30 June 2010

les plages enchanteresses de Terenggano - Tanjung Jara

The picturesque Tanjung Jara, a quiet but uncompromising bustling coastal village in Dungun so long had been existed by her own without a hint of glamour. This status didn't last very long though, until some years back when the F1 world champion Michael Schumacher during his restful retreat at this peaceful sanctuary decided to treat himself with his newly found talent in football and challenged a local kaki-ayam FC for a friendly kick-off. This single event very quickly became the much-talked about subject in local and international news and managed to shift the spotlights from Sepang to this sleepy fishing village.

This blissful beach is hidden from the untrained eyes but not that further away from the trunk road of Dungun-Terengganu. This less known beauty is only a few kilometers away from another more popular beach of Rantau Abang. Its enchanting beach golden beach washed by inviting turquoise waters, sloping gently into the greenish wide open sea is very prominent. There is a cave below the end of the hill near the shore, where visitors can go in and get to another side to embrace another breathtaking view of the blue-green water of the South China Sea. The water is so clean and calm enough for a dip. There is also find a lanai-style gazebo on an elevation where one could get a bird-eye view of the coastline. Close to this beach is Tanjung Jara Resort, which won the Aga Khan Award for Best Muslim Architecture in the 80s. For the unwary travellers who are a bit adventurous, further away we can see Pulau Tenggol and Nyireh, prolific diving sites for avid divers.

Having all these intoxicating beauties lingering in my mind, this led me one find mid-afternoon to re-route my journey back home and stopped for a while at this beautiful spot to rekindle my sweet memories living in Dungun 35 years ago. The charm is still there even though I could not find the exact jutting barnacles-covered rock formation where at the very young age I stood facing the sea and braved the splashing wave that kept hitting my face. As I was strolling along the sandy beach in a less fashionable manner, under the watchful eyes of bemused local dwellers, I suddenly realized nothing stays the same, not even the hill, the beach or even the people around me. But those changes are most welcome. They add some charm to the place. In a way they made me feel that I am once again belong to this place.

I then said to myself "ahhh....what a refreshing feeling. I am coming home !!!!!

27 June 2010

It was the tiger of Delong that brought me to Dungun

More than three decades ago briefly after my fourth birthday, my father brought me and the whole family to Dungun, leaving behind my illustrious but sedated childhood kampung life in Kuala Trengganu. My father was promoted and has to open his new life chapter, outside his presumably kampung comfort zone. For me, this second chapter of my life was no more that just empty pages filled with vague memories that if put together will make the storyline zigzagging with no plot to the end.

We traveled by a jeep, cramped with all the important possessions you could imagine that fit in a good and humble urban government quarters. Those life-saving vitals included few chickens, kekabu-filled pillows and beds, my father's Vespa and my mom's most precious kitchen utensils consisted of rice cooker and frying pans.

I couldn't remember much on that long and historical journey as those event took almost five thousand moons ago. It was the first outstation trip for me and it was a long one. There was not much detail I could dig from my memory on the trip as I was sleeping all the time, except that we stopped briefly somewhere at Bukit tebuk. Under deep vegetation and dark canopy my entourage rummaged the forest to collect some palas leaves (a palm leaves normally used to make ketupat). Actually I had no idea why we need that palas leaves but it was the only vivid flashback in the whole journey. I was accompanied then by my three very young siblings.

Dungun was a very sleepy town that time. We settled down peacefully along Jalan Tambun not far from that famous Padang Astaka. But my father's life was not that calm as the place itself. Around those time, my father was quite occupied and actively involved with tracking the wild games around Dungun. Jerangau-Kijal stretch of mainland was deeply covered with pristine primary jungle and those were famous playing grounds for Malayan tigers. Upon reports from villagers of the attack by the tigers, my father and his team would be dispatched by his department and disappeared for many days into the unknown territory, putting up traps and having many nocturnal stake-out on makeshift tree-huts stalking these protected animals. Many stand-offs and also close encounters resulted in some casualties on both parties.

The first photo was a clear evidence from one of those fateful encounters. At the back of the photos was scribbled : 24/6/75, Kg. Delong, Kumpal, Dungun. I was just in my first year in a primary school. My younger brother was the one standing beside me, flaunting his bare belly which looked a bit of the 'boyeh' side (cacing kerawit (hookworm) was quite rampant and later diagnosed for that 'boyehness :). I stood proudly beside my father (the one with cap) but still kept a distance from that lifeless man eater. This photo made into the local tabloid the next day, with me looked so untidy sans the morning bath.

