Thursday, July 31, 2008

Terminal 3, Singapore Changi Airport

This is Terminal 3 of Singapore Changi Airport. It was officially opened in July, 2008. The best part of this terminal is the immigration checkpoint. Its all glasses, see-through for visitors and waiting people.
The Singapore-Garden-City theme is admittedly strong. Tall, palm trees lining up, orchids blooming everywhere, creeping plants over stone walls, spraying, cooling fountains and shops, shops, shops...
It is huge, walking completely around it within all the 3 levels would take 1hr.
Singapore Airlines is the main anchor tenant, so I noticed.

I dont know where this feelings come from but when I'm in places like this, I feel rich. Maybe that's the point are made to feel rich.

*point cursor at foto to see caption.

Bedok, Ansar Gardens

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


If you are eating 20pcs daily of durian for the past 2 weeks and you are sort of bloated in the tummy, sort of having some slight headaches, be at peace.
Those of the after effect of too much durian, the shitty smell that the stomach have to work on.
So, after the pulut durian, bubur kacang durian, wajik durian, pengat durian...what do you do with the rest of the durians?

You peel the shitty, vanilla-flavoured, mellowing, yellowing pulp in a bowl, throw in some salt...

Keep in tight bottle, refrigerate...
Anytime of the year, any place in the world, give myself some good company and a dash of the shitty tempoyak and I am the happiest person on earth.

Bedok, Ansar Gardens.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Padang Sebang

The landmark that will tell me that I have reached my station,coming from the south.
Everytime we watch out for this, when this comes, we would dragged our luggage near the entrance to be thrown out during KTM very short stop.

Dari tingkap KTM, papan tanda baru. Kampungku Padang Sebang.

When I was 5, I used to watch trains passing by here. The dusty bus would stop at his traffic junction. I would wonder, where the trains would go. Would I be able to be on that trains someday, where does the trains ended?
This time, when this picture was taken, I was on that trains. Having not enough time to stop here, my kampung. I have to go back to my sick mother.
This time I wonder, how are the people over there, is my mother's house still standing strong, when will I be able to visit there again.

Ah, would time erase the name from this board, would they take away this old board to be replaced by the new, blue version?
Would you stay as you are, as when that 5 year-old girl pictured you when she waited to cross the light on that dusty, old bus?
Would you still be there, waiting for her to come back?

Found some more link:

Bedok, Ansar Gardens

Friday, July 25, 2008


Previous to this trip, my vacation time in Malaysia were short intervals. I would come in for 5 days and left or come in again and left.
Friends would ferry me everywhere in the cars. I would be passed from one house to another. I would sit in the car and looked out. Not knowing my position or the place I was in. My sense of direction is like going to the toilet from a food court. Further than this, I would be lost. I would turn around and get back to the same place, swearing inside quietly.
Its easy for anyone to torture me mentally. Just take my cash and put me on any pavement of KL roads and I would sit on the kerb, staring...not going anywhere, not thinking anything.

This time vacation in Malaysia gave me wider experience. The trains.

I prefer travelling by trains overland, rather than bus. Express buses give me the urinary stress. The feeling of not being able to have the toilet, would create anxiety stress, would create a chain of uretha cramps that leads to another chain of more phobic nervousness.
Just give me trains and I am happy to travel alone.

The first day, my feet step in Malaysia was at KL sentral station. I came by KTM from Spore, supposed to arrive at 2.40pm but ended up at 4.30pm (is that typical or what? 1 hr. 40 mins late).
Some dear friends greeted me. When up the main level and was surprised to see a small bazaar-like atmosphere.
Most of my meetings with friends from day one, were at KL Sentral. I would say happily with confident,
..."ok kita jumpa depan KFC kat KL sentral".
...Or "kita duduk sembang depan Nile Bookshop at KL Sentral".
...Or kita makan di Food Court at KL Sentral.

I saw the express and local bus terminal, bought some big, juicy Korean pears at the fruit shop there. Took light meals at the food court, some gatherings at KFC, browsed through some reading materials at Nile Book shop, did solat at the surau and best of all, the taxi services. You tell the counter staff your destination, pay at the counter, give the payment slip to the driver and he just carry you off. No hassling about meter or payment. No talking, peace.

If I am not mistaken (correct me if wrong), there are 5 lines going through KL Sentral. The lines that is ever too familiar for me is the KLIA transit to the airport. I port up at Putrajaya. This line is fast, clean, smells nice too and best of all, always empty. Mostly, I see people aboard with luggage, airport staff with their smart uniform, MAS fligh attendants and Putrajaya cyber-clone.

