..the only paper-stand in Bachok town..
..you cannot read the papers whilst having breakfast in Bachok..not if you, like me, have your breakfast at 7.30 in the morning..the papers will only hit the news stands by 8.30 in the morning, earliest...
..papers in Bachok are managed by the late Pak Wel's family..his children has taken over the business, helped by their mother, since his death more than four years ago..yes, there is only one news stand..and only about 10 copies of the English daily, the New Straits Times, are available and sold everyday..and I used to wonder who are these ten people..not having the time to sit by the stand and take note of who buys them..
..the likes of The Star or Malay Mail are seldom available..but all the Malay dailies are there..including Harakah..
..Chuan, the goldsmith, reads the New Straits Times.. he will normally buy his from Kota Bharu, knowing that the availability of the NST in Bachok is not reliable..and I will normally read his copy..after he have done and read it, in the afternoon, on completion of my daily errands..children fetched from school..lunch cooked.. or bought from Pak Ya's beach front restaurant..and the cats fed..
..on one such an afternoon, as I was engrossed with Alika Rahman's piece on Dr. Pornthip's hair colours, Chuan sauntered to me casual-like and said, "You know what's wrong with you?'
I shook my head without lifting my eyes from the paper..I have reached the part where it was claimed she had already performed 10,000 autopsies..that is enough autopsies (read, cutting opened dead bodies) to last a life-time..
'You are having andropause. In women it is menopause. But you, at your age, you are having andropause,' said the self-acclaimed health expert. 'That's why you are moody. Hot and cold. Tired. No energy. No libido.'
He left to attend to customers before I could think of a suitable reply..but what he said stuck to my mind.
..that night I googled it...hmm..andropause..www.andropause.com..where it said that growing old is natural. Feeling old is optional..and the lack or decline of a hormone testosterone in men causes andropausal effect in men..
..much later, as I nestled for bed, I sighed a sigh of relief..it is a condition after all..and if women have their menopause..well, we men have our andropause..since it is only a condition, I can deal with it..