concern to me, before going to Beijing, was the pollution. That reminds me a
lot of the "single story" we have about people or places. I did not
know a lot about China, but in the media I have often heard bad things about
the pollution in China. Without questioning that it is a big deal in China.
Before going there I downloaded an App to be able to check the level of fine
dust and I bought myself masks to wear during polluted days.
When I arrived I saw that the leaves of the trees looked grey and it seemed to
be dusty. But I did not feel uncomfortable breathing and I never got a
headache, although I know some people who had reactions like that, probably
because of the air.
If it looked very dusty outside, I used to wear my mask. But as the air enters
to the rooms too, I am not sure if it is that effective wearing a mask only
Nevertheless I was very surprised by the winter in Beijing. I have talked to
different people and they say that the pollution is usually worse in winter
compared to the summer. They told me that the winter I spent there, was a very
good winter. We had blue sky and sunshine almost every day. The people I talked
to were surprised too by the good air-quality that winter. In summer it wasn't
that good any more, but I got used to it. I think the reaction to the pollution
depends on each person. Some get more affected by it than others. I haven't gotten
my lungs checked after being there, so I cannot tell anything about the medical
What affected me more was the dry air in winter. I don't get colds easily, but
in Beijing I had many of them during the year. It could also have many other
reasons. That doesn't mean I am sure it was because of the dry air.