Tuesday, December 4, 2007

You Can Call Me A 'Jakun'

This is a picture of an aborigine from Gua Musang Kelantan

Pak Idrus of the famous blogsite In Passing - Malaysian called me on Tuesday to find out whether I was able to meet up with him in KL. From our previous email contacts he knew that I would be around the capital as I was supposed to play nanny to my two grandchildren Nur Alia Jazleen and Nur Farhana Jazreen (the budak puchong as they called themselves) both 7 and 5 years old respectively. Their nanny had taken a one month leave to visit her parents in Madura Indonesia after being away from them for the past 5 years. While she is away another temporary nanny will come daily from the hours of 7 am till 6 pm to do as much work as possible to take care of the budak puchong as well as do some house chores. My real duty was to look after them so that a similar tragic act as done on Nurin Jazlin will not happen to them while their parents are at work.

My daughter's place was in Taman Amanputra in Puchong. Without any means of transport as the two cars in the house were used by both my son in law and my daughter, I felt hopeless to move about as I had flown in by AirAsia from Kota Bharu. Taman Amanputra is a relatively new housing area and no direct bus services is available. It was definitely too far out for Pak Idrus to come and fetch me. To add insult to injury Pak Idrus told me that when he was in Boston to do a similar duty to his grandchildren, he relied on public transport to move about. Wow, he could survive in Boston and I was only in KL! That's a challenge.

I had sometime earlier brought 2 folding bicycles for my two grand daughters from my collection of bicycles in Pasir Mas. Thus the bike became handy for me to look around for public transport in the other more established housing areas near Amanputra. That evening was spent biking around and to my amusement I saw not just one but two bus companies providing transport to the public to the adjacent housing estate. One bus was the Metro 20 commuting between the area and Kota Raya and the other a Rapid KL No 69 commuting to Pasar Seni bus hubs in KL. The designation numbers are the easiest way to identify a bus to illiterates and being sure of the numbers I didnt bother to see the destination at the point of embarkation but from afar I could distinguish the word Perdana as the name of the housing estate.

Calling Pak idrus again, I confirmed my willingnes to meet him up at Kunikuniya Bookstore KLCC. He further advised me to take the bus leading to Pasar Seni as the hub there was close to the LRT terminal which will take me to the terminal at KLCC.

As luck would have it, my son in law had something to do around KL and will be able to send me to KLCC in time for the meeting at 11.00 am with Pak Idrus. By about 10.45 am I was standing at the mezzanine floor which Pak Idrus told me later was the Ampang side while the opposite end is the P Ramlee side. Directly infront of me was the world famous shoe outlet of Jimmy Choo the shoemaker to celebrities the like of the late Princess Diana. That was where I found out that he makes shoes only for the ladies.

A call to Pak Idrus who was then at the RHB bank on the same floor soon unite us and we met for the first time.

We proceeded to Kunikuniya on the top floor. Since Awang Goneng's book Growing Up In Trengganu was hot among Malaysian bloggers at that time, we made a check at the counter only to be told that they were out of stock. The guy at the counter enquired whether I would like to place a reservation for one. I hesitated initially as I may not have the chance to come back to KLCC before I go back to Pasir Mas, a place in Kelantan which is as far away as its neighbour Trengganu itself where Awang Goneng hailed from. Pak Idrus reassured me that usually they won't take too long and I will be able to collect it before I go back home to Pasir Mas Kelantan in 3 weeks time. I left my particulars at the counter and proceeded to walk up a flight of stairs to another level above the bookstore to a place called The Coffee Club. Pak Idrus ordered coffee for the both of us and I was surprised to see them arrived in a cup the size of a bowl. I didnt ask for anything else while Pak idrus had somekind of bread which I didn't know the specific name. Actually I was reserving some space for lunch with another group which I was supposed to meet for lunch at the same place at 12 noon. Pak idrus had agreed earlier to join this group of VTers (Virtual Tourist). VirtualTourist.com is the website for travellers the world over to write about their travels and experiences which was useful for people like me who needs to have friends at the destination I am visiting. I have had wonderful help from such members in my travel to Medan, Jakarta Indonesia, Bangkok Thailand and Xian in China.

