I haven’t written about daily life here in awhile. This week we have been wearing our masks quite a bit. The one I sport is a stylish design with our school logo, made by Vogmask. Purchased through the school for a mere 120 RMB or $20. It is a fabric design which is washable. The girls and I find these masks to be the most comfortable, and we were able to find it in a size that fit Hollis, which was imperative! This week, we have had to wear our masks on the walk to school in the mornings. Usually, by noon, the air is good enough to go “sans mask”. I am shocked by how few people I see wearing their masks. I prefer to filter the air I’m breathing into my lungs! Of course, the air has only been in the 200’s in the morning, maybe most people wear the masks when its higher into the “dangerous” range. Who knows? Ignorance is Bliss, I suppose. When the air is really bad, you can smell it.
Another concern that I heard horror stories about prior to moving here was “getting a proper western hair cut and color”. Well, after nearly ten weeks since my last cut in the US, I decided to take the plunge. I’m quite happy with my “do”, which was done by Simon, a Brit expat in my clubhouse salon! He grew up in southwestern England and somehow made his way here to Beijing. He’s a gray-haired, Harley-Davidson tee sporting gentleman. Never had a cut from such a chap before, but I think he did a fab job! I did not color it yet…that will be next week.
One thing that I really miss about the US are government regulations. (Oh, also traffic guidelines. Here, there are none.) Eco-friendly everything. I walk down the street and painters are painting the speed bumps. The fumes are so strong you can smell it 20 feet away. The same goes for wall paint. I walked by the apartment building and painters were working in one unit with the windows open. I was 35 feet away and smelled the fumes. Ugh. I AM happy to report that the school recycles. Prior to school starting, the ayi would take the recycling and turn it in for cash. Now, the girls take the recycling to school and sort it into the bins. The school can get the cash, which they use for the “greening” of the school. I am optimistic about Beijing’s recycling program. I would love to follow the recycling process to see what happens to all those items.
Yesterday we got our Sea Shipment of Household Goods. Yay!! Sixty boxes delivered, most of them unpacked, and removed by four men in an hour and a half. Now that is efficiency that you don’t get in the US! They would have unpacked all of them for me, but I requested to handle the last six or so by myself. (Note: don’t bother bringing any appliances to China. Now I need to buy adaptors!) Our house is starting to feel like a home now. Once I get the pictures on the walls, we will be all settled! We all have bikes and helmets, so we are independently mobile. Sophie rode her bike to school this morning. She was thrilled! I have a little child seat on the back of my bike, but one tire needs air or replacement. For now, Hollis likes to run to school in the morning.
What else can I tell you? The air is getting cooler in the mornings…this week it was in the 60’s-80’s. Next week, it will be in the 50’s-70’s. Speaking of weather, I should mention the thunderstorms here. The sound of thunder is different. Its lower, more like a truck than what we heard in NC. I don’t know if that is because of the mountains, or the desert?? Rain is good. It clears out the bad air. So as it rains and rumbles tonight, I’m hopeful for good clean air and blue skies tomorrow.