So airpocalypse continues... just when we thought we couldn't take another second of this, we woke up on Friday morning to a beautiful blue sky. Whew. I enjoyed the view from our offices on the 28th floor, I saw a sunset, life was good (and plus we had a great pre-Super Bowl event at the Beijing American Center with Reggie Bush (!), former players Jack Brewer and Akin Ayodele, and several Pro Bowl cheerleaders--very fun. It was incredibly awesome of the NFL to make time in their schedules to send them to the BAC).
Then yesterday the sky was... not blue. But it wasn't too bad--the air was only in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" range, which for Beijing lately is kind of a coup. I knew it was time to get out.
In the afternoon, we hopped in a cab heading to the Houhai area to check out the ice skating. Not to actually ice skate, but to, you know, look at it. I forgot my camera, but I wish I had caught the chihuahua walking on the ice in booties. It didn't look particularly thrilled about this turn of events.
We gave up walking there pretty quickly since people kept harassing us about taking rickshaws. So we turned toward the Drum Tower and walked up to Zajia Bar, hoping for an afternoon drink in the hutongs. Oops, they didn't open until 5pm. We wandered aimlessly through some hutongs (my favorite type of Beijing wandering) before settling down in Beiluo Bread Bar on Beiluoguxiang (thankfully much quieter than its southern sister) for beer, coffee, bread, and pasta. We ended up hanging out there and reading, and it was all around lovely.
Later that evening, we strolled over to Cafe Sambal to meet a friend for Malaysian food. The place was lovely and the food very good.
But by the time we left, the air was even worse. And today we woke up to muck (which was partly due to snow falling--but it wasn't just fog, sadly, as the Air Quality Index indicates it's been "very unhealthy" for most of the day).
I am not sure how many more of these days we can take. Five more months at post, and we like this city when it's nice out. But this month has been a trial.