Saturday, May 19, 2007

The doctors came a calling

This evening two doctors paid a visit to our house, Dr. Ong Chun Chiang and Dr. Ahmad Kamal. No, it’s not because someone in the family had fallen sick, alhamdulillah. Instead, the good doctors had dropped by for tea.

Ong and Kamal were my schoolmates during secondary school in Kangar, Perlis.

Ong is now a medical doctor having trained at the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). He hails from Perlis. I used to frequent his house in the main street of downtown Kangar those days. It was a shophouse. His parents sold electrical goods on the first floor, and the family stayed upstairs.

After Dublin he furthered his studies in England, after which, he was called just plain “Mister Ong” again (that’s what he told me). But that was not before getting himself an Irish bride first. Ongs’s three young kids are quite amazing. They can converse in English, Chinese, a smattering of Malay and some Gaelic too, I suspect.

Kamal hails from Bagan Datoh, Perak. His is a doctor of philosophy in Physics and he now teaches Physics at one of the local universities. Kamal was our spiker in the volleyball team. During holiday breaks, I used to take the bus from my house in Teluk Intan to his place where I’d sometimes spend the night.

Kamal got married while still a student in the US. So whilst my eldest child is just setting her foot into a tertiary education institute, his eldest has already followed in the footsteps of his father to study in the US. In fact, his son is already back in Malaysia and working. How time flies (read: I feel old already).

Once tea was over, after they had left, I slumped into the sofa in our living room, thinking. How fortunate I am to have such friends as Kamal and Ong who are loyal and still keep in touch after all these years. People say good friends are forever. How true.

Note: photo of tako (traditional Malay kueh), watermelon and grated cheese and cucumber for the spaghetti.

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