Ice, Ice … Window?

Welcome to 2021 which is still pretty much the same as 2020: With Japan being at the height of the third Covid19-wave, Kyoto and 10 other provinces have entered the second lockdown today. It will be in effect until February 7th, unless things are changing of course. Just like last year in April/May, restaurants, department stores, movie theaters etc. should close earlier, companies are encouraged to allow their workers to work from home, and people are asked to avoid going outside unnecessarily.

At least the last part shouldn’t be too difficult, as it is cold. Really cold. Not that this is unusual for this time of the year, but there is a certain edge to it at the moment. For example, last Friday, when I wanted to open the window in my bedroom, I couldn’t. Here’s why:

Can you see the ice that’s blocking the windows from moving? Whenever it gets cold in Kyoto, my single-glazed windows are fogging up over night, and it takes a while for all the dew to evaporate on the next day. On very cold days, I have had little ice streams flowing down the windows over night. However, this is the first time that a whole ice block has formed and froze my windows shut. It took one hour until I could open them again and remove the ice.

Two things are interesting about this: First, I told a friend of mine about this and she didn’t even bat an eye. So… is this normal around here? Or maybe she wasn’t impressed because the freezing cold had burst one of her water pipes that very same night and it took her several hours to get it fixed. Obviously, she had bigger fish to fry that day.

And second: even though it was so cold in the room that so large an amount of ice could form on my window, I slept like a baby and never woke up for a single minute. I am usually very sensitive to cold but I felt nothing that night. It seems that the heavy duvet filled with sheep’s wool I bought last autumn was an excellent investment!