Monday, March 06, 2006

Honeymoon Trip.

We are running river deep in the heartland of Kalabakan. Only the two of us, a honeymoon trip we had planned for months. Three-days-two nights on a rubber boat to see if we can handle being together long enough, not to take a stance on every petty issue to give us a reason to quarrel, bickering like the Irish to leave us black in the face for days, not talking to one another as if it would make either of us a loser saying sorry for starting the fight.

It took us a day to cover the winding path on a landrover, and an hour's trek to get to the starting point, a small beach by the river that you had to scale down a steep bank to get there. It took four men to get the boat down to the beach, two men to a rope on each side. I've got the fire going while she cursed and shouted herself to high heavens trying to drive the stakes deep enough into the sand to hold down a simple factory-designed tent. I watched, not wanting to interfere with a woman having a quarrel with a tent eventhough deep inside I wanted her to hurry up with it now that night is approaching fast and it bloody looked like rain. Fifteen minutes on I told her to come eat a simple meal before it got cold and soggy. I went over to re-knot the cord to the stakes with angler's loop, driving the stakes deep with a rock, checking them for the last time before tightening the tent into position with double fisherman's bend. Mosquitoes made their way into the tent that I had to spray the repellant to get them out. It rained a little around nine but outside it might as well be three in the morning with the jungle sounds to remind you that you are not in downtown Tawau.

In the morning I got the fire going to heat a litre of water for coffee that went pretty well with the food we've got in the first breakfast pack. We'd have beef for lunch if we made good time going downriver. It was an easy run to the first stop-point with mild drops in between. It won't take much of an effort to negotiate the rapids based on a map that looked out of date but it was the only one they've got to give us as a general guide. I got the gear tied down and ready to go but she said she needed to change into another shirt. It'd take me five minutes to untie the gear and another five to re-tie the whole bloody thing again that I asked if she was sure about this now that we are two hours behind schedule. All she said was, either you get that shirt out or this trip ends here. I untied the bundle to get the damned shirt and it took me more than five minutes to re-tie the gear into position, checking it for the last time before she changed her mind.

We started downriver on a good run, paddling slowly to feel the water connecting with the boat. It's a nice boat with inflatable tubes around an open metal frame allowing the water to run right through. It's expensive but it's worth the money. It's light but sturdy. The gear looking good in its position to keep the boat steady between us. We got the hang of it, feeling the water underneath the hull in a smooth flow to paddle her through these waters. There's a rapids about twenty yards down coming up fast enough to get us excited.

Put on that damned helmet, will you?
It's bloody uncomfortable.
It's going to get a little rough, there's logjams everywhere and holes to rock you out of the boat so put on that damned bloody helmet!
Don't you talk to me that way, mister!
I ain't talking to you I am ordering you to put it on, woman!
Don't you woman me that way!
Either you put that damned helmet on or you are out of this boat, y'hear me?

She was in the back of the boat paddling like a moron, quiet as a corpse when we decided to punch into a hole on the left, avoiding the one in the center that looked pretty mild but I didn't want to take a chance on a hole like that with the backwater gushing in a violent stream from behind it.

Will you keep her steady!
I'm trying! Will you please shut up!
Keep left! left! left!
Are you crazy? There's a logjam in the centre!
Logjams my foot, it's a baby rapids!
Why don't you bloody run this your way!

We argued so much until we got lost trying to figure out what it was that started us arguing, fighting every inch of the way to win a point, as if it meant something to win, to be one up. She disagreed with everything I said and I never ran out of things to say to make her feel even mad for saying things she shouldn't kept quiet about.

A little after mid-day we made the first stop to unload lunch from the bottom of the gear. She started on me for being so foolish to set the gear that way not knowing the basic principle of loading the gear into a boat, first out last in. I said it's not a big deal because I have to get the whole load out anyway to get the fuel tablets and I can put back altogether again in less than five minutes with four points tie-downs but she said, I'm married to moron. Well maybe you set the gear this time if you are so smart.

We got the gear re-packed to head for the second stop of the day before dark. It was a smooth run all the way until she spotted a beach wide enough to set up camp but I said it was no good in high-tide. We paddled down about a quarter of a mile before she spotted another site we both agreed because there was no point arguing now that it began to get too dark to know the difference between a crocodile and a dead trunk. She got the fire going pretty quick with the fuel tablets and started dinner right away. It was a warm night with stars above flickering into a million blips filling our hearts with joy that we held each other's hand real tight knowing deep inside we were meant for one another on a night like this when all we could hear was the sound of the jungle.

