Because there is no heat in the building here, despite the near freezing temperatures at times, students have to come up with crafty ways to keep from freezing. One tried and true way is the water bottle. They are popular here (as boiled water is readily available at every dorm and building) and you will often see a tell tale bottle shape cloth clutched in a students hand.
But what is really the rage these days in the water bottles newer, hipper, electric cousin, the hand warmer! I bought one myself last week and I love, love, love it.
It’s round, filled with water (or ‘special water’ as one of my students told me) and has a little electric socket on the side. You plug it in, a little red light comes on, and in 8-12 minutes you have an almost boiling hot hand warmer. The cloth on the outside keeps it from getting too hot but it feels really good. It also stays warm a surprisingly long time, maybe over an hour, and it’s fun to jiggle and mush it about.
I especially like the very fashionable casing. Here is a little detail:
The thing is they are really cheap (as in breaks a lot) and potentially dangerous. When we bought it the woman told me I had a week to return it if it broke that quickly. (Okay, she told me, I looked at her confused, she tried again, I looked at Ryan. We blinked, took out the dictionary, watched her write what she wanted to say down, she said it again. We looked confused. She put the paper in our dictionary and kind heartedly laughed and told us to have a friend read it for us. Well, that’s what we got from body language anyway.)
It’s been more than a week, so I feel like I got a good one, but my students did warn me to be careful as they are known to explode as well.
I’m dying to dissect one of these, just to look at its innards, but as best as I can tell on the inside is just a metal heating rod that is fed by the electricity. It’s that simple.
I really like using it. We have heat in our bedroom so technically I don’t need it, but like most people my hands will be freezing cold even if the rest of me is warm. Sometimes I’ll heat it up and just leave it next to me warming my hands on it every so often when I need it. I’ve also used it to warm my bed up before I get in. I resisted getting one of these for so long, not really sure why, but I kept seeing so many students sell them I finally caved in and bought one.
When in Roma after all.
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