Monday, September 7, 2015

Impressions of China

China changed a lot more since our last visit there - more tall buildings, more cars, more apartment owners .... there were also a few ordinary things that drew my attentions.

Public Places free of litters

I was not consciously aware of it until we visited Jiu  Zai Gou  -  I was really amazed by the fact that the park was almost free of litters. What made this possible was that there was one custodian assigned to take care a section of a trail - who would patrol the section and pick up occasional litter to keep his/her section clean. I had similar observations in the streets of two cities we visited during our summer trip to China - Beijing and Du Jiang Yan. In addition to education, I guess that clean street/park make people refrain from littering.

Few Bicycles

Biking was a primary mean of transportation for many Chinese people. But I did not see any bikes along the main streets in Beijing this time. I saw few bikes even on the side streets. Bikes were replaced by cars - which is an indication of advancement in material consumption but it sends the environment back many years.

We planed to have a half day bike tour of downtown Beijing near forbidden palace. We canceled this plan after observing the crowded streets, reckless drivings of many drivers and few bikers who brave the streets of Beijing.

Cars and polluted air make biking in Beijing dangerous now.

Reckless Drivers

Many streets in Beijing, especially those close to Tianmen Square, the two way traffic are divided by metal fences. At roadways when there are no such fences, even minor build-up of traffic will cause some drivers to drive in the wrong side of the roads!

fences to divide traffic, and to prevent pedestrians walking into roadway 

Fence divided a two way traffic but 1 lane was used two lanes

Polluted Air

The air pollution in Beijing seemed to get worse.

I was impressed by the trees along many streets in Beijing. However I could barely see any trees along the streets to have leaves with their true colors - they were covered by dust or soot!

The sky is grey on a sunny day, any thing of some distance is always behind a haze, even right after rain.

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