true (I hope). You may also think that after more than 4 months of living in the U.S. I would have adjusted to live in gringolandia. Also not true. Well, not completely.

Hurricane Sandy didn’t really affect my part of North Carolina that much. She just brought lots of wind and rain and COLD. Last week it was 82 degrees out. Now it’s 50. Brr! It is finally time to turn on the heat. Don’t get me wrong. I fully appreciate central heat, which by and large was missing in Santiago. However, living without central heat for four winters, plus growing up in the Northeast where we keep the thermostat at around 62 degrees all winter long, means that I am more accustomed to being somewhat cold inside (let’s not talk about outside…I’m a terrible wimp when it comes to wind and rain and don’t even mention snow!).

Unfortunately, my roommate thinks it’s a compromise to have the heat on at 69 degrees. 69 degrees! That’s practically tropical! And she had never heard of the concept of turning the heat down at night. Last night I woke up thinking I was in a sauna, drenched in sweat.

In the morning, she told me how she was freezing all night long. I suggested she get a hot water bottle. She said, “One of those rubber things? Do they even make those anymore?”

Apparently hot water bottles are no longer a thing in the U.S.

I think it’s going to be a long winter for me. Chile has made me prefer to be bundled and a little chilly to having hot, dry air blow out of vents at me all day long. But I can’t let my roommate freeze. Maybe I’ll just take to wearing my summer clothes around the house all winter!

Check out my previous posts on reverse culture shock:


Texting vs. Whatsapp 

Greetings and Goodbyes

Riding the bus


6 thoughts on “Reverse Culture Shock: Central Heat

  1. I’m the same. I thought it was my pregnancy hormones that were making me feel hot all the time, but I think I’ve gotten used to being a little cold all the time. I was actually looking forward to spending a warm winter here, but now I’m sweating!

  2. I have always done the same as you, Abby. During the day, keep the central heat as low as tolerable and, at night, even lower. I can’t sleep if I am hot. I’m with Sara. It’s almost too hot for me now here in Santiago. I’m heading north as soon as I can get away!

  3. I get the feeling I’m going to be exactly like this. It’s so friggin’ cold indoors at the moment here. No central heating, hardwood flooring, old buildings = A really drafty, shivery place to live!

  4. “Apparently hot water bottles are no longer a thing in the U.S.” I couldn’t help but laugh when I read this. I don’t think hot water bottles have been a thing for 50+ years.

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