Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Sunday, November 30, 2008
As a follow up to the first Bloggers Get-Together at Asam Pedas organised by Mat Salo, Pak Idrus picked me up to go to the lunch at Royal Bintang, The Curve. The usual suspects were there, minus a few absentees. Some of the absentees were at the Melawati Stadium, Shah Alam, so I have been told. Pity, I was looking forward to meeting the Ancient Mariner again.

Pak Idrus and I were among the early birds and we found Mat Salo and a few other bloggers already at their tables. Among them Elviza and Danny Ahmad Kerpovic seen here enjoying a pleasant conversation with a would-be-blogger (InsyaAllah) former judge Dato' Syed Ahmad Idid.

As usual, Pak Idrus held court with some first person history lessons. Pi Bani is on his right while Mat Salo seems to have caught my bad headache.

We took turns getting our food, heeding this sign which was on every table.

Somebody suggested that our Police Chief should be elected like in the US and promptly sacked when the crime rate soared. Some said that we were not ready for that although many would want to see elections at the Local Council level.

Pak Idrus migrated from table to table expounding his views and theories. Here he is having a discourse with Ali Hussin who came in a PAS jacket together with a couple of friends all the way from Ipoh. I did not hear what Pak Idrus said to them but when we were leaving, I saw that my namesake had changed into a Free RPK t-shirt which Anu skillfully charmed him to buy.

Sisters Nuraina and Maria arrived with daughters and nieces. Only Nuraina and Maria joined us. Daughters wisely headed off to the other parts of the Curve more suited to younger people. Nuraina stopped at every table and even impressed the judge. Much later, Dato Syed Ahmad Idid asked me who are the respected bloggers in Malaysia. I told him that Nuraina is one of them.
Another well-read blogger who made it to the event was Dato' A.Kadir Jasin. He could not stay long though and after a while had to bid his goodbyes and left escorted by Shah who wore his "Boycott The Mainstream Papers" yellow t-shirt.
Despite my throbbing headache, I enjoyed the lunch very much. The company was good, the food was delicious and the service pleasant. The "free flowing" buffet included roti jala, roti canai, murtabak, pasta, yong tau foo, bread pudding and other desserts plus teh tarik and kopi tarik. Bloggers that must have rice for lunch would be disappointed though. The place was a bit too warm for my headache and they could not make the ceiling fan, high up there, turn any faster.

The lunch stretched to High Tea because we waited to meet Cikgu Nazir of Kata Tak Nak fame who came all the way from Penang, family in tow, by bus. Pak Idrus and I reluctantly left when it was nearly 5 pm. I regret not having deeper conversations with Tok Asid, Raden Galoh and hubby, and also with Bangkai who is reputed to be among the best English writer in the group. I also missed the opportunity to get to know other bloggers whom I haven't had the privilege of knowing. Mea culpa.
Thank you all for a nice afternoon.
(Click pic to get a bigger view and to download it)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Adnang Osmang sent me an invitation to the International Contemporary Art Fair 2008 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Center. Since my friend Razak is also a painter and wanted to know Adnan and his works, I dragged him along.

Guests were supposed to be in the hall by 10.30 am but it being a school holiday, an empty parking spot is very hard to find. After making several rounds, Razak decided to forgo good manners just once and parked between two pillars, making sure that his car did not block traffic. My friend, although in a hurry, was not inconsiderate. It turned out that we hurried for nothing.

The opening ceremony started an hour late. The VVIP was YB Tan Sri Muhammad bin Muhammad Taib and we guessed that he was held up at the weekly Cabinet meeting. We had time to soak up the surroundings including this pretty young lady in kebaya who was one of the emcee.
While waiting, guests were entertained by a singer from Senegal. The programme said it was King Lhota. He had a friend doing break dance.
After the VVIP arrived, there was a painting demonstration by Patrick Lasak who painted a scene of a waterfall in less than 20 minutes.
Then came the speeches. YB Tan Sri Muhammad seemed to have improved his reading of English since the Cash and Carry Brisbane episode. He read his speech reasonably well and went on to declare the Fair officially open. If you like art, you can see works of artists from 8 countries (Canada, France, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines and Singapore.) The last day of the Fair is on 30th November. Admission is free. Adnan's booth is number 54. He has many landscapes of Terengganu on sale. The one between him and Razak is his depiction of the boats at Merang jetty.
You can also get a book with some colour pictures of the works of all the artists taking part in the Fair. The book is RM 30 each or 2 for RM50. If you get the autograph, NRIC/Passport number and name of all the participating artists, you are offered a 20% discount on the work of art you purchase at the event.

