Monday, January 14, 2008

An Evening with Awang Goneng

I was at ‘An evening with Awang Goneng’ yesterday.

The title reminds me of a Hindi movie of yesteryears, ‘An Evening in Paris’. But yesterday was at modest UIA, not anywhere near Paris. Not at all. Yamtuan was at work and so I had to go alone. I took Putra from Taman Jaya and discovered that it took me more than an hour to reach Terminal Putra. So far! Paris would be farther, I know, but still! Dr Bubbles said, all I had to do was wave my copy of GUIT at the gate and some motorbikes would give me a ride. First, I DON’T have GUIT to wave, plus unless the bike is a four-seater, I wouldn’t be able to fit on it. Try the bakul, he said. Ayoyo brudder, I haven’t worked for the circus for many years now, ok?

I took a cab instead. Driven by someone who looks very much like Mr Os. You know, Mr.Os of oh-kome-deghoyan-dah-bebunge? A big hit in 1980s I think. I itched to ask him whether he was Mr Os, but I didn’t want to offend him. Many years ago, while in a train on the way from Kluang to KL, there was an Os-like guy who chatted me up. He asked me to guess where he was from. Because he looked so much like Mr.Os, I guessed Perak. And he got insulted to be likened to Mr Os. Learnt my mistake. If the guy looks like Mr Os and speaks in thick Perak accent, do not assume he is Mr Os. He could be Mr Oz instead.

Ke mana? Asked Mr-Cant-Be-Os.
Bangunan ‘Human Sciences’, UIA. I said.
Cakap Melayunya apa?
Err… Sains Manusia kot?
But in the end, we had to ask the Security Guard. Mr.Not-Os said Bangunan sains Manusia which the guard couldn’t understand so I said Human Sciences. Ohhhh… HS Building, he said. Hah, Malaysian and our abbreviations!

I reached Seminar Room 3 of HS Building (not easy to find, HS is a maze) and realised that I was the odd one out. The Ood one out. There, all 100++ of them, were students and staff of UIA. I was the only outsider. Thank God, I arrived with Tuang AG and his entourage! And Kak Teh was kind enough to sit next to me. Otherwise, all my kutu, my fleas would have died. Mati Kutu, I tell you.

Oh, Kak Teh had to look at me twice before she could recognise me. And as we hugged, she whispered, ‘why have you eaten so much?’
And Tuang AG later asked me, how are you. I answered simply, fat. He replied back, of course. OF COURSE, Tuang AG? Sigh… soon, I will have to start kempiskan perut.

And soon the ‘evening’ started. Tuang AG was given the microphone and he started talking.

I thought he was going to talk about the book. But better, he talked about writing, the power of words, difference between literature and thrash, the importance of having role models (and how sad it is that we look up to Mawi and Siti as role models), the evil of tvs, the beauty of books, bibliotherapy, rhythm and all things motivating. He sang too. That singing melted Kak Teh all over the floor. And then he said a tasbih. Kak Teh swooned! Hehehe… They are so into each other!

The ‘evening’ ended at 5, there were some refreshments served for Tuang AG and his troop. I wasn’t in the plan, but since the Guest-of-Honor said it would be okay to crash the party, I did. Yum! Kuih lapis, mee hoon, kerepok lekor and karipap pusing. Teh tarik, teh o and kopi. Yum.

Later, I was sent to Putra station by Tuang AG’s niece.

I had to stop mid-way, jumped out from the train and had the barely digested keropok lekor-karipap-mee hoon vomited all out on the platform (sorry, Khairy Jamaludin, sorry RapidKL). Gombak-Taman Jaya was too far a journey for me to stomach! Had Yamtuan pick me up at Abdullah Hukum as I was too sick to board the train again. Hehehe…

I had a great time, really. Despite the vomiting.

But I must say this. First an analogy. I could never cook on my own if my mother was in the kitchen with me. I would ask her for everything, even to cook rice, is the water enough? And then, how many/much garlic/ginger/salt/all? Everything I would ask her.

With Tuang AG, I would be awfully conscious of my language. And not just English too. Being around him, I would be ill-at-ease if I use English. Everything I said would sound so wrong and lame. I would prefer to speak in Bahasa, but even my BM would sound foreign to my own ears. Of course, he is too much of an Englishman to ever point out my wrongs – he’s too polite, but still!

I must find my Betty Azar book. I must learn the basics of English grammar again.

By the way, Tuang AG said, the function should not be called 'An Evening..' because it wasnt evening yet, it should be 'An afternoong with Awang Goneng'.


Blogger dith said...

Hehe, The Ood one out, you definitely were!

Wah , so AG emit that sort of aura eh? That you feel squirmy to even utter a word of English. Hmm...takut nya kawe nak jumpa dia!

But it must have been a great evening...err...afternoon for you despite the vomiting part. I must pat your back for taking the pains to attend the beneficial talk.

So this Sunday, you get me a copy and have it signed by AG and Kak Teh ok. If KKL, another blogger from Kuantan happen to be there, I'll ask her to get the precious copy and pay you. Thanks Ood!

11:46 PM  
Blogger Hjh Esah Jolie said...

