With Lunar New Year over, spring decided to come to Beijing... fast! One month ago, the temperature was averaging 8C (47F) and yesterday we had our highest temperature of 27C (81F).
With the stunning temperatures, comes the famous Chinese cherry blossoms that range from red to pinks to white. The school I work at has several different kinds and they are amazing!
Another perk of spring is that the air quality is getting MUCH better! I have an air purifier in my apartment (China has pretty much perfected them... with good reason) and I needed to replace the filter this week. In six months, my filter went from new to unusable. The picture of my new filter next to the old one says enough.
I also haven't used my inhaler or mask as much recently. What was once two puffs on my inhaler every day has become one, maybe two puffs twice a week... or when I'm running outside which is more common now since I can breath again.
Luckily the average air quality seems to be staying under 100 AQI. At the peak of winter, it was closer to 250 AQI average.
I've recently found time to dedicate time for art since adding to my responsibilities at work. It took way too long but I finished my second "Shanghai series" painting, made progress on my third in the same series and started my first painting in my "Hong Kong series". Hopefully now I'll be able to dedicate time weekly to them... instead of trying to find time monthly.
Aside from that, not much has changed. I signed my contract next week, confirming that I will be in Beijing for at least one more year. I'm making summer plans to be on the West Coast, East Coast and across the pond to Germany... but that'll be a future post, down the road.
To wrap it up, here are two random pictures:
The first is some amazing pho from this awesome Vietnamese place where the local nerds play Dungeons and Dragons.
The second is the jerseys for the campus soccer game... for the international students team... as designed by the local Chinese students... not sure what to say about it.
Oh, and did you know that Peppa Pig is kind of a big deal here. Why is that? I have no clue.