As it turned out it was not morning fog that reduced the visibility this morning it was the choking pollution. Peking is currently suffering the worst smog since July. Wonderful!
The Meterological Agency has raised their alert from yellow to orange on Thursday. Just short of “red”! Uzhas! No more outdoor activities for schools and children’s hospitals are on standby for a peak in respiratory problems! People with asthma or bronchitis are advised to stay at home.
That’s absolutely perfect for my stay! But I would not have needed that information as my reliable chronic bronchial asthma has induced me to return to the hotel earlier today after three hours on the streets.
The good news is that there is hope that a strong wind during the coming night will blow the dirt away. We will see.
I also had a coffee earlier with a young lady who suggested to show me the Great Wall tomorrow with her car. I was not entirely convinced that she was going to do that out of the goodness of her heart. Just a gut feeling. Beijing is full of people trying to rip off foreigners with the most ingenious schemes I have been reading in my German “Culture Shock” guide.
I have instead decided to book an excursion to the Great Wall with a professional tour operator. It will be a day trip tomorrow (the wall is only about 80km away) because we will also visit some Ming tombs, the Olympic stadium and one or two factory outlets where they will offer us great shopping bargains Hehe.
When I just saw this window cleaner on the neighbour building I was strongly reminded of our “alpinisti” in Sofia that repair and clean facades in much the same way. Unthinkable in Germany these days!