Wake up

Kluang, Monday 18 December 2000
The sun wakes me up.

It's seven o'clock in the morning and the big light switches on. The sun does not have any doubts in Malaysia. The morning starts without dusk. It's like somebody flips a big switch. This sun is the best alarm clock in the whole world.

It's hot in Kuala Lumpur. The sweat pours down my head. Holland must be still dark and cold. I find it hard to imagine.

I suffered from headaches for weeks in Holland, due to lack of energy. The sun is like a recharger, reloads my battery. My headache melts away.

SUMit homepage Java Programmer About Nut Senior OO Systems Analyst Contact Henk Jan Business Card Henk Jan Nootenboom At the top floor of "the Mall, kompleks Putra" I order some extra business cards. Two years ago this print shop was nothing more than a table and chair. Now it has grown to a small enterprise.

A bit further down I check my mail in the Identiti Cybercafé. The owner appears to be of a rare species, one that knows about expert systems.

What am I doing here? I'm searching some piece and tranquillity in Kluang (google.com/...Kluang), a small town between KL and Johor Baru. What's in Kluang that attracts you? the owner asks. There is nothing to do there That's exactly why it appeals so much. Get away from the crowds. Here, December is one big school holiday, first Christmas, than Hari Raya and Western new year. In January Chinese new year will follow.

The train to Kluang departs too early for me (ktmb.com/intercity.htm). The express bus is a logical alternative. The Puduraya bus station still has it's charm, chaotic and complex, with dozens of bus companies (udaholdings.com.my/puduraya/...) to a multitude of destinations. There must be some hidden logic in the whole system, but to me it's still one big deviating order. It takes some time to find a company that serves Kluang.

But an hour later I see the extensive palm plantations passing by. Kilometre after kilometre of waving fields, as a the curly head of a giant, taking a nap in the sun.

In Kluang everything is easy going. Things are quiet here. It's ramadan. Even the restaurants, normally centres of hectic activity, are unusually silent. Even the Pasar Malem (night market) is almost deserted. The hawker stalls are closed here as well. It looks to me like tropical Malaysia is having a winter sleep.

The next day shows the logic. It is ramadan. The pasar malem is busy, but only just before sunset. Afterwards all hawkers are enjoying dinner. So, my awakeness has proven to be not too good yet. I guess I need a some more sunshine on my head.

Till next week!