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Tea with AK71: Water, water everywhere.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Cantonese saying goes "yao shui, yao choi" which literally translated would say "have water, have money". However, we know that we cannot have too much of a good thing.  Back in school, biology class taught us that if we drink too much water, we might get drunk but I am sure the effects are different from being drunk on alcohol!  Really bizarre.

Well, we are having too much water lately from the heavens.  On that faithful day when Orchard Road became a river last week, I was so drenched walking from the carpark to my office (yes, I don't have a sheltered carpark at work) even with a super large umbrella that I had to exchange my socks and shoes for a pair of slippers at work.  I was feeling quite miserable. 


Today, a bit wiser, I stayed home as the rain came pouring and left for work an hour later when conditions became slightly better.  Guess what.  The roads were still jammed.  Traffic on Jalan Bukit Merah was paralysed.  That was at 10.30AM.  Imagine that.  The last time it happened was when a huge tree fell across six lanes in both directions and till today, the authorities have yet to replace the fence which was destroyed on the center divider at the T junction with Jalan Membina. Residents there are not complaining and I have seen quite a few happily jay walking now that the barrier is gone to get to the bus stop on the other side of Jalan Bukit Merah. That tree fell on a day with strong winds and torrential rainfall just weeks ago.

Thankfully, by the time I arrived at work today, the rain became a light drizzle.  I half jokingly told a customer just now that the world is coming to an end.  Half jokingly because I know that extreme weather conditions are here to stay.  My major in the university was Geography and climate change was something I studied.  Half jokingly also because I have faith in the Singapore government to pre-empt and do the right things.  Building the Marina Barrage is one such example of a right thing.

By many estimates, the Earth would be a very different place by end of this century.  The sea level could have risen 70cm by then.  Imagine that. The polar ice caps would be almost totally gone and that goes for the glaciers in the mountains too. We have made such a mess of this world.

This is something I memorised for my "A" Level Literature class two decades ago:

"To her fair works does nature link the human soul that through me ran and much it grieves my heart to think what man has made of man" - William Wordsworth.

My memory has become a bit patchy over the years and I hope I have not mangled Wordsworth's words.  Still poignant, don't you think?

Flash floods come to the neighbourhood!


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