China Diary

Day 178: Polluted


One of my many blessings in a acute nose for mold. Actually, my only blessing. I guess I’m not very blessed… Anyway, I can tell, from the first second I enter into a room whether or not there’s mold somewhere there. The smell is faint, kind of sweet and dusty at the same time, and it can’t be ignored.

Yesterday’s agenda was a bunch of meetings with several post production facilities; one of them had a moldy screening room. I bet nobody else noticed anything, it was very fancy and all that, but I would never be able to work there for more than few hours at a time, or I get a runny nose and sort of sick instantly.

One thing China seems to have a lot of are these “media parks”, which are just office buildings for creative industries. Media park becomes “media” when it has big glass windows, big lobbies with some wood or interesting metal structure elements, and “park” after instead of doing straight roads, they scatter the buildings all over and build winding roads that lead randomly from here to there and definitely not directly where you need to go.

The days are getting warmer. Leaving Finland, I only bought my heavy Black Yak winter jacket I bought for our shoot in China, but now, as the thermometer is climbing closer to 21 degrees, it’s completely useless. The weird flu I’ve had was on yesterday, so I decided to jump around in my t-shirt, which was too little, though, to make sure I either get a good cold or scare the stuff off.

This morning, waking up, I can tell the latter worked. I’m flu-free. I’ve said this before, and I say it again: I never get sick, unless I want to.

The day was much about just sitting in the car and riding from one place to another. I saw a good selection of colorist reels and from what I could deduct, the Asians like more colorful films than Westerners, based on a very limited empirical study (three reels). But thinking back on Asian films I’ve seen, though, there might be some truth to it.

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Beijing traffic.

Aside from being pretty warm, the weather has been just terrible; I mean, the pollution is worse than ever before I’ve been in China. The air quality index hit 250 today in Beijing, somewhere even up to 300, and you can feel it.

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Just as a reference, the official determination of AQI of 200-300 says: “Heavily polluted” – “Healthy people will commonly show symptoms. People with respiratory or heart diseases will be significantly affected and will experience reduced endurance in activities.”

Enough a reason I really miss being back in Finland.

But luckily, I’ll be going back on Friday! Yay! Freezing cold end-of-the-winter awaits, but at least I can breath outside….

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