Saturday, September 01, 2007

31st August 2007

What’s so special about this date? To Malaysians, it marks the 50th year of Independence. How was my Merdeka (Independence) day?

It started with the Merdeka Eve. I had a meeting in Cyberjaya on 30th August morning then back to office at noon. Anticipating the mad rush to get out of KL as well as “Merdeka” crowd, I decided to park my car at the Putrajaya Sentral and took the ERL to KL. Then I got a phone call from my brother inviting me to go with him to see fireworks in Putrajaya. It’s the Malaysian International Firework Competition. We were to meet in Putrajaya.

Thinking of taking pictures of the firework, I had to find myself a tripod. I had left mine at home. So, after work, I rode my bike to Kompleks Mutiara in Jalan Ipoh. A friend had told me that he bought his tripod there. I found the shop. There were a lot of photography stuff. Huge ‘lighting umbrella’, studio box, albums and much more. But it’s not like the typical camera shop where they try to sell (recommend) everything on the shelf to you. They don’t really pay any attention to you. You need to know what you want, and ask them. It could also be that they don’t know me, so they pay no attention to me. Anyway, they don’t have the cheap tripod that I was looking for. So I left without buying anything.

I rushed to a shop along Jalan Bangsar. To my delight, the shop had the tripod (noticed the past tense? I bought the last one). The owner is very friendly. He wanted to get rid of it (and a monopod) because it has been sitting in his shop for a long time. So I got myself a tripod and a monopod at a bargain price. Then I headed to KL Sentral.

The mobs at KL Sentral was unbelievable. Long queues at ticket counters, ticker machine, and auto teller machine. I wanted to get my weekly unhealthy dose of fast food, but there were long queue in all fast food outlets there. So I headed to the food court at the top floor. My advice to people eating at food court, eat the “nasi campur” (white rice with “lauk”) only at noon, when they are freshly cooked. In evenings, get some thing that is freshly cooked such as “nasi goreng” (fried rice), or like me, “yong tau foo” (a mixture of boiled served with sauce).

Then I headed to the ERL platform. I was glad I ditched my car at Putrajaya Central and got myself a return ticket. The KTMcommuter to all routes were delayed due to high volume of passengers. I reached Putrajaya Central around 9pm. Plenty of time to kill. The firework was schedule to start at 12am. But once I stepped out of the station, I was amazed to discover that lots of car already parked along the roads. I waited for my brother. While waiting, I turn my handphone browser to TV3 (via Celcom channel X).

Then my brother called and told me he was caught in the massive traffic jam heading to Putrajaya. He wouldn’t be able to join me as planned. Watching firework alone isn’t as fun as watching it with some one you know. I decided to head home. I thought I could beat the traffic. I was mistaken. Like last year, I parked my car and got out to watch the firework. Only this year, my view was not blocked. And I have a better camera and tripod to photograph the firework. Not forgetting my 3G phone to watch tv while waiting. At the stroke of midnight, the firework started. It was magnificent. It lasted for about half an hour.

Crawling through traffic and then zooming on the highway, I finally reached home around 2am. I doze off thinking that I would wake up early the next day in time for the Merdeka Parade at the Merdeka Square.

I woke up early. But not early enough. I got ready and rush to the KTMcommuter station. To my dismay, the commuter service is having some problem and was delayed! I estimated the time it would take me to get to KL. I couldn’t make it. So I cancelled the my plan. I walked to the local town square and watched the small parade there. I had to be contented watching the life telecast from KL on my tiny 3G phone screen. I went home soon after the parade at the town square ended.

By the way, is this date (31 August) the day Late Lady Diana died in the car crash? My condolences to Britons.

(p.s. This morning my ‘cousin-niece’ gave birth to baby boy. I now have a grandnephew!)

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