I'm back in Beijing for the second time this year (and the third time in the past 12 months). If anything the smog is even worse than last time (and the heat makes it seem worse still). I read in the local paper this morning that the government is planning a trial run next month of the "ban all cars" solution to cleaning up the air for the Olympics.
I'm only here for one day and then I'm heading home tomorrow. I've got a direct flight from Beijing to San Francisco on United Airlines flight 888 (given that "8" is a lucky number to the Chinese do you think there's any chance that this flight number is a co-incidence?) then I connect via Denver back to Steamboat (Hayden). I leave Beijing at noon on Friday and arrive home at 4.30 pm. Unfortunately that's a trick of the international date line. It's not a 4.5 hour trip. More like 24 hours of travelling.