THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Friday, 16 January 2009


...the talk... and the bikes... finally!

Yes, the talk to a group of UTP students who just registered this week. It's their Minggu Aluan Siswa, and the talk on HIV/AIDS was included in their programme, thanks to one of our volunteers who happen to be a staff of UTP.

When we were first informed about the programme, the talk was supposed to start at 9 am. So my initial plan was to go direct to UTP in the morning, and after the talk I'd drop by Lin's place on the way back to Ipoh to deliver the bicycles, and then go to my office as it is peak period in the office right now.

Then I was informed that our talk was rescheduled to 11 am. Alamak... kena tukar program. So I figured I might as well go to the office first, do some work first before heading to UTP, then on the way, I'd drop by Lin's place to drop off the bikes so when I go to UTP my car wouldn't look like a delivery van.

Suddenly yesterday evening, my colleague (the fellow volunteer who works in UTP) called me up and asked if it was okay with me if they changed the time to 10 am instead. Aduuuh... kena tukar program lagi! Thank goodness I do have flexi working hours, so okay, I agreed.

There were still some matters I needed to settle at the office, so I went to the office first and left the necessary instructions to the staff at the office. I left my office slightly before 9 am, although I knew it would take just slightly more than half an hour to reach UTP. I was afraid that if I had waited a bit longer, some business clients may drop by to see me, making it difficult for me to leave the office on time.

Just as I was leaving my office, I got a text message from my colleague, saying that the speakers who were supposed to give the talk before mine were running late, so I'd have to expect some delay. Whaddaheck I thought... I was about to leave my office anyway, I might as well just go ahead. Besides, I always prefer to be early when I have any appointments anywhere (unless I know for sure the person/s I have an appointment with are regulars at not being punctual!) so I'd have time for a breather before I start with whatever I'm supposed to do.

I didn't want to drop by Lin's place first as she did mention that usually in the mornings she'd help out her brother at his food stall. Besides, I had a tough time yesterday getting the bicycles into my car and arranging them so that I could close the back door! I didn't want to be struggling to get the bikes out of the car as fast as possible to rush to UTP, so might as well deliver them after the talk.

And so yes, I was early. While waiting for the 2nd talk (yes, mine was the 3rd talk for the day - why lah I always get to speak only when the students' brains are already filled with facts from too many talks... the last time that happened, the students (form 4 students) were sooo rowdy they didn't even bother to listen anymore!), I had a chat with my fellow volunteer and a few senior students who were in the Minggu Aluan Siswa organising committee. So I didn't really feel like I had to wait. To me it was just nice timing for me to relax first before the talk.

Then the time came for my talk, and as I entered the hall, I heard the emcee mention something like, "Announcing the arrival of ........" and then all the students stood up and they sat only after I sat on stage. Muahaha! Like VIP like that.... aiyo, we Buddies are soooo used to being so low profile and so casual, I must admit I did feel rather awkward. Luckily I was not wearing slippers... hehehe...

Despite that being the 3rd talk for the day and after a week of hectic activities for the newly registered students, and in addition to that, the students had to prepare for their freshie talent night this very night, I must commend the students for still paying attention when this makcik was up on stage presenting her facts. There were questions asked in relation to my presentation... which means they were indeed listening. It did amaze me though, when I asked them if anyone knew what vaginal microbiocides were, the girls were shaking their heads not knowing the answer but the "yes" answer came from the boys. Waaa... it's the female version of the condom and the boys knew better?? :)

During the Q&A, the questions came more from the boys. However, some of the questions were more medically/scientifically inclined, I definitely was not the right person to answer. I could only mention the findings of researches so far, no further then that. When finally one girl stood up to ask, she was given a round of applause. And she ended up as the only girl asking a question during the Q&A. The girls were shy I guess. I did tell them that they were welcomed to ask me questions personally outside the hall after the talk, and yes, a few of the girls did.

I didn't stay long after the talk. I did try to call a friend of mine who's also a UTP staff but her phone was off. So, I headed off for my next mission - to deliver the bicycles to Lin's house. It was about time I cleared the inside of my car which all the time while parked in UTP looked like this...

The inside of my Kenari... as seen from the back...

When I got to Lin's house, her 14 year old son, for whom one of the bikes was for, was outside. Great, I thought... there's someone to help me get the bikes out of my car!

When I told Lin earlier that I was going to deliver 2 bicycles, Lin was thinking I wouldn't be driving my Kenari. So when I got to her house and she saw my Kenari, she must have thought I brought only one bicycle. Then I opened the back door and she exclaimed, "Eh, MUAT??!"

Yes, the car may look rather compact, but I have been using this very same loyal old car to deliver lots of goodies, big and small, to the poor PLHIV families.

Of course, this morning when the bikes were in there, had I met with anyone who needed a ride, I wouldn't have been able to offer them the ride... not even at the front passenger seat.


Akmal said...

When kenari jadik cargo... :D

Pi Bani said...

This kenari memang betul2 jadi multipurpoe vehicle - kadang-kadang jadi lori kargo... kadang-kadang jadi teksi (yang tak berbayar punya)... kadang-kadang jadi ambulance bawa orang sakit...

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Nak tumpang Kenari Pi Bani, boleh? kata Pak Malim sambil memegang koleh. Nak beli biskut kucing, kata Pak Malim sambil memakai kancing.

Pi Bani said...

Pak Malim nak tumpang naik Kenari? tanya Pi Bani in a hurry.

Nak tumpang boleh tapi dok kemaruk biskut kucing tu jangan cakar tempat duduk sampai terkoyak, kata Pi Bani sambil makan tempoyak. ;)

J.T. said...

Hi Pi

I like cars that are multi-purpose. With no passengers 99.9% of the time, I keep the back seats folded down all the time. Love the space! :)

Pi Bani said...

My car has no passengers too about 90% of the time... but I don't lah keep the back seats folded down all the time. Takut nanti jumpa orang kenal tengah jalan, macam tak nak bagi tumpang.... :)