There are two memories of my time in Kuala Lipis (in the early 60’s) that will not leave me ever! No it is not of the Rakit people – and only those who are familiar with Lipis will know what I mean…that will be another story to be talked over coffee with old friends. Now back to my memories…the first one has to do with the only theatre in town – PARADISE – ahhh what a name. If I remembered correctly it was an afternoon show and the film was “Five Branded Women”. Me and my friends were seated and waiting for the film to start…when the manager…well he was almost the manager – actually I think he was the manager cum usher…well he came over to us and informed us that as we were the only five people in the theatre they would have to cancel the afternoon matinee…not enough customers! What do you do? To laugh or to get upset? I cannot really remember what we did in lieu of the film show…possibly took a walk down to the Rakit.
We were staying in one of those colonial bunglows on top on the hill behind the rest house. I remember that there were what resembled a small jungle in which our house was located. The gardener of the house next door – where a bunch of Americans with the Peace Corps lived – one day discovered the tracks of a tiger beside the road to our house. A lot of excitement. A lot of noise from the Indian Gardener. We all gathered at where the Tiger print was….no I was not scared…I was terrified. Did not ever leave the house unless I was in a car for at least three days! Then life got back to normal.
What else do I remember about Lipis? Nothing really. But it is good when you meet another guy who have lived there…who can say…Lipih…or something that sounds like that…then you have a bond straight away. Who cares if you have been to KL, or if you are from KL or you live in KL? Everybody comes from KL….but Kuala Lipis….same as Hutan Melintang, Batang Berjuntai, Yong Peng….we are different…though I suspect that outsiders do view us with just a little bit of pity and indulge us while we bask in the warmth of having stayed in ‘Lipih’.