To best appreciate the awesome-but-sadly-apparently-temporary powers of China’s weather gods, you must play this mp3 while reading:
All these photos are from out our kitchen yángtái windows. The blue sky photos are from Oct. 1st; the less-blue ones are from this morning.
When we flew in to Beijing on Sept. 30 we could barely see the terminal from the airplane on account of all the kōngqì wūrǎn (空气污染). But not to worry, in China the They can change the weather. When there’s an important made-for-TV event, They make it rain the night before and… voila!:
That was Oct 1st, the even-more-important-than-the-Olympics 60th anniversary national day military parade. And this next photo was from this morning — apparently They didn’t have any photo-ops scheduled today:
Pollution is measured here in term of “blue sky days” (蓝天). True to form, since reality in China is whatever They say reality is (you really ought to read 1984), “blue sky day” doesn’t actually mean that the sky is blue or clear; it means the official pollution readings are below a certain level, which often is still thick with haze. And never mind that the cut off line for blue sky days is still considered hazardous by the rest of the world’s pollution monitoring scales, or that They don’t even bother measuring the most harmful forms of air pollution particles. In this last photo, you can see the colour starting to change in the top left corner; there were no clouds today, and if you looked straight up, you could actually see some faint blue.
P.S. – I think I’m just about done whining about the pollution, at least for now. Posts on karaoke survival, creative ways to stay connect with family back home, Tianjin’s suspiciously curvacious public statues, free One Child Policy baby accessories, and a racial Disney moment at the English school are all in the works.
Other pollution posts: