Kung Buhay Mo’y Mahalaga – Sige!

The sound of the rush hour traffic was already in the background. It was building up. 6.35am. I was struggling looking for my underwear in the dark and had contemplated on doing the “Seluar dalam aku mana, Pah?” routine with the P.Ramlee intonation on her, but she had just went back to sleep after Subuh, recharging her batteries before facing the traffic again; something she did not have to do for the past 7 years or so. As from yesterday, her daily toll fees would total up to anything between RM7.20 to RM10.20, while my daily commuting costs me anything between RM4.50 to RM15.80 in toll fees alone, depending on whether I want the shortest and lesser traffic route versus the nerve-wrecking jammed-up route. I know the jams in KL have somewhat reduced in length and duration, but they are still there nevertheless. But for me, leaving at 6.30am means I drive in a jam-free environment, whereas she, after sending the boy to KAFA at 7.45am, would have to face the worst of KLites’ behaviour on the road.

As I drove out, I saw an expatriate Caucasian walking with his trolley bag. Just two days ago I almost ran him down after office hours as he was walking back. It would easily be a 3km walk to work for him…one way.

As I was having my Dosa for breakfast, I saw a guy with his notebook in one hand, a black backpack, in office attire, necktie hanging on his shoulder, walking towards the main road. I thought to myself, “This guy must be in a hurry!” Five minutes later, I saw him walking back towards his house and never came back out.

Can life be that bad now?

Like typical malays, we have been living on borrowed money. I remember those days when my Thai counterparts would seek my written permission for them to be able to drive all the way to Changlun to refuel their vehicles. That was 15 years ago (Gosh! It has been that long!). I must admit that the big hike in fuel prices does have an impact on me – I just spend more. My monthly burn-rate including for the household stands now at RM8400.00, and I have not taken into account the new electricity and water tariffs that they want to introduce this month. I shudder to think of those in the lower income bracket and how they are trying to cope with life. While fuel price
remains cheaper compared to those in neighbouring countries, it is the purchasing power of the Ringgit that has been greatly reduced. We need to have a more self-reliant economy and cut down in imports of essentials. Increasing pay is not the answer as that would increase inflation rate as traders would take advantage of the increase to justify for an increase in the prices of goods that they sell. Maybe the government should look into increasing the subsidies for essential goods as well as the production of NGV fuel and kits. On top of that, look into buying back the highways in the Klang Valley from the concessionaires.

And I have also not included cost of dive trips. The discounts given to me by the dive centers remain more or less unchanged, with only Tioman that has increased the per dive rate by RM15. Perhentian still accords me the same rate – unchanged since 2005. That is for me to enjoy, of course.

Anyway, we had dinner at Chilli’s last night. Bumped into Bunnyears and Babysetan. Bunnyears was out shopping for some material for her wedding next month. Finally, she and Holemaster are getting married, after some two years courting. Somehow, the place was filled to the brim. People, young and old, were still enjoying food at relatively higher prices. So times cannot be that bad after all. It is just a matter of adjusting and adapting to a new lifestyle. You want something expensive, you have to sacrifice something in order to get it. But of course, you shouldn’t be talking about buying handbags or shoes every week or so. Wear them until they’re worn out before getting a new one instead. Take cost saving measures and try holidaying in-country instead of going abroad.

Life somehow reminds me of a verse taken from a popular song:

Pinoy ka – sigaw na – sige
Kung maganda ka – sigaw na – sige
Kung buhay mo’y mahalaga – sige
Salamat sa ‘yong suporta

The first and third lines are meaningful. Times are bad only if you refuse to admit it is bad, or continue to live in denial, and refuse to adjust accordingly. If you are Malaysian, you should be happy of where life has gotten you to now, as compared to a decade ago perhaps. There are those little things that may annoy us from time to time, but life in general is still good.

She had cramps last night: a result of having to park far and walking uphill to her office building. I massaged her calf and sole before she went to sleep. My poor Honey, struggling to find money to make sure her kids are well taken care of. And massaging her leg’s the least I can do to help her.

And as part of the same song goes:

Masdan mo ang magagandang dalaga
Nakakagigil ang beauty mo talaga
Lambing na hindi nakakasawa
Ikaw lang and gustong makasama
‘yung bahay o kubo
Pag-ibig mo ay tutoo
Puso ko’y laging kumikibo
Wala kang katulad sa mundo

How so true…

I Am Bored…I Don’t Need Anymore Dramas In My Life Like ARSEnic, ASS-ASS-IN, Snake And Hamidah, Rosmah The Demolition Woman, Pak Lah The Mugabe

2006

Fretty Frincess two years ago, sketching by the beach…

Fretty Frincess now

Fretty Frincess now…

Line-up, girls and get your number.

Okay…I feel bored today. My dive buddies: Ironore is already offshore, and Spazm will soon join him. Once they are offshore, there is hardly any time for them to go diving recreationally. Deepblu will be leaving to migrate too. Mocha…will be leaving the Armed Forces and is contemplating on migrating too.

Then there is me. Migrating too.

Maybe we should all sing a song…I have not done Air Supply…so let us sing to the tune of “I’m All Out Of Love”:

I’m not lying alone
with your head on my bone
squashing it down till it hurts

I know you’re hurt too
but what else can it do?
tormented and can’t get hard

I wish I could carry
you when it is hard
for times when you give me a blow

It would make me believe
what Viagra could bring
when today it rises so low
really low

I’m all out of steam
I think I’ve just lost you
I know you were tight
Been virgin for so long
I’m all out of steam
what am I without you
You need to give head
so it can be so strong

It’s PMS Time Again

At Sugar Wreck during Hari Raya 2007
At Sugar Wreck during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 2007 – picture by Deepblu

Yummy Baby said I looked pale yesterday. A lot crankier than I usually am. It is my Diver’s PMS.

