Thursday, 22 October 2009

..retreat to Cameron..

..everyone has retreats, private hideouts where they can forget their troubles and care..

..as a preteen, my retreat was under a mangosteen tree that grew in front of my grandparents' house..as a youth in KL in the 60's, struggling to make ends meet and forsaking studies, preferring work, angst driven and pimple ridden, retreat was Bukit Bintang Park..the crowd..the dazzle of neons..endless music blaring from unseen speakers..Rose Chan and the joget girls..

..at times, retreat was the British Council, near Bukit Aman..but rarely..

..later, much later, a wife and several kids later, it was some part of the ocean, or some islands in Terengganu..adrift on a boat, reeling out live baits..where the sea meets the sky..

..after an attempt at polygamy later, retreat was Pos Balar, Gob, Teranek and every nook of the forest in Gua Musang, trying to make better the lives of Orang Aslis', whilst own was in ruins..

..but now, in my twilight, retreat is Cameron Highlands..my Camp David, minus the retinue of
FBI's and such..





..mesjid Abu Bakar, Tanah Rata..
..the only landmark that has not changed..



..Auji, trying her hand at picking berries..at rm40 at pick..
..strawberry has become the mainstay of Cameron's tourist attraction..


..Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation..


..Kea Farm..
..ripe strawberries..rm20 for 5 packets..

..but Cameron has changed..its warmer..it was only at 5.30 am before subuh prayers, that I got to feel the brisk, bracing cool air that I used to enjoy of yesteryears...you cannot anymore see the trees on hill-tops...they have been cleared and terraced for cultivation..the rapacious greed for money and profit is too evident here..man never learns...and his folly never ceases..



7 comments:

Justiffa said...

Salam pakmat.. i'm glad i chanced upon ur blog bcos ur posts provide an insight into the mind of a 'mature' male, very much like my own husband :) usaha utk memahami harus diteruskan ;)

For me when i am overwhelmed by the daily grind & the seemingly endless demands made on me, i retreat to my room for a breather.. some 'alone' time usually helps me to bounce back :)

Tapi kalau dpt releks tepi pantai lagi bagus ;D

Have a nice day.

pakmat said...

Salam Justiffa..I'm glad that you r glad..life is sometimes chances and happenstances..but I'm not sure about that mature part about me..or about all men..they say there is a boy in every men..and men are known not to mature with age, unlike wine..and in Bachok, I've been seen running wild with a kite on a string..

..I've checked all of your blogs..found them fantastic..am a bit into cooking myself..(orang pencen..banyak masa sikit) will try out your gougeres..however you pronounced it..checked also your profile..anything but complete there..:) welcome to an old coot's domain, lady..

..the beaches are indeed tempting..being so near home..but it is awaiting the monsoon..in a state of lull before the storm..

..and you have a good day, too..

Uncle Lee said...

Hello PakMat, ha ha, love your this posting.
Yes, your memories and mine almost similar...
I remember Bukit Bintang and BB cabaret.
Eastern cabaret at Jalan Ampang / Campbell road.
Schooldays we stayed in Sentul couple of miles from Sentul Pasar, dekat one old Indian cinema.
Banyak lembu la sana...they download all over.

By the way, you remember that terrorist attack at AIA building? I think it was the Japanese red brigade or something.

And then at Batu road, that Thai Ramvong, dekat the old RIMV. And of course Chow Kit road where I used to stop beli putu mayam, goreng pisang for my makcik and pakcik friends in Kampong baru or Gurney road...tangan kosong susa nak date anak perumpuan dia, ha ha.

And I used to go to Pulau Kapas in Trengganu brfore there was any body, deserted island then, used to set up camp by the well.
Been to all the Islands there, Malacca too. And Tioman, Desaru, Pengarang, fishing.
Pantai Remis in Sitiawan and Pangkor Island.

I still remember the 1st traffic lights installed at Jalan Ampang / Campbell road intersection...lots of people brought stools to sit and watch the matas kelang kabote stop traffic as motorists not sure apa colour berenti, ha ha.

Gosh, it was fun those day, huh? PakMat.
You and I go back a long way, include Uncle Chin Peng too, ha ha. Lee.

pakmat said...

Hi..Lee..of course I remember Eastern Cabaret..there's a girl there, Gina, that I was friendly with..She was good at the cha-cha-cha..ah..the days I sweated learning the steps and the swirls that I could impress her..at the first tap of the cymbal, signalling the dance, I'll be on the floor..but those was another era..
..Chow Kit Road?..it hasn't changed much, the last I was there..with its dark places..
..you keep well, uncle lee..

Uncle Lee said...

Hi PakMat, pity our paths never crossed.
Those old days lots of Malay men, women too were good dancers, or cabaret dancers, ha ha.
I guess maybe you and I might have bump into each other on a crowded Saturday night at BB cabaret or Eastern, ha ha.

Waaa, you boleh remember the nama too, ha ha.
Did you masuk Ipoh's Jubilee cabaret? Or JB's Mechinta?
One time I stayed a stone's throw from Mechinta, and just next to compound of the VIP punya rumah besar atas Bukit Serene.

When in early teens saw those Singapore cabarets at Lucky World and Great World parks. But too young to pop in. I know my father did, ha ha.
You ta'belajar the Tango? But I bet you were good at 'off beat cha cha, huh?
That's one dance I never mastered, ha ha. Lee.

Anonymous said...

Pak Mat my parents enjoy talking abt the old KL and told us abt BB Park.Must be real fun

Anyway we seem to share the same retreats. Bristish Council was my favourite hunt during my school days as it was just a walking distance from my school. I still drop in here and then.

As for C highlands it was and still is one of our family fav favourite places
May I suggest you Frasers Hill for your next holiday.

Pos Balor, Gob Teranek ? Well thats new to me and Im sure to many others.

Would like to hear abt those places and more of the old KL .

By the way the pictures are great

pakmat said...

Salam Anon...British Council near your school..? Can't think of any other 'cept MGS..if memory does not failed me..Pakmat ex-MBS, Davidson Road..but it was too long a time ago..home then was at Jalan Selangor, old PJ..later Brewster Road, near Bangssar..and much later Pesiaran Hose, near Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka..adopted father,(an uncle, my late mother's brother) was in the civil service..but I supposed all the roads name have been changed..

..another fav haunt as a school kid was Petaling Street..and used to take a bus from old pj to Foch Avenue, so that I could meet my date for a movie at Rex Theatre..
..long time ago, lady..seems like another galaxy, far..far..away..

..been meaning to try out Frasers..work has taken me to most of the peninsula..somehow Frasers never on the map..used to pass by the gap..naik tidak..

.pos Balar, Gob and Teranek are names of Orang Asli settlements deep in the Kelantan jungle..work took me there..being once with the Jabatan Orang Asli..yes..thanks about the idea..will post about it..

..have a nice day,anon..jdbb..(jaga diri baik-baik)...:)