Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Monday, May 30, 2005
This news was in today's Malay Mail. This is the first time that I read about a chicken in court (scared lawyers notwithstanding).

I do not know whether to congratulate or laugh at the traffic policeman of Johannesburg, California. He gave a ticket to the chicken for crossing the road without using the zebra (chicken?) crossing. It would have caused the owners of the chicken US$54 to pay the fine. Thats no chicken feed in any country.

The owners hired a lawyer to argue the case in court. I am sure this loyar ayam charged them more than US$54. This was the thought that passed through my mind as I shovel nasi lemak into my mouth this morning. I also thought of other things. Was the chicken produced in court? Was the chicken photographed and claw-printed in the police station? How did they trace the owner of the chicken? If the chicken was brought into court, how did the chicken cover his face when cameramen took his picture?

Most of all, I wondered whether the judge asked the chicken the age-old question: Why did you cross the road?


Thursday, May 26, 2005
I read ariesha's warning after I came back from Kuantan. Yes, they were repairing the stretch before the tunnel and I was distracted enough to get into the wrong lane and had to make a turn at the Genting R& R to get back to the Kuantan lane.
The new highway to Kuantan did not have that much traffic. A lot of people wanted to save RM19.60 and the highway did not get you to Kuantan proper. The exit toll was in the middle of nowhere along the Kuantan -Sungai Lembing road. It will take you a while to get to town.
We did get to our hotel after about 3 hours (from KL). It is a nice hotel even though they wanted to charge me RM188 for a night. A quick phone call from the RTM Kuantan Secretariat brought the room rate down to RM160 for me.
Meeting my old staff was very emotional. It is nice to know that they still remember you and want to kiss your hand. A few of the (then) young broadcasters had more white hair than me. Amran, my former driver, has developed a stupendous beer belly even though I know that he doesnt drink beer.
The dinner had worthwhile entertainment. We were entertained by Datin Orked Abdullah, Ahmad Jais, Hazami, Waheeda, Jay Jay, Exist, Ning Baizura and Yussof Chong. I was impressed by Sharifah Shahira who was the emcee together with Razak Ahmad. They tickled everyone with their Pahang dialect. The show overran a bit, finishing well after midnight. Feeling a bit peckish when we returned to the hotel, we had a security guard show us the shortest way out of the hotel to the nearest 24 hour mamak shop. He let us use the staff entrance so we didn't have to go round the front door.
Let me congratulate RTM Kuantan/RM Pahang (now Pahang fM) on a very successful rebranding and getting technology to help. They are using SMS for people to register as Sahabat Pahang FM. Well done Bibi Mahyudeen and gang!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
This picture was taken on Saturday when I was in a taxi going to Ulu Kelang with Pak Daud. This was on Jalan Mahameru.

My pda does not have a camera that is sharp enough but I hope you can see that there is something not right with the lorry. It tilted to the left too much that the driver turned on the hazard lights. The lights didn't stop us from feeling very anxious.

I hope when I am on my way to Kuantan later today (Tuesday), I won't see any lorry like this on the road. Can you imagine what would happen if the lorry loses its balance?


Friday, May 20, 2005
Our Terengganu word for today comes from my friend Som. No, Hilmi, Som is not Kelsom but Mad Som who used to live near Jambang Ija in Tanjong, Kuala Terengganu. The word is baddi.

Baddi is not to be confused with badi as in kena badi broya when the bad part of of the crocodile spirit impacted your body and your spirit. Baddi is to compete or to match up. When Terengganu people catches up with the big city people, baddi will mean "keeping up with Joneds".

Baddi is not interchangeable with berlawang. Baddi has the connotation of a friendly competition where as berlawang is not so friendly. Thus when the kite season is on and you prepare your kite string with glass and paste, it is for the sole purpose of cutting off other people's kite from the owner. That's berlawang because the others might have sharper strings that can cut faster.

Baddi is more of a contest. Mari baddi nyelang is a challenge to see who can hold his breath longer underwater. Of course there are other contests and challenges that boys go through in the process of learning the word baddi. It might be the same outside Terengganu, because boys are the same everywhere only the word is different. Probably, outside Terengganu, berlawan is used instead of baddi as in this story forwarded to me by Wan M. I shall reproduce it here unedited in its virginal condition:
Dalam satu pertandingan antara buah-buahan tempatan, berkatalah buah durian dengan angkuhnya "Siapa lagi diantara kamu yang sanggup berlawan dengan aku, aku percaya tiada lagi yang dapat mengalahkan aku".
Dikalangan buah-buahan tempatan yang mendengar kata-kata durian itu berkatalah belimbing kepada durian "Kalau kau setuju aku akan membawa saudaraku untuk bertarung dengan kamu" mendengar kata-kata belimbing tadi durian pun ketawa sembil berkata
"Ha.. Ha.. ha.. aku tau kau nak membawa belimbing besi untuk bertarung dengan aku kan,.. silakan bawalah berapa ramai sekali pun mereka kemari aku sedia menerima cabaran mereka"
Buah-buah lain yang hadir di pertandingan itu menasihatkan belimbing agar membatalkan saja niatnya untuk membawa saudaranya bertarung dengan durian, tetapi belimbing tetap berkeras hendak membawa saudaranya bertarung. Belimbing merasa geram dengan sikap durian yang semakin sombong dan angkuh.

