November 28, 2008
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 – I’ve had one of the most unforgettable days of my life. That should mean I have a lot to write about. Yes, I do – so much to the extent that I don’t know what to write about! So I’m going to do what I had done before and just hope that it will work – just write.
It’s more than a week since that memorable day; and only now do I think I have the time to write uninterrupted (Wrong – was interrupted and delayed four times! Now FIVE) The past week has also been quite `unfortunate’. I’m now in a situation that I’ve not faced for so long – almost 10 years in fact – of things being so hectic! During “normal” times, this post would definitely have been completed and sent in last Thursday.
Anyway, many of you already know about my trip to Kuala Lumpur – the first since July 1999. It had started from the Pasir Mas train-station on Tues 18 Nov at 7:05 PM; with a EKSPRES WAU train journey that reached Sentral, KL the following morning at about 9.15 AM – 14 hours. And later the same Wednesday, after I had undertaken what I had gone to KL for, it was back to Pasir Mas on the EKSPRES WAU at 8.30 PM. So, I had spent 28 hours on the train in the 40 hours away from home.
This post is mainly to fulfil the request from ArahMan7 who had sent me a SMS when I was on the return trip home, and also that of Kbguy a few days ago. Both had wanted to know about my meeting up with Mat Salo – something that I had not planned.
Thanks to the efforts of someone in Petaling Jaya, I was given an opportunity to undertake a work-from-home project in writing and sub-editing through the Internet for an education-related company in KL. The meeting – scheduled at 11 AM – was to introduce myself to two of its directors, and to discuss various things expected of and hoped for by both parties.
Anyway, on reaching Sentral, I had SMSed Elviza Michele of my whereabouts. She had already known about my plan to come over to KL, and had wanted to meet me. She was in Kajang at that time and said she would try to come over to Sentral towards dusk. Well, that sounded like a lot of work for her, and I was not about to have her going through the trouble.
Actually, it was also due to me being saddled with this extreme shyness and fear of meeting others (especially of the opposite sex). Yes, that’s what isolation does to one’s self and it is something that I am still coming out of. Anyway, I messaged Elviza again – telling her to just give her plan a miss. I also `reassured’ her by insisting that “I’ll be coming over to KL again” – which might be 2017:-)
So, after a refreshing hot-water shower (which Sherry Nor-Jane in Kuantan, by SMS, had insisted on) and a change of clothes at Sentral, I was off to Plaza Mont Kiara by taxi – reaching the office’s building right on the dot at 11 AM (BTW I was pleasantly surprised that the coupon for the fare cost just RM11. The travelling bag was stuffed into a self-service locker that required two 50 sen coins – it took a few minutes before I gradually figured out how to lock it).
There I was at that classy-looking area above. The directors (Chinese, of both sexes in their late 30’s/early 40’s) decided to hold the meeting at an upmarket cafe (everything appeared upmarket here). I later remembered that the last time I was at a similar place was at Taman Perling, Johor Baru – in August 1999, with a director of a software development company. Anyway, the three of us clicked, with the 90-min meeting remembered as productive and stimulating – exceeding my previous hopes and expectations. (And it is also one of the reasons why this post is more than a week late!)
It was 12.30 PM, and I had intended to go back to Sentral and hang around the terminal until the train leaves at 8.30 PM. But the first thing to do at the taxi-stand was to `report’ to Sherry and her husband Nazmi. Then I saw a SMS with an unknown “non-East Coast number”. The message said:
12:09:51 pm Salaam Bro.. It’s me Mat Salo. If theres a chance, or if theres a break, I can be in mont kiara in less than 15 mins upon being sumoned. Got time 4 a coffee later bro?
Mat Salo!? But how did he know my number?… “Elviza must have given it to him”, I thought (it wasn’t, as I later found out). But that was not an issue – the issue was, “What do I reply?”. Remember that extreme shyness and fear I had mentioned above – it was real. But I knew I must meet with him. I immediately forwarded Mat Salo’s SMS to Sherry, to have her reply as confirmation to what I had in mind. Naturally she was supportive, and I replied in the positive to Mat Salo and waited… His message was more than 30 mins ago – maybe he now has other things to attend to? [TO BE CONTINUED]