Thursday, March 02, 2006

When there's nothing to talk about we talk about the weather. Woke up on Tuesday to a snow-dusted world, which was a surprise. I thought we had made it beyond that season. By Wednesday morning, there weren't any signs of the stuff. Yesterday and Today were progressively warmer and bright with a clear skies and now it seems like it's really Spring. It's still cold in the shade, but the fine weather is uplifting, if not promising. Also, since Wednesday, I've only had to work half-days for a variety of reasons, which has been nice. I'm feeling particularly luxuriant. Well, not entirely...

The air is quite dry, almost unbearably so, here in Beijing. Touching anything metallic produces that lovely shock of static electricity. Contact, accidental or otherwise, with other people has the same effect. I've never lived in such a charged environment. Aside from the little shocks of fun which occur endlessly, there is another more irritating side effect of this dry atmosphere: dry skin. The skin around my knuckles was actually beginning to tear and bleed! It itches like no tomorrow, and wearing long-johns all day doesn't help matters. I've learned that my ankles are particularly sensitive. At the end of the day, after taking off all of my clothes and letting my skin breathe again, I have to spend a few minutes scratching my ankles. The dry skin mixed with the scratching has less than pleasant results. Another tale of the dark side of Beijing.

One final item: I added this little ClustrMaps object at the end of the column on the left. It marks the tiny image of the world with a small red circle when someone visits the website from some geographical point. I don't haven't very many bells-and-whistles here, but I think I like this one. Check it out in a few days and see from where some others of you are clicking.

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