I am in Beijing today. It snows in Beijing – heavy snow yesterday, and by the night time, snow went away. I was sitting at the lunch table before the nice Chinese garden in the Shangri-la hotel. I see the snow melt down by my own eyes – every 30 minutes, you can observe more grass (yellow grass of cause) came out, while snow fade off. It is 4 degree C. Not too bad for Beijing. It is not as cold as a snow-melting day should fee like. Yesterday, I was still in Shanghai, at around 16 °C, and the day before yesterday, I was at a hot place of 33 °C. This is maybe the most interesting experience for me in terms of temperature change. I am lucky that I don’t feel uncomfortable.
When it is approaching the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, the date seems not so far away. Imagine how it feels when it was announced almost 7 years ago! Now it is only 1 year left. Is Beijing ready? Well. I am so sure.
From the airport, the train to the city is under construction – so it let people smell the change. However, when the taxi turns from the Airport Highway to the 3rd Ring Road, there was a big pool of water – due to the lack of equipment to get rid of the water from the snow. The taxi driver risked to run into the water, and keeps the engine running. The driver said: if you just keep spraying gas into the engine and don’t stop, you are fine although the water is almost higher than the tire.
The city is still the same city. Beijing does not look good in winter (OK. It is beginning of Spring. But the same), as any of northern China cities. There are not so many green trees there. Well, I don’t complain because Shanghai does not give me any sense of “Winter”, when yellow plants are rare. Snow is good, but melting snow is not. You see the dirt mixed with snow and turn yellow, then black – everywhere.
I took all the trouble to open my laptop and find out my Air China mileage number. I have like 20,000 points in the account. I don’t travel with Air China often. It is not so much, but it seems I can get a free single trip flight to some place like San Ya.
I never claimed any free ticket so far, just keep accumulating… Hope one day I have the “TIME” (this is the really important thing for me) to claim some free tickets and travel around.
after being in all those *hot* places, your body’s internal thermometer is still trying to tell you things are warm even though Beijing is significantly colder.
Speaking of your frequent flyer mileage from Air China, you should check its expiration date if your account stays inactive. Some airlines have a 3-year validity period, but some only 18 months. Do you know that you can accumulate United Airlines’s Mileage Plus miles on certain Air China flights because Air China is UA’s regional partener. I know flights from Shanghai to Beijing is included, so in the future, give your UA FF# when you travel on Air China. Call UA’s Membership Dept to find out the details. You should always try to concentrate your mileage accural to one or two airlines to that you can reach the elite status faster.
I don’t know about Air China’s miles, but you can change to a award ticket from Shanghai to Tokyo or even Taiwan with 20,000 miles.
This is off-topic, but I couldn’t find your e-mail address. I’m currently in Shanghai researching internet use in China. On your blog you mentioned some internet cafes. If you could help me find some of the ones you’ve visited, I would appreciate it. E-mail me at email@example.com