Tuesday, December 4, 2007

You Can Call Me A 'Jakun'

This is a picture of an aborigine from Gua Musang Kelantan

Pak Idrus of the famous blogsite In Passing - Malaysian called me on Tuesday to find out whether I was able to meet up with him in KL. From our previous email contacts he knew that I would be around the capital as I was supposed to play nanny to my two grandchildren Nur Alia Jazleen and Nur Farhana Jazreen (the budak puchong as they called themselves) both 7 and 5 years old respectively. Their nanny had taken a one month leave to visit her parents in Madura Indonesia after being away from them for the past 5 years. While she is away another temporary nanny will come daily from the hours of 7 am till 6 pm to do as much work as possible to take care of the budak puchong as well as do some house chores. My real duty was to look after them so that a similar tragic act as done on Nurin Jazlin will not happen to them while their parents are at work.

My daughter's place was in Taman Amanputra in Puchong. Without any means of transport as the two cars in the house were used by both my son in law and my daughter, I felt hopeless to move about as I had flown in by AirAsia from Kota Bharu. Taman Amanputra is a relatively new housing area and no direct bus services is available. It was definitely too far out for Pak Idrus to come and fetch me. To add insult to injury Pak Idrus told me that when he was in Boston to do a similar duty to his grandchildren, he relied on public transport to move about. Wow, he could survive in Boston and I was only in KL! That's a challenge.

I had sometime earlier brought 2 folding bicycles for my two grand daughters from my collection of bicycles in Pasir Mas. Thus the bike became handy for me to look around for public transport in the other more established housing areas near Amanputra. That evening was spent biking around and to my amusement I saw not just one but two bus companies providing transport to the public to the adjacent housing estate. One bus was the Metro 20 commuting between the area and Kota Raya and the other a Rapid KL No 69 commuting to Pasar Seni bus hubs in KL. The designation numbers are the easiest way to identify a bus to illiterates and being sure of the numbers I didnt bother to see the destination at the point of embarkation but from afar I could distinguish the word Perdana as the name of the housing estate.

Calling Pak idrus again, I confirmed my willingnes to meet him up at Kunikuniya Bookstore KLCC. He further advised me to take the bus leading to Pasar Seni as the hub there was close to the LRT terminal which will take me to the terminal at KLCC.

As luck would have it, my son in law had something to do around KL and will be able to send me to KLCC in time for the meeting at 11.00 am with Pak Idrus. By about 10.45 am I was standing at the mezzanine floor which Pak Idrus told me later was the Ampang side while the opposite end is the P Ramlee side. Directly infront of me was the world famous shoe outlet of Jimmy Choo the shoemaker to celebrities the like of the late Princess Diana. That was where I found out that he makes shoes only for the ladies.

A call to Pak Idrus who was then at the RHB bank on the same floor soon unite us and we met for the first time.

We proceeded to Kunikuniya on the top floor. Since Awang Goneng's book Growing Up In Trengganu was hot among Malaysian bloggers at that time, we made a check at the counter only to be told that they were out of stock. The guy at the counter enquired whether I would like to place a reservation for one. I hesitated initially as I may not have the chance to come back to KLCC before I go back to Pasir Mas, a place in Kelantan which is as far away as its neighbour Trengganu itself where Awang Goneng hailed from. Pak Idrus reassured me that usually they won't take too long and I will be able to collect it before I go back home to Pasir Mas Kelantan in 3 weeks time. I left my particulars at the counter and proceeded to walk up a flight of stairs to another level above the bookstore to a place called The Coffee Club. Pak Idrus ordered coffee for the both of us and I was surprised to see them arrived in a cup the size of a bowl. I didnt ask for anything else while Pak idrus had somekind of bread which I didn't know the specific name. Actually I was reserving some space for lunch with another group which I was supposed to meet for lunch at the same place at 12 noon. Pak idrus had agreed earlier to join this group of VTers (Virtual Tourist). VirtualTourist.com is the website for travellers the world over to write about their travels and experiences which was useful for people like me who needs to have friends at the destination I am visiting. I have had wonderful help from such members in my travel to Medan, Jakarta Indonesia, Bangkok Thailand and Xian in China.

We had a wonderful time chatting about so many things at The Coffee Club as the place was yet to receive the lunch crowd as it was about 11 am at the time. We literally had the place to ourselves. I think its the best place in the world to meet up and chat comfortably provided it's not the peak hours of lunch. Pak Idrus related to me of how he was interviewed together with Rocky of Rocky's Bru by a student working on her/his thesis for two hours at the place(couldnt recall the sex as the word pelajar was used).

While there, Pak Idrus and me chatted about blogging in general. Most interestingly we talked about how to go about building a 4 star toilet in our homes and enjoying its use forever and not having to go yo a 4 star hotel to enjoy it once in a blue moon. I was interested as I need to redo my toilet at home. Being a handyman myself I need only to spend on materials as I dont have to pay myself for the workmanship. Alternatively I could pay myself a hefty rate even how bad my workmanship will be. Do you see any difference there?

