I understand two icons now. Noah. And Freddy Mercury. I never thought that the day of desperation would come when I would use both names in one paragraph either but as Leonidas would say, "This is KERTEH!!!"
I feel Noah's frustration, his angst in waiting to step out on dry land. In like vein, for four weeks I have been drawing back the curtain only to find that the pelting from the night before persisted wetly into morning, and day break looked no brighter than day's end. Those four weeks and the hunger that the chilly monsoon winds and waters inflict have incurred upon me the girth gain of one Noah's larger hosts showing the results of forty days and forty nights of feeding with no frolicking. Whale would have been a fitter comparison but I doubt they needed the ark during the flood.
It was not long before I was pedalling my giblets out as the backroads provided gradients that bellowed their threats of cardiac arrest to anyone who has lapsed cycling for more than 72 hours. But the sting of sun upon the dermis was irresistible. I needed the sight of green foregrounding the deep azure, and such vistas can wring out a few more kilometres than would be yielded by breathlessness on twilight days. I fiddled with the Shimano triggers as the road climbed ahead of me to pave the bridge over the railway. It was revision that sometimes, a cyclist has no choice but to mash diligently. Again, the hill is not in the way, the hill is the way.
As I passed through the heart of Kampung Chabang, I encountered this young handsome bowler-hatted gentleman just short of the dotted line on his unfettered stroll to the other side of the road. I never leave one of these guys halfway to the greenests. One of my first garden finds in Kerteh was one such as he albeit of senior years, and from frequently finding them all over the place intact or struggling to remain so, I deduce that their demographics must be healthy. Perhaps the known scarcity of houses for rent in Kerteh drives for one to always carry one's home on one's back. I took advantage of this road less travelled to pick him up and wormhole him to his intended destination. After tipping my helmet to him in farewell I was not 30 seconds into furious pedalling uphill yet again when I sighted that which neither he nor I knew at the time of our meet-up: two 3-1/4 ton trucks hurtling past me on the opposite lane as if their drivers had graduated from Sepang's Inernational Circuit. I have new appreciation for the phrase not a moment too soon, though the value of what you don't know won't hurt you is completely lost for now. This one very nearly did.
After four weeks of rain, the sun drew out moisture from all living things. The hills were a fresh nature-laundered green, their misty breath hanging low and heavy even at 9 ad merides. Life was emerging to sun itself. Not all ended happily. One musang met with an untimely end as he attempted what my bowler-hatted friend had. This happens a lot in Kerteh, with simians and civet cats alike; this oil and gas town where the majority of hotshots believe in burning off the single offshore treasure faster than the refineries can process it by being speed demons. But damn, really, this was the T129 backroad for bloody goodness' sake. Must someone prove petrol prowess here amongst creatures who have more legitimate ownership to the premises than any conjured constitutional clause can claim for us?