Where do I begin, to tell a story of how hazy life can be? A true haze story that has swept across the sea...
Anyway, like many smart assed KL-ites, on thursday, I thought I had better make escape plans, I mean, short of a miracle, I couldn't possible see (no pun intended) how our air quality could improve over the next few days, so I scouted around the various options. Singapore was too expensive, though a kind cousin did offer to put me up for free. We managed to get hotel rooms in the Gurney, so first thing Friday morning, up north we trooped. My sis had fled the day before, and told us the weather there was fine. Along the NS Highway we sojourned, past Ipoh, Cangkat Jering, and there was still NOOOOO sign of clear skies. I call her again, (my sis) to find out if Penang WAS really clear. She said yes. Anyway, she was right, and by the time we got to the bridge, you could actually see the sky.
Had a blissful massage on the beach, in front of Golden Sands, (we brought the kids to swim with sister's kids), and while the clairvoyant masseur was listing down all my ailments, to a Tee, by reflexologising my sole, he suddenly remarked, "oooh, see lah, the winds are blowing from the SOUTH. not good, not good. this will bring the haze here". Almost as is prophetic, as he spoke, you could see traces of grey air slowly creeping in.
Reminds me of Sauron's power spreading in middle earth, as he gained strength. I can imagine how the skies probably turned a shade darker, as the smoke from Mt Doom spewed forth treacherously. By nightfall, the moon was shrouded by a thin layer of mist, like a bride within a veil. And like the helpless race of Man in Middle Earth, we just sighed, "it is coming".
By the next day, Penang, Pearl of the Orient, had become the chimney of the orient, so we quickly made plans to flee back south, where apparently the sun was shining, and birds chirping, and roosters crowing at the correct times again. At first I thought it was just my friend trying to pull a fast one on me. I received no less than 6 sarcastic sms-es enquiring how the fine weather in Penang was. [you know who you are, and teeen yau ngan]. The hotel was gracious enough to let us check out a day earlier, without penalty.
Still, we went to breakfast in one of the gurney drive coffee shops, and the kids insisted on wearing their masks while crossing the road from the car to the shop. This little moment of theirs has been immortalised in the Sunday Star. (See pic).
Actually, it really wasn't AS BAD as all that, because after breakfast, they still swam in the hotel pool, as were a lot of others. The good thing about Penang was that it was quite breezy. And that burning acrid smell that we got in KL, well, you didn't get that there.
So, back south we headed, with the same process, reversed. Ie, shrouded skies all the way from beginning of destination, until just before reaching.
Oh, and I saw the gymnasium, Fitness Studio, that someone linked here has been talking about. Yar, amazing, they plagiarised the Fitness First Font.
OOOH, we (me & family, sans wife, who is camera shy) appeared in Singapore TV last night, CHANNEL NEWS ASIA, as they wanted a story on people who played hide and seek with the haze.