Aaah, yes, when my pitch to write a special report in Kuantan was approved, I travelled to the military camp with my cameraman to meet one of the military PR officers whom I’ve always called ‘Along’ (Eldest Brother). This guy was simply amazing (still is, in fact), he sorted out a uniform for me to wear during my sign-off which suited me perfectly. Look at me and my bad side!
If you missed the First Part of this entry, READ HERE!
So naturally, I did some interviews and my sign-off was amaaaazing! Because I was in uniform and all. I also managed to get to know a few personnel from the Joint Forces Command. Such nice people that I could call ‘Abang’ (big brother) and ‘Kakak’ (big sister).
During my interview with the Bruneian team, I also met their Defence Attaché who came to Kuantan for the sending off as well. Anyway, I suppose at such a young age, it was obvious that I had hots for the cute doctor that the DA teased the doctor, saying, “No point going back to Brunei now, is there? Not that you have a wife there anyway!”
Coming to think about it, wow, I really was that forward huh? Oh, well, I was young and dumb! Perhaps chasing the biological clock too, haha!
Anyway, once the interview was over, I was invited to enjoy seafood dinner with the Commanding Officer (who is now a big shot at the Ministry of Defence, so let’s not name drop here) which got me so excited thinking that I could probably see that doctor again. So believe me when I said, I was wearing something cute but still presentable in hope to ahemmm, at least sit across from the doctor at dinner so I could bask in his humble cuteness.
Aaahh, sometimes fate does have a cruel sense of humour. In this case, it was very cruel indeed since I travelled all the way from KL and didn’t get to sit with him at dinner. But I turned to his direction sometimes just to catch a glimpse of him. Oh, well, better luck next time I told myself.
But even sometimes Heaven can smile upon you and send a lifeline. One day Along actually texted me his number and told me to text him, since I was so madly in like with him. Oh, yes, there’s falling in love and then, there’s falling in like, but we’ll get back to that another time.
It took me quite some days to actually hit ‘Send’ to the cute doctor. Peeps, this was a time looong before Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger okay? So a text might’ve cost me 50 cents, haha!
Anyway, he replied after a couple of hours and we started exchanging emails. The conversation was always pleasant. There was probably a hint of flirtation between us too Oh, nothing out of the ordinary – asking each other how the day was, what did we do, what was our routine, how was work, the usual.
What I loved about whatever thing that we had was the flow of our communication. One moment, there was a storyline to our conversation, one moment all haywire with unrelated things popping up here and there. If I had to choose one word to describe this, that word would be ‘exhilarating’.
We could talk about almost everything. He also shared his secret passion for creative works, he has always been into photography and videography. Once he suggested that I leave my job and follow him to travel around the world to explore dishes of the world. He wanted to call the programme ‘Kitchen Krashers’ with me hosting it. We spoke about going to people’s homes and finding out their favourite dishes or if they have a family recipe that they’d like to share. I think he was somewhat inspired by his own story about Nasi Katok in Brunei, haha!
Read about Nasi Katok Brunei HERE!
He also loved movies – he probably has a collection of James Bond movies too! Once it was the doctor who reminded me of James Bond’s 50th Cinematic Anniversary, which I added into our TV promo. We also talked about P. Ramlee’s movies and quoted our favourite scenes. Almost every week, we’d announce which movie we planned to watch (despite the 1,500 km distance between us) and share our reviews.
You know, before him, I’ve always thought Bruneians to be very reserved. Then, I met him. I just couldn’t stop laughing every time I read his emails. Sometimes his choice of words was beyond me! If only I could share those funny lines here. It wouldn’t make sense too because how does one translate jokes into a different language altogether and still preserve the fun essence in them?
So long story short, something happened between us that really hurt my feelings that I’ve decided to move on and move up! Oh, well, honey, you can’t sell yourself short. Go BIG or go home. After a while, the feeling has faded over the months. So you can fall out of like with someone too.
But sometimes nostalgic moments can come back and remind you of all the things that made you smile. As for me, pain heals over time and all that’s left are the things that have once made me happy.
In fact I shared this story to an acquaintance of mine in Brunei, Hajah F when she commented on a photo of the doctor receiving a medal which I posted on my Whatsapp status (with a sticker on his face, of course!). Oh, well, she said, once the border reopens, I can always come and visit Bandar Seri Begawan. She offered to show me around. She even teased me if I like men in uniform, she can introduce me to some, haha! So cute!
To the One Doctor Who Got Away, I wish you a happy, happy life! Maybe one day, I’ll be knocking on your door asking for Nasi Katok and Kuih Tapak Kuda!