living large in the dust

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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:

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:

dusty city

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:

Shijiazhuang

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:

East City Square

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.



  • Anand-Gua

    Happy Saint Nicholas Day !Although your shoes are too big,you will get enough happiness to make them full!

    Reply

  • joerg

    vielleicht kannst du dann besser schlafen, wenn du deine big smelly boots vor der tür lässt 😉

    Reply

  • Ghostie

    Happy tripod-ing….don't suck in too much of that nasty air!

    Reply

  • Hailey

    Your site is too cool! I will keep you in my prayers and stay away from those hookers! Haha.

    Reply

  • Marvin

    It sounds like they need to borrow some good ol Kansas wind to clear the air.

    Reply

  • Christoph

    Ananda-Gua: Hope you'll be happy too, how's your writing going?
    joerg: Immer einen Spruch auf Lager, was?
    Ghostie: It's everywhere, the nasty air…
    Hailey: HAILEY!! Wow, it's you! 🙂 Long time no see how have you been?
    Marvin: I tried breaking my own winds to clear up the air but it didn't help!

    Reply

  • Hailey

    Yes it is me!! I was wondering if you would remember me 🙂 I'm great, getting ready to graduate from college in May — but that's nothing compared to your journey! You should swim over here to come see us! Haha.

    Reply

  • Anand-Gua

    I have finished more than 80,000 characters,only yesterday I finished about 3,000!

    Reply

  • Christoph

    Hailey: Of course I remember! 🙂 I'm going to challenge you to a game of disco-bowling when I come to see you guys next time!
    Ananda-Gua: Looks like we are both doing similar things. I am advancing with my feet, you are advancing with your pen! What are you writing about anyway?

    Reply

  • Anand-Gua

    My writing is about "Madness in the Chinese literature of 20th".It is too difficult to me,I don't have enough confidence .In fact ,my teacher doesn't support me,after made a call with him yesterday,I was very depressed .

    Reply

  • Christoph

    You have to believe in yourself!
    You are so smart and educated, there isn't going to be a single little problem with this paper!

    Reply

  • Anand-Gua

    Thank you for your encourage!I will try my best to finish it as soon as possible.

    Reply

  • Christoph

    加油!!!

    Reply

  • nameless

    last night you complained about a cold room
    today you talked about pollution
    Do you see the problem?

    Reply

  • Christoph

    nameless: Yep. A very good point.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    This dust is mostly because of the Gobi, I think. I read somewhere, that they are planting lots of trees somewhere over there to prevent the dust going eastward. It even reaches Korea over the sea in late spring! While I was living close to Seoul and went for 11 days of trip in the beginning of May, after comming back I've found sth like 2mm of dust over everything in my room!

    Reply

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