Sunday, 20 January 2013

Day 1 in Beijing

I'm very grateful that my job takes me all over the world because every trip is an eye opener. We probably picked the worst time to visit Beijing when smog blanketed most of the city. Despite the hazardous levels of air pollution, life for the locals went on like clockwork. Most of the city folks have grown up in the choking environment, they've never seen blue skies all their lives.
I felt especially sorry for our Chinese associate who had just given birth to a baby boy four months ago. As a mother, she gives the kid the best she possibly can. We shadowed her for a day and couldn't believe how impossibly hectic her schedule is. In between meetings in the city, she rushes home to breastfeed her child, grabs a healthy home cooked meal and dashes off again for another appointment. A typical day (even on Sunday) for her doesn't end until about 10pm yet she's unbelievably energetic and good tempered. 

Beijingers like her are wary about what they eat in a country regularly hit with food safety scandals. She grows her own organic food in her sprawling backyard and greenhouse.The sad part is while she can
control what she eats, there is nothing much she can do about the poor air quality.
Walking towards the greenhouse.
Pet dog.
Home grown pea shoots.

She offered to buy us lunch at a restaurant nearby but we were more than happy to share her humble lunch of vegetable dumplings, hard boiled eggs and soup. For us, eating hot dumplings on a cold day was such a satisfying experience.

It was back to work in the city after a quick lunch before returning home to feed her baby in the evening. After we wrapped up our discussion for the day, she insisted on buying us dinner. We tried our best to decline but relented finally as we did not want to appear rude to our gracious host.

We had a nice dinner at Sunny Snacks which is popular with the locals. The irony is, unless something is done to control the pollution, it will never be sunny in Beijing. I sincerely wish her child will grow up in a smog-free Beijing where the sky is blue and sun is shinning every day.
Cucumber salad.


Potato salad.

Cold gelatin pork.

Fried noodles.

Rice porridge flavoured with lotus leaf.


La-mien with pork.



Open Kitchen Concept said...

Oh the terrible smog in Beijing.. it was bad when I was there already.. can imagine how it is now..

Amel said...

AWWWW the baby's so cute. BIG KUDOS to your friend for being able to juggle work and family so well. Amazing!!!! I also hope that in the future there'll be less smog there. After having lived in a small village with fresh air and blue skies, the beauty of it all is something that I want to share with everyone on earth.

Malar said...

So cute baby!

Wen-ai said...

Yah, hopefully Beijing can see blue skies again... all these development & wealth came at a price.

The World According To Me said...

Wow, for a mother with a four month old baby she has a busy day.
I moan about the grey sky in the UK, but do realise we are also blessed with sunny blue skies. I can't imagine not seeing a blue sky.

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