Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Love Thy Neighbour.......I Tried

Dengue is on the rise, with 95 deaths throughout the nation as at yesterday as compared to 63 for the same duration last year. There were two reported cases in my taman, Darulaman Heights a few weeks ago. Whom do we blame for this obviously blase attitude towards the disease. I think the culprits are the residents themselves. The pictures below are testaments to my theory.

This monsoon drain has ceased doing what drains are supposed to do. This picture was taken in front of my neighbour's house. It's the responsibility of  Majlis Daerah Kubang Pasu (MDKP) to clean up this drain but both they and the owner of the house are quite content with drains like these. After every heavy downpour, xnuripilot (my other half) has to lower himself down to clear up the debris that will be washed down. The thick undergrowth prevents them from flowing any further and if not removed will create a mini dam excellent for mosquitoes to breed. xnuripilot has written a letter to MDKP.

A cart load of the debris that was washed down after a recent heavy downpour.

I try to keep the monsoon drain in front of my house free from undergrowth. Maintaining this drain is the responsibility of xnuripilot, with  lots of  coaxing and nagging and monitoring by yours truly. 

This is the common drain at the back of my house shared by my Dato neighbour to the left of the drain and me. This is my territory because it is not as deep as the one in front. Every morning without fail, I will jump in and out to collect the leaves that have fallen inside. It is quite difficult to maintain your gait walking the whole narrow length of 110 feet so I jump in where the leaves are and out again to the next spot until all the spots are clear. It's almost like step-Reebok, except that each step here is thrice the height of step-Reebok. People say the work you do around the house does not have any cardio benefits. I suggest they try this. My house is on the right side of the picture so the grassy patch is also mine to maintain. The Dato and Datin never once stepped in this area. The fact that they  have walled up their lot does not necessarily mean that the responsibility is mine alone.

This is a common side drain shared by another neighbour of mine, on the left, and me.Throughout my 8 year stay here, they have never shown any interest in sharing out the responsibilities in keeping it Aedes-free so I am left with no choice. I have to continue my jumping acts along this stretch of 80 feet, too, every morning. How do you think I maintain my svelte figure of 48kg. I sweat it all out. Thanks to some inconsiderate souls. This neighbour has a passion for gardening. Besides the banana trees as seen in this picture, he also has...........

Yes, he also has 4 salak palms squeezed into that narrow patch of land. These have very long and sharp thorns. I got pierced many times while doing my jumping acts. And, his passion does not end here as depicted in the next picture below......

Oh my God!!! He has just planted  4  tapioca plants. Going by his track record, these will be tended to with tender loving care until his interest starts to wane, which does not take long in coming. They will provide a nice and cosy hiding place for  the mosquitoes, let alone the leaves that will  accumulate in the drain. God, have mercy on me. Obviously, he was hard at work, clearing up this patch for his tapioca and guess where he dumped all that he had cleared.......

HERE, which is at the front end of the narrow strip of land. Incidentally, these are land encircling our lots. Our lots do not share the same perimeter so there is excess land and we stake our claim to this land with the drains acting as boundaries. Get the picture? These narrow strips of land are a hive of activities, mostly gardening in nature. I, too, planted a rambutan tree and 2 nona trees on this no-man's land BUT I keep mine under control as shown below.

My rambutan tree grown on the excess land. My house is on the left of the grass strip.

And my nona trees.

These were supposed to be bonsais which the same neighbour painstakingly transported from the jungles of Perlis using huge trailers. Cranes were utilised to plant them all round his house. Contractors spent months erecting those huge concrete base for the giant bonsais. (I thought bonsais are supposed to be miniature plants). Wires were wound round and round the branches to get the signature bonsai shape but sadly he was not able to keep up pace with the fast growing leaves resulting in these hideous-looking  giant bonsais which have since transformed into a haven for a myriad of creatures both harmless and lethal.

More bonsai-craze-turned-sour pix.

The more the merrier. You don't need a GPS to get to his place OR mine. Just look out for these bonsais and you're on the right track. Why am I being so nasty to him, you may wonder. The reason is............

SNAKES!!! It's only the skin but they must be lurking around close by. I found this near the drain.

And this, a few feet away. May be this is a fragment of the same skin but whatever it is, it scares the hell out of me. A few days ago while feeding the stray cats I noticed one of them peering into ..........