We had a wonderful time chatting about so many things at The Coffee Club as the place was yet to receive the lunch crowd as it was about 11 am at the time. We literally had the place to ourselves. I think its the best place in the world to meet up and chat comfortably provided it's not the peak hours of lunch. Pak Idrus related to me of how he was interviewed together with Rocky of Rocky's Bru by a student working on her/his thesis for two hours at the place(couldnt recall the sex as the word pelajar was used).

While there, Pak Idrus and me chatted about blogging in general. Most interestingly we talked about how to go about building a 4 star toilet in our homes and enjoying its use forever and not having to go yo a 4 star hotel to enjoy it once in a blue moon. I was interested as I need to redo my toilet at home. Being a handyman myself I need only to spend on materials as I dont have to pay myself for the workmanship. Alternatively I could pay myself a hefty rate even how bad my workmanship will be. Do you see any difference there?

Another good subject we talked about was PPS which stands for Project Petaling Street. Sometime earlier I commented in Ruby Ahmad's blog that me and Pak Idrus discussed about PSP as I was presuming it to be Petaling Street Project. PPS is a site where you can inform the world that you as a Malaysian blogger have posted a new post on your blogsite. I have registered myself for PPS and will use this post as a test case whether I have learnt enough on how to use it successfully.

When 12 noon came we proceeded to RHB Bank to meet up The Vters some of whom were from the Phillipines. The Malaysian VTer who organized the meet was Mr Chia whose call sign is chiabh.

It was while having lunch at Pelita Nasi Kandar with the Vters that I received the call from Kunikuniya about the availability of GUIT which I had reserved some 3 hours earlier. Immediately after lunch I went to colllect my GUIT from Kunikuniya to experience one of the most efficient service ever encountered by me and with the utmost courtesy to boot. Maybe Malaysia must be ruled by the Japanese in order to have a change of mindset and behavior. A stint under the Japanese instead of the British could have done wonders for us. Blame it on Einstein for discovering the formula E = MC2 and blame it on the American for developing the hydrogen bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima that led to the end of WW2. Otherwise we would be an advanced country under the strict and stern discipline of the Japanese.

With GUIT in my hands I proceeded by the underground passageway to the LRT terminal at KLCC. After learning the way how tickets were bought using the automatic dispensing machine I boarded the LRT to Pasar Seni the bus hub for most destinations by Rapid KL and hence began the nightmare for the return trip to Amanputra, Puchong in Selangor.

The hub around the old Klang bus terminal was haphazard and difficult to fathom for any first time user. Just by looking for the bus number will not lead you to the bus that you want to use. After waiting for 30 minutes there wasn't any bus 69. An inquiry at the ticket and information kiosk resulted in a a half hearted show of direction as to the general direction of the bus 69. Further check with one of the driver of the bus as to which bus to take to go to Puchong Perdana received a puzzling answer as bus 70. Bus 69 showed Putra Perdana as its destination. Now should I trust the number or the destination? Feeling confused I overheard another driver speaking the Kelantanspeak (just like the Trengganuspeak of Awang Goneng). A Kelantanese can detect another fellow Kelantenese from a mile away provided he can hear his voice speaking certain words. Get him to mention 'Seven Eleven' and without doubt you can confirm him as one or otherwise. The same may not apply on the likes of Elviza Michelle a trueblue Kelantanese but whose name doesn't even sound like a Kelantanese. Her diction of the word 'Seven Eleven' in perfect Oxford English or at least the English of KLites will not indicate her origin. Nevertheless this Kelantanese driver of RapidKL was willing to help another Kelantanese in distress as another fellow Kelantanese is always a brother outside of Kelantan but a foe when within Kelantan itself. He confirmed that bus 70 was the bus for Puchong Perdana.

I had a seat on the airconditioned bus for the 60 km ride home. The bus reached the last stop and I was the last passenger remaining. The driver asked me where I was going. Hearing that I was going to Amanputra, he told me that I was on the wrong bus as bus 69 was the right bus. As is always with me, if anything could go wrong, it will go wrong. I disembarked intending to take a taxi to Amanputra. Tough luck, not a single taxi to find.

