Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ode to the Wind

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

                              From "Ode to the West Wind"
                              by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822

O wild North Wind, thou breath of sweeping clean
Thou, from whose unseen presence the pollution particles
Are driven, like ghosts, in the morning to not be seen

                              Ode to the Wind, Beijing 2015

This is what pollution looked like for the last three days.

On Tuesday, pollution is literally off the charts again. We didn't see the sun that day. Just a grey and later eerie brown-yellow sky.

Everyone stays inside. Our village becomes a ghost town. In the evening, Thomas' soccer team even discusses canceling its indoor training because of the high pollution levels in the gym. (Outdoor trainings are automatically cancelled with these pollution levels).

And then, in the night, came the magic North Wind! This photo is from this morning: We have a sunrise! Seeing a bit of red in the distance is always the best sign for a new day in Beijing.
Thank you, O Thou North Wind!

In het Nederlands: In plaats van over het weer en de regen gaat de conversatie in Beijing vaak over de vervuiling. Is het vervuild? Hoeveel? Gaat het snel waaien of regenen? De vervuiling komt natuurlijk door alle emissies (van fabrieken, auto's, steenkoolcentrales, en ook alle kleine kacheltjes in de winter), maar heeft ook veel te maken met de weerspatronen. 

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