October: The In-Between Month

October is one of my most favorite and least favorite months in Lithuania — it is the month in between when the weather turns cold and the heat gets turned on.

On the one hand, we are having beautiful autumn weather — clear blue skies, bright sunshine, golden leaves  and crisp, cold air.  I love it!

On the other hand, the crisp, cold air is not so pleasant inside.  Most buildings in Lithuania are on central heating — it’s not just that each building is on one heating system, but the whole darn city is on a centrally-controlled heating system.  I don’t know how it works technically, but I do know that it means the heat doesn’t get turned on until we have three days in a row with a high temperature of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower.  In October the high temperatures tend to hover at 12-13 degrees Celsius for weeks, so no heat — even though the overnight temperatures are falling to 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).  And let me tell you, an apartment can get pretty darn cold with low temps at freezing even if it warms up outside during the day.

The solution — wearing more layers of sweaters inside than I need outside and cranking up the space heater.  At least my bedroom is warm even if I shiver every time I go to the kitchen or bathroom.  It often doesn’t get cold enough for the heat to be turned on until the end of October, but the forecast says we’ll have highs of 6-7 degrees Celsius (~43 degrees Fahrenheit) next week.  I’ve got my fingers crossed!

Good News!  The city government announced over the weekend that the heat will be turned on today.  I’m eagerly awaiting the hissing of radiators in my apartment.  Although another friend told me that schools get heat first so it might be mid-week before my building gets heat.  Again, I don’t understand the technology – I’m just glad the heat will be on soon.

About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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