Cold but dry – Chinese New Year looms

There have been some atrocious storms in the middle of the country, but here in Beijing we are dry and comfy, if not freezing when we go outside to walk the kids to school just 10 minutes.  The air temperature hovers around -5 most days, colder being about -10 (all temperatures quoted in Celcius, of course). 

Tomorrow we are traveling to Tokyo Japan for a 10 day visit, we’ll get to experience the craziness of the airport on the even of Chinese New Year.  Turns out that more than 100m folks travel by train, bus, air in the week of Chinese NY, when everyone is under traditional obligation to travel “home” to visit parents.  Since many city dwellers are transplants, lots of folks attempt to get home.  Our Ayi (maid) and laoshi (chinese teacher) have both gotten on trains already, and a coworker just im’d me to tell me he had arrived home after a 36 hour train ride–standing, since there were not seats to buy.  The congestion in the public transport must be insane, with that many folks travelling–and the massive storms in central China have made things worse given that train tracks are clogged with several feet of snow, and electricity is out in many places.

More from Tokyo in a few days, where we will have un-fettered access to the blog (which is blocked in China by the Chinese Firewall on the internet, making it harder to post entries).

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