Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ramadhan Memory

3 years ago (based on hijri calendar) 28 Sept 2006M/5 Ramadhan 1427H

I was in Miri to mob to F23 Complex, Central Luconia, Sarawak Shell Berhad gas production platform. It was my first time to go to F23. I went to Miri one day earlier and stayed at Aie’s house at Pujut, thus saved some money on hotel and I got extra from the company because saved their money too. Aie is working at PCSB. Luckily I have friends all over Malaysia, thanks to PETRONAS to place them down anywhere you want. Aie has been my driver for those two days. We went to Bazaar together to break fast.

I was fasting of course, and scheduled to mob at 12noon by fast crew boat which was not so fast at all. I’ve been informed that the trip would take 8 hours journey through an open-wavy-strong current south china sea. It was almost monsoon time, so I would expecting a strong wind like a thousand hair dryers set to full blast hit onto my face. Taking boat ride with an empty stomach is not a wise thing to do. So I was planning to sleep all the way to platform and by the time we arrive there I would already break the fast. Simple and yet productive plan. Considering that I would be away from land for quite some times, around 2 to 3 weeks top and I have to come back before EidulFitri..So I include KFC in my boarding plan. On the way to the boat wharf, I asked Aie to stop by at any local KFC store. I went in and bought for myself a snack plate, original recipe, thigh and drumstick, the usual parts of chicken that I love most.

I arrived at boat wharf one hour earlier than boarding time. Say goodbye, handshake and all with Aie, I went into the boat cabin to find the perfect spot to lie down and relax. I found one perfect spot not taken yet. I grabbed it. Put down my bag and other belongings to a safe place and there I lie down while waiting for other passengers. After a while, I felt the boat starts to move, I looked at my watch and it was almost 1pm. I did a quick calculation in my mind and I came with conclusion that we would be arriving at 9pm, more or less. I checked out Miri’s prayers time through my Easy Access (still got coverage 3-5 km from the shore) and looked for Maghrib, and it was around 6.20pm. I smiled and continued to sleep and planned to wake up at 6.20pm, break the fast with KFC I bought just now with some rice they provide for lunch for non-muslim and muslim that did not fast.

Dash from boat against the waves awakens me. I opened my eyes and looked at the watch and it was 4pm. “alamak..lambat lagi nak buke ni, dah terjage plak”, my little heart speaking in whisper. I tried continuing to sleep. Unfortunately, at this condition, I could only sleep with some assistance of 2 pills (sea-sick pill) or someone knocks me down, hard. I started to depress. The dash, vibration, swing occurred in the same time were the reasons I became sleepless. I have this fear, the feeling that haunted me down when take a boat ride with an empty stomach. I fear that it would come and visit me again. Suddenly later I felt colic, gripes..I felt sick. Ya Allah, it’s coming to me now. I tried to calm and fought with the feeling in my stomach and set in my mind I would eat the KFC at 6.20pm which were not more than 2 hours left. The smells in the cabin provoked my stomach to get sicker. I always don’t like the smells of Comfort I and Comfort II. It makes me sick. I felt nervous and tense as well as dizziness. I tried to endure the pain. Endure the feel to throw up. I was suffering back then. I couldn’t bear any longer, I woke up and tried to get out of the cabin, reached grasp my KFC and ‘nasi bungkus’ on the way out. I felt like I just gulp down 5 matrix tan of Carlsberg into my sacred stomach. I felt drunk, really drunk when I stood up.

Outside, the swell were big, I sat on the floor at the star-boat-side opened my KFC then grabbed the drumstick, put in my mouth and chewed. I felt nothing, I felt like I chewed something tasteless. I couldn’t swallow them. And finally I threw up on the open sea. Threw up again and again until there was nothing left in my stomach to get rid of. I lie down on the floor restless, colic, gripes and sick. I ate the rice, drank water as much as possible if not I would dehydrated. The KFC, I left them at the star-boat-side, untouched. I then carried on lie down, in a while I collapsed, exhausted, to had a battle with those pains. Around 9pm, we arrived.

That day, I break my fast one hour earlier..I will never travel with boat again during fasting month. I flew there after the boat trip.

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