The first thought which came to my mind this morning when I woke up was, “Is that Auntie burning joss paper again?! This early in the morning?”
You see, the Aunties in my apartment block love burning joss paper. Since we live in apartments and not bungalows, there’s no space for them to do it in their own houses so they’ll cart the metal container and the joss paper and go downstairs to burn ’em.
Only this time, it wasn’t the acrid smell of burning joss.
It was the haze.
Oh. For all the times I’ve happily gloated and thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t in the Klang Valley. For all the times I’ve pitied the Klang Valley folks but felt quite invincible up here in Penang.
Darn. It’s over. The happy, haze-less days are over as of this morning.
The haze was around yesterday afternoon but I didn’t notice it much although Nic kept telling me it had arrived about 3pm. I didn’t see it nor smell it and that was fine by me.
But this morning was awful. Imagine waking up to no sun! None at all. And the air smells funny. And I am the least sensitive type of person. When Nic’s nose twitches, I’ll go, “What? I don’t smell a thing.”
Today, my nose is twitching and it is not the Bewitched kind of twitch. My throat isn’t doing fantastic either. I am given to bouts of coughing which is my body’s response to the polluted air around me.
I don’t even dare to put my pet lovebird, Sawadee, out on the balcony for fear he’ll keel over. In fact, the poor bird isn’t singing very loudly or much today (he usually wakes the whole apartment with his morning song and he’s often very noisy).
And the worst part? I have a treasure hunt to take part in tomorrow! How am I supposed to hunt when the air quality is so bad? And my KL friends are coming to Penang to escape the haze…what irony!
This photo was taken from my balcony at 9.42am today. On good days, I can see all the other buildings (apartments) and even the hill on Pulau Jerejak from my balcony. Today, nothing!
Another shot showing how thick the haze is!