Most of the time, we tend to think that most interesting places to visit and write about is other countries beside our own. I took this for granted until I took my family visiting the inner Malaysia. It was eyes popping for me and I have been travelling Malaysia all these while and until I finish 'doing' the whole Malaysia I will try my best not to 'do' the other countries with my family. It is not that difficult it could meanonly weekend trips for some of them.
My family seems to agree with me. I was blessed to have experience both ‘kampung’ and city life but not my children. To me I know exactly what it means and feels to plant a 'padi', 'menuai', tapping rubber, fishing the old ways, etc. I really pity my children because they can only read about them. Unless if could take them to these places and let them discover the experience themselves. Take it from me not only them but I sometime felt relieve by the experience - to know what it is like and how some of us live. I hope, by doing that, they won’t take live for granted and be thankful and able to create a balance live.
Ipoh Again After 32 Years
I had planned to leave for Ipoh early on Oct. 9, 1999 but I was scheduled to give a lecture on web page design to teachers and students in Subang Jaya. I cannot described how relieve I was when the organiser called the night before to say the lecture was cancelled. That meant my original plan was still a possibility.
My first encounter with the place called Ipoh is a more or less 32 years ago. In 1966 my late father was a Police Field Force personnel and had just been transferred to the new Ulu Kinta Camp. However, the family flats were not ready then and my dad was ‘orang bujang’ for a while there. Not until early 1967 they were ready and the whole family moved to Ipoh. That year also coincided with my first year in school and I was enrolled into Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Tanjung Rambutan. Thank God I was there for just a term as the new school for the camp was ready by then. The Tanjung Rambutan experience is another story for another day. Ipoh was my first real big town and to 7 year old it is really big. My father took us quite frequently there and two places that I could not forget is the bus station and one restaurant that served the best mee rebus that I have ever tasted. Now I could not remember most of them and I was hoping to relive some of that during this short trip.
So, I had two reasons as to why I took my children to Ipoh that day. One, to cheer and see SDAR winning the Premier Cup for the second successive year and to see Ipoh properly as an adult. True I occasionally passed the town during our travels up north but I took them for granted.
We left Kajang at 10 am and were on the Plus highway an hour later. Since we had to be in Ipoh as early as possible I drove the van hard but careful. During the journey I kept telling the children about Ipoh but as usual they ignored me. Instead they asked me to sing the SDAR song….
Where aver we goooooooooo….
people want to knowwww….
Who we areeeee…..
where we come from
So we tell them
We are SDARIAN
Migthy mighty SDARIAN
Rough tough SADRIAN
Followed by …
Den kampung senogori
Den masuk askar di Port Deksyen………
So we became one fast loud van full with SDARA family heading for Ipoh.
We stopped at the Bidor/Tapah R&R and met with four buses loaded with SDARIANs heading for Ipoh. After our ‘so called’ lunch we hit the road again. I took the Simpang Pulai exit and paid Plus RM 23 for the liberty of using their concrete highway. I chose the exit so that we could ‘walk’ into Ipoh slowly and I could be tour guide for my children. First encounter were of course the cave dwellers. A short briefing followed immediately. My son could not actually believe that someone actually built his home inside a cave. We didn’t have time to stop but I will take him into one someday, Inshallah.
When I planned to stay over night in Ipoh the first prerequisite to book a room is to make sure the hotel has a pool for my children. This is first on their list and second is food. Since I didn’t think we have problem with the second requirement I had booked into Ipoh Causarina Parkroyal. This was the first main building we saw as we ‘walked’ into Ipoh. We duly checked-in said our prayers and off we went straight to the Ipoh Bandaran field. I tried to look around to see if I could remember anything. Sad to say I could not, everything is new to me as new as any other person who has just came to Ipoh. I can only remember the famous railway station and the bus stop. That’s it! What a sad day for me. However, one thing that I could remember vividly was there is one restaurant that served one mean ‘Mee Sop/Rebus’ I loved it so much. Anytime we were in town then I would request, rather cried, to be taken to the restaurant to eat. At one time my late ‘Mamak’ came visiting us at Ulu Kinta Camp. The next day he took us to town and the moment we stepped out of the bus I was pulling his hand towards the restaurant.
All that left were memories of the old days for me. I could not share them with my children. Of course so much has change – new buildings, shopping malls and new road systems. I was a bit disappointed when I left Ipoh that Sunday and reminded not to take things for granted.