April 14th #chinadiary

Beijing to Taiyuanfu (today)
On the move again, from Peking to Taiyuanfu, the capital and largest city of North China's Shanxi province. Carl once again casts his agriculturalist's eye over the passing terrain, glad to see green fields and trees again. In particular, he is taken by the quality of the soil, "fine as powder, yet when packed, so strong and unyielding that it will not slide at all even if cut vertically". This quality enables people to easily create houses in the sidehills because of the ease of digging - however, there is a great problem with the amount of dust: "you breathe it and taste it, and it colors your clothes a dull gray, and it fills your mouth and throat - it surely is the real stuff."