I don’t understand


This has become my favourite expression since moving to Malaysia. There are many things I don’t understand – why large swathes of grass are cut with strimmers not mowers, why motorcyclists turn into an intersection without so much as a glance to check if there is oncoming traffic, why motorists strap themselves in but leave their children unrestrained even when in the front of the car, why “music” blares from speakers in parking lots and outside stores at a volume sure to deafen the people who work there if not the customers. I could go on. But what I really don’t understand is the persistent littering. Yesterday I drove from our house through a country area on the edge of Ipoh to the swimming pool. I usually enjoy this drive because it takes me past market gardens, small farms and even the national stud. But yesterday I didn’t enjoy it at all. I was caught for a few kilometres behind a truck (it can be difficult to pass on these narrow country roads) and I kept my distance because there were piles of crates, used for transporting fruit and vegetables, on the back that were not tied down. I was terrified that one would bounce into my windscreen. Every so often a piece of paper would fly off the truck and join the rubbish lying along both sides of the road. I don’t understand why people who make their living from the land would pollute it in this way. The photo above is of the charming Pavilion Square Tower in Kuala Kangsar. Built in 1930, it was used by the sultan’s family and British colonials to watch polo matches on the adjacent field. Not visible in the photo is the rubbish that lies all over the floors inside.

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