Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It Doesn't Smell Like Chinatown

I know, I know, I am a little behind on my blogs about China - my apologies.  In fact, I have found a bunch of draft blogs saved in various places that I need to/will post.  You know the one thing that I noticed about China is that it didn't smell like Chinatown.   It seems as though it doesn't matter which Chinatown I have ever been in - Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, The Hague, Chinatown has that smell and China didn't smell that way at all.  For a bit I thought that it might be because of the pollution - you could definitely smell that, but I think what it is is that Beijing is so big and there weren't a bunch of markets all squished into 4 square blocks all selling food stuff.

And speaking of pollution, the pollution was beyond the "hazardous" level for most of the days that I was there.  The measure something called PM2.5 (particulate matter 2.5) and normally in a city like Calgary it is something probably under 10?  In Beijing, it was consistently over 400 while I was there, with the exception of one day when it seemed to blow out over night.  What surprises me is that trees and flowers and the like all seem to grown regardless of the pollution - I guess they have adapted, just as the people have.  I was given a face mask when I first got there - no, I didn't wear it except to take some pictures of me with it on, but I also limited my exposure outside.  You did see a fair bit of people wearing them and you can also get them all blinged out.  Mine, unfortunately looked like a standard home improvements type of mask.  I can say that by the end of the week though that my lungs were sore - it almost felt like I was just getting over a cold and they were kinda phlegmy.

So that is that on pollution and China.  I am going back shortly and it will be interesting to 1) see how the trees and the grass are and 2) see I'd the pollution is as bad in the spring.

1 comment:

JB said...

One advantage to the Dogpounds, neither has any pollution so the air is always clear, although once in a while down south we get a whiff of the dairy down the road, but that just smells like money to an old farm boy.