The Indonesian island of Sumatra is on fire. The smoke haze that is drifting over Singapore is acrid and nasty. It is very nasty indeed. I am wheezing and struggling to breathe.
The Singaporean government has put out a health warning advising the elderly and young children of the Island to stay inside. Such warnings are not uncommon. We residents of Singapore are often subject to smoke haze that drifts across from Indonesia. Many of the fires there are deliberately lit to clear the land for the planting of palm trees for oil production.
It is an abomination.
Here is a picture taken this afternoon of the skyline of the Singapore CBD.
As I alighted the taxi at my residence in Novena my insane Danish neighbour Jens roared up on his Harley Davidson motor cycle and pulled up beside me. The exhaust from his bike added to the rancid smoke in the air. Jens killed the engine and took off his black helmet and he shook his greasy and dis-shevelled hair loose. His motorcycle helmet has horns on it. I think it is supposed to resemble something Viking but to me it just looks bovine.
Jens roared at me, "How eez it going skeepy de boosh kangaroo?
This is Jens typical attempt at insulting me and it is rather pathetic. Equally pathetic is him riding a Harley and his ridiculous helmet with the horns on it. Jens is rather proud of his Viking heritage but the horns just make him look even more crazy than he actually is. He is grossly overweight and has a wild head of greying blonde hair with an equally wild and unkempt beard. There are often bits of food stuck in his facial hair and I suspect that he rarely washes.
My relationship with Jens is quite hostile and it came to a head a couple of months ago when I suggested to building management that he may be the party responsible for shitting in the communal swimming pool. I have written about this episode previously in a piece called, "The Floater" so I will say no more on the matter here.
"I am having difficulty breathing fatso" I replied.
"Ya ver ees all dees smoke coomink from?
"The island of Sumatra is on fire"
"Ha!", the Dane cackled insanely.
It seemed to me to be a completely inappropriate and bizarre comment to make but was one that befits such a man of his mental instability.
"The police were here earlier Jens. I think they may have been looking for you"
They weren't. However I wanted to disarm Jens and keep him on his toes. This was an endeavor to minimize the potential for him physically attacking me. The insanity of the man is profound and his behavior is completely unpredictable.
Jens looked taken aback at this and he was noticeably alarmed.
"Modderfooken polis" he muttered.
The building manager Mr. Tan appeared suddenly and almost miraculously. He often does this. It is like he emerges from thin air and perhaps he does. As usual he was being trailed by one of the dopey security guards of the apartment complex in which both Jens and I reside.
"Good evening Mr. Peter. Good evening Mr. Jens. Is everything alright?"
"Modderfoker" was Jens response.
"Good evening Mr. Tan" I replied.
"Mr. Jens was just telling me how he set the island of Sumatra on fire and is responsible for all this smoke. I think we should inform the police"
"Modderfoker" Jens repeated.
He was now tugging at his beard and I could actually see crumbs falling from it.
Mr. Tan looked anxious. He often does.
"Don't worry Mr. Tan I am only joking"
Mr. Tan looked relieved.
"How is the investigation on the poo in the pool proceeding? I enquired of Mr. Tan.
Jens now looked alarmed and began tugging at his beard even more furiously.
"I have not had any further updates" Mr. Tan replied.
"Any idea who would have done such a despicable thing Jens? I asked of the lunatic Scandinavian.
My tone was accusing and I cocked my eyebrow at him in emphasis.
"Eet wasn't modderfoker me!" Jens exploded.
He turned quite red in the face as he put back on his bovine motorcycle helmet and then he started his engine and he roared off down the driveway.
"He is definitely the culprit Mr. Tan. I would keep him under very close surveillance"
Mr. Tan nodded in grim agreement. We both watched the crazy Dane hurtle off into the hazy distance.
This time it was me who gave an evil cackle as I walked my way through the lobby. I caught the lift up to the sanctuary of my little apartment. I was in dire need of my ventolin.
This smoke in the air is wreaking havoc with my asthma.