Letters from the road : What is a Tenggaroh?

We had meant to leave Singapore this morning – but Denn and I are not morning folk, so we were both discussing how much we were dreading the  morning wake up and drive. “Leave later!” Cried he, “pfft,” I replied, “we’ve always had the worst luck at the causeway. Jam jam jam.” “Leave now!”, so we left– at 5 pm.

Two hours later, we found ourselves on the other side of the causeway — still jam la, stuck for two hours — and decided to get dinner out of the way, while I arranged for somewhere to stay for the night (no booking!) 

So we couldn’t find any place suitable in Mersing, and ended up somewhere in this place called Felda Residence Tanjung Leman, in the middle of what looked like a palm estate? The road here was harrowing with rain, police stops and despite the fact we had  2 GPS, google maps and a Dennis Tan who can figure out his bearings from a glance at the map — we still got lost as the “hotel” was off the grid, and had to trust our instincts.

Coupled with my night blindness and tiny bladder, I really was feeling quite afraid — but I rationalised that we were safe, and full, and dry and had a tank full of petrol. And really, we travel all the way to Nz to get lost — what’s the difference? I’m still with my Favourite adventure buddy and we weren’t that tired that we couldn’t go on further if we needed to. It was undulating winding roads with  limited visibility from the rain, fog and terrain — and I am sure my overactive imagination was at work and as we drive our today in the light I am sure to be laughing at my crazy exaggeration. 

Thankfully they had room at the inn, so to speak and we shook off our road dust and settled for a “sea view” room. Room’s clean, water runs hot. Denn and I have stayed in literal tin cans and backpacker’s inn, so this wasn’t too bad. 

This morning i peeped out the window and caught a glimpse of the sea — it’s about 20 m from our room, and my heart was filled — just filled. I think maybe God knew how much I needed this breather – and pray he ministers to both of us this trip. It was a rough decision to be away on Good Friday, and we’ve been torn about it — but God has his own ways of consolations. 


This morning, we thank God for journey mercies and for the roads to come. E is safe with her grandparents — don’t worry. 

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F is for Fixing a broken heart

It’s Sunday midafternoon and I am sitting on the couch keeping an eye on E who’s taking her nap — and an old familiar tune comes on the radio.

There was nothing to say the day she left/ I just filled a suitcase full of regrets/ I hailed a taxi in the rain/Looking for some place to ease the pain/Then like an answered prayer/I turned around and found you there

-Fixing a broken heart, Indecent Obsession 

And despite having heard it hundreds of times over, it struck me what the lyrics mean. How wonderful, how redemptive it turned out– Much like my story with D: whom I met in the throes of deep pain from the breakup. 

Have I told you, D, how in so many ways you helped me find my footing, when my world was swept from under feet. And how our relationship held so much healing and growing. Thank you for being there when I turned around – and for staying around to see me whole again. Redemption. Love. 

Those days.