Monday, November 14, 2005


It's November the 15th, so public heating gets turned on officially today. Unofficially, people having been plugging their own heaters into the mains for a while anyway - yet still it's 'on' day. The system here is quite unusual, as many flats have no hot water boiler; in many areas hot water is heated centrally in centralised plants. these coal fired beasts are dotted around the city and are now happily consuming their coal ration heating the homes of the people of Beijing. The hutong houses though have no centralised central heating whatsoever - they have to burn coal bricks directly in stoves in their homes. Providing heating for all of Beijing's 13 million people (municipal district pop.) takes a fair amount of fuel as you can imagine, and the heating won't go off until spring.

The heating's on just in time too, as it's getting colder and colder at night. The humidity's plummeted too, and there's no precipiation forecast for a while, so no chance of snow or snowy pictures for the meanwhile. Fingers crossed for soon though.


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