Beijing AIRpocalypse and I Was There

This is not a fun I was there and I didn’t take happy snaps. They are OMG snaps and it is being called the airpocalypse.  It has caused me to have a little cough and a heavy chest. The pollution in Beijing this past weekend and into the week has been the worst on record. I don’t know much about air pollution other than it is not good but I do know the US Embassy tracks it and that in the past has makes some a little angry and deemed it illegal (Previous post on illegal tracking).  Here are some of the stats from the weekend on the concentration of the smallest and what I heard the most dangerous air pollution particles, PM2.5. The PM2.5 were at 886 micrograms per cubic meter. This they say is a level 35 times the World Health Organization’s recommended standard. Lets look at it another way, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says an index reading of above 300 is “extremely rare” in the U.S. and generally occurs only during events such as forest fires. That doesn’t sound good at all and led the PRC Gov to tell folks to stay in doors not me I traveled to Beijing.

A downside of living in China is the pollution and this is the worst it has been since I  moved here.  Why can’t it go back to the days where cars with even and odd license plates drove only on designated days, factories and construction halted and trees painted green so photos and videos would have blue sky and look good. Bring those days back and I wouldn’t mind practice queuing days and the ban on spitting and PJ wearing to return either. I could keep PJ wearing in public actually, it is kinda fun. (All things that happened during the Olympics and Expo).

In 2 years of living in China and traveling often, I don’t think I have had a domestic flight ever leave or arrive on time.  I have had them leave hours late and even turn around after being half way to the destination for the “airport was full and not accepting any more planes”. This happens on clear, sunny days. Rainy, snow I get but clear and sunny? Yeah, flying is not fun in China I have learned to not be in a hurry and don’t plan same day anything.  Flying out on Sunday it is under a 2 hour actual flying time but don’t know when I will actually arrive so the day before I need to be there,  Todd tells me that I better check my flights for Beijing is having really bad pollution that is causing troubles for planes. I have never been notified or seen when I checked online, even when I am at the gate where it says my plane is delayed 2 hours to ever see that reflected on the web site. So of course it didn’t say it was delayed off to the airport I go.  With airpocalypse and all in Beijing my flight left only 20 min late (I call that on time!) and landed fine. WTF?!?! Sunny hours delay, visibility concerns, on time. As I scratch my head… and wish I had a face mask. There were so many passengers putting them on when we landed I thought they were passing them out on the airplane. Here are some photos from my week in Beijing I took a photo each day from the same window. My favorite is the 1st one you can see my phone cover it is polka dot.

Day 1 BJ

Day 1

Day 2

Day 2

Day 3 BJ

Day 3

I think I need to get a mask for future.  Glad to see the sun and the pollution in the horizon on day 3 photos where it normally is but I think that is the direction of Shanghai, where the pollution has moved south… where it is now higher than Beijing! Look out Hong Kong you are next!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shelli Browning
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 21:28:19

    I so enjoy your posts and pics. I can’t imagine what Beijing or China must be like in person – I also can’t imagine that dismal, distressing sky. How awful!


  2. Barbara Skibiski
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 23:25:12

    Advice from you cousin
    STOCK UP ON FACE MASKS! Do you want me to go to an army supply store and get you two gas maks?


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