11 December 2013

With a Sigh ( No 17) - Have You ever seen the Rain?

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN?

Note:
 I am still without line at home and have to post this longer-than-usual entry on a ‘borrowed’ line over 15 km away from home and in a car park! Regret for any faults and inadequacy. Instead of using comment box below please e-mail me (almanar@pd.jaring.my) if you wish to express your very critical comments which may be construed as slanderous.
____________________

(From a song popularised by a number of top singers in 1970/80s)
      
“Someone told me long ago
There's a calm before the storm,
I know;
It's been comin' for some time.
When it's over, so they say,
It'll rain a sunny day,
I know;
Shinin' down like water.

[Chorus:]
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin' down on a sunny day?
…………………..
…………………..“

             
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I was born and raised in K Trengganu ( without ‘e’ after ‘T” in Teren…) I did not have to learn Ilmu Alam to know what rain in December is like in the East Coast. Like other children I had lots of fun with ‘main hujan’ (playing in the rain), a special kind of sport in Trengganu
 ______________________ 

Last week I needed to get to KL with some urgency. The rain and strong wind that came with the Monsoon did not bother me in the least.  I would, on the hand, prefer that cool atmosphere to the hot sun and its glare.  It so happened my old jalopy had just been through a ‘major service’ and, most importantly, been fitted with a set of four brand new tyres for safety. I did not, unfortunately, have Her Majesty- cum ‘sleeping-beauty’ to accompany me as usual but I had one of our grandchildren who wished to return to KL after a fortnight at NURI.

If at all, my concern was leaving our home unattended in this weather.



Here he is finding the wind direction and testing its intensity
__________________________ 

FIRST day of rain

With my grandson sitting alongside, we set out at 8.30 with enough food, drink, musical CDs and all to last the journey which would normally take me about five to six hours of driving. It was raining when we left. The drive via Jerangau-Jabor road to Kuantan was normal with fairly light traffic. But what really bothered me was seeing heavy vehicles being driven at high speed, creating potholes and damaging parts of the road under water puddles. There was nothing eventful to speak of the journey except for a record-breaking aspect. It was pouring throughout the 500km drive with the screen wiper never stopped swinging.

SECOND day of rain 

On the following day, this time with Makcik in the co-pilot seat, we set off from KL northwards on a 100-km drive heading for her kampong. We had news that durian fruit had begun to fall.   



That old wooden house where we tied the knot, with 100-year old durian trees as witness.



Having fully satisfied ourselves with durian, we were back on the North-South Highway heading southwards in a car fully laden with durian. Even the lot of ‘pandan’ leaves covering the fruit could not help to neutralise the smell of the fruit, not that it bothered us in any way.
____________________

THIRD day of rain

Early on the third day, with Makkcik in the co-pilot seat, we left KL after I had satisfied everyone that I was fresh enough for another long drive to K Terengganu. There was light rain and the weather promised a pleasant journey home.

It was indeed rather pleasant. Two hours into the East Coast Highway my sleeping beauty was comfortably well stretched on her seat, breathing softly. And there I was at the wheel enjoying Doris Day’s ‘The Autumn Leaves’ instead of Broery’s love songs. I glanced at her and told myself what a perfect picture that was. An hour later we came to a junction where I missed one turning, and soon myself on the alternative road to KT via Cherating, Kemaman ahnd Dungun, a route I dislike for its heavy traffic. So on this occasion I was watchfull enough, and at the junction we turned off the highway into the old winding Jabor-Jerangau road, realising fully well that I had to drive slower under the worse road condition.

About 30 km on the old road, we found ourselves trailing a long line of vehicles. And soon every one of them was doing the zig-zag dance, trying to avoid deep potholes. That and seeing hardly any on-coming vehicles, except a few heavy vehicles, began to worry me. When the procession finally came to a full stop several drivers stepped out, each with an umbrella in hand. With concern I joined them, too. Just then a car appeared from ahead. Its driver stopped by us to announce that the road ahead was under water and not passable to light traffic.

