Home > observations and ramblings, thoughts > life with the lions

life with the lions

Standing outside on a cool, wet night, the warmth of a human body beside me, looking up at the sky: “Kat Klang Valley ni memang tak pernah nampak the stars pun eh?”

It’s something I can’t help but notice every time I find myself staring up at the night sky, the fact that here in the Valley you can’t see even one star in the night sky. Whether it’s in the middle of KL, a well-done garden of a large two-storey house in a housing project somewhere in Petaling Jaya or an almost-alien road in an almost-alien neighbourhood in Gombak, every time I look up at the night sky I can’t not notice the absence of the celestial bodies that are supposed to be up there, twinkling and shimmering.

The sky’s not even the hue of black that I remember from the years I spent growing up in Skudai, and sometimes it doesn’t even look like it’s really night. Light pollution, they call it: the glow from distant housing projects, shopping complexes and of Eastern European dance parties. “It looks like it’s 5 in the morning, bukan 8 at night,” as my brother once said of the night sky during one of our rare moments spent together without a TV, music or a computer to distract us. And he spoke the truth. I couldn’t have agreed with him more.

I remember walking outside the house back when I lived in Skudai and standing in the middle of the road and being able to see the stars many, many light-years away, far, far above me. I remember clear, near-inky-black night skies. I remember all the things that I no longer see and the opposites of all the things I dislike when I look up at the night sky I live under nowadays.

And I remember being surprised by the fact that I was suddenly able to see the stars as I made my way out of the Valley, heading 600-ish kilometres north for Hari Raya. It was as if crossing some imaginary boundary that delineates the Valley suddenly makes all the stars appear (or disappear, depending on which direction you’re coming from).

Some say you can’t see the stars because all the light pollution’s drowned them out and obscured them. Some say it’s the haze, the smog or the pollution (and sometimes all three). Some say it’s just because cloud cover is somehow heavier over the Valley than other places. Some say it’s a combination of anything and everything.

But, really, it’s simple:

“KL ni laknat doh.”

  1. Sep 7, 2008 at 00:20

    huhuu..u cant see any star at kl la bro..i dont know exactly the reason why, but just stick to the statement “kl=polluted”

  2. Ayu
    Sep 7, 2008 at 21:50

    latnat??tak baik tau!!

  3. Sep 7, 2008 at 22:56

    wht is laknat @.@ wakakaka…ignorantnyer aku nih.

  4. Sep 8, 2008 at 00:55

    while not a direct translation, if i was to write an english equivalent of that final sentence, it would probably be “kl is cursed, man.”

    or something of the sort.

  5. Sep 8, 2008 at 23:14


  6. meuy
    Sep 9, 2008 at 00:44

    true. i remember seeing the most magnificent sight of stars when i was at camp in melaka. it just blew me away.
    sad, i’d love for stars to be in the night sky :/

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