winter = heating = air pollution

The air pollution and the mask days have arrived. First week of October was the National Holiday week, called “Golden Week”. The whole country is off from work, well, kind of. All offices, at least. While the first days had been very beautiful and sunny, the second half of the week was awfully polluted.

When the AQ Index is over 400, you just think “what the hell of a grey something am I getting into my lungs here?”…My friend Doris gave me a mask.  1525130_10153769117988755_8326885364148661808_nHer sister had sent her a whole box from Taiwan. In the streets of Beijing you can see all sorts of masks. Some look really professional – these are the foreigners. Some look stylish – these are the cool young Chinese generation. And some Chinese have simple, absolutely not useful hospital nurse masks. But mostly what is surprising me: you do not see a lot of people wearing masks at all. Only a handful. I definitely expected to see more of them. I’m not sure if people are not aware. Or if they simply do not care. It’s true that it is really weird to wear such a mask. You feel like if you are in a science fiction movie, somehow. It’s not comfortable to wear it. it’s getting hot, the elastic is pinching your ears. And of course, it looks awful. I’ve been wearing my mask a few times, but not doggedly.

Since 2 weeks now my heating is on. It was my lucky day, this specific 12187755_10153824682853755_5002596525684910965_nFriday, November 6: my shipment from Canada had arrived (and I had NOT to pay for any taxes in the end!! YAY!), it snowed that morning, and my heating started! 🙂

By now, all heating is on, all over the city. And finally, we are having it warm in the office during the day – it has been strange sitting at your desk with your winter jacket on.

But with the heating, as I was told, the pollution becomes heavy. One morning AQI was just below 200 = “bad, but not really bad”. I put the mask on because I said to myself that it’s good to get more used to it. I think it works: in total, I was wearing it now for maybe 7 or 8 times… it seems that you can even get used to this part of life. How beautifully adaptable human beings can be! 😉

Last week was bad once again, for a couple of days: AQI over 400. I’m thinking about buying a second air purifier for my apartment. And a real professional mask, with a filter that you exchange regularly. Just basic stuff here. It’s alright.

Keep breathing, you all! 🙂

…more soon!



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