JASMINE ON: The Gray Question–Fog or Smog?

I try not to think about it. I’ll give it a good thought just this once, and then I’ll go back pretending that it’s fog.

Sitting cross-legged on my bed, I look out and see a cropping of high-rise buildings. Apartments. Hotels.  One of them has a sign that says Shangri-la in bright red lettering. I can’t see it right now because the haze has hid it from view. Sometimes I can. This is how I measure how gross today is going to be, if I feel like it. I try not to (because, ew) but it’s habit to look out of the window. How else do I figure out which outfit is suitable for the weather? Not by looking out of the window, not anymore. Layers, now.

Once, on a really bad day, people wrapped cloth around their heads, nose to neck, if they didn’t have a face mask. I left my face bare, and walked up the stairs really, really slowly.

Most of my American classmates have air quality apps on their smart phones. I think they take great horrific delight in announcing how unhealthy the air is on a particular day. They announce it with severe eyebrows and wide eyes, but their mouths gape open, lips curling at the edges. If they remember, they don’t tell me. They never remember.

It’s just fog. It’s just fog. Just like the green lights in the night sky are stars, the gray haze at morningnoonnight is fog.

Lovely photographic evidence:

Chengdu Haze

(That red arrow? It’s pointing to a building.)

2 thoughts on “JASMINE ON: The Gray Question–Fog or Smog?

  1. The infamous smog in China. Many Chinese still try to convince me its all fog and all natural,and its actually a good sign. I really wonder how they can still keep it up, sometimes the few is only a few dozen meters in the city, just terrible.
    When my Chinese in-laws came to visit us in Finland they were shocked about how “clean” the air is. They always asked me why we don’t have fog…one day I showed them real fog in the morning and they were surprised how different it is to their “Chinese fog”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s