web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Baidura Ahmad! Tell Me if You're Coming Over
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Baidura Ahmad! Tell Me if You're Coming Over

Google "Baidura Ahmad", and you will be able to read a few samples of my friend's fine writing skills, on subjects ranging from trendy grannies and Balinese massage to Islamic banking and reform of international financial architecture.

I got to know Baidura when we were both business reporters (okay, maybe she deserves to be called "journalist"), covering AGMs, signing ceremonies and economic meets. She was working for a very respectable (then) business broadsheet (then) and I was the token editor at the economic desk of a TV station. It just so happened that we'd always be sent on the same assignments abroad, and I grew to like Baidura's unforgiving humour and sense of adventure. (By unforgiving humour I mean we laugh and bitch about other people a lot). While most fellow journalists and camera crew would opt to go shopping when visiting a foreign country, Baidura and I would visit art museums and quirky restaurants and flea-markets. Oh, we love flea-markets and dusty op-shops! At the right price, we have no qualms lugging bulky purchases all around town. On one cold day in Auckland we hauled luggage and Salvation Army finds from bus to ferry to airport.

There is one thing I never spoke about to Baidura and since this happened a long time ago, I suppose the matter has lost some of its offensiveness (and mortal shame) and I can finally tender my apologies. Baidura and I were in New York in late August, 2001, and we were put up at the New York Palace Hotel, which was across St. Patrick's Church and a few skips away from Rockefeller Center. We shared a well-appointed bedroom and I think the first night we were there we went out to eat at a Jewish vegetarian restaurant and I had a heavenly dish of fresh pasta with broccoli and cream. Back in the room, my tummy reminded me why the meal was a bad idea. We just got off a very, very long flight and I hadn't done the No.2 in two days (I'm not sure what No.2 is, but what I mean is the besar one). I was pregnant at the time (it didn't work out, eventually) and pregnant women, especially pregnant women who've just eaten broccoli, can get extremely windy. Baidura settled into her bed, pulled up the plush cover and we chatted while we watched TV; or at least according to my feeble mind, this is how it went.

I can't remember what it was that we spoke about, but uncharitably, my colon decided to emit at that point one of those nasty, silent farts that I can only unimaginatively describe as stinky-poo.

I was aghast, but Baidura completely ignored it. There was no way she could not have noticed, because it was the kind of flatulence you needed an iron lung for, but she didn't give anything away. She may have crinkled her nose a little, but she didn't go like : "Elida, did you fart?" or the more appropriate, "Ya Rabbi, busuknya kentut! Bau macam telur tembelang campur air paya!", which would have been perfect for the occasion. No, Baidura was extremely polite and suffered in silence.

I should really have said sorry, but I was too embarrassed to bring up the subject, and besides the damage was done. So I ran into the sumptuous marble bathroom to finish venting off my bum in there. When I re-emerged, pretending not to be gasping for air, I settled back into bed and we continued chatting, as if nothing had happened.

By that incident, I measured Baidura as a good friend. I have no idea if she blabbed about Elida farting to other people later ( I would have!) but I, err never got a whiff of it.

We had a good time in New York, even though there wasn't enough time to see everything we would have liked to see. In between listening to stockbrokers explain the virtues of dollar denominated bonds, we went to the Guggenheim, took pictures of the Naked Cowboy, went to Sunday flea markets at the Village, and caught a Broadway show. Despite the legendary New York brusqueness, we met only nice people and on the flight home, I even made friends with a spiritual house-painter from Queens who asked me a lot about Islam. Two weeks later that sunny picture we had of New York was completely destroyed. Baidura must have been glad that it was only my butt that detonated throughout our stay.

Last week, Baidura called to say she'll be making a business trip to Jakarta and she'd come earlier to stay over at my place. I am notorious for losing phone numbers and emails so I don't know how to contact her (and I can't remember which central bank-related institution she works for now, hence the googling effort) . Thankfully she reads the drivel I write in this blog, so if she's reading this right now, I'd like to say : I'm sorry I farted in 2001 and please email me at mokciknab@gmail.com if your travel plans are confirmed! There's lots of musty, old shops crammed with furniture and stuff that we can rummage through together.


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Thank you. I found her at last. My long lost bff .
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