Most of my life on the other hand revolved around a sekolah tadika, which situated very close to the town marketplace. I walked with my younger brother to the school, pacing slowly and playfully with my peers. Occasionally, we would stopped along the way for a quick bite of hot and freshly baked kuih bahulu offered by few kind-hearted makcik or to pick some jambu air (wax apple) that littered with abundance along the road.

At noon we rushed back but stopped at one particular junction eating the jambu while waiting for a van with big speakers mounted on top announcing new movies premiering at Panggung wayang Fajar near the Sura gate. They will disbursed some movie circulars to the onlookers and we will ran after the van shouting 'saklar...saklar...saklar'. Those 'saklar' were then used to persuade my father to take us to the panggung. Most were Hindi's movies of which very popular that time (the sad ending Haathi Mere Saathi is one of them).

Dungun beach was not very far from our quarter and my father would take us there whenever he was around. It was just a walking distance away. That was my favorite place as far as i could tell. Remis, a kind of seasonal edible sea mollusk was easy to find along the beach those days.

The sense of place, the intensity of smell and sound, the sheer physical sensation of being taken somewhere else was fresh and powerful and exhilarating. Soft whispering breeze of South China Sea keep narrating the stories into my ears. I trudged through the familiar prose over and over again but somehow at night I couldn't get it out of my mind. Dungun stood as mysterious place as ever. This commands another personal visit to the place or a brisk walk through the memory lane to bring back those colorful life I missed so much.

20 June 2010

Enchanting beaches of Trengganu - Pantai Kemasik

Apart from the slimy but tasty keropok gonde or keropok lekor, the 2-plates-in-a-go of nasi dagang and the rare opportunity to practice and perfect my 'G' force, stunning beaches along the Terengganu coastline is actually the one that keep my heart close to my dear keropoklekor motherland. These beaches (better pronounce it right) never failed to mesmerize me every time I put my feet on their sandy and golden sand. I can spend many hours sitting on those beaches and let the salty sea breeze blows softly across my face like the whispering winds that sway the palm trees. When time is not the one I am chasing after, I can just lay under the coniferous shade and allow my gaze to explore the empty blue sky above. Time stop and become just an empty space.

Ganukite is one blessed nation for a God-given stretch of pristine 225 km of picturesque shoreline in the Bolehland. Pantai Kemasik of Kemaman is one of them. It is strategically located very close to the main Terengganu coastal trunk road, between the two major Keropoklekor town of Kijal and Kerteh. If you drive slowly enough from the South upward you won't miss this beautiful scenery just a few meters beside the road. Other popular beaches in this blessed state are very close to the road as well. In fact you can just head-dive straight into the sparkling seawater from the comfort of your moving car if you don't use your head properly.

On my last trip to the Keropoklekor land, when I stopped there i saw many thing that have changed in a very short time span. There are new food courts close to the beachfront, an addition to the existing food courts near the entrance, a new jetty and a big gazebo in a small lake, a tarred car park and a spanking new unsupervised toilet.

The beach, the sea breeze, the blue sky and the sublime scenery however are unspoiled and remain captivating. The soul is very much lively. These whole pictures put a big smile on my face.

16 June 2010

Is everything 'begheh' up there in the Keropoklekor land?

The recent news coming up from the Keropoklekor land is really alarming. New fetish in girls' used undies has resurfaced again after becoming quite unheard of for ages. this time around a local guy whom suspected high after presumably consuming addictive ketum drink was caught red-handed wearing girl's underwear himself. I bet the color must be pink. Girls always like pink.

Further investigation revealed he had been 'borrowing' thousand of used girls undies for his safekeeping and personal consumption for quite a while. Only God knows why he had this weird liking toward girl's private property. I am guessing by having those undies very close to him, this will give him some sort of unspeakable blasting and euphoric feminine sensation. Or perhaps this will make him to appreciate the fairer sex better. We will never know for sure. But anybody who is high on something (be it love, money, power, praise or FB for example) is very unpredictable by nature indeed.

