First of all, I'd like to say Gong Xi Fa Chai to all you guys! If it weren't for you guys, the rest of us wouldn't have had this holiday!
A bright cloudless morning set the scene outside my window that Wednesday morning. It was half past nine and the day already started its shift from tropicalé to the sahara. I made my way downstairs and poured some cornflakes into a bowl followed by some milk. Yum! After some breakfast the soft unmade bed in my bedroom seemed even more inviting than usual thus there i went with a hurdle, Plop! facedown on the bed. Befuddled by the intensity of my bed's comfort I started to get drowsy and immediately sat up again in fear of falling asleep again. I was to wait for a phone call from a friend sometime then so falling asleep and missing the this important call would be just dreadful! i turn on my bedside lamp and fluff up the pillows to make myself comfortable to continue reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons which I so triumphantly managed to read about 3 pages the previous night before dozing off and waking up sometime after midnight glasses askew, book still in hand.
Just as the chimes of the old clock downstairs struck noon my cellphone started to jiggle about on the table. Finally!
Finally my friend calls:
"Be ready by one. I'm coming at two o'clock"
Phone hangs up
Pretty intense conversation huh??
By then it was ten to twelve. Time to get ready! Time passed rather quickly during then. A simple shower, and putting on some decent yet comfortable clothes. The most dreaded and time consuming part was the packing. Both my clothing supply for two days and a night and my PS2 were tiresome to pack; stuffing clothes into a schoolbag which just isn't meant for luggage was quite a task, and the wires for the ps2 were such a hassle.
It was ten to one by the time all that was done and I was all set and sitting on the couch by the door at one thirty. Half an our after that was spent twiddling thumbs, flipping through my cell inbox, and running back upstairs to fetch an almost forgotten toothbrush.
At 2.05pm finally a black Naza Ria drove up the road and stopped in front of my gates. After piling in with my luggage there I exchanged greetings with Pawan and his mom. Razlan and Pravin were already in the back. After everyone settled down, we embarked for the highway!
Where we were headed:
Mantin, Negeri Sembilan
Pawan's New Residence
Ever since Pawan moved in December the previous year, we've been planning to have a sleepover at his new abode once he and his family has settled down. So finally during this holiday we got the time to execute the plan. In the car, there were six of us. Pawan's mom and sister up front. Pawan and I taking up the middle section. Pravin and Razlan lodging in the rear seat.
So the journey was just the way it was expected to be. Some cottage fries, some yelling at Pravin to keep him behaved, a few photos, and endless chatter. We all talked alot to catch up with Pawan on recent events, then Pravin got a scolding from me to stop playing with my seat belt, then he started to moan of restlessness. Thankfully, Pawan's mom put up with us.
As we took the exit off the highway, it became obvious that we weren't in suburbia anymore.
There were cows by the roadside, the roads were single laned, and the gas stations only had stalls with fans instead of the big Mesra mart with big fridges and aircon.
The journey went on a couple of minutes till we finally turned a corner and arrived at a gateway with an emblem of a Rooster.
The sign read:
Staffield Golf Country Club
It was as if by crossing beyond the gate we just entered a different world. Outside the view was of tanah merah, pokok kelapa sawit, semak samun and the lot. Inside, It was just jaw dropping. A vast expanse of land covered in greenery due to the scarcity of trees. A lake lay wide to the west reflecting the sun's shine. To the north there stood the clubhouse and hotel obvious by its size. At it's base were dozens of carts parked into rows. "Oh yeah, I so wanna drive those things later!" I thought as I saw them. We stopped beside the driving range to inquire about a certain carwash. After that we continued deeper into the estate towards Pawan's house.
Along the way we marvelled at passing houses. Big, exquisite, and some just plain weird. Soon we started playing guessing games to see who could guess which one was Pawan's. I won, quite unfairly, in the end, since I've already seen a picture of it.
The car made it's way up the driveway and came to a stop just in front of the garage. We spilled out and made our way to the front door. I was oggling at the interior after taking the first step inside. Damn!
