This post is about pollution in Shijiazhuang. I take a leisurely walk around town and wonder where all that dust might come from.
I stayed in the city today. In “civilization”, as someone had 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 big fat car like this has got to be for show. So why would anybody want to 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 inner city air. Here in the north of China there’s a thick layer of dust covering up the whole place all the time.
I used to think that this was because of all the heavy industry and the old cars on the streets. Or maybe because of the wide use of coal ovens and very likely also because of the massive amounts of BBQ vendors everywhere. But I found it very much the same in the countryside: there was virtually nothing going on – but the dust was still there!
I think that a big part of the problem might be 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 a bustling atmosphere to it:
I aimlessly walked around town, turned my head after all the fine women everywhere, sat down in a café and had some Italian food, spent a little money on a tripod…
In short: I pampered myself.
Here’s the tripod shot:
One of the tall buildings is my hotel, and it’s full of sex workers.
I was initially reluctant to take one along (a tripod, not a sex worker), because I was afraid of the additional weight. But now I got a small one that only cost me about 60 rmb – if it turns out to be too heavy, then I’ll just give it to someone on the way.
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, I guess.
I’ll leave civilization tomorrow.