toxic creeper

Reading about the news in China is like looking up your symptoms on Web MD – you always think the worst. Reading the latest on the hot box of pollution in Shanghai is no exception. As of late, the pollution has been a total nightmare. You wake up and look outside to see what looks like a white out…except its a thick fog of nasty pollution waiting to creep up on you and in you and wreak total havoc on your life and health. Ahhh, yes, my friends, welcome to life in Shanghai. Earlier this week when the pollution was really bad, but before it was atrocious and officially beyond what the scale designed to measure its hazardous quality was exceeded, I did my best to stay indoors. Yesterday I had no choice but to leave. Of course, it was the worst day yet. The scale runs from 0-500 and Shanghai tends to hang out in between 150-250. Yesterday it exceeded the scale so your guess is as good as mine as to what the level really was. I had heard at one point it was at 600. I stumbled out with my driver and covered my face with my scarf. Pretty useless so I made several attempts at landing some face masks. While flimsy, I figured a 10% improvement was worth it as I felt like I was suffocating trying to get a decent breath of air in my lungs. I quickly managed to get a sore throat from said pollution and hurried to finish my errands so I could resume hiding in my apartment. Having never experienced such hazardous conditions, I really began to question a number of things. It’s scary to find yourself subjected to such a scenario without much choice in the matter to rectify the situation other than investing in an air purifier and face mask and staying indoors. I realize being an expat in Shanghai or anywhere really  is “what you make of it” and I get that. This, however, brought on a whole new level of questioning “Why am I here ???” My attitude tends to range from “I’m comfortable” to “I like it” to “I’m having fun” to “I want to punch someone in the face” to “get me a ticket out of here NOWWWW!!!!!!!” I’m a little ADD living here and fluctuate in a range of feelings and emotions pretty much on the hour. It’s exhausting. I think the QOLA (quality of life adjustment) in our expat package should really read COLLE (cost of limiting life expectancy).  *Sigh* Yesterday just left me feeling even more thankful for everything we are sooooo incredibly fortunate to have in the USA. And for the ticket I have booked knowing relief is on the way. Holding my breath until then…

In other news, I did have a lovely distraction to turn that frown upside down and distract me from the haze of death toxins outside my window…Brawl on the Bund!

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3 thoughts on “toxic creeper

  1. I, myself, had a “China day” on Friday. I kept my kids home from school and stayed inside. It was a dismal, depressing time as many activities were canceled – including an exciting dance performance for my daughter. She was heartbroken, I was wheezing and we all were questioning – “Why are we here?” I am hoping that Friday was an anomaly, but Beijing has been over 400 all weekend which does not bode well for our winter here in Shanghai. Stay safe. I have a Bedazzler, in case you want to fancy up your mask!

    • I’m hopeful as well it was only a fluke “bad” day with the pollution. I was glad to have woken up to an aqi less than 200 Saturday. At least there was some relief. And YES! I love the Bedazzler – BEST idea ever!!!! lol.

  2. Pingback: brawl on the bund | World Wife Traveler

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