Saturday, May 08, 2021

AQI: 213

The air quality has radically improved since last night, but the current AQI of 213 still puts us in the "very unhealthy" range, so I won't be doing a crazy walk tonight, either.  Sunday is out, so:  no crazy walk this weekend.

Korea used to be a vassal state of China—a fact that Koreans can be touchy about when it comes to discussions of geopolitics and global trade.  Koreans don't like to be seen as kowtowing to the Chinese, but China is South Korea's largest trading partner by far, which makes it difficult for the ROK government to do things like pivot toward India in the face of China's many instances of malfeasance and outright harm (pandemic, anyone?).  Continuing in that vein, I feel almost as if China's weather is holding Koreans hostage:  when China farts titanic clouds of noxious dust in our direction, we peninsular folk have no choice but to hunker down or risk taking in lungfuls of microparticles.  Sucks all around.

More bad news:  the week of the Buddha's birthday (May 19)—the entire week through Friday—is forecast to be rainy, rainy, rainy.  It might actually be better for me to postpone my Andong Dam hike until the following week.  I might have to reschedule the hike, anyway, given my workload and the fact that I'm increasingly behind schedule with our current project.  On the upside, several days of rain will scour the skies and result in fantastic air quality.  Will the clean air hang around long enough to help me during a postponed hike?  Not sure.  In many cases, it'll rain, then the skies will be clear and clean for at most two days, and then we'll be back in the shit.  We really are at the mercy of China and the Gobi Desert.  Maybe China should quickly solve the problem by covering the entire desert with giant, white tarps that reflect sunlight.  Then other countries—like Korea—could breathe a sigh of relief.

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