Almost at the same time, under-age pregnancy is quite rampant in the Keropoklekor land. This is equally worrying. My theory are - either local schoolgirls are too fond for keropok lekor until they could not differentiate between the real delectable one from their male colleagues appendage or they are actually the victims who had lost their undies and have to get into the classroom bare-bottom, which presumably facilitates the process of popular hippies activity - the quickie. By no means it is not an isolated incident. From Kuala Brang to Besut and down to Kemamang you can hear babies crying in tandem with their very young mothers' weeping having no experience to wash the babies' poo.

Boys and girls of this Internet age are very creative, imaginative and full of fantasy. Testosterone level is at their peek too. Those fatal combination if not handled properly could be potentially disastrous. Imagine (not the bottomless schoolgirls) if this issue is not addressed properly or taken up seriously, the Keropoklekor land will soon turn into the Pregoland. I for sure don't want that to happen.

Having that in mind, I raced back to the Keropoklekor land last week in hoping that I could shed some light on the issues and uncover some untold mysteries. But the real answer couldn't be found anyway. Too much overindulgence with irresistible local cuisines,smingling with locals on several makan pulut occasions, continuous sun tanning in beautiful beaches, numerous visit to Pasor Kedai Payang and other smaller markets hunting for khasidah, plus other similar serious issues concerning conservation of local heritages at hand have taken a heavy toll to my brain cell thus impeding me to think wisely. This unsolved mysteries then command another visit back to my hometown anytime soon - not a quickie but a thorough investigation with more determination and clearer objectives.

Trengganu has changed so much since the past decades. Some welcome those changes with their heart and open hand (for monetary rewards of course) but some has shed tears trying to protect what is left for the next generation to rejoice and many left heartbroken in the end. As for myself, there is one thing that has never changed. My wonderful feeling toward my hometown still strongly remains, even though the landscape has changed so much and the old charm of the town himself has gone forever.

At the time of this writing, many more local heritages are being torn down and new eyesores are breathing their new ethereal life to hunt the true Awang and Semek of Ganukita for life. Having thought about it, my heart break into pieces. It is just too heartbreaking for words.


This is a real welcoming treat for me whenever I came back to my kampung. My mother's specialty - ayam kampung masak gulai. This is no ordinary gulai as the rempah was specially chosen and hand prepared by my mother. Her own secret recipe. Outdoor cooking with firewood added some unspeakable unique taste . The three ayam kampung were good courtesy from my younger brother's gok ayam (chicken run)

These colorful looking shoots from many edible plants littered around my father's house are a good compliment as masak sayur lemak putih to that gulai ayam. Apart from the omega three from ikang aya, these shoots provide all the minerals and vitamins for Ganukite brain to pronounce that extra G efficiently. Do you recognize any of them?

This food stall which has no name along Jalan Petani in Kuala Terengganu (close to Wisma Darul Iman) is only known as 'kedai berasap' for a very obvious reason. People from as far as Bukit Payong (by Ganukite standard, Bkt Payong is considered quite far) will queue just to get a taste on their special nasi kerabu daging panggang.

I went there for the first time after being campaigned by my little sister to have a go with the nasi kerabu. It was worth a visit really. The beef is really tender and juicy which made the whole dish very delicious. The eating experience was also very unique as while you are stuffing the delectable dish into your mouth, the sweet smelled smoke will arouse you taste bud and not to mention a free smoky perfume to your garment.

I like this fruit very much. Ganukite called it buah sto. After so many years the plant that grows in front of my father's house bear its fruit, only last week I got to taste its wonderful fruit.

The best way to eat this fruit is by dipping it with soy sauce (or specially prepared fish sauce). Pickled sto used to be my favorite too. Eating this fruit, one has to be very careful, as consuming the whole thing is very tempting. You can get serious constipation by doing so.

While hunting high and low for khasidah, I found another indigenous Ganukite delicacy. The star-shaped, yellowish delectable is know as 'Mas sejemput', another ingenious sugary version of Jala mas. My mom told me, in the old days bachelors were encouraged to eat this mas sejemput. I forgot to ask the reason behind this suggestion.

Another past time activity of my fellow countrymen. While waiting for the football kick-off later that evening, playing with kites in an open paddy field is very satisfying indeed. I missed the big interstate kite competition held in the open field close to my kampung two days earlier. This particular spot also reminded me of my toddlers days when we battled the neighboring villages with meriam buluh and meriam tanoh.