Previously in the past, I've schemed plots to befriend rich kids in hopes they would one day invite me to such sleepover in their mansions. Pfft! We all could guess how that plan turned out!
So the four of us trek up to Pawan's room. We dumped our bags in the side as Pawan raises the shutters. Pheeeewh! Yeah, if I could whistle, I would've. The next best thing after having the seaside as your bedroom view is a golf course. Vast stretches of green with a patch of sand here and there. And a lake and even a waterfall in the distance!
After that we went to the living room and Pravin's curiosity was passed about as we wonder what this steep staircase lead up to.
After heading up we found out it was the attic with a ginormous water tank and a book shelf, and a table. It had a balcony too. The mid-evening breeze was awesome. Close your eyes and you'd think someone just put a half a dozen fans in front of you. Even the air smelt light and pleasant since it was far from the city. The three of them sort of "studied" in the short time we were up there.
It sure is fun to study on a vacation.
The steps down back the the 2nd floor was a tad scary. I doubt anyone would get used to going down stairs as steep as those.
When the bottle was depleted we went for a tour of the house.
The kitchen had a spiral staircase hidden in the floor in the corner heading towards the basement.
On the way down I had to fight with Pawan's cat Tootie between who shoud get their way first. I wanted to go down, whilst she wanted to go up. Well, I just stood there afraid I might step on her and slip and fall and die. Tootie on the other hand decided to act smart and jump up the spiral staircase to skip a few steps to bypass me. Wrong Decision. The steps were metal, not so claw friendly; she slipped on the tiers and fell back down on the lower steps.
That was the sound that could be heard as we witnesses flesh and bone slam against metal. Surprisingly she just yowled and stood back up and slunk away unscathed.
"Don't worry, I threw her off the balcony and she still survived"
there I went!
Pravin’s in the water!
That was Pawan.
Having been ages since I last swam, meerly swimming from one end to the other felt like I ran a hundred metre sprint! Razlan to my biggest surprise was very aquadynamic! Swam just like a fish! Pravin on the other hand.... didn't know how to swim. Pawan's mom was even reluctant to let us in fear that Pravin might just drown and die on her watch.
The four of us had our fun in the water. Diving, holding our breath, racing each other, pulling down each others trunks underwater. The last one I regret doing since I had goggles on. After what seemed like an hour had passed, we were either exhausted, had cramps, or hungry.
We treated ourselves to an ice-cream each after that. Then we went for a game of snooker. Snooker... well, it's kinda boring. Partly it's probably because we just suck at it and don't understand it as much as pool. But MAINLY it's because we had Shrek on the table!
Soon we gave up trying to play the actual game and just started throwing the balls around. Which was sort of beneath us, but hey, it made a good stress releaser. At one point, Pawan shoved the ball on the table really hard and it hit Pravin's pinky squarely. I guess the pain was really excruciating because Pravin cried a bit after that.
"Oww! My pinky got hurted ='("
Before re-entering the house, the four of us decided to have a little trek around the heavenly landscape.
We went for a walk around the courses, then about 7 o’clock golfers had to stop their game. So we thought it wouldn’t hurt to just take a stroll on the course without having to fear for an early death brought by a stray golf ball straight to the head. There was a huge lake in the middle of hole 14.
"I got a coconut. Got a problem with that huh?"
We walked across the fairway
and pranced about in the sand bunker.
Pawan frolicking in the sand bunker
Then we climbed a hill which overlooked the lake on one side and Pawan’s house on the other. We sat there watching the sunset. Quite an ending to a marvellous day! When the sun was down Pravin rolled down the hill out of child curiosity on how fun it would be.
Then we went to a bridge beside a miniature waterfall. Pravin Even crossed the river by bypassing the already made bridge and using the primitive way.
The four of us trooped back into the house and took a shower to wash off all that chlorine.
It took awhile because Pawan always stopped along the way to yank out love-me-nots from his trousers. After that was dinner time! Yum! Pawan's mom can sure cook.
