Ain & Hisham in Lumut

Hari Raya Haji 1444H

For Aidiladha, we returned to Sitiawan where Ain made nasi minyak and ayam masak biryani. Here are some photos of the first day of Raya in Sitiawan. Click on them to expand. After taking photos, we went for a drive to Lumut. For the first time in a long while we pulled over and walked at the promenade (See photos). It was peculiar. Vacation season, but not a lot of humans at the pier as it usually is. Because of a medical emergency, we could not go visit the folks I wanted to visit this time around. We spent the second day of Raya at the Manjung Hospital. It was physically and mentally exhausting. In any case, we got to speak to the Middletown team via Discord early on the second day – which also wears away at my somewhat weary soul. So long since we were able to meet […]

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Irfan's Great-grandparents' house 01

Our Grandparents’ House

By “our”, I mean Sila’s and mine, on Atok Irfan’s side. As children, when Sila and I balik kampung, one of the locations we would go to was to visit our grandparents. We would sleep over with our parents here, celebrate Hari Raya here with cousins, and it used to be surrounded by fruit trees. Coconut trees were of course plentiful, but there were mango, papaya, rambutan, jambu air¬†and even nam-nam trees. We used to pick and eat the fruits off the trees. Some required a galah for us to reach, but some were accessible to us. Under the house, I used to fish for ant lions. Sometimes, I used tall grass or weeds. But sometimes, I used an actual live kerangga. There used to be a well behind the house, but early on when I was still a youngling, they built a proper bathroom. They also reared chickens and […]

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Purple voting finger

Purplish Finger

According to the online system, Irfan is registered to vote in Pandan Indah, Ain in Pasir Mas and I in Sitiawan. It appears they set our locations to default to the addresses on our identity cars. This is after I have changed my voting location to Perlis over the counter several years ago. In any case, we will need to change or addresses before the next General Elections. Later that day Ain and I caught up with our old friend Mei, who also returned to Sitiawan to vote. We saw Eva (and her little brother Connor) who last appeared in this blog when she was a little baby. At the time Eva had yet to develop locomotion. Then later that night we continued our gossiping at Chicketory. Why Chicketory? Because its name was Chicketory. We talked about the General Elections of Malaysia, old times, new times, a better Malaysia and […]

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See you guys next time

Old School Mates in Lumut

Not only is it Labour Day here in Malaysia, but it’s also Hari Raya Aidilfitri! It is very rare for our old school mates to meet up when we return home for the holidays. So it was a welcome pleasure to have met up with these dudes in Lumut. We talked about the future of the county, old times, lost friends and growing old. Never thought we would be talking about things like that.

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Ain in Lumut

Aidilfitri After The Lockdown

During hari raya, we were unable to cross state borders to balik kampung thanks to the COVID-19 quarantine. It was not the first time for us. As the MCO downgraded because of the reduced infection rate, we discovered that we were able to travel back to Sitiawan to meet up with Atok and Opah. We thought it would be good to celebrate Aidilfitri with them, and we could check up on them after the months of relative isolation. The first morning, we took our late family hari raya photos. The sun shone brightly. Later that day, the sun decided to call it quits. Suddenly it rained There was a torrential downpour in town. According to later reports, it submerged parts of the streets downtown. It never rained this hard in recent decades here in Sitiawan, so this must have been a freak rainstorm. Because a construction crew was building a […]

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Lunch panhandler

Year’s End Vacation 1: Sitiawan

After a couple of weeks planning for it and applying for leave, it was time to execute the end-of-year vacation plans. We exited the highway near Selama and proceeded towards Taiping using the Federal roads. There was a convenient new road from Taiping to Changkat Jering. We stopped for lunch at the food court at that town. There was a cat who asked for food at the restaurant. Later, we headed for Beruas. It was quite a long winding road to reach Beruas from Changkat Jering, but soon we found the turnpike into the new West Coast Expressway which would theoretically be a faster route to Sitiawan. The WCE Sitiawan exit was near the original (and once upon a time, the only) road to Ayer Tawar. We had dinner with Atok and Opah that evening. The next day we went to the Aeon Manjung mall. I could not locate a […]

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Farewell to Sitiawan team

To Sitiawan and then Home

And so it came to pass that our vacation came to an end. But before that, we had to depart from Nia’s house. There was a flurry of furtive but sad goodbyes. We headed north towards Sitiawan using the old road we used to travel from KL. I thought I would try using the back roads via Kampung Kuantan. Ultimately we stopped at Sabak Bernam for lunch. Ain drove the rest of the way to Sitiawan. That night Atok and Opah treated us to dinner. The next day we went to Lumut. There might have been a fatal accident at the Lumut junction near the local Shell station. The next morning, we had breakfast at the Padang Astaka of Sitiawan before we geared up and headed home. We bade Atok and Opah farewell and hoped they would come visit us soon. We arrived in Beseri just in time for the […]

