Spring has arrived. It is much warmer outside and the March breezes are keeping the air quality in the healthy range. With the grandkids in school our normal pattern is to feed them lunch, watch a MacGyver episode, and then go for a walk. Most days we take the dog for a walk in the park. The park is beautiful, and it is fun to watch all the plants beginning to come back to life. However, today we decided to take a different walk.
We left the complex and turned right to head around the block. It is a big block, so our walk was about twice as long as our park walk. The city isn’t back to normal, but there are many more people out. There is much activity around the gate to the apartment complex as people are going in and out to pick up packages. Most groceries come this way and inside the complex it is common to see someone carrying multiple heavy bags back to their apartment from the gate. We’ll all be very glad when door to door deliveries return.
With all this stuff coming in there must be somewhere for the garbage to go. Garbage is picked up at the base of each building all through the day. An initial sort is done there and then at one corner of the complex all the garbage is sorted. Those things that can be recycled leave in a variety of ways and the true garbage is picked up several times a day in a truck.
For the past several weeks there have been no restaurants open. Grocery stores have been open, but people here often eat out. This has been almost impossible with most restaurants closed. As we walked today, we saw several restaurants open with people sitting at tables inside eating. The restaurants weren’t close to full, but it was good to see people eating out again.
When we had finished walking 3 out of 4 sides of the block, we came to a shopping center. Unlike the restaurants it was almost totally deserted. Our son’s gym is in this center, but it is closed for now. Inside, we discovered restaurants, a toy store, and a library. The library advertised that it included books in English. It is still difficult to get used to any public place in Beijing being empty of people.
When we left the house, I was regretting leaving my stocking cap in the apartment. By the time we finished our walk my jacket was unzipped, and I was glad that I had left it behind. I don’t know which walk we’ll do tomorrow, but I’m sure we’ll go exploring the now that things are opening up.
The situation hasn’t gotten positive enough for the grandkids to go back to school. Our oldest grandson spends all day online for his school. His school day is the longest, but we do get to see him on his breaks between classes. The other kids spend part of their day on a phone doing assignments in Smartphone apps. Another part of the day is spent in Zoom in a virtual classroom with their teacher and other students. Much of the day is spent completing assignments in workbooks for various subjects. I’m very proud of all of them as much of the work they are doing is in Chinese and it isn’t easy.