When China’s air pollution confuses my preschool students

Sure, we cry too much about the air pollution. But this one’s darkly humourous, I promise.

I routinely ask the oldest classes, “How’s the weather?” while pointing out the windows. And they automatically take a glance and usually reply, “IT’S SUNNY!!!” (“Sunny” is their favourite. But they can do cloudy, raining, windy, snowing, hot, and cold, too.)

So today I ask them. They glance out the windows. “IT’S…” A couple weak “sunny”s peter out among the 30 students. They can’t tell if it’s sunny or cloudy.

Because even though it’s bright outside, THEY CAN’T SEE THE BLOOMIN’ SKY. There are no clouds, but it’s all grey, and where’s the sun?

Later I check, and every air quality monitoring station in the city is maxed out at 500:

Below 50 is “good”. At 100 we close all our windows and turn on all the DIY home air purifiers. At 300 the preschool cancels all its outdoor activities.

At 500… AIRPOCALYPSE! ;)

Pigeons over Qingdao

From a popular path on Fushan, one of Qingdao’s local mountains.
qingdao_pigeons

Qingdao, from half-way up Fushan

Half-way up one of the many paths on Qingdao’s Fushan mountain.
Qingdao_Fushan_hike
We do this hike with our 4-year-old, but it’s tricky in spots. The dirt roads are actually really slippery and steep in places, and that makes it tedious (and a little dangerous) for the little people.

Graves on Fushan, Qingdao, China

Our friends were recently apartment shopping. All the best deals were near this local mountain. But the husband’s father wouldn’t let them buy near the mountain because it’s covered in graves.
qingdaofushangrave
In addition to the thousands of graves sprinkled all over the mountain, the local authorities have created a formal graveyard and erected communal areas for burning paper offerings to the ancestors, rather than have every family burn paper at each grave on the mountain. We pass multiple fire hazard signs every time we hike here. Tomb Sweeping Festival is next weekend.

Similar: A Fushan grave, one week after Tomb-Sweeping Day

Spring blossoms, Fushan, Qingdao, China

From our first local hike of 2016:
springblossoms_fushan)qingdao

Chinese market millers

Several truck bed millers are regular features of Qingdao’s Licun traditional market.
Chinese_market_millers2
Chinese_market_millers1

City sidewalk chestnuts

sidewalk_chestnuts