Friday, July 31, 2009

Beijing's Summer Storms

1 out of 500

It took me more than 500 frames to capture this one bolt of lightning - my very first, at last! With the naked eye one can see plenty of lightning, but getting it on camera is another story. Storms these days and nights are a frequent occurrence, and one might think - and hope -that afterward there would be fresher, cleaner air with plenty of sunshine. Sadly, these past few weeks, even the worst storms with heavy winds and rains, there appears to be no easy (man-made) fix to the notorious Beijing smog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chaoyang Park Pool

Have ticket, can enter

Chaoyang Park gate

Seemingly a hot day, but without any discernible sun due to the clouds - dare I say smog - it was a pleasant afternoon at this 50m outdoor pool. 90% of the people were just splashing about, even in the lanes designated for laps. The 18RMB (roughly C$2.50) price for 2 hours of swim time also included the admission charge to this rather large, lush park.

No helmets! Yay?

In front of the Canadian embassy at Dongzhimen-wai Road.
Note: I was on a similar bendy-bus when taking this shot.

Motorcycles with sidecars are all the rage with expats in Beijing. You'd be hard-pressed not to see at least one while out the streets in the embassy district of Sanlitun, night or day. Helmets are optional for drivers and their passengers. Of the 74,000 road deaths in China last year, one wonders how many of those needlessly died young.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sun setting on a blue-sky day

It's hard not to feel that talking up the improved air quality, as defined in Beijing by the number blue sky days it gets, so much recently somehow jinxed our fine fortune of wonderful weather. Even the recent rains - natural or induced - can't seem to clear the clouds (aka smog) away. At least sunblock is no longer required during time off lounging at the poolside.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

This gets me back to blogging...

China's Great Fire Wall has not blocked Facebook.
Sad news for all but the elite CPC members and the wealthy ones here who don't have to bother with the rules ordinary citizens have to endure.
Then there are folks like me who can just find a VPN to get around it all.
But seriously, it's time to study Mandarin in a better place than this.