Monday, 25 October 2010

Malaysia Day Raya Craze...

For the past two years, we spent Raya in a very calm and subdued manner, so this year we went a little overboard...hehehe.

Since we missed seeing a few of my cousins during the first few days of Raya, we decided to give them a visit on Malaysia Day, 16th of September 2010. Hadi was complaining of a toothache, so we went to the dentist first and the dentist pulled out two of his front/bottom teeth. I thought there was only one jiggly tooth...hehehe.

Anyway, after various phone calls, it seemed that my cousins were also busy and won't be at home that day. We were already on the highway by then, so we changed our plans. Instead of visiting relatives, we decided to visit friends. The first 'victim' was Mazman's family. I called Kak Rehana and luckily they were in...hehehe. So, their house in Taman Melati became our first destination for the day.

They were caught a little off-guard because we came very fast. We told them, we would be arriving in 30 minutes but in fact, by 20 minutes, we were already infront of their house...muahaha. Kesian, Kak Rehana...hehehe. We chatted while Kak Rehana was busy frying the meehoon. The kids were happy because they finally saw Nabil and Fatiha after so many months. The compound and the house was big, so the kids were busy exploring.

We were teasing Mazman about his 'old house'... Remember the story about 'ghosts' in Sudan? It was their former house...hehehe. Anyway, we were trying to discuss about where to go next. When I call Zana, she sounded very tired because her father just had stroke during Raya so we didn't want to intrude and that's when I remembered that Aiza's also staying somewhere in Taman Melati. I called Aiza and she invited us to her house around 2.30pm.

Mazman also agreed to join us, so we went after zohor prayers. I tried calling Kak Maria but it went unanswered. I actually called Najwa to get Kak Maria's phone number actually, but when she heard that we're heading to Kak Maria's house, she invited us to go to her house instead. Hehehe.

We arrived at Aiza/Zali's house around 3pm and there were so many dishes on the table...hehehe, including sate okay?!! The kids were so excited to see the big swimming pool downstairs. Hadi and Amir even ate at the verandah overlooking the pool. Aiza and Zali were actually planning to go to Zali's parents house in Klang but I managed to convince them to follow us to Najwa's house in Kota Damansara. Muahahaha... I also called Syikeen and arranged a visit to her house after Najwa's.

So, there were 3 cars headed towards Najwa's house. It's quite easy to find actually...hehehe. Najwa who had just 'lost' her maid managed to cook rendang for us. There were 4 families in all, with kids amounting to 14 in all. So, just imagine the noise that we were making. Definitely 'meriah', just like the old days in Khartoum.

Then, around 5.45pm, Syikeen and Ezalman picked us up at Najwa's house. We also managed to persuade Syed and Najwa to join us at Syikeen's house...Muahahaha. Ezalman, who just came back from the hospital (leg injury) had to bear his pain and entertain us. But I think that our presence acted as some kind of a pain-killer for Ezal...hehehe.

Just imagine, the funny part was that we managed to 'persuade' our friends to join our 'kembara raya'...muahahaha. Mazman said that it was so 'kampung-like'...hehehe. I took it as a compliment of our 'management skills'...muahahaha. It was definitely more fun and thinking back, how strong our bond was when we were together in Sudan. I prefer to keep our friendship strong, insyaallah.

We came out of Syikeen's house just as we heard the maghrib's azan. Our family had a pit-stop at Giant's Kota Damansara where the kids had dinner while we prayed. We came back still laughing from the hilarity of it all. How a great day started without proper plans. Maybe Allah wants to remind us of our family-bond forged in Sudan of all places...Alhamdulillah...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Travel Galore - More of Raya 1431H...

On the second day of Raya, we went out to Uncle Ripin's house after a leisurely breakfast and a swim for the kids at the hotel. From Uncle Ripin's house, we went to KB Mall to buy something for the kids, especially Hadi who started asking for his 'fasting reward'...sigh.

Around midday, we made our way to Bachok, Mak Su Ani's house. By the time we arrived, Mummy and Daddy were already there and Adik and Fahim arrived soon after. Basically we just relaxed and had lunch there. I suggested to my husband that we should use the time wisely by driving to Pasir Mas as we were going back to Sabak Bernam the next day. He agreed and we made our way to Pasir Mas around 5pm.

