I finally have the time and inclination to write the concluding post – more than one month after the event. Ironically, it also had to do with this trip to KL last month – it has resulted in my having less time for other things. However, I’m not really complaining, for there have to be sacrifices in whatever new situations that we choose.
Ahirudin Attan, or better known as Rocky Bru – Some people might say Raja Petra Kamarudin is the Number One blogger in Malaysia with his Malaysia Today; some say it’s Tun Dr Mahathir. But to me, despite the fact that he certainly wasn’t the first, Rocky is the person who had made blogging mainstream. Tun Mahathir was probably also inspired by Rocky’s blog when he started CheDet.com earlier this year.
But anyway, there’s something that I’m indebted to when it comes to Rocky. It was he who had introduced me to almost all of the fine people here, either directly or indirectly, when he wrote a post about this blog. During idle moments, I’d lie down and wonder how things and life would be like right now had I not known a few of them – particularly people like Sherry Nor Jannah and Nazmi (By coincidence, a SMS came in from them at the very moment I typed that line!…their family are at Tanjong Lumpur, Kuantan having ikan bakar). This one alone warrants a post – at least. So, another time about it.
As for Rocky: There he was at Bangsar Village; the man himself! And with him was also Nuraina Samad, of the 3540 Jalan Sudin blog! Yes, that’s what had happened on 19 December 2008 – my meeting four well-known bloggers in the space of two hours!
The sensation of meeting them in person is something I’ll remember. He’s a lot bigger than I had imagined – the “rugby player” size who could overpower me within five seconds, should there be the need to. However, unlike “rugby-sized people who tend to be so”, he definitely wasn’t the boisterous type. Instead, Rocky’s voice was soft, and coupled with his mannerism – despite the `rugged’ clothes – left in me the impression of “cool, gentlemanly and cultured”.
And Nuraina, Maria Samad’s younger sister, and both daughters of the most well-known and widely respected journalist, the late Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail … she was just as pretty as in the pictures (Unknown to Nuraina, she actually `knows me’ from the mid-90’s). They were about to leave Bangsar Village, but we still managed to have a chat of around 15 minutes; which is long enough considering that we were all standing.
Among the things that I still remember was our mentioning Zorro Unmasked (Bernard Khoo); especially his “anti-Rocky post”. And to think that both (plus their supporters and sympathisers) were “on the same side” once (See “SoPo fractured” in the Malay Mail). And this is precisely the reason why I avoid mentioning things that smack of politics here.
To his credit, Rocky just shook his head and smiled – not uttering anything negative against Zorro despite the harsh criticisms that he had received, plus downright abuses by anonymous readers at the blogs.
It was there that I finally found the opportunity to personally thank him for mentioning this blog at his high-traffic site. I had had some reservations, plus fear too, when I first discovered about it; for I realised that I could no longer be anonymous and remain in the shadows as I had previously. Well, Rocky made the decision for me; and fortunately, all the things that have happened since then were positive, definitely. This I thank God for.
I was also encouraged and flattered when he mentioned why he had written that post: “Your experiences are too important not to shared… You have a lot to tell people… Your blog is a significant addition to the blog world”. The words may not be verbatim but otherwise are accurate enough. And I was also relieved to know that my decision to start this blog four months ago was the right one.
There was something that surprised Rocky; and especially Nuraina – she actually `knew’ me. Or at least my name.
We went our ways after that memorable chance meeting. I could have gotten a taxi but Mat Salo decided to send me to Sentral and wait for the 8.30 PM train back to Pasir Mas. It was raining heavily, and I was quite embarrassed that he treated me like a VIP by insisting that I wait under the sheltered entrance for him to come back with the Toyota Land Cruiser.
It was a really enjoyable ride from Bangsar to Sentral, as I take in the sights of the city while chatting with Mat Salo After years of living in rural areas – with the exception of a three-month stay in Kuantan at the end of 2006 – KL sure looked nice and welcoming. I even entertained the idea of “maybe staying in KL one day…”
We parted ways at the entrance to Sentral. Words were simply not enough to thank Mat Salo for all that he had done that day (and still after that)…
It was around 3PM-plus, and there was still a few hours left. But I knew that would not be a problem at all for I had already planned to explore the terminal. It was a marvelous place; certainly something for KL/Malaysia to be proud of. Things looked so clean and systematic there, with the areas I went to looking very well maintained.
It was with some regret when I spotted a few huge banners declaring it to be “a Celcom 3G area”. If I had brought along the laptop as intended, I would have experienced what “3G mobile broadband” was instead of the GRPS 53Kbps that I was getting at home (BTW am getting EDGE at 128Kbps now, thank goodness. Had just downloaded the 65MB Apple iTunes & QuickTime file which took less than 2 hours).
However, I decided to adhere to Sherry Nor Jannah’s caution about the possibility of losing it, and followed her advice of bringing a book instead. And I was glad.
I was already happy with how things had gone – all the unexpected bonuses that came about through Mat Salo. At 7PM, I received a SMS from another person who has become as important as Sherry and Nazmi – Shakirah. Now this is someone whom Malaysian Tigress had introduced me to at Facebook who has a lot of wisdom and experiences to share. Beside Sherry and Nazmi, she was the other person whom I had kept updated through SMSes since the previous night. Well, Shakirah mentioned that she was coming over to Sentral to meet me at Starbucks…
I didn’t know whether she was serious, or whether she was just teasing me, knowing how extremely shy and nervous I am (I later found out that she was serious, and that she was at KLCC). I wasn’t psyched up to meet anyone else; so, fainthearted that I was, pleaded that “we’ll meet another time; because I’ll be coming this way again soon“. Like Sherry, she has a good understanding of people – of me particularly – in not insisting on this. She understood… Thanks, Shakirah!
As I boarded the train at 8PM (the system was like an airport), the senior media consultant I had mentioned somewhere called. She was surprised that I was going back the same day – and expressed annoyance that I did not consider staying at her place for the night, which would have given me the opportunity to look around KL for a whole day. Yes, I knew she was honest and sincere with that offer – she’s the type of person; as people like Kak Teh, Puteri Kamaliah etc might attest to.
Well, it was another 14-hour journey going back to Pasir Mas. However, it certainly wasn’t “back breaking” but quite comfortable actually. Even if the fare by flight were to be the same, I’ll most likely take the train with the sleeping berth should there be the need to go there again. It was indeed a memorable trip to KL, thanks to the people involved. Not just the ones I did meet but also the people who I didn’t – people who had supported and encouraged. THANK YOU, TO ALL OF YOU.