If any of you notice, the platform has only two kinds of writing on the signboard, Bahasa Melayu and Japanese!

I stayed a few days in Seremban and going to KL Sentral from here, I have to use the only line, KTM komuter. I can always get seat from Seremban because its the line starting point but as we get to KL Sentral, some people were hanging on the holders squeesed to the bones.
One time, on a Sunday, (I thought its not a working day and this train should be less crowded...I was wrong), I stood at the platform with people around me pushing left and right. I was just standing to get my queue right.

I was thinking, how would I get on the train without queueing. In that crowd, my mind went to the scenario at Mina in Mekah during the 250m walk to "lempar batu". I didn't moved, the crowd moved me.
I missed the first train. People were pushed in like boiled, red sardine in tightly packed tin.
I am not strong enough to withstand that battle, I have all the time in this world to wait before it became dark.
I waited for the next train, it came...but I couldn't get in. I was at the door. Imagine at the door of the train yet not getting in. I was stranded at the door. Can you imagine, at the door yet not getting in? Go, figure that out.

Anyway, wonderful thing was, I GOT A SEAT!
In that crowded coach, I got a seat! I must have done something good in this life to be able to get reward like that, masyaAllah.
Every stations on the KTM komuter, remind me of friends staying at those stops.
A lady with bad eyesight at Tasik Selatan, a top cyberman at Kajang, a very pious single girl at Bangi and many more.

Ah, those memories and good friends, I would never exchange any gold coins for it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Image from Wikipedia

That is alamanda, a trumpet-like flower, yellow sometimes pink and I've seen blue one.
Most of my friends in Malaysia, be they from the bloggy society or from the writing group or from the in-course working classes, are young, career ascending, full of vitality in life and most importantly, they are girls.
I stayed with girls. Single and young. Its the freedom in the house that I prefer with these girls. No covering the hair in their houses, just loose butterfly one-piece in and out of the rooms.This trip to Malaysia, I made one of the houses at Putrajaya my port. Presint 9.

I came to love Putrajaya. Everyday, for about 3 weeks, I was alone in the daytime.

One time, after alighting from the bus by Alamanda Shopping Complex, I waited at the crossing for the green walking man to cross the road. Eventhough the road was cleared, I still waited for the walking green man, didn't come, waited again, didn't come, waited again....

How do I ever cross this road? I paniced!

I felt like my culture standard was broken when I dashed across the road, imitating some locals.There were long time alone in the house, I felt cooped up. I should just go out by myself and explore the area.

I did. I ended up in Alamanda Shopping Complex.Bought myself coffee-flavoured soya bean milk (cannot get this in Japan) and a piece of Roti boy with a book in my hands. Precious hours just went looking at people walking by. The book on my lap. The clean environment, the cultured surroundings, the peaceful air, the quiet manner everybody conduct themselves remind me of Naha, Nishihara, San-e, Jusco in Okinawa.
I can sit at Roti boy eating rotiboy by the buckets while people-watching for hours. One time, I went in Burger King, studied the menu and tried hot dog with minced meat (cannot get this in Japan). Again my people-watching session with that one hot dog for hours.
There was time when I wanted very much to open my blog but after inquiring, I found that there wasn't any internet cafe at Alamanda. That is strange. No internet cafe at Alamanda!This is about the only dissappointment for me. The Cyber hub of Malaysia and Alamanda do not have any internet cafe at all.

I ended up going into the Cinemaplex watching "Sepi" alone. Good plot, talented people acting, humourous, some poetic inclination, some heart pinching sadness when I cried at the ending minutes.

If, only if, I intend to buy a property, I wouldn't mind buying a piece in Putrajaya. Make it my home base. Once in a while vacationing in Malaysia, I can use it as my loading and unloading port.

Bedok, Ansar Village

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


This is the reason to cutting short my visit in Malaysia, my mother. All my siblings are working and I am requested to attend to my sick mother. Since my mother is totally bed-bound, I have to call on the service of an ambulance to transport her to the hospital for her check up yesterday.

I was thinking that she might be given another CT scanning to confirm the spread of the cancer cells but the doctor confirmed it without the scanning. I was told that by giving her the chemo treatment, it would take her life within a week and so it was decided that chemo is out for her.

There is no medication for her and this puzzle me, nothing at all.

