Thursday, June 19, 2014
Changkat Jering Revisited
I have been hibernating from posting anything on my blog for about half a year, and it it was a good break. Sometimes when you lay off for that long, it would lead to enthropy, that is the end of the story.
However, from my last visit to Taiping on 02 November 2013, I did not expect to come again to Taiping or to be more precise, Changkat Jering. But what man proposes, God disposes, and as such this time I was driving all the way to the North, which I said in my posting on "Taiping Revisited" I had not done so for years. I began about 0940 hours to leave Kelana Jaya towards the Plus highway en-route to Kuala Kangsar, my first stop for the night before continuing to Taiping. It was a friday morning of 30 May 2014, and the weather was fine. I only did one stop, that was at Ladang Bikam lay-bye, as the traffic was fairly building up as it was the beginning of school holidays. I purposely avoided stopping at R & R Tapah due to the huge crowd, and I planned to stop at the Agro Mall just before Ipoh. Alas, I missed the exit due to my miscalculation and furthermore the long heavy vehicle blocked my view as I was looking for the signboard showing the exit lane. I continued and after passing Ipoh, I wanted to stop at the Dataran Sungei Perak R&R, but was disappointed because I could not find a suitable parking bay near to the food-court, again due to the large holiday crowd. So I proceeded to Kuala Kangsar. I stopped for lunch at Restaurant Kak Bitah, a 24-hour eating shop just opposite the Prep School of MCKK.
Then I went straight to Perak Riverside Resort as it began to rain, which is not far from the famous small roundabout with the clock-tower in the town centre. While Nasimah and Haniff remained in the car as it was raining, I went to the check-in counter to register and get the key. Then Haniff helped in getting the luggage to the room and I was surprised that I was given a room upstairs, whereas I have asked Hazim to inform the front desk that I wanted a ground-floor room when he was staying here about two weeks before my arrival. I was further shocked to find that the room was in a mess when I entered. Furious, I went back to the front-desk and told off the girl, and the supervisor who incidentally was there apologised to me. I asked to be given a room on the ground-floor, to which the supervisor consented. However upon moving into the so-called suite, my heart sank when I saw the mouldy wall next to the bathroom and the condition was far from satisfactory. Nevertheless the bathroom was quite clean, but again the hot-water was disconnected when I wanted to use it the next morning, much to my chagrin.
It was a Saturday when I checked out and as I was leaving, a gentleman who was at the car-porch near the check-in counter bade me good-bye. I learnt that he was the new Manager who took over from the previous operator of the resort, barely a month ago, and I took the opportunity of unloading my discontentment. He was profusely ashamed at the condition of the room and said that he would put things straight as soon as possible. I replied that hopefully the place would be much better the next time I drop in. So after bdiiding farewell to the resort I headed towards Taiping, using route One, the old road passing Padang Rengas and Bukit Gantang before arriving at Kamalodge, Taiping at about noon.
Although check-in time was at 1500 hrs, I asked for earlier check-in as I wanted to do my Zohor prayers to which the counter clerk tried her best to accommodate my request. To my dismay, I was given a room which was not the single-storey chalet near to the walkway, but was given one of the double-storey chalet though on the ground-floor but it was at the highest point of the resort where it takes about twenty flights of stairs to the entrance of the room. I tried my best to persuade the clerk, a young lady to allow me to change to a better place where Nasimah could easily avail herself rather than had to labour twenty flights of stairs. Alas, she politely informed me that all the single-storey rooms are fully booked,despite me explaining to her that my nephew had booked me the single-storey chalet. So that afternoon, when Hazim and family checked in by 1600 hrs, I made it known to him of my displeasure of making us the senior citizens to labour getting to our room. Luckily I managed to book another hotel and checked out of Kamalodge, Taiping, on the day when we had to attend the wedding function at Kampong Belakang Masjid Changkat Jering.
As if all these discomforts were not sufficient to test our patience, the rear window of my car was not able to be wound up after it slid down and the window lifter would not work. Then by nightfall, as we wanted to go for dinner on Sunday 31 May, the whole window slid down and could not be lifted, thus posing a danger of a break-in to the car, should it be left unattended. I phoned my brother-in-law in Kota Damansara that Sunday night and told him of my predicament. He said he would ask his nephew in Ipoh to come and fix the problem the following morning. However he asked me to confirm after I had my breakfast on Monday, 01 June, 2014.
By Monday morning, I decided to leave for home and told Khalil, my brother-in-law and he had to call his nephew to turn back as he was already driving to Taiping. Nevertheless, I stopped by Kuala Kangsar for lunch before proceeding back to Kelana Jaya. Hasnul and family also left together with us to KK, and after we had lunch, again at Kak Bitah's shop, I told him he could go straight home and do not have to convoy with us, as the weather was fine and at long last we reached home safely by almost maghrib time. Alhamdulillah, alls well that went well, despite the hiccups, which to my mind a test on my patience,since I had not planned to revisit Taiping on the wedding date of my nephew Muhammad Hadzrin Shah, the night of 31 May and the Kenduri on 01June 2014.