Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Empty Letter

One day I came to office in the morning and went to check my pigeonhole.
What's that? Pigeonhole is the nickname or slang for the letter box(es). Since there are many of them, they resemble the pigeon's nest, and therefore we call it the pigeonhole. We just had it in recently (of course the idea came from me and others).
In my pigeonhole, was a crumpled white enveloped. It had my name and address in blue. It had the sender's address on the back. I opened the envelope (it wasn't sealed) and to my surprise, there was no letter or content inside! I wondered why. I asked the office girls and they said the enveloped arrived empty! Who dunnit? I dunno!

I couldn't make out why the envelope was empty. Why did the sender send an empty envelope to me? I kept the envelope in my rattan basket and forgot about it. I wanted to ask the mail girl at the mini post-office if she could help me but it wasn't open that morning (too early). Then I forgot about the envelope altogether.

Today, I was clearing the mess in my basket and I found the envelope at the bottom, severely crumpled. I wondered could it be that this envelope got to the bottom of a big pile and got crumpled, opened by itself and the contents fell out? It's a possibility, I think.

Sometimes I think I want to be working in the mail section where letters fall out and I get to do a new job - hunt for the sender or the unfortunate recipient. I will do that next time when I get permission.

I remember visiting a hostel in Universiti Malaya when my daughter was there. There was a section in front where mail was dropped and collected. There was one section that was overflowing with unclaimed mail (letters). Most were bills and printed letters, not handwritten ones. I guess there is a lot of wastage when mail is undelivered or lost through the postal service.

I'm still missing 5 posters for my second book, Biography of the Early Malay Doctors. The posters were printed in USA and were sent to Fresno! How come my posters ended up in Fresno? I don't know but an email arrived and asked me to pick up my parcel in Fresno! LOL. Everyone can fly!? Borderless world?
Fresno is a small town where the Greyhound buses stop over en route from San Francisco to Los Angeles and San Diego. I had visited Fresno some 36 years ago. I remember the place - a flat land. It is actually the agricultural belt of California (like our Serdang). It is a region where a lot of herbs and nutritious plants are grown. Here in Fresno, pesticides are not used, only natural fertilisers. This is how the USA manages to produce health foods, right in Fresno. All the health food bars you see advertised for Amway and on American TV, they are most likely produced by the farms in Fresno.

Meet Mohd Khairi

I was in my office this afternoon, clearing my email as usual. Then my phone rang and I answered it. It was from a student in PPSK (School of Health Sciences, USM). He was interested in my books. It was good that he spoke right away about my books. I had thought I had missed or forgotten to take a class. So all was fine.

Mohd Khairi called to ask whether my books are sold at local stores (eg MPH) beside the online ones. I told him no. He likes history. I asked to come and get a copy of my books for himself. He did as instructed.

Mohd Khairi is a Malay man who is currently writing up his MSc thesis in Immunology. He did his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at USM in Penang. I asked him why he didn't want to continue to do a PhD. He said he has plans!!! Of course I was surprised so I asked him, "What plans?"

This intelligent gentleman wants to be an ATC! I asked him what's ATC? He replied ATC stands for air traffic controller/comptroller. I asked him why ATC since it is very different from biotechnology. He said that it is his wannabe. I said great! He has already been accepted for ATC training in Sepang and I wished him well for his future endeavours.

I don't have his background yet. I requested him to write.

This is from his Facebook:

Mohd Khairi is from Kelantan. He attended SMKA Tangok in Bachok, Kelantan.
SMKA Tangok is one of the top rated Islamic schools in Kelantan. 
Mohd Khairi just married at the end of last year, on 10 December 2012, to Siti Hajar Omar of Kedah. He has traveled widely to South Korea, Berlin, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, and others. He has a lot of good photos of these place in his Facebook albums.

I saw 2 men in his album whom I know - Prof Nor Azmi Mohd Noor (Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, South Australia; husband of Prof Nik Soriani Yaacob, father of Aimi) and Prof Ahmad Zakaria (University of Nevada, Reno; husband of Prof Asma Ismail, great granddaughter of Dr Abdul Latiff Razak, the first Malay doctor).

Mohd Khairi Che Pa
School of Health Sciences
(MSc graduating candidate)
012-954 1623