About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hidup Sederhana, Basikal Tua (Living moderately, old bicycle)

Riang hatiku badan bertuah
Punya teman yang comel dan manja
Berjanji akan selalu bersama
Menemani ku setiap masa
Aku hidup serba sederhana
Tiada harta tiada rupa
Hanya yang ada budi bahasa
Harta sekadar basikal tua
Orang biasa basikal tua
Orang biasa basikal tua
Walau kemana ia meminta
Kubawa dengan hati yang bangga
Senang melihat ia ketawa
Duduk di palang basikal tua

(from the late Sudirman)

Today, I got up half an hour earlier than usual. My four alarms that I had set on my iPhone alarm had yet to go off. So, I lay in bed and looked at the time on the iPhone and just closed my eyes and listened to the early morning sounds of suburbia. I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood but the sounds you hear in silence are more defined compared to the sounds you hear when everyone is awake.
It is amazing all the sounds you hear just before the crack of dawn. When I was young, I used to get up at 4am to meditate, pray and go to school. The time has started getting later and later as I get older. However, all that changed recently and I have had to get up relatively early again. The last month or so, I have been waking at around half past six to prepare myself for work mainly to reach the office at eight so that I am amongst the early birds who gets parking.
As I listen to the sound of silence and inactivity in the neighborhood, I listen to the sound of the roaring engines of a commercial flight returning to Malaysia from some distant land. My house is nearly forty kilometers for the nearest airport and normally I would not hear the planes.
Surprisingly, Lassie, the dog from across the street that usually barks a lot is likely a sleep but I hear a barking of a dog some distant away, it is a familiar bark and it is likely a dog that actually lives two streets away.
I hear the distant sound of the LRT train stopping at the station which is a 2 kilometers away. It reminds me of my days living in Bukit Mertajam many years ago. BM is at the crossroads of the Malaysian rail system and pretty much every train has to pass BM to go anywhere from north to south.
I hear the water flowing from the water feature upfront and the change from one motor to the other motor to pump the water through the feature. The pressure of the water changes ever so slightly when the motors change as they take turns to pump the water.
I hear the water bubbles from the fish tank in the living room which houses our one loner fish in our huge fish tank and wonder what Sid the fish is doing.
I hear the mosquito engines of the small cupcai motorcycle, likely that of the newspaper vendor delivering the papers. Those days, I would have guessed the milkman too but lately the milkman comes in an open back 4-wheel Ford truck. During my younger days growing up in Penang, I knew the names of my milkman, postman, newspaper delivery man, roti (bread) man and even my gardener whom all rode on what it seemed like the same bicycle, well at least the same type of bicycle. You know the old big bicycles that only came in black color.
I remember that I went to the bicycle shop to inquire on the bicycle and wanted to buy one. It was only seventy ringgit compared to the racing bike that my brother got which was four hundred and twenty ringgit and stolen within a week of purchase. My friend bought a BMX, which was like the mountain bike of those days, for nearly five hundred and that too was stolen in a month. So, I reckoned I would buy the cheap generic old bicycle, some that had brands of soft carbonated drinks like Seven Up. My father would have none of that and I never ended up buying the cheap bicycle.
I hear Al E stirring in his basket and I come back to my presence. As soon as I get up, he is up following me like a shadow. His cough is not so incessant and he is getting better but he is not fully recovered yet and the doctor said it will take up to two to three weeks. Luckily he has learned to get his phlegm out likely from imitating his human mommy. After all, he learned to pee imitating his human daddy as well.
As KL slowly brightens up, “Pham” I hear the newspaper land outside on my garage and the mosquito bike goes off in a jiffy to deliver to another home.
I used to work in The Star, it was my first real job in Malaysia. Yet, I do not read the newspaper anymore. I used too, but nowadays, I am reading the news online and in real time. The world has changed and I with it. What is printed in the newspaper is not news anymore but history. I do like reading the other sections and especially the cartoons but I rarely skim through the news section anymore.
I guess the newspaper still thrives because many Malaysians of a generation before like my father still like to read the newspaper although he too watches CNN, Al Jazeera, Astro Awani, CNBC on the Astro channels so often that most of the news in the morning paper is also already history for him.
Slowly, within the house as well as outside, KL comes to life and all the sounds I hear slowly dissipates into the ambient noise of daily life and is no longer distinguishable or unique. How nice it is to sometimes get up earlier in the morning and listen to the wonders of the nature and the sounds of the waking city. I should do this more often, I should start getting up earlier. I should go to bed earlier so I get a good rest at night and be able to get up in the morning before my alarm rings.
It has not been easy to go to bed early. The stress levels have been somewhat high. I have been meditating less and even doing less Reiki on myself. I have only been doing Reiki on Al E for him to get better sooner. But I heeded the advice given to me by my guardian and shut off at half past eleven. No reading, no phones, no television, no internet and no talking. If I cannot sleep, then to lie down in bed to meditate, to do Reiki or whatever else that did not require activity. That is what I did last night and I was able to automatically get up earlier today and beat my alarm clocks.
I should continue to do this. It gives me a good rest. It allows me to appreciate the morning more. It leaves me with a fresh, clear and open mind that makes me feel like I can achieve what I set myself to.
I should but would I? I must and I will.
Take care and be well.

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