Two months and frosty prospects

Just to keep all of you updated on what’s happening in my life, I want to write about a few things that happened since my last report. It is amazing that it is now two months since I got on the plane to the other side of the planet. The first month was a rush of new experiences, mistakes and learning from them. Now, after two month I kind of have established myself. However, time passes by as quickly as ever as there is so much left to explore.
For example I managed to see the Temple of Heavens Park, a wonderful oasis of peace and quiet in the bustling city. The tower is a great spot for pictures, but one also shouldn’t miss all the old people doing Tai- chi or exercising or the “divine kitchen”, where 60 cooks just cooked offerings to the gods.
Another great touristic spot is the “Temple of the white Cloud”, actually a Daoist temple in use where you can burn incense and observe the people praying for good fortune.
Some friends and I also celebrated Halloween this year – we ate a real scorpion from the food market. It tasted just like crisps, but the best part was a small crowd of Chinese people taking pictures and filming our reactions as we ate it. Seems like we looked strange and crazy enough to be considered a tourist attraction ourselves…
Our adventures might decrease in wintertime, because temperatures drop lower and lower (2 degrees last week) and the smog level rises to 300+ (so high that some indicators don’t even show it anymore). Sounds like conditions are better inside, however just think about staying in a room the whole day unable to open the window to let in “fresh air”. Oh, and the heating only starts to work centrally for all of Beijing on the 15th of November as well, a kind of relict from communist times. Well, so I spent my nights under two blankets, with the heating turned on to top level (meaning you can barely feel a difference to it being turned off).  What doesn’t kill you makes you catch a cold ahhhhhh makes you stronger, right?


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