Friday, February 17, 2012

Back to basic

My off days are coming to an end.
I spent the first two days doing my chores, cooking and some laundry.
Then, I had this inspiration of giving Ah Pan, my old buddy a call.
Later in the day, he rang me up and ask if I am coming over to Karak, which is about an hour's drive away from Subang Jaya.
I said 'yes' and went looking for my fishing gear.

The old faithful

I found my obsolete Shakespeare travel fishing rod and my Shakespeare Dimension ultralight reel which I had purchased many, many years ago.
Till now, they are in perfect working condition.
I packed these up and loaded it into my car.
"You going fishing?," Michelle asked.
"Yeah...," I responded.
I haven't been fishing for at least two years. 
Been busy with cycling and photography and had forsaken the most basic hobby.

On the road again...
I found myself on the East Coast Highway.
Destination: Bentong, Pahang.
Arrangements were made to meet Ah Pan at Aik Huat coffee shop in Bentong.
Now, this place is a favourite gathering spot for cyclists, and its also our meeting point.
Before I proceed, I had to drop him off at his mechanic's workshop in the outskirts of Bentong.
"Mr Sam! How are you?," asked Ah Hou, the mechanic.
This successful young man who runs a workshop had just invested in a Polygon Helios 900, and is a regular cycling kaki of Farmer Wong and Ah Pan.
I made my way to Farmer Wong's place in mukim Sertik and was surprised to find so much change has taken place.
The government is building a concrete bridge linking his farm to the outside world.
Farmer Wong's wife, Maggie, has moved out and is living in town with her son Wong Fei.
At the farmhouse, I found out that Ah Pan had inherited Farmer Wong's Colnago road bike, which is worth about RM20,000.
His room is full of bicycles now. I guess the cycling craze had gripped Farmer Wong.

Ah Pan and the bikes

Walking the dog and checking out the new fish pond
Plenty of catching up to do
Farmer Wong is a happy man.
His growing plot is the only Good Agricultural Practise (GAP) farm in Pahang.
Now, he is the prime example of hardwork.
I was also glad to see my article on his effort being pinned on his wall.
Wong told me that he had invested in freshwater fish aquaculture.
This is expected to generate about RM100K a year during harvest.
I am glad that things are working out for my friends..

A skill that will never go away.. 
I learned to fish at the age of 9.
And as far as I could remember, my first catch was a Tilapia (Tilapia mossambicus) landed on a handline at an abandoned housing project in Kampung Baru. 
I have fished in streams, lakes and the ocean. 
This outing is no different. 
I call it a refresher course..

My catch: A red Tilapia

The patience game

A decent lunch: Curry wild boar and a fried egg
Fishing is fun!
Ah Pan led me to a pond at the other side of the farm.
It was inhabited by an old farmer, who was paralyzed after a stroke some months back.
Today, he is in a great shape and to my surprise, the old dude speaks fluent English!
We spent a couple of hours fishing there, while the old farmer wanted some manure from Farmer Wong's place.
Ah Pan landed the most Tilapia which was released back to the pond.
I managed to land a few and before we knew it, the weather had ran foul.
We went back to the farm as I made my way back to Bentong to drop off Ah Pan at his mechanic's workshop.
Spent the evening in Bentong exploring some food stalls which I never knew existed and later head back out to the highway home.
To me, it was a weekend well-spent with friends. 
And Sunday, its back to the grind!
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