Monday, February 5, 2007

Cuti Cuti Malaysia 3: To The North Again, Melaka-Kulim-Alor Setar-Penang-Ipoh-Tapah Road, Dec 22 – 30, 2005

Dec 29, 2005 (Thursday), Lost World of Tambun, Tapah Road

I woke up early as usual and after my suboh prayer I naturally became a drill sergeant waking everyone up with my drill instructor voice. Of course one or two, like Baqir, are already immune to it. Nevertheless I persisted and succeeded in my objective. One main reason was I would like o start as early as possible. When everyone’s ready we went for breakfast at the hotel. Breakfast was adequately simple and what I loved most was the cokodok.

We packed the Ranger after breakfast and immediately left for the Lost World of Tambun for a whole-day ‘berendam’ session. Our expectation was of course the place to be better than Sunway Lagoon but we were duly disappointed when we got there. To make it worse we were told at the counter that the wave machine was under repaired. Since we were already there and really looking forward to it we promised ourselves to make the best of it and have a maximum fun. Almost the whole day we did just that. The rides, slides, and water activities were not comparable to Sunway Lagoon. But it has it’s own specialty, the place being built near the range benefit and capitalize the surrounding. With the high hill facing you it looks magnificent creating certain impact on you. When I was floating according to the flow of the man-made river I could not help myself from continuously looking at the green above me. One other thing was their tigers. They have 3 young and a baby tigers. The place where the keep the tigers was brilliant as it really beautifully snuck between two high ranges creating a valley like environment. We finished off our ‘berendam’ session by doing a short tour around the place and as a finale my kids got on all the rides available. A sudden heavy downpour came as we were to depart. To ensure we leave immediately I had to buy an umbrella at the souvenir shop. As I predicted it was only pouring at the resort and I sped straight towards Tapah. We had not had our lunch yet when we departed from the Lost World and it was already 3 pm. I thought we would be stopping at Tapah R&R. But I made a mistake as the R&R was actually after Tapah interchange going towards Bidor so when I got there I quickly swung the Ranger into action and sped through light rain into Tapah. We stopped in front of the mosque for a very late lunch. It was not too bad for an eating place we ordered quite a bit of food. After we had fully rested and full we continued our journey to Tapah Road.

Tapah used to have no significant in our live before and now it is almost a certainty in our frequent travel plan up north. My sister-in-law is teaching and staying there now with her family. Also, the visit to Tapah Road means opening up an opportunity for me to find my long time school friends Saad Din and Zubir who hail from there. As soon as we were at my sister-in-law’s house I sent an SMS to Jidun asking for Saad’s contact number. He sent it immediately and as fast as well I put through a call to the number. Saad’s son replied and I was told Saad was away ‘memancing’ and I left a message that I would call back. I was delighted with the possibility of meeting Saad again after 28 years. That long! So after Maghrib that night I called again and again his son answered and I was delighted to hear his son calling for him. So, the deciphering process began with Saad trying to figure out who I was really. I could still remembered him but not exactly sure how he looked like after 28 years. So we decided to meet at the bus stop in front of the Prison Complex, oh yeah forgot to mentioned that my ‘besan’ is a warder and they live in the prison complex at Tapah Road. Saad with is motor bike was already waiting at the bus stop. I got down and hugged him as I somehow could still recognize him. He is older but not much different form the school days. But he was having a time trying to place me. I just laughed and laughed as he attempted to do that. He complaint that he was getting really forgetful nowadays and apologized for his inability to figure me out. I understand I said and ok with it. In the end he succeeded and we started to talk a little bit about old days. After a while we moved our meeting to the local food stall nearby and then as a finale Saad took me to his house to meet his family and further story telling. Saad is a school teacher at the secondary school in Tapah and he told me he is comfortable with his life and could not see himself uprooted to somewhere else. I could not blame him for saying so and if I were in his shoe probably I would do the same. Living and teaching in his own kampong and married to the local girl. In that respect he reminded me of Danny. In a way I envy both of them. Here I am living in the city always chasing times. I sadly left his house close to 12am as I do not wish to create a scene at the guard post of the prison complex. I promised Saad that I would be in touch and to come again with my family. Now I have two good reasons to come to Tapah Road.

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