Kampung girl at heart

Location: Alor Star, Kedah, Malaysia

Monday, December 26, 2005

crazy december

It takes a calamity or a natural disaster to make me view my life and realise i had a lot to be thankful about. and at the same time, how bogged i am with so many rubbish and garbage in my life.

God, i feel so tired....... i've had a long long long stresful week.
Someone once said that a week is long in politic. in real life too. I and thousands others in Kedah recently had a very long and stressfull week, thanks to the flood which suddenly hit the northern part and Perlis. It was described to be the worst in 30 years, not that the information helped sooth our emotional turmoil at having to fled our home and seek refuge elsewhere.

to top it off, our menteri besar or chief minister had to choose this week of all time, to resign. so on top of chasing for flood stories, we were forced to chase after him to confirm the news and to get an interview.

There i was outside his home in my shorts and rain jacket, fresh (?) from covering the flood to try my luck at getting him to talk. no such luck though as he refused to let us in and even asked one of his men to shoo us politely away. i was worried though as my competitor was inside with him and though the officer said the conversation was off the record, i was worried initially. my attempt at calling the MB on his handphone was somewhat successful as he answered only to say that he had resigned so he had nothing to say. it was still worth a try and worth a story though. after trying all avenues, i gave up and persuaded my gang to return to office. if we did get scooped, it wasn't because i didnt make effort. Luckily though, the competitor called that night to say that there would be no article as it was off record. phew!! luck.

Still, in all my years as a journalist, i've covered almost all sorts of situation but always as an observer. this flood is different as i was almost a victim and it was hellish. not only was i worried about making the best coverage possible, i was worried about my home, my life. while working, i was also thinking and worrying about my belongings.

seeing and interviewing the flood victims help put things in perspective. If it is fated to happen, it will happen.Once i decided to put my faith and fate in Allah, i felt free and light, and i was able to concentrate on work. and i and my colleague worked like hell, day and night and we even stayed in the office for two nights as we feared that we would be stucked at our home if the water level rose.

admist all this, while packing my things to put at a friend's home, i realise what is important in life is food, shelter and clothes.
It felt surreal too to visit the flooded areas and witness the damage to people and property in various areas in jitra and kota star, yet a few kilometres away in town itself, life went on as normal. in anak bukit and even in kampung pisang near my office, people were being evacuated from their homes yet many others in nearby areas were going about their business, eating, shopping and having a good time. i felt so weird.

While in the thick of the flood, it brought memories of my working during the tsunami last december. It was scary, seeing the devastation it brought to kota kuala muda in sungai petani and kampung sungai keriang in langkawi. homes swept away leaving the shell or even just the outdoor toilet. the whole place covered in the gred mud and slime. and us thinking initially that it was just a normal small scale event and discovering that it was awesome. from dec 26, it stretched to mid january and i remember wondering when it would ever end because the days just turned into one long blur haze.

that was what i felt recently while covering the flood. it was worst still in terms of coverage for we had to look for transport for many of the places were unaccessible by normal vehicles.

I fled my home on monday for fear the water would rise as it is too near the river. never had i see the river swollen with water. it was scary. the best news was when the water started receeding and i could return home.