Chapter 1: Kambing.. the beginning

Posted: Monday, June 4, 2007 by SpidEy d'lEfty in Labels:

He googled 'Ulam' but those appeared in the search results were about mathematician Stanislaw Marcin Ulam or historian Prof. Adam bin Ulam, or else, about the graphical display of prime number which called Ulam Spiral, and there was even fantastic surprise about 'Ulam' on web:

'ULAM' = Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine.

"Shit!" Man started to feel impatient. "Hebat konon ulam nih.., tak jumpe pun lam internet.." He complained to his project partner, Rizal, who was also browsing through internet for some info about 'ulam'.

"Memang lah takder.. yg makan ulam nih orng kampung lah beb, manelah diorng tau nk create webpage talking bout ulam?" Ayin chipped in, she was the only group member who did not care for this research project assigned by Prof Z -- her father.

"Eh Yin, I asal bandar tp makan gak ulam.. saper kate itu makanan orang kampung? Kitrng makan gak per?" Zack tried to fight back.

"Ko lain, ko kambing." Again, Ayin caught him. The boys chuckled.

"... to know something better, we gotta touch it and feel it, not seeing it from far..." Philosophical Rizal started to express his sudden inkling, ".. hmm.. something to ponder..".. he started to sink into deep thought.

The rest, as usual, took their long deep sigh and shook their head -- they knew Rizal so much but they just couldn't stand his philosophical tone of talking. For them, sometimes they prefer silent-Rizal rather than pointless-philosophical-Rizal.

"No please..." pleaded Ayin..

"Yes please!" Rizal showed his unusual insistence, "we are going to touch, to feel, and to taste ulam -- this is the only way to know ulam, not through internet. Nokhta."

Period. Silence ensued. Everybody stared at Rizal with dazed.

"No Zal, Prof Z doesn't expect we go that far.." Zack was the first to respond, which led to everybody's nod.

"Betul Zal, ini cumo project saje2... bukan ade markah pun. My pa saje nak menyusahkan aku, kite buat jer lah aper dier mintak -- 2 pages of report pasal ulam -- tak yah lah sampai turun desa.." Daring-boyish Ayin for the very first time talked in such a gentle way.

"I thought we dun deal with markah all this while, right? I thought 4 of us have agreed that we dun study for markah, right? I thought we are selected for this project simply because Prof Z and his colleague agreed to our attitude of learning, right?" Rizal reminded them what was the real meaning behind this project.

"... but... I still dun see the necessary to put it in that way..." Ayin was still not convinced.

"We'll fall into the same pathetic trap of 'blind-study' system if we complete the project only via copy-pasting information from internet.." Rizal looked straight to the front, put down the remark in his philosopher tone.

Ayin started loosing her cool. "Ketua say something!" She looked at Man.

Man took a deep breath. ".. maybe there are something else that Prof Z wants from us, and maybe there are something else that we might get from Prof Z...."

"Hmm.. something to ponder.."Rizal continued.

"Terjangkit ker aper??!!! Berduet lah korng!!" shouted Ayin.

"Let's see this as a vacation, lawatan sambil belajar, why dun we?" Man finished his statement.

At that moment, Ayin almost fainted. "W-H-A-T?!!?!?!"

"Destination: Teluk Batik, kampung atok aku!" Zack was so excited to have a trip back to Teluk Batik. Ayin turned to him, staring with her almost pop-out eyes, angrily, unbelievably.

"What? Dun look at me like this, you are going to be one of the kambing too! Muahahahaha!!" Zack fell down from the coach, rolling on the floor laughing like hell. And Rizal and Man, started to plan their trip to Teluk Batik.

.. and Ayin, stood straight in the living room of Man's apartment, trying to figure out what was actually happening, and more importantly, what was the meaning of 'kampung' after 22 years of living in this metropolis.