Out of the blue, Mak went to ask Abah a question, “Do you still remember the crab? I wonder if it’s still there.” Crab? What crab? Somehow it’s too hazy for the brain to decipher it. “Hmm…perhaps they’re closed already. So many restaurants here!” his head searching near far like a submarine periscope. “Cah, do you still remember the crab?” now the question is thrown at me. “What crab?” the fogs were still covering my head. “Oh…that crab!” I recovered from my search. “Yeah, a Chinese restaurant. They have this huge crab statue in front of the premise.” Her hand carving the air showing how big the crab was. “There! Look! It’s still there!” all of a sudden she drew our eyes towards our left side. Yeah, that’s the crab. “Hello Mr. Crab!” I greeted the crab with a smile and waved as if it were to reply me back.
Our walk continued. From the both side of the view we saw fields, but not any ordinary fields. Jet ways. I turned my head to the right. Mak still doing her job, “That’s the TUDM airbase. Hey, the barracks are still there!” she explained eagerly. Pity it’s dark. Pitch black. We can see the hangar during the day and I bet there’s lots of fighter jets sleeping under it. Cool… And I saw Abah’s smile as his eyes stuck to his left wondering the view. I couldn’t read what he was thinking at that moment.
Then ahead of us, a flyover we couldn’t recognize. Well- not really a flyover. 1 heading towards Shah Alam and the other 1 leads to Kuala Lumpur. But surprisingly, Abah took the 1 to Kuala Lumpur. Heck? “Abah, I think you’ve got the wrong lane.” Aie voiced out. “Yeah Abah. Are we going to Pahang?” me. Joking. But he kept his silent mode. Sometimes it’s just hard to figure out his thoughts. Then, there’s AIROD [Mak said that’s the airplane’s workshop, belongs to the military or something like that]. But a few minutes later, a huge building on our right seemed to appeal in our view. That, looks, familiar… “Hey I know that building! That’s the airport! Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport!” Aie screamed as it pierced to my ears. We’re not exactly 10 miles away, okay. Yet, another smile from both Abah and Mak. I remembered once when our flight to Terengganu was cancelled, due to lack of seats. But free tickets. What do you expect? Available only when there’s open seats. I don’t know how Abah got them. Maybe from his ‘insiders’. Abah requested for cockpit seat, or jump seat if I’m not mistaken. I can’t really recall the term Abah always address the seats but it’s in the cockpit. Meaning, we can see the pilots doing their job. How cool is that! Not many of us know about this. But unfortunately, the attendant told us that there were trainee pilots using those seats so it’s not available. What other word describes this best? Devastated. But that’s another story happened in that airport.
My pondering was interrupted again by that rowdy brother of mine shouting about the government’s aviation department on our left or something like that. Not far from that, a place that used to be my ‘playground’ when Abah took me along to do his job. The Malaysia Airlines head quarters. I looked deeply to the post guard where Abah used to greet them [the guards were his friends too] and drove to his office. How long had he work there? Yep, for 25 years right after he finished his SPM. But now he had retired for a couple of years. He worked in the airport for 10 years, and then transferred to the head quarters and work there for the rest 15 years. Now it all made sense why Abah is really fond of airplanes and fighter jets movies, and things revolved around them. He lives it. He once worked with them. Observing, to be precise. And he never gets bored when talking about them. He is so attached to them. If it weren’t because of his illness he would probably still with his ‘friends’ now… And somehow that gen is inside me, instead of Aie. I'm really proud of our nation's Sukhoi SU-30 MKM! [Heard that the military labelled it 'N' somewhere like SU-30N or SU-30MKM N or something like that; to imply INFINITY and that it belongs to Malaysia] Don’t know why… But I love it anyway!
Whenever I get there I always set my eyes on the Terminal 1 site. It was no longer there since they already brought it down long time ago. Yep, that’s the site we were rambling about later. Mak has always been furious about how moron the Selangor government was to demolish Terminal 1. She got her point. That was the actual and the first airport ever before they built Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 existing now. Mak added that it was caught on fire once but it only damaged barely half of it. So, what’s the relevant of destroying a piece of legacy the country holds? And the sweet legacy behind it; that was the place where Mak and Abah first met. Yep, their love story. Well- not really a love story since they were not really declaring their love to each other. Mak has a lot of admirers back then while Abah was rather a timid guy. But somehow they had feelings towards each other [I should’ve use ‘have’ instead since they still love each other until now]. They were friends but till one day- since Abah was too shy to ask for hand in marriage, Mak told him that someone was going to ask for it soon. Find those keepers! That definitely gave him a shot in the heart. So, without further a due, Abah sent his ‘mercenaries’ to do the job! A few years later, that barren site had turn into hangars. Still new.
Yep, those were the things that kept us…how to say… Who we are today. Yep, we are very attached to that place even though it has been years ever since. And they all took 30 minutes in our heart, in our mind, in our eyes. 30 minutes of walk to the past, 16 years of baby steps to the future. Diving back to the past was a piece of cake, but crawling 16 years to the future is…painful. We experienced a lot after 4 years of living there. But hey, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That’s my parents. That’s who we are today. Boy, how that will always remained spring for the rest of our lives. And we’re proud of it. And I hope that one day, I will continue AND create that legacy and make them proud of me...