Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Beijing is well into Spring now. The city has been turning greener, coming to life with blossoming flowers and trees. The streets are filled, and people are beginning to eat again on the sidewalks in the neighborhood. It would be quite beautiful if it weren't for the constant whiteout, my new term to describe the weather condition here, resting upon the city even when the wind blows. It's not cold, but with the fluff of cottonwood trees wafting throughout the city, it feels like a surreal, slow-motion blizzard.

I tried to find out some information about the air quality here by going to the website for the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, but the English link wasn't working. I'm suspicious, but I don't want to be paranoid. The best information I could find was more than one week old. The weather report at China Daily only revealed the temperature.

Unfortunately, we're also sadly lacking a good clean rain to rinse the city, as well as the air. I thought we would get what we were waiting for last night when a low growling thunder rumbled and lightning flashed across the sky, drawing people to their windows to look outside. It started to rain, but nothing much came of it as it didn't rain very hard or for very long.

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