Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Oldster’s Woes

It’s been a while since I last ventured to the ‘morning market’. Some people call it tamu. I prefer ‘morning market’ because by ten o’clock there’s no trace of it left whereas a tamu is busy the whole day. It’s not far, this market. A mere 485 steps—and I take small steps—past several houses and two rows of shop houses and I’m there.

Lately I’ve been sitting around too much (and lying down too) and it struck me that if I didn’t move around a little, I might end up round like a balloon and frozen into a sitting position forever. So today, after a bit of weeding in the front yard where the lalang has overtaken my daisies, I set out for the market.

Courtesy of Andrew
Going to the market two or three times a week used to be my responsibility. Someone has to replenish our ‘store’ of perishables. But after doing it for … has it been 25 years?...I finally told Mr. Hubby he has to take a more active role as a member of the family. So he has been the main shopper for the last three years (only!). I, on the other hand, had been paying for the household expenditure for more than thirty years and I know it HAD to stop. (You didn’t hear this from me, okay?)

Granted, he paid for the house (and takes care of the water and electricity bills). After all,  the house belongs to him whereas I’m just a boarder. He could kick me out tomorrow and I’ll be out in the street with a houseful of stuff and no roof over my head! Ah well, at least it is comforting to know that if Mr. Hubby kicked me out he’ll have nothing to look at besides the walls and nothing to sit on except the floor. In fact, he won’t even be able to cook instant noodles because I’d be taking along all my pots and the cooker, too. But I’ve taken the wrong turning here… Sorry.

Courtesy of Andrew
I wanted to tell you about my morning expedition.

It’s a straight dog-poop-covered sidewalk until I come to the T-junction where I turn right to the shops. I start counting as soon as I’ve closed the gate. At the fifteenth step I watch out for the dog and its owner. They both go ACROSS the road to my side of the lorong to this tree and flower bushes which is the dog’s toilet. Dog and master don’t want to dirty their own sidewalk, you see. But it’s okay to poop outside their neighbour’s gate.

Maybe we should put up a notice or something to show our displeasure.

From Google Images
Today, farther down, there is a terrible stench coming from the big drain which runs parallel to our lorong. The smell has actually polluted the air in my yard. Someone must have given some animal a drain burial (not a burial at sea like the recent burial we read about).

Dumping rubbish and dead things into the drain is very convenient. Digging a hole is tiring and time-consuming. And not ‘cool’.

Nowadays, I’m not surprised if people just threw an animal carcass into the drain outside their compound. Several years ago, to save themselves the trouble of giving their pet dog a proper burial, my back neighbours quietly placed the body at the corner of their compound which is farthest from their house; right next to the fence dividing our lots. When I first saw it, I thought the dog was asleep until I noticed it was sleeping in the same position throughout the night and the next day.

Maybe the neighbours were too heartbroken to bury it. Maybe they didn’t have a spade. Or time or energy. I don’t know. But the next thing I saw, they’d covered the dog nicely with a few pieces of newspaper. With NEWSPAPER!

The stench was indescribable. We closed our back door and windows and withdrew from the backyard for many months but the smell followed us through the crack under the door. Besides, I still had to put the washing out to dry. The stinking smell clung to our skin, hair and clothes. It was horrible.

There, I wanted to tell about my morning and I got carried away again. Does it ever happen to you, this going round and round instead of getting straight to the point? Or is this an oldster’s problem?

My mama is a great one for this and she doesn’t tolerate interruptions. When I end her stories for her (because she repeats a lot—like a teacher—I know many of the endings) she’d say: ‘Ko dengar dulu!” Her eyes, burning with impatience, would stop the words spilling out of my mouth.

I hate it but it looks like I’m getting to be more and more like my mother when it comes to telling a story. One simple story becomes so convoluted with many side-stories and half-stories that by the time it ends the listener has forgotten what happens at the beginning.

Pic borrowed from Googles Images

I’ll tell you about my morning expedition another day. Take care and avoid stepping on that dog poop.


  1. I chuckled when I read this post, Tina. I imagined you took all your belongings and camp outside the 'husband's' house while he's sitting on the floor inside, without pot to cook instant noodle. LOL

    That smell from the carcass must have been a real bug, I can't imagine that. If I were you, I would not put up with it, I will knock their door eveeeeeryyy day and bicker with them if I have to. That's just soooo stupid, no excuse for behaving like that. They could pay someone to do it for them if they were that sad to bury their dog. Ko telampau baik hati bah mangkali ni Tina. He he.

    And nooooo, you don't have oldster's problems, it's normal. My 4 year old niece does the same thing too. She says, I'm going to tell you about my dancing ...bla bla bla and all I heard about dancing after 30 minutes is still 'I'm going to tell you about my dancing!' Oh wait, maybe you're having a youngster's problem? Lol

    I love it when you mention something about your mum. I think she's a lovely talkative lady who is easy to love. *hug for you*

  2. If I were you I immediately ring up 111 0r 999 telling them there is a dead body in your neighbour's backyard and ask them to investigate as there is an awful stinging smell coming from the compound your uncivilized backyard friend!!!?

    Ah! about an oldster’s problem? Every one soon or latter will going through the same journey just like me!!! Remembered what our friend Tony told you that I could go on chatting as if no body business, whether they like it or not I can ran a Marathon talking from dusk to dawn. He...he...he!

  3. Hi Gunaqz... That's me all right.. camping outside the house and blocking the driveway and half the width of the lorong.
    The neighbours are actually nice. I never thought of going knocking on the door. There are other dogs still alive and so fierce that they bark at me even when I'm minding my own business on my side of the fence!

  4. Good idea, Andrew! If there's a next time I'll call the police so they come and check for a dead body.