Maka belimbing pun membawa saudaranya masuk ke dalam gelangang dan pertandingan pun bermula. Durian dengan angkuhnya baring sambil meniarap di gelangang dan berkata "Aku beri peluang saudaramu ini untuk menghempap diriku dulu dan kita akan lihat nanti siapa yang merasa sakit pula ha..ha..ha.." kata durian dengan sombongnya.
Maka dihempap lah durian oleh saudara belimbing tadi. Dengan hanya sekali hempap durian pecah dan terbelah dua. Durian yang agaak terkejut dan merasa sakit lantas bangun dan menoleh kepada saudara belimbing tadi.
Durian merasa terkejut melihatkan saudara belimbing tadi lalu berteriak dan mengadu kepada Cempedak yang mengadili pertandingan tersebut "Hoiii... mana aci macam ni, ini dah kira tipu.. dia ni kan penyu belimbing, kalau macam ni matilah aku..."


Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Last night I had to hack into Mimi's account and delete her latest post. She didn't make any grammatical mistakes but she didn't do the right thing. I shall not dwell on what she did. She will have to dwell on that herself and hopefully knows what is the right thing to do the next time.

I felt that we spend a lot of time learning how to do things right but not enough time to learn to do the right thing. Numerous examples can be found right in our own country. Look at our road users. Road users have to learn rules and the right way to drive. Some paid a lot of money to learn all that before they take the test. Most passed. Some have to take the tests again until they get everything right. Then they do all the wrong things like going through the red lights and/or making illegal U-turns. I have even seen drivers making u-turn and going through the red light in one go. They drive right but they didn't do the right thing. If simple traffic laws can be broken how sure are we that these lawbreakers wouldnt break other laws?

What makes we do the right thing? Upbringing? Religion? Common courtesy? What made you give up your seat on the LRT to an elderly woman? It couldn't be the signs asking you to be caring or it would make me believe that most people on the LRT are illiterate. You would do the right thing even if there were no signs to remind you. You had good parents and you learn what is good, what is noble and most of all, you learn good manners.

Doing the right thing is difficult because most of the time, you do it without thinking. You instinctively know what is right and when to do it. To do things right is relatively easier. You learn, you practise and it becomes a skill. Just like learning maths in school. You do it repeatedly until you get it right. That is why some wise people think men should marry teachers. With teachers, if you did it wrong, she will ask you to do it again and again until you get it right. Right?


Monday, May 16, 2005
I have been tagged. In Terengganuspeak, we call it cok. But the Lucia who tagged me is a nice person, so I will be sporting and oblige. Lucia gave a list of occupations and I have to choose 5:
If [reader] could be a scientist // If [reader] could be a farmer
if [reader] could be a musician // If [reader] could be a doctor
If [reader] could be a painter // If [reader] could be a gardener
If [reader] could be a missionary // If [reader] could be a chef
If [reader] could be an architect // If [reader] could be a linguist
If [reader] could be a psychologist // If [reader] could be a librarian
If [reader] could be an athlete // If [reader] could be a lawyer
If [reader] could be an innkeeper // If [reader] could be a professor
If [reader] could be a writer // If [reader] could be a backup dancer
If [reader] could be a llama-rider // If [reader] could be a bonnie pirate
If [reader] could be a midget stripper // If [reader] could be a proctologist
If [reader] could be a TV-Chat Show host // If [reader] could be a pariah
If [reader] could be an actor // If [reader] could be a judge
If [reader] could be a jedi // If [reader] could be a mob boss
If [reader] could be a backup singer // If [reader] could be a CEO
If [reader] could be a movie reviewer // If [reader] could be a monkey's uncle
If [reader] could be a bible archaeologist //If [reader] could be a househusband
If [reader] could be a lifeguard //If [reader] could be a comic artist

It is a tough choice. I wouldn't want to be a missionary. The position is boring. Much as Ilike to see a well-shaped derrier, I rather not get into details, so a proctologist is out. Pain in the rear, if you ask me. One could not list a pariah as an occupation. The same goes for llama-rider.