That was that. “Apa kita nak buat,abang?” (what shoud we do) asked my sleeping beauty who had been awake since the speed of the car changed on leaving the highway

My decision was simple. I turned the car round, back-tracked for about 30km and took the coastal road. Our hand-phones were out of action, rendering us without communication.  About an hour later we came to another similar situation, stopping behind a convoy of vehicles. News passed from mouth to mouth that the road ahead was closed. We were about to reach Cherating, some 20 km from Kemaman.  

As we were weighing what action we should take, our need to see a toilet was paramount – what with drinking and the cold weather all the way- and we had had no stop for almost six hours . Personally, I could possibly find a spot to stand behind a tree, but what of my sleeping beauty

There was only one small wooden sundry shop open in the immediate vicinity. Azmi, a very nice young owner, with apology showed us a small room at the back. To get there we had to step in flood water which had already begun to cover the floor of the shop.

Nevertheless, we both did it, with great relief. How we thanked Azmi. Sadly until now, four days after the event, I have not been able to get him on his hand-phone to thank him. His phone is as dead as the door knob!  

Azmi seriously advised that we found a place to spend the night. The rain and the high tide would keep the road under water for a long time. But no, we decided to return to KL. In the rain, we traced our way back and after a ten-hour pleasure drive we were back where our day began, in KL.

Alhamdulillah. Now, four days after the event I know, had we managed to get through Cherating, we would surely have been marooned between Cherating and Kemaman.      


FOURTH day of rain

Early in the morning of the fourth day I made phone calls to six police stations to check on the road condition. One said that the two normal routes to K Terengganu were out of question. One advised me that, if I must go to KT,  I should preferably take the long route through Kelantan. But one was rather optimistic, saying that although Kemaman road was out of question, some traffic managed to get through Jabor-Jerangau road early this morning.

So there was a chance!

Despite several disapproving comments from family members I was adamant to take the chances. Alhamdulillah, to cut it short, we MADE IT safely through all the way; and, this time, the screen wiper did take a rest from time to time.

We were happy to see our home standing proudly in the rain while the surrounding tall coconut palms stood defiantly against the strong Monsoon wind, but their leaves, unable to fight back, were being swept landwards at the mercy of the wind. 


  
Standing defiantly year after year
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Foot-Note

I am left with a lot of questions in my head.

Why wasn’t there a single notice on the roads advising motorists of the road closure ahead?
When I needed their help, where were the traffic police who had, with dedication to duty, waited eagerly to hand me tickets for speeding?
Why were the information centres in the two states not able to give precise and up-to-date information on the road conditions?
For all intents and purposes, I regard what happened as a national emergency and the will of God; but do we leave it all in His Hand to pass information, place notices and be ready to help in whatever form?
Or do we just publicise our voluminous sympathy and be contented?

I heave a deep sigh of relief that we and our home are safe, and that many people at large are willingly parting with their sens and ringgits on the roads and at supermarkets in town.    


Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk Kemanusiaan


22 comments:

ahmad humairi said...

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Terkadang bila hujan, saya mengambil kesempatan mencuci kereta....namun sebenarnya rindu mengalami semula aktiviti main hujan ketika kecil dahulu....

Shakirin Al-Ikram said...

Assalamualaikum. Alhamdulillah, glad to read, cikgu berdua slamat, rumah pun tak ampoh! Tuka if can to Unifi (line TM). Strymx line aje out. Good decision you made to go back KL. I read later that hundreds of cars and their occupants were stranded along the Kemaman and Pahang border for three days, without food or water and (no kedai open). They upload fB mintak bantuan!
My sis dah tiga ari went back to clean up her house from the mus slab. Takdir ade sikit lagi dlam bilik tak cuci abis, she went plong, terlentang and got a big bump on her head,
Mujo so far she said tak muntah tak gayat. She went back with my brother to Kijal and nak balik rummah dia Friday. Told her MetMsia dah warn of 2nd wave from 16th, high tide heavy rain and strong winds, mana boleh balik, Nanati nysusahkan lagi nak evac.
Kali ini `Ganu real teruk kena. Puluh ribu terkandas.
I pray for the day this banje will be a thing og the past. But according to the fact sheet, in Pahang this has been going on even before 1926 the year my late Mak was born! Very brave and sabar people!
The BGerakan said my sis area, air ampoh bumbung. so just today I got the courage to ask my bro how bad was her loss! His sombre reply `everything' gave me alump in my throat! I cannot imagine all her other jiran, who have lived there for years and this was also their first time, And Najib is giving RM 500. My sis kata her jiran daftar her. Bila tak tahu but she said boleh la beli her a metal bed and mattress as well as dresser! All her gamba2 of us and other members she stuck along the dresser mirror was destroyed!
I hope the weather will be fine after 17th then I can go see for myself. Yang sayang sekali were all her books, boxes of them she never unpacked because she did not have any shelves for them yet! Those were gone as well. On top of that, jatuh terlentang pulak!
In my heart, life is more important, its Kuasa and ujian Allah.
I hope people of affected areas can go back well before the schools reopen. Then you do not have to trek 15km for reception!
Wassalam.

