French proud Mum and wife, restless explorer and doer freshly landed in Hanoi. One Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “kids friendly” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.
The new riches in town are selling air imported from Canada, Norway and Switzerland. You can buy your life saving kit on Facebook obviously and in almost every Embassy and International hospital.
The situation in Hanoi is getting worse by the week. This morning the AQI was on “dangereux” meaning “hazardous”. Everyone may experience serious health effect and we should all avoir being outside. I am among the privileged ones who has an air purifier and an deshumidifier at home in each of our bedrooms. Still it does not prevent us from caughing, feeling dizzy and experiencing countless headaches. And yes, we are religiously wearing our masks outside.
But what about the people who don’t have all those first world gadgets? Our cleaner is driving 30 mn to reach our home in the hyper polluted traffic and her mask is not the kind you find in the expats shops. She shares her bedroom with her husband and her 2 daughters, one being asthmatic. She is the majority of the Hanoian population. She witnesses the constant eruption of ridiculously fancy building in town and in the rich districts and is has lost hope to ever see the metro that will enable her to leave her scooter at home …
It just drives me crazy. Vietnam will not have Greta, not the kind of guest they like. In this kind of country, climate strikes would simply be forbidden any way, and you don’t really want to mess with the autorities… In the meanwhile, the health situation keeps on worsening. At least we expats know we can ( and will!) leave this country. But not our Vietnamese friends.
I am feeling so useless, eventhough we are the cliché of the “green family”: we reduce, reuse, recycle at length, and we do our best not to waste. List all the things “eco responsible” people should be doing and I am sure I can cross them “checked”. But Greta is right. This is not enough. It’s like wanting to stop a flood in the house with our pinky finger.
I know .. I know.. we all can make a tiny difference and at some stage it will get better of course; but today pollution is drowning me in doubts and questions.
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