I promised my daughter that I would be home before 6 pm before the maid leave for home. It was already 5 pm. A franctic call to my daughter and she told me that she will ask the 'budak puchong' to seek shelter at her friends place some 3 doors away and told me to back track to Puchong and catch the right bus home or take a taxi. A rickety old minibus took me back to Puchong and the sympathetic bus driver clearly directed me to the right place to take the bus which is either Metro 20 or RapidKL 69 on the other side of the road thus ensuring that I was taking a bus heading in the right direction.

When I reached the final stop in Putra Perdana it was already 6.30 pm and another 1,684 steps, I reached my daughters home.

So call me a 'Jakun' if you like. Unlike that state assembly man from Kelantan, I won't kick you for it, however derogatory the word Jakun is meant to be on me. The state assemblyman instantly found fame when he was U tubed all over the world kicking and shouting at another assemblyman of the state ruling party in a sitting of the august assembly. Joceline Tan wrote a beautiful piece on the incident under the title 'All abuzz over the dogil kick' in her column in The Sunday Star of 2 December 2007. She wrote that talk has been going around that the said assemblyman has not been himself since a car crash near Gua Musang sometime ago. This longest serving state assemblyman was my ex field supervcisor before he took the plunge to join politics full time. Being called a Jakun was the last straw that broke the camel's back and he went beserk immediately after. If not for the intervention by the others, history would have been made as the first brawl in any state assembly in Malaysia could have happened in Kelantan.

Jakun is one of the many tribes among the aborigines of Malaysia. A Jakun is thus considered to be primitive though some Jakuns has been known to make it good in education and economics. The use of the word on other people not of a Jakun tribe is thus considered deragotory.


ruby ahmad said...

Hello Zawi,

Yeah! What a nice meet that. Looks like Murphy's Law happened to you with the public transport eh. Of course that is not jakun lah. Our public transport is still much to be desired lah. Can't compare it to Boston lah..ha ha.

Without proper signs and not adhering to time table and all..hmm..can't say if we can take such transport overseas so can we here..nope, not the same!

Gosh! You must be such a wonderful grandpapa to the cucus. How nice.

Uhuh the PPS, I still am rather blur about the whole thing still. Is it still active?

Thanks for the mention and thanks for the nudge on facebook.

ruby ahmad said...

Btw, lupa nak comment, nice photo of two new non-virtual friends!

Pak Idrus said...

Zawi, Indeed an interesting narrative of your adventure in the urban jungle of KL. Well, you have to get lost first in order to learn your way in this jungle. There are about 4.50 million people who inhabited the Klang valley so you getting lost on your maiden journey is not a surprise at all. In a way it is a blessing in disguise, for in the process you learn the culture of the urban humanoid.

In such a short period of time you managed to get a glimpse of what's life in the first world is all about, where you can get anythings if you know where to get it. That zawi is my city. A city that I am accustomed to and love making it my home. Kunokuniya is one of my lepak place and like you said the Coffee Club is a nice place to sit and chat.

It look like your adventure has just began. Have a nice day.

U.Lee said...

Hello Zawi, wow! What a post! Love it.
Its like in some ways going down memory lane for me.
Love your sense of humour.
Alamak, 4 star toilet? Arhaaa ha ha. First time I see that. Hmmmmm. You going to read 'Gone with the wind' there?
Zawi, you have looks that I will think twice about introducing my girlfriends to, heh heh.
Hey, you sure look good for your age of errr? 45?
Wa, maybe if Carol sees you? Ha ha.
I will be back, see ya, got to go clear the snow from my car first! Lee.

Zawi said...

It was indeed a learning process alright. I have been scared of taking the bus all these while ane always took a taxi whenever I am in KL. Just this once I wanted to try it cos the taxi ride could be too costly. I wonder how a tourist can get about but sometimes the persons involved give a different treatment to tourists, more care I mean.
Oh I forgot to activate the PPS. Will have to find out how to do it soon.
Dunno much about how facebook functions just tweaked it around.
Yeah we are not just virtual friends anymore. Future trips to KL must inform Mayor Pak Idrus first so that we can have breakfast in Coffee Club. I still owe him one bowl of coffee there.

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
I wasnt worried at all. I could have returned to either Puchong or even KL to get back to the starting point. I didnt find out the real destination, too presumptious. Anyway I can always call on my children for direction or rescue hehehehe. It was a real educational trip for me. Now I am pretty sure of myself.
Thanks for the great bowl of coffee.

Zawi said...