This is a must activity in our balik kampung itinerary - main pantai. My kids love the beaches so much they got heavily sun-burned. Their skin turn dark beyond recognition having spent many midday sunbathing and beach combing along the beautiful beaches of the Keropoklekor land.

Instead of a very clear warning on the Pantai Pandak beach, nobody seems to pay attention. Who cares anyway and who pay attention that much these days. People break the rules as we speak. The small one break small rules, the bigger one breaks the bigger rules. Actually I was very surprised to see this beach swarmed by so many visitors as previously this beach is almost unknown, even to yours truly.

This is another activities not to be missed - by my significant half so to speak. A batik shopping in an oven-like temperature of Pasar kedai payang will roast your wallet dry.

A new development actively taking shape at the back of Kampung cina. The sandy part was once used to be part of the Terengganu river. This new establishment when completed will block our view of Pulau duyong beauty (in the background). I hope the shop (shown here with the signboard, which used to sells sundries and frequented by my aunties in the 70s) won't be demolished by the local authority.

This is so far a real eyesore to me. Seeing this has really broken my heart. This particular place used to house many rows of shop lots that keep many fond memories. I think the town itself has lost it soul when the state government decided to destroy the old shop houses on this site last year. A town without a soul is meaningless as far as awang and semek concern.

The new Bazaar Warisan from the viewpoint of Pasor Kedai Payang side entrance (close to pasor ikang). Ironically, what warisan does the local authority is talking about when they themselves indiscriminately destroying the old local warisan every now and then?

13 June 2010

World cup live from d' lambo club

The sun was so kind to shy away behind the clouds when I drove back to the keropoklekor land on Friday for a holiday break with my family. It was quite a pleasant journey through the undulating LPT highway cruising smoothly with the speed of a Tomahawk missile. A 'saman ekor' is expecting anytime next week as I came face to face with 'mat misai' skodeing through his speedy scope on my uncivilized driving manner somewhere along Gambang stretch. No doubt about it. Momentarily I forgot that this is The Bolehland and Autobahn-alike is somewhat existed only in the brain domain of F1 wannabe.

We had several pit stops along the way to refuel, refresh and some quick photo snap on the beautiful beaches scenery just to satisfy my shutterbug frenzy. By this time, the sun have come out from its sanctuary and shone obstructively to the coastal inhabitant. It was hot. The air was so dry you can easily dry you hair faster here than using an air drier.

The heat if not managed properly could cause your brain to melt and become something unrecognizable but tasty more or less like 'bubur lambuk', or worst one could have a fever. The fever has spread indeed in this keropoklekor land as the moment I arrived the sight of my countryman succumbed to the word spread pandemic was very obvious.

So far I am very cautious and trying at any cost avoiding from being overheating thus catching this fever. The best advice is to stay at home or simply becoming a couch potato in the comfy of one's own house. Meanwhile, the lambo club sprouted vigorously throughout the keropoklekor land and their activity become lively when the dusk beat the day.

The lambo club members so engrossed watching Messi from Argentina dribbled the balls around the field. I stopped over briefly to greet my country men and secretly captured the moment on film for the whole world to see how ingenious and creative my country men when the football world cup is concern.

A few hour before the kick off. The place was a very close neighbor's lambo or probably more popular known as a geghe. For your intimate knowledge, the television was just unwrapped from the box delivered by Ah Fatt of Kuala Trengganu. The diurnal audience were all close relative, having a preview on the new TV performance.

A soft reminder to my fellow bloggers. The banner says it all. It is o.k to catch the fever but please do not get involved in any of the judi forms that are also sprouting alongside this prestigious sport.

Have a nice day guys. I am off to Bandor to sample some more delectable local dishes. Keropok lekor anyone?

09 June 2010

Thank you Zionist for uniting the world

The truth is I don't really want or very keen to write or talk about zionist laknatullah (or their evil cahoots). The more we talk about them, the more arrogant they would be. In fact it would boiled my blood up just thinking about them and this is not good from my health view of point. Their cruelty and inhumane acts are unforgiven and so disgusting. While at the same time I am quite reluctant at first to contaminate this blog with upsetting stories and gross pictures of dislocated human limbs as this would probably make some feel uncomfortable or having sleepless night for days. But their sheer bloodlust for innocent victims really annoyed me and so disturbingly blatant. This is purely atrocities of the devilish crime. Stink to the highest heaven. I would rather bath myself in budu rather than to just sit and do nothing about it.

