You see, the way haze works is that it sticks around in the atmosphere and takes its own sweet time going away. Much like an uninvited guest at a party. This going away can be expediated with rain, be it of the natural sort or induced via cloud seeding. As most people living within the Klang Valley would know, rain causes traffic jam. Worse still if the rain decides to throw a tantrum and incite the dreaded flash flood.
I received a phone call yesterday around 6.00pm from a friend in KL telling me that I should hurry if I want to pick WL up in time for our movie date. The reason being that parts of the city was once again under water due to the heavy downpour. It was decided that WL would take the train instead. She later told me that the Komuter service was packed with people and trains were unable to ply their usual route across the city. I suspect the service disruption was also due to flash floods. Apparently, the trains were turning around at KL Sentral and going back the way they came towards Seremban and Klang instead of cutting across town to Rawang and Sentul. It was one big confused mess.
As for me, I was stuck in traffic from my office all the way to Mid Valley. A journey that would have taken 15 minutes with the usual non-rainy day traffic was stretched out to slightly over an hour. I must say that I got off easy. I can only imagine grief that the people along the Seremban Highway had to suffer. I heard over the radio that the traffic was backlogged to Kajang and beyond.
And inspite of all that hassle, the haze is still around. It doesn’t take a genius or the midday air pollutant index (API) published by Malaysia’s Department of Environment to tell us that. When it is broad daylight with dry ground, and 1 Utama disappears from the view of my office window, it’s pretty damned sure that haze is to blame. A quick peek outside the window reveals that it’s a lost cause. The culprits aren’t just our neighbours across the Straits of Malacca. It is also those who irresponsibly start fires for open burning here on the very shores of our own country.
So yeah, I really can’t decide which is worse. The haze, or the rains. On the one hand, I don’t fancy breathing in all the gunk floating around in the atmosphere but on the other hand, heavy downpours result in horrendous traffic jams. Breathing vehicle exhaust and recycled air must be just as bad. How about you? Which do you figure is worse?