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...