I had such big plans last week.
I was going to start training to become the first Singaporean to climb Mount Everest and not use it as a springboard for my motivational speaking career.
On Wednesday, to commemorate the special 20/10/2010 date, I was going to renew my wedding vows with my three wives at a lavish outdoor ceremony on top of Marina Bay Sands where Katy Perry recently held her poolside press conference.
And then I was going to change the name of my website to temasekreport.com, but because of the haze, I couldn’t see my computer monitor clearly and accidentally typed temasexreport.com by mistake.
The damn haze ruined everything.
My Everest training and the rooftop ceremony were both canceled, but curiously, the traffic to my website with the new miss-typed domain name has increased hundredfold.
Yes, the haze is bad, but it’s no 1997.
That was the year the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) hit the all-time high of 226 in Singapore.
That was the year tracking the PSI first became a national obsession.
That was the year we turned on the TV just to see the little PSI number in the corner of the screen rather than the wonderful local programmes like Three Rooms and Shiver. (I’m still quite proud of some of my work on Shiver, by the way.)
Before that, we cared more about psf (per square foot) than PSI.
Before that, we didn’t even know what PSI was – and it doesn’t stand for “pound per square inch”.
Before that, if you wore a mask while walking down the street, people would stare at you like you were crazy or preparing to rob a pawn shop (which I wasn't).
Now, after Sars and H1N1, people stare a little less. They just steal a glance and look away.
Now, we don’t have the 1997 financial crisis.
Now, the haze has become like an old acquaintance whom you wish would stop dropping by every year or so and stinking up the joint with his smoking.
Back in 1997, the haze was unlike anything we had seen before. Like the flooding of Orchard Road a few months ago, I took it to mean Armageddon was upon us. (The movie Armageddon actually came out in 1998.)
Although the world didn’t end back in 1997, with the record-breaking PSI, the financial crisis and the Spice Girls topping the charts, it might as well have.
Wait, could Justin Bieber be a sign of the apocalypse?
- Published in The New Paper, 24 October 2010
UPDATE: Solving the haze problem
TRENDING POSTS OF THE WEEK
It’s like 1996 all over again. Only instead of the Macarena , we’re dancing Gangnam Style . Instead of watching the White House get bl...
Dear Ashley Garcia , Clothes maketh the man while the lack of clothes can make a woman famous. Sometimes unintentionally. I mean, y...
So The Alternative View posted this yesterday: Since my name appears in the post, I feel I need to fact-check it line by line. First ...
Lately, I've been noticing the recurring use of an unfamiliar word on social media. Aisey. Posted by SMRT Ltd (Feedback) on Wedne...
Last Monday, The New Paper reported that a naked man was spotted loitering at a Sengkang HDB lift lobby at night. Last week also saw a fl...
Yesterday, the New York Times apologised on Facebook for running this editorial cartoon about India's Mars mission . Post by The ...
Did you see the pictures of Ris Low in The New Paper on Wednesday? Those legs! That hair! The peek-a-boo panties! If the pictures wer...
Toggle has reported that actress Carole Lin has given birth to her first child: Despite being told by a gynaecologist that conceiving at ...
When I say “Jewel”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The waterfall? Shake Shack? A&W? The song Foolish Games from the Bat...
I first met Darryl David at Gurmit Singh's wedding dinner in 1995. David's date was a woman named Lynette Pang , who was a stag...