Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Spring Arrival

According to my reading comprehension teacher, spring has officially arrived in Beijing. The trees are flowering, the little patches of grass that there are have grown back and are green, and the birds of prey are flying around again. These reasons, however, have nothing to do with why my teacher made her declaration. The sandstorms have arrived.

campus in spring

The color in this photo is not wrong. This is what it looks like outside. The ground is covered with sand. When I went outside yesterday morning to head to class, I was disoriented by the overpowering amount of yellow I saw everywhere. I didn't know what had happened, but in my still sleepy state, I figured that it had just rained dirt the night before. That may sound strange to you, but I've come to not be shocked by strange things in Beijing now. If it had rained dirt, I probably would have just accepted it.


There's a good covering of sand on almost every surface outside. Getting on a bicycle that didn't have the seat covered with a plastic bag before the sandstorm can't be too fun right now.

Beijing is probably in the most ridiculous location for a city that I can think of. Okay, well, that's not fair. There's always Atlantis. All day today, I've been expecting to see tumbleweeds coming down the street. The outside brooms of Beijing are probably the closest thing I'm going to get, though. The brooms are huge and constructed of a bunch of tiny sticks tied together. The workers around campus used them to sweep leaves into piles during autumn. Now, however, they've decided to sweep the sand about. That, of course, has resulted in even more sand in the air, and parades of gagging students before and after class.

spring survival gear

I have this solution - sunglasses and a surgical/sick mask. I hope this makes it so I can see and breathe with a little more ease. I'm even coughing in my room because the air seals on my windows are nonexistent, and the sand has come in here. There is no escaping it.


At 2:33 AM, Blogger Disenchanted Dave said...

That's nuts. I posted about this on my own blog, along with a Xinhua article on the storms. Try not to choke


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