Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Gulf

So after taking care of my father's medical needs a few days ago, we went to Teluk Cempedak.

The last time I was there, on the beach, was 21 years ago. I was 8 years old.

My mother had brought food. Nasi lemak.

We went in the morning as my father was - and still is - an early riser.

We stayed in the car because the beach was too hot.

And I had a paper plate of nasi lemak, in the back seat of an Opel Kadett.

From then on, I never considered Kuantan as a beach town.

It was always rows and rows of old buildings and a dirty, dusty bus station to me.

There were two KFCs, in the 90s, on top of one resided tran-sexuals who would often patrol the sidewalk in front of the fast-food restaurant in search of customers.

The trannies have an annual beauty pageant, and they would usually go home drunk, fighting with each other.

As one of my siblings witnessed on some nights. She stayed above a mamak restaurant nearby.

This time, though, I was impressed with Teluk Cempedak's off-white sands.

It was clean, well-maintained by the workers there.

A far cry from the hot, unwelcoming beach in my youth.

There is practically nothing there, just the way I like my beaches.

Just some people and lifeguards.

You always need lifeguards on Kuantan beaches.

The waves can be quite turbulent and unforgiving. Just several weeks ago, five people drowned - one of them, a young kid - was pulled by the currents in front of me.

He had not strayed far, but the Cherating waters was in the middle of the monsoon season, and the waves can be killers.

Still, I had not thought much of Kuantan, over the years.

I was too busy trying to get away from the damned place.

My family is there, and they taught half the town.

If I hung out there long enough, my movements would all be reported back to base.

That is not something I want, and that is why I hardly ever go back to my hometown.

I do not want to be known. I am a last child, which means I have no issues with attention. I had too much already.

My thing, was freedom. And in Kuantan, I never felt free.

I had aspirations to leave the country. And never return.

It wasn't until a year ago, I think, when I had several opportunities to migrate, that I made my decision.

I was to go to Switzerland or Germany. That WAS my big plan.

Further along in the interviews, I felt something amiss.

Something wasn't right.

I cannot allow idiots to run free here.

That would be like leaving a drowning man helpless, without at least calling for help. Or organise a swim party.

And yes, a lot of Malaysians are drowning in a sea of stupid. Stupid actions and stupid people as well as stupidity itself.

And I believe that if it is not taken care of, then the waves could destroy the world.

Well, not as dramatic, but every little bit helps, said the old woman who pissed in the sea.

And so I let the wind from Teluk Cempedak engulf me. And make a vow, to make things work here.

I'm staying to fight. For myself. Not for other people. Not for the backstabbers or the idiots or ingrates or the wannabe manipulators.

I am staying, for me. Little ol' homicidal me.

Plus, there's always Thailand.