Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This Country Has No Spring

Rough Guide and Lonely Planet make a point of telling you that Spring is the best time to visit China (followed closely by the fall), but they neglect to tell you that spring lasts all of two weeks. At the beginning of this month there would be the occasional nice day, but several times I was wearing my jacket indoors during class. For the last week or so, I can't even wear my light spring jacket on the bike ride to class without starting to sweat. The sun is out in full force, and by noon it is quite warm.

This is unfortunate. I like a hot summer better than a freezing winter, but not a whole lot better - I long for the warm (not hot) sun and cool breezes of a New Hampshire (or Chicago) spring, but this is Beijing, the land of unforgiving whether.

The Chinese seem to pay little attention to matters meteorological. In February I was aghast at the men riding bikes with no hat, no gloves, and only a suit jacket (although they might have had long underwear). Today, the only change in their dress is that I'm pretty sure they've ditched the long underwear, if they ever had it at all. Maybe capitalism does make us weak, in which these guys won't be so tough for long.

Fortunately, we've been spared any of the dust storms which stuck regularly during march and april a few years back. I would sorta have liked to see just one, just for the experience, but I suppose I'll get over it.

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