When the doctor saw my worried look, he suggested some kind of mushroom extract that would slow down the spread of the infected cells. There is not much to be done to what has already been spread around her organs but the mushroom extract will slow down new infected cells from infecting new sites.

All we have to do now, says the doctor is to make her as comfortable as possible and let "nature" take its course.

Please, be my friend, make doa for my mother. My doa for her to go without pain, comfortably and easily.

Yesterday her appointment time to see the doctor at Spore Cancer Center was 4.20pm but we came early at 3pm. I was engrossed with "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini and forgot all about the waiting. I was holding my mother in one hand and holding the book in the other hand, while rubbing my mother forehead, I kept on reading.

My mother's helper was saying something, more to grumbling but I ignored her. Then, I realised we had waited for 2 hours in the cold, comfortable room , all by ourselves.

No wonder the helper went to the toilet two times, no wonder she was taking a nap on her arms on the table behind me. All this time, I was so engrossed in the reading!

But where is the doctor?

Thats it!

I put the book down, with quick steps to the reception and standing still, staring at all the counter staff. Effectively, they all kept quiet and paid attention to me standing there, quiet.

With a quiet but killing voice, I asked for the doctor and I have waited, my dying mother have waited for 2 hours for him. Every other waiting people in the room were listening to me.

Where is the DOCTOR?

I left the room with this question. Later, 5 minutes later, the doctor came. Young.

I am Dr. Poh, or something like that. I wasn't listening anyway. I was screaming inside. But I keep my cool. I just give him the stare and kept my face straight, staring at him, hopefully he felt some guilt. But never do I expect an apology from him, which is wise of me, as it never would come, anyway.

Just 5 minutes of touching my mother here and there, maybe 3 minutes, said those few words and left.

I am good at waiting. I wanted to see somebody, waited for two years and I have seen this person at last, my reward for the patience.

What is 2 hours for me? I have all the time in the world to wait. But where is the work etiquette in the doctor?

Going home was rush hour time. Let me tell you the experience of going through rush hour in Spore in an ambulance. Feels real good.

Felt like some VVIP on the road, all vehicle giving way, what with the siren blaring all the way.

At rush hour and the ambulance blast through at 90kph all the way, with other cars giving way.

That took all the anger and frustration out of my system. I am alright now and kissing my mother all the time.

Bedok, Ansar Village.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am back in Singapore now. Yesterday, I took KTM from Seremban to Singapore and for this trip, that would be the last visit to Malaysia.

This time, I have met so many writers. People that I've known for years and had no chance to meet before, bloggers that I still keep in touch and friends that have known me for years.
It was so beautiful to see such happy faces, remembering the times we had together before and feeling such closeness to be able to be together again.

For the next few days, being with my mother, at my own brother's house, would find me updating so much photos, so much meetings with people I admire, so much writings of their warmth and I have to do it slowly. I have to let my emotion flow ever so smoothly with the memories of those beautiful people, beautiful hearts and beautiful faces.

I feel a pinch in the heart to leave friends in Malaysia. My friends, you know who you are (the list would be long but the names are already embedded deep inside me),
thank you for taking me as I am. You are treasures in my heart, memories that will stay forever, no value in money, no measures in gold can I compare your kindness, your acceptance, and your friendship.

Only one word when I think of all of you...BEAUTIFUL.

Bedok Al Azhar, Singapore.

Some links that I found.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bedok Al Ansar

Puan was discharged yesterday. The 10 or more days she stayed in hospital was just to monitor her fever and infection. She was on antibiotic and when the course is done, she is given the green light to go home.
I am with her at Bedok Al Ansar, another one of my sibling's home.
This apartment is 25 storey high, I can see all the southern part of Spore. The harbour front, the hub of making money at Shenton Way all the way to the north, near Woodlands which is touching Johor Bahru.
Two of my brothers children are in the primary school level. They are awaken at 6 in the morning to prepare for school. There are two helpers in this house. One to handle Puan and another to handle the house. Both my brother and his wife are working.
Here I am with the last child in the house still sleeping and the helpers doing their things.

Spore people are very strong and hard working. They work leaving the house early in the morning, before the sun is up and coming home when the sun is already buried deep. On public holidays (thats the only day they don't work), they sleep thier tiredness away. I feel so sorry for them.
Where is life, where is the sweetness of life?

I look at Okinawa and I see my Otto doing his gardening, watering the plants around the house, feeding the birds, pulling out some peria and petula to cook for lunch.

