The flip side of the lovely trip downtown on the weekend is the haze that settled over the city on Monday. Kuala Lumpur, like Los Angeles, is a city set in a bowl surrounded by hills. Pretty site, but a meteorological trap for airborn pollutants that drift in from the sea and settle of over the city, sometimes for days.

Indonesia, like Brazil, practices slash and burn agriculture, and the resulting thick smoke drifts across the Straits of Malacca. There are all kinds of agreements between the two nations on when and how much of this can be done, but no one enforces any of it and there are whole months of the year when the haze over KL looks like the picture above.

Its bad for the eyes, bad for the lungs and even worse on the economy which depends heavily on tourists and the traffic at foodstalls to keep the dollars flowing. No one feels much like going outside when it is like this, and employee absentism, already a growing problem here, becomes much worse in the haze. All you can hope for is a good rain or a strong wind to clear the air.