Sunday, September 30, 2007

BACK TO SCHOOL 1950

Those were the days , the roads very bad , transport scarce : the only one was the Yan Transport bus , and that also was halfway only up to Jeniang . Then had to cross the river by a rakit made from bamboos tied together . The river was then deep , the current very strong and underneath inhibated by crocodiles . Yearly, there was somebody who became victim.On the next side of the river , there was another bus company better known as bus Pak salim , because Pak Salim was the driver. Daily there were only 2 trips . A miss means go and sleep in the shack provided mainly for night's stay; a sort of transit. For food there was a stall of Mat sampan .Only hot coffee and roti kapai to save your hunger and thirst. I didn't know why named as roti kapai .It was made from tapioca flour.Very hard and had to dip long in the hot coffee.
The no-star shack was also a popular place for poker.....a sort of Las Vegas.Thus brought a lot of cash to Mat sampan. I did longed for such a transit , so I could enjoy the night life by the riverside . What I needed most was to catch fish in the water. The opportunity did not come my way as there was always Pak Salim and his bus , and Pilus was always there on the other side to Pekan Sik.
Pak Salim terminal was Gurun ( a place at the foot of Gunung Jerai.....where rain was plenty ). A 'gurun' ( meaning desert) with most rain the whole world . Here we could have the best ice-ball ( ais kepai ) . Children today don't have the opportunity and pleasure sulking the ice-ball. It was not easy sulking this piece of ice-ball. Your hands get cold . It was cheap ,5 cents a ball.
Before reaching Gurun ,you had to pass a place known as Kebun Teh . Here the communists always made ambushes . Usually if they know any pro-British personnel are in the bus . Everybody would got scared . Testicles would get shrunk . Faces turned pale . Pak salim would repeat some prayers , usually verses from the Quran . His lips moving reciting the verses . Sometimes it came across my mind that one day I joined the communists , because it was interesting living in the jungles .
From this ' desert' town we had to take another bus to Sungai Petani . It was another strenous journey . Bus sardined-pack . If the day was a bad luck , you will be kept standing the whole route to Sungai Petani. The early morning journey from Sik would only be completed at when the sun nearly hid herself in the west.
The whole day journey made me so tired that I felt asleep just after the night's dinner . Of course had to report to the hostel prefect in-charge , if not a thousand lines penance ," I must not sleep.......". Always the excuse was headache .
What a life , full of adventures . Full of thrills ................children's world is not worth thinking. Allah gives the enjoyment only once , and no more.

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