You Say ‘Haze’ I Say POLLUTION

When I was at schools (very late-70s and all of the 1980s and 1990) we used to tune into to AM breakfast if it was raining to find out if outdoor school activities, like excursions/field trips and sporting events, were cancelled. When the announcements came that the athletics carnival was indeed cancelled due to the wet weather if you were like me at not at all athletic you’d let out a massive cheer! I assume if were a sporty type you’d be devastated, but I’m assuming here as wanting to attend a sporting carnival is very much outside my frame of reference.

The Little Missy, who is now 9, is scheduled to attend her very first school camp today at the Singapore Zoo. At her school this is the only camp that is actually a ‘camp’, most usually involve staying at a resort in Malaysia complete with housekeeping and proper beds. The kids sleep out in tents and see lots of behind the scenes zoo things that the public never get to see. It’s only for a night but it’s a great ‘taste’ of staying away from home.

Events are rarely cancelled in advance due to wet weather in Singapore. They might be paused for an hour or so while a thunder and lightning show plays out, but then it’s back to normal scheduling. The biggest threat to outdoor activities is the ‘haze’, which is a polite word for POLLUTION.

The pollution has been building all week, thanks to the plantations of Sumatra who are doing their annual ‘let’s burn everything’ routine.On Monday I went out in the car and to the shops for about 45 minutes. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening coughing. (I’m not normally prone to the effects of pollution but I’m still recovering from a respiratory infection. Yes, woe is me!)

Yesterday the PSI reading hit the ‘unhealthy’ range, where all outdoor activities are cancelled.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet we haven’t had to sit by the radio waiting for the announcer to tell us what will happen to the camp but the pollution has meant that Plan B will swing into place and the Little Missy will get to sleep at school instead of the zoo.

The pollution is one of the few downsides of living in Singapore. We are fortunate that it’s not ever present like it is in parts of China but it still sucks, especially as it has a very easy solution – SUMATRA! STOP BURNING STUFF!

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