Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Big Ol' Beijing

Beautiful blue sky Beijing day!  Never thought that I would ever hear those words come out of my mouth.  As I have previously mentioned, the air quality in Beijing is generally hazardous to your health at best - I am not over exaggerating here.  According to the air quality people, anything over 300 ppm of pm2.5 (some particulate matter thing) is hazardous to the health of a healthy person - imagine being young, old, ill, etc - it can be down right deadly.  But today, it was nice and clear and from the office you could see for miles and all I can say is WOW is Beijing ever dense.  I don't know that I had ever really gotten a good sense of how big Beijing truly is.  I mean it is one of the largest cities in the world, with over 20 million people, but with the exception of the subway during rush hour, it never seems that way.  So today I took some time to just stare out the window to get a good sense of how big Beijing really is and then is when I got a good feeling of the density and the sheer volume of high rises - I guess I never had that great of an appreciation for just how many of them there are.  Mind you, this 20 million plus people have to live somewhere. . .

I made the picture extra big so you could start to see how the density.
I also had this realization today, well actually earlier in the week but it was amplified today when I could see how big Beijing is, I really don't know Beijing at all.  Sure, I am becoming quite adept at finding my around in the 5km radius of my hotel and work.  Beyond that, I have really had very little exposure to Beijing and I am not sure that that will change a whole lot. Beijing isn't one of those places where you can just hope on a bus and see where it takes you - mainly b/c bus transit is very slow.  Plus, there is this little thing called a language barrier - at least in The Netherlands, I can kinda make out what words mean and make sense of sign, in China, not so much.  As previously mentioned, my Mandarin skills are non-existent!  I think for now, I will keep to my little radius and continue to explore it and appreciate it - it is filled with quite a lot of parks and green spaces and continue to become more comfortable with it.

1 comment:

JB said...

20,000,000 is a few to many folks for this old cowboy. But on a clear day it is not a bad looking place.