Beijing has for the last two weeks, up until the weekend that just passed, been experiencing a special phenomenon – great blue skies day after day. Of course, blue sky days by themselves are not rare, but the fact they’ve happened for several days straight at a time and with the skies being really blue has made even experienced Beijing expats gush with delight. The reasons for this are unclear, there’ve been some rain in the past few weeks, though not like Shanghai thank goodness, and some wind. Also, the authorities have closed down coal plants and factories this year while banning smoking and outdoor BBQ vendors, not that these last two contributed much to the smog. The continuing economic slowdown might be a factor too such as factories and steel plants reducing production, though this is only a guess.
Unfortunately I will not be able to benefit from this good weather in the summer. I’d originally planned on doing some traveling in China in July and August, but I recently aggravated my foot, which I’d previously had surgery on at the start of this year, and the pain plus a doctor’s visit has made it clear I shouldn’t even be walking around too much, much less hiking. I will be leaving Beijing a bit sooner than I planned, though I will not be too sad.