It seems like every time I checked my reader this month, I found a couple more blog posts or articles to add to my favorites list. As I was preparing this post, I had a hard time whittling it down to a manageable number. Here are some really great reads about social media, the March for Our Lives, writing, and China. Take a look . . .
So maybe I’m a little obsessed with reading about China’s air quality, but I’m so excited with the striking improvement, I couldn’t help but to share this article in the Beijinger that gives a whole bunch of facts and figures to show how dramatically the air in Beijing has improved over that last couple years. And I had to chuckle when the article mentions “falling sales for air filtration masks and air purifiers. . . . [and that] retailers are complaining about sluggish sales for anti-smog equipment.” It’s true. The air has been so good that I’ve forgotten to check when our filters were last changed and didn’t bother to buy new masks this year. It was interesting to see how the facts and figures added up. To check them out out for yourself, check out this article from the Beijinger.
On Genre Types and Skill-Crossover:
A couple months ago, I finished a decent outline for my novel and dove into writing the first draft. I love facts and figures and I like to track my progress in a concrete way, so I have a word-count goal for each workday. Some days I can fly past the goal and reach double the number of words that I wanted to; other days reaching my goal is a sheer act of willpower.
Beijing is notorious for having poor air quality. During our first year of living here, I wrote a blog post about the assumptions I held about the air quality and compared them to the reality I found after moving here. We’ve been here for two and a half years now, and each year, the air quality has improved dramatically. You can see evidence of this by looking at this graphic made by a friend using an air visual app.
Winter is usually the the worst time of year because of all the coal that is burned for heating. When it started to get cold this year, I braced myself for those high AQI days that accompany the cold winter, but they never came. I was feeling pretty proud of China and the new policies they were implementing for cleaning up the air—the results of which were clear. But then I read that China made those changes knowing it would leave a part of their population without any heat during the winter. Justine Lopez writes about it in this article for ThatsBeijing.
As 2016 comes to a close, I want to share some of the best reading discoveries I’ve made during the year. My next post will talk about a few of my favorite books. In this post, I wanted to take a minute to also talk about some of my favorite blogs.
A couple weeks ago, when my children were released from school for spring break, we were eager to get away and experience something new. Many of the expat families we know who travel around Asia have recommended Hua Hin, Thailand. I had visited Thailand only once in the eleven years I’ve lived in Asia, and I happened to catch a virus that, for the whole week, made my head feel like it was going to explode. With so many recommendations for the particular resort that we stayed at and the great deal we found on air tickets, we couldn’t resist the temptation to go and give it another try. I was ready to make some new memories of Thailand—ones that included the country itself rather than feeling miserable and unable to get out of bed.
My family recently had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan during our recent Christmas holiday. In a previous post, I discussed why I love traveling with my young children. In this post I want to talk about Taiwan in general—overall impressions for those who might be interested in Taiwan and recommendations for my expat friends who might think of traveling there.