For the first time in almost four months, I am able to say that I had a perfect Beijing day. This past Wednesday, the sun filled the bright blue, smogless skys and allowed the temperature to rise to a glorious 60 degrees. The Beijing winter is by far the harshest I’ve ever experienced. If the days arn’t grey, smoggy and at or below freezing, they are usually filled with the strongest gusts of wind, which despite their fortunate effect of pushing out the smog, are accompanied by a wind chill that quite literally cuts through to the bone.
But things are looking up. The city is starting to warm, and luckily I experienced this bliss while exploring a part of town that was still new to me, Dashilar. After doing a site inspection for some spaces that will be used for Beijing Design Week, I decided to walk from Dashilar up to the Tian’anmen Square subway station, nearly an hour long stroll. Along the way, I was able to cross over from one side of the square to the other and walk by Mao’s mausoleum, something I had yet to do. Often closed, fortunately for me, it was open on this brilliant day. Its difficult for me to put the sensations and feelings I had into words, as it was such a profound and awe inspiring experience.
Living in Beijing is not easy. The daily grind is intensified by the incredulous amounts of people, traffic, dirt, pollution, etc. But then there are days like this past Wednesday, where it all fades and I remember why I’m in China. There is a power that exists, and despite its corrupt ways that were established on Communistic ideologies, a day like this allows one to realize how this massive machine of modernized China came to be.