The pollution was pretty bad and the air has been hazy in Zibo since our return from Canada in February. To my surprise, we did see the recent lunar eclipse, but we seldom see stars.
As all China watchers know, air pollution, polluted rivers and concerns about food safety are a fact of life in China and something you must take into account if you are thinking of living here. Some cities are worse than others, but fortunately you can research this info before you come.
Last month a high-profile Chinese journalist released a documentary she produced herself, about pollution in China. She took the name, "Under the Dome," from the television show of the same name because the Chinese are living under an inescapable dome of air pollution.
Concerned for the health of her newborn child, journalist Chai Jing visited factories and interviewed experts to report on the sources and health consequences of pollution in China. Coal is a big culprit -- she even shows her Chinese viewers a flashback to the deadly London smog of the 1952 to place China's current problems in a broader context.
Millions of Chinese watched the documentary on the internet. Then the authorities suddenly yanked it. It is available on YouTube with subtitles -- but YouTube is also out-of-bounds for the average Chinese citizen.
Last week, we foreign teachers were asked to attend a "meet and greet" with the local police, just as a friendly formality. I had to leave my students on their own in the classroom, so I left them a video to watch. (cough, cough).
About the author:
I'm a writer and a teacher of English as a Second Language. Other passions and pursuits include choral singing, and following current events. "Laowai" means foreigner.
TINYFCC: This is not your father's Communist China
YDCTHTCAETTBELH: You don't come all the way to China and expect things to be exactly like home.
Ground rules: No snarking and sniping behind people's backs. Golden Rule applies. Except for:
Pleasant Goat: unsettling, creepy, Chinese cartoon character.