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Saturday, November 06, 2004

On Leave VII: Turning 40

It began quietly enough. A late breakfast and a quiet read of the days repast from the local newspaper. Then came my mum's reminder to get the bus ticket for Singapore for tomorrow's morning trip. I still haven't allowed the idea of turning 40 today to sink in yet ...

It actually began late or early this morning at the midnight hour when I promised to read up on the remaining greeting card of a friend on the day of my birthday. That was the omega point of the day. As for the rest of this day, it has been rather mixed with images of KL town and its people and noises that crowded my senses as I tried to orientate myself with to the place. Together with my dad, we went to buy the bus ticket from Puduraya, probably one of the most crowded bus terminal I have ever encountered so far. Got the Sunday, 10.30 a.m. bus that will eventually arrived in S'por e by 4.00 or 5.00 p.m. at the Beach Road area. Then took a trip down Petaling Street and was mesmeirsed by the various steet hawkers and vendors that were selling their wares there, mostly fakes: watches, clothings, perfumes, more watches, VCDs/DVDs (all kinds...), snacks, you name it- they have it!

Going to places like Petaling Street when one just turned forty can be a sobering experience. The amount of people that walk by that place, the tourists and all those buying, bargaining and selling shouts of a place that has all consumerism at its worst. I saw runners going up and down the street hawking pirated VCD wares to interested customers by approaching them and showing them their list of movies - all kinds - to choose. All very surrepstitious, under-the-counter type selling. Yet, it is part of the world that we live in: the profane together with the sacred. What's ironic in all of that place is that just around the corner by the entrances to this place, policemen were patrolling around, but were oblivious to all the goings on there - even under their very noses! They were apparently more interested with the snarling traffic that was already building up on the main roads.

I was all the while looking nervously around being careful not to get my belongings pickpocketed or snatched. At 40, you suddenly have this sense of being vulnerable. This followed with a trip to the Central Market that has now been converted into a cultural gift centre selling gift and touristy items. Then had a good lunch at one of the hawker stalls nearby on a plate of Kon Loh Mee - that's wan tan mee KL style.

So, what is it like turning forty today? The Chinese say that this is a rather bad number as it rhymes with the word 'death' in Cantonese. Well, so far it has been rather breathtaking and not that a deadly day. When I finally got home, it rained heavily as though the heavens were crying in relieved to have noted that I got back in one piece. To see to the day when I make it halfway through my lifespan and to do it here in KL is quite a blessing and only through the grace of God! Happy Birthday to one and all who are celebrating their birthdays today too!

10 comments:

Jude Gal said...

Fr Aloy, Face it lah 40 liao, no running away, ONI A FEW MORE WHITE STRANDS OF Hair.

Anonymous said...

Vulnerable, Master Fral? Them pickpockets wld know better than to have a hand severed by a lightsabre.

*Young Padawan*

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FATHER! :)

Young Minstrel said...

Sto lat, sto lat niech zyje, zyje nam,
Sto lat, sto lat niech zyje, zyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz,
niech zyje, zyje nam, niech zyje nam!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, they say 40 is were life begins!! =D
"happy birthday fr. ! "

Anonymous said...

Hey, they say 40 is where life begins!! =D
"happy birthday fr. ! "

Anonymous said...

The number 4.

Anonymous said...

A little late, but Happy Belated Birthday!

Tango :D (find out who .. heh)

Anonymous said...

A little late, but Happy Belated Birthday!

Tango :D (find out who .. heh)

Anonymous said...

si shi sui. got urself a will yet fr?

 

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