Sunday, July 8, 2007


I am not feeling so good today. I have a cold, sinus infection, whatever you want to call it. It comes from the haze that has settled in over Taiping from our highly educated, and wonderfully considerate Indonesian neighbors burning the jungle to make room for more palm oil plantations, and burning the garbage from the ones already there, in Sumatra and Riau.

Even worse, it also comes from the their Malaysian counterparts, who think because it is dry, and there is a haze, it is the perfect time to burn their garbage. We're not talking just newspapers, cardboard, and harmless flammable stuff like that. Nope, it's whatever they have at hand- plastics, styrofoam, synthetic fabrics- anything that will burn that will make toxic noxious fumes. They don't care if it wafts in all through your place and makes you nauseous- Why should they? They are at least smart enough to burn it so it doesn't blow into their house, so why should they care?

It's as if a neighbor you didn't know came in uninvited and took a dump in your house, and spread it all around with his foot, then tipped his hat, smiled at you, and left. There's no difference at all. The thing is, for Malaysians, this seems to be perfectly acceptable behavior.

You look out from our balcony, and at any time there were at least two or three open burnings going on just in our neighborhood, sometimes as many as six or more. Opening burning like this was banned in New Jersey for environmental reasons in the early 1970's.

I guess that means that Malaysia is oooooh, only about thirty five years behind the times.
And Indonesia- well, they are back in the Stone Age!

So if I don't Blog for a couple of days, it's because I am locked in at home recuperating.