Haze. It has became an annual problem for us. Year by year it only seems to be getting worse. It is turning into a losing battle and many are beginning to accept it as they go about with their daily life.
Thanks to the burning of Sumatran forest, we no longer have clear blue skies. It is blanketed by a thick layer of smog, choking us and depriving us of fresh air.
The beautiful orange sun, looked like a rare full honey moon. Yes! I was able to stare at the sun with my naked eyes and its glare wasn't strong enough to penetrate the layer of smog to command me to look away. Even the moon is no longer bright. It has gone from a white radiating ball to an amber coloured moon.
Photo credit: Adriani Hana
You have to be a fool to walk out for fresh air because the air smells like a hundred smokers blowing their cigarette's smoke right into my face. It is better to stay indoors and keep all windows and doors shut.
Every year we face this annual problem and I would announce a state of emergency; a curfew where no one is allowed to go out or even stick their heads out of my windows. If we do leave the house, the kids would be rushed into the car like some prisoners, with their hands on their head holding a towel to their face.
Unlike in the past years, this year the haze is quite unpredictable. It would be clear blue skies in the morning and at about 11am, visibility drops down to just a hundred metres. The clear sky turns misty gray like it is winter but instead of feeling the winters chill, we would be sweating buckets.
So on Saturday when my girls were selected to play at another football tournament, we were excited but a little apprehensive because of the haze. Luckily, a heavy downpour a couple of days prior to the tournament helped blow away the smog. I even dared believe it was gone for good.
It was a perfect morning. Clear skies and a light shower promised a good start to our football weekend. The bright green grass with speckles of silver rain was a beautiful welcome at the First International Soccer Academy (FISA) venue.
Clear day at 8 a.m.
Children in their colourful jerseys warming up to kick start the tournament and parents picnicking under shady trees was truly liberating experience compared my regimented haze survival living condition, these past couple of day.
I jinxed it because just like in any good horror movie, my delight was short lived. Within hours after kick off, a thick layer of smog descended upon us. It blurred our visions, tickled our noses and irritated our throats but the matches continued. I felt so naked and exposed. There was nothing I could do to safeguard any of these children from it. I kept forcing water down their throats. Some decided to drench themselves with chilled water to fight the heat and that was fine too. Anything, as long as they kept well hydrated.
The sudden drastic change in the quality of air didn't seem to bother them. They just wanted to play. They were only midway through their tournament after having lost their first match against Titans 0-2 and ended with a 0-0 tie against KLYS B in their second match when it started to get very hazy. Their third match was against CIMB YFA and Supergirls were leading 2-1 right until the last minute when the opposing team scored their equalising goal ending the match with another tie, 2-2
They did not make it into the finals for winning teams (which was a blessing in disguise) but we were quite glad to pack up and head back home, away from this haze. Yet, this defeat did not dampened their spirit and they are hungry for more matches. So keep watching this space if you are interested to see their growth as the first ever all girls football team under 14.
|Standing; Sabrina (7), K Kaur (14), A Kaur (15), Thurga (66), Jade (31)|
Kneeling; Ashley (8), Laki (10), Yasmin (93), Rania (20), Aleesya (34)
Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts