May the 4th be with you – early May updates

Since we arrived in China, one of our biggest concerns/cons/disgusts was the lack of recycling and composting. From baozi meat pockets to groceries to coffee, anytime we buy anything, we are given an excess of plastic/paper wrapping. It all goes into the trash bin on our floor because there doesn’t seem to be a way to sort. On the street, we will sometimes see groups of people sorting through the garbage to pull out styrofoam and metal. In large trolleys, they tie away these materials to redeem money for them. However, plastic and paper products have remained a mystery… until now. While waiting for a special supermarket (they sell feta. Enough said.) to open, I was handed a flyer to promote the government’s initiative to sort and recycle.

Guide to recycling and composting

Full implementation will start soon, so the flyer dictates, or a large fine if organizations/persons choose not to. I am hopeful about this sorting and recycling system promoted by the government. If an organization can make a positive change and actually enforce people to follow it, believe me, it’s definitely the CCP.

Recycle bag 🙂

The Recycling crew; handing out information and free bags… but mostly the bag part.

The AQI has been hit or miss (or just miss) until this last weekend.

7-day forecast – the future is bleak

When the pollution is down, Qingdao is quite a special spot. Spring is in full bloom; warmth and honeysuckle smells.

ABOVE: Cherry blossoms, two happy “mates” getting fried pork and noodles from “iron lung lady”, Grant and I out for pizza

You know those spring mornings when you walk outside and you think to yourself, this temperature is …. perfect. Long bike rides (and short runs) are successful without looking like a burglar covered from head to toe in fleece, and I actually got a one-arm sunburn on the bike yesterday.

ABOVE: 100km on the bike and reaching the “top of the world” (Laoshan Mountain)

Covid-19 update: May 1st was a national holiday. Here are some people definitely not social distancing whilst buying some fruit on sale for the holiday.

Except for schools, life here is back to normal. Our favorite spots are open. We still wear masks on the metro and in certain supermarkets but most outside areas and restaurants are masks-off.

BELOW: Hiking Fushan with Susan and Zoe 😉

Celebrating Sam’s 50th Birthday on May 1st 🙂

If you are reading this from abroad, it might be challenging for you to see these photos of us spending time with our dear friends. Please keep in mind that we went through a similar process to you. We weren’t able to leave our apartment for 14 days straight. We have been denied entry to some places because we are foreigners (KTV, restaurants). People have crossed the street to not walk on the same side as us. As I write this, a man arrived on the subway, saw me, and moved down to the train despite the two open seats next to me. We quarantined and we are still careful about exposing ourselves to crowds. It’s not all puppies and rainbows over here, but we are grateful for the mostly-return to normalcy. Hang in there family and friends. Don’t rush the quarantine or the exposure; baby steps into spring.