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Old 19th December 2009, 13:42   #16
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Thanks for all your suggestions guys! Really appreciate it.

I'm still vacillating between buying woolen inners vs cotton stuff from Jockey. I will be spending around 8 to 9 hours a day in the office, so very warm would be uncomfortable. On the other hand, I don't think I will be waiting at a bus stop for more than 15 to 20 mins, so pure wool may not really be necessary.

I'll buy the coat and gloves in the US. I already have a woolen monkey cap and woolen socks that I'd used in Manali, Tahoe and SFO.

Only things left to buy in India are all weather shoes (dont think my Franco Leones would suffice) and a good scarf. Willl explore Ravvenddra's suggestion.
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Old 19th December 2009, 14:05   #17
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My advice.

Actually IMHO North Indian winter at 0 - 5 deg is more terrible then Eu or US - 15 deg reason is that we do not have heated infrasturecture and public transport like in west.

(1) Buy thermal inners made of pure cotten , Wool is uncomfirtabel to core and may give you terrible itch as indoors , cars and public transport system is heated.

(2) Buy windcheater with detachable thermal lining and synthatic outer shell,I do not know if they are available at your place or not .

(3) Leather jackets are also OK if you prefer but buy sheep skin soft one and up to waist level and they will be pretty expensive. The normal cheap ones look quite out of faishon , An ill fitted lower one with poor finish is trademark sign of Pakistani cabbies and Bangladeshi workers these days.

(4) An overcoat or long coat is required if and only if your work attire demands to wear formal suits. If you nee good overcoat then download a good design from net talk to some tailor who specialises in Suits and then buy fine quality suit length and get one tailored.

PS : Do not buy tweed overcoat they look so WWII era and In India someone may mistake you for a Fauji.

(5) Buy a wollen cap and a soft muffeler ; Monkey cap may not be of much use as you feel the chill near to exposed portion of neck

(6) Carry a pair of gloves for immediate needs , Mittens are not of much use.

(7) Buy couple of Nevia lip balm and carry in your pocket as lips tend to crack badly and even smiling becomes a task.

Last edited by amitk26 : 19th December 2009 at 14:09.
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Old 31st December 2009, 23:52   #18
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@ Venu saab: Saw this a bit too late but from my experience of 3 winters in UK and Europe, below are the few pointers:
  1. Layers is the key. But I find the thermal stuff overstated. Till date even in -10deg dry cold, haven't worn any thermals. Have even walked to pubs many a times in 3 deg only in a shirt and jeans
  2. Muffler, scarf and cap must.
  3. Gloves should be good, preferably leather, not the thick variety but.
  4. Long overcoats are not so expensive. One coat bought at M&S costed 120 odd pounds and another one bought at H&M costed me about 60 quids.
  5. Check out GAP, Old Navy, you'll be able to get good deals on waterproof overcoats which can be worn over suits.
  6. Good thick soled shoes are important if you are going to be walking a lot. Woolen socks would be useful.
  7. Understand JC Penny, Sears can get you much much better deals than you can get here. So please shop in US. Better choice and price.
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Old 1st January 2010, 00:06   #19
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Whatever you do, moisturiser is crucial. You may have to apply around twice a day, but without your skin will start cracking and drying :(
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Old 1st January 2010, 10:55   #20
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Buy shoes with Goretex lining inside, if you can afford them. They are the best.
Another advice on DC - contrary to popular perception, DC has some of the worst ghettos in America and many neighbourhoods right inside the city are outright dangerous. Be careful.
I have lived in the Adams Morgan area. Great place for eating out. Do pay a visit to Madam's Organ
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Old 1st January 2010, 11:34   #21
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My 2 cents:

I think the things you need are a good winter jacket, winter cap and a pair of good thinsulator gloves, not to mention the inner thermals. Thats it. No need to buy special winter boots, our normal shoes (Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Puma whatever but not formal leather boots) will do the job perfectly.

Unlike hot summers, this is the beauty of cold weather, if you wear good clothing, you are a happy man.

I live in Canada and have been to temperatures as low as -65 degree celsius for hours. What do I wear? Well, a pair of thermals, a shirt or t-shirt, a Woodland winter jacket (not leather, bought from India), Jeans, cap and a pair of good gloves. I didn't buy a single thing after coming here.

