It was a couple of years ago when I was introduced to Haml. I believe my first time working with it was on an inherited project. The markup was very unfamiliar and a bit of a pain. Why would anyone want to abstract out HTML when you could just write it normally? It initially seemed like a needless, intermediary step.
I did recognize some of it's benefits. For example, it is nice to not have to worry about closing tags and the amount of typing it could save was pretty obvious. However, the indentation and other quirks seemed like a little too much to put up with.
So I went about my day, turning my nose up at the mention of Haml. Too cool for school, right?