Beijing – the downsides

Living in Beijing is not just sight seeing, unicorns and good food: After waking up in the morning first thing I do is making myself a coffee. As I love reading about what is going on in the world while I enjoy my coffee I usually check the news. To get a full on idea what’s going on I need to peak though the Great Wall of China that is not always easy. Most of the time the software-ladder to overcome the obstacle to have a look on German and English news is working. Some days it doesn’t and so I just have a coffee. However, my app showing the air quality always works – it mercilessly states the air quality on the air quality index (AQI). Up to 50 AQI it is considered healthy and therefore colored in green. I rarely see that color. I am happy when it is just orange. From 150 onwards the color of my app turns red and I better don’t workout outside anymore. Some days the color shows a deep purple and these are the days when I wish I would live somewhere else. Living in Beijing you get a whole different feeling and appreciation of clean air. Whenever the AQI is between 0 and about 120, nothing can hold me back and I spend as much time as possible outside running or walking. But when winter hits and the city needs heating it gets real bad. Bad air affects the body: My throat is sore, I feel drowsiness, I got headaches and in general it feels like a numb hang over. A game changer, at least for home, is an air purifier that runs day and night. But when going outside, at work, in public, I am exposed. It affects my well-being and my life-quality. 

Alright, as a teacher it is quite natural to google for news and interesting learning material for my students. Also, to show interesting YouTube clips. As it is all censored you either have to shrug your shoulders and go along with it or find your way around that. Use a ladder to peak over, right?

Living here takes effort – it is tiny things, but also big issues. It is challenging and very different to what I’m used to. It effects many ways and is a huge experience and important lesson I am grateful for. To be continued. 

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