• Share
  • Read Later

When you’ve spent year upon year living beneath the dark, noxious mists that pass for air in Hong Kong, a single day of blue sky is a stunning meteorological event. A week of them is a scarcely believable, lifetime fluke. But we’ve just come through two months of uninterrupted, dazzling days of the deepest azure. Our people, long resigned to functioning on reduced oxygen levels, are getting giddy and high off the air. Myself, I’m speechless with confusion and euphoria, but to quote my friend Andrew, “You can get an erection just from breathing.”
For this reprise of summers as they used to be, back in the sun-burnished days of deepest childhood, we have an unusually strong, sub-tropical ridge of high pressure in the western Pacific to thank. It is creating southerly winds that push back over the hills all the toxic vapors and airborne particulates that have drifted down from the hellish wastelands of industrial Guangdong. Naturally, we are hoping that it stays that way—that the world has somehow shifted on its axis, altering wind patterns and creating, just for us, a freakish little clearing in the Asian Brown Cloud. Two months of clean air is already a dizzying marvel: why shouldn’t it last for two decades?
The government, rather disgracefully, has tried to claim credit for the weather, citing its feeble air pollution policies, even though the latter couldn’t deal with the carbon emissions of a backyard barbecue, never mind clean up a city the size of Hong Kong, or change the course of the summer monsoon for that matter. But not even the government can spoil our mood, which is best summed up in the words of the great Afro-American folk poet, Terrance Quaites (whom some may know as TQ):
And everybody on the eastside is real high off the la-la
And we looking for the ta-ta cause they pop out when it gets hot
Kiss your rainy days good bye, just blue skies and sunshine
Come chill with me
Everything will be all right on the best side in the summertime