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A Hazy #WWPW2015

 At the starting point

At the starting point

It was finally done and I stayed indoors most of the time. The API doubled between the time we gathered until we split for lunch. And the KL Marathon scheduled the next morning was cancelled soon after due to the haze.

But that did not deter our determination to shoot. In the end, only 40 shooters turned up, which was a decline from last year. On paper it should have been at least 70.

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We congregated as planned at Restoran Yusoof dan Zakhir right opposite the Central Market main entrace. Since I arrived late from the hospital, I parked straight there. Luckily it wasn't affected by the KL Free Car Day that morning. Had a quick breakfast before we congregate at the front of CM main entrance for a quick briefing as well as the obligatory group photo.

Soon after we that, we set off. We walked past the old “Bus Stand Kelang” - now transformed of course, passing by the far entrance of Petaling Street towards Pasar Karat, which was our first shooting area. We spent around half an hour there, shooting and mingling around with the crowd, having some coffee in the end as well.

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I then walked past Petaling Street proper - which was still closed as it only operates from 11 am - through the remnant of Hotel Malaya towards the Guan Di Temple. Here, the group started to thin out with half of the group moving on towards the Sri Maha Maniaman Temple while others decided to hang around at Pasar Karat.

Me? I went to a completely different direction. I turned back towards Petaling Street, all the way towards Stadium Negara and join some friends at Merchant's Lane Cafe. This was a real discovery for me, a quaint, rustic cafe bar, renovated from the old pre-World War shophouses along Petaling Street with a hipster twist. Something that Puan Anita would appreciate! More on that later.

I had a slightly bigger breakfast, took some photos there while catching up. Half an hour later, it was time to walk towards the end meeting point while taking snaps along the way of course. But by this time, the haze was really picking up. The sky was even greyer than when we started, the air quality deteriorated, not a conducive time for a photowalk all around.

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I skipped the planned stop at the Indian Shops along Leboh Ampang, and went straight to Burger King where we end our walk. We reached there quite early and got the best seats in the house. Again, we caught up with friends, said our goodbyes, quenched our thirst before finally setting off towards Central Market again, via Dataran Merdeka.

At this point in time, the KL Marathon had yet to be cancelled and preparations were in full swing. A long of runners were there to pick up their gears for the next day's race and judging from the air quality, I wasn't surprised that the announcement for cancellation finally came. We walked past the Masjid Jamek bridge and walked towards the CM Annex for our final stop - lunch.

Bob Magnus suggested that we have lunch at his old stomping ground on the top floor of Central Market. It must have been around 20 years since I last been at the stalls there, and not much had changed. More food and finally time to pack up and go.

A subdued walk due to the haze unfortunately, but the flame was still there. Definitely would be going again next year. And now time for post-production …. and uploads of course!

Haris Abdul Rahman