A different kind of eclipse

8:00 a.m and the brain is foggy from too little sleep. Phone is buzzing with the sounds of an alarm and i’m just trying to resist throwing it against the wall. Somehow, I finally slide off the sheets and head towards the kitchen to get some going.
They say today should be memorable and worth me getting up earlier.. The next perfect eclipse will be in 100 years and even if Beijing is not the best place to see it from, it should still be memorable and special.
Face washed, teeth brushed, moccacino machine whistling.. a good sign, soon a good fresh cup o joe will lift the fog! or so you’d think..
Turns out the fog is not really in my head!
I was getting excited as i fired off twitter and searched for the eclipse hashtag. tweets were pouring in from shanghai and all over South East Asia filled with excitement and pictures of a darkening clear sky and slowly vanishing sun. I peeked out of my window to see the same in Beijing and i was faced with:

this tweet from @granitestudio summed it up:

@questlove Eclipse on way here in Beijing, getting dark but that might be just pollution. Sun blacked out by smog in BJ on weekly basis.

and a few more came afterwards echoing that sentiment and what my own eyes saw:

@fraize:way to go, MSNBC. Cut away from the total solar eclipse at the moment of totality to show how smoggy it is in Beijing. Smart.

@frankyu In Beijing will squint my eyes n move an orange in front of me while staring at a lamp to create my own Shanzhai eclipse.

so yeah, it wasn’t all that much of a solar eclipse since we didn’t see a sun to begin with… or maybe it was Beijing’s own way to stare at Shanghai and say: keep your damned perfect solar eclipse! If we can’t have the whole thing then we want none of it 😀

Most pictures online reflect a grim grey sky with nothing worthwhile at all in terms of eclipse but we did get one.. you just had to get out of the city apparently to see it as suggests this picture taken by someone in huairou county:

oh well, Beijing, i still love ya 🙂 funny thing is while the eclipse might have been unnoticeable, the afternoon brought by a thunderstorm that turned the sky pitch black..