Antara D-max dan Wira (Miri, Sarawak)

26 Ogos 2010:

Selepas itu aku kembali ke basement Hotel Mega untuk memandu keluar buat kali terakhir kereta baru (yang lama) yang baru aku beli dari Mdm Lau dengan harga RM9000 tunai. MIleage yang rendah 60,000 km dan harga yang rendah untuk sebuah Proton Wira 1.5 (A) tahun 2000, menjadikannya satu good buy. Hari-hari naik teksi ke tempat kerja, dan balik. Pak Bujang gembira sakan dapat pelanggan tetap sekurang-kurangnya sepanjang 14 hari. Tambang satu hala RM25 dari Mega Hotel ke Lutong. Darab 2 untuk pergi dan balik setiap hari. Kadang-kadang dia suruh kawan dia Pak Arshat, bila dia ada hal. Kedua-duanya mudah berkira. Selalunya dalam perjalanan balik, aku mintak tolong singgah sana dan sini, kadang-kadang meninjau rumah sewa dan kadang-kadang mencari kereta, dan kadang-kadang aku suruh lalu Jalan Pantai melalui Piasau Camp. Hari tu dia menunggu sampai hampir waktu berbuka bila aku suruh dia bawak aku ke Toyota Service Center di Krokop untuk melihat Waja 1.6 2004. Sampai di sana aku lebih tertarik dengan Camry 2005. Dua dua tak jadi selepas aku banding harga di www.motortrader.com.my. Lebih mahal di sini dari di Semenanjung. Kereta baru seperti Proton harganya 2 ke 3 ribu lebih mahal disebabkan kos naik kapal dari Semenanjung. Selepas itu terjumpa sebuah Satria 1.3 (M) tahun 2000 di  www.mudah.com.my. Bodi cantik dan solid tetapi enjin bocor sedikit. Perkiraanku, sekurang-kurangnya perlu top overhaul ganti gasket dan seumpamanya, dan mungkin lebih lagi. Risiko agak tinggi. Harga ditawarkan RM13000 dan aku rasa aku boleh bargain sampai RM10,000 dengan alasan tadi. Penjualnya seorang anak muda yang baru mula kareer dengan Shell Sarawak. Dia baru beli trak pickup Isuzu D-max dan memang nak jual kereta Satria ni. Bercakap pasal Isuzu D-max ni, minat juga aku pada kereta ni. Tapi aku nak buat apa? Aku bukan ada bisnes ladang ke, kebun ke, balak ke? Prinsip kualiti yang pertama yang diajar di tempat kerja menambah was-was dalam diri untuk memiliki D-max. Conformance to requirement.  Apa requirement aku sebenarnya. Nak guna dalam kawasan bandar aje dari rumah ke pejabat dan sekali-sekala nak gi Brunei atau KK. Selepas di campur, tolak, darab dan bahagi dan diambil kosain, sin dan tangent, aku gagal meyakinkan “orang dalam diri ini” yang aku perlu D-max, walaupun memiliki kenderaan pacuan 4-roda seperti tu memang “cool” dan seperti berada dalam liga sendiri. Pusing punya pusing mencari kereta di Miri ni, aku terjumpa Madam Lau yang mempunyai rumah untuk disewa di kawasan Pujut 4. Haji Lah yang memperkenalkan aku kepada dia. Semasa meninjau keadaan rumah batu semi-d 2 tingkat di sebelah stesen minya Shell, aku sempat bertemuramah dengannya. Rupanya dia seorang janda kaya kematian suami. Anak-anaknya semua sudah besar-besar dan berjaya belaka, kebanyakan dalam bisnes. Salah seorangnya pemilik kedai hardware Miri Trading di sebelah Hotel Mega. Mdm Lau memandu kereta Wira pada hari aku membuat temujanji nak jumpa dia nak tengok rumahnya. Aku bertanya tanpa niat nak beli samada dia nak jual kereta tu. “Kacak kereta. Kitak nak jual, kamek nak beli.” Jawabannya positif. Katanya dia baru saja beli Honda Civic baru. Akhir sekali dipendekkan cerita jadilah aku seorang pemilik Wira 1.5 Auto berwarna kelabu bernombor QMD 8808. DI jalanraya, aku hanyalah seperti orang lain, dalam liga orang ramai. Tapi aku berbangga kerana dapat membeli barangan buatan Malaysia, walaupun kualiti pembikinan tak berapa sejajar dengan prinsip kualiti nombor 4 yang di ajar di ofis. Do right thing right first time. Dashboard bergetar bila aircond dipasang. Brek bunyi bila ditekan. No sweat. I can manage it, at least I have done my part — kata orang dalam. Habis cerita kereta. Allah menjawab doaku supaya dipermudahkan urusan cari rumah dan kereta di Miri.

