A scene like this was a norm in rubber estates during those yesteryear. I remember watching films on this piece of canvas, courtesy of Jabatan Penerangan during my childhood time. The whole kampung folks would gather in an open paddy field, usually after the harvesting season for this special viewing. The first row in the front was specially reserved for makciks and neneks since they can't help much with their short sighted.
Last Tuesday after almost 4 months hibernating in my den, I finally went out into the civilized world and dragged my feet to our headquarter in Jalan Ampang for a meeting. To be honest, if I were given the choice I really don't fancy to travel to Kay El. Especially flash flood is more rampant these days. Nevertheless, I have no choice as it was a command coming from the upstairs. As usual, yours truly will make a point to arrive way to early so that I have plenty of time to visit (read "pester") my friends who are stationed over there.
Even though Sg. Buloh and Jln. Ampang in a normal traffic condition will take less than one hour to travel to, we actually seldom meet with each other. Meetings and internal colloquium are the best venue for us to catch up and get to know each other better. Normally gossips spread like wildfire and travel faster than the speed of light at these two special occasions too.
To make the matter worst, I just found out this morning during our morning tea break, Pn. N from another unit, has no idea whatsoever, who Mr. B is (Mr. B is my regular 'mengeteh' buddy). He thought Mr. B was some kind of a salesman trying to sell some fancy equipments to me. Luckily I brought Mr. B along (who has worked in the same organization for the past 9 years) and introduced him to Pn. N. If you happen to read this entry Mr. B or Pn. N, you should thank me and join my 'mengeteh' session in a more frequent manner. You'll never know, tea at Kedai Mak Uda probably tastes better than the tea served at Pak Li Kopitiam :)
Back to my business at our headquarter. While waiting for the meeting, on many occasions I will take the opportunity to visit my colleagues at the graphic unit. I like to spend my time there because they have huge collection of vintage documents and photos relating to our business - rubber. The whole history of Malaysian rubber industry is probably confined in those small rooms. I don't mind spending hours looking through those collections. I feel like traveling in a time capsule, reading those manuscripts and looking at those vintage photos. With some assistance from En. Suhaimi (thank you), our graphic designer, I managed to get some copies for my own collection.
It was in 1877, and thanks to the English Botanist , H.N. Ridley who brought over and introduced rubber trees to Malaya (nine seedling to be precised). One has the privilege to flourish until now in Kuala Kangsar (In my opinion, that historic gathering will have more oomph in our history if they gather under this historical artifact).
Yes, rubber has a very long history in Malaysia. In the US, if somebody especially the one on the street who says rubber (or offer you one), you have to be very careful because that usually means condom. In the UK however, they pronounce it ru be (like we pronounce rusa). In Malaysia you will get into trouble if you raba-raba :) So be careful and don't play-play.