Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blast From The Past

Nothing beats living in a self-contained township where everything you need is within reach, and Taman Tun Dr Ismail, with its low-density population and convenience at every turn, is a perfect example of this.

Being averse to chaotic traffic, Pak Abu and I are none too keen to venture out of our comfort zone, not when One Utama is within walking distance while The Curve, Ikea, Tesco and Ikano are hardly three-minute drive away.

But yesterday (Monday July 14) was an exception to the rule. We were in the heart of the city twice in a day, once in the morning and later in the evening, and both just as eventful.

Approaching Jalan Parliament from Bukit Damansara at about 11 am, we suddenly realised the heavy presence of the police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel, and that all access to the Parliament area was closed.

That put us in a quandary because our destination was The Royal Lake Club, gobsmacked in the middle of it all.

Our route thus became frustratingly circuitous, finally approaching the club via the police headquarters of Bukit Aman.

The car was stopped three times by cops wanting to know our destination, but we got there in the end.

By then I vaguely remembered reading in the newspapers about a rally (or was it a march to the Parliament Building?) purportedly planned by the Opposition for some reason or another.

I honestly don't give a hoot if those over-zealous folks want to hold rallies or march to their hearts' content, but please do it away from the city.

Go march in Putrajaya, there's so much open space there. And while you are at it, go jump into one of the big lakes dotting the area. Sheesh...

Darn it, traffic in downtown KL is already choking the lives out of us motorists; why do they have to add to our misery?

Honestly, they can't count on my vote if they insist on getting me all riled up for no acceptable reason. Sufficiently annoyed, we made our way home.

Then Pak Abu got a call from the past; a former university mate from his London days was in town with her husband and had asked us out to dinner.

We met up with Anne-Marie, who is French, and her Malaysian-born husband Thong, in Bukit Bintang and proceeded to dinner at Tarbush, a restaurant serving Mediterranean and Arab cuisine.

They are on a summer break from their home in Strasbourg, France, and are planning to take in Tioman and Langkawi before going home.

Anne-Marie puts me to shame; she and Thong have climbed Mount Kinabalu while I have never even been to Sabah!

It was nice to see Pak Abu in the company of an old friend; they reminisced about mutual friends from their varsity days.

We await their return from their tourist jaunts; Pak Abu did a hardsell of my culinary skills and now I don't have a choice but to live up to it.

I hope to cook something special for them, maybe some of my festival dishes, before they leave for home at the end of July.

Let's just hope I won't embarrass myself; after all, if push comes to shove, there's plenty of kedai (shops) around here to make up for it....

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