It was actually a working day for me that Saturday 30th April 2011. I thought of leaving the project site early after briefing my staff on work that needs to be done for the day but could only manage to free myself past lunchtime. It was already 3.30pm when I left the workplace at Sg Besi. According to the notice, the book signing is fixed for one hour only, ending at 4pm. I could probably drive and reach Mid Valley in time if the traffic is light (which it seldom is) but finding a parking space at that shopping mall on weekends will take me ages. Suddenly it occurred to me that there is a KTM Komuter train line nearby that goes directly to Mid Valley. A quick change of plans saw me parking my car at Bandar Tasik Selatan station (RM3 per entry charge), pay a single ringgit ticket for one-way trip and riding a trouble-free train journey. A total cost of only RM5 both ways that solves a lot of headache.
Even so, I only alighted at the Mid Valley station at ten past four and I thought I had missed my chance of meeting Awang Goneng in person. I made a brisk walk among the weekend shopping crowd to get to MPH, which took up another 5 minutes, hoping the author would still be there. I needn't have worried. On reaching the bookstore, there was still a long line of fans queueing up for the writer's autograph.
I picked a copy of the author's book and quickly joined the queue. When my turn came, I introduced myself as Oldstock. Pak Awang was a bit surprised because he said that he didn't think I looked that old. He noted my sweaty palms as I handed him the book for signing. I explained that I was rushing from the train station because I thought I was late. He then said that if I had missed the MPH event, I can catch him again at Borders next week.
I have already read Pak Awang's first book `Growing Up in Trengganu' which I bought a few years ago. But I decided to buy another copy that day just so I can have it signed by the author. I now have both GUiT and AMoT personally autographed by Awang Goneng. Something to treasure for years to come.
|Pak Awang signing a copy for Oldstock|
|Kak Teh aka Mrs Awang Goneng|
|My current reading material|
|Thank you Pak Awang for this signed copy|