HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Air Up There

As my time in Vietnam continues to wind down I've been slipping into daily bouts of intense nostalgia and internal conversations about whether or not I'm doing the right thing. Every now and then, though, I'm reminded of why it is still a good idea to leave. One of the more consistent reminders is the air quality here in Saigon. It's abominable, and it's only getting worse every day. The buses belch black exhaust as they trundle through the streets, and the insane amount of motorbikes means the air is thick with fumes. If it doesn't rain for a day, the following morning is almost guaranteed to be horribly hazy. The other morning I woke up to go for a cycle and was greeted by this view:


 Delicious. I still went for a ride, but I always wonder what sort of affect this pollution is having on my respiratory system. I don't wear a facemask when I drive my motorbike, and I have a feeling my doctor back in the U.S. is going to think I started smoking. The air here may not be as bad as, say, Beijing, but if things don't improve it will be, and sooner rather than later.

6 comments:

  1. I hate Saigon for the same reason. Plus the noise. Air is great in Hoi An and Danang. If only you could telecommute.

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    1. The noise can certainly be a bit much, that's why I spend significant chunks of the day cooped up in my 24th-floor apartment. It's much better out at night.

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  2. are you serious? how can you not wear a hannibal lecter face mask? an absolute necessity!
    btw one of my pet peeves is the people that have horribly destroyed mufflers/ exhausts that they don't bother to fix and allows their bikes to spew out black fumes and cover other road users with soot.
    @anon. I would think danang is almost the same. always seems hazy there though that may just be the constantly overcast weather.

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    1. I hate those people as well, and the buses that blow huge clouds of diesel exhaust into your face.

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  3. If the air is so bad, why don't you wear a mask? Seriously.

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    1. I'm lazy, and most of the masks are pieces of crap that wouldn't even help. I'm so close to leaving now that it doesn't matter anyway.

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