NBK said...

Assalamualaikum. .pakcik i think i can understand the problem that you face on that day...the uncertainties. I agree with you that there should be a reliable source of information in this condition as people can easily be trapped in flooded road etc. Anyway alhamdulillah pakcik n makcik made it.

Aziela said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Hassan. Syukur Alhamdulillah that both you and your Sleeping Beauty is in good health and safety. Your house (is that your house by the sea with coconut trees around it?) is standing strong still. Syukur. Yeap, you made the right decision of turning back to KL eventhough it took another round of long journey.

I am totally in the same opinion with you as being mentioned in your final paragraph. Seriously, Malaysia need to aggresively improve our systems and skills in handling emergency situation. Flood is a yearly occasion. It's only the matter of bad or not. By right, Malaysia is ready to confront any circumstances. Though we are much more better in handling disaster compared to 20 years ago, but we need better that this.

Semoga Pakcik Hassan sekeluarga sentiasa dipelihara Allah.

Cik Minah Tonggek said...

Abang Hassan (boleh ke panggil abang ni? Makcik jangan jealous yo, tak ada apa)...... saya hanya nak komeng pasal durian dalam kereta tu je, kalau daun pandan tak berkesan, abang acu cuba try guna roti, maksud saya roti biasa tu je, orang tganung kita panggil "roti bodo"........ arwah ayah saya pesan, campak je 4 atau 5 biji roti bercampur di antara buah-buah durian dalam kereta tu terutama kalau kereta jenis MPV yang berkongsi ruang yang sama dengan drebar dan pasenjir..... dia akan serap bau durian dan orang pun tak jadi mabuk, bagus kalau long disteng........ wallahuaklam

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

WalakumSalaam.

Saya pun menuggu hujan basuh kereta. Tak dengarlah yuan rumah bising kererta kotor. Ditempak Cikgu juga tua muda keluar main hujan?

Masih kesusahan saya dengan internet

Al-Manar said...

Shakirin Al-Ikram,

I am tickled whenever I read your lengthy comments in your special language.I hope you understand why I did not publish a couple of your comments. I enjoy reading those things which others may not. Jangan marah nanto lrekas tua!

I read your mesage about your sister in the affected area. What she told you actually happened. We can only hope and pray and be generous a little.

Salaam to you

Al-Manar said...

NBK,

WalaikumSalaam.

When we starnded near Cherating we thought of going to spend the night in Kuantan, but decided aaginst it as the coastal road via Balok might have floodedc area. We could never be sure. We did not have your contact number; even if we had, our phones were useless.

djoenoes said...

Assalamualaikum pok chik,

There are some useful information that we can gathered from here; http://etindakan.terengganu.gov.my/

but the flow of information in this website is not up to date. I've called a few time just to inform them that they should update the closure of the roads and highways that affected by the flood, but they have not done it.

Anyway the best solution is to call them through various numbers that they have listed in their website, such as:
1.BILIK GERAKAN BENCANA NEGERI
09-6316021

2. BILIK GERAKAN JKM
09-6224022

3. BILIK GERAKAN JKR
09-6274277

to get the recent informations and they will response it immediately.

This link also gave an up to date information about banjir in Terengganu,
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Info-Banjir-Terengganu/553107144773362?hc_location=timeline

Al-Manar said...

