China Stories – My convertible through a sandstorm

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I’m in Beijing… I just came from the country

The Chinese have showed us that you can do a lot with time. In less than a decade, they done up whole their districts and built entire cities. If you travel through the rural areas in this most ancient country on our planet, you’ll see skyscrapers rising from bare mud. These places are empty, waiting for the people in the traditional villages with a backdrop of a unmissable misty factory, busy filling air with thick smoke, to fill those brand new tower blocks.

This incredible growth has brought fortunes to many. Suddenly, the Joe next door could dump his old donkey for a brand new convertible. The glamour certainly tuned many heads. Joe, cruising down the roads where he, only a few years ago, ploughed the soil with his bare hands, passing by the coal factory where he used to work, definitely made a statement.

There was only two problems: the road and the factory. It is no secret that China is the most polluted place on out planet. The air in Beijing is so bad that the government has to shut down all nearby factories before a major event, with the best example during the 2008 Olympics when everything stopped for a whole month. In case you feel that walking down this armagedonian site with a mask on your face is not bad enough, the sandstorm will certainly convince you otherwise. It’s thick… really thick.

So imagine Joe arriving to the capital to show off his new convertible and suddenly get hit by the bare soot, mixed with dust and topped up with sand. While the car turns into an unidentifiable colour, Joe looks like he’s just driven that convertible straight out of a coal mine, thinking: “I’m in Beijing and I just came from outside”


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