Once All The Cows Are In The Barn

Arches at the Pasir Gudang's Menara Aqobah

About six years ago I left my job in Pasir Gudang in a huff. It must have been something big: I wouldn’t have left if it wasn’t. Now, as I trundle along at 80 kph on a 110 kph highway, the reasons for my departure aren’t even clear anymore. With 40-foot trailers and express busses merrily overtaking me, I found myself trying very hard to recall what those reasons had been.

But I couldn’t.

All I could come up with were several possible scenarios that, frankly, aren’t as compelling as they once had obviously been. I might as well just enjoy the drive. Who knows? Maybe along the way, something might jolt my memory and give me a reason to turn back.

But guess what? Nothing did.

A Pasir Gudang sunset

At my former office, there was a sea of new faces. Work-stations were filled wall-to-wall with model-like female executives who smelled like Sogo’s perfume section. While this would have been more than enough reason for me to pop my cork some six years ago, now, all I could think of was looking-up old friends who maybe still worked there.

Is it just me or are young women today are no longer as alluring as their predecessors? Or could it be that I have reached that age where male menopause is no longer something that happens to other men?

A scene from my hotel room

I’d rather not answer that, thank you.

With time to spare, I wandered off to check-out my old room, the one I used to work from while I was there. It is now a store where they keep stationery, I think. A familiar face asked me if the place brought back memories.

“No, dear, it does not. Not the way it is now.” I replied. She seemed disappointed somehow.

Bedside lamps

I wonder who has the key to this thing...

That day, my former boss (we’ve been friends since we were 13) and I worked together late into the night. It wasn’t like old times, though – but in a good way. With the benefit of age and experience I could now easily accept him for what he is and vice versa. I could not fight the feeling that we were off to a good start – or shall I say restart?

An aging road warrior

Then again, once all the cows are in the barn, does it really matter? I suppose not. A start is a start. The water may have gone muddy all those years ago. The important thing, however, it is no longer so. That’s the thing about time, isn’t it? Once the bad stuff goes away, we are left with the good stuff.

The trick is learning to let go of the bad stuff.

17 thoughts on “Once All The Cows Are In The Barn

  1. Salam Bro,

    I still remember in 1979 when u jaga my class coz cikgu tak dak….I lupe class ape
    ” I would/ want to be a lawyer”…sesuatu yg luar biasa bagi budak MRSM but firasat I kata u memang akan pursue. Bile kahwin dgn lawyer puas jugak I belek Lawyers Directories cari nama Sofian Abd Rahman.
    At last found out that u really further study in law di UK only recently thru FB (tengok gambar U).

    If di beri untuk restart…..U nak ke jadi LAWYER


    Be a lawyer? With respect to all lawyers, I would rather not. There are too many good lawyers around and I’d end up being a small fish in a big pond. I am a teacher (a trainer, really) now and I think I’ve found my niche in life.

    Good to hear from you again, Zaleha

  2. bro, eh what happen to your fren dr.kot – u know that dude… i forgot his name lah! is he in KL?


    You mean Dr Nizar? He’s in Klang and is the CEO of a nursing college. Sometimes we even do training gigs together.

  3. Boe, I’m glad all your cows have come home. It’s never easy to be a cowherd y’know . When are you in my neck of the woods again? Let’s do the obvious, with Najib in tow, of course… That would be good. ..


    Sure will. But these days work seems to take me to Johor on most days – right up till Ramadan. But I will make it a point to do a karaoke session with the gang before then.


  4. Salam, sir. Happy to be able to read another new article from you. How are you?
    I think women nowadays are still alluring as ever (well,most of them). ? Maybe you’re not easily attracted to women like you used to in your early years, haha.

    “Now, as I trundle along at 80 kph on a 110 kph highway…”
    Haha, living outside of town can really make us less rushing than we used to. I’m becoming like that too after staying and working here in Alor Gajah.

    P.S. If I’m still making any grammatical mistakes, you can correct them if you want to. You’re always be my teacher, after all 😀


    Yes, living in the provinces does make one a little laid back. Thanks for visiting, Sharir

  5. Sofian, young and smelled good girls are alluring. Menopausal, you definitely are not. You are a good man. With a good head on his shoulder. Good heart too. Good role model for your boys.

    Okay, a bit overboard with my compliments here, no?


    Overboard? Nah! Undeserved, maybe…

    Thanks, Rovitah, for the kind words.

