Sunday plans unfazed by haze

Sunday plans unfazed by haze
Mr Oeij Ek Siang and his daughter Lisa riding kick scooters at the Botanic Gardens on 23 June 2013 as Singapore gets a respite from the haze.

SINGAPORE - Haze or no haze, foreign workers were out on their rest day on Sunday having picnics and enjoying their day off at usual hangouts like Lucky Plaza, City Plaza and the Botanic Gardens.

Most told The Straits Times that the haze was not going to stop them from heading out to meet their friends, but added they would retreat indoors should the haze situation persist.

Thankfully the skies cleared up temporarily and they could socialise with their peers without having to wear masks outdoors.

Indonesian maid Parmujiati Kartomihajo, 37, who was having a picnic with friends at the Botanic Gardens said: "We were celebrating our friends' birthdays here. We like the outdoors. If the haze was very bad, we would have gone to McDonald's."

Fellow Indonesian domestic helper Lia Solihat, 36, who was with her friends outside City Plaza, added: "I'm very happy because I come out only once a month. If it is very bad, we have to stay in the shopping centre."

At Little India, foreign workers thronged the streets.

Construction worker P.R. Thandathayubani, 48, who is from India, said: "The haze is much better today. If the PSI is above 300, then I wouldn't have come out. I'm relieved because it's our only day to meet our relatives."

Others also ventured out as the situation improved. Mr Oeij Ek Siang, 38, took his daughter Lisa, four, to ride kick scooters at the Botanic Gardens as the PSI fell. Mr Oeij, who is studying for his master's in public management, said they would have gone to a shopping mall if the haze was bad.

At Orchard Road, shoppers and street buskers also went about their usual routines.

Direct sales officer Wong Wen Loong, 21, said the haze would not affect his Sunday plans, as it is a "precious day off".

For Yanika and Hiro, a duo of acrobats from Finland and Japan respectively, the show went on despite the haze in the past week. They have been performing in Singapore for about three weeks.

Said Yanika: "We don't really care about the haze because this is our job and this is what we love to do. The haze is a small problem, compared to other places we have visited like Japan, where there may be radiation."

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