There was a lot of traffic but it was not too bad, and we arrived in Pasir Mas just before Maghrib. First we went to Kak Ana's house and afterwards went next door to Ajik's house where they were holding an open house for their close family and friends. The food was delicious...hehehe. I was really glad that we made the effort to go there as we managed to meet many of our cousins. If I'm not mistaken, arwah Makcik Lah got about 9 kids and numerous grandchildren. We head back to KB after isya' and the night was spent packing for the next leg of the journey.

On Sunday morning, we were invited to have breakfast at Fahim's house. We had breakfast there and made our way to the West Coast around 10.30am. The traffic was really bad, it took us about 4 hours to get to Gua Musang. It was very slow moving, crawling for most of the way. Amir had a little of a mishap along the way, he actually vomited on Hadi, and we had to change him at the gas station.

We decided to use the Cameron Highlands/Simpang Pulai's route. We stopped for solat around 3pm somewhere in the mountains (in a surau). We arrived in Cameron around 4pm, where I stopped to buy some fresh vegetables...hehehe. Retail therapy wherever I can get it okay?!! Hehehe. Then from Simpang Pulai we head down to south.

It was really slow on the highway but in a way, it was quite fortunate for us because we had a flat tyre somewhere near Tapah. A fellow driver pointed it out to us, if not I would be unaware of the little situation befallen us. The kids were sleeping at the back and all the commotion did not awake them from their deep slumber. I was useless with a flat tyre and it seemed that I was not the only one...hehehe

An Indian mechanic stopped and helped us just when my husband was about to panic (he didn't even know how to unscrew the bolts, ok?!!). The mechanic told us, "Hiyo, kalau macam tu ha, sampai malam pun tak tentu boleh buka woo"...hehehe. It took him very short time to change the tyre and while he was doing it, the plus patrols came to have a look. We gladly pay him a little bit of money for helping us with the tyre changing...Phewwww.

The traffic was very slow moving, even from Bidor to Teluk Intan. Both of us were very tired that it was kind of funny, every half an hour we would change being the driver...hehehe. We finally arrived at my Auntie's house in SPP around 9pm. It was dark and we missed her house 2 times. See how familiar we were with our own Auntie's house...hehehe.

It seemed that I just missed my Mak Su as she just went back to Jasin in the morning...sigh. But my Mak Ngah and Cik Jah was there with two new additions to the family...hehehe. We had dinner there, they had the time to cook the vegetables from Cameron, you know?!! Anyway, we made our way back to Sabak Bernam around 11pm. I actually booked a room at my relative's homestay, Zamita's in Sabak Bernam a week earlier. So, it was kind of easy, just get the key and 'pengsan'...hehehe

The next day, we went back to Sekendi and met my relatives plus all the juiciest gossips...muahahaha. Instead of going back to Rawang on Monday, we extended our stay another night. Luckily I booked a room at Sg Hj Dorani as a just-in-case scenario. We managed to visit many relatives though 2 days were definitely not enough to cover the scores of relatives I have...hehehe.

Anyway, we came back to BTP on Tuesday and Hadi and Amir had to skip one day of school. Yeay! for them, I suppose...hehehe. Looking back at the travelling we had done during Raya, I could just rolled my eyes. But the story's not finish yet...hehehe

To be continued...

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Travel Galore - Eid-ul-Fitr 1431H

We woke up a little bit late on the morning of Eid. The kids woke up at 7.30am but by 8.00 everyone was ready...hehehe. My FIL was amazed and asked the kids, "Cepatnya siap, mandi kuba' ker?". Hehehe.

We planned to solat sunat at Masjid Hiliran but because we were late and it was raining, we prayed in Masjid Kristal, a short walking distance from where we were staying. There were so many people, alhamdulillah. The only complain I had was about the imam who forgot the takbir on the second rakaat, making the makmum a little bit confused.

The night before, Che Rah told us not to come too early, so after solat we went to Che Da Afzan's house. I love going to Che Da Afzan's house because her house would be the only house that serves rendang on raya morning...hehehe. Che Da cooked nasi minyak Trengganu and rendang...yeay! But while I was enjoying the spread, Che Rah called...

So, we went straight to Che Rah's house and ate Nasi Dagang. Ayah Su and Che Su also came from Dungun, so my FIL's family was complete. All surviving siblings were together under one roof. We managed to have a photography session with all the family...hehehe. We ate and chatted and had fun teasing each other...hehehe. Well, it's not easy to have everyone together at the same time.