Two days ago, my siblings without the small kids, went for a 5km walk at Kent Ridge Park. They built it like a bridge-way on the hills, way above the tree top, for people to walk. Just walk. As we walked, I saw the low hill of Mount Faber, (how sad, the island is so low, even the British called a small hill a little less than 200m as a mount(ain).
Anyway, as we passed some trees, there was this very tall durian tree full of fruits. I stayed in the corner of the bridgeway to hear some remarks made by those walking passed it.
What fruit is that? (some Cina from Mainland maybe).
Wa lau, that must be durian! (some yuppies).
Mommy, is that the thing we ate last night? (some specky nerd-child).

I told my brother, if you want some real original taste of durian, grown from spore soil, go wait under that tree.

My siblings were admiring the views, with some original thick growth still left (and they thought that was the jungle!) mixed with tall commercial buildings and beautiful, clean 10 lane expressway. I felt quite sad for them. This is their tempurung, so small, so clean and so happy.
If only they have the chance to see what I have seen, those small lonely track, those beautiful valleys, those clear water pond by the quiet hill with tilapia and gold fish swimming. Just two of them in the pond on top of a hill.

Turing 360 degrees around, standing in the cloud, the mist blinding my eyes. On top of Mount Fuji. Looking down at deep pine trees, unpenetrating to human and feeling on top of the world. This is my richness, I am rich, beyond what money can count.

Ah, life is beautiful, my mak is beautiful...what more can I say.
My mak is beyond treatment but she is so strong.

Bedok al-ansar, Singapore

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pertemuan dan rezeki

Sudah hampir sebulan saya di Spore and Msia. Waktu menulis ini, saya di Pasir Ris, di rumah adik dan berulang melawat mak di hospital setiap hari.
Doktor dari awal-awal lagi sudah berkata keadaan mak saya itu sebagai "let nature takes its course". Mungkin mak saya tidak perlu menjalani kimoterapi sebab keadaanya yang lemah itu. Pada saya asalkan mak tidak menderita kesakitan dan pergi dengan senang, itu sudah amat mententeramkan jiwa ini. Pergi itu memang takdir, hanya Yang Maha Kuasa menentukan ajal saja menepatkannya. Jadi selama mak masih boleh melihat, biarlah dia tidak diganggu lagi dengan berbagai jarum dan proses rawatan yang menyakitkan lagi.

Sudah hampir sebulan saya di sini tapi belum lagi dapat rasa roti canai. Entah kenapa? Saya duduk memikirkan, benda itu sudah dekat, bila-bila masa saya ingin makan, saya boleh dapatkan, apakah yang melarang? apa kah yang menahan rezeki ini?
Hanya Maha Kuasa yang memberi segala rezeki saja dapat menentukan itu.

Sama juga dengan pertemuan, banyak lagi teman-teman dan kenalan yang saya ingin sangat bertemu dan berbual, bertanya khabar, mendengar suara mereka, melihat senyuman mereka tapi belum lagi dipertemukan.
Ada juga pertemuan yang tidak disangka, tidak dijadualkan tapi terjadi dengan senang. Seperti bertemu dan berkenalan dengan sdr wan a rafar. Sungguhlah sudah saya faham, apa yang saya sebagai manusia kecil tidak boleh menetapkan yang dirancang, yang dijadualkan. Apabila Dia memberi rezeki dan pertemuan itu, sungguh anehnya, ia terjadi dengan senang sekali.

Inilah sdr wan a rafar, seorang penulis yang tinggal di Pasir Mas, Kelantan, bersahabat baik dengan sdr darma mohammad. Hanya satu panggilan pada sdr wan dan kami diberitahu dia sebenarnya berada hanya beberapa stasen saja dari kami di Hentian Putra. Lalu kami berjumpa pada hari itu Jun 17, 2008 dan berbual tentang berbagai topik, di antaranya haiku. Inilah masanya sdr wan menanya dan mengulas segala topik tentang haiku.
Masa saya menulis ini, sdr wan membuat kerja dakwah di Athena, Greecia.
Yang anehnya, saya dipertemukan dengan beliau hanya beberapa hari sebelum beliau berangkat ke sana.

Pada teman-teman dan kenalan yang belum sempat saya temui, saya berdoa agar kami dapat dipertemukan apabila saya membuat lagi satu pusingan ke KL minggu depan, insyaAllah.

nota kaki: sdr wan a rafar telah memberi izin menyiarkan gambar ini, harap jangan dipindahkan ke tempat lain tanpa kebenaran.

Pasir Ris, Spore.