Getting Away From The Pollution

With our lungs being savaged by Chengdu’s pollution, we’ve decided to run off and enjoy  El Nido, an area with thousands of little islands in the Philippines. This holiday is all about relaxing; lying on the beach, maybe having some cocktails, swimming and snorkelling… and no work in sight!



We will be there for about 10 days, including traveling. We were deciding whether to travel more around the country, see the Chocolate Hills and what not, but in the end we decided just to say in El Nido; we really just want to relax and enjoy ourselves… and not have to worry about going here and going there. It’s a hassle just to get to El Nido!

First we have to get a plane from Chengdu to Manila… then we have to get another plane to Puerto Princessa… finally we have to get a 6 hour bus ride to El Nido. On the way we have to worry about this ‘Bullet Scam’ that has been happening in Manila airport. This is when the security officers in Manila airport plant a bullet in your luggage. This is usually when your bag is out of your sight. Then they call you over and mysteriously they find a bullet, which is illegal of course!

To sort this out, you usually have to go to the atm and give them cash. I’ve read online that everybody wraps their luggage with cling film in the airport.. and that’s exactly what we will be doing!

So it’s not quite relaxing getting to El Nido!

Then on the way back, we have to get a plane to Manila, wait all day until our flight to Shanghai, and then finally another to Chengdu.

haha I’ll need ANOTHER holiday after that journey!

We were actually planning on going to Thailand and volunteer looking after elephants, but unfortunately they were booked out, so El Nido it was!

See you in a day!




Our idea of moving

As much as I love the city of Chengdu, I think.. finally, we have come to the conclusion that we need to move.

After coming back from Ireland, the cold here has just been driving us mad. Even tidying the house is actually a struggle, with our crappy air con, the apartment is still freezing, meaning all we want to do is sit huddled beside our ‘fires’.

The pollution is also another major factor. I’ve heard, 7,500 people in China die from cancer…. each day! With lung cancer as one of the most common cancers. . . what a surprise.

I suppose at this stage, I’ve become numb about the whole pollution issue. Yes it’s here, I see it everyday in the sky, but… thats Chengdu. And I go about my business. I suppose when I hear it from people back home talking about the air quality in China that I realise ‘yeah, it actually is a problem’.

Recently, every Sunday there seems to be a respite from the pollution…. and the sun shines bright with no clouds to be seen. I love Chengdu when the weather is good. If the weather was sunny, I would definitely stay here longer. I’ve been here nearly two and a half years so this city has become ‘home’ in a way.

I’m familiar with the roads and locations (of most places), I enjoy riding on the e-bike as it’s so convenient. I like our complex; not too big or small. We are within walking distance of shops and restaurants. Uni is super handy to get to, and I just walk 10 minutes to get the bus to work. Plus, the new subway line is hopefully going to open in the summer, about a 15 minute walk away from us.

I’m comfortable here, so when I think of us moving, and having to start from scratch….. it definitely makes me nervous and anxious.

This time next year we hope to move to another city in China, so by then we’ll have two years of learning Mandarin which I’m sure should help us in moving just that bit easier.

One city that we are seriously considering is Xiamen. This is in the south east of China, opposite the island of Taiwan. The weather is much better I hear. For me, Xiamen looks ‘tropical’…. whereas Chengdu is more ‘rustic’. We were possibly thinking of Kunming, but it seems like the city’s weather is also becoming more prone to smog.

Anyway, we do have another year to decide.

I’ll try not to panic just yet!