Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Short visit to Kuala Terengganu.

Picture in the Moonlight
I took a short trip to Kuala Terengganu to attend my friend's son's wedding and as usual drove alone in my Kancil through the night as I had done eight times before making this trip the 9th. The reason I am telling this is because for those who are not familiar, the Kancil is the about the smallest car created by Perodua the local car manufacturer and for one to it across the country from West to the east Coast is not something one brags about especially when the trip is done at night. The stretch of road between the small town of Grik on the West Coast and that of Jeli on the Eastern side is a deserted stretch frequent by elephants and even tigers crossing at night and it crosses the Central mountain range of the Titiwangsa the spine of the Malay Peninsular.
Sunset over the South China Sea -1
By perhaps sheer luck i made it without too much hassle but this time the little car did gave me some rpoblem like runnig dead in the middle of nowhere whenever i slowed down and then after sitting for while and getting it started again i could continue driving on for a few kilometers before the same thing would happen again and this started happening when i was already in Kelantan on the East Coast. The worry i had was to be caught in the early morning traffic with the car going dead on me everytime i arrive at the traffic light wiht tis horror in mind i drove non stop all the way to Kuala Terengganu arriving before the nation was awaken.
Sunset over the South China Sea 2
I met and accomplished my mission to attend the wedding as promised and payed my respects to my siblings while putting up at my nephew's home the bakery shop where I was given a warm welcome and grand hospitality as a visiting grandpa which I enjoyed.
My niece and her youngest child Sumayah who kept me occupied with genuine Love.
A Zen Buddhist Koan, Who is it the carries this Corpse around? Who drove alone all the way from the West to the East Coast to fulfill a promise or to stay in touch or to make the connections? When i drove and every time i am driving for a long distance I assume the sitting meditation. I became one with the road even when in the darkness only feeling the tyres touching the surface of the road as i sometimes drove in total blindness through dark patches or the fog which often occurs as i drove towards the small town of Jeli after cruising down from the highest peak of the Titiwangsa. I left my trust in the car to carry me through these circumstances which to most would be considered an unnecessary risk or even total madness if not suicidal..
Moon rising over the South China Sea 1
I often felt relief and rewarded every time I made it to Kuala Terengganu and often arriving when the call for the 'Subuh or morning prayer is heard over the morning air. It often felt like finding my way home to be among loved ones and friends who i have left now and again to wander the land like a nomad. But the nostalgia of being in Terengganu never lasted any longer tha one week or so and then I would be itching to leave the State and i am beginning to feel like I am being cursed never to settle down there.
Moon rising over the South China sea 2
Be as it may I will always enjoy my visits to my family and friends on the East Coast would most probably keep on taking my chances driving alone through the night over the hills and mountains that lined separating the East and West Coast of the Malay Peninsular while enjoying my driving meditation with my windows down feeling the night breeze. One of the reasons why I enjoy night driving is because it is a whole lot cooler and i don't need to use the air conditioning and also there is often hardly any traffic on the road as soon as you hit the stretch that leads across the mountain range. I have driven often enough back and forth that i can almost read the road in the dark recognizing every turns and corners.  
Hashim arriving from his trip to Pulau Kapas 
I fell asleep while waiting for my friend Hashim to return from his trip to Pulau Kapas on his sailing boat and one of the reason being that i wanted to catch him as he approaches to tie off the boat and I almost missed the chance had i not awaken in the nick of time. I fell asleep on a dilapidated sofa while being cooled off by the nice gentle breeze from the river. The small hut i was in was built on a pontoon and thus the rocking motion added to the comfort of a great nap on a hot day afternoon. I never fail to visit Pulau Duyung whenever I was back in Kuala Terengganu.
The pontoon that leads to dry land.
Pokok Nipah or the Nipah tree is found in the coastal tidal areas where salt water meets with fresh water and it grows rapidly transforming the landscape in a very short time It is part of the mangrove swamp vegetation and its most vital product is the young shoot or leaves that is collected for the making of the local smoking roll 'paper' the Rokok Daun which is today becoming more and more popular as the price of regular cigarettes is becoming too expensive for the bad habit.of smoking.

Nypa fruticans, commonly known as the nipa palm, is a species of palm native to the coastlines and estuarine habitats of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the only palm considered adapted to the mangrove biome. This species is the only member of the genus Nypa and the subfamily Nypoideae, forming monotypic taxa.[2]

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