In the morning the sun came up real pretty that we sat for hours on a log with our feet in the sand, arms locked in an embrace not wanting to let go for a second feeling so good to be together somewhere along a river in Kalabakan. All of a sudden she was the prettiest woman in the world with sleepy eyes, hair in a mess looking domestic and homely and motherly that we decided to stay another hour before the sun got too hot to be sitting like retired couples spending their last few moments together watching the sun in Florida.

It was a smooth run all the way to the campsite marked 'X' in the map where the guides who had left us two days ago stood on the beach arms flapping like a bird, shouting and screaming at the top of their head as if surprised to see us together in a boat, husband and wife. There was no way of knowing then that in less than a year all this ended in a bitter divorce.

Romeo And Juliet
By Dire Straits / Mark Knopfler.

A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsus serenade
Laying everybody low with me a lovesong that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it ?

Juliet says hey it's Romeo you nearly gimme a heart attack
He's underneath the window she's singing hey la my boyfriend's back
You shouldn't come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it ?

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget the movie song
When you wanna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet ?

Come up on differents streets they both were streets of shame
Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same
And I dreamed your dream for you and your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals ?

Where you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin
Now you just says oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I'll love you till I die
There's a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet ?

I can't do the talk like they talk on TV
And I can't do a love song like the way it's meant to be
I can't do everything but I'd do anything for you
I can't do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
Julie I'd do the stars with you any time

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I'll love you till I die
There's a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet ?

A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsus serenade
Laying everybody low with me a lovesong that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it ?


Blogger LifeBloom said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Nazrah said...

nice heartwarming story, can't say the same about the ending i did not expect that at all. sigh.

cest la vie.

nice piece to extrapolate...

4:26 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

love the dire straits' song. also love their other song your latest trick.

in udder words, i just lurve dire straits.

5:12 PM  
Blogger aalborg said...

I would have loved this kinda honeymoon! Unfortunately, my teddy bear doesn't know how to swim. No water sports for him! Nak naik feri pun, dah pucat lesi.

5:17 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

sigh. sigh. sigh.

sigh. sigh. sigh.

6:03 PM  
Blogger anggerik merah said...


8:50 PM  
Blogger NBB said...

all ended in a bitter divorce? why?

7:57 AM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

Bergen - eh....the story was different the first time round kan?

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did these two meet?? Or have I missed that chapter??

Was there any air bandung cincau involved?? Would love to know how the romance started.....

Aida - a sucker for comedy romances hehehe

9:15 AM  
Blogger cloudchaser said...

I'm sure it was a chance that you did not matter how bitter it ended.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Sayuti said...

a beautiful story ended with a sad ending. perhaps, there's a sequel?

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bergen..
Your blog is a must -read thing for me..and about the ending..well marriage is like must work hard in order to a few tricks it won't endup with " a bitter divorce"
I love poems..especially love fav poet is Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
This one ( a sonnet)is specially dedicated to you..hope that one day you'll find ur true love..

-married with children-

LET IT BE FOR NAUGHT (Elizabeth Barret Browning)

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
"I love her for her smile-her look-her way
Of speaking gently- for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense on pleasant ease on such a day"-
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or changed for thee- and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so.Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry-
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

9:46 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Comment Deleted: I didn't do it, sir? Ma'am?

Nazrah: Thank you, ma'am.

Xaviera: It's a kinda band with a different kinda guitar work and a different kinda lyrics. Very down-to-earth kinda thing.

Ailin: Fear of water is very real, ma'am.

Anedra: ish ish ish ish ish

Anggerik Merah: Good to see you, ma'am.

Dr Nurul Bahiyah Baharudin: One day I will re-write an entry that I have deleted on how this came about.

Lifebloom: The first version didn't come with the lyric by Mark Knofler.

Aida: I will write about it.

Cloudchaser: Quite frankly it felt like a great relief then, but it turned into a slight regret for not putting in the effort to make it work. Didn't see it then that you gotta put in the effort on daily basis, at times hourly.

Sayuti: There is.

Anonymous: 'Love me for love's sake' is a difficult thing to do when all you do is disagree on everything that in the end, you won't see where's the love.

To everyone who visited this entry, thank you. I hope you will take up boating, or running river. It's a lotta fun.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Noni said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Noni said...

psst... i think his name is supposed to be spelt Knopfler... with a 'p'... sori ekk... occupational hazard... my personal favourite is "Sultans of Swing"... blame it on my elder brothers and sisters who lullabi-ed me with Dire Straits.

10:31 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Noni: Thank you, ma'am. I've got that corrected. To all Dire Strait fans, Mark Knopfler, sorry for missing the 'P' in your name.

10:55 AM  
Blogger aalborg said...

He has no fear of the water. More like fear of the inability to swim.

3:25 PM  

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