We've escaped the haze for the past two years but this year, its caught us. We experienced the Indonesian haze when we lived in Malaysia and I definitely didn't want to experience it here. This is a yearly 'event' during the dry season where farmers burn forests to clear land for agriculture. It causes massive blankets of dust/ash/smog to spread across Sumatra and fly over to Malaysia and Singapore as well. In recent years, Malaysians have blamed the Indonesians but I've also read that many of the fires are started by Malaysian companies in Indonesia. Whoever it is, they certainly make life miserable for everyone on both sides of the straits.
In 2007, I planned to be in Brisbane from the start of August (the supposed start of dry season). And in 2008, I left at the end of August and didn't need to breath in any of this rubbish. What happened this year? We definitely put thought into our trip but I wanted to travel together with Richard instead of going ahead alone first. So, we're booked to leave in just under two weeks.
A couple of weeks ago, we started waking up to a smoky stink in the house and a layer of dust on the floor. The days seemed much clearer. It wasn't pleasant but it was bearable.
And then yesterday, we woke up to this:
We were out because we were heading to church and then after wards, we couldn't go home because our house was too polluted. We headed to a hotel for breakfast and then to a mall.
I was prepared for a terrible night last night but when we woke up, the skies were more or less clear. And then, after lunch, the winds must have changed direction because we were covered in a horrible, smelly blanket of haze. It makes me feel as if I'm in a room full of smokers. And what makes this worse is that people in the neighborhood will join in and burn their own rubbish, adding to haze in our area! These are people who still smoke around babies so what can I expect?
I'm seriously considering changing our departure date but .... its complicated.