The air was clean but the internet was slow – #thanskobama. Everyone heard about the political drama involving Obama’s arrival and how China signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. But less people know how the G20 effected China and its residents.
On September 1st the government shut down factories to improve air quality and reduce pollution. Skies were blue and running outside was less painful throughout China. This was probably the only positive change.
Lots of people in Hangzhou (and factory workers throughout China) got holidays in hopes that they would leave town and make it less crowded. This raised the price of flights and train tickets and sent crowds of people to other cities all over the country. Luckily the population of Hangzhou is only around 2.5 million.
Perhaps it was all the people on holiday browsing the world wide web that slowed down all the internet in China for over a week. Some people, however, blame the government, assuming that they were monitoring the exchange of information following the Summit. But who knows, right?
Shortly after G20 there was lots of construction that had previously been delayed. I had to spend two days without electricity or water between 7 AM and 5 PM. The worst part was, the notice was in Chinese so I completely missed it and ended up un-showered in an internet café all day. Not fun.
Everything went back to normal about a week after all the presidents and foreign officials left China. The internet was fast (for China), the familiar smog was back and my apartment had electricity again! The G20 brought many great chances to the world that you can read about here. I just hope the next one wont’ interfere with my ability to Facebook – just kidding!