PS: Take care of your head especially, never forget to cover it while going in cold weather. Research show that about 80% of our body heat in cold weather is lost through our head.

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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Layers is the key. But I find the thermal stuff overstated. Till date even in -10deg dry cold, haven't worn any thermals. Have even walked to pubs many a times in 3 deg only in a shirt and jeans[/list]
I completely agree with you, Milecruncher. Except the only difference is humidity. As you mentioned, it was -10 but dry cold. I need thermals when it is windy outside.

I feel that I can walk in a half sleeve shirt in -30 degree celsius (Ask Nullrock, he came to meet me on 21th Dec. and I was walking very normally in -30) here in Saskatoon but I can't do it in -10 in Toronto. Reason is the same, humidity. The more humid it is, the colder you feel.

So, I think it varies from place to place. I even feel winters in Delhi were more scary than winters here in Saskatoon (well, except for the snow).

Last edited by Ace F355 : 1st January 2010 at 11:44.
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Old 1st January 2010, 15:01   #22
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@vnabhi Now that you are warm and cosy here are a few things to do when in dc, see if these are of interest

1. Visit the museums, especially the Smithsonian, The Air museum & The Spy museum. At the museum of American History see if you can catch an exhibition/display of paintings by an artist called Thomas Moran. He has painted the Grand Canyon on an exaggerated scale and the sheer colours and sketchings will leave you mesmerized. The man is known as the father of National park system as it was his rendering of the Canyon that urged the Congress to start the National park system.

2. Take a hop off hop on tour on one of the open buses that look like old tram cars. You can buy a day/longer duration ticket and use it to get to all of the places of interest OR if you are taking the complete tour you may get on w/t and at the end of the tour/your point of disembarkation tip the driver generously within the ticket price, they generally appreciate that more. Do let him/her know that you do not have a ticket (chor chor bhai bhai) when you get on though.

3. Visit the White House, the inside tour, tickets are available across the road from the front entrance and are usually sold out by 0730 am. However it pays to ask people( especially ladies in a group or single somehow they always have spare tickets) in the lines if they have a spare. That is how I managed(too lazy to get to the window).

4. Visit the Congress. They have a small museum(comparitively) and the original declaration of independence is preserved here. A true replica is on display and so is one of the earliest examples of the confederates Flag.

The next is a must do

5. Visit George Washington's house/estate on Mount Vernon.

Even if you are not interested in history do this one as the views from mount Vernon are simply stunning. I cannot describe them in words, this you must experience for yourself.

There are two ways you can go. Take a bus tour. This is interesting as the bus drivers or the tour guides are informative and keep up an interesting running commentary on George Washingtons life.

The other way and I feel the better way to go is by taking a river cruise. This is without the commentary but man is it beautiful or what! The vistas are amazing and you cannot get enough of the scenery. I must warn you though that from the docks at Mount Vernon you have to climb up to the top of the hill to get to the staging area. At the top take a walking tour with that walkman/discman thingy and enjoy.

If you do this please take some snaps and post them for every one's viewing pleasure. In case you are interested in exotic dancing you can go to Kstreet but I doubt if you will be able to take any snaps and even if you do whether the mods will allow those to be posted. But then as Jerry Sienfield once said and I quote "such things are like looking at the Sun. You take a look and then you look away you dont stare at it. It can & usually does hurt you." unquote Enjoy! Have a safe trip.

Last edited by khoj : 1st January 2010 at 15:09.
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Old 6th January 2010, 13:21   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
I feel that I can walk in a half sleeve shirt in -30 degree celsius (Ask Nullrock, he came to meet me on 21th Dec. and I was walking very normally in -30) here in Saskatoon but I can't do it in -10 in Toronto. Reason is the same, humidity. The more humid it is, the colder you feel.
actually, increased humidity makes you feel warmer, because evaporation of sweat is reduced. If you were drenched in water but humidity was 100%, you won't feel much cold because water will not evaporate, and will not take any heat away from your body. This is why a humidifier reduces your heating bills as well as makes your skin feel better, in winter. The air taken in from outside is heated thereby expanding and becoming drier (less water per given volume), and so has to be injected with cool water mist. Hot vapor will simply condense somewhere into droplets and not go into the air.

you feel better in canada most probably because your body gets used to it. after spending days of subzero temps (in F), I have heard canadians mentioning it's warming up to zero. Besides, when you have heated indoors 22 hrs of the day, walking out in cold is fun too.