So , having said all that, here is my choice:

1. If I could be a linguist I would scold all the visible traffic offenders and uncaring people in exotic languages so they will go and learn the language (after learning the traffic and civic rules)

2. If I were a doctor (with my own clinic) I would make sure that all the magazines in the waiting room are at least only 2 months old. Older magazines would be given to the nearest barber.

3. If I were a bonnie pirate, I would only raid smuggler's ships. I will also make sure that pirates with wooden legs have proper documents. This is to prevent the following conversation:
- I have a friend with a wooden leg named Tempang.
-What is the name of his other leg?

4. If I were a mob boss, I would give everyone an offer they couldn't refuse. I also have to learn to talk with my mouth full.

5. If I were a monkey's uncle, I would forever berate my brother for marrying a monkeyand not practising Family Planning. Then I will corner the banana market.

(I will spare my friends so there will be no 3 names here. But, anyone wishing to try can carry on)


Friday, May 13, 2005
This picture was taken using the Zire 71. My Media Planning students are struggling with their paper. In the background are some of my Special Events & Risk Management students sitting for their Corporate Writing paper.

Today (Friday) is the last day of the exam and I am not sure if I will see my students again. I wish them luck in their next semester. They do not have to worry too much about their exam. Most of the marks will come from their assignments and projects.
Do you remember your first written exam? I do. My first written exam was when I was in Sekolah Melayu Paya Bunga. The exam was to get into Special Malay Class. The exam was held in another school, Sekolah Melayu Tengku Ampuan Mariam. I passed the exam, like all exams after that. The last written exam I took was a TOEFL test at University Malaya as a requirement to go to Souther Illinois University, Carbondale. I passed the test with flying colours but I didn't get to SIU because I did not get a scholarship but that is another story.

Now Civil Servants have to sit for an exam every now and then. Well, officials (or Mandarins) in olden Imperial China had to sit for a tough exam before they can serve the Emperor. Before I joined RTM, I had to sit for an exam too. After I was in, there was no more exam. I got to set questions for exams though and auditioned would be announcers.

Problems with exams are numerous. One of them is, somebody has to mark the papers. Let me do that first.

Have a good weekend!


Wednesday, May 11, 2005
To the few people who kept coming back here to check for new posts, I offer my apologies profusely. I have been distracted by a new toy - a used Zire 71 that I got for half a song to replace my dead Palm M100. I wished I could revive my M100 because of its great sentimental value. Alas, technology can be so heartless as well as unforgiving.

The Zire 71 came with a 256 MB SD card. So I surfed the web and downloaded an MP3 player. Ijun even passed me a cracked version, just for experiment, mind you. I set up everything and as suggested, used Windows Media Player to transfer files to the handheld. I stayed up until 2 am and yet the files did not get transferred. I woke up early Tuesday morning and tried again. My plan was to listen to MP3 while invigilating the exam at 2 pm. No MP3 files got transferred.

I filled my time in the exam hall trying to understand "Bejewelled". After I gave up, I read a Mary Higgins Clark's novel until I was interuppted by my students trying to con me into giving them hints on how to answer the questions and later asking for extra writing papers or asking for a punch. They needed to make holes in their answer paper.

When I got back home, I was in a calmer mood and mulled the problem of the non-communicative Zire. I found out how to remove the SD Card. I also found out that it has a switch. I remembered the old floppies with the write-enable slide switch. I slid the switch on the card the other way and re-installed and tried transferring. First I used the Palm Quick Install software to move the files directly to the expansion card. It was slow but it worked! First song transferred was Eagle's "Hotel California". Then I tried "syncing" from Windows Media Player. It is faster there.

From there on, I happily mulled over the next problem. I have to choose only 200 MB of music from my 16 GB of music collection. That is a more difficult task. Anyone has a used 1 GB SD or MMC card?


Sunday, May 08, 2005

A lot has been written about mothers especially on Mother's Day. Since I know a few mothers myself, I will put in my 2 sen's worth.

"Mother" has been voted the most beautiful word in the English language. "Mother" is also used to mean "the greatest" as in "Mother of All Wars". Of course there are other words that underline the special status of mothers. Without going through the dictionary, I can think of Motherland, mother tongue,Mother Nature, mother lode and "Necessity is the mother of all inventions" regardless of whether the invention is necessary to you and me.

Your mother played an important part in determining what and how you are. You can't really choose your mother. It is a cosmic roulette or whatever you might want to call it. Some have a good mother while some grew up with a bad one. Real rotten mothers are those who threw their newborn in the toilet or in the bushes but I guess this is entirely a Malaysian thing.

Good or bad, mothers are usually revered and loved. Good or bad, your mother loves (or in some cases, loved) you. She might have a strange way of showing it, but she loves you. It comes with motherhood. She loves you even if Mother's Day was not invented by the merchants. She loves you until the day she dies. To her, you will always be her baby even though you have babies of your own.