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Last Day

Long Weekend in Perak

We headed to Sitiawan on Saturday after my Research Method class. It was a long weekend. Really long weekend. Monday and Tuesday were holidays for various reasons. After lunch it would be 3 pm before we finally departed from town. We stopped at the highway rest stop to refresh ourselves. We had arrived early in the night in Sitiawan. I was dead tired. The next day we spoke for an hour with the away team online. On Monday, we headed upstate to visit the Kompleks Sejarah Pasir Salak. We stopped at Batu 10 for breakfast. The view of the Perak River is a rare view for me. It would be kind of therapeutic if we had a place by the river to unwind. There was also a large dead monitor on the walkway by the river, heading towards the complex. It looked fresh enough to be recently deceased. There was […]

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Some Salam Lebaran From Sitiawan

For Eid, we were at Sitiawan taking photos with Atok and Opah. We also visited Marina Island near Lumut to see what the artificial island was like these days. Sometimes friends visited us. Sometimes we visited friends. We also took a trip to Ipoh to visit Wan Cu’s family.

Check out the photos in the following gallery:

Before long it was time to head home.

The old market

A Ramadhan Weekend in Sitiawan

The previous week, just after one of my classes I was informed by Atok Irfan that Opah was hospitalised for a because of dengue fever. We headed back to Sitiawan to check up on her in the weekend. After breaking fast in the car along the highway while passing by the Gurun rest stop, we decided to have our dinner in Sungai Petani. Fortunately, Opah was on the mend although the doctor forbade her to continue her fast until she was checked out. Later, we went on a drive around town and watched Solo: A Star Wars Story at the Aeon mall – a second viewing for me since Kuala Lumpur. Hey, it be my old school! Weird thing is that besides very small bits and pieces of it, it no longer on the whole looks like my old school. Yay for progress? This used to be a happening place […]

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When I grow up I want to be Iapetus

A Sad Raya Haji in Sitiawan

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha from the whole lot of us in Sitiawan… …or something. It was Eid and it was Sitiawan’s turn this year. The trip to Sitiawan was not stressful for traffic was more than manageable. After nearly three years, I am still getting used to raya traffic being bad in the opposite direction. Irfan and I performed solat Aidiladha at the temporary masjid in town as a new one was under construction at the site of the old. Before long it was time to head home. A sad footnote:The day we before we travelled to Sitiawan I had heard that an old family friend – my parents’ good friend and my former classmates’ dad – had been hospitalised. We visited him the next day and were met by his entire family, people I have known since I could remember and rarely meet these days. Sadly the next […]

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Still zzzz

A Hometown of Sorts

…Sitiawan! We drove from Pasir Mas to where I grew up and where nothing now looks familiar, except for the old house. Because I was not able to go to Kuala Lumpur for vacation earlier, I figured we should visit Atok and Opah in Sitiawan during Maulud Nabi. Of course Irfan was glued to his grandparents desktop computer for hours, even late into the night. So he was pretty tired in the mornings. It was a chore to wake him up in my old bedroom. We mostly chilled out and relaxed in Sitiawan. We wanted to visit my cousin, but they were not in town. Irfan’s Atok and Opah also took us to dinner, before I went to GM a Star Wars RPG session. Wait what? The pasembor and rojak place under the rubber trees had quite tasty food, even if there was a swarm of flies in the area. […]

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The ambassador is my friend

A Coup Then Hari Raya

On the day of our arrival in Sitiawan, we played some Coup. By the end of the session, we were quite evenly matched. It’s Tyrion. The ambassador is Tyrion. The morning of Aidilfitri, Ain had her galaxy-famous nasi dagang prepared for eating and stuff. Yada, yada, yada… Maaf Zahir Batin. Atok and Opah pose for a photograph with their plants. As usual, photographs such as this need more Adik, Yaya, Sila and Vin to make it complete.

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Jeli mist

Misty Drives To and From Pasir Mas

Early Saturday morning we got into the car and headed out into the darkness towards Kelantan to avoid the festive season interstate traffic jam. As usual when even when the sun began to rise we were thick in the middle of mountain mist. The roads after Baling had pockets of very thick water particles which we had to dive into. Meanwhile, Rania and her parents got in front of us and reached Pasir Mas first. For two days, we played with her. She liked to hold conversations with us. I even babysat a couple of times her parents had to go downtown. Early Monday morning, we headed for Sitiawan. After sahur at Ayer Lanas, we stopped for Subuh at the last village after Jeli before the road went up the mountains again. The surau and its adjoining public rest-rooms seemed to be uninhabited and no other travellers stopped while we […]

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