Posted by: thelocaldialect | May 16, 2007

So who’s the genius that named this place "chun cheng"?

Kunming is grey. It’s been grey for days now and this means that even in the middle of May, the weather is damp, cool, and dreary.

Last year I returned from Laos to sunny skies. May is generally a nice season in the Spring City. Not quite as hot as the later summer months, but warm enough to go out without a jacket. Warm enough to wear skirts and sandals. Usually the monsoon hits around July, and rain falls throughout late summer. Fall offers a brief glimpse of sunshine, and then the winter rains start, cold and miserable.

Perhaps you’re noticing a trend here. It rains a lot in Kunming. Perhaps not as much as it might in, say, Seattle, a city famous for rain, but certainly more than you’d expect from a city touted as having “spring-like weather, all year round.” Migrants like myself can’t help but feel a bit cheated as year after year we seem to experience more rainy than non-rainy days.

This year’s Spring rain is particularly unwelcome, then, if only because it comes at a time when it should not be raining. We accept monsoon season, and we accept the cold winter rain, but we feel entitled to those few weeks in April and May when the Spring City should live up to its name, bask us in glorious sunshine, treat us to mild temperatures, and show off the beauty of the city. This year’s rain is, we feel, unfair. It is bound to rain in July and August, so will we have to suffer through 4 straight months of this?

Of course, we still have time, and all is not yet lost, but if I’m still wearing my winter boots and heavy coat come June, and Kunming is denied even a few weeks of it’s namesake season, then I think we need to seriously consider renaming this place. Enough is enough. The gigs up. There’s no Spring in the Spring City.


  1. Hi! I saw your comment on Juliet’s blog, my hubby is also Chinese! nice to meet you!

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