Teluk Kemang – eight miles from Port Dickson town, is a very popular holiday spot. The beach is covered with lovely white sand and the sea is usually calm and inviting here. Furthermore, the water’s edge does not change appreciably during low and high tides. So, a bather does not have to wade far to pet to a decent depth.
Come on Sundays and holidays, the beach is packed to capacity. This Sunday is no different. When I arrive by car with a group of friends, I have to hunt high and low for a parking space. After some time, I find one a few hundred meters from the beach. We do not complain about we are lucky to find one.
In double-quick time we are in the sea, swimming to and generally having a good time. From the water, I can see throngs of people on the beach. Some are standing, some are sitting while the rest walk leisurely around. Some children are making sand-castles and a couple of white bodies are spread out on the beach, presumably sun-bathing. Too bad for them, the sun is hidden behind black clouds.
Black clouds! The thought suddenly occurs to me that it is going to rain. As if in direct response to my thoughts, the rain comes, thick and furious. I can feel the sting of the raindrops falling on my bare shoulders. The sea seems to boil under the incessant onslaught of falling raindrops. I can see the bathers, including me, crouching down as low as we can get into the water to avoid the painful drops.
Through the blurring rain, I see people on the beach rushing madly for shelter. Most of the holiday-makers who come here are in their best Sunday clothes. They have no intention of swimming. These people have mainly harried city workers who come here to join in the happy Sunday atmosphere. However, this Sunday is not for them. Soon most of them who do not find shelter quick enough are soaked to the skin their clothes, hairdo, makeup and all thoughts of a cheery holiday ruined by the relentless rain. They huddle remorsefully under whatever shelter that is available in the stalls, in the hotels, under the huge trees, in the bus. Some bravely stand in the rain with their umbrellas. What a pathetic sight they present. The beach is completely deserted.
The souvenir peddlers are more prepared for the rain for they cover their wares quickly and effectively with plastic sheets. It is obvious that they have had a lot of practice at this.
The speed-boats that take holiday-makers for a ride around the bay for a fee are idle. The drivers sit forlornly in the boats, waiting for the rain to stop.
Those of us in the sea carry on with our fun. The feeling of getting caught in the rain while in the sea is quite invigorating. Water, water everywhere and enough for anyone to drink. All he has to do is to open his mouth, above the sea that is.
Eventually, I can feel the waves becoming larger and the wind stronger. In a few minutes, swimming becomes impossible as the waves become huge and angry and the wind begins to get cold. I signal to my friends to get out.
Emerging from the warm sea into the cold driving rain is like stepping from a warm bed into a refrigerator. We shiver uncontrollably. So, we run to the car. It is so wonderful to be inside the warm car but what a mess we make inside the car; sand, water, and salt everywhere. I will have to clean the car when I get home.
When I start the engine to move off, I can see buses and cars leaving the beach. It seems like these people have decided to go home too. Judging from the intensity of the storm, I reckon it will carry on for a few hours. There no point hanging around. Still, there are many stubborn holiday-makers braving the pouring rain, waiting for the rain to go away till the seaside becomes cheery and sunny once again.