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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ipoh Mali

the past few days has been a trip back to my distant and not-so-distant past. and the word 'trip' really applies here as well. last saturday, i went up to ipoh for some personal matters. haven't been there for quite some time. last time i visited ipoh was about 5 years ago. and my, my...how things have changed. it's not that i haven't gone north for the last 5 years, it's just that i haven't had the chance to really stop by in ipoh on my journeys to penang or kedah. from the highway, u really don't get a good view of the city. so coming by into town and of course, my former school was really a great chance to 'lepas rindu'.
i've always had a soft spot for ipoh, growing up there for 5 years of my life. being in a boarding school, ipoh really taught me the selok-belok kehidupan. maybe i'm being biased, because i think everyone loves their home (who doesn't?) but i think ipoh is one of the best places to live. there's hardly any traffic jam, the city is clean and the old buildings are all well preserved and intact. this adds to the 'classic' feel of the city, which i really love. if there's any complaint, maybe the city is not that developed as it should be, but heck...i love it the way it is.
and of course...the sight of my secondary school was a view into the past. oh yess...the days spent during my adolescent years, being innocent and just discovering the ways of the world. it was an adventure every day, learning things about life as u go on. it was the place i learned to 'toughen up' in life and for the first time...being independent from my parents. maybe this independence thing was in me since the day i was born, because it's something i really enjoy and take pride in. i love my parents, but the sense of not being dependent on them entirely gives me this satisfaction. and the trust that they place on me ever since they said goodbye to their little 13-year old boy in ipoh is simply priceless. i'm beginning to sound like a MasterCard ad..hehehe...
i didn't enter the school grounds, as i'll be hoping to come back here for the Old Boys' Weekend this september. it's something i'm really looking forward to and that's a story for another day.
i was more like this kampung boy from the rurals of perak when i saw all the things that have changed in ipoh. even the legendary Taman Cempaka (or TC as we call it) had gone thru some radical changes. but it was the lost of several familiar shops i usually frequented that made it somewhat bittersweet. gone are the familiar landmarks such as Sudut Ariff, where they had the best laksa (possibly the only laksa) in TC and Zeenath Store, the place where all the 2B pencils and A4 paper required for examinations was bought...or sometimes stolen...hehhehe. no wonder exam teruk...tak berkat. why they closed down..i wouldn't know. perhaps a better opportunity somewhere else, or maybe the economic demands was too much for them to handle. who knows, whatever it is...i'll bet a few people like myself will remember their service and how they contributed one way or another to people's lives.
after the oohs and ahhs of seeing the city being developed, now i can really relate to how my father would start his sentences with, "Masa dulu....."and tell his stories on how it was different back then. mann...am i that old?? hopefully not...hehehehehe
so that's my version of ipoh for u. hopefully...InsyaAllah, i'll be back in 1+ months time to really go back down memory lane, the OBW. on another note, it's really funny. this morning, i called up one of the organizers (the tradition is after 20 years finishing school, that batch will be the organizer..hence this year is the '84 batch). i wanted to enquire about the registration and everything, but ended up spending almost half an hour with him on the phone. it was like we had known each other for years, chatting away. it was pleasant and the thing they said about how school spirit dies hard really is true. so i'll be corny and say 'Once a Starian, always a Starian'.

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