Around 12, we made our move to Padang Midin, to Abg Luqman's house. We arrived just before the friday prayer and the ladies had our fill of nasi dagang in peace. This is where Daddy met his cousins and there were many that day. Even Dadi came a bit later but I pity him because he looked so lost in his own world...sigh.

From Padang Midin, we made our way home and started packing all our stuff in the car. We made our way to KB around 3pm. We managed to stop by at Uncle Wan Abu Mutalib's house but it was too full with a lot of people. The journey was uneventful and we safely arrived at the hotel in KB just before Maghrib.

After prayers and showers, we went to Mak Anjang's house in Kg. Bayam. Adik and Fahim also came with us. There we met Abg Pian and Wani and later were joined by Ila and Man. Abg Pian's second child was unable to walk and it was so sad because we could do nothing to help...sigh. We went back to rest around 11 pm. Such an exhausting first day...sigh.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Travel Galore - a day before Eid...

On the day before raya, we managed to find our relative somewhere near the airport. We visited Dadi who was already affected by Alzheimer and hardly recognise people, even his own children...sigh.

I suggested that instead of just spending the night before raya at the house, why don't we go to Che Rah's house (daddy's sister) and he agreed. So we went there and Che Ja was already there with her family. It was kind of fun to gossip and just get to know each other better...hehehe. At first just the ladies were at the kitchen and then Daddy joined us ladies.

On that particular night, we discovered one of Daddy's secrets...hehehe. No wonder Che Ja and Che Rah were a bit gobsmacked when Mummy told them that Daddy ate bubur lambuk for sahur. Then, suddenly Che Ja asked Mummy, "Since when Abg Long eat bubur lambuk?" and it was Mummy's turn to be gobsmacked, "huh?!, he's been eating quite a lot of bubur lambuk actually...". Then Che Ja told us that as far as she knows, Daddy abhorred bubur lambuk since young because he said that bubur lambuk reminded him of 'muntah kucing (cat's vomit)...muahaha.

When questioned by his wife and his sisters, he actually admitted that he used to hate bubur lambuk...hehehe. We had a good laugh about that in the kitchen. We were so busy laughing that we didn't realise the time. All too soon, it was time to go back to Taman Tamadun Islam...sigh. It was so nice to be able to chat with our close relatives.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Travel Galore - a summary

My husband came back on the 3rd of October and we had a family dinner/buka puasa at his parents house in Taman Tun. The next day, we went back to Sabak Bernam and had a buka puasa at Kak Iti's house. We came back to Tasik Puteri on Sunday afternoon and we treated our neighbours for a buka puasa at Jintan Manis restaurant. Food was okay but the service was a bit poor.

Our trip to the East Coast started on Monday, the 6th of October. We had a brief stopover at Kuantan for a 'spot' of shopping...hehehe. Just bought a few tudung for me and Aliah. We didn't book a hotel or anything, we just took a chance. Luckily, there was a family room available for us at Awana Kijal.

We arrived in Kijal about 5.30 pm, and about an hour later we were on our way to Dungun to break our fast with Ayah Su's family. We were treated to a sumptuous feast. We finished everything...hehehe. We followed Ayah Su to do our terawih prayers at Masjid Batu 7 if I'm not mistaken. After terawih, we continued eating bubur and other deserts at Ayah Su's house. We left around 10 pm and had a stopover at Kerteh to buy something for Aliah and Hadi's sahur as our sahur were provided by the hotel.

The next morning, we only started our journey around 12 because we were supposed to meet my PIL around 3 pm in KT. When we discovered that Mummy and Daddy will only arrive after Asar, we had a stopover at Noor Arfa's show room. The boys stayed in the car while Aliah and me went in. I just bought a few pieces of Kaftan for Aliah and me...hehehe

We made our way to Taman Tamadun Islam and Masjid Kristal as our accommodation was the guest house next to Masjid Kristal. We waited for them to arrive just before 6pm. The house had 3 bedrooms, a living/dining area and a small kitchenette. The kids shared a bathroom with us. The kids ate chicken rice while we break our fast with all trengganu food fare with the likes of ikan singgang and ayam percik...hehehe

At first we wanted to perform our terawih at masjid Kristal... infact we were already inside the beautiful masjid when Daddy called us out and drove out to a nearby masjid. I've forgotten the exact name of the masjid or was it a surau?!! The funny thing was, Hadi told his ayah that he had to pray so many times...hehehe.

