I had heard about the air quality being bad in Beijing before I came.. But, let me tell you, until you have arrived here – you ain’t seen nothing! For those who know me in China, they will know that it’s what I talk about maybe 50% of the time. The air quality!
Now, I am ‘that guy’ who catches a cold in winter and spring which seems to last FOREVER! But so far, I haven’t been coughing noticeably worse than usual despite this…
Take a look at these two pictures taken from roughly the same angle on different days.
Smoggy day. (I know how much it looks like ‘fog’ – it’s not)
A clear day, after rain.
Notice how some buildings just magically appear in the second picture? The financial district is visible, including the China World Trade Center Tower III (the tallest building in Beijing). Beijing is known as a very dry city as there is hardly any rain here. It has maybe rained on 2 or 3 occasions since I have been here (roughly 6 weeks) and when it does the sky is immediately clear.
Now I don’t mention this because I am sad that my views are semi-permanently non-existant. I mention this, because the ‘fog’ you see in the first picture is actually SMOG. This is filthy air made up of exhaust fumes, factory emissions and other surely toxic particles. Take a look at these screen shots I took using the Beijing air quality app for iPhone! It’s shocking!
Then look what happens after the rain comes..
Straight after the rain stopped I took this screen shot (above) and it’s unbelievable how much cleaner the air feels! In case you don’t know what the numbers mean, look at the official chart below [found here].
The weather today was amazing, but of course this is just after rain. I spent the afternoon at the Olympic Park and walked by the Bird’s Nest National Stadium. It’s such a nice part of Beijing and I love the big the open spaces surrounding it. We didn’t make it as far as the Olympic Park (which was our intended destination), but it was still very nice.
Song for today –
Speak to you again real soon!