Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to 'normal'

Barely a week on from the end of the Paralympics, and that whole 'One world, one dream' thing is but a distant memory.

There are log-jams on all the main roads again. In fact, things were getting pretty bad even while the Paralympics were still on. As I suspected from the outset, the lessening of traffic congestion in the city probably had a lot more to do with a lot of government cars being taken off the roads, and with the fact that a lot of people quit town during August (or were prepared to be public-spirited and keep their cars off the road for a while, just while the main Olympic events were on), rather than the odd/even license plate system that tried to limit car owners to using their vehicles on alternate days (a scheme that was discontinued last weekend).

The air quality has taken a nosedive. (Despite a 5-day course of antiobiotics, my stubborn cough/sore throat/bronchitis thing is entering its third month with a worryingly renewed vigour.)

People are once more aggressively piling into buses, subway trains and lifts the second the doors open, without letting people off first.

Ah yes, the Beijing we know and...... love?

At least there's one good thing to report - we're starting to see the reappearance of a few of the sidewalk snack stalls that were banned during the Olympics. Hoorah!

1 comment:

Froog said...

Curiously enough, a lot of the street vendors who've been springing up this week are hawking roast sweet potatoes and roasted chestnuts - a sure sign that autumn has arrived a couple of weeks early this year.... and maybe winter is not too far behind. A definite nip in the air this week!