Lee, Dont pull my leg la. if you reverse the number to my age you still have to add another 2 to be correct. If you think I am up to it than I will take Salmah Hayek to be my partner for the trip la.
Just blow the snow off your car la.
See you my friend.

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,

Jakun? What jakun?(",)
I have had quite the same experience, during my first semester here. I was on the right bus, but perhaps, at the wrong time. I am soooo sleepy, and....you know what happened(",). Lucky I strayed off not very far from my real destination.
When you mentioned PSP, I thought of Sony Play Station Portable!
I used to linger around Puchong too. My bro used to stay at kampung Seri Langkas, but he moved to Bandar Tun Hussein Onn.
Good day(",).

Zawi said...

I used the word 'Jakun' to connect it to the incident at the state assembly because Elviza did note about it in her comment on my blog once. That will remind her of it.
I purposely write at the bottom of the blog so as not to make it too obvious.

elviza said...

Salam Pak,

I remember that comment I made!

Well, that besides the point now. You had me hooked on the screen reading about your adventure from start to finish!

What an excellent narrator/writer you are Pak. But of course, I can pronounce 7-11 in english with a kelantese twang. Hik hik hik...

Anyway Pak, please email me your number so tht I can call you - because I want to buy you lunch or tea or whatever you feel like having.

But, I ll save you the trouble, I ll drive to Puchong to pick you and we can go to Bandar Puteri or IOI near that area okay?

Email me your number please.

elviza said...

By the way Pak, congratulation on the newly-acquired GUiT.

Like I told you in my review, its not just a book, it is indeed a keepsake.


jaflam said...

Zawi, your experience using KL public transport system was a testimony on how unreliable it could be ... but for the urban KL dwellers it’s a normal acceptable standard.

We are miles away to reach the efficiency of public transport in Japan, Europe or Singapore for that matter. I hardly used public transport nowadays with the exception of our LRT which I think is very efficient and convenient..... being on them put me back into the real society and rushing KL.

If fact two weeks ago someone who was offered the CEO job with Rapid KL asked me if I am interested in the job.... I said it was out of my line of expertise.... otherwise you could today partly blame me for the messy KL transport system.

Zawi said...

I am glad that you remember that comment of yours. That incident will go down the annal of history as the most 'Yang Takberhormat' act of the year. This posting was infact meant to take a dig on that incident and prompted me to post it after seeing Jocelin Tan wrote about it in her Sunday Star column. Thanks to Jocelin, she saved me the trouble of writing about it myself as she did a great job of it. The saddest part was that the YB didnt have any remorse at all for creating the fracas and deemed it as a most justifiable act to do.
I know you can pronounce 'Seven Eleven' with a kelantanese twang perfectly but under the normal circumstances you wouldn't. Who would ever recognize you as a kelantanese? Not one with your name as Elviza Michele.
My number will be in your mail by the time you read this. I thought we would only be meeting up when you go back to Tendong for the 'Raya Haji' to see your mum. Meeting you so soon seems too good to be true. I am looking forward to it. Lets make it soon.
Since Metro 20 stops at Kota Raya and Rapid KL 69 stops at Pasar Seni, anywhere near to those two points will be fine. If you have any court hearing in Puchong then Starbucks IOI mall will be OK too but it will be quite a drive for you and I dont subscribe to unnecessary wastage so I consider KL as as a better place to have coffee. Coffee Club at Kunikuniya will be perfect.
Another trip to KL may teach me another much needed lesson on how to survive KL at the twilight end of my life's journey.

Zawi said...

