Monday, April 30, 2012

Just Fudge It

I got into Mombassa around 6 am from Nairobi after an overnighter bus ride. Then around 8, I hopped on to a bus, old, slow, rickety, cramped, smelly and without AC, for another 6 torturously long hours on a dusty and bumpy road heading to Lamu. All the way I was exhausted, sweaty, sleepy and empty stomached. 

This was the packet sugary milk fudge that I bought through the window of the bus from the local ladies swamping the bus when it stopped for the umpteenth times along the way dropping and picking up more passengers. Well that was lunch. 

When I finally made it to the island of Lamu, instead of sorting out my hotel for the night, I dashed straight to the airline office to book my flight out. I was not going to take another 6 hours of the bus ride. Then I went to the rooftop restaurant/bar next door for a beer. While seeping my beer I managed to arrange for a 3d2n sailing trip on a dhow boat. Then I had another beer and then found a hotel, which was  just below the bar.

While you are on the road, sometimes it's good to just fuck it. Or just fudge it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

428 Afterthought

It was around 9am in the morning of Apr 28 here in Juba, 2pm at home in Malaysia. Many of my fellow countrymen were all donned in yellow, taking it to the street demanding for a change for the better for our beloved country. Here in Juba, my 2 colleagues and I, coincidentally all wearing red, were having breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Yeah, we were so wearing the wrong color for the day. I guess we did not get the memo. Anyway we were following the beat by beat accounts of the rally in KL on Facebook and Twitter. 

For the following days, I was reading various comments and blog postings as well as looking at the photos of the rally online. A few aerial shots of the massive turn out at various places really caught my attention. Those were the people gathering at various meeting points before marching towards Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) for the sit-down protest. To me, the photos were powerful, sea of yellow packing the streets, peacefully and orderly, ready to voice out our dissatisfaction, ask for change. It was all calm. And then the march started and we all knew what happened next. 

It got me thinking a little.

What if everyone just sit down there and then on the streets at the meeting points, for the sit-down protest? Would that not be effective enough? There'd still be hundreds of thousands (as claimed by various quarters) of people in yellow sitting down at various locations in town, in protest of the severely corrupted system in our country. Is that not good enough? Like I said, from the aerial shots, they were powerful. 

I couldn't be any more certain than the next person to say that the rally might turn out differently if people sit down just at those different meeting points. But at that moment, it was serenely calm. If we could just sit down there and then, do we still need to march to the already heavily barricaded square for the sit-down? 

At the end of the day, there are many ways to skin a cat. And of course, things are always easier or making more sense in hindsight. 

But I'm sure of one thing, the quest for change for the better must not stop, should not stop and will never be stopped. 

Go yellow!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Those Afternoons, Those Games

I bummed into this bunch of kids while wandering in the maze of Lamu, Kenya.

They were playing on the porch, some sort of local checkers. The board was drawn on the floor with chalk. The pieces were pebbles picked from the street, invariably differentiated by their sizes, big or small. A simple game it may be but it was also quite furious, as they were moving forcefully, arguing heatedly at a disputed move and chuckling heartily after a win. The kids were having a whale of a time, in the sunny afternoon.

I can still hear their cheerful laughters roaring, crisp and loud, contented and very much infectious.

It was a simple rustic game but brought so much laughters and joy to their days. Do you remember how those laughters also once filled our afternoons when we were kids playing hopscotch, marbles, tic-tac-toe, snake and ladder, jumpsies?

Oh they challenged me to a game. Guess who won?

Friday, April 06, 2012


What you looking at?
Photo of a Masai zebra, taken at Masai Mara, Kenya.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Rain in Juba


The change of season is upon the city. It rained, and rained and rained in the city today. The burning heat and blinding brightness from the sun is washed away with the drops of rain. Washing away along with it the choking dustiness that perpetually hanging heavy in the air.

What a welcoming change! Cleansing. Refreshing.

Unfortunately, not dousing away the smog in my mind. I'm know the breeze will blow it away, the downpour will clean it up. Hopefully, soon. I'm looking forward to the arc of rainbow and the gentle sunshine after the storm.

More rain is still to fall. Yeah, I'm leaving all the muddles be, and pushing them aside. I'm just going to listen to the rain for now.