My heart fluttered. Deja-vu. Mind doodled back 18 years ago. He was a friendly, athletic guy when I met him at a Conference in Sitiawan. Then we connect as pen friends.
We lost each other for 17 years until I accidentally bumped with him in Facebook. Thanks to Facebook! Richard has metamorphosized into a huge European body size as opposed to physique Asian size. Richard has travelled to 30 countries as part of his job.
He was smoking alone at a section away from crowd when I arrived at Chilli's. I walked towards him nervously. As he got up to greet me, I barely recognised who he was. I was late, yet he warmly greeted me.
Hot weather spell. I need a coconut water! Hell, there is no thirst quenching drinks in their menu. I was reluctant to order meal. Richard's tummy filled with lunch earlier. Amidst awkwardness, he ordered an appetizer and spaghetti. I took his share of food and ordered mine.
Within minutes, he poured his exciting life that got me hooked for hours. The chicken in almond skin salad laid on my table. Gradually, I was in good mood to eat. What else a huge sized men who had eaten half of his life could lure me into?
Richard joined a Tour Agency as tour agent. "When I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, I only had fifty ringgit in my pocket. Life was tough. I worked very late everyday and persevered with bullies by senior colleagues. In this industry, you got to start at young age."
Today, Richard's hard work paid off and he enjoys his life travelling while working. Despite his mobility, he follows the current updates in Malaysia and spends time catching up with friends.
Our facebook profile screened that we have a mutual friend, Kasturi Patto the Member of Parliament in Batu Kawan, Penang. He loves politics and Kasturi was my classmate. As part of his job, he mingles with foreigners.
"I learnt so much from intermingle during my travels." he said while reflecting back his past.
Richard is a good guy who does bad guy sports too- riding a big bike. Has big love for watches when we passed by watch shops. His wrist sported a Tag Heur watch. It reminded me of the clock tower in Teluk Intan.
At the end of our jolly walk at near a cafe, we parted our ways and exchanged goodbye. Air of gentleness swept us.