Air pollution

I just got back from Hong Kong, another crowded city chock-a-block with cars and buses and narrow streets. After wandering around downtown on a hot, muggy day, I wiped my sweat-drenched face with a pristine white hotel towel and found the towel was wet (of course) but still white (surprise!).

In Taipei, after just a stroll along the street, if I wipe my face with a towel, there’ll be a dirty smudge on the towel. And have you noticed how dirty the wash water gets washing clothes that only went to and from an office? Also, a thick, sticky dust builds up on everything in the apartment very quickly. Have you seen how much crud builds up on the blades and grate of a fan?

I find Taipei a very liveable city but what’s up with the air pollution?

I’ve had enough of filthy fan blades and window screens!
And you know those IKEA paper light shades…? The difference between a new one and one hanging up for two years is UNBELIEVABLE.
Will post back here three months from now with (living in downtown VS on the mountainside in Hsichi) household dust and grime report.

Try wearing one of those pseudo surgical masks when you’re outside. After 1 day, the entire inside part will be black with pollution grime.


Considering how dirty the air seems to be in Taiwan, I find it surprising that I haven’t met anyone with respiratory problems. Could it be that aside from the dust the air quality really isn’t that bad?

I used to get bronchitis every four months like clockwork. After awhile good ol’ Dr. Liu just had me in the computer, hit a single key and I was on my way with meds. Haven’t gotten any this year but the year is young. Anyway spending a vacation in green upstate NY will probably weaken my constitution and lay me open for all sorts of problems when I get back.

Alien, is there no new construction going on in your new green paradise? That would be really lucky!


No construction. Nada.
Just a mountain out my window and impossible for further construction in that area. They’d have to sell all the units on the premises first (a China Trust investment disaster I hear) and besides, Hshchi has been unfashionable since the flooding problems of past couple years. So, it’s unlikely. Luckily, my job can be done from home if flood be…

I’ve known many people to get respiratory problems in Taiwan.
I get nosebleeds after being OUT of Taipei for 2+ month stints.
I was especially affected by the pollution when I got back from Yunnan/Szechuan several years ago.

Strange??? Every time I go to HK my handerchiefs, tissues etc are filthy with black stuff. Have never had that problem In Taipei…

HK’s air pollution is much worse than Taipei’s. Check the stats.


Maybe the fact that some of you have “black stuff” on your hankies when you wipe your faces has less to do with air pollution and more to do with lack of personal hygiene. How else to explain the varying stories about air pollution in both cities?