Saturday, October 06, 2007

The less lovely aspect of Beijing rain

I said a little earlier that I love the sound of the rain in Beijing. I do, I do.

However, it is much nicer to contemplate Beijing rain from indoors than to be out in it.

It's often highly acidic. It's almost always full of grit (it leaves the roofs of cars dappled with micro-dunes of a sandstone colour). You really don't want to be getting too much of it in your eyes, or trying to catch raindrops on your tongue.

Even worse is what it does to the city. It FLOODS it. The storm drain system here is beyond-crappy, and the streets are so full of litter, detritus, builder's sand, etc., that the drains all become hopelessly clogged within minutes whenever there is any significant rainfall.

I am not just disinclined to go out running in this. I am disinclined to go out walking anywhere - because I know that much of the time I would be finding myself splooshing ankle-deep through what is essentially backed-up sewage. Not nice.

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