Winter Arrives in Beijing

This week the cold weather arrived. After a lovely November of mostly sunny skies and mild temperatures, December has begun very cold and windy. A taxi I saw yesterday must have driven in from a night in one of the outlying suburbs, because its top was covered in two or three inches of snow. Riding… Continue reading Winter Arrives in Beijing

Rough month for Heilongjiang

As of yesterday, the “11/27” mining disaster in Heilongjiang Province (far northeast, same province that bore the brunt of the benzene spill) had claimed 162 lives. 73 people still had a chance of survival, and 7 people were still missing. The Beijing newspapers are calling it an “especially serious explosion accident,” and although the investigation… Continue reading Rough month for Heilongjiang

Don’t drink the water

No, they really mean it this time. China National Petroleum Corporation has accidentally poured 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River up in the northeast. Municipal water in China is not potable; you have to boil it before using it, and some super-cautious people don’t even use it to brush their teeth. Well-to-do Chinese… Continue reading Don’t drink the water