Saturday, January 31, 2009

Passing on

Received news early this morning while I was blazing along on the North-South highway. An uncle on my mothers side, the second of three have passed on. Two down and one to go. Innalillah and Al-Fatihah is all I could muster as neither the will nor resources availed itself for me to go and pay my last respect. His sons and daughter whom I have not been in touch with since we were kids, I am sure will be there to do the necessary.

Such is the nature of human relations I live in today. Sure, blood is thicker than water but water sustains you, blood will not (unless you are a vampire...). Deep inside, if it was (god forbid) one from my circle of close friends or relatives that passed on, I am certain that I will be able to find the will or resource for the last goodbye.

That said, may Allah bless Pak Teh's soul and may he rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What's in a name ?

Mangkuk Dara - Virgin Bowl, what do you make of that ? Food is not bad but a tad pricey for the place.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I was here decades ago with a close buddy of mine. A stopover after a gruelling tour of Phuket and Haadyai. Those were the times. Recently, an opportunity presented itself which brought me back. I thought a chalet will cost about RM30/40 but one with air conditioning now cost RM80. Basic and was not very well maintained.

The beach is still the same though not as pristine as I remembered it. A bit more debris strewn about. Though the most disturbing is the presence of dogs. I have nothing against dogs or any other animals for that matter, but when they roam around everywhere its a bit disconcerting. Especially those moving in packs.

Quaint scene in the morning of local fisherman tending to their nets.

Amazingly, the place seems to have an active surfer community. All in all it was a pleasant stay but unlike decades ago, I don't think I would rush there again anytime soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Flocking together

Had a pleasant surprise yesterday when the person we were supposed to meet turns out to be a long lost friend from the sea. Small world. Though he did at first mistook me for a chief cook with the same name. Yeah, just because I gained a few kilos and a more rounded middle. We had a good laugh. The good vibes from the short encounter lingers and led my mind to ponder recent events and how it relates to the meaning of friendship for me...

Lets begin with the title of this post. Its extracted from the saying "birds of a feather flock together" in Malay "enggang sama enggang pipit sama pipit". I use to abhor that statement as I have always believed that humans are created equal. Even in the sailing days I resent the fact that the crew and officers were restricted in their daily routines due to their ranks. Each with their own designated place for eating and recreation. Overly familiar relationship will be admonished and looked upon with disdain. Only now, as I approached the final phase of my life did I begin to understand and appreciate what that saying really meant.

It is true that all humans are equal and all have the same rights and obligations. It is only when we inadvertently go to the next level in human relations that the saying will apply. Being close only to those with feathers such as yours is a good way to avoid making relational mistakes and thus avoid getting hurt. Most crisis between humans are caused by misunderstandings and assumptions. This could be greatly be minimised if both parties have the same understanding and values. Therefore, logically since the same feathers have the same understanding and values, chances of a crisis is reduced. Bear in mind that same feathers does not mean race or religion, more to do with educational background, social hierarchy and of course common interest.

Why am I ranting about this ? To be honest, I made a mistake in mistaking a friend who in reality is only a work colleague. We worked together for the past decade. One superior with the other being the opposite from different departments. As opportunities arose both left and worked together in a new set up albeit in the same category with better remunerations. It was only when tragedy strikes that the real colour of the feather shines through. I was a bit thick I suppose as it was only after a few incidents that I realise it was only me assuming that he was a friend when in all probability he was acting only as a colleague.

My mistake was that I took it for granted that others will treat me as I would treat them. I will go all out for my friends as I expected them to do for me except in this case, only now I realise things were done for me not on the basis of friendship but taken as orders. His inability to say no to a superior even if back then the request for help is out of the scope of work. It felt bad as I question the sincerity of our relationship for the past decade. That said, we all need to learn, no matter how long it takes and move on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Suicidal Flies

Suicidal flies, continued from the previous post. The place is a beach along the coast of Terengganu. A nice place marred by the attack of the flies. Apparently, they will come if there's a marked change in weather.

We've driven for hours looking for a place to eat which must be on the beach. Being hungry we fought off the flies and continue eating. Ironically none of us got sick after the risky meal. Not even one complaint of stomach flu. Bur then, I would not want to stop in that place again.