Friday, August 08, 2008
With the Beijing Olympics officially getting underway today, there have been plenty of stories in the news about the air quality (or the complete lack thereof) in Beijing. I certainly noticed the pollution when I visited China last fall, but it didn't really affect me physically. Had I not been able to see the haze, I don't think that I would have noticed that the air quality was any worse than a typical American city. Of course, I didn't attempt any strenuous physical activity while I was over there. The morning we left Shanghai, there was a road race going on right in front of our hotel. Although the air quality hadn't bothered me up to that point, the idea of running a 5K in the middle of Shanghai did make me feel a little queasy. In a strange way, I was almost disappointed that I didn't find breathing the air in China as uncomfortable as I thought I would. It's been such a big story for so long that it's almost become a tourist attraction.