back, and tired

March 23rd, 2008

We’re back in Beijing.

I’ll tell you one thing: One way to guarantee you don’t get a good night’s sleep is to share a kang with people who have been getting up literally at the crack of dawn, or even earlier, for their entire lives.

It doesn’t help when you wake up at 4:30 and can’t get back to sleep….

Anyway, we’re back.

Same old story: Whatever means of getting back into the county town- preferably a miandi running the bus route, because that’s only two kuai each and will stop right at the bus station, whereas hiring a car or miandi will cost twenty, and the bus no longer stops at the bus station- on the 919, off at Madian, taxi round the Third Ring, turn the water heater back on and wait till it’s done, then chuck the dirty clothes in the washing machine and take a shower.

We’ve got this down to a fine art.

Our dog is getting fat.

Well, this morning dawned bright and clear. Not the clearest, there were still hints of mist around the edges of the basin, obscuring the views of the more distant mountains, but still, clear, and a huge relief after Saturday’s pea souper. Cold, too, though, of course, and once again, at least five degrees cooler than the forecast for Beijing, judging by the ice in the buckets. Still, the buckets thaw out pretty quick, usually by about nine, so it’s not too cold up there.

I realised that the tap in the courtyard doesn’t freeze. The water is turned off overnight. Makes sense: I mean, you can’t have people’s pipes freezing and therefore cracking every night.

And I was presently surprised by how clear the air was down here in Beijing when we got back. I guess the same wind that was sweeping Yanqing also worked its magic on Beijing.

Somehow the new “truck lane” for the G110, which is really a separate highway running parallel with the G110, really does seem to have cut down on traffic noise in the village, even though it’s only an extra twenty or thirty metres to the south. I don’t know how that works, but for whatever reason, every time we’ve been up there since the truck lane was opened, there’s been a lot less noise.

Speaking of noise, if they could do the same for the village PA system as they did for the trucks, things might improve a bit more. I mean, shift all the loudspeakers to somewhere twenty or thirty metres on the other side of the highway…

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