Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Cleaning

...or "How I Aggravated My Dust Allergies While I Had a Virus."

I've been sick the past couple of days. Getting sick wasn't terribly surprising. The weather's been rather unpredictable of late, and most of my friends have been sick. If one thing didn't get me, something else was going to. I went to the doctor yesterday and found that I have a virus, so there isn't much I can do but rest and take things for my symptoms. I'm doing alot better today, and I thought that I'd be even better if I got some of the dust from Beijing out of my room. That stuff can't be healthy.

So I got a damp cloth and started wiping down my shelves. After only two, the cloth was almost black. I thought that was terrifying. I rinsed it off in a water basin, and the water turned black. I did some more shelves, and it was digusting. I've cleaned those things so many times. How is this possible? I went and changed the water because it was useless.

After changing the water, I went to open the window to let some "fresh" air in, and circulate the sick air out. My windowsill always has a bit of dust on it, so I decided to take the cloth to it. I don't think I've ever been so repulsed by mere dust. Actually, that's just the thing - this was no mere dust. This was what seemed to be 20 years worth of structural, sentimental dust. There is dust holding up this building. This room was not cleaned for 20 years before I came here. I wiped down the screen of my window, and there were streaks of visibility as I worked.

This wasn't just one wipe and the dust is gone kind of cleaning, either. I kept going back to the windowsill, and more dust kept coming off. I'm going after my windows next, because I bet I'll get about 20% more light in here.

Beijing is really dirty. There is dust flying around everywhere, and lately, there's sand, too. The sandstorms have begun. I had a feeling they were here other day when there were strong winds and more debris than usual in my eyes, but that was confirmed by my Beijing native friend. She said that it was a mild one, though. That's great.

Gas masks can be sent to:

Hillary Demmon
Beijing Language and Culture University
15 Xueyuan Rd
Haidian District, Beijing, PRC 100083


At 6:33 PM, Blogger camilynn said...


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