A rainy day in Sydney is very much alive with colour and sound and beautiful clouds. There is the sound of rain and of wind, trees twisting in the wind, lightning arcing across the sky, the loud colours of living plants highlighted in the glistening wet. Not to mention the scent of damp earth, and eucalytpus. How can anyone not love all that?
I was particularly looking forward to two things: 1) my mum’s cooking, and 2) the colder weather. I also caught up with a few friends and worked on my book. Over 400 people have now completed my survey – people from over 60 passport countries, who have lived in over 130 different countries/territories.
After ten years living in the thick air of Beijing, I still remember not only what smog looks like, but what it FEELS like. There are physical consequences to breathing smog (which I suspect has affected my health more than I care to know), but there is also an emotional impact to living in a darkened world.
I love the sound of rain on a tin roof. It’s like music made by nature and humans working together. I just let the sound of the rain wash over me. Having lived most of my life in semi-dry climates rain always seems special to me.
China welcomed me back with the smell of pollution, as always, and just one day in I could feel the changes in my sinuses and my breathing. Also, I kept wanting to say the Khmer word for thank you. I have never defaulted to Khmer before!
After 9 years the weather in China still surprises me. At least I’m no longer surprised being surprised. My first few years I was constantly shocked by how quickly the weather changed. The temperature, but also the light.
While I’ve already written about the bad air in Beijing lately, I compared the air quality I recorded in Oct/Nov ’12 with January’s air. I am thankful for my air purifier, but horrified by how this must be affecting an entire generation of Chinese.