.......this hole. This hole drains water from underneath the house. I observed the cat peering in and then backing off several times. I knew it had to be something it was scared of. Standing some 2 metres away from the hole, I bent down to investigate and what I saw confirmed my worst fears. I could see the silhoutte of a black head with  a white snout and it wriggled at the sight of me. xnuripilot was summoned to solve the problem. He was not able to persuade the creature to come out of hiding so using a long pole, he plugged the hole tightly with newspapers. I think the creature has suffocated to death because I thought I detected a faint smell of rotting carcass when I went to get this picture. Poor thing. I hate any form of cruelty to animals but cobras are potentially dangerous creatures.I cringed in fear when I read this.

I know this is the month of  Ramadhan. Please God, forgive me. I am on the verge of exploding so I need to spew some off  to ease the pressure that's building up inside of me. The moral of the story is, the world would be a healthier, a safer and a better place if everyone of us do our bit in keeping our surroundings clean. 


  1. same problem here, what made it worse is semuanya saman tapi creating awareness dari kaedah education kurang. anyways good to note you take it as a work out.

    hope you and hubby are well through out ramadhan.

  2. Siti,
    Its heaven send,to have neighbours that meet our expectation.If its not the case of the drains then gossips mongering,jealousy and all those crazy feelings.Blessed were those who love thy neighbours and be loved by them.
    Selamat berpuasa.

  3. Salam noir,
    I feel much better now after letting it all out.
    Selamat Berpuasa.

  4. Dear Mokja,
    Very true all that you've said. May be I'm over reacting but I'm terribly, terribly scared of snakes.

  5. Ah.. kena baik dengan neighbour.. he..he
    Kekadang they took our kebaikan for granted..
    Do keep on the good work..minta doa supaya Allah beri perasaan rajin untuk menjaga kawasan masing masing..
    Last time I have problem dengan one Malay neighbour who rent the place.. now I have all Chinese depan belakang kiri kanan as my immediate neighbours...dengan anjing2 depa.. Alhamdulillah masih berbaik baik..

  6. En. wan,
    Good for you. I tak bergaduh dengan depa. It's just that I feel they should be more responsible. They can plant whatever they want to, but make sure they clean up the mess from their plants. They say if you can't win them, join them. I'm seriously considering it. Let it be. Que sera sera.
    Selamat Berpuasa.

  7. svelte figure of 48kg..ooh i m envious. nvr got back dat pre-marriage figure :)
    so kinda thanks to care-less neighbours ;)
    sori just wana pick up positive vibes :)
    semuga kasih sayang cikgu terhadap jiran dan alam sekitar diberkati dan cikgu akan mendapat nikmatnya, insyaAllah :)

    pertama kali singgah kesini. salam kenal :)
    tidak pernah ke kedah, muga 1 hari diizinkan jua. nak cari giant bonsai2 :)

  8. Nursalmah,
    Nice of you to drop by. I used to be like 50kg before I started on this work out so I shouldn't be complaining. Everytime I felt like screaming, I magined myself working out. It worked otherwise I would not have lasted so long. But the snakes changed everything, only for a short while, though. Now, I'm back to my one-of-a-kind work out. Selamat Berpuasa.

  9. Salam Siti Roffini

    Kesian you. Cerita lain pula. Some neighbours might think they are doing us a favour by letting the branches of their fruit trees (that shed off dry leaves throughout the year) into our compound. They'll nicely say to us, "Jiran .... Elok la kawasan you sejuk, pasai cabang pokok I .... Tak usah dok malu apa la. Ambek la buah yang masuk kawasan you tu. Tak pa, peghabih ambek. Yang masuk kawasan you, semua kira you punya la!"

    Nak kata cam mana? I want neither the buah, nor the daun kering!
    (Mujurlah ini bukan pengalaman sebenar saya).

  10. Salam Cikgu,
    May be I would have felt better if they were to say those things about taking the fruits on my side of the land. Not that I want them anyway. But the problem is they NEVER say those nice things ever. Tak pa lah. Selagi termampu dan tersabar, I'll carry on as usual. Have a nice day Cikgu.

  11. salam ex-roomate...selamat berpuasa...

    orang yang bersabar akan mendapat ganjaran yang setimpal dari Allah SWT...berdoalah agar jiran you menjadi jiran yang prihatin..

  12. Dear Room-mate,
    Selamat Berpuasa dan selamat kembali ke Malaysia. Wish I could take a break and go holiday somewhere like you. Honestly, I tak pernah lah berdoa my jiran will be more prihatin tapi tak pa I start la ni. It's never too late. Good to hear from you.