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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The home team with the newlyweds

The Padang Serai Wedding Outing

This weekend we drove to Padang Serai at the Pulau Pinang state border to attend a wedding of my cousin who we have not met since she was in school. We planned a rendezvous with Atok and Opah who travelled up north from Sitiawan. Using Google Maps we arrived at the location with no problems. As these events usually go, there is always a point where Irfan meets and plays with a cat. This purring kitty liked to claw at Irfan’s jeans. That night Ain and I scouted the area and discovered the colourful and spectacularly-lit Taman MBI Desaku. Some day we will return to the park and take more photos of it. It looked quite impressive and I was surprised that I had never heard of it before. The next morning, it was time for the bersanding ceremony. We stacked blankets and pillows on Irfan as he was the […]

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Nia all visored up

A Quick Jump to Perda

Cik Su F spent an extra night with us. Then we headed south towards Perda to attend a wedding on Ayah Cik Farid’s side of the family. Atok and Opah remained home as they thought the trip might exhaust them. Ain drove with Cik Su sitting shotgun. Irfan and I goofed around in the back together. She drove all the way to the hotel in Perda where Nia and family spent the night… and the uncle in the red shirt in the photo above awaited. After Nia was all prepped to attend the wedding, Ayah