Friday, December 09, 2005

When there's nothing to talk about, there's always the weather. I'm surprised how much it interests me. Perhaps, after years of social programming, I'm coming into my own. After almost one week of clear blue cloudless skies and freezingly windy days, Beijing has returned to it's usual white-out, a hazy slowing fog over everything which seems somehow more appropriate in Winter. If you look straight up, you can almost see the blue. It's a little warmer without the wind. I thought I heard thunder late last night before drifting off to sleep and was hoping for snow this morning, but perhaps it was just another factory explosion somewhere.

Beijing is one of the most polluted cities on the planet. Now, every morning, there is a glistening brittle frost on everything and any bit of water freezes where it lays. The river near our apartment has almost completely frozen over. As usual, people have thrown discarded furniture, appliances and large rocks onto the ice in an attempt to break through the tender still-forming layer. Leafless trees, the black bronchi and bronchioles of the earth, seem to stick up everywhere between houses and apartment mansions. Even if you don't smoke, this city will turn you into a smoker. Who knows what we're breathing? I guess, if you survive here, you can probably survive just about anywhere.

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