Sunday, February 19, 2006

Well Oh Well

TokKu- Trengganu is well economically, being well endowed with many oil wells. The Duyung well as well as the oil well in Tapis area perform very well for Trengganu. This wealth from the sea oil wells should improve the well beings the people on the land. Unfortunately, all was not that well for a while with the confusion of the status of the well’s output - royalty or ehsan? All that is well ends well. The main concern should the well being of the people so that they are well looked after and don’t have to go back to drawing water from the well. The endowed wealth is God’s ehsan to mankind, not so be squandered elsewhere or else well. Usually, the waiter/captain /Chef will always ask, how do you like your steak? Rare, Medium or Well Done? Well, I always like it Medium Well (between medium and well done) If it is Rare or Medium, you can see the red blooded uncooked core. If it is well done, you can see the black overcooked hard meat. However, if there are so many customers that day, your steak will be late and you can safely assumed that your steak is not done yet or even left “undone”. The Chef should make sure that the steak is done - immaterial if it is tartar, rare, medium or well done or very well done. The population of this state don’t want the steak (daging panggang) with black pepper sauce but sufficient for them to have good ikang panggang cicoh black anchovy sauce (@ budu) ….sedap makang sokmo.

If you have the chance to go to the old market gardening plot at the outskirt of your town, there is a special well where the organic fertilizer is kept. (Remember the Geography book by GED Lewis– Ah Chong the market gardener in KL). Its location is difficult to spot since this well is usually well covered. However, the spot which is well swarmed with flies will indicate where it is. However, there is not many of such market gardening anymore now except in some specialized organic farming which used the organic fertilizer. I don’t like the modern chemical fertilizer which has the pesticide residues but upon recalling the organic fertilizer well, I still prefer the vegetable using the chemical fertilizer. There is also the Blind Well (telaga buta.) which is a dry well. The water usually comes from the water eyes (mata air) which dripped out like the watery eyes. I suppose, the water eyes had gone blind – thus the blind well. There is the Telaga Batin which is near to the Trengganu airport. The well may be full of water, wet or very dry depending of the season of the month. Be careful with those with dry telaga batin which may be very closely related to the tenaga batin. In addition, there is the wishing well is where you can throw money and make your wish as well. If you go to Melaka, use to see at Hang Tuah’s well and Hang Lipo well and even the semi pro divers by the well side. You can ask these divers how are they and they will answer “I am in the well” which is in this case literally and grammatically correct.

There is an interesting activity known as “menimba ikan” where a water body is blocked and the water is being drawn out with the use of buckets. Finally, when the water is fully drained, the fish are left to swim in the mud ( bernafas dalam lumpur) without water and those who are participating in the menimba will share the fish- puyu, keli , haruan and even the small ikang karrin & ikang sekila. One goes to the institutions of higher learning to “menimba ilmu”- to bail the knowledge. At the end, one may obtain the rounded keli or haruan fish like thing called the scroll. Nowadays, one will also get a piece of a note “You owed the IPTN RM 50,000 “. However, with the present standard of English in Malaysia, one may misread it as “You owned IPTN RM 50,000”. If the blocked water body is located below a big tree, one will get all those dry leaves instead of the fish. With all the efforts of menimba ilmu (as in menimba ikan), one get a few small ikang puyu at the end of it-not enough to be fried for your lunch. At the end, you will get small paying self employed job (a graduate burger seller at the road side) or no job at all. Are Malaysian graduates too choosy? If it happened to you or your children or your grandchildren after a relatively expensive education, will you want to sell goreng pisang at the road side? The highest category of unemployed graduates are the qualified and very “high–tech” graduates, namely, those who are doing the IT or lately ICT.

One favourite subject taught in the primary school of the yesteryears was Hygiene. (It is more advance today since modern subjects such sex education and oral hygiene is taught but many get mixed up between the two). The ground well should not be located at the lower slope or lower water level than the kampung toilet (jamban curah). The jamban curah is one stage of progress from the “jamban raya” which rotated from bush to bush or from one favourite spot to another spot on the beach. If the ground well is on the upper slope, the content of the human waste will seep though into the well. One may argue that it will be filtered by the soil. But when there is a heavy rain, the water just flow into the well. Usually, the well water do not taste that good after a heavy rain or flood. The use of jamban curah will require one have to bring a bucket / “timba” along or alternatively, there is a ready bucket by your side. Don’t ever kick the bucket or else you have to walk to the well, draw (kara) the water and bring it back to the toilet for the wash up. If the hole is too big, there are cases of people who fell down into the hole and kick the bucket. This toilet with a ground hole is the ideal dream of the golfers – every swing or terang (which should not be translated as “bright”) will always get “a hole in one”. If you are having stomach ache, it will be a bogey or double bogey as in the case of the urban public toilets nowadays. That’s the problem with the urbanites using the urban public toilets (Jambandar = Jamban + Bandar) They cannot aim well and never get a whole in one. They never get a hole in one and like bowling; they never get a spare or a strike but leave behind well splattered all over the bowl.


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