Me (extreme right looking postively bored) next to Zul (in black). Sebelah Zul is my ex-room-mate from UM, Alias Hamzah.
I'm not really a political person (although I do have a strong political stand and affiliation ... but I'm not telling anybody), so imagine my trepidation when I was told by the office to attend a launch of a Public Speaking Course for KL/Selangor UMNO Youth at the Awana Genting last weekend.
Since the boss could not make it for the event, Zul and I were told to "show face" as it was politically correct thing to do - more so that the course was being officiated by the Minister of Tourism himself. So there was I, on behalf of the office. Imagine a travel magazine writer attending an UMNO event. My first. And I was miserable throughout.
The thing about attending such obscure political event was that you have to suffer throughout the long winded speeches (kena pulak this was a public speaking course) and of course you have to listen to a certain Minister bashing and lashing out at a certain Opposition leader. Tak sah ler kalau tak buat macam tu kan. I'm so not okay listening to people bashing out others, more so when that other person was not there to defend himself. It makes you look stupid, actually.
Anyway, I must say that the ride up to Awana was "thrilling" as we were late. So, Zul drove like he was a former mini bus driver in KL in late 80s. Melayang-layang. Nostalgic betul. By the time we reached Awana, my hands were cramped as I was holding hard onto his dashboard, for my dear life.
Then I met my former room-mate, Alias, during my first year at Kolej Ketiga, Uni Malaya. The last time we met was like before we graduated in 1987. Although we were roomies, we were never particularly close - different courses (I did Ecnomics and he, Arts) and different set of friends. I did remember the first day we registered at the college though - after having our first hostel lunch that afternoon in July 1984, Alias took a nap. Then his father came by to the room to bid him bye bye. Bila tengok anak dia tidor, bapak si Alias nih boleh pesan memacam to me and I was like, "what the hell was he talking about?' Punya ler banyak pesanan penaja, sepatah haram tak faham. Yes, my first encounter with a Kelantanese. Lepas tu pakcik tu blah. I was left there speechless. Then I simply woke up his son si Alias nih and told him that bapak dia dah nak balik... kan ke senang macam tu.
Anyway, I was dumbfounded jugak masa the launch in Awana the other day as Alias was the one who led the bacaan doa. I was left speechless again...