I stayed in the city today. “Civilization”, as someone put it.
But first, I opened another door in my advent calendar:
5 doors open, 5 pieces of chocolate eaten, 19 to go – and then it’s CHRISTMAS!
In the early afternoon I went out for lunch and stepped right into this scene:
Now you’d think that a car like this has got to be for show – and you wonder why anybody would cover it up in front of a hotel?
The answer lies here: SHIJIAZHUANG IS ONE OF THE MOST POLLUTED CITIES IN CHINA AND ON THE PLANET.
Germans get hysterical when they discover micro-particles in their fresh, clean inner city air, and here there’s a thick layer of dust covering up the whole place. What’s the deal, can’t they get rid of it?
Well, I used to think that this was because of all the heavy industry and the old cars over here, maybe because of the wide use of coal heating and very likely also because of the massive amounts of BBQ street vendors everywhere – but I found it very much the same in the countryside: there is virtually nothing going on – but the dust is still there!
I think that the biggest part of the problem is the desertification of the land: The wind blows loose soil all over this part of the country and right into our respiratory tracts. And no immediate solution is at hand.
That being said, I thought Shijiazhuang was a nice place with quite a bustling atmosphere to it:
I just kind of ran around town, turned my head after all the fine girls everywhere, sat down in a café and had some Western food, spent a little money on a tripod… – I pampered myself.
Here’s the tripod shot, one of the tall buildings is my hotel (full of hookers by the way):
I was reluctant to take one along (a tripod, not a hooker), because I was afraid of the additional weight, but now I got a little one that only cost me 60rmb – if it’s too heavy, then I’ll just give it to someone on the way. Wonder what a farmer is gonna do with my tripod? I don’t know either.
Tomorrow is Saint Nicholas Day in Germany: The younglings are supposed to put their shoes outside their rooms, so St. Nick can come fill them up with sweet stuff.
No use putting out my big smelly boots here, though, I reckon…
I’ll leave civilization tomorrow.