Fog Monday, 13th Jan, 2020
We went up into the limestone hills to Pir Sohawa, along the road of hairpin turns bordered by rock, shrub, tree and bush, leading up and away from the city. It was a whiteout, but we had chosen to drive into the hills to meet the clouds that had rolled down, almost to the road that fronted them, the city’s hem.
Driving through mist and cloud was exhilarating… enough visibility to see fifteen feet ahead for the most part, then a sudden heart-stopping shrouding.
Enough visibility for our headlights to highlight the litter lining the road as we curved around its guiding yellow line. The weekend’s worth and Monday’s additions. Ever since the huge road lights were put up in the early 2000s, the hills have become the go-to place for the expanded twin cities. Gone is the fear of unknown places, of being without light and large groups of people. Picnic benches in laybys on wide, steep bends and nooks. Restaurants and cafes in makeshift huts, their trash rolled down the mountain behind them. A constant stream of traffic leaving a border of refuse jettisoned from windows. A steady sprinkling of empty cans, tetra juice and milk packs, biscuit wrappers, chip packets, Styrofoam food containers and plastic bottles; winter barrenness and spot focusing throwing them into sharp relief.