Sunday, January 16, 2011

Heat (What? Again?)

So now I have a heater in my room that does more than act as a fire without the comforting sounds and hypnotic movements.  Really, that stove only had the downsides of fire-heat.  It was a God-send those days though.
Now I spend my days in comfort, allowing my electric bill to steadily climb (to which I say, meh, it is still cheap).  If I have successfully conquered heating my room, why then would  I continue to talk about heating?  Really, there a ton of interesting things here to see and do, but the Japanese have several other intuitive ways of heating, read on!

Kotatsu, is clever Japanese invention.  It is a table with a heater underneath.  It has, in a sense, two table tops and a blanket.  Underneath the table is an electric heater, above the first 'tabletop' one places a heavy blanket and the the second table top to eat off of, play games, study etc. With this, Japanese spend their 'cold' winter days huddled on the floor on top of a rug with their legs tucked neatly under a blanket.  The result is ones lower half is kept rather warm.  The upper half is left to the bitter, biting cold.  It is the epitome of Japanese heating situation in cold weather.  They do not insulate their buildings, seal their doors, seal their windows, or use central heating.  This allows them to heat a small space and maintain that heat.

But what would posses someone to keep only their lower half warm?  The Japanese have a saying that a good studying environment is to have warm legs and cold head.  頭寒足熱  (Zukan Sokunetsu), and for of those who do understand some Japanese, the phrase does not mention studying, but it is more of a general statement, the phrase was originally told to me in regards to studying.  So what does one do in a Kotatsu?  Anything, watch T.V., make a nabe, or takoyaki, most certainly one eats a mikan or a mandarin orange.  Still don't get the point of it? Wikipedia it (Look! I did it for you).  I was unable to take a good picture of the Kotatsu my  tutor has, so you'll have to go here to see some.

So now, I have a warm(er) room but my seems even colder now.  So a friend lent me this:
Electric Hot Water Bottle!

I do not know what is called but I do know what it is.   It is an electric hot-water bottle used only for heating the foot of your bed.  That is the whole point of this device.  It works, but for its cost (about 60-80 CDN) I would rather buy a hot water bottle that would do the same as well as whatever else I wanted to use it for.  Who said specialization was a good thing?

There, now I think I'm done ranting about heating here.  Enjoy your Snow in the Great White North!
If you think I'm bitter about the heating situation click me!

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