Wednesday, June 4, 2008


We were on the move all through the last week of May 2008. Rightly so as the tachometer on the Honda CRV clocked a total of 2000 kilometers. That had taken us to FRIM ( Forest Research Institute) Station at Mata Air, Perlis , halting at Sungai Petani for a nocturnal meeting and proceeded to Baling for a site meeting the next day and continuing in the late afternoon to cross Banjaran Titi Wangsa till we arrived at Kota Bharu Kelantan.

Rooms at the bigger hotels were hard to come during the school holiday break unless you have made earlier bookings and more since it coincided with marriage functions organized during this time of the year. Don't expect any discounted rate either. Going by the quality hotels available in a city Kota Bharu is certainly ahead of its sister towns like Alor Star, Ipoh, Kuala Trengganu or Seremban. If Kuala Lumpur or Penang saw traffic jams during the school break, be ready to endure the same at Kota Bharu too. After a respite of two days meeting old colleagues and attending a wedding 'khenduri' we moved on to the national capital, traveling for the first time on the Kota Bharu - Gua Musang road and cutting across the highland again till we reached Simpang Pulai and connecting to the North South Highway. The cool Cameron Highland for a brief moment managed to lift the spirit and certainly caused us to stop at least to buy fresh greens. It was an eight hour drive with a short stop at Gua Musang Rest area. The only RnR along the drive from Kota Bharu found just outside Gua Musang certainly could not entertain the large crowd who stopped for what it was meant to be. Those traveling on the North South Highway must be thankful for what they have been served with: clean rest areas with all conveniences plus the excellant road. Gua Musang, Jeli, Kuala Lipis and Pasir Mas are names or halting stations familiar with rail travelers who boarded the train at KualaLumpur that stopped at Gemas before moving north again. Sadly I have not yet been a passenger on that trip. I believe it is a worthwhile journey because it takes an adventure through some of the virgin forest of the country.

A longer stay at Gua Musang would allow us to observe the rock formation that straddled on both side of the road as you enter the town. The town deserved a second visit just to discover how smacked in the middle of the peninsular it has come forward to meet the expansion as a result of the new route's communication. You could also continue driving southward passing through Kuala Lipis and Raub and later encroached into the Karak Highway or even crossed to the Gap from Raub and down to Kuala Kubu Bharu and halting at Frazer's Hill. The varied routes available would certainly tempt any motorist to explore the region.

Being at the peripheral zone of Taman Negara, a halt at Kuala Lipis would have taken us to the much acclaimed site. Much as it has been our desire to move into that natural enclave it has to wait till we come along this way again. We have to be in Kuala Lumpur the next day for another appointment.

Our work cum break tour literally meant traveling equal to driving from Bukit Kayu Itam to Johore Bharu and back. The photos accompanying likewise took in the the attractions, comradeship and project sites visited. This apparently is like they say 'killing two birds with one stone'. Strangely enough it was a sight for sore eyes when a black bird came to perch on the fruit tree just across our veranda at Subang Jaya. The area was once an oil palm plantation before new housing and development took over and drove all the forest creatures away. The return of birds and squirrels to the area though in small numbers heralds a charm beginning. We never miss the sight of birds especially that come chirping and at times knocking on our window panes. They bring happy greetings.

For all things that come our way, it would be useful that we learn to cope with ease and trust. The month end escapade plus assignments in between tested our endurance while yet allowing a reprieve from pumping in petrol for the journey at a substantial increase the very day we arrived back home.

June 4, 2008 at Kulim to inspect works done for the current project at hand and due for completion.

The signage besides other things declared that the project has been completed as scheduled

A spot for the residents ( staff and students) to relax and at the same time organized their bbq parties if need be

May 31, 2008 at Kota Bharu. It was good to meet friends that you have known several decades ago again. "Khenduri' especially a wedding festivity normally bring about such unexpected encounter.

29 May 2008. Stop at Baling for the project site meeting. Viewing the present status and the up coming school building with a commanding view of the surrounding hills you cannot help appreciating how fortunate school students are. The workers, foreign as well local enjoy spartan accommodation at their temporary site.

May 28, 2008 earlier on we were at FRIM station in Perlis for a meeting and where teak trees grow to their full height and maturity. It was a start to a project at hand. Scouting around near the Kama Taso Lake nearby we came across a wayside stall that sold 'pekasam' ( fermented fresh water fishes). Caught on the view finder were fishes freshly hauled from the lake. Take your choice. Fried and taken with 'pekasam' it would be mouth watering to say the least .


Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Your energy and enthusiasm makes me look like an octogenerian in comparison.

How you manage to drive all over Malaysia and attend meetings as well amazes me.

Syukur alhamdulillah. Rezeki masing-masing dan kesihatan yang ALlah bagi.

My father is rather frail now. If you pass by Ipoh, may I invite you and Mak Wan to stop over at Kg Kepayang?

KotaStar said...

Sdr Azizi,

Terima kasih atas harapan dan keikhlasan. Kita syukur atas apa yang diberi oleh Maha Esa. Sad to know about yr dad's health. We will stop by the next trip down InsyaAllah. BTW we will be away from 11 - 24 Jun performing our umrah We will doa for Ahmad Tarmizi good health.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Selamat berangkat ke tanah suci dan kembali.

Terima kasih kerana sudi mendoakan ayahanda saya. Dan, kalau tidak keberatan, tolong doakan sama anak saya Syafiq yang akan menduduki SPM tahun ini.

Terima kasih.

KotaStar said...

Understood. Will do