Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Record Breakers

Hong Kong didn't exactly cloak itself in glory at the Olympics in 2008.  Well, come to think of it, we didn't get a single medal for the SAR.  We do have other things going for us.

We have the strongest air quality in town, for a start.  Two days ago our air pollution index started to go up, and it didn't stop until it got to 500.  (That's because the scale doesn't go above 500, mind you, but that just goes to show that numbers aren't enough to define the wonderful quality of Hong Kong's air!  Why, it's so good for you that you can practically feel the quality!)

I did feel a bit rotten yesterday, but I put it down to walking fifty yards to catch the tram.  I woke up today and I felt rotten again, but I put that down to getting up at 5am for a call with the American office.  Then I went to work and still felt rotten, and everyone was coughing or had dribbling noses and red eyes.  Wimps.  Can't we all accept that this is the way of the future?  We should be grasping our tight chests and inflamed membranes with both hands.

Actually, I'm not medically qualified.  Not sure whether it's good to go around grasping inflamed membranes.  Forget I even wrote that.

However, I'm hopeful this is all just a sandstorm in a teacup.  After all, two years ago when there were concerns about smog in Beijing, a government official pointed out that when you have a shower, there's fog too - and that's not unhealthy, so why should the fumes from a thousand lead-paint-and-melamine-baby-milk-factories be bad for you?

I don't think they'll go so far this time.  But I'm wondering what this strange, freakish high air pollution could be down to.  Certainly not anything to do with adverse agricultural policies up in the PRC.  Or anything with any of the industry in the Pearl River Delta.  No, I think when you put your mind to it, there's only one of three reasons:

  • a dustcloud produced by Google running away from China as fast as its shareholders will allow it
  • a series of inconveniently thoughtless but strangely coincidental mainland tourists, each smoking next to each pollution testing station and accidentally blowing their fumes into the nozzle
  • pro-democracy campaigners.  It's probably them, the shits.
Yes, that's sure to be the explanation.

Come laugh at my Jesus impression on Thursday, if you can.


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