Thursday, October 12, 2006


Aman, was exactly the same age as me. He is the son of Mak Cik Peah and Pak Cik Harun. He has an older brother, Sham and a younger one we called Adik. I was quite close to all of them but mostly to Aman. Wonder what he does now.

A aerial view from the top of Gunung Mat Cincang in Langkawi. Solitude by cable car.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Zul Jawa

Zul Jawa, my first true best friend.

About 30 years ago, we lived in a squatter settlement in Cheras makeshift houses of lumber and zinc. Luckily there was electricity and running water (via rubber hose from a pipe by the side of the main street - households take turns to have water flowing to their homes). Zul came to live in a house in front of mine.

Zul has strong javanese almost aboriginal features. Dark skin, thick lips, spiky hair. He came from Kuala Selangor and stayed at his sisters home to get education in the city of Kuala Lumpur. We hit it off and became best friends instantly. Perhaps because we share the same traits and mind sets. I remember sitting under the ketapang tree with him and questioning life, perhaps not as serious but like why do we have two ears ? why not two nose ? why is the tree so big yet bears no fruit that could be eaten ? stuff like that.

When the squatter development was destroyed, Zul moved back to his hometown and we parted ways. We did not have the luxury of telephones and never kept in touch. I have not seen him since. I miss his company.

BTW, the picture in this entry is taken at Marang Safari Resort in Terengganu. A delightful resort with a choice of chalets fronting either the South China Sea or the estuary. One of my favourite places ever. Heard its already closed down...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ramadan 2006

The last quarter of this year saw me travelling a lot. Went for Umrah, then to Brunei to pacify the girls. Umrah the second time around was different though no less significant than the first time. I was thankful that I was again accepted to prostate in front of the Kaabah. Yet again it reaffirms in me that a trip to the holy city will not change you, merely clarifies the choices that you have.

Brunei is a total bore. We specifically went to take the kids to Jerudong Park, the equivalent of Disneyland which I visited years ago. The trip was planned taking its schedule into consideration. It closes on Mondays.

As Murphy dictates, even with all our careful planning it was closed the whole time we were in Brunei and no one can tell us why. To make matters worst, we have already confirmed with the agent and the Hotel that it would be open on the days we were there. Hows that for reliability ?

Cephalonia Greece was next, long flights with even longer transit times. Took Lufthansa and Olympic Airways to the island. After being pampered on MAS and SIA, the bare essentials offered by Lufthansa is hard to take. No individual movies....

But the island was a gem and the food excellent, oh and the conference was good too. Istanbul is next....

Some luxury yachts sailing in to enjoy the remaining summer sun, or so I was told. Don't you just wish that you can just sail and laze around the azure waters of the meditterranean on one of these beauties. Oh, and they have gangways that are remotely controlled by a device just like a car remote. Cool.

But then there are those coasters, carrying cargo from island to island. I suppose during their free time the seamen on this ship could sail and laze around in these azure waters too. Ironic huh, how some can have it so easy while others slog to enjoy the same things in life.

I just love this tall ship, don't be deceived by the ancient exterior, it is fitted with powerful engines (volvos, if I remember correctly) and all the navigational gadgets that you could imagine. Owned by a nice retired couple.

Sighhhh, such is life. The old and perceived useless is discarded. This old boat was by the road side on a cliff. I was just wondering why it was discarded there, wouldn't it be easier just to leave it by the sea or left on a deserted beach or cove instead of on high ground...

Anyway, ramadan this year approaches fast, its already a quarter gone.