Get used to good air
Over the past few days, we have experienced great air quality in Beijing. While the blue sky was a welcome sight after the usual gray and gloom of the familiar Beijing horizon, there were some things I just could not get used to.
First of all, I had to take my mask off when going outside. For the past few months, I’ve always had my mask on outside, and I was very used to having it on. At this point, it practically feels like part of my skin.
Now I have no need to wear my mask because the air quality is so good.. It almost makes me feel like I am walking outside naked.
The cool breeze hitting my face directly and the emptiness I feel around my mouth and nose is almost unbearable.
It’s as if I have lost a part of myself without my mask. It has been with me through my whole Beijing journey.
Not only that, I am now too recognizable to my colleagues while walking around campus. As an introvert, this is my worst nightmare.
The days of passing by quietly without being noticed are over.
But wait, it gets worse. It’s not just my mask. I don’t even have to turn on my air filter in my room anymore.
I’ve suddenly realized how thin my walls are, and that I can hear what my neighbors are up to during the day and night in full detail. This also makes me wonder what they can hear me doing.
This is a level of intimacy I did not ask for. It’s too much to take for me.
I dreadfully miss the constant noise of my air filter going off in my room.
People say you never know what you have until its gone. This is exactly how I feel about my air filter noise. For me, the noise is like a soothing lullaby.
What a nuisance this good air is, and just when I was getting quite comfortable living with the constant smog here. At least it was a reliable fact of life I could count on.
Fortunately for me, I know that the air pollution will be back before long. It is Beijing after all.
Until then, I’ll just have to suffer through the major discomfort of showing my naked face around campus and living with the excruciating silence of my room being occasionally interrupted by my neighbors’ daily noises.
Life is hard!