Hazy about the details


The air quality is now "not harmful, but not very good for you", apparently. Usually, everyone in neighboring countries waits for the dry season in June and July and then start burning the undergrowth, but since the rainy season was unexpectedly cancelled due to lack of rain this year, they’ve been hard at work burning things right now. Make hay while the sun shines, I suppose. Anyway, that’s what my barber told me this evening.

I don’t know that hairdressers are the true font of meteorological wisdom, any more than taxi drivers are the elite of political commentators: having an opinion doesn’t guarantee it’s the right one. But we cling to reasonable-sounding explanations that we want to believe. In this case, I suppose if everything’s been burnt in March, there will be nothing to burn in June, and so the haze won’t hit us like it did last summer. That’s hopeful, right?

At least it’s not bad in the mornings. Last year, the haze was a disgusting blanket that covered the city throughout the day. Right now, I can walk to work and not notice; it’s when I leave the office to walk home that the sticky, icky burning taste begins to coat my throat and clutch at my eyeballs. Today it was intermixed with the smell of somebody-with-a-knackered-two-stroke-motorcycle, that oily petrochemical evidence of contempt for mechanical devices. There was no sign of a motorcycle but the stench itself was there.

Or perhaps it was a nasal hallucination.

I’m a bit worried about Saturday’s run being cancelled. If the haze gets worse (and it shows no signs of getting better) then I might not get the chance to give my silver shorts a second outing. Which would be a real tragedy, far worse than damaged lungs, irritated airways and sore eyes.

Oh. Oh dear. I never thought I’d hope to be in Hong Kong in order to be able to breathe properly.

Despite the weather, my wife is continuing to resell all our surplus baby paraphernalia, to people with increasingly surprising names. Apparently Muhammed Aliis coming round to buy a baby carrier tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t realise his old rival, Foreman, is around…


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