I never visited Langkawi before...although its natural and legendary beauty never failed to capture my imagination.
With only 45,000 inhabitants, Langkawi is bestowed with phenomenal sandy-white beaches, beautiful islands and rich sunny skies.
Upon boarding the boat in Kuala Perlis, I never really thought Langkawi would bring so much memory, nostalgia and good things in my later life. The thought of uncertainty and unfamiliar life on the island shrouded my initial excitement.
Together with my loyal companion, Ipin, we arrived there late in the evening. It was a sunny evening...the sky was crystal clear blue...yet the cloud of uncertainty still harbouring my mind.
I don't know what's going to happen...what things that may lay right after me here. Everything seems so strange to me...like I'm heading into a dark alley...and disappeared into a foreign territory.
We stayed in my uncle's house. He lived in Kangar before moving to Langkawi in 1997. Famed for his firm and generous character, I placed him on the highest regards. He has 3 children...and his wife is from Thai’s descendant.
Things started off as exquisite as our earlier plan, but soon began to falter. My fear is fast turning into reality...I can't reveal the details of the incident, but it had put me into a very strange and difficult situation. For all that I could remember, that was one of the toughest challenges I had endured in my entire life. I never experienced that amount of pressure before.
My friend realised it...and we spend the whole evening away from home. His imminent departure is inevitable...so he left the day afterwards...leaving me alone here. But certainly it's not his fault. Time and awkward condition separated us...until now, I am still feeling at fault with all these.
Stranded on this legendary island alone, I felt extremely lonely. No one's there to comfort me...except a certain Nurul Najwa. She was always there for me...although she's living a quiet life in mainland Kedah. She's the panacea of my successful two months stint there. A lot has happened since then...but one thing for sure, I won't forget all her good deeds easily.
I started the long journey on my own...without any friend. I went to almost every single hotel in Langkawi...hoping to land a job. But it was extremely difficult...the fact that I didn't know anyone in their inner circle. The recruitment staff would only hire those who are closely related to them.
I tried and tried...but to no avail.
I nearly gave up...there was no other hope left for me. I even thought about returning to Jitra. On my way back to my uncle's home on one devastating evening (my application was rejected because they were looking for permanent staff), I stopped in front of the newly born ‘Plaza Langkawi’.
I decided to have a look inside. It is a mammoth structure from the outside...which attracted my curiosity. I went around from shops to shops...until I arrived at a relatively small shop, which carried this small note on its front door.
“Jawatan Kosong. Diperlukan Segera”
It was like a dream come true! I contacted the given number...which was picked up by a woman. She told me to wait patiently outside the shop, as her husband (shop owner) was on his way through.
I waited anxiously outside the shop...I even imagined the big boss might look like a big stupid arsehole monster, ready to bite and skin me alive. Fuck you my wild imagination. All these stupid thinking escalated my nervous state to a 5-storey height...I was very nervous...
He arrived 5 minutes later...upon seeing me seating alone, he instantly recognised that I was the one. He gave a short interview...non-other than to check my background. But he didn't even bother to check the validity of my claim...my innocent and trustful look sure helped me a lot.
So there I got the job...the very first time in my entire life I got hired! What a day. All my hard work was paid off that day. I started working the same day...in a small cyber cafe which bears the name “Langkawi Online”
From that day onwards...I worked very hard, to accumulate enough money and experience before I entered the next phase of my life...university. Oddly enough, sometimes, I hardly worked because the big boss was there quite often.
I worked endlessly for eight straight days...and I was badly exhausted. I have zero experience before...there's no way can I handle this large crowds on my own. My boss only equipped me with basic instructions...if not because of my genius, I might have crumbled into pieces.
I managed to hold on...because somehow I fall in love with this job. On the ninth day, my boss hired a new guy to assist me. What a relief...so there I got a new colleague.
He was none other than Faisal...who was due to become my best friend afterwards. He introduced himself briefly...and how on earth my boss persuaded him to join us remained a big mystery. A computer expert with relevant skills in networking, I think he was hired more as a technician...compared to me, merely as a cashier. But somehow his look is a resemblance of mine...although we possess distinct personality. People often misinterpreted us as sibling...with him as the older brother.
We barely spoke with each other early on...but things started to get better later on. For those who keep thinking a degree is the mother of all intelligence (and master, PhD as the grandfather of all intelligence) please think again. He is quite an exceptional person. He may not hold any degree under his belt, but his vast arrays of knowledge easily outclass most of our current graduates.
After two months, I returned to Kedah...surely, with 1001 emotions...people that I'll remember for my entire life...places that I'll never forget...and memories that'll never fade away...~