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Archive for November, 2010

It’s official – I knew it before I arrived, but now I now it for sure: there will be no running outside in Beijing (at least not for extended periods of time). The pollution is worse than it was last time I lived here five years ago; or about the same. Honestly, it’s hard to tell. I remember getting really sick last time and not being able to see any blue sky. During the fall, there’s some blue sky, but the air smells like chemicals most the time, and yesterday the smog rolled in very thick and grey, resulting in shortened walks and more buses, subways, and cabs. I have already started coughing/hacking (which everyone here seems to accept as “part of life” – COME ON, people! this is NOT normal!!!).

The only good thing to come out of this pollution is that I’ve decided to research and write something about pollution and outdoor sports. Frankly, I find it to be a hinderance to athletes and athletic programs if their athletes lack endurance capabilities due to health. If not that, then it definitely hinders the ability to invite non-Beijing teams to the city for outdoor competitions — if one is not used to this pollution it could pose some serious issues for playing one’s best. I wouldn’t come here for a marathon even if someone paid me to do so; I think I’d start hacking around mile 5.

In other news, I’m staying with a colleague from back in the states who is also a vegetarian and we have visited and/or ordered some interesting foods over the last few days. His new roommate is a vegan from Australia. I will post some more on restaurants when I get a chance, but I have to say I’m feeling better about this situation than before, even if the food isn’t quite as good as what I just came from.

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