Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We had Tony Fernadez's plane to catch at 3pm and we had half a day to do a quick run to Tumpat to visit a newly-born "cucu saudara", buy our keropok lekor and head back to Pasar Siti Khatijah for my boss' last minute shopping of beras Nasi Dagang, Nise (Gula Melaka) and several Kelantanese "must buy" items.

As a faithful driver, I had to kill time while my boss did her shopping. What could I do?

Well, observe people going about doing their daily activities. The very first person I bumped into was Pua Chu Ke (Kelantanese version).

Pua Chu Ke was coming out from Pasar Siti Khadijah carrying what looked like PISGOR. He happened to be a local Pua Chu Ke. If you are an Indon, you will know what's PISGOR.

Next I saw a cycling buddy, well not exactly a buddy la....but I always have a soft spot for anyone with like minds!

Then I turned my attention to this taxi. Kelantanese called the beca a "teksi". By the way, Kelantanese have used English words for a long time. As a kid I've heard fishermen spoke about "PLEWENG" and "EJUH", two important parts of an engine. PLEWENG is Flywheel. EJUH is exhaust (pipe).

Back to this beca. It was certainly over-decorated. The only view offered to the passenger would be left and right. Right would have the passenger viewing the poor beca man huffing and puffing to carry you. More huff and more puff if you, the passenger, is over-caloried. If you know what I mean! Maybe that was the beca man's intention. After all, JPJ have no fixed metre charge ruling . So hopefully you pay by emotion!

On a more seious note, the becas had seen their days. The beca peddlars are all in the late 50s or early 60s. They would have clocked kilometres that would put our national cyclists way behind. The fact that they could carry on pedalling passengers and goods at such age is by itself a miracle, necessitated by economic poverty.

And TESCO is in town, occupying a sizeable area at the new river-bank development along Sungai Kelantan where the Sultan Yahya Petra bridge spanned the river.

And MYDIN said they are going to build their biggest superstore in Kelantan. After all, Kota Bharu was their place of birth.

I was almost amused by this MPKB signboard MEDAN SELERA BULUH KUBU. Below it was stated 'DULUNYA PASAR MALAM PARIT DALAM". I'm sure DULUNYA BUKAN PASAR MALAM DALAM PARIT".....

Friday, January 11, 2008


9th January 2008

There was absolutely no rush, no queue, no chaos and no jostling for seats. The numbered and assigned seats were not even necessary. That's Fire Flyz. What a relief and a change from the hustle and bustle. Plus, it's only ten minutes to the airport from my house in Subang Jaya, and it costs as much as a bus fare from KL to Kota Bharu.

I was going home to my roots in Kota Bharu to visit my mother, the good daughter-in-law (of my mother) accompanying me. We decided to try out Fire Fly. Having tried it, I'm "fired" and I'll "fly" where they fly. Okay it's a Fokker 50. It flies on propellers and a passenger joked that flying in it is "panas" because the "kipas" is outside. Ha...ha...very funny. But I liked it. And I can still load in my bicycle in its stomach, though I didn't bring it along this time around. But now my plans are cooking.

Chat up the two friendly stewardesses, Barbara and Seha. While we are too familiar with the red uniform of "you know la which airline", the white and orange is a pleasant change too, soothing and not so garang.

I would have returned via Fire Fly too but with only 1 flight a day and leaving Kota Bharu at 8am, my trip would not have been "berbaloi" or worthwhile.

Within an hour, Fire Fly touched down and I was glad to balek kampong and visit my mom and add a few thousand calories along the way. That's the exciting part of balek kampong too.

Mom was waiting at my brother's place and we were happy to see her in good health and more importantly in good spirit. She was in KL for about 2 months before going back to KB before Hari Raya Haji. This time around, she would probably stay in KB longer than usual. I would make it a point to Fire Fly back very regularly to visit her. Occasionally, I'll cycle back to KB, on a one-way journey, Fire Flying back to KL or vice versa.