I wanted to post a small photo gallery of some of our Saturday walks in Beijing. But since APEC is over, not just the smog came back, but also the Internet is more crippled than before. There has been a lot of cynical talk about Beijing being able to clean up its mess for the international conference, but not for its own people. But I think this was a very interesting experiment, determining how much industrial production, traffic reduction and economic activity actually has to be shut down or switched to something else to make Beijing healthy again. At least we have a data point now. Getting 50 % of cars of the road, is one of them. Closing more than 2000 factories is another one. Good to get a feeling for the magnitude. This needs more than just a few filters in chimneys and another subway line. It means a whole structural change, not just of Beijing, but also in the wider surroundings. And another datapoint we have, is to see how nice Beijing could be. When I had lunch with a friend last week, he named Beijing “The World’s Worst Paradise”. Compared with other cities, I agree.
As of Internet, a few days ago my VPN account expired and won’t expand its service only for a few days more until I leave. The the upgrade of my MacBook’s operating system seems not to be very helpful either. So, I don’t exactly know what cases the problem. Luckily, my website can receive mailed in posts, which do not require me to log on the system itself. That makes it easy to publish, as long as I can send e-mail. But the features are a bit limited. So, I don’t know what you see, until I have a chance to open my website myself again.
All I attach for now, is a photo of the small bridge in my favorite Beijing Park, The Temple of The Earth. More will follow, after we crossed the Great Chinese Internet Wall. I have seen this bridge many times and in different seasons, also with lush grass and bright flowers around. This time it is having the atmosphere of cut flowers after you had them for a week. Don’t want to let them go, but happily looking forward to go to the flower market again and get some new ones. That’s the mood I am in looking at the whole city these days. Time to leave in a few days from now.