I flew back into Beijing last night after a couple of weeks in Minnesota. My scheduled NWA flight from Tokyo was cancelled, but fortunately, they (NWA) just re-booked me on a JAL flight scheduled at the same time. As soon as the plane descended through the acid fog and landed we all knew we were back in Beijing by the smell in the air–the smell of acrid coal dust. Ugh. It wasn’t much better today. Even inside my apartment it was so bad that I kept thinking something was burning (other than my eyes that is). Enough is enough. This afternoon I went out and bought an air purifier. I don’t know if it really does clean the air and make a difference, but it does seem to have dissipated the smell of the bad air, if not actually cleaned it. There were lots of folks in the Suning Electrical Appliances store this afternoon buying air purifiers. And it struck me that it was somewhat of a vicious cycle. The air is bad, so we buy more machines to clean it, and those machines take up lots more electricity, which uses more coal to produce, which causes the bad air. Sigh. Oh, and they had a special promotion today—buy an air purifier and get a jar of fabric softener free!!
Purified Air. Soft Clothes! Happy New Year!