A Beautiful Country Person in Beautiful Beijing

The last two days in Beijing have been clear. Actually clear. Yesterday I didn’t even wear my mask in traffic. The breathability of the air has been amazing.

The above picture should be astonishing for any Beijinger because clouds are visible, even far away ones. The sky is often absent, and the smog often robs Zhonggua Beijing of her beauty.

The gorgeousness of these last few days has not just been beautiful, it’s been healthy too. The physical weakness I succumbed to in Tianjin is largely gone (I’m back to operating as I did in the first few days of my trip now — which isn’t great, but is at least only good).

We went with a hitherto-unmet portion to the “countryside” (which reminded me of the SD 11 and 41st Street intersection in Sioux Falls), and saw some really beautiful sites. The courtyard of the restaurant, shown below, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the Central State. I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of the golf course or the McMansions, which loomed nearby, and my shots of the vineyard just didn’t come out. Nor was there a chance to photograph the shepherds on bicycle with their flock.

A quick note on the name of this post. My learning of Mao’s “reformed” “screw you” Chinese characters is mostly helped but sometimes frustrated by an earlier study of Japanese Chinese Characters. When the Japanese decided which symbol to use for American, they chose Rice-Country-Person. Happily, China long ago chose a more pleasing form: Beautiful-Country-Person. Thanks China!

All in all, these last days have been fantastic. And now, without further ado, the rest of the photos:


Sky! Clouds! In real life, I could easily see through the windows of the top tower on the hill, which is part of Hundred Looks Hill (Baiwangshan).

Why so little pollution? Part of the reason was a constant day of rain before, which flushed the sky of its carbon. Also to thank were strong winds, sending someone else the poison of this town and granting me a view of Chinese kites!


An advertisement for Pyongyang Haedanghwa.

A Ford dealership under a blue sky. Only the construction cranes tell you that you’re in Peking.

Sky! Color! Lack of Haze!

120 degrees to the right of the previous shot. A building has just been bulldozed to put more of those apartments.

Later in the day, the courtyard of our restaurant.

Looking down from the balcony.

Another balcony shot. This place is gorgeous.

Friendly staff let us into this unused portion of the restaurant. It was bliss.

Looking down from the secret balcony.

Chinese roofs till the horizon. Each one appeared to have a courtyard similar to ours.

The neighboring courtyard. Unlike our play one, it’s being used to grow a vegetable garden.

More houses. This is taken through a fan in the clubhouse. The golf course is beyond the farthest trees.


The same shot, with a slight change in camera orientation.

Walking back down from the secret clubhouse. Even the more function parts of the restaurant were magical.

Leaving after a delicious meal of country-style chicken broth, the dying coals of the barbecue grill.

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