Another good subject we talked about was PPS which stands for Project Petaling Street. Sometime earlier I commented in Ruby Ahmad's blog that me and Pak Idrus discussed about PSP as I was presuming it to be Petaling Street Project. PPS is a site where you can inform the world that you as a Malaysian blogger have posted a new post on your blogsite. I have registered myself for PPS and will use this post as a test case whether I have learnt enough on how to use it successfully.

When 12 noon came we proceeded to RHB Bank to meet up The Vters some of whom were from the Phillipines. The Malaysian VTer who organized the meet was Mr Chia whose call sign is chiabh.

It was while having lunch at Pelita Nasi Kandar with the Vters that I received the call from Kunikuniya about the availability of GUIT which I had reserved some 3 hours earlier. Immediately after lunch I went to colllect my GUIT from Kunikuniya to experience one of the most efficient service ever encountered by me and with the utmost courtesy to boot. Maybe Malaysia must be ruled by the Japanese in order to have a change of mindset and behavior. A stint under the Japanese instead of the British could have done wonders for us. Blame it on Einstein for discovering the formula E = MC2 and blame it on the American for developing the hydrogen bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima that led to the end of WW2. Otherwise we would be an advanced country under the strict and stern discipline of the Japanese.

With GUIT in my hands I proceeded by the underground passageway to the LRT terminal at KLCC. After learning the way how tickets were bought using the automatic dispensing machine I boarded the LRT to Pasar Seni the bus hub for most destinations by Rapid KL and hence began the nightmare for the return trip to Amanputra, Puchong in Selangor.

The hub around the old Klang bus terminal was haphazard and difficult to fathom for any first time user. Just by looking for the bus number will not lead you to the bus that you want to use. After waiting for 30 minutes there wasn't any bus 69. An inquiry at the ticket and information kiosk resulted in a a half hearted show of direction as to the general direction of the bus 69. Further check with one of the driver of the bus as to which bus to take to go to Puchong Perdana received a puzzling answer as bus 70. Bus 69 showed Putra Perdana as its destination. Now should I trust the number or the destination? Feeling confused I overheard another driver speaking the Kelantanspeak (just like the Trengganuspeak of Awang Goneng). A Kelantanese can detect another fellow Kelantenese from a mile away provided he can hear his voice speaking certain words. Get him to mention 'Seven Eleven' and without doubt you can confirm him as one or otherwise. The same may not apply on the likes of Elviza Michelle a trueblue Kelantanese but whose name doesn't even sound like a Kelantanese. Her diction of the word 'Seven Eleven' in perfect Oxford English or at least the English of KLites will not indicate her origin. Nevertheless this Kelantanese driver of RapidKL was willing to help another Kelantanese in distress as another fellow Kelantanese is always a brother outside of Kelantan but a foe when within Kelantan itself. He confirmed that bus 70 was the bus for Puchong Perdana.

I had a seat on the airconditioned bus for the 60 km ride home. The bus reached the last stop and I was the last passenger remaining. The driver asked me where I was going. Hearing that I was going to Amanputra, he told me that I was on the wrong bus as bus 69 was the right bus. As is always with me, if anything could go wrong, it will go wrong. I disembarked intending to take a taxi to Amanputra. Tough luck, not a single taxi to find.

I promised my daughter that I would be home before 6 pm before the maid leave for home. It was already 5 pm. A franctic call to my daughter and she told me that she will ask the 'budak puchong' to seek shelter at her friends place some 3 doors away and told me to back track to Puchong and catch the right bus home or take a taxi. A rickety old minibus took me back to Puchong and the sympathetic bus driver clearly directed me to the right place to take the bus which is either Metro 20 or RapidKL 69 on the other side of the road thus ensuring that I was taking a bus heading in the right direction.

When I reached the final stop in Putra Perdana it was already 6.30 pm and another 1,684 steps, I reached my daughters home.

So call me a 'Jakun' if you like. Unlike that state assembly man from Kelantan, I won't kick you for it, however derogatory the word Jakun is meant to be on me. The state assemblyman instantly found fame when he was U tubed all over the world kicking and shouting at another assemblyman of the state ruling party in a sitting of the august assembly. Joceline Tan wrote a beautiful piece on the incident under the title 'All abuzz over the dogil kick' in her column in The Sunday Star of 2 December 2007. She wrote that talk has been going around that the said assemblyman has not been himself since a car crash near Gua Musang sometime ago. This longest serving state assemblyman was my ex field supervcisor before he took the plunge to join politics full time. Being called a Jakun was the last straw that broke the camel's back and he went beserk immediately after. If not for the intervention by the others, history would have been made as the first brawl in any state assembly in Malaysia could have happened in Kelantan.

Jakun is one of the many tribes among the aborigines of Malaysia. A Jakun is thus considered to be primitive though some Jakuns has been known to make it good in education and economics. The use of the word on other people not of a Jakun tribe is thus considered deragotory.

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