28 December 2010
and this isTuaran
Finally I managed to force myself to go to the Land Department in Tuaran to get my land title. Yay! Land title. It has such a beautiful ring to it. A piece of land by the sea near Rasa Ria Resort that hubby and I bought with the money we toiled and sweated with. And it's MINE (Ha ha, people will think I'm crazy for being so excited about this. But there is a difference between earning a land title and inheriting one from one's family).
Anyway, I parked outside the building and confidently strode into the building, hesitating only briefly before entering a corridor that led to the land office, at least to my recollection of the place 10 months before. Only that it wasn't an office at all but a conference room, full of jolly elderly people. All eyes were on me and I knew I had to say something. "Sini pejabat tanah ka?" (Is this the land office?), I addressed the question to no one in partidular. Everybody answered me at the same time that I couln't really get what they were saying. Then a young man said "Bukan. Pejabat tanah sana di sebelah. Bangunan Urusetia" (No, the land office is at the other side. Urusetia Building). "Mo ambil geran tanah ka?" (Are you getting your land title?), came a question from an elderly lady. Gosh, it must have been written so clearly on my face. When I admitted it, somebody responded, "Oh, sini bukan tempat ambil geran. Sini tempat kasi tinggal harta" (Oh, this is not the place to get land titles. Here is the place that you leave (arrange to leave) your properties). They all laughed merrily again, looking at me, clearly expecting me to laugh with them. The hilariousnes of the situation struck me. There I was trying to get my land title at a place where people leave their properties, and I so laughed with them. Everyone tried to give me the direction to the land office, and I stood listening, not knowing who to listen to. Finally the young man took charge and showed me the way to the right office, all along jokingly asking me whether the land was big and whether I'd care to share it with them. In response, I jokingly told him that it was only a little piece of paper that I couldn't possibly share it with so many people.
In the land office I was asked to produce the slip they gave me when I applied for the title. I have totally forgotten about that. I thought I'd have to go back home and search for that slip, but instead the lady at the counter asked me to give her my identification card so she could try searching for it. Her reaction surprised me a bit because in many offices in KK I had experienced less friendly treatments for forgetting important documents. She went through her files patiently and 5 minutes later found my land title. I thanked her, wished her happy holidays and dashed out of the office. Outside at the parking lot, I bumped into the group of jolly elderlies again. A closer look at them made me realize that they were made up of various races- Chinese, Dusun, Bajau and perhaps more, but they looked so comfortable with each other. I told myself this is after all Tuaran. One of the melting pots of races in Sabah, where most people live in harmony and speak at least three languages.
They saw me, and waved as if I was an old friend. Somebody shouted to ask whether I had gotten my land title and when I shouted back "yes", they cheered like a group of schoolkids. I smiled happily, knowing one day I'd build my home in Tuaran, and wishing that all my neighbours would be good-natured and jolly people like this lot.