Dear Tengku Ampuan,
Yr english far better (we are not talking Kg Terachi and Juasseh tau..more like KUL-LHR) compare to mine yang berjaman dok kat UK. Plus, if I ever want to call myself ni an Englishwoman, sure takde makna bcos I can never be came to my blog, habis semua orang aku umpat...tak tau la Melayu ke, Org Putih aku ni...

You should write a book...Growing Old with Yamtuang...(and the omak,apak, mak sedagho, pak sedagho..lombu, ayam belando and the limau abung)

12:26 AM  
Blogger Anak Mami said...

Kak Ood,

That was indeed Mr Os! Dia sekarang bawak teksi and based kat Terminal Putra..

4:15 AM  
Blogger Blog Rasmi Motivasi Minda said...

Tidak apa, mula-mula bunyinya aneh. Lama-lama bahasa Melayu di lisan menjadi merdu.

Yakin boleh :)

8:33 AM  
Blogger drbubbles said...

OOD, samo la kito..I felt the same when meeting AG or even Pak Samad..hahaha..lepas tu bila darah dah sampai otak..hentam saja la labu!

aiseh..tak dapat nak pi, otherwise boleh jumpa si zamri sekali...

buku masakan? maih, i got few copies in my library.madhur jeffrey pun ada!

7:10 PM  
Blogger dith said...

p.s. Ood,

When you meet AG, can you ask him this: does he still wear "kkaing ssahang"? hehe

10:02 PM  
Blogger elisataufik said...

isy jealous lah baca pasal semua orang dah dapat their copy og GUiT... :(

11:56 PM  
Blogger Lys said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Lys said...

Ello Kak Ood,

Did you not know that Mr 0s is now a true taxi driver??? My uncle is a lecturer in UIA, sll jumpa you... Should've ask if he was actually Mr Os beb!!!

4:51 PM  
Blogger JoKontan said...

1. "Everything I said would sound so wrong and lame..."

Kita pun rasa cam ni. Kalau terjumpa, Mboh tak bersuara lansong, erk,. macam Ajim.

2. .. talked about writing, the power of words, difference between literature and thrash..

How come aaa, bila perkataan thrash keluar, I feel the word is directed to me.

Mebbe, sebab tak breakfast lagi kot pagi pagi buta nii .. Ker sebab dah hujong bulan. Remember Rembulan Kegersangan ?

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ood,

I am sure the taxi driver was Mr. Os. There were some articles about him driving taxi in the newspapers some months back.

I could have driven you to UIA from Taman Melati Putra station if I knew there is a talk by AG but I hv been out of touch :-P. I always go to UIA for business. Jokontan told me about this only yesterday.



5:56 PM  
Blogger Has said...


he he he, ada ker Kak Teh tanya ‘why have you eaten so much?’. Takut eh nak jumpa dia. Nanti dia tanya benda on similar theme.

Bila you cerita fasal Tuan Goneng, dok fikir alangkah eloknya kalau dia dapat beri talk dia kat USM Kubang Kerian. Tapi takut juga, nanti dia datang orang tak ramai datang pula. Orang kat sini, tau tau ler, kadang2 speaker best datang tapi pendengarnya boleh bilang tak habis jari.

4:42 PM  
Blogger OOD said...


Done! Kan? Glad the precioussss copy makes you happy.

Hjh Esah J,
you so fuh-nee you. How to write a book about growing old with him when i am not old yet? Having been at your blog, makes me understand you even less. All this while i thought you were from NS. Then i thought maybe from Sabah or Sarawak. Waita minute, you are really a Mek Saleh, ye dok?

anak mami,
next time, i will sing the song in the cab and see if he sings along too. Then i know for sure ;o)

ehem, bila tak biasa, bisanya terasa..

dr b,
the second meeting at MPH, i was as tongue-tied as ever. Mumbled some things and he laughed, not sure whether he was laughing at my language or at me. Hehehe...

but you are coming back Malaysia soong kang? I promise i wont empty the book shelves of MPH of GUIT.

itu lah... and i suspect the guy i met in the train many years ago was him. Why he feigned hurt when i guessed him to be Mr Os, i also dont know!

jo bro,
you dont write trash lah! Hish. and i commented that you exaggerate a lot, only when you wrote that i write well. Hehe.. i am frequent flyer at your site what, you think i read thrash material? No way! Hehe..

bro KNA,
i didnt know you would be in the vicinity. Otherwise i would have pestered you for a ride. Having to choose between a familiar-face-but-never-talk-to like Mr Os, and a never-seen-face-but-talk-to-a-lot, i chose to ride with you anytime!

Worry not, kakteh wont ask you that! I have a tummy larger-than-life, how not to ask?

But ahah! Never underestimate the power of Awang Goneng! At UIA, those who attended were not just malaysian. And i thought only trengganuspeaking people would be there! Amazing. Macam Spiderman.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Awang Goneng said...

Dear Ood,
Bless you, you're a gem. I enjoyed meeting you, on both occasions. I think what I said was, "Oh, of course!" The 'oh' changes the meaning a little, no?

2:18 AM  

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