I’m not an allergic person by and large. To my knowledge I’ve never so much as suffered an allergic reaction to anything (save, possibly, a pomegranate age 9, when I got a bout of colic the next day. Hmm). So it came as something of a surprise to find that my eyes have been itchy and sore and my nose has been running for a tap, since, well since about July. It was noticeable because it started once we got back from our holiday in Sweden so at first I thought I’d either picked up an eye infection or was just re-adjusting to the climate here. But on it went, on and on and on. My eyes itched particularly in the inner corner and nothing would relieve it. My nose ran like a tap, especially in the mornings and I could sneeze fit to bring the house down. The only relief was a) getting out of town or b) taking Piriteze, an antihistamine.
It was all the classic symptoms of hayfever except, being that non-allergic person as I stated, it took me several months to overcome my denial. I was suffering an allergic reaction. What to? Is the next and obvious question. Well, I don’t know but it could be the greenery round here, because Yangon is very green or it could be the pollution, because Yangon is very polluted and getting worse. Our kids have suffered coughs on and off since we arrived and one sage doctor said it’s just the tropics; kids particularly seem to have all sorts of respiratory ailments but mostly mild and mostly undiagnosable. It’s just a fact of life where it’s humid and hot and well, not too clean. We regularly clean our house of course and have the aircon serviced, because my mum read a frightening article all about the fungus that can live in the filters (and believe me, the yuck that comes out when you clean is pretty horrific). And maybe we just aren’t designed to move from dry, cold aircon rooms to hot, humid tree-lined roads, filled with petrol-guzzling, no-eco-clean-up-here, cars and buses. But whatever the reason, I have started to hanker after my Swedish roots, with plenty of clean (albeit cold, mostly) air and tonnes of trees and forests but absolutely no allergies to be found, thank you.
In the meanwhile, I pray for rain and hope the rainy season might bring some relief.