It was 1959 and my first bus trip to pasar or the bazaar. I did not use the term town or city then.
With two cents to rub in my pocket I went to the shops thinking that they would be like the shops in my own Limbang. I was a small little 13 years old and a little overage for Primary Five. But I was determined to make it in life.
Coming to Tanjong Lobang School made me feel as if I was in the heaven of education. The door of knowledge was opening to me a school boy from Ulu Medamit. Just a few months ago I was cooking my own rice in my little rice pot in a 15x15 school hut which doubled as our hostel with about 8 other boys and catching my own fish for dinner. "School" was Cikgu Bijit. " School" was all wooden and some exercise books. "School" was one room.
This was what Miri look like then. (Photo from a studio)
I walked all the way to the town early in the morning with Abu Bakar Matassan.
The shops were quite a sight I remember but I was not too intimidated or daunted by the hustle and bustle. I took up my courage and went into a general store and asked for "lemonade" a drink I remember having in limbang and I thought I could get it in any "kedai" or shop.
I believed the shop keeper was gently amused if not speechless upon my request. He was polite enough to this ulu looking boy and turned to his wife for help.
In a split second the towkay neo went out and I was asked to wait a little.
She came back with a black looking bottle with a label. That was my first bottle of aerated water made in Sarawak.
The towkay did not laugh at me or say anything unkind. But I remember this incident until now. That was kindness.