Monday, February 28, 2005

Not in a New York Minute

Today the air quality in KL was so bad that we had to cancel our PE classes. We went inside and played some esoteric Korean kids game.. 'ring around the rosy' style. Ji Yi led the activity.

Since the gov't doesn't usually release that kind of air quality info and keeps it secret.. well, it must have been pretty damn bad. Probably double bad from what we were told.

Geetha tells me of the bad old days in KL back in the late 90's when the haze was thick as a Frisco fog and you couldn't see the parking deck rails as you drove inside.

Malaysia blames Indonesia for burning Sumatra just 40km away. Indonesia blames Malaysia for something or other.... every village burns their garbage.. open air. Welcome to a developing nation.

A chromium sun sets in the distance. The bilal blazes from the mosque down the hill, astral projections into the ozone. I puff my pipe full of Amphora (my own private haze) and sit satiated on a jug of Carlsberg. Here they call 'em 'jugs' and not pitchers.

By 7:30 I'll chaperone a middle school dance, 3:30 beer buzz fluttered away.

I've got my spine, I've got my Orange Crush (well not really an Orange Crush- here it's called Green Spot- really!).

AJ is on his way to Hiroshima to teach English to a room full of Japanese.

Tomorrow I'll play rugby, Sunday I'll climb the remnants of an ancient coral reef. Monday back to the classroom. Next PE unit, lacrosse.. I've heard the name.

Ahh.. sublime....this is living.

Somehow I wouldn't trade this for a safe and sterile GA suburb in a New York Minute.

-Matt Salleh

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