Nope. The city where we live is not polluted.
This is Wilhelmina & Sophia.
Yip, they’re wearing face masks.
But not because of polution.
Because of the cold.
It is so terribly cold, if I walk around without a face mask, the beads on my beard are frozen solid in less than a kilometre.
Yet, on every website & every blog I read, before coming to China, if I saw people with face masks, it was associated to pollution.
Don’t get me wrong.
Jiamusi is a city of almost 1.6 million people.
By Chinese standards, that’s a small city.
And there are industry here.
The very famous American John Deere is built here.
There’s also logging and a paper mill.
A wind farm.
A pharmaceutical plant.
But it is small in comparison to the industry of our home city.
Another misconception we contemplated was the absence of bread.
On the ground floor of the building in which I teach there is a stunning pastry shop, the aroma of which contends for my last yuan, every day.
Every supermarket has a bakery.
And carry flour on their shelves.
And off course, Chinese people eat dog?
We’ve not seen dog meat for sale. I imagine you could find it. Somewhere. But we’ve only seen chicken, pork, beef & the most amazing array of live seafood.
And exquisite pasta.
They call it noodles, but it’s pasta.
Everyone was right about the cold though.
That was no misconception.
And it is a bit tough to catch a bus.
Although they drive by every 5 minutes, as regular as clock work, we have no idea where they’re heading.
And so we opt for Jiamusi’s version of New York’s yellow taxi cabs. They’re blue & silver. They cost 6Y kr R10 or less than a dollar, no matter where you’re heading, too.
And we can show them a piece of paper with the address of our destination.
And they take us right to our doorstep.