To all the bonda, mama, amma, mummy, ma, mok, ummi or by whatever name a mother is called , I wish you Happy Mother's Day. To the rest of you, I give you a Terengganu Puisi from Besut entitled Mok.


Friday, May 06, 2005
A few days ago I was disconnected so many times from the Internet. After being patient for a week, I decided to call Customer Service. I got the familiar
"Tekan 1 untuk Bahasa Malaysia, Tekan 2 untuk Bahasa Inggeris....." and later was informed by the machine
"Your call is important to us. Sorry, no agent is available at the moment. Please hold on."
I held on. I got the same message 3 times before a human came on. He was a nice gentleman. He was patient and not patronising so I told him my problem nicely. He took my particulars like those before him. I didn't expect anything to happen . You see, I have complained before.

But on Thursday, I received a call from TM Net who wanted to verify my phone number. The guy at the other end was surprised that my phone number has changed. It has 8 digits now instead of 7. I supressed the urge to tell him that I didn't pick up the extra digit from the pasar malam. Neither did I tell him how long I have been using Streamyx.

A few hours later, my doorbell rang and I opened the door to find a TM Net technician. I let him in. He is a young man from Kelantan so I spoke to him in my best Kelantanese. He checked my system. He even told me that my broadband is now 1 meg. No longer 512kb. Alhamdullillah.
He didn't find anything wrong on my side. He noticed that Radio Pencen was on and we talked about the peer to peer softwares while he sipped his drink that I offered.

Everyday I looked up at the new TM logo on top of the new Telecom highrise. Today, I think there is a bit of hope. They are listening.


Thursday, May 05, 2005
Farris aka Klez or babab boy is done with his exam and is now relaxing at home. Kak Teh is also having an exam and so are my students.

I was asked to be present during my papers. On Tuesday, I was there and I was the paperboy. I checked the question paper and later passed blank papers to people who had a lot to write. Much later I collected the answer papers. I probably have to mark them too. Oh well.

In keeping with the exam spirit, I have attached a sound file to test students of Terengganuspeak.
Listen and enjoy. Whatever you do not understand, you can always ask Derumo.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005
I was able to bloghop again after a long self-imposed break. Before the giddy-giddy fly struck, I was able to visit a few blogs.

I caught Mama's Legacy on Elisa's blog. Elisa wrote on food that I am very familiar with. Do not be confused by the word "legacy" though because I am pleased to announce that Elisa's mama is still very much around in body and in spirit.

The other blog that I visited was Bunn's. She was recollecting her childhood days and it was nice to read. Too bad I could not leave a comment because my Xanga account has expired. To register again is such a hassle - just for a comment.

Both blogs made something registered in my mind, which is a rare thing, considering how porous my mind is. I thought of memorable meals during my childhood. I had many because, then, I had a good appetite and I still have my memory.

My most memorable meal was in the middle of the monsoon in Merang, Terengganu. I was about 12 years old and was visiting my maternal grandmother. I remembered fishing in the mengabang where Aryani Resort is now. We did not get any fish and Nek (my grandmother) wanted to go home and catch a chicken for lunch and dinner. At that time, Merang was as good as cut off from the rest of the world. No fresh fish or vegetable was available. You either have dried fish or kill a chicken, if you keep any.

When the rain stopped, we walked back home. On the way, we stopped at Tok Teh Soh's house. Tok Teh Soh is Nek's cousin. I am not sure what he did for a living. Whatever it was, it sure didn't bring any money because anyone can see that Tok Teh is very poor. If there was a program for the Hardcore Poor then, his name would be on top of the list. But I liked Tok Teh because although he didn't talk much, I can feel that he loved me very much. Tok Teh would fascinate any boy. He had little balls on his face and body. They were not warts but I didnt know what they were. I still don't. My dad jokingly told me that they were buckshots although they were too big to be those.

Tok Teh told my grandma to go home because Kustamang (what he called me) would be having lunch with him. He then told Tok Noh, his wife to cook rice. He then asked me to follow him into the field in front of his house. He peeled apart the tall grasses looking for a special kind of grass. I thought it was the same grass that we used to clean our papan slet (chalk board). He got a handful and brought it home and gave it to his wife. We then sat on his well-worn mengkuang mat so that his floor, made of round saplings called anak kuat didn't bite our backside too much.

Not long after Tok Noh came out with steaming rice. Inside the periok (rice pot), she steamed the grass and a few green chillis. The only lauk was a dish of budu with a bit of freshly grated coconut inside. The grass was dipped in the budu and then smothered with steaming rice. It was delicious. It could be the monsoon that perked up my appetite. It could be the sincerity and the love that this old couple served with that ultra simple meal. Whatever it was, it was memorable and I was grateful.