The good thing about blogging is that I got to make virtual friends who later become real friends when we met in person. Because of blogging I got to know Dr. Singa personally, got to meet the #tsbreakaway people as well as other bloggers such as Fahmi, Febry, Tim and Daeng, to name a few. And because of blogging, I got to know and meet Derek.
Call it coincidence but when Derek was in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, I was also invited by Dr. Singa and the soon-to-be ‘Kelab Jari Debab’ (Fat Finger Club) members for a day trip to Pulau Ketam. I have visited Pulau Ketam once during #tsbreakaway program. Nevertheless, a re-visit is something that I thought would be worth it. So, I agreed to join Dr. Singa and at the same time I invited Derek. Derek agreed.
Thus, on a fine Saturday morning, 25th January 2015, I drove to Shah Alam train station and joined Wak Jan and Kak Ana who have arrived earlier. When the KTM Komuter train bound for Port Klang arrived, we hop in and there was Derek, already inside the train. Together, we chatted about travels as the train accelerated towards our destination. It was amazing to see Derek mingled easily with us, having met me just a day before and had just met Wak Jan and Kak Ana.
The journey took us around half an hour and by the time we reached Port Klang station, the sun has already set in. We had breakfast before proceeded to the jetty. This time, the group decided to take a boat to Pulau Ketam. Each of us paid the captain RM 10 for a 30-40 minute boat ride.
Along the way, as the smell of air changes from one of industrial to fishy smell, I smiled because this trip reminded me of my first trip to Pulau Ketam, a place which I did not know exist just behind my backyard.
Soon, we arrived at Pulau Ketam jetty. We went to the first shop after the jetty because they have bicycle for rent. The price ranges from RM 5 to RM 10, depending on the type of bicycle that we chose. Mine was RM 8. After everyone got their bicycles, off we went to explore this island.
Pulau Ketam is a small island with swampy land. The majority of the inhabitants here are ethnic Chinese and most of them work as fishermen. The island is very unique because driving or riding any motorized vehicle is a punishable offence. As such, most locals cycle or use electric bicycles.
Together with the group, we explore the island from one end to the other. We found a Maybank branch (with a cycle-thru ATM machine!), isolated temples, homestays, septic tanks, fishing port and other interesting view. To cycle on the wooden pathways, some concrete, was a reminiscent of the pass, when life was simpler and easier. There was no need to rush here and life seemed to be more laid-back.
Halfway during our cycling excursion, we stopped by a shaded temple for lunch. It was one of the girls, GB’s birthday and since there was no other place to stop, we decided to have lunch at the temple compound. We celebrated there with home cooked meals brought by the moms of the group.
Whilst eating, we saw a group of aunties hanging out in front of a house opposite the temple. As a goodwill gesture, we gave the aunties slices of cake. They were so happy for the cake.
After lunch and the mini-party, we continued our cycling journey to other parts of the island. It was amazing and though it was hot, the view really mesmerized me. Along the way, I saw piles of rubbish underneath the houses. I explained to the group that the rubbish was not because of the locals, but it came from the mainland. Whatever that we throw outside of the dustbin back at the mainland might ended up here.
That is why it is important for us to always think about others before doing something. I realize that Malaysians are still lacking of civic manners although many infrastructures are already world class. The mentality of many people are still stuck with third world mentality.
Don’t litter, guys. It is not that hard to hold on yo your rubbish and find a dustbin, right?
At around 4pm, I called it a day. I sent back the bicycle to the shop and went to a fried ice cream stall, which I had back in 2013. I asked for a chocolate fried ice cream and asked, “where is the uncle who used to man the stall?” Then, the guy, whilst passing me my ice cream answered “He had passed away”.
I was shocked and apologized. I walked back to the jetty to join the others. In my mind, I kept thinking about the uncle, who was friendly and kind when I bought the ice cream from him 2 years back. That is the thing when you act kind with other people: they touched your heart so deep, you will always remember them although they no longer alive.
Photo courtesy of drsinga.com.
When the boat arrived, we boarded the boat heading back to Port Klang.
I am still enchanted
By the light you brought to me
I listen through your ears
Through your eyes I can see
-U2, Stuck in A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of