Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sand Gets in Your Eyes: Spring in Beijing

Spring is windy and stormy in much of the world. But in Beijing it brings with it the added curse of sand. A common news topic this time of year is tree planting – trying to stop the evil Gobi desert from sending its sand our way. Recently, we looked out our window and saw our English-Polish neighbor kids digging a hole to plant trees, while hotel staff looked on.

I assumed this was hotel sand-fighting propaganda, but after we ventured outside we discovered the neighbor boys had themselves requested and chosen these trees – one cherry blossom and one peach. The kids all had fun digging and pouring water. And we big people all had fun toasting it with neighbor Kasha’s cherry brandy.

But the belief the trees were a sort of symbolic sand-fighting effort at all was all my assumption on first glance out the window. Flipping through hotel channels soon after, my attention was arrested by a photo on the hotel channel. It was us and the neighbors in full digging mode.  Turns out the hotel is promoting the act as planting “memorial trees” for “departed foreign experts”, presumably referring to the man who dug up his own trees on moving.

No comments:

Post a Comment