Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Castle In The Air.

It is a great aparment if you love clouds, winds, and hills. As a drying area for your laundry, it might as well be compared with a deck of an ocean-liner at sea. We are lucky to occupy a unit with a small L-shape balcony in the back that we can make full use of as the drying area for the kitchen rags, towels, and other stuff that you don't want to put into a dryer together with your clothes unless you want them to smell like cooking oil. So far we haven't received any complaints from the management for hanging the rags and the towels, an act completely domestic in nature that I believe can cause a drop in the sale value of the place.

This is my first experience living in a high-rise apartment built on a high ground. Being this high above ground, and close to the hills, we get the first rain before the clouds move further down a track of flat land which is a valley where international names in retail business have an outlet each. Sometimes when strong wind blows down from up the hills, curving itself loosely along the slopes, you can feel the tiny droplets of mist flurrying into the living room, curtain ends rise horizontal into a wild flap. Aunt Su and I love this. It makes us feel so high above the ground as if our apartment is a castle in the air, alone by itself, kept afloat by the winds from up above the hills. One time we saw the rain clouds black as night and huge as a stadium, creeping up from behind the hills to settle briefly on a ledge of a crest before it slid into a heavy rain which passed over us to head towards the valley. It flushed rain for almost an hour, blocking roadways, filling up monsoon drains to overflow with water gushing in a mad fury that could knock down a bulldozer.

I've got the floors covered with rugs so Aunt Su can walk about safe. On the first night the floors were cold that she had to put on a pair of socks, the kind you wear on a cold winter night in Dawson City or Anchorage. They kept her feet warm but it made walking a hazard that I asked her to stay on a couch. All she had to do was call me to get anything she needed but this arrangement made her feel uncomfortable because she said I shouldn't be a servant to her every wish.

Hardly a week in this spanking new apartment already Aunt Su is feeling restless with nothing much to do around the house. I know how it feels because I feel the same way too being so used to fixing things, or mending a broken bicycle for a neighbour's son, or coiling ropes and arranging them according to size and color. There isn't much to do in this house except prepare breakfast and laundry, which is not much since there's only two of us and we rarely put on more than two sets of clothes on a nice day like today with the sun feeling all so mild and gentle. Sometimes me and Aunt Su try to beat each other in doing the laundry. You get the idea how bored we are.

I've surfed the net for activities that can keep an elderly mentally active. There's a whole range of things like line dancing, taichi, or maybe origami. These are definitely not for me. I mean these aren't exactly a macho thing to do. Aunt Su has shown a keen interest in learning the Iqra'. I have checked. There's a class open to public at Mesjid Negara but Aunt Su said she is rather shy to attend being so old and not knowing anything about the Qur'an. So I said, I will teach you up to Iqra' 4 and we'll see how it goes. I think I can handle up to Iqra' 6 but I need to brush up on my Tajwid first before I can lead Aunt Su all the way to Muqaddam. It's our biggest project. It might not have led to this had we stayed in Dungun to watch the waves all day.


Blogger Kak Teh said...

Bergen, all the best to you and Aunt Su with the new project.

11:43 AM  
Blogger torts said...

Sharifah Suraya is one lucky woman.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Amzira S. said...

hehe...bestnya.i pun teringin nak blajar balik.tgh carik tpt.dah lama tinggal takut masa baca ada yg tersalah kan.lgpun ilmu Allah tak rugi blajar berkali2

1:32 PM  
Blogger nadya said...

lets enroll to mengaji class togather. .. hehehe. plan for something similar for myself too,need to polish up mengaji. start from igra'

anyway, gudluck to both of u and aunt su.

2:48 PM  
Blogger nadya said...

aisheh ..salah spell. igra - *iqra'

2:52 PM  
Blogger Restless said...

Tak tau apa nak buat? Anda bosan?

Mari kita belajar atau sambung belajar.

This is a good time to self-improve.

Suggestion for Mr Bergen:
1. Pursue that dream for degree
2. Take up a first-aid course from any Bulan Sabit Merah Assoc.
3. Learn a new language

Suggestion for Aunt Su:
1. Learn to sew (the nearest tailoring course would be Apple in Ampang)
2. Learn to ngaji
3. Learn to berzanji

Excuse me for sounding comically pathetic; trying hard here to booast your confidence!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

Ur description of the apartment is making me gatal to move into my unit. Its undoubtedly a beautiful area with excellent logistics what with the opening of the new ramp and the malls but I need to stay close to my mother even though she drives me to the brink of a nervous breakdown... its the damned-if-u-dodamned-if-you-don't scenario I had mentioned b4. I don't think it would get as much wind as yours though being on a lower floor and being blocked by a certain high-rise service apartment! I have been toying with the idea to sell it off tapi sayang...

For something for you and Aunt Su to do together, you might want to attend Dato' Hassan Ali' ceramah every malam Jumaat at his house which is near the looming Masjid Hijau with the gaudy dome atop it across the road from you. He gives motivational/religious ceramah and its open to the public. He has renounced his political affiliations and I really like his talks. More information may be obtained from the Masjid I think.

Otherwise, I think some Chinese association in Kota Damansara organises Tai Chi classes, I have seen the flyer and I know somebody who attends it. I don't know the details exactly but I know the place.

4:13 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Kak Teh: Thank you, ma'am. Salam to Sir AG.

Torts: She's all I got, ma'am.

Amiza: It's never too late.

Nadya: Why not, eh?

Anim: We are on this side of the city, ma'am.

Noni: Yes, we can see the building from here. Maybe we'll see you there, eh? Taichi sounds like a good thing for Aunt Su to keep her left and right brain active. I am familiar with some of the movements but not very much though.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Count Byron said...


You have the patience of a virtuous man. I love your daily decision-making.. to do or not to do.. to do it this way.. or shall it be done another way..

You are a great man.

4:46 PM  
Blogger ailin...in aalborg said...

You could rent some P Ramlee movies for her. Those never fail to entertain everyone.

4:53 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Count Byron: I'm sure you'd do the same thing too, sir.

Ailin: Or maybe I should let her watch Jackie Chan movie. Who knows she might pick up those fancy Kung Fu moves. Hmmm...

5:10 PM  
Blogger mommy@lif said...

en bergen, itulah antara hikmah berhijrah kat bandar nih . saya pon teringin nak spend time camtuh dgn parents saya.. at least boleh tambah ilmu kan?

5:29 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Alif's Mom: Good thing, ma'am.

5:31 PM  
Blogger anggerik merah said...

Bergen, a lot can be done to fill up time..You and Aunt Su will have a wonderful life together..

7:25 PM  
Blogger dee3 said...

getting into a new routine may be an issue....

but now, the question is: wat sorta routine? good luck ya

ps. bestnya masjid dekat, and ada ceramah by Dato' Hassan Ali pulak tu....

11:54 PM  

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