Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Life as a Puff-Frog

See if you know this story.

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There was once a little child frog (just surpassed the tadpole stage) who wandered too far from her pond. She came to a field where cows were grazing. Now, the wee frog had never seen anything as big as a cow before. So astounded she was, her eyes popped out and never came back in. With a sound that could only be described as a croak, she hopped back home.

‘Amma, Amma!’ she called out to her mother. The mother was busy batting at flies but hearing the shrill in that croak and being the good mom that frogs always were, she stopped what she was doing and gave the kid full attention. Who said working mothers had no time for their kids?

‘What is it, child? Another princess refuses to kiss you?’
‘No, Amma! Nothing to do with princess. You wouldn’t believe this!’
‘What? The country rode up the graft index?’
To this, both mother and daughter broke into a fitful laugh and how they howled and rolled on the marsh!
‘No, hehehe, you are funny, Amma! I saw this huge … thing. It was so big that even you in comparison would be like comparing a flea to me. The moo-ing thing was like HUGE!’
‘Huge? As huge as this?’ the mother asked while sucking in air and making herself bloat twice her size.
‘No! No! Bigger!’
And the mother took a deeper breath, sucked in more air and bloated even bigger.
‘Bigger! Bigger!’ cried the child frog, excited at the possibility that her mom could swell to be as big as the cows in the field.
And the mother puffed herself into a bigger balloon.
‘Woohoooo! Bigger Amma! Bigger!’ the little one was by then jumping up and down in glee.
A mother would almost certainly attempt anything for their kids happiness. A frog was no exception. And so she tried harder. And so she strained herself, and bloated up even bigger and bigger.
And then she just went 'pop'. A modest bang to our standard (we have seen worst), I must confess. But a pop, a bang, being an explosion, still sent her bits everywhere. No dental record could help. Only a DNA test could positively confirm her identity.

Remember? Yes, I expect there would be a few different versions. Mine is the watered-down version for the general audience. No sex, no violence, no politics, no police, no analyst.

At times, I feel like a mother frog too. And I am not even referring to the part about being bloated and ugly. Or the part about how self-abusive we can be in trying to please our loved ones.

I am talking about being stretched thin. About not knowing your thresholds and not identifying your weaknesses.




Oh well, croak croak and puff puff.

I am writing this from Puteri Pacific hotel of JB. I may hail from Johor but I am a stranger here in this beautiful city of JB. Unlike most Johoreans, I refer to its capital city as Johor Bharu or JB. Johor to me would be Johor the state with Kluang, Muar, Kulai etc all in.

I am ignorant about most things JB. Once I actually asked a company based in Bandar Baru Uda (a town in JB, or is it not?) on why he had to buy his equipment from Masai if it could be fabricated in Johor or plain anywhere in Malaysia. Not the kind of question you would expect from someone with IC number code of 01. I didn’t know that you have a Masai in JB. Say Masai, and flashes of Africa would appear in my mind. And today, I learnt that there is a place here called Kong Kong too.

We had dinner at Singgah Selalu ('come often') where apparently people would always singgah again and again. Singgah Selalu was real busy. And I mean no-joke kind of busy. The food was honest and the service could only be rivalled by a fast-food outlet. Good presentation too, carved ginger and all. So busy that I would never want to be a waitress there. And my colleague told me that in Perak you would find a restaurant called Sabar Menanti ('wait patiently') or something like that and over there, the service is real slow even if you are the only customer for the week. You do a lot waiting patiently. Now, that will be the restaurant that I would happily wait tables for.

So who says, a name is just a name? A name can be everything.

A mother once told me how her four year old were banished from 3 kindergartens because he was too naughty. Kena buang sekolah at 4! Can you just believe it? Is that hilarious or alarming or what? And then she found out that the boy’s name actually meant ‘naughty, stubborn, hard’. She put as an alias a softer name, and the kid became somewhat more manageable too. Probably a coincidence, but still!

How would you explain a Kong Kong? Can someone tell me why I get images of forlorn love-struck King Kong prancing about on the roof of Komtar? That, or the shy kongkang – a type of, yes, primate again. I know kangkang too, a kind of standing position that primates and human alike can do. Not exactly polite under certain circumstances and necessary in some, like crossing a monsoon drain perhaps. But kong kong?

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Yes, I do a lot of seriously serious thinking when I am away from the family.

There will be three more companies to visit tomorrow. In Skudai, Parit Ra(d)ja of Batu Pahat and another one in Kluang. I hope to visit Mak even if for just a few minutes. And then I could head back to KL to Yamtuan, Sun and Dot.

‘Coolie, Coolie! Can you grow bigger?’ asked my Masters. My Pay Masters.

‘Sure can one’ and so that was how I ended up with more files and planned visit to Perak next. I am bloated alright.


Maybe I should just wait tables at Sabar Menanti.
It is either Perak or go pop.

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Kongkang - Loris


Anonymous kna said...

Dear anakikan,

I can't help but smiled when you thought Masai is somewhere in Africa.I think Masai people are in Kenya.

If you want to talk about places with funny names in Malaysia,there are a lot with "BB" being the most famous.

Maybe Kongkong to bahasa Jawa kot.Kongkong also means kawal as in dikongkong.

Have a good time laughing at all the strange names as you travel around the country.Jgn meletup peruh dah ler :-).


8:42 PM  
Anonymous Mak Andeh said...

Ood :

But of course you've never heard of Masai in Johor ! We Johoreans never refer it as Masai but MASAI-chusetts. know the place bordering somewhere near KULAI-fornia tu.

Perhaps you should take a bus from the LARKIN-shire bus terminal to get there, no?

Kong-Kong I donno. I heard it is some kongsi gelap thugs hideout. Hehehe...I heard people say lah..

3:09 AM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

ish ish ish...I used to live in what is called, White Water Lane, Ground Fort, Alor Star. I have relatives living in Suka Menanti or is it Love Waiting. never mind - runningout of ideas..the cold is getting to my head.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Nazrah said...

oh kalau situ ada singgah selalu, dekat sini ada "sabar menanti".

eh selalunya u call i kalau turun JB ek? miss you!

i think i am distended like a big overstretched blow fish too.


MA: that's so funny!!!

KT: have you heard of Jalan Siamang Gagap?

6:57 PM  

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