(originally written in Tanjong Jara Resort, 25th June 2007)
The journey ended as Jefree took one final turning to the right. We passed through shabby wooden houses, and miles of coconut trees along the way. If quietness has a different meaning, Tanjong Jara would be it. I stepped out of the car and place my feet at the resort’s entrance.
The polite attendant whisked our bags away; cold towels were neatly placed in front of us. Jefree and I sipped the signature drinks – Roselle cordial – in silence while waiting for our keys to the room. We were in awe by the beauty of this heaven on earth.
My heart was magically calmed by the sound of the water flowing endlessly from the fountain beside the concierge’s desk. The place was deserted saved and except for those invisible support staff. The sweet smell of roses permeates the air. I glanced around in search of the smell’s origin and found the rose bushes right at the end of the pavement. Ah, I could live here forever.
We walked to our room hand in hand and I thought to myself, it had been so long since Jefree and I were alone – since Luqman was born to be exact.
The room simply took our our breath away. It overlooks the sea amidst shady and old trees. The decoration is done tastefully; the concept is aptly named as “uniquely Malay.” I am aware, of course, if this writing gets anywhere, I would be doing YTL a gigantic favour they don’t really need.
The pathways in front of my room – in fact, pathways in this entire reclusive hideout – are neatly cobbled. I have always loved cobbled pathways or streets. It reminds me of ancient European cities. Strangely, I don’t see any other patrons in this resort; this sedentary life in Tanjong Jara is perfect for any aspiring writer. I am sure that the same sounds of the waves, clear blue sky reaching out to the end of the ocean and pristine white beach have inspired countless writers and poets.
If only I could afford to stay here longer than four days…
Sleep, which normally a constant battle for me, comes uninvited. After hours of total oblivion in blissful slumber, I woke up to the sounds of crashing waves and chirping birds from a distance. I walked up to the deserted pier at the fringe of South China Sea and chase the crab. I am, once again, a mischievous little girl who finds crab-chasing really therapeutic.
After an hour or so, fatigue took over, and I thought it was probably time to write something on my sacred moleskin. But what could I possibly write about at this moment. I gave up after a half-hearted attempt. I glanced at Albom’s latest book, hesitated for a second and abandoned the idea of reading too. I’ll read it later. In the meantime, I just wanted to lay here doing perfectly nothing. I just wanted to breathe in this stolen peacefulness for as long as I could. I closed my eyes. The only sound coherent to my ears was the waves.
I thought to myself, if I were to die and get to choose my heaven, this place would be it; where tranquility reigns supreme.
Good bye Phantom.