  6. Never judge a man by his pants, I’d say.



    Yeah, least of all me 🙂 Have a brilliant day, ma’am

  7. Its not right to label women who don’t use French perfume,high heels and Vic Secrets as cows.Its also not right to call your abode a barn.
    And I just hate it when someone leave jeans on the floor whereas they are specific place called wardrobe for that.Surely,you can ‘t be in such a hurry at your age?
    And 100PLUS is just so wrong for a nightcap.
    If the cows really came to roost,you need something a little stronger.



    Ah! But what if one’s abode is actually a barn (or at least, barn-like)? And some (disclaimer: not me) will argue that women ARE cows regardless of the origin of their perfume.

    About the pants: the cause of the hurry is not what what it used to be. In days of yore the urgency took on a sexual nature. These days its related to other less exciting biological functions.

    And no, nothing is coming to roost. If they did, all the Viagra and all the Cialis in China wouldn’t be able to help me anyway.

  8. Sofian

    You had so much wanting to remember enough of the bad that you would then decide to turn back. That you couldn’t and you are now wanting to let go the bad stuff. That’s how it should be! A new beginning is what we can look forward to and that with a prayer! Isn’t the new Pasir Gudang is now good to you!

    May you revisit more of any bad in the past and for more pleasant surprises they will become.

    Say AlhamduliLah and your life will always get better with the years.

    Red Alfa

    This must be one of life’s paradoxes, eh? You look for the bad and end-up finding the good. But hey, I’m not complaining 🙂


  9. salam, sofi..whatsamatter..?..all those model-like, perfume-reeking females not popping yr corks like it used to, hey..? better check yr testosterone level, mate..could be premature andropausal attacks..a common affliction to young yuppies like you..where familiarity breeds indifference..or perhaps that village rose in Umbai had left a mark on you more lasting than you care to think..too early for you to have all the cows in barn..better save a few strays outside..but you are right about the age and experience stuff…it gonna take more than the perfume to pop this bottle..:) cheers

  10. Do I get a sense of deja vu of late in you, my friend?(especially in responses like that to Iftinaz?)

    Mat-san, keep the head high, and the spirits up, always.And when it comes to matters of the heart, and the more alluring gender, yes, it`s true that one cannot defy the aging process, but do remember that with it comes a more pronounced gentility, calmness, understanding, patience and refinement.More often than not, it`s a more potent(and welcomed?) concoction than all those bountiful energy and pointless exuberance(sometimes) which we had aplenty many moons ago.

    And my dear friend,it does not really have to end with “coming to the roost” these days.An
    excellent companion to have a candlelight dinner with, sharing a conversation in hushed tones, to continue thereafter while savouring an excellent vintage slowly…it`s definely more soul-satisfying than the previous focus of “coming to roost” as the be-all and end-all of a night out.Right?

    Or, in reality, are we starting to lose it, my friend…all these senseless justifications I am putting up which are lame excuses for the slow-but-steady loss of our virility and youth?I honestly don`t know, my friend,and I am some moons ahead of you, age-wise!

    Cheers, my friend!Take Care.

  11. Don’t know exactly why Matt, but somehow u remind me of this guy;

    He was a bit old to be chasing young alluring girls so one of the neighbours alerted his wife to his disgusting habit.

    “It doesn’t worry me,” said the wife. “He can chase girls if he wants to. After all, dogs chase cars. I’ve never seen a dog catch one & I doubt if they could drive one if they did.”…..kakaka

    Ya & don’t cry for me Argentina,


    • ..hey, tommy..I don’t think for a minute that the dog had driving in mind when chasing those cars..more like raising one hind leg and spraying one of the tyres…so, too, the ole coot ..more like a reflex actions, throwing back to a time past..you r not inferring to someone in Bachok, aren’t you?….:)

      • Sorry Sofian, tumpang lalu.

        Hey Pakmat, like they say; any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental lah..kekeke.. This song from your wilderness days;

        Young Girls Get Out of my Mind

        My sincere wish that the Dutch hammer the Jerries in WC2010 final!!

        P/S – btw Matt, I still think u r still a good & safe driver albeit slow but that IS admirable 🙂

  12. i am dedicating a song my son loves to sing to you..

    “Keep trying, keep trying, you’ll get it right. DON’T STOP, DON’T GIVE UP”

    (no idea what this came into mind while reading this entry of yours)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s