October 18, 2007.
Ever since October, and fall, arrived it has begun getting cold with a vengeance. Many Japanese are extremely proud of Japan's four distinct seasons, but I would have to argue that they are much less distinct than the seasons in western North Carolina. Who can forget the subtle and nuanced transition from fall-with-a-t-shirt to fall-with-a-sweater? Well... as you might expect, Japan is a wee bit different.
Japan's fall is actually a collection of a hundred falls and winters combined. Each and every single day is Winter from about 4 PM until 9 AM. Then it reverts to real fall for a couple of hours before the sun withers into oblivion. I go running in the morning at about 6:30. Around 6:50 I pass a roadside thermometer. The past few days it has read approximately 9 degrees Celcius (48 degrees Farenheit). Its a bit chilly.
Then three or four hours later it becomes a good bit warmer. Then... the temperature drops once again. I am dreading the approach of winter, when the temperature will remain a bit below zero for two or three months. By the way, for those who haven't lived in Japan, I mean that the temperature inside my apartment will remain below zero for two or three months. Old-style Japanese construction is a cruel joke. In theory buildings are built to be airy for the hot Japanese summer, but I don't quite understand why they built them the same way up here in the mountains, where the summers are not particularly warm anyway.
Everyone around me at work is wearing a jacket. Its 10:30 in the morning. Its not getting warmer around here for a long, long time.