I learned something new today. It is utterly impossible to cycle over 6 inches of snow.
Napoleon was right when he described the might of China as a sleeping dragon. But little did he know, that also included the ability to control the weather as well. Thanks to the Central Government’s cloud seeding efforts and an unexpected cold front, Beijing has been intermittently blanketed by snow. The oddest thing isn’t just the six inches of snow, but that a day or two later, melts to reveal green grass, piles of autumn leaves and occasional bouts of sunshine. It’s all four seasons in a week!
For those not quite familiar with Beijing, the city is notorious for being extremely dry. Rain, let alone snow is incredibly rare. I can’t even imagine what kind of ecological ramifications this has on the country.
Wading through a snow drift to unlock my bike. Thankfully, mine was mostly sheltered.
Tsinghua University, in front of the main hall
Check out that snowman.. it’s easily 7 feet tall!
Feels like Christmas already
I love how creative students on campus get :) This was right outside the building where I have all my classes. All the hardworking Chinese students turn into kids whenever it snows :)
On a different note, yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. One of the most iconic moments signaling the end of the Cold War and the end of Communism in Europe. The BBC has been pod casting various interviews and commentaries reflecting on the anniversary, and as I listened (while milling about getting ready for class), I couldn’t help but remark at where we are today. Communism is over in Europe, but there still remains an Eastern Bloc. It may be a unique blend of economic liberalism, but the core of the political infrastructure remains undoubtedly a one-party state. There are restrictions in almost every important aspect of life: freedom of expression, the right to assembly, even individual reproductive rights. To someone who is raised in a world where the word freedom is almost a political battle cry – the contrast of living within the current confines are startling.
It is twenty years after the fall of the wall, and yet from inside China, we are still behind a one. One very much in alive and kicking. And if you ever needed an example of the sheer power it wrests, just look at the weather.