Describe an occasion when weather prevented your activity.
You should say:
when that happened
what you have planned to do
what you did in the end
and explain how you feel about it
There is one occasion that really sticks in my mind. This was when I went to England to stay with a friend of mine. He was a university friend who had gone off to do a master’s degree in Warwick university. Anyway, he had a few foreign friends who were studying Asian studies, English guys. And one of these guys invited us to stay at his parents’ house in the countryside for a weekend. I thought this was a really cool invitation and a really cool experience, so of course I went. I bought some nice cheeses and a few bottles of wine, as I heard they wanted to prepare a sort of buffet lunch and barbecue outside, in the back garden. It was summer you see.
Anyway, we arrived in just a couple of hours (England is small and everywhere seems really near compared to my country) and we chatted to the family, drank cups of tea, had a bit of a rest, then everyone started to help prepare the tables outside, the cutlery, the dishes and things like this. The men got to work on making the barbecue and the women and the girls sat around chatting drinking some white wine, and preparing the table. It was a really lovely garden too - the English seem to have really nice, slightly wild, but beautiful gardens -and I was pretty excited about the whole experience.
Then, suddenly just as we were all about to sit down to eat, the sky opened and it started bucketing down with rain. Really, it was torrential rain and very very sudden. This is the funny thing about England, people even joke that you can experience four seasons in one day in the UK, and I think this is true… one minute it was warm and sunny, then the next minute a dark cloud passed over and it started thrashing down with rain. We all rushed in a panic to get all the main dishes inside before they were spoiled. On the one hand it was pretty funny, as they said I had had a really “authentic British experience”, but on the other hand it was a real shame. However, we did manage to put everything pretty safely onto the dining room table and continue eating and drinking there, so it was okay in the end, and we had a good laugh about it all. Actually, in a way, it did create a nice feeling of bonding between everyone and certainly broke the ice!
1. Do Chinese people enjoy talking about weather when they meet? Why?
I don’t think so really. I mean, a little bit, but I don’t think they talk about the weather more than anyone else. Certainly, they don’t talk about the weather as much as the British! We might comment about the weather if it’s especially cold – we are a bit sensitive about the cold – or if it’s especially hot or these kind of extremes. But maybe it depends which part of China you are from - it’s a huge country and the weather systems, even climates are radically different from, for example, Harbin, to Sanya… it’s almost like going from one country to another! I’m from Beijing, and we don’t talk about the weather too much here I don’t think.
2. What kinds of weather do Chinese people prefer?
I think it depends. People favour different types of weather. I have friends who like warm or even really hot dry summer weather, others like hot humid summer weather, and others that actually enjoy cold weather – personally I prefer hot weather, but there are people that enjoy a long cold winter. So, honestly it depends. I don’t think we can make a generalization about all Chinese people’s preference in weather!
3. Does weather have any impact on Chinese people’s daily activities? Why?
Yes, of course, like anyone’s daily lives, the weather affects what we choose to do outside, how we get about, whether we go to a park or stay indoors and watch a movie with friends – whether we go to eat at a place with outdoor tables, or go to a warmer place nearer home. Whether we do indoor sports or sports outside. All these kind of things are affected by the weather.
4. What do people do in different weathers?
In summer people get involved in more outdoor activities -and if they live by the seaside they might spend time on the beach or do water sports. In winter people stay indoors more, play indoor games or just watch TV. It depends really…