As a small kid from Pasir Mas, Kelantan, I always dreamt of KL as a city high above the clouds where people were rich , beautiful and elegant. I never had the opportunity to go there but wished someday would be able to walk down the famous street like Jalan TAR. KL , of course, was really a big-ass thing for me; well for anyone in Kelantan for that matter. If you were born in KL and came back for Hari Raya then everybody wanted to be friend with you; you would be regarded as clean, charming and highly intelligent. The KL accent would be highly prized and we the kampong boys listened to the way KL people talk like watching a live TV show; drooping and all without understanding a thing. So everbody wished to be from KL. In Kelantan , people from KL are regarded as “orang luar” (outside people); referring to those not accustom to our dialect and our way of life. That was some while ago as the term seems to be uncommon nowadays. But still when the Raya days came around ,the streets all over were clogged down and some foreign accents were in the air, we knew KL folks are back—“orang KL dah balik daa” ; we would somehow give ways and make ourselves invisible so that they can enjoy their balik kampong trip.
My first trip to KL was after the SPM exam when we were called for an English course in ITM (now UiTM). I remember for being so nervous as people said the trip was long and tiring. I bought a ticket on Mara Ekspres for the 8pm journey. During that time Mara just got a few new buses as the journey to KL had become more popular by bus. I looked at that new shining bus, elegantly parked in the station ready for the journey, and say to myself, “ I am finally free, I am going to KL”. The feeling was so big and enormous as if the world is mine. I don’t really remember why but that was the feeling. I guess as a student from a boarding school in Kelantan, I was so confined to the hostel and its little life and when the opportunity to go your own way like that trip; I was so relieved. The journey was not as bad as I was told; they got a TV on board showing a Hindi movie, so I was okay.That was also the time when Alleycat’s Sekuntum Mawar Merah started to become a hit. Those nostalgic moments will be back every time the song is on the air—-aaaahhh feel so good ;I just want the song to stay on the air forever. We reached Puduraya by dawn and the hustle and bustle of city life had started to warm me up from the cold air on the bus. Now what? Where the heck is ITM? So I asked as the sun started to rise; revealing the true picture of KL.