Three month check in

The haze returned this evening, about 5pm, as if there’s some clown with an enormous bonfire and an even bigger fan standing somewhere in Indonesia, waiting to see when I’m about to leave the office before blasting a wave of pollution over the border. Not that I’m paranoid.
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School run

The pollution index was still in the fairly disgusting and hazardous range this morning, so rather than kick our heels at the bus stop in a cloud of poison, I bundled La Serpiente into a taxi and set off for Tiong Bahru. Annoyingly, our driver didn’t seem to appreciate the subtle distinction between “turn left at the traffic lights” and “drive straight on and ignore your passenger until you’re half way down a one-way street”, taking us on a circuitous journey around the Tiong Bahru Estate that culminated nowhere in particular near the school. So we still ended up walking through the harsh air (although by then it was beginning to clear).

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Bad air day

I left the office at 6:30 today and there was a smell of smoke in the air. The end of the road looked further away than usual, slightly grey. I looked at the air quality app on my phone. 150.

It’s 99 in Beijing right now. That’s moderate. 150 is at the point when “Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion”. I got home. The windows and doors were all shut, my wife had the air purifier running, and the kids were going mental. My eyes were already sore from the walk home and my head hurt; this was not a good way to reach the middle of the week.
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Headbutts and headcolds

Tonight I left work at 6:15 and went home, where my youngest was crying because she’d head butted the floor, and my eldest was shouting because … well, just because. I had hoped that after last night’s exhausted collapse into bed, La Serpiente would repeat the same trick tonight, but instead of that we had an hour and a half of flopping about, singing, shouting and generally refusing to sleep. I’m coming down with a cold and am in that aggravatingly incapacitated state where I’m sneezing and trying not to spray mucus all over my dear daughter, and at the same time bad tempered and feeling sorry for myself. It’s much worse to have a cold in the tropics as you can’t very easily crawl under the duvet and try to shut out the world. Not without succumbing to heatstroke.
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Robots and no sleep until bedtime

After a dreadful night’s sleep, we had a busy day today. First thing this morning I was frothing milk for wife and child, and then we went off to the Art Science Museum at the Marina Bay Sands, where there’s a Future World exhibition going on. This is a series of darkened rooms with lots of glowing plastic boxes, or interactive projections on walls, or LEDs in plastic lattices, which is what the future will be, obviously. There’s also a slide (because in the future we’ll be able to descend smooth surfaces in ways currently undreamed of) so La Serpiente was happy. We spent an hour and a half there and then set off to see friends from Hong Kong (visiting from Australia) who were over in Mount Emily. To get to see them we had a long and arduous journey through the height of the midday sun (there was nobody else out, not even any mad dogs) and as we’d forgotten La Serpiente’s sunglasses, she screamed and raged at us for half an hour. Destroyer looked on, sanguine and silent as ever.

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