Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Return

I was expecting it. The excitement was there. But it fell short of what I expected. Observing students undergoing their practicum is year-round routine. There is nothing special about it. Normally it is a tame affair. In fact I was expecting a few outstanding performance by students under my charge. I was thinking of those students who excelled in their microteaching class. Alas, it was not to be. A little bit of dissappointment.
After two weeks in Alor Setar, I settled myself comfortably. Everything seemed to work according to plan. Managed to observe 18 students. Averaging 2 students pe day. Not bad. Most of them were good but none was really outstanding.
Life was easy in Alor Setar. Although traffic jams occured here and there, I noticed that Batu Pahat is worse than Alor Setar. It is still not hectic enough though to cause traffic nightmare. The food was good. Window shopping was not much and somehow Alor Setar lack the flair. The cost of livng is quite low but then the standard of living is below those towns down south.
That Friday morning, April 2, 2010 I was to travel south, back to where I belong. It was cool. Alor Setar was wet due to the previous day rain. Nonetheless it was heavy. I planned to hit the road as early as 7.00 a.m. that morning. But I felt there was no urgency. My heart was a bit heavy. Felt reluctant to move. I took my time. Breakfast was slow. By the time I made my move it was already around 8.30 a.m. That was it. Good bye Alor Setar. My last look. My last glimpse. Will there be another time?

Circling this roundabout, noting the landmark.

There you are, the junction that I have to take.

Nearing the toll. Alor Setar North.

Onward to Kuala Lumpur.

It was bare and dry two weeks ago. March 21, 2010 to be exact.
Now the field is wet and green. The start of another season.

Green everywhere.

Water is coming.

Lush green.


Lonely on a deserted road.

Passing a junction.

That flower reminded me of cherry blossom in Washington DC.

Deserted but cool and refreshing.

A long way to Kuala Lumpur.

Counting the distance.

Somewhere in Penang.


Still 327 km more to Kuala Lumpur.

The journey seemed very slow.

very very slow.

Still in north Perak.

Wish to stop here but time was precious.

More than half way to Kuala Lumpur.

Nearing Kuala Kangsar.

That hill near Kuala Kangsar.

The cement factory.

Ipoh, here I come.

The accent started here.

The mountains around. The Main Range - Banjaran Titiwangsa.

Steeper and steeper.

At times winding.

And winding.

Where to?

Still climbing up.

The imposing hillsides.

Steep and imposing. Scarry at times.

Nearing the tunnel.

About to enter the tunnel.

Very fuzzy in the tunnel.

Light at the end of the tunnel. What a relief.

Downhill to Ipoh.

Some major repairs.

After the toll.

Southward from Ipoh.

Another 198 km to Kuala Lumpur.

Somewhere at Tambun, Ipoh.

What a plundering. How can we save the hills?

Simpang Pulai.

Hilly terrain.

Bukit Tempurung.

Gua Tempurung.

The Gua.

Precipitious hillsides.


Misty and cloudy hilltop.

A long way down.


Serene and tranquil.

Still a long way from home.


On the way north, I was not sleepy. Coming to Tapah R & R
I could not stand anymore. I need a nap. Before moving on,
I took a light meal.

Bright and sunny day.

Tanjung Malim.

Bernam Jaya.

Still southward.

An hour to Kuala Lumpur.

Am I in Italy? We are losing our identity and maybe entity.

Sungai Buluh is wet.

Raining now.

Heavy cast.

Normal scene. Wherever you look, there bound to be high rise building.

A respite somewhere.

Then it started again. Real heavy.

Very heavy.

Gloomy as well.

Cats and dogs.

The sky was scarry. Dark and intimidating.

Thinning off'

Still raining.

Watch the sky.

The rain stopped here.

Down south. Vehicles coming back to Kuala Lumpur
on the other side of the road.

More and more vehicles.

Seremban then.

Still in Seremban.

Alor Gajah.

Still at Alor Gajah.

Near Air Keroh.

More Singaporean on the road.

Nearing Tangkak.



It was dusk. The end of the highway.
It rained the previous evening at Alor Setar. I was home today under heavy drizzle. Cool and refreshing. Back to where I belong. Alor Setar was a transition. A station in my life. Till we meet again.

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