after a week, i returned to chengdu, to begin work.
the state department measures the quantity of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and suspended particulate matter in the air at its china missions and publishes an air quality index daily. for most of the time i was in chengdu, the air was rated “unhealthy,” with index values over 150 and particulate matter concentrations of 50 μg/m3. (as of the date that i’m writing this, the aqi in chengdu is 186; by comparison, the new york city region’s aqi is 38.) i was warned off exercising outside, but even just walking to work each day, i felt a slight burning in the back of my throat. i got used to the sensation fairly quickly and forgot about it, which was a good thing, or it wasn’t, depending on how you look at it.
of course, when you live with this kind of air day to day, you get used to it and don’t let it hold you back. i saw lots of people enjoying the outdoors, particularly at night.
|mahjong under the 2nd ring road overpass||public personal grooming|
|swing dancing in front of the mall||picnicking and ballet further up the street|
next: something about food