I used to get this a lot…those days it used to be worse. There was a time that I never brought my dive equipment back with me because I would be diving week in week out. I was still doing so when I was first diagnosed with having hypertension and was diving without medication, much to the horror of some.

My 483rd dive really
My 483rd dive really – taken by Deepblu at 29 meters depth, Secret Reef, Perhentian

I have slowed down now…a lot, I have. Putting underwater jobs aside, I have only been on two dive trips so far. One to Tioman, the other to Perhentian. I did 5 recreational dives in Tioman and only 4 in Perhentian, and that is soooo lame by my standards. My average up till July 2007 was 10 dives a month. Yes, I did 120 in 2005 and 120 in 2006 (I’m sure it surprises some as to how did I manage to celebrate my 200th dive in July of last year – actually it was my 483rd…HAHA! I was emotionally down and wanted to celebrate something…a backdated pic for my past achievement).

Diving in the dark wearing the KM-48
Diving in the dark wearing the Kirby Morgan KM-48 Full-Face Mask

My favourite kind of dive is still one that is deep, dark (night), looking for wrecks and also big fishes. Although you cannot dive solo recreationally (you are required to dive with a buddy), I am, by training, a self-sufficient diver. Therefore, I love to dive alone. Even in a group you would see me venturing off somewhere alone, more often than not, I’d be going deeper than the rest; and if depth and remaining air permits, I would dive deeper than the recreational limits, even on a recreational dive. I just love it when the pressure is great, it feels like you are in a tunnel somewhere and there is nothing around you…just sheer silence, broken intermittantly by the sound of your air being exhaled.

Blacktip Reef Shark
Blacktip Reef Shark – Tioman, April 2008

I must be bored right now for writing this. There are times when a dive can be boring for me, especially when I do bring my camera down, or if I have to guide people diving. So, I would play around, scaring other divers off, or do stupid things like humping a fellow diver from behind.

Humping Yusri at Batu Malang, Nov 2007
Humping Yusri at Batu Malang

Gosh…I am feeling bored. I should be going back underwater….AND SOON!

Akan Ku Bawa Petir Seribu Panahan, Dan Berikan Bumi Ini Suasana Utopia

Aku tahu.

Topik pelik memang memeningkan. Apatah lagi jika nukilan kali ini seperti biasa tiada kaitan dengan topik pelik di atas.

Seminggu aku rasa aku memandu kereta rekabentuk continental kepunyaan Yummy Baby. Pelik pun ada tatkala nak kasi signal, wiper yang bergerak.

Walau bagaimanapun, selepas seminggu aku menjadi expert dengan peculiarities keretanya.

Hari ni aku bawak kereta aku. Disebabkan harga minyak naik mendadak hasil polisi ekonomi Bebudak Tingkat Empat yang diseliakan oleh Budak Kulit Hitam bagi pihak bapa mertuanya, kereta-kereta di jalanraya kini bergerak macam ciput.

Akibatnya aku terperangkap di belakang sebuah kereta makcik bertudung yang sedang memotong sebuah lori dengan kelajuan 60kmj di lorong memotong, sedangkan lori tersebut berada di kelajuan yang sama.

Setelah hampir seminit mengekori bontot kereta makcik ni, kenderaan di belakang semuanya membunyikan horn dan memberi lampu besar kepada aku. Cipet betul. Aku naik geram. Aku horn makcik ni, masih dia tak faham. Lantas aku pun bagi dia high beam.

Bila aku tarik lever tu, hanya air yang keluar dan wiper aku bergerak ke kiri dan kanan menyapu windscreen aku.

Kimak! Salah tarik lagi!

1st July 2008

Half a year’s gone now. Another half year to go. Just slightly more than a month to the fasting month, two and a half months to Hari Raya. The only good news so far during the first half of the year is the return of the Leatherback turtles to the shores of Terengganu. Hopefully they will stay and breed this time. The last I saw these magnificent creatures was back in 1973.

Three years ago today the idea to have this blog was conceived at one of the dive sites in Perhentian when I was called a ‘Nitrogen Narcosis Addict’ by my fellow diver friends cum office mates. One suggested the name Narcaholic to be the site’s name. It was supposed to be mainly on dive topics, but somehow it metamorphosised into something more personal plus a bit on the usual religion and politics stuff.

There was no post until more than a month later.

Two years ago today, my posting was about the defeat of Argentina by Germany. The next day I did my decompression procedures test and scored 96%, beating the younger guys’ scores. A year ago, I went through some bad times – which in the end has turned out good. Now, I have only the future to look forward to.

Whether I will carry on blogging or not, I do not know. Maybe this blog will revert back to its original purpose: dive trip reports and matters on diving. Yummy Baby has started work at the new place today. I will soon follow and shall be working elsewhere – meaning I will be leaving KL, maybe for good. Once that happens, our lives (mine and Yummy Baby‘s as Mrs SeaDemon) will be different in routine, although essentially the same. Migrating has never been on my mind, but I guess (after much delays caused by people who treated me as an emotional buffer) the time is now for me to pursue a new horizon in what I know best: diving and security.

I will turn 42 soon. I am now officially (as of yesterday) long-sighted: able to read a restaurant’s name from 400 meters away, but get headaches reading this posting. My underwater photography is going to have to rely on the big screen at the back of the camera to tell me if the image is blurry or sharp.

So, three years on, maybe it is time for me to get Kimi, Niels and Andy to go on another trip with me.