The recent tragic event on Marvi Marmara has clearly demonstrated to the world their true color and proven their evil intention. It was really a shocking news to our nasi-lemak-nation and to the whole world population. In a way that single event has managed to wake up and unite vast numbers of world population who have been in deep slumber for so long. But I am least surprised myself. What do you expect from this nation? A nation that has been condemned by Allah S.W.T. A nation who disregard others right, disrespectful to others whereas peace and harmony is not in their daily vocabulary. This nation is not fit to be called a nation in the first place.

Zionist will be a Zionist, no matter how hard one is trying to justify that barbaric acts and atrocities. We are accountable to what we do or say, more so if what we do is absolutely wrong. Those atrocities shouldn't be condoned and let diluted with time or camouflaged with cover-up stories that will surface in time to come. Serious and stiff action should be taken, not to teach them but to show our support, unity and determination to instill justice.

I would strongly support any effort in showing our discontent towards that unacceptable behavior. Lets us boycott any products or companies that have any direct or indirect connection with this Zionist laknatulllah. The list of associates were already published in many blogs (even last year the same effort was called upon). Some companies or products may well disguised as unsuspecting and innocent labels, but the stinking smell is so strong they will finally be revealed.

Some of these associates are big and multimillion companies, but I strongly believed if we as one nation work together and do it seriously, continuously and with istiqomah, a small dent in their pocket wouldn't be ignored after all. Lets do it together guys.

Thank you Zionist for uniting the world and thank you again for giving the people of Gaza or the Mujaheddin the rare and sought after chance to be a martyr. But still I would pray that you and your evil cahoots would be sterile for life. Nope... on a second thought, impotence would be much better.

(Below are the photos I received from a chain-email. I am at first contemplating as to whether to share this photos with others or not, but finally give a go in hoping it will give us a moment to reflect that life is so precious)

Israel bombing with white phosphorus at UNRWA school in Beit Lahia, Gaza, PALESTINE
(undated photos)


03 June 2010

Until two days ago...I was still 42

Yes, I know. This may sound a bit funny and probably freaking weird at the same time, especially for those who had been willingly and voluntarily celebrated my birthday last January. This baffling affair has become confusing enough for the past few decades not only for those who are very close to me and yet know the fact that January is not my actual birth date, but also yours truly alike.

Year in and year out, on that particular day in January the loved ones will buy me cakes and send my cholesterol level to a new psychedelic level for that short blissful moment simply by stuffing me with a belly full of chocolate cheese cakes richness. Still it was much better than having to settle down with just Mengelembu groundnuts and carbonated drink on that auspicious day.

But I know I am not alone in embracing this peculiar dilemma. Somehow, I consider this as part of a very vital element in my colorful life journey.

I have a very interesting story to share with regard to this odd matter. Three decades ago, I met two particular 'superboys' who experienced even the worst predicament than me. Those '12 years' old boys were quite famous in the sport domain that time. They played football and participated in field events for their respective school so as yours truly. From time to time, we frequently came face to face in various state competitions. They were feared by rivals. In football they could kick the ball and score it from another end of the field just with their sheer muscle. In the field events, they could run like a panther and left others panting very hard to match their speed, that included yours truly. This was not a surprise as later I found out their actual age that time was 15 and 16, but for some unknown reason was registered 3 and 4 years late from their birth date, presumably by their father.

In my case, I am not really sure what exactly happened. All this time I don't really bother to ask my father the question of whether he missed the bus to the police station on that historical day (those days birth registration could be done at any nearest police station) or why it took him 6 months to do so. Probably it was a common attitude for Ganu folks. I do not know and would not know for sure.

Anyway, regardless of those odd condition that I am having for the past decades, I am one happy and contented man now. What more I could ask this life to offer me. It just ain't gotta any better than this. I just hope those two 'superboys' would share the same jolly feeling as me.

So, let's do it again guys...Happy 43th birthday to me... even it is six month earlier. Double cheese cake anyone?
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