Aziela,
Waalaikum Salaam,

Thank you for all the expressed sympathy. We are fine but just the thought of our frinds' relatives in Kemaman, with most things damaged and they are unable to clean up without water supply, cars damaged etc.

Such is life. Consider ourselves lucky.

Al-Manar said...

Cik Minah Tonggek,

Ada dengar pasal roti. Tapi dikampong mana ada jual roti. Makan durian siang malam puun lebih kenyang. Roto memang betul dan juga arang batu. Tapi kalau dikampong yang banyak daun pandan, itu lebih baik- tak kena duit. Samapi dibandar daun pandan pun boleh dibuat sayur atau ulam.

Sejok rasa hati bila masih muda (tolak umur 40 tahun!). Kakak baca, ketawa saja. Dia faham macam mana boleh tolak umur! Datang lagilah kalau ruang.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
I must salute you for the very daring drive abck to KT and having to make u-turn back to K.L. I would not do it for whatever reason. Thus I mulled on whether I am confident of driving to Kelantan again in future as I have not been that way for more than a decade. I only fly there when visiting KB.

Anonymous said...

AK,
Having gone through a severe flood that attacked Kemaman in 1971 when I was deeply involved in the rescue operations, my sympathy goes to victims of the current flood. It is worse this time because, as I spoke to you, my daughter, her husband and four children ARE still going through this trauma. Their shop and their house are almost dry after being under breast-deep of water but they are not able clean the left over mud as there is no water supply. Imagine the damage. It was lucky an Imam they know took them to shelter in his surau. The carpet inside of my car which I left in Kemaman, was full of mud. It took me half-a-day to clean but not dry!
I AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT the lack of proper information to notify general motorists, like you, of the situations of the flood. Do the people responsible never learn?
ZUL


Al-Manar said...

Abdulhalimshah,

There is no reason to fear travelling tto esat coast. It is just the Monsoon season that one needs to be weary of. By cpmparison, roads today are many times better than say 10/15 years ago. Real dangerous corners of those years have been improved. My concern is over the unnecessary speed young drivers seem to take because today even the smallest cars can really speed.

Take a trip spme day, my friend.

Al-Manar said...

Zul,

Thank you for adding some details of the flood situation from your own family's experience. We are truly sorry for Nur and family.Hope their restaurant can be on business again soon

madame blossom said...

Salam pakcik. :) With every difficulty there is relief.
I feel like a spoilt brat with my post.. reading the difficulties that you all have gone through. I am very thankful to Allah for all the blessings and lessons that we have been given.

May Allah continue to give us strength and guidance.

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman said...

Assalamualaikum,

Boleh link kisah sepupu anda yang terlibat dengan kemalangan nuri di Kelantan. xnuripilot.blogspot.com

Al-Manar said...

Madame Blossom,

No. there is no reason to feel so.
I was in a light-hearted mood, no offence

We are expecting another wave of bad weather. Here it is a normal occurance. It is for that reason IU feel sad that those concerned do not care to have a standing emergncy procedure, as if it has never happened before.

Salaam to you, madame

Al-Manar said...

Mej (B) Nor Ibrahim Bin Sulaiman

Link itu ialah

http://almanar-nuri.blogspot.com/2013/03/pakcik-reminisces-pt-30-my-two-cousins.html

Salaam Mejor

Ygrazlan said...

Baru kesempatan membaca blog. What else can i say, but its just brilliant. Interesting, candid and fun to read. If i may say, ada ala ala tulisan arwah bapa. Thank you for getting in touch with us. From the family of Yang Rashdi.

Al-Manar said...

Ygrazlan,

Welcome to our Almanar family. How I wish I had known of your late father's blog (AlFatihah for him)during his lifetime. But knowing his family makes up the loss. I may justify writing a short entry on how I failed to track down your dad but found you instead.

Salaam to you all.

Al-Manar said...

Djoenoes,

My humble apology for inadvertantly delaying publishing your comments and, hence, this response.

I am glsd to know that the information system has been in place. Alas, no one takes the trouble to update it. Ggitulah kite ditgganu!

Jangan marah dan sila datang lagi. Derngan salaam hormat