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Life in Chiang Mai


Well, it’s really darn hot!

By Heather Allen
It seems that the heat and the smog go hand in hand, or perhaps not as my friends around country are reporting extremely high temperatures as well. A friend in Nakhon Sawan said it gets up to 42 C there! Even down South on the ocean it is hot, hot, hot! It is just really darn hot. If anything the heat has made us forget about the smog. Routinely it seems to hit around 37-38 by 4 p.m. and stay that way until past 7 p.m. I am melting. We all are melting. It has made us huddle in our air conditioned rooms or make the trek to the malls for some cool air.
I confess, I dislike cold temperatures and the cold gray rain of my home country has morphed into quite a bit of snow this year. I almost miss the snow some days when I sit and melt. Almost but not quite.
However I would not mind missing the smoke and haze. Some days Doi Suthep is sort of visible, an outline, other days you would never know it was there. In the evening when the sun sets behind Doi Suthep you can see it quite clearly, with this weird glowing red ball descending behind its peak. It feels like one of those science fiction movies of a planet with a dying sun. Some days, it feels like that too. Although I do have to add that this year seems far “less bad” than last which certainly was very bad. Last year the haze had already filled the city by February and this year due to some nice rains we didn’t get it until into March. Maybe if we all cross our fingers and do a little rain dance it will rain again and the haze will go away.
Everyone complains and says “we must do something” but I must confess I am at a loss as to what that something might be. The government does need to get with the program and educate these farmers that burn their rice fields, but what about the story of the mushroom gatherers? I have heard this one so many times but have never actually met anyone who can verify its authenticity. If true, then I don’t know how to change this behavior since these people are doing it for the money they can make and don’t seem to care about anyone else or seem to understand that long term consequences of their actions. Perhaps education will help, perhaps not. But until there is a political will in Bangkok to get this handled I really don’t know what we “the little people” can do.


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Well, it’s really darn hot!