To tell you the truth, I loved the spotlight show at masjid Kristal, it changes colours every few seconds, very beautiful at night. But, I was a bit surprised that the inside of the masjid was smaller than I imagine. There was only a small space for ladies to pray, maybe just enough for 8 rows. When we were there, it was packed and a lot of people had to pray outside which was a shame really. For the millions that they spent building the masjid, I thought comfort for the jemaah would have been well thought out.

On Wednesday morning we were greeted with 'ant attack'! We woke up for sahur but was shocked with the thousands of ants attacking our food. Only the bubur lambuk was safe...eeee. My MIL had to fight the 'ants' and we had to clean up the area. Wednesday is also our relaxing day, we didn't go anywhere. We were treated at 'Bbenteng' inside Taman Tamadun Islam. No complains there as it was a free meal...hehehe. We had terawih in Masjid Hiliran, my FIL's kampung.

There were two layers and men prayed upstairs. The Masjid was made of chengal I think, but everytime the men sujud, we could hear them so loudly...hehehe. We were lucky because they were 'khatam' the alquran that night, so instead of doing 8 rakaat, I did the whole thing. Alhamdulillah. We were waiting for the sound of the canon, but since we heard none that meant that Raya would be on Friday.

Oh, by the way, my FIL was so proud of the canon that he got so excited telling his grandchildren about the history. On the first day we were in KT, I think he was more excited than the kids...hehehe. It was a case of 'bedil' here and 'bedil' there. Well, maybe for the Trengganu folks, the canon during Ramadhan signals a long held tradition and reminding them of their childhood. Something that never changes though everything else move with the times.

On Thursday, my husband bought his first DSLR camera, a canon 550EOS because there was no Nikon D90 in stock. We break our fast in a restaurant that have been mentioned by my FIL for the umpteenth time (whenever we went past it, okay?!!). It was crowded but the service was fast and efficient. I tried the 'sotong sumbat', not bad.

Did I tell you what Aliah said about our accommodation? Well, around KT we travelled in one car, so one day Aliah asked her To' Ki, "To' Ki, why couldn't we stay in a better hotel?". Oopss, alahai, these kids. Their definition of a good hotel start with having a bath tub and astro channels on TV. That would be the first thing they would check when we arrive in any hotel...hehehe. Those and the fact that there were ants there definitely brought down the standard of the accommodation to a 'homestay'.

To be continued...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Raya 2010- reflection...

This year we celebrated Eid in Malaysia, among family and friends and with food aplenty...hehehe. For the past two years, we were away in Khartoum, though it was no less festive but I miss the 'carnival' spirit there. Though I felt that my presence there was enough to make the atmosphere more festive somehow...muahahaha!

In Khartoum, we spent time during Eid visiting friends in the Petronas Complex. When I was there, we had a 'schedule' for open houses...hehehe. In 2008, Syikeen and me drew up a timetable for everyone to slot in their open houses, so that we would be able to enjoy the festivities mood and the most important thing that there would be no clashes in the schedule and everyone fed to the max! Muahahaha.

Last year, I managed to maximise the slots, so that everyone did not have to cook for 6 whole days! The ladies had to do minimal cooking during the period because we had open houses for 'breakfast, lunch and dinner!'...Muahahaha. Who says it was not fun in Sudan?!! Well, I did anyway! Hehehe

During the holidays we had very 'minimal travelling time'. The only travelling that we did involve only the walking up and down the stairs or travelling up and down lifts... or maybe the slow walk to the other block! hehehe... Can you imagine celebrating Eid in a block of flats, without anywhere else to go?!! The only invitation out would be from the embassy and the students organisation. Kesian kan?!! But I have to say that I had lots of fun and laughter throughout the holidays.

I remembered us going to each house and the ladies would normally sit in an 'island' in the middle of the room and shared gossips and laughter (with the host's homemade cookies right in the middle, I might add)...hehehe. Sometimes the men would left us there and went home first because once the wives got talking, it's very difficult to stop...muahahaha. I miss those times... I miss you guys...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Selamat Hari Raya...1431H

Salam everyone! I hope it's not too late for me to wish Eid Mubarak to everyone. I know it's really late, but better late than never right?!! Hehehe...

Anyway, I had a 'busy' Eid so far which can be vouched by the thousands of kms clocked on my poor car...hehehe. I also had a technical difficulty when my beloved modem went dead even before Eid...sigh. Now I finally got a new modem but my router is letting me down...sigh. I have been out of touch with many friends on the net and for that I am sorry, guys :) I'm here now and I plan to stay, insyaallah. I gotta go right now, au revoir!