Dress for the Cold (in Mexico City)

by Jim on 31 January 2018

Our friends from the north may be interested in a recent warning from Mexico City’s Civil Protection about cold temperatures in the area. The warning, sent out yesterday, gave instructions for what to wear if temperatures dropped between 0°C and 3°C (yellow alert), and what to wear if temperatures dropped to between -4°C and -1°C (red alert).

Dress for the cold in Mexico CityIt should be fairly obvious even to a non-Spanish speaker, but for yellow alert it’s 1-2 layers on your legs, and 2-3 on top, a warm tuque/hat, gloves, boots, and a coat that keeps the wind out.

For red alerts, one more layer, and all the same things with a special emphasis on a warmer jacket and a scarf or ski mask.

Canadians will no doubt chuckle. Some of them are breaking out the shorts when the temperatures get above freezing, after a long bout of depressingly cold weather.

But in actual fact, Civil Protection is right.

Imagine this. It’s a chilly summer day, but you still go swimming. What happens? You get out into the wind, and you start to shiver. You get a towel, and you keep shivering. Finally you get into your warm car, or get into your house, get dressed, and you’re fine.

But – what if you couldn’t warm up?

Yesterday was chilly, and cloudy. Many people have no car, and no one we know has central heating. A space heater? Maybe, but the cost of electricity is astronomical.

In other words, a Canadian who leaves a warm house and wander about in -10C is not a danger because their “core” is warm and will be for some time. But if you get cold here, it’s cold everywhere you go. You just won’t warm up.

You’re not generally in danger of frostbite here, but people do struggle to stay healthy. In fact, in many areas, school was cancelled today!

On Monday I had to go to a meeting, and I wore several layers, a fall/winter jacket, and scarf, indoors, all day. And that was good.

So it’s a different world. Canadians wonder what Mexicans are complaining about, and Mexicans wonder how Canadians survive. But this morning, I’m wearing my coat indoors, and I think I’ll go make some tea …

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gram February 7, 2018 at 10:56 pm

Loved this! No wonder there are misunderstandings between people!

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