It's been over 10 moths since I first set foot on Chinese soil and a lot has happened. I want to post things in a more timely order so I thing firstly I just want to talk a little about living in China generally.
I am honest with you. I had no clue about China before I came here. I read a couple of books, took some simple language lessons, applied for the Visa and here I am. I imagined a country where you see thousands of day workers everywhere, everything a bit run down and then those shiny new bits in between, lots of communistic relics and generally just millions of people. Turns out I was right and wrong at the same time.
When I first got out of the airport and into the cab the first thing I noticed was the pollution... it was just grey everywhere. Not just ON everything but the air was thick with grey mist... and I thought: great. And this is where I will be staying for the next 6 months...
The pollution is definitely one of the worst things about China... you can smell it, you can feel it on your skin, it makes you cough on bad days. The foreigners in BJ tend to check the AQI (Air Quality Index) every day to see if you should wear a mask or not, the vast Chinese population seems to be either indifferent or unaware of the effects on your health and usually doesn't wear any masks - some thin cloth ones if any. But before you get horror scenarios in your mind it is really not THAT bad... it's annoying mostly. So if it gets into the "unhealthy" charts, around 100 maybe, I wear a mask. And I look a bit like Bane sans the bulky boldness.