There weren't any decent restaurants nearby so we just stuck with homemade. But before eating, we went out into the night to help Pawan look or his missing cat. It was dark, REALLY dark.
It was fascinating, actually seeing stars for a change. Back at home, even the moon was sometimes hard to see! Coming back inside, failing to find the missing cat, hoping eventually it would have some sense to just come back home, we stuffed our faces greedily. Sadly for Pravin, he was a vegetarian! And all the dishes had either fish balls, or chicken, or fish. So all he could eat was plain white rice.
Pawan eventually scrambled him some eggs. And gave him some sweet soy sauce to eat it with. Pravin was reluctant to eat the sweet soy sauce, because he never ate it before. Unbelievable. So after we were all at our bursting points, we put the dishes in the sink and went upstairs.
We rolled about the makeshift bed on the floor. Then we went to sit on the balcony again. The night breeze was even more pleasant than the days. It was cool that night. Stars shining above. Pawan went back in the house for a bit and returned holding a golf ball and four clubs. We went outside to the backyard where a golf tee for hole 14 lay just beyond. Pawan gave me the honours for driving the ball that time. So after gripping the handle, concentrating on the ball with all my might, retracting my arms about 70º backwards than swinging it full length down toward the ball..
It was a fluke shot. So I tried a second time, and that was even worse! I ended up scooping up a patch of grass right off the tee! Same thing happened with the 3rd stroke. The fourth was another swing but hitting nothing. But like they say, fifth times the charm! On the fifth My the club hit the ball squarely in the middle as I drove it into the night. Since we only had one ball, we had to go on the course and search for the ball in the dark, without the aid of flashlights, because.. we were sort of golfing illegally. After scouting around Pawan found my ball, amazingly about 10 yards from the green! Wohooo!! That's definitely something worth celebrating for a beginner like me. Pawan decided it wasn't wise to drive the ball off the tee anymore because just looking for the ball was a major hassle, so we each took turns wedging the ball from the sand bunk, to trying to chip the ball from the fringe, and then finally putting the ball into the hole. Razlan was rather good at reading the green somehow. After some time we heard some sounds of the watch guard coming around and dashed for the house in haste! We were all out of breath and sweaty by the time the door was shut behind us.
We hung out in the living room afterwards and decided to call it a day and just play videogames from then on.
It took us about 30 minutes to assemble the ps2 due to a lousy multi-socket which made Pawan thought he broke his tv. Finally when we got it to work, we played Champions: Return to Arms.
Razlan and Pawan somewhat dominated the game, Pravin always got bullied and I was just the one aiding either sides. A few hours into the game, we started hearing funny slushy sounds coming from the attic. Pawan went to check it out, and all he said was the water tank was acting funny. We didn't realize that actually there was a pressure overload and Pawan's bathroom was starting to flood! Pawan and I went upstairs up to the attic to try and shut down the water tank while Razlan was panicking watching the water flood into the bedroom. We failed in figuring out how to shut the tank, and the flood continued. So as our last resort, we went outside to the front of the house and shut of the Main. Man, Pawan's going to have a hell of a water bill to pay later.
Resuming the game, Pravin who was so energetic earlier in the day, became all cranky and sleepy after countless ours of being bullied in the game. The usual moans soon came when he got into one of his moods. Then he just became impossible. Razlan, Pawan and I presisted on playing some more, and soon he just fell asleep sitting down in front of the tv. The rest of us felt the time was ripe to stop playing, it was about three thirty. We wanted to leave Pravin out there so we would get more sleeping space. Alas, he heard us getting up to leave and slouched his way into the cold ariconned room. He hogged most of the pillows ran to the other side of the room when we saw a he saw this little guy.
I shooed it out the window. Then Razlan was given a delightful gift of finding Pravins boxers beside his head. Finally we were just worn out, and the lights were turned off.
That's all there is, There isn't anymore. For the day at least.
