Friday 21 June 2013

Singapore: The Other Ms arrive

‘Oh that, it’s just a bit of barbeque smoke,’ I said as we collected the Other Ms from the airport for their long-awaited family holiday in Asia. Later in the day, the Pollution Standards Index reached record highs at the ‘hazardous to health’ end of the scale, so we had to confess it was a bit more than cooking smoke.

As we drove away from the airport, I pointed out things in the distance that would normally have been visible without the thick blanket of haze from Indonesia. It was not even possible to see the beach from East Coast Parkway. The outline of the Singapore Flyer was just about discernible but the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel was hidden by Sumatran smog.

This disaster is our fault. While working in St. Louis in the United States, I caused the Great Flood of 1993. 9/11 occurred just after we moved to Washington. When we lived in Oman, we caused Cyclone Gonu, which destroyed much of the northern coast in 2007. Having lived in Singapore for the last three years, it was obvious we were due for another disaster. On the bright side, it’s taken the nation’s mind off the Dengue epidemic. I’m pretty sure my Cost of Living Allowance doesn’t cover these things.

After a long rest we reviewed Mrs M Tours’ itinerary for the next couple of weeks and considered a strategy if the haze persisted into next week. Rain would be most welcome.

In the evening, we managed to squeeze everyone into the car by putting Mrs M into the doggy position (that is, in the boot of the hatchback) and drove on quiet roads to Samy’s Curry for dinner. All was going well until Jamie ate some chilli, which turned him pinker than his brother’s knitted iPhone cosy.

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