Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Weekend Reunion With My Teacher and Basketball Coach, a Merisek Mission, Birthday Party and Family Day in Port Dickson, Jan 20-21, 2007

My original plan was to stay a night in PD after my planned reunion with my former teacher and coach but nice coincident presented itself that ended up us having a family day, sort of, in PD.
We left BSP very early as I planned to hit the beach early to avoid the crowd and I did it in around half-an-hour. I remember pulling out of the compound at 0750 and arrived at the warong at Teluk Kemang at 0820 to buy breakfast. I surprise even myself as I did not think I drove that fast. Blue Lagoon was still empty when we got there and we immediately spread our rugs and had our breakfast. After breakfast we waited for the water to receed a bit and then it was all water for us. We swam, canoed and snorkeled until midday when the water really receeded far out to the ocean. If you have been to the Blue Lagoon you would know how far it can be.

Merisek a PD Mermaid

I made a mistake of thinking that the HiTea Reunion was at 1730 only by chance to be informed by Baqir it was actually 1430 when he opened my laptop. DKN confirmed it when I texted/SMSed him. Which means I could not join my family in the merisek mission on behalf of Farhan. (After so much searching this guy in the end actually settled for a lass from PD) I knew they were in good hands and drove my family to the rendezvous place before proceeding to Selesa Beach Resort. Later I found out it indeed turned out fine.

Mr Jim Khulman


My Jim Khulman of a Peace Corp Association joined SDAR’s teaching staff the same year I enrolled as a student. On the first day he was introduced to us we knew straight away that he was different from the rest of the Peace Corp brigade. He was one crazy dude….LOL. We just knew as we had the instinct for that kind of thing. This crazy American really proved us right and transformed our basketball program at the same time. Funny thing is he was not much of a coach or player, sorry Mr Khulman if you are reading this…J, but he really boosted our self believe and morale to be the best on the court. Indeed with him we captured Hamdan Cup three years in a row and won the state championship beating the state basketball powerhouse Chung Hwa. During those periods the whole school was abuzz with the American style basketball that we played. Mr Khulman, the Coach, thought some of us IA, that’s Industrial Arts for those of you that were born too late J. Now after hearing the stories he told us I understood why he was an IA teacher. He was a carpenter sent to Vietnam to fight Vietcong, rather poor people who had nothing to do with America according to him. To me he was my basketball coach when I was lucky enough to play for the under 15 in 1976. All of us just could not wait for the training sessions that we enjoyed so much.

With someone special there always key incidence or incidences that you would remember and not forget. To me, with the Coach, there were two. The first one happened on one very early Saturday morning during the first week of our training period. I mean very early morning and I was still dreaming of something, those days what else could we be dreaming of if not girls, when suddenly a very loud recognizable voice barked into my ears, ‘Get up you lazy bones!!!! Or I’ll throw you out!!!’ Still did not realize what had hit me I thought why in the hell The Coach in my dream, the second yell came ‘Bond! If you were not out in five minutes I’ll sure going to throw you out.” Shit! It was really him and to this day I do not know how in the world he knew where my exact bed was in room C5. Seeing me struggled down to get ready he moved next door to give Scoob a hard time…LOL. The second incident was during 1976 District final at Tg Durah. The game was played on a very slippery court due to the sand debris that came out of somewhere. Seeing our players not abled to play our normal game to the fullest, out of no where, he produced a broom and started to sweep the court. What seemed to be dedication became a funny joke to all of us because without realizing it he was sweeping the sand into the VIP stand. BTW we won the final and we celebrated like mad. However, sadly, the Coach left at the end of that year.

After 30 years I would be meeting him again and I waited with the others impatiently. When he finally arrived we were grinning from ears to ears, the Coach with the widest, happy to see each other. The Selesa Beach Resort became the witness to the historic teacher and students reunion. Except for the white hair and glasses he was a fit man. A fact he showed off through out the time we were with him at the reunion.

Naturally we talked, reminisced and laughed like we were 30 years ago and we did not want it to end. He even shared his escapades before and after SDAR with us. The notable one being staying a month in a palace of the then Agung all because he wanted to learn Malay from and old fisherman. I found out that he was actually around 25 years old when he was in SDAR and was paid RM10 a day to teach us. He fondly referred himself to as a poor and not so clever Mat Saleh. Now he leaves in Ohio, has three beautiful grown up children and build houses for charity.
But it had to end and it came abruptly to some of us. With so many old stories resurrected I wondered how I would be coping in the current real world again. Not that I became scared suddenly but I was very sure that I was so emotionally drained by the event. I hugged him towards the end and said that I was really happy to see again. He corrected me to say he was the happiest. Without looking back I walked out of the hotel…

Birthday Party That Was Never Intended To Be

Teasingly everyone agreed to try to not remember Baqir’s birthday. The truth is even if we want to it would be very difficult because of two reasons. Firstly, he diligently kept on reminding people about it and second the day happened to be Maal Hijrah. So happy birthday Baqir!!!!!!!
I did not wish to spend more than we should so we went to the PD Batu Empat Pasar Malam. I bought 100 sticks of Satay and several Hainesse Chicken Rice. His cousin bought him a big birthday cake and his Pak Ngah bought enough drinks, fruits and snacks. We took all the food back to our apartment at Casa Rachado and celebrate his birthday in a small way. It was a decent and happy family occasion. I did not realize that all of them would be staying for a night as well. Luckily we had enough mattresses and bed in the apartment for everyone.

Just Wanted To Swim Became a Family Day of Sort, Sunday, Jan 21, 2007

Almost all of us woke up early and individually everyone had their own thoughts on what to do. However, all the thoughts somehow merged to the swimming pool. Since I had four breakfast voucher with me and I could not simply anything I decided to have breakfast at the resorts. Fatah, Baqir and Kak Cik followed me. I must say it was the worst breakfast that I had ever had. Luckily I did not pay for extra.

After breakfast everyone decided to hit the pool and that is when the fun started.

We were already swimming in the pool and there were only few kids beside us when Tariq introduced two balls and we decided to have an impromptu water polo game. Fatah, Imah and I on one team and Tariq, Baqir and An on the opposing side. We had fun playing but tiring. It was really a family atmosphere that I like about it. Of course, although we clearly won the game, the opposing team said they were J. We were really tired when we decided we had enough of water polo. But then it was still early and the nice weather encouraged us to stay around a bit more and we decided to play beach volleyball. Still in the same team we played four games. We finished the fourth game around 1100 and since we need to check out at noon we called it a day and clean ourselves. All in all as I said it was worth it and one of the best family outings that we had. I already can see the same thing happening again soon. Probably during the Hari Wilayah weekend somewhere in ……… rahsia

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