The consequences of breathing in unhealthy levels of pollutants every day have been extensively documented, but in Beijing, a city where a chemical-laden cloud perpetually engulfs anyone traveling outdoors, there is really no choice but to carry on with life as usual. While I don’t doubt that the city’s dire air quality impacts the long-term health prospects and quality of life of those who live there, it didn’t appear to me like it kept locals from getting out and doing their thing.
I took to the hutongs, away from tourist hot spots, to try to get a glimpse into the daily lives of those who call one of the world’s most populous (and most polluted) cities home. What I found was a breath of fresh air, a group of people whose passion for life shines through the haze.
I’m hoping the puppies were just for sale as pets.
I wonder where all this pollution is coming from? Hmmm …
Check out more shots from my amazing trip in my Beijing Express set on Flickr.