Kota Tinggi Retreat 2010 (Day 2)


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September 26th 2010
Published: September 29th 2010
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Sunday, 26th September 2010


Rise and Shine

After a good night's rest at the resort, CW arrived at 7.40am to pick us up for breakfast this morning. Together with CW’s younger brother, we headed to the Kiang Kee Bak Kut Teh stall located along a main road, in the middle of nowhere. The Sunday morning crowd was slowly drifting in and we were glad that we managed to find an empty table at the earliest instance. Compared to what we had in Singapore, the Kota Tinggi’s version was much darker in color and the smell of the medical herbs was much stronger.

After breakfast, CW drove us to her father’s ship repairing yard located along the banks of Sungai Johor. Even though it was a Sunday morning, CW’s father was still busy at work. He was all alone at the yard. His only companions were the couple of loyal dogs which he kept to keep burglars away.

Because of the nature of his work, her father was seldom at home as he had to look after his yard which he built from scratch. The buildings, the toilets and even the machinery to hoist those ships were designed and built single handedly by her father. Through my conversation with them, this was something the father and daughter were very proud of. It was through his hard work at the yard for the past 30 odd years that he was able to support his family of five. Now that the kids had grown up, he could probably take things easier.

After saying goodbye to her father, I couldn’t help but asked if CW’s ever missed him. She lamented that she’s more worried about his safety since he would be all alone at the yard come weekends when all the workers go home for their family.

“He's got no choice. There is no one to look after the yard for him.”

Every so often, she would make the long trip and visit her father just to chit-chat with him and just to make sure that he is doing fine.

Over the course of the weekend retreat, I could feel the strong family bond that existed in CW’s family. While work commitments had kept the family of five apart and while both her and her brother were working in Singapore, they always made it a point to return home to be with their family during their day-offs.

Compared to what they are going through, I couldn’t help but realize how fortunate I am to be working and residing in Singapore.


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