Saturday, 27 February 2010

..Trengganu and me...

..it was one of those lazy Friday evenings when I found myself alone at home with the missus...Auji had left for tuition and son with his set of sepaktakraw buddies...except for Ayam, who preferred to be indoors, none of the other cats were in sight... presumably hiding themselves from the heat, at some cool spots outside..

..I was going through Awang Goneng's blog, Kecek Kecek...reminiscing  along with him on old Kuala Trengganu..

...I like to think that the best years of my life was in Trengganu..it was in 1974 that I was transferred there..on a promotion..taking up the post of the Contigent Finance and Works Officer with the Police Contigent, Trengganu...

my first son  was born there..in the old hospital, Batu Buruk...where the single storey wards lined the shore..with the sea as backdrop, the wards were airy with all windows and doors opened...and the continuous breeze from the sea, bringing cheer along with a tangy saltish taste to the air..hastening recuperation and adding romance to a couple celebrating their first son...

..and on a hot evening like these, we would made our way to a secluded beach just before Chendering after Kuala Ibai..you take a side road that led through some timber houses and suddenly you found yourself at a beautiful beach unknown to others...inevitably the late Ahmad Salihin. of RTM,  would follow with his wife and three daughters in his Toyota Corolla and and me with my three daughters in our Fiat 124 Special T, the in-car among younger generation then, aside Datsun Triple S........

..in Trenggganu, life connects with the sea and the endless beaches...we rented a house in Batu Buruk, also fronting the sea..and later moved to a quaint timber house at Jalan Kamaruddin - police Class F quarters meant for their civilian staff..at the junction of Jalan Sultan Omar and Jalan Panji Alam..

..as visiting all the Balais and Pondoks and whatever land the police owned, was an inaugural part of my duty-list, I covered the length and breath of Trengganu, including all of its islands..sometimes with a young electrical engineer from JKR, Zaini bin Omar, who shared the same wanderlust as me..and together we got to know the state intimately..and fell in love with it..a love, for me,  that lasted a lifetime...

..for salad memories were made there.

...inland trips to Pasir Raja via Kuala Jengai on a fast hydro-boat..almost shooting the rapids.. to a scenery of a languid lifestyle by the river
..scooping crabs in the wee hours of morn at Kuala Ibai flats..bringing home sackful of them..to be distributed among  friends..
..snorkeling in the cove of Pulau Tenggol and pondering sites for a Pondok Polis at Redang..cruising there on a state-owned boat, Dapat..
..hitting a round of golf in Batu Buruk public golf-course..there was a teacher, I remember, who cycled to the course with  his no 3 driver, some irons and a putter..nonchalantly waiting for me to arrive for a bet of ice kacang at a stall nearby...

..like Awang Goneng, I too lament the lost of old Trengganu..finding it strange trying to get myself around streets that were familiar yet foreign.. sometimes I yearned, too, for the Trengganu of old...when Bukit Bidong was the place I followed the big guys on a pigeon shoot and me with my smallish .22/.410 unable to shoot anything..and Pasar Payang for getting my supply of akok berlauk...and Losong for keropok lekor...Kuala Kemaman for belacan.. Kuala Berang for that delicious rojak mee..Merchang for air nira..

..or is it just my youth that I am yearning for..?

..(top pic is the shoreline of Dungun..bottom pic is of pakmat and 1st daughter onboard a police boat, pz class circa 1976..)
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14 comments:

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Abe Mat,
Can you hear my Mama crying? She must be very homesick for Trengganu by now, what with both you and AG reminiscing the past. I've always wondered about the taste of ICT and kerpok lekor. Those stuffs are not available here. purrrrr....meow!

Kak Teh said...

Pak Mat, A week after marriage, my husband took me to Trengganu to meet relatives there and at the same time to say goodbye as we were leaving for London. I didnt have much time to look around and appreciate the place. It was when I was doing a Jejak Awang Goneng series for RTM that i met so many wonderful people and went to so many beautiful places. But I understand that many have made way for development and modernisation as well.

pakmat said...