Basic infrastructure is the main keyword. Connectivity is the next word. We have far too many bus hubs and not one of them is adequately done. Maybe because we accept it as adequate that they consider it acceptable and maybe because it is used by the locals that they consider it as normal. A proper bus stand with sufficient waiting areas with seats will be most appreciated. Unlike the LRT, where the waits are counted in minutes, the wait for a bus can be hours, so those weary old legs need a break especially when you miss a bus after waiting for almost an hour. The fume from the bus exhaust in a covered bust stand like the Klang bus stand make second hand ciggarette smoke like a better alternative.
Jaff, you should have taken the offer as another form of national service. You dont even have to know how to drive a bus to be able to do a better job. They could have made a mistake by pinching a former empolyee of SKMK who has never experienced any other bus service other than that of SKMK. So how could he bring an improvement? All they need is someone who has the farsight, foresight, hindsight and above all the committment to the job. I know of a Nor Hassan who was the Operations Manager of Putra LRT. I dont know if he is still there. He was a fine example of committment to the job. He stayed back untill all the rolling stock was in the yard and he will ride the last train out from Kelana Jaya Putra Station. That was years back before Tony Fernandez waited on his last plane in to greet the crew back. Did Tony know anything about planes?
The billions spent in exess of the necessary for PKFZ could have gone into constructing a fine bus stand, the main hub close to KL Central where the LRT hub is. The other smaller hubs can be accessed from there.
Hey thats my 2 cents worth of opinion after a one day lesson on a KL bus hahahahha. May not work at all though. Take it with a pinch of salt OK?
Thanks for visiting.

Mior Azhar said...

Pak Zawi,
ooh, you and Pak Idrus were at Kinokuniya... definitely my favourite place in all of KL. Perhaps next time I can tag along.
How's GUIT? I've been trying to get hold of one but still tak de rezeki lagi. Btw, Awang Goneng is flying back today for a holiday, I think. Maybe we can meet up with him. Let me check...

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus met me at Kino. Of course you are most welcome to join it. Lets get together soon call Pak Idrus to make the necessary arrangement.
To get GUIT just do like what I did, reserve one at Kino.
Keep me posted when he is coming back. Wanna have my GUIT autographed.
Thanks for the visit Mior. Have a good day.

Cat Cat said...

Hi Zawi,
Tak shopping kat Jimmy Choo? Wah, I didn't know KLCC ada Jimmy Choo...

Zawi said...

cat cat,
Adalah kat mezzanine fllor Ampang Exit. The next time I go I will take a pic and post it on the net.
Read an article that he had sold out on The Jimmy Choo of London so this one in KLCC must be his own.
Thanks for visiting cat cat.
Hava a good day.

NaNa said...

Pak Zawi,

That makes 2 of us. I will be lost if I were to use the bus service.

What an experience. Hope that will not make you serik with KL.

Zawi said...

That was what I thought before I got lost, but we must not fear of getting lost. Now I feel psychologically better and can take the bus to anywhere. We need to ask around more and must really know of our destinations and the areas area to it. Above all we must tell the driver where we are going as he will be able to tell when we should alight. That was a lesson well learnt.
Thanks for the visit.

Puteri said...


Next time I know not to trust the words of even the bus drivers on what bus to take!!

You know what, I have never taken public transportation here in the US! Heheh.

Zawi said...

It wasnt their fault. I gave them the wrong destination. Instead of telling them I wanted to go to Putera Perdana, I told them Puchong Perdana which is another location quite faraway. This Puchong area is one of the fastest developing area in Selangor as all of the tin mine areas are being developed into big housing estates. New ones coming up literally everyday.
The bus driver told me the right bus ie to Puchong Perdana hahahahahaha. Its silly me who told him of the wrong destination. I didnt mention it at the start of the story to make it a suspense.

pat said...

Hello Pak Jakun..Oppss..Sorry!!Pak Cik Zawi,hehehehe..Just kidding lah.

How nice of you to drop by my blog :)

Anyway,I love the 4 star toilet idea.Imagine having a luxurious bath tub decorated with exotic beautiful flowers and plants all around it and the scented candles,little pebbles..

Or state of the art sort of toilet with all modern sinks,bath tup,taps and stuffs..ok,enough for now,hehe :P

Do come back often kay.

Zawi said...

It is OK to call me Pak Jakun, told you I dont mind hehehhee. I used to work in Lojing, near Cameron Highlands and very near to the orang asli villages. They are nice people really. In the name of development, many of them were robbed of their homes and livelihood because they dont have titles to their land. The environment they lived in were destroyed.
Who wont love a good toilet? I enjoy reading my papers in there that is why I need one.
No problem about going to your site more. Wait till I blog about the Tamarind Pickles. I will make it specially for your cafe. I need to reduce the image size of some picture but since I am not at home I dont have the program to do it.
Thanx for coming to my site.

Zabs said...