A simple test case: in august-sep my wife refuses to go out when it's less than 50F. but in January anything above 30 feels very comfortable to walk outside .

EDIT: that's why athletes collapse when humidity is high. The cooling mechanism of body fails because of lack of evaporation.

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Old 26th January 2010, 03:17   #24
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Guys, thanks a ton for your suggestions. Really turned out useful for me.

Here's an update from my side. I landed on a Saturday night (Jan 2nd) amid chilly weather (25 degress Farenhiet) and strong winds of 40 miles per hour. A 40 second dart into my pals car from the Dulles Airport exit chilled me to the bones--gave me a shock of my life. My company-provided coat was plain useless.

We visited Costco the next day to shop for a coat and gloves. Soon as I opened the front passenger door, it flung open with force due to the gusty winds---luckily nobody was there. .

I got a good coat for $ 42---the one with a detachable outer layer. But there were no gloves, so we had to drive to Walmart, where I got a good woolen cap, but no gloves. Finally we got a lone pair at Kohls for $ 18.

The coat, gloves and cap lived up to their expecations and I could brave the weather there.I could even start walking to office (18 mts walk) from day 4, by when my body got accustomed to the cold.

The only sore point was that the cotton inners I bought from Jockey left me itchy all over my calves, and I stopped using them from day 3.

Thankfully the weather has warmed up by now and it is in the mid 40s (Farenheit) in the afternoon (today it is 50 plus).

Thanks once again guys.

@khoj---I will keep your suggestions in mind. Thanks. I stay near Dupont Circle (near the Embassies) and my office is on L St and 15th St intersection. I am shifting to McPherson Park area next month. I've already seen the Air and Space Museum and the Steven Udvar Air museum. Will certainly visit the others, including the dance spot on K street.

Last edited by vnabhi : 26th January 2010 at 03:19.
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Old 26th January 2010, 03:31   #25
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Awesome do check if there are any good games happening at the MCI stadium. Also visit the Hard Rock Cafe, its awesome. You can get some really good gloves at the road side places close to the lincoln memorial. I still have them and they are very good. Have fun
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Old 26th January 2010, 08:32   #26
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Awesome do check if there are any good games happening at the MCI stadium. Also visit the Hard Rock Cafe, its awesome. You can get some really good gloves at the road side places close to the lincoln memorial. I still have them and they are very good. Have fun
Thanks sammyboy. I will certainly make it a point to go to those places. I was planning to visit Lincoln Memorial this weekend, but it appears it might snow at that time. As of now, we are enjoying +50 temperatures during daytime, but the weatherman says it will drop by 20 degrees Farenheit by Friday.
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:58   #27
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vnabhi: Dont wear belts when u visiting any museums. You would have to take it off!! Can get painful if you have to keep doing this!
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Old 27th January 2010, 03:28   #28
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vnabhi: Dont wear belts when u visiting any museums. You would have to take it off!! Can get painful if you have to keep doing this!
Thanks maddy42. While I could enter both Smithsonian Museums at DC without even a check (yes, I was wearing a belt), it was in New York that I felt the pain---at the Empire State Building, Madam Tussauds and on the ferry to Statue of Liberty. In fact my trimming scissors were confiscated at the ferry as i was carrying my bag with me, so that I could take the return bus directly to DC after the ferry ride.
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Old 27th January 2010, 03:44   #29
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The only sore point was that the cotton inners I bought from Jockey left me itchy all over my calves, and I stopped using them from day 3.
umm, it's not the inners, but the dryness in the air (unless you are allergic to cotton ). As i explained below, the humidity is ultra low when air is heated indoors, unless you use a humidifier. use moisturizer multiple times until you get used to it.
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Old 9th February 2010, 07:44   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
umm, it's not the inners, but the dryness in the air (unless you are allergic to cotton ). As i explained below, the humidity is ultra low when air is heated indoors, unless you use a humidifier. use moisturizer multiple times until you get used to it.
Thanks vivekny2k. I got to see your post just now. I have learnt the trick of using Vaseline moisturizer twice a day and there is no itchiness any longer.
Will give the inners a try once again, as it is freezing cold for the past 4 days, and we also had a 2.5 foot snow last Saturday, and one more storm coming on Tuesday, Feb 9th.
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