nearly two decades in Beijing, David Wolf knew it was time for a
change when his 11-year-old son, Aaron, somberly asked him, “Dad,
when you were growing up, did you ever have PE outdoors?”
had grown up in smog-choked Los Angeles in the 1970s, but even that
wasn’t nearly as bad as Beijing today. His son, like many young
students in the city, has been kept inside for months, with
the luckier children getting the chance to exercise under huge
air-filtered domes that
their international schools have built.
this month, when school lets out, Aaron and his mother will move to
Southern California for good, and Wolf begins a new way of doing his
consulting work, splitting his time between Beijing and their new
home at Channel Islands Harbor.
want them to leave before they hate this place,” Wolf, 49, said on
a recent morning as he checked Beijing’s air quality on a
smartphone app, something that many people here, expats and locals
alike, routinely do several times a day.