I really, really wanted to go.
I needed a break.
And the further away from civilisation the better.
Tigers. Leaches. Snakes. None scares me though I am hardly fond of the latter nor have I met the former. But I’ve met enough bosses that evokes the Ally McBeal imagination-horn-growing-type visualisation. Species that I am very much afraid of!
I’ve done enough jungle treks in my lifetime. Climbed enough hills and National Parks. Co-ride with a large, smelly, outcast show-dog Doberman at the back of a small Suzuki Jimmy; then camped and slept with who else but the dog!
So, how bad can the Land Rover Coterie be right?
Besides, I know for the fact that their door gifts are awesome. Least I am well inform.
The decision can be bad, but it is still a well-informed one, and mind you there is nothing wrong with this.
If “well-informed but bad decisions” were in any way criminal and morally unacceptable, the Harley Davidson and the Land Rover of the world, wouldn’t be in business. Now, that’s a fact.
And borrowing from Saatchi and Saatchi, this is what one calls “love marks” and it needn’t make no sense at all.
The trip was to Gopeng. A total of 20 4×4 in the convoy.
One black Defender (with cool snorkelers) to lead the convoy and an orange Defender (with whinge and spare parts) as the sweeper.
Very early into the trip I realised that my best friend on the trip would be the orange one; it was cool. It waited for me – and it meant a lot to me, being the only woman who came and drove on her own!
The terrain was as expected – highways, byways and some stretches of estate road that challenges one spatially only. The little potholes were awesome and the twigs gazing the sides of my baby was a therapeutic massage for him. No biggie honestly. Especially when Leland (my car, by the way, and let’s not go into why do girls name their cars?) has sustained impressive amounts of masterpiece etchings on his sides, courtesy people who are not so happy with me.
Whilst I was prepared physically, boy, I sure was unprepared mentally and emotionally.
To escape into the remote ‘wilderness’ with whine-rs and wannabes is possibly the proximate to being in the fires of hell.
And my friend?
Well, he came along with mom, dad, two maids and a girl whom we shall call Ms. Whine-r.
First, let’s not get fixated with “2 maids. Why 2 maids?!?” – the only immediate respond I get from almost anyone who hears this spew.
Secondly, “parents” is a pre-requisite, since the Freelander is his mommy’s.
And lastly, her “English” name sounds strangely like Whine-r! No joke. No exaggeration.
Now, that you’ve got a brief introduction of Ms. Whine-r, let’s move on to the next casualty of my blog! Ms. Citi with a pun. A banker with you-should-know-who by now.
Note, I can be unsociable and a pain if it suits me – refer to above about the state of my car. So, after 4 hours I only became acquainted by accident to Ms. Citi who happened to be allotted the hut the size of my garden shed opposite mine. But this wasn’t the reason why I took any notice of her – rather it was her first exclamation:
(literal translation: hubby! No toilet paper!)
Immediately I glance over with falcon sharp judgmental eyes … and … d-u-h, what are you doing in white, clothes with healed sandals and a handbag?
did i say matchy-matchy?
yeah, they were and she had a total of 3 different pairs of crocs that matched all her clothes that was predominantly white for the first 5 minutes. Other than that there’s really nothing much more exciting or intriguing about Ms. Citi.
Then, there was Mat Salleh* . The thing about Mat Salleh is she’s yellow-skinned, her nose is slightly higher than my armpits, has golf balls as eyes, and one hell of a huge, loud voice box. You could literally hear her bossing everyone – starting with a very docile husband who actually looked like a King Pin had you not known better.
The only time Mat Salleh proved to be of any remote use was when we had a very large group with very little light in the caves. Her usage expired shortly after the 500-meter mark when her batteries died – or rather she abandoned us to seek refuge at the tourist office with a Coke in hand.
So, let’s get back to Ms. Whine-r.
hmmm… how should I put it?
Mincing my words would be uncharacteristic of me, so …
Here’s a poor soul who evidently likes my friend. I mean what ‘friends’ insist that the other carries their luggage? Or initiates physical contact by trying to hit a fly off his thighs. Common’ a fly?
Then, she can’t decide if being dependent or independent will be more desirable to him: on one hand she asks him (in the smallest and most irritating voice, which I have no idea why men fall for it) to fetch her some food coz “she doesn’t know” – hello, how the @#$% did you survive approximately 4 decades without knowing how to feed yourself??!? (mind you – it was a buffet spread of cooked food, not fish or hunt, then grill on your own, which frankly my male friend is incapable nonetheless) Then, on the other hand she is able to organise his bath by filling in pails with mountain water and carried it to the communal bathrooms … then run off to whine to his mom and dad about how he needed her to do it!
And every time he approaches me or my group (yup – mom and I discovered a bunch of cool, adventurous, nut heads amongst the organisers and we had FUN), here comes Ms. Whine-r …
Jealous? No way! Perplex and highly irritated more like it.
Friends are meant to be friends.
Trips with friends are meant to be fun and activities should be communal. See, I am too much of a free spirit to be bothered about these funny rituals. He’s too nice a guy to say “buzz off”. He’s our Ross of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and really, Ms. Whine-r, there’s place and time for everything.
I guess I would feel less of a bummer if our initial friend, Bud, had come along and co-driven with me since he did not want to ‘ruin’ his relatively new Freelander. I guessed even if we didn’t sort-off gang up and teased them to ends, I would have had found a buddy in Bud to whine myself! ;p
Notes from the author:
Though not intended, Whine-r, Ross and Bud, though are pseudo names, do have strong resemblance to the actual names of the characters!
That’s a photo of mom happily opening the window of our hut; none of the characters’ photos are featured here to protect their identities.
* Mat Salleh – a ‘white’ person / Westerner