A few years ago, I attended a two weeks Journalism class. Typical in every first session, we needed to do ice-breaker.
Everybody introduced themselves and it was normal; we revealed our names and where we were from. Then it came to my turn, I stood up, and did what everybody was doing. I was ready to sit down and when the instructor suddenly said “Wait… wait… wait… could you tell us something about your hair?”
I had a crazy curly hair at that time. Nevertheless, the question took me by surprise but this was my answer:
“This is not original. My hair is straight and boring. I’d never curl my hair in my life. I just wanted to see how I look like with curly hair.”
“Does it boost your confidence?” He asked further.
“Oh, yes! Definitely!” I replied.
“So you see, new hairstyle, life changed.” He said.
It was true, because after the hair, few years later, people came up to me and asked “What’s with the shirt?”
I’ve never understood suffering. After listened to the woman I met this morning, I asked myself ‘Will I ever understand at all?’ The pain and hardships…
Sometimes, ignorance is bliss especially when it could actually save you from embarrassment. But it could also put other people in a very awkward and uncomfortable position. I was at the airport two weeks ago, waiting for my flight to come home to Sibu from Kuala Lumpur. I was at departure hall and I happened to sit beside a man.
Nothing unusual about it, we were trying to do our own stuff. I was trying to write my speech because I had a speech competition few days later. He with his earphones on, minding his business. I had just started writing when the guy beside me started singing. This guy was listening to the music and I think the music was so loud he could not hear himself singing.
It was awful. Now I thought at first, no problem, let him sing, but few minutes later, I could not take it anymore. Obviously, I could not go on, so I stopped writing, tried to calm myself down. I told myself, ‘don’t… don’t… don’t… do not laugh!” I am easily amused by some little things. And that was not little thing. And to make it worse… I am a very curious person. So I decided to take a good look of that guy, I regretted it immediately. He was bobbing his head, oblivious to the people around him.
I did not know why I still chose to sit there. I realised it has become an emergency. I need music… loud music. I struggled to take my earphones from my bag. And my earphones are always entangled. It took few seconds to untangle the thing and I don’t have songs in my phone. I only listen to Spotify. I opened my Spotify. ‘Sorry, your homepage is offline’.
No worries.. no worries… YouTube… but the connection was so bad. Took ages for it to load. At this point, I was already smiling. Then came my last solution…opened my Whatsapp and pretended that I read funny messages.
It was 9 pm. At the sight of the authority approaching, he tried to run, but he was surrounded. There were more than 10 of them, probably 20 – Police, officers from the welfare, a politician, and those from the rescue unit. All of them tried to help him. At least, with a comfortable bed and some food to eat. But, what the heck did he know about that? All he knew was that these people tried to take him away, only God knows where. Today would be a bad day. Every day was a bad day for him, but today could be worst. He knew he would get in trouble one day.
If sleeping on the street was a crime, then, he would be the worst criminal. He did it every day. This was his regular spot on fine weather. Did not know why he chose that place. To lie down with that stinking plastics, wastes, and suffocating smells was just disgusting. He smells too. He didn’t mind being there.
They pulled him out from that disgusting place. Coaxed him to go with them. He wanted to run, he hated those people. He did not trust them. “Come with us, we have food, a bed for you to spend the night and maybe you could take some shower”. He did not know the last time he had his shower. However, he would not take the risk. “No…Just let me stay here”.
He went back to the spot, closed his eyes, wished everybody would leave him alone.
A Penan woman carrying her grandchild during a trip to Lusong Laku few months ago.
Just some simple pictures I took during a recent trip. Click to enlarge.
On Sunday morning, I took a walk at a local mall here in my town. There I met two people – two friends, to be exact.
I was coming down from a digital shop where I met a friend. We greeted “Peace be with you”, and I responded the same. I asked her “How are you now?” and she said “I’m in a healing process…” we talked a little while and I had to rush down because my mother was waiting for me downstairs. She lost her husband few weeks ago and is still grieving, but with the support of fellow legionaries and friends, she remained strong.
As I reached the ground floor of the mall, I met another friend, my ex-classmate. Now, she is working at a local university. She said “I’m getting married next Sunday…please do attend my wedding day,”. We talked a little while and we left.