AQI…. Air Quality Index. This is an acronym I have become very familiar with. Living in SE Asia means you live with air pollution. It’s just a fact of life. I thought I knew what air pollution was, I mean, I lived by LA, that’s air pollution, right? Boy was I wrong. Most mornings when I look out my window there is a heavy haze over the city. It looks like fog. I love fog. I wish this haze was fog.
AQI is color coded.
(This table is from Air Now).
My school uses three colors and this is how I like to think of them Green = woo hoo! Go outside, take a deep breath, and enjoy the day. Yellow = not so good, but you can be outside. Red= Students aren’t allowed out for recess and you should avoid exercising outside. Since I have lived here we haven’t gone over red. If you want to see what a maroon city looks like check out what New Delhi is currently going through.
We graph the air pollution in my class instead of the weather because the weather doesn’t have much variance to it. Last month we had 1 red day. Last week we had 3.
October graph vs. November graph
So I finally did it. I bought an air pollution mask. (Well, to be completely honest I accidentally bought 10. Ha ha! I bought them online and thought I was buying one nice one but in reality I got 10 disposable ones. At least they are the best disposable ones you can buy! 🙂 ) The pollution makes me dizzy and gives me head aches. Some mornings you can taste it. I’m not exaggerating either. It’s gross.
Below are a few pictures of what the air pollution looks like.
View out my apartment window. Red Day vs. a Green Day
I’ve been told the air pollution is from several different things; factories burning at night, construction, motorbikes, and wind blowing it in from other places. Where ever it comes from its gross. But, ever city has its downside. Right now, air pollution just happens to be Saigon’s.
I feel like Bane from Batman, but at least I’m prepared for more red days!