The weather in Beijing is not normal. I assume it has something to do with the copious amounts of polluting emissions this city chugs into the atmosphere each day. Just two days ago it felt like we were in the full flow of spring; the birds were chirping, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. All the little corner stores had begun to put out their freezers full of Ice Cream and had actually begun to turn their drinks fridges back on* after the long, dry, cold winter that we’ve seen this year.
So, yesterday I was looking forward to another beautiful sunny day, but instead I was greeted by bastarding snow. And not normal snow, no, but actual dirt in snow form. It was seriously snowing dirt. Without getting too scientific on you, all of the dust and muck in the sky was caught/absorbed by the falling snow and brought down in the first couple of hours, meaning if you were out in it then you ended up smeared with muddy dust juice from the sky. I don’t mean to sound like the Grinch, as I do like snow, I just don’t like it when a) it’s full of MUD and b) comes down after I’d thought the long and brutal winter had finished. IT WAS HOT TWO DAYS AGO!
There are positives to this I guess; after the snow has finished falling, it clears the sky for a day or two (genuine cause for celebration in the ‘Jing)! Another nice thing about snow here is the way people deal with it. In the UK if a single snowflake falls then the rail systems grind to a halt, buses stop, school children get the day off and you have to wait and pray that the gritter comes by your neighbourhood to salt the road. When it snows in Beijing, transport (unless it’s SERIOUS snow) remains unaffected. Also, people will get up extra early, get out their shovels and spades and get to work clearing the roads and pavements. Given that my capital city is London, seeing something other than mistrust and dislike amongst strangers within a big city is not something I’m used to!
Well, anyway, at least it’s warm enough that the snow will melt in a couple of days, plus it does look quite nice. In the winter it sits on the ground for a couple of months and goes black with the pollution. Mmmm!
*If you ask for a refrigerated drink between October and March people think you’re crazy. The thought process being “It’s so cold, why do you want a cold drink?”
Warm beer anyone?