Forbidden City Blues

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It rained heavily Saturday and the smog vanished and was replaced by glorious, clear blue skies and sunshine. I went for a stroll in the north eastern end of the Forbidden City. In the interests of fairness, I am posting a couple of pictures to offset the fog-bound image below. Middle-aged Chinese friends say they recall many days like this when they were growing up. Would that it could be so again! I love living in Beijing but, especially when it comes to kids, the pollution is a real drag.

The last picture shows what a good many of the buildings will look like by the time you-know-what starts next year. It has recently been renovated as part of a general refurbishing and –to some– tarting up program that does pose a danger of making the whole place look as though it was built yesterday. Of course, a patina of age is fine but, like marble Greek and Roman statues which were not the austere, blank-eyed vissions we are used to but brightly painted (ditto for the terracotta warriors of course), newly painted is much closer to what it would have been like in the days of the emperors, for whom I’m sure the place was kept shipshape.