Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Celsius, Not Fahrenheit

It's scorching in England at the moment.  Not a dry, Californian heat, but a humid, muggy East Coast/Hong Kong kind of heat.  Having lived here for over three (!) years now (see how I've even adapted the quintessential British passive tone:  "Having ..."), I've learned to adapt to the measurements used in this country; bought myself a scale to measure baking ingredients (rather than using cups as all recipes here go by grams), but one thing I'm still kind of unsure of are temperature measurements.  Even though I know 30 degrees Celsius is pretty damned warm, I sometimes still have the urge to convert it back to Fahrenheit. 

I don't know why.

I think when you've always been familiar with a certain type of measurement, you relate everything back to those increments - so I can think of exactly how 40, 70, and 80 degrees Fahrenheit feels, but am still a little unsure of how 12, 18 and 25 feel (and those are big differences, I know, but I can't seem to pinpoint them).  Is 18 actually warm?  Or is it cold for the summer?  Is 12 really, really cold?  Or is it warm in the winter?

Another problem I have is with meters (or, "metres").  I still think in feet.  When I get out of the car to direct John into a tight space and he asks, "How much room have I got left?" I automatically size up the distance and say, "About a good two feet."  I know that doesn't mean much to him, but he good naturedly guesses anyway and skillfully backs into the spot.

I just might never adapt (by choice).


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