February 8, 2009

We used to chat ever so often in the late evenings in between the fence, myself and Pak Sidi. Talk the usual mostly village gossip, who got married, who had a big fight, who had a baby, who sold what land to who, which of his relatives he hated, which he thought were worth his time, whose chickens got stolen, you know how some very old men ramble on. I never knew just how old the old fart was he was but he was a young man when the Japanese invaded Kuching. He laughed when telling me how he was whacked on the side of his head slapped for not bowing down to the Japanese soldiers as they passed by. I did not see the humor in that. Then one fine day he kicked the bucket and joined the underground movement passed on.


He and the missus lived in this simple hut for more than 5 decades. No electricity, no piped water, and only the last few years with a logging track main road to town, before that it was a 4 hour boat trip to town or a 3 hour trek over Gunung Serapi. to reach the main road. Talk about the simple life, living off the land with his goats and cattle which long gone (sheds were burnt down) before I met him. He told me he was just too old to bother except for his chickens, ducks and vegetable patch.


His small abandoned neglected plot of land is for sale. The son came and asked me if I was interested since we share a common border. I just might accept the offer because I sometimes do strange things just for sentimental reasons. I just regret never having taking a photo with him. And i am slightly cheesed off as the old fart he never bothered to say goodbye.


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