The journey began on the morning of the 12th of September. The planned route would have taken us from Sitiawan, up north toward Taiping to two houses, Opah Teh and Tok Teh’s in Matang and Pak Unggai and Mak Unggai’s in Taiping. Then, we’d drive south-east using the North-South Highway toward state capital of Ipoh, to Wan Cu’s new abode.
Just three houses to visit for the day. By normal reckoning, it would take us an hour to get to Taiping, then another hour to get to Ipoh, and finally another hour to get back to Sitiawan. If we spent 30 minutes per house visit, we would be back before it was late afternoon.
Little did we know…
Before we began our journey, we stopped for supplies at the local Giant hypermarket. It’s still weird to think of having a Giant hypermarket in little Sitiwan. Of course, Sitiawan is no longer “little”, but I digress.
Here is the crew of the Alfa, sans Opah who went shopping. But who’s that little girl in the back peering over the chair?
It’s none other than Alya Jean, hanging on to Purrsley the Cat! (Well, the next minute she threw him down onto the floor…)
Then here comes Irfan from the other car to play with his cousin for a while, before we started driving north.
En route, we came upon a traffic jam, after Trong. I thought there was an accident up ahead causing it. An hour later, I had thought differently. There were just that many cars out on the road that day. but after clearing Simpang, and heading oceanwards, the traffic was good to us all the way through the turn off into Matang where we finally arrived at Tok Teh and Opah Teh’s house in the kampung… more than an hour late.
The enclosed veranda in front of the house was a perfect place to play in. Alya, Irfan and Irfan’s Godzilla ran all over the place as we chatted with Tok Teh and Opah Teh in the den.
After some time, Irfan initiated hide-and-seek. Yaya would run inside and look for her cousin. He’s usually out of sight.
Then, Irfan would pop out from behind a door, or the sofa and surprises the heck out of Yaya, who will squeal with laughter and run back out to reset the game and begin again. It must have been one enjoyable game.
After that we set sail for Mak Unggai and Pak Unggai’s. However I can’t seem to find any photos of us at their house, consuming vast quantities of mi sup. Because the Alfa’s air-conditioning was broken, we moved Yaya’s seat to the Wira. Yaya and her parents travelled with me and Irfan and Ain went with Atok and Opah hence. It also started to rain.We bade the Unggais goodbyes and headed for the highway… which was jammed from Penang all the way down to Kuala Lumpur, we would learn the next day.
We moved slower than snails along the highway and got off at Kuala Kangsar.
Thankfully, Yaya was asleep 99% of the leg. It’d have been mind-numbingly boring to her to be stuck in a jam for FOUR FREAKING HOURS from Taiping to Ipoh in the rain, as it grew dark.
Finally we arrived at Wan Cu’s place which was somewhat Phineas and Ferb-esque. She and her new blended family showered us (along with our numb butts and sore spines) with lots of food, including satay. Yaya woke up just in time for a nappy change.
The Ipoh family were gracious hosts. We quickly felt much better and refreshed.
We arrived home at 1am. Did I say we’d be back late afternoon? Yeesh.
I finally found some more photos which were from Sila’s camera from our time at Mak Unggai’s house:
Finally, here are some notable photos of our cousins Petra and Hazwan, who were awesome with Irfan since when he was a toddler, and they were awesome with Yaya now: