Life in TransitA Digital Nomad in Asia

The Singapore Haze, March 2014

Singaporeans exercise at the Serangoon stadium despite the haze visible in the background.

I have been blessed with breathing in relatively clean air throughout my two years in Asia. The last time the haze hit Singapore badly I was fortunate to have been in Malaysia.

This time around, I wasn’t so lucky.

Smells Like Burning

I could see why some of the people complain about the haze. Aside from the obvious health issues, the constant smell of something burnt in the air can be rather annoying.

It would be great if it smelled like barbecue pork, or burnt pine or something aromatic.

Ill Effects

While I walked for over an hour outdoors this evening with no ill effects, I started coughing as I was sitting by the pool drafting this blog and an email. I thought I would brave the haze but the combination of haze and a determined mosquito – or swarm of them – caused me to retreat to my condo.

When I arrived upstairs, I was not spared from the effects of the haze which had crept through my wide open windows. I started sneezing.

Now, a few hours basking in the haze trapped in my condo later, I can feel a slight burning sensation as fluid drips down my throat. Not a pleasant pleasant feeling.

The haze is particularly bad at night because the cold air increases its density.

However, not quite as bad as the time I had to spend about two hours shooting a furniture warehouse fire. My throat was burning and I had to make frequent trips out of the area to get fresh air.

Mind you, for all the health and amazing recovery ability I have, I am unfortunately prone to respiratory track infections, leading to prolonged bouts of coughing.

Where It’s From

According to Yahoo News Singapore, “NEA said that the number of hotspots in the Malaysia increased Tuesday to 149 from 86 on Monday and those in Sumatra jumped to 259 from 228.”

Those hotspots contribute to the polluted air in Singapore.

What To Do

For now, it is not that bad and unless you are ill or suffer from respiratory illness, your body can take it. You probably do not need this N95 particulate mask though I hear they are selling fast in Singapore.

All I can think of right now is how I’m glad I’m not in Beijing. I hear the air there is crazy.

If this keeps up, I might have to make an early trip to Bangkok.

Ah one of the things I miss, where I live and work in the farm areas, in Toronto: fresh (Ok sometimes it smells like manure) air.

Are you in Singapore? How has the haze affected your quality of life here?

Please share your answer in the comments below
Posted in: Cover, Snapshots