Salam kenal Zawi,
Arrived here from Ruby's. A very nice post. I won't call it Jakun, because I too, would lost myself, if in your situation. Even after living here in KL for the past 20 years.
I supposed, after that experience, with public transport in KL, if you happened to be in Boston, it will be just "kacang" lah.
Nice of Pak Idrus to meet you, and Kak Teh will be glad that you have got your copy of GUiT. I will try to get mine soon.
About the 4 star toilet, last year my wife decided to redo our toilet in the master bedroom. I don't know how many star it is, but every body in the house seem to make it their first choice toilet (kena ambil no dulu pulak). Wishing you a good stay in KL, and enjoy the company of your cucus.

Zawi said...

Used the word Jakun with a purpose ie the incident at the Kelantan assembly where the fracas was triggered by the use of the word Jakun.
As I have said earlier the experience taught me a very good lesson. The phobia of taking a bus as a form of public transport is now history. I had similar experience travelling around in Japan using their public transport belonging to Japan Railway which also operate feeder bus services. Despite the language barrier, we had no problem as the routes are well displayed and route maps are available.
The 4 star toilet is long overdue as now there are only the two of us in the house so there wont be too many waiting in line to use the only other remaining toilet hahahaa.
This stay with the cucus definitely is high quality time with them as they are much closer to me, a situation we really havent manage to find thus far.
Thanks for the visit.

zaitgha said...

Pak Zawi,

I first arrived in Houston when i was 18 ...went to a near bus stop near the apt...saw the schedules and the routes neatly at the side of sitting area...it was clean and no sign of vandalism at all...i discovered after awhile the ETA and ETD were only plus/minus a few minutes....it was more than 24 years ago...we are nothing near there even now

ingat nak gi KL jugak nih...bole juga mengopi ...let u know

Zawi said...

We will never get anywhere near there due to various reasons. Vandalism will destroy most of such signs, government wont allocate much money to provide better bus stands as the bus is considered as the transport for the poor and must make do with what we have hehehe.
Datang la kita mengopi semangkok sorang. Sunday morning saya mengopi sama Emir Ramli facebook Pasir Mas Club member di Pasar Seni jam 10. Tuesday nak gi MRT kat rumah Kak Ton tok mommy. You can join in to any of that dates or fix your own date. Anytime anyplace except nighttime. I think I can never get lost anymore by using the bus. Kaki dah OK ke?

Tunku Halim said...

Zawi - If you're not careful your excellent blog may just end up as a book! Your stuff is really interesting and deserves to make to make it into hard print. Instead of GUIT, you could write a GUIK or something about life in Malaysia.

Tunku Halim said...

Zawi - It looks to be that a book is hiding behind your excellent blog! A very interesting read which deserves to make it into hard print.

Zawi said...

tunku halim,
It can be in hard print but not for a book la. Maybe just for my children and their children to read and laugh at the folly of their old man.
Thank you for visiting. Have a good day Sir.

Zawi said...

tunku halim,
Coming from an established writer like you is indeed a compliment of the highest oder. It can be turned into a book but it will be the thinnest of books and become a record just for that, the thinnest book. Let me keep on writing so that I add more material and you give me your opinion after that. A collaborative effort with world reknown Tunku Halim may not be a bad idea I suppose?
As to the name of the book if it ever become a book, Elviza Michelle once asked her dad why she was given that non Kelantanese sounding name. Her wise dad reminded her of what Shakespeares said in referrence to the name of the rose.

pB said...

aman putra to puchong perdana , dekat jer ...

Zawi said...

Memang dekat tapi bila kita tak tahu terasa jauh. Dekat pun kalau jalan kaki sekerat hari gak tu pun kalau kaki tak gout hari tu. Taxi tak ada kat situ dan bila keluar ke Puchong taxi tak nak pegi ke Amanputra walaupun taxi berderet tubffu penumpang. Kena naik bas la juga.
Terima kasih lah kerana singgah di teratak hamba.

Nightwing said...

Pak Zawi,

That is what i call an adventure. Ur cucu really lucky u came all the way to take care of them..:)

Kak Ruby's right about Murphy's law..

Its great stuff that u able to meet with a fellow blogger...

Zawi said...

First abd foremost I would like to welcome you to my site.
Life is definitely an adventure be it a small or a big adventure and we will learn someting from it.Its our duty to our loved one. What better way to be with our children at this tailend of my life's journey.