“Goooddd times!”

“Alan, don’t send the stuff yet bcos the nurse said I can go home for the rest of my quarantine and that op will be done by Jabatan Kesihatan (1) near me.”


“I was told that since mine was Stage 1, I  had to go home to make room for those who were in Stage 4 or 5.

So, the only problem is how am I to go back with the pink bracelet on? The nurse suggested  that someone drive my car to the hospital and leave the keys at the reception. They will send the keys up to me. Then, that someone could follow my car till I reached home.”

I called Shirley and asked her to get his car ready. I would be over in half an hour to pick it up.

I was kind of nervous as to how to deal with this matter when I got to the hospital.  On one hand, I did not quite like the idea of handing the car keys to a stranger at the hospital reception. On the other hand, I only had my 1st vaccine jab; my second was over a month and a half away. I did not want to have direct contact and be exposed to the virus myself and possibly spread it to others that I come in contact with. 

I parked his car as close to the designated entrance / exit for covid-19 as possible. I left the car keys on the top of the car and waited for him.

As he came out of the exit, which was like a side door or rear of the hospital (this section of the hospital was specially cordoned off as a unit to receive and discharge patients in relation to the treatment of Covid-19); I was happy to see him. We kept a distance of about 5 metres apart and talked for a bit. “I am getting a ride back from Ganesan, (who was parked a couple of cars away). We will follow you back to Subang Jaya to ensure you get home safely, I told him.”

All this took place on July 29th, 2021 – the second last time I would see him. At this time, he was sporting a pink hand band; not by choice but a requirement to identify people with Covid-19.

A few days later, I realized that the Discharge Note from the hospital was still with me. I texted him to let him know that it  was with me.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021; was pink-band removal day. Mid-morning, I get a phone call. “I am at the KMM (3) centre in Shah Alam. They want the hospital Discharge Note as proof of when I was discharged from the hospital.” He sounded quite irritated. I told him that I was at home, that he could come over to pick up the Discharge Note.

He was at my gate in twenty minutes. I put the Discharge Note in an envelope and placed the envelope on the top of the gate’s pillar. Then, I stepped back from the pillar. I did not hand it to him directly as we were maintaining a safe distance between us. He took the envelope, showing his irritation that he had to wait quite a while at the centre before he was attended to; then to be told that he needed to provide this Discharge Note before he could have the pink band officially cut off.

As I watched him walked to his car and get in, I noticed that he grimaced with pain. As he drove off, I never would have guessed that it would be the last time I would see him…ever.

Celebrating his birthday last Sunday (April 24th) in a small way, was special for Jeannie and me. Nigel loved family gatherings, and he loved simple food with a condition – it had to be local and savoury. So, we celebrated his birthday at Tokyo Secret, a restaurant in Mid-Valley Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur (5).

Tokyo Secret is known for their Hanjuku cheese tarts. I deliberately did not use that phrase “people say that it is …ok ok, I will say it “famous”. Who are these “people”? I did not think much of the cheese tart, but that is just me. Nigel would have liked it, after he had his nasi lemak.

Happy Birthday, Nigel! We can hear you say “Goooddd times!” We celebrate this occasion with one of your favourite songs.

Nigel, at his 61st in 2021.


  1. Jabatan Kesihatan is Bahasa Malaysia for Health Ministry in Malaysia.
  2. Part of this article was written at the motor workshop while waiting for my e46 engine to be repaired. Something about another coil konking out, having replaced 2 coils earlier on. This time it was #2 coil.
  3. “Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia” is Bahasa Malaysia for Ministry of Health, Malaysia.
  4. Subang Jaya and Shah Alam are cities in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
  5. Kuala Lumpur city is the capital of Malaysia.

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