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Monday, November 24, 2008
I had to attend a kenduri at Dewan Toh Puan Rahah located at Yayasan Tun Abdul Razak. The address said Jalan Bukit Bintang but the map put it at Jalan Raja Chulan. A couple of friends told me that it was at Jalan Conlay. Suitably confused, I decided to take a taxi there.
My faith in KL taxi drivers was somewhat diminished when the taxi driver looked at the map for a few minutes and assured me that he will find the place. He didn't know where it was, but he promised to find it.
After going up and down Jalan Conlay several times, the taxi driver told me that the group of people eating under the tent might be my party. I politely told him that wasn't Yayasan Tun Razak. It was Pusat Kraftangan.
Alhamdullillah we found the place and I made my friend, the host, happy. I met many old RTM friends, among them Dato' Aziz Singah who was stationed in RTM Kuala Terengganu before he got his datukship.
I never wondered about Datuk Aziz Singah's name until I was in the taxi on my way home with my former boss, Hj.Madzhi. He asked me whether I know of the story behind the name. I confessed that I don't. Datuk Aziz is from Negeri Sembilan and Hj.Madzhi asked him from which puak (clan) his father was from to have such a leonine name. Datuk Aziz told him that when he was born, his uncle went to the police station to get his birth registered. The policeman asked the uncle what was the baby's name. The uncle told him "Aziz". The policeman then asked whose son was it. The uncle replied "Si Ngah" and "Singah" became permanent on the birth certificate.
Hj.Madzhi also met a pretty nurse from Kelantan whose tag read "Ana Tino". Ana Tino related how his father was hoping to get a girl after fathering a number of sons, one after the other. When told that he had a daughter, he was overjoyed and excitely rushed to the police station (this one somewhere in Kelantan). When asked for the name of the child, he kept repeating "anok tino, anok tino" (baby girl,baby girl). I guessed the policeman taking the report was a bit deaf like me and wrote the baby's name as Ana Tino. Now, I have to assure you that my friend Herman Tino (who taught me the proper pronunciation of Toyo, Khir's father) is a male through and through right down to his kain pelikat. I also suspected that it was the same policeman who gave M.Rajoli his name when it was supposed to be Rojali (Ghazali).
I am sure you have come across other unusual names too. Remember the late Cardinal Sin? My English professor in Singapore can speak many languages. His name is R.K.Tongue.
Please feel free to name other examples.



Sunday, November 16, 2008
I have always declined all invitations to PESAT (Persatuan Anak-Anak Terengganu) functions for various reasons. But when Som (a former Vice President of PESAT) invited me to PESAT's Majlis Ramah Mesra on Sunday 16th November, I decide that this is a great opportunity to meet fellow Terengganunese who I have not seen in a long time.

By the time Adnan Othman and I got to Rasta Food Court TTDI,the place was already packed to the brim. Since it was already lunch time, we were told to go take our food post-haste. There was enough food to feed the entire population of Merang and Ru Renggeh combined.All the signature dishes of Terengganu were there under one roof- Nasi Dagang, Nasi Minyak, Nasi Kapit,Pulut Lepa, Bronok (which Tan Sri Wan reportedly saw spelled as "Bronox") and other assorted Terengganu delights. Unfortunately, I had a very late breakfast and could not do justice to all the food. I just had a small plate of Nasi Dagang and very much later, the Pengat Durian.

The Menteri Besar came soon after and went round greeting everyone.

Among those present that I know were Dato' Setia Wangsa Abdul Rahman Nasir and Tan Sri Wan Abdul Rahman. Tan Sri Wan Abdul Rahman introduced me to something that I did not know existed. Terengganu people called it "ropa" but Tan Sri told me it was actually a rolled pie. It looked like a small smarter murtabak, albeit smaller. I did not try it because it was the last piece on the table and I was leaving.

I got to meet up with my SSSS classmates again like Som and Kapten Bersara Hassan Hussien.

I even got to meet my old scouts like Mulok Hamid Bidin (shown here deeply engrossed in a discussion with Adnang Osmang) who is beginning to look like his father, the General. I also got to meet one of my Kuala Brang pupils, Dato' Ismail.

So thanks to PESAT for a very nice afternoon.

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Monday, November 10, 2008
Yesterday I had a very pleasant lunch with nine of my classmates. As we were leaving The Spotted Dog, Som asked about this blog, apparently asking the reason for last week's missing post. Since I was hitching a ride with Professor Naguib, who had little patience with tawdry students, I promised Som an explanation in this blog.

My phone (and with it my broadband) was abruptly cut off on Saturday the 1st of November. There was a problem of some outstanding amount. I usually get a pink reminder but not this time. So off I went to pay the bill. TM Point was closed but I managed to pay my bill using the machine. The receipt advised me to call 100 to restore my connection. The call was made and I was promised the reconnection within 24 hours.

After 24 hours of making the call, my phone was still telling me that it was temporarily suspended so another call was made and a promise given that reconnection will be made within 2 hours. By this time I ran out of friends with a landline to call the 100 on my behalf. I had to go cold turkey (internet wise) until Monday. I got my connection back on Monday but I have lost all my mood to write.

Then I discovered that I could not get my email. I waited when I was calmer to call the Customer Hotline. Suffice to say that the people who promised "the best Internet and Multimedia service" (you hear this about 6 times while holding on to the phone) did not remedy my problem soon enough. I spoke to 4 different people on 3 occasions before the problem was solved. So do not believe any of them when they tell you that your new passwords will be valid in an hour. So much for service.

Oh yes, I got my pink reminder a few days after my line was restored.

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