When I first saw the email from Isaac informing us that a group of bikers would like to stay in Uluhati over the weekend, I was simply ecstatic. What!! all those huge superbikes on the grounds of Uluhati beneath the rambutan and durian trees and getting a chance not only to see but also, if they allow me, touch those fantastic machines. This is a chance not to be missed. We must make it happen.
But do not misunderstand me. My fascination with superbikes is just that and nothing more. I marvel at their designs, engineering and overall good looks. Owning a motorbike has never fall into my scheme of dreams, though recently I bought an old beat-up Honda Cup for the gardener. You see, I belong to that fast disappearing generation who were raised by parents who viewed of the motorbike as something less than desirable and the people on top of them even more undesirable. This is the generation where everyone one in the village is either and uncle or an auntie, even though no blood ties can be proven, and all of them have the license to beat the living daylights out of you if you misbehave. On the other hand every other house is your home and you can have your lunch or dinner or drop dead for the night at whichever home you're at. This is also the time when most parents if measured by today's legal system would have filled up Pudu Jail to the brim. You see, discipline then was a nice good lashing with whatever is handy, some times pineapple fronds, thorns and all. Those were "difficult times" in more ways than one, especially for youngsters, but if not for those times, where would I be today.
But I digress. Actually my distant infatuation with bikes, big or small, has another dimension. So the time finally came I left the "comfort and security" of home and struck it out on my own in university, and guess what, one day, in my freshmen year, I actually borrowed a bike to run some errants. As luck would have it, due to the bikes fault, I ended up reving the bike up a tree. You know how its like in your freshmen year. Everything you do becomes the hit of the month. So the story went around of this confused freshman who tried to bring his bike up a tree. That they could never figure out who it was, because of the full face helmet, did not keep my brown face from turning purple each time it was brought up in the canteen, corridors and concourses. So I swore I will never go near a bike again, resigned only to admire them from far. Strictly platonic, a genuine case of unrequited love.
Again I digress, but never mind. Having got through my initial excitement at having the superbikes at Uluhati, worrisome thoughts slowly crept to my mind. Superbikes means Supermen, no? Those 200 pounders with tattoo upto their necks and everywhere else, thick bushy beard, arms as big as banana trunks, thighs the size of coconut trunks, and those eyes... which you can never make out what they are at. They would be like modern day Vikings, okay in this case Eastern Vikings. What am I (56 kg) going to do if 20 of these grizzly bears decide to run amuk and start uprooting my durian trees.
But hang on. They are from Singapore, no? Surely such unsavory characters are not tolerated in Singapore. So it would be okay afterall and I can resume my superbike fantasy again.
So the great day finally arrived and the great machines finally rolled in. Issac, the team leader smiled charmingly beneath his helmet. That plus his normal size put my heart to rest and we looked forward to a great weekend. When everyone disembarked and took their helmets off, most of them were our older children's age and very nice charming people. No tattoos, no beard, arms normal, legs normal. Okay Paul was big, but tell you about him later.
So they had their bamboo rafting later in the day. When all the rafter have departed from the rafting point, I found that our "Langat Express", the lorry transport had left without me. So I only had Big Paul with his Super Big bike to bring me back to Uluhati. Torn between anticipation, excitement and trepidation, I inquired if he would ferry be back to Uluhati. Paul answered politely and softly, "sure uncle, no problem". So there I was grinning ear to ear hanging on to dear life as Paul weaved effortlessly through the winding country road. I was pretty sure he was going at least 100 kph, but when I glanced at the speedometer it was only 40 kph. See, how easy it is to please me. It felt funny and humbling when a 56 year old man can be entertained by a man who is as old as his son.
The rest of the weekend was light and easy. It seems they do this quite often just to get away from the usual city madness and realign their emotions again. It is very nice to see young people enjoying themselves in such wholesome manner. So the myth about those terrifying bikers is finally broken, at least for me.
Thank you Isaac and Jocelyn for gracing Uluhati and we hope to meet again someday. Salam