On Dust Bunnies (or The Battle Eternal Against the Grime of Santiago)

I’m in Ñuñoa.

One thing that I honestly find extremely wearying is the apparent and incessant precipitation of dust on everything in my apartment. I can do a cleaning of the floors and counters and literally within a couple of hours I can see a layer forming and small dust bunnies already accumulating. After a few days, the place looks like it’s been abandoned for months. I hardly ever have people over because it’s a faff to get everything presentable. I would have to be cleaning the apartment daily to keep it clean and I don’t have the time nor wherewithal to do that. The other thing is that I’m reminded that I’m breathing that crap in all day which only leads to further negative ruminations about my future health.

Does anyone else experience this or am I just in a particularly bad spot in the city? What’s really weird is that the dust seems to increase in the winter when doors and windows are closed almost all of the time so I have no idea where it all comes from. It is such a negative sink on my psychological outlook that I am even considering moving out of Santiago and going down south somewhere where I assume with lots of trees around, it is less of an issue.

Is this a common experience or am I just being a whiner?

You are not a whiner. It is totally valid and you may well be in a particularly poor location for a variety of reasons, currents and house ventilation design

Some try to normalize it but it no good for someone health conscious

You just gotta get out of the dust bowl of RM. Either go for the high elevation hills on the RM rim where the most expensive places are (because they have clean air Jetson style) or just head outside of it if you can swing it. We went to the 9th region inland and never looked back after spending a few weeks in providencia and developing a cough and seeing the dust circulating everywhere indoors and outdoors (except when we were up near the rim…and saw down in to what we were living in :scream: ).

Curico inland near portero grande would be our next bet air quality wise and much closer to RM if you need proximity there for business access. Also a nice geophysical/volcanic profile

Not a whiner, but if you do move to an area with basically cleaner air, then your RM pollution and dust bunnies may be replaced by dirt and dust of the countryside or ocean area. Yes, even here on the coast, the depto gets a constant layer of dust coming in and settling on interior surfaces from the onshore and offshore ocean breezes. Just never seem to be able to get away from it and an added health threat would be the moisture if on the coast or down the wetter south causing mold and mildew problems.

I bought an air filter for the apt and it really cuts down on all of that crap in the air, including regular dust. I am in Provi.

Yeah. We’re in a more rural area of the RM out of the smog. There’s a farm behind the house and various vineyards in the area. We battle against a constant layer of agricultural dust/dirt, especially on windowsills, moldings, etc. It’s especially bad in the spring when the farm is preparing to plant and planting.

Trouble is that it doesn’t rain enough in the Central Region and North, so dust doesn’t get washed away. In the past, pre-estallido Santiago had a street washing program, don’t know if It’s still going.

It was worse before TranSantiago, the old buses used to belch out nasty PM10 diesel soot which got everywhere.

I hear you gimp. Living in the city, the daily dust was so omnipresent. I would end up writing about it.

Urban Tumbleweeds

dust fairies driven from their corners

tumble drunkenly across my bedroom floor

impatiently reassembled

by undecided breezes

unchoreographed waltzes

of whirlwinds and wisps

victims of brooms and social consciences

chased until they rested

in different places and pieces

nomads, always to travel more

© Sharyl Thompson 1972

But in the country, seventh region, the air is much cleaner. and dust is at normal levels. I dust once a week, sooner than that is a waste of time. If you are interested in a quick visit to see for yourself, message me and I will send the rental link (short term). The rental income helps me cover the costs of the animals at the sanctuary.

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