..cease your tears, my dear cat..see if pakmat can come up with the recipe..later..as for Trengganu..here, let me sing this song...semalam diKuala Trengganu..

Shifu67 said...

esok ke terengganu (ppd besut) buat lawatan penanda aras bersama pegawai iktisas ppd bachok

ke terengganu la tu kann... hehehhe

pakmat said...

Kak Teh..KT is no more the idyllic town of AG's old..in my recent visit there, I was lost in familiar streets..but I supposed, as in most cities, modernisation is only possible by bringing down old buildings..

Andrea Wh@tever said...

The last time that I visited Trengganu was for the Monsoon Cup. It was a hop on/hop off kinda trip.

I should go again. Leisurely this time -- now that I have read AG's book cover to cover, twice. It would be nice to go around and try identify all the places that he had spoken so passionately of, in his book.

hazeleyed lady said...

aaahhh...peaceful Terengganu...
tganu kite pakmat...
Piece!!!

Kama said...

The picture of Dungun shoreline above is priceless, Pakmat. That steel thing jutting out to sea is where my memories lie buried.

That's the rail sleepers carrying iron-ore laden wagons to the barges, to be transported to the ships waiting in the high seas.

I just got back from Dungun myself (only yesterday) but the sleepers have been gone for years now, dismantled when the mine closed down.

Not far from this site is where my mom lie buried in the soft Dungun sand facing the sea. We visited her grave too before returning to KL.

This picture is creating havoc with my emotions.. it brings on too many memories..

pakmat said...

..sifu...enjoy..jangan lupa bawak balik keropok lengkor kedai sukaramai, baru rakit..

hi,Andrea..but you must..take a motoring holiday in Trengganu..go to off beat places...check the caves in Kemasek..take the boat from Pasar Payang to Seberang Takir..buy keropok there..visit Hulu Trengganu..perkampongan orang asli..and enjoy Pulau Redang..feed the fishes with bread...and they will swim with you..

pakmat said...

..salam hazel..:)

hi, lady kama..yes, I think I remember the grave..amongst coconuttrees..may she rest in peace..Alfatihah for her, lady..

..and Dungun then boasted of the only golf course in Trenggganu...all 9-holes of her..:)..and me always grabbing the chance to visit whatever balai there, that I may play a round of golf with fellow officers..Quarters for the police was at Kuala Dungun..but there was a restaurant at the junction of the main road that served the best nasi minyak with chicken curry in the district..cheers

mamadou said...

Assalamu'alaikum Pak Mat

Kenangan silam ada ria, ada pilu. Saya pertama kali ke Terengganu.....Hulu Terengganu pada tahun 1981. Saya pilih untuk bekerja pada hari jumaat dan hari ahad saya boleh ke kuala. Hidup saya di hulu....banyak memberikan erti dalam kehidupan saya berhubung sesama insan. Mulanya mereka ingat kita ni orang luar, orang bandar (sebenarnya tidak), tidak mahu nak bersaing dengan mereka, tapi bila sudah berkenal baik, tiap minggu tidur dimerata kampung, tiap minggu hadir kenduri. Bila nak balik ke kem di Jenagor ada macam macam buah tangan dengan pesan sila datang lagi..............
Itula Terengganu kite!!!!!

pakmat said...

..salam mamadou..pada tahun 1981, pakmat ditukarkan keKelantan..selepas lebih dari 5 tahun diTrengganu..tuan bertugas diJenagor Dam??..penduduk disana tinggi berbudi dan berbahasa..pakmat masih ingat jalan kesana..penuh dgn tahi lembu..sahinggakan sukar untuk dielak..terpaksa langgar terus..tapi suasananya indah..nyaman..dan segar..

rizal hashim said...

U played golf? WOW...shooting lagi...

pakmat said...

hi, lc..not anymore, lc..those days golf was free..in Ktrennganu, the course in Batu Buruk was a public course, I think the only one in the country, until it was replaced with a polo ground and a swimming pool..anyone, then, can go and swing a few rounds...I just took the opportunity to learn..seeing so many police officers taking up the game..now I only shoot..:)