Itu semua sudah berlalu. Sejak dapat kereta baru yang lama, aku jarang menghubungi Pak Bujang lagi.

Iftaar di Miri, SARAWAK

20 August 2010 (Ramadan 8)

My first few days in Miri was quiet. I stayed at Mega Hotel, Jalan Merbau. With no tranport on my own, nothing much achieved and done. En route office from hotel everyday on the yellow and red Miri taxi, I managed to get a glimpse of the city landmarks between the hotel and my new office in Lutong, about 20 minutes drive under normal traffic.

Got to know people at office. Held the first meeting with staff — mainly ladies above forties, again, unfortunately. BUt I had no problem. Work is work and a trust which must discharged fully.

Back to the hotel, I had 2 options for buka puasa today — RM36 iftaar dinner at hotel chatterbox restaurant Level 1 or at a masjid right in front of the hotel. It is called Masjid Jamek Miri aka Masjid lama Miri, with kelas fardhu ain attached. The name is masjid but the status is surau and no Friday prayers performed here.  There is Masjid Attaqwa nearby, a much bigger masjid — district masjid rather. I chose option 2 for obvious reasons. BMI is going up faster if you eat at the hotel buffer line, so that is one reason. SOlat berjemaah Maghrib is another reason.

The food at masjid was simple.  I joined the queue with other people who came 20 minutes before iftaar time (6:38 pm in Miri, Sarawak). Today, the menu were mee goreng mamak and roti canai, kueh mueh and kurma. Hot teh-o, Nescafe and sirap were the beverages. So many people today. I only managed to get  a scoop of mee goreng mamak, a piece of kurma, and half of roti canai with no curry (finished already), and a cup of nescafe susu with a couple of refills. Got seated at one corner and quietly finished my food.

Met few people there. Pak Harun in late 50s was the executive chef in the masjid kitchen. He was from Penang but wife from Miri. He returned to Miri with family 8 months ago to take care of his father-in-law who has been sick. His mee goreng mamak was so authentic with generous serving of taugeh and cucur udang. Cannot be found anywhere else except in Miri and Balik Pulau.

Welcome to Miri, Sarawak, MALAYSIA

18 August 2010:

Early MH flight to Miri was an aging Boeing 747-400. Seated at 19A seat, I could see clearly stained metal patches on the wing, over the scratches window. The engine made some rattling noise when taking off but quietened down when cruising. The sky was cloudy but no rain. Most passengers felt asleep the entire journey over South China Sea, 33000 feet above at the speed of 800 km/h. After 2 hours 15 minutes I could see the shoreline with rivermouths full of muddy waters from the interior of Borneo. The plane was circling a couple times along the shoreline beneath which are at one side green plains and zig-zagged rivers and at the other side are muddy beaches. The pilot Jeff Azman went on air saying some problem at Miri Airport which did not concern us. He managed to land safely eventually. Airport terminal was a straight line building with 2 or 3 contact piers, just like Yangon International AIrport. Immigration was a breeze as I presented my intenational passport to the officer behind the counter, and she stamped the ‘visa’ on a blank page which allows me to stay up to 90 days on social visit to Sarawak.

Unlike Yangon arrival, nobody was waiting for me. This is my home country Malaysia and I was expected to know this country well. People speak my language and eat my foods, so whats the big deal. That what my new company thought, when I called them last week to tell them of my arrival date.

I went thru typical airport arrival procedures  — immigration checkpoint, collect baggages, custom checkpoint, greet&meet area. After custom checkpoint, I exited to the greet&meet area. At your left there were many car rental counters and one of them was a taxi counter. Bought a coupon here, only Rm20 for 15 minutes drive to Mega Hotel in downtown Miri.  Took and presented the coupon to the waiting taxi queueing for passengers outside the arrival hall. No taxi touts at this airport.

It took about 15 minutes from Miri Airport to Mega Hotel in the city center, along tree-lined boulevards.

Welcome to Miri, one of the youngest city in Malaysia.