Honestly, sleep is such a wonderful gift from god. I pity those with insomnia. We dozed off into the day till about 10am. The windows were open and shutters when I got up. Pawan was gone. He helped himself to the PlayStation while we were all snoozing away. I decided it wasn’t worth going being awake just yet, so I lodged myself between Pravin and Razlan and slept again.
Only about an hour later were we all fully awake. And the only reason we had energy to get up was to replenish our food supply. Downstairs, Egg Sandwiches were neatly arranged on a tray on the dining table. We helped ourselves to some tangerines after that. Then we went upstairs to pack up our swimming gear to go swimming again. But before that, we planned to have a go at the driving range. So we got a lift from Pawan’s sister to the country club. Unfortunately, we had to turn around and head back to the house halfway because we forgot to bring the clubs which were resting just beside the door. Then after collecting the clubs we headed back to our destination.
She dropped us off near the caddy cart parking. We dashed for the driving range and Pawan bought 200 balls for us for twenty bucks. It wasn’t until later we realized that members like Pawan could get 100 balls for only four bucks! Dammit! So a bunch of swings were swung. I managed to get about 140 yards off my 4iron. Pawan was hit beyond 100 yards seven times in a row. Razlan and Pravin had trouble getting the ball to fly. At the end of all that I’d have to say Pawan was the best among us, followed by me, then Razlan, worst was Pravin.
Then we headed for the country club counter to purchase entry tickets for the pool. Yeah, I was just kidding about Pawan having a pool in his backyard. Alas, yesterday we could enter for three bucks each. Pawan being a member got in free. But today, it was a public holday! And the rates were sky high! RM10.50 per head. And we only had 10 ringgit left after using the unnecessary twenty bucks at the driving range. Not wanting to trouble Pawan’s family, the four of us had to walk all the way back to the house. I’d say the distance was about from Seafield to Summit. The sun was in our faces the whole way and by the time we arrived at the house we were dripping with sweat.
"Who's the slowest of them all?"
Our only intention to go home was to get more money so we could swim on such a hot day. But Pawan’s mom insisted we eat before leaving the house again. So we had to wait a few additional minutes while waiting for lunch to be ready. I ate to my heart’s content pushing the worry of how a full stomach underwater would feel to the back of my head. Thankfully, this time we didn’t have to walk back to the club house. Pawan’s mom gave us a lift there. And we went to the counter to buy the entry slips. Alas! RM10.50 each meant for three people the total would be RM31.50 and all we had was thirty bucks! NOO! Then we just sat there, at the side, sulking. It was such a nuisance not being able to swim just because we were short by a buck and a half. We even considered begging some loose change from the golfers! Then the akak that worked at the counter kesian us, and she belanja the balance! Yeay! We gratefully said our thank you’s and dashed for the pool!
Don't forget to shower first!
There we dumped our bags and the side and cannonballed right into the water! Then we had more diving fun. On that day, we decided to play marco polo for a change. You know, that game where it’s like tag, but whose IT has to close their eyes and use their sense of hearing to find the others. Pravin cheated alot. I was IT the longest at one point because My left ear was clogged with water and my sense of direction for sound was terrible. Then when the sun slid lower into the horizon we decided to call ita day and return to the house. But before that, I dared everyone to try do a frontflip into the water before we left. On first attempt Pawan went SPLAT! As his face and body went in at terminal velocity.
When finally we dah puas hati, we went into the changing room to change into dry clothes.
Upon entering the changing room, where were about three Korean guys Butt Naked walking about! One of the guys was doing his hair while checking out his manhood in the mirror. “Wow, these guys sure are open” I thought. Just then, a local guy came in with his son. When he turned the corner his eyes were wide with bewilderment at the sight of the Koreans. I couldn’t help but snort.
Pawan’s mom fetched us back to the house. Upon arrival we had little time to spare. It was already 4.30pm and we needed to get home. So we stuffed our bags with our stuff, folded the mattress, and I packed up my PS2. My only regret was that I was the cameraman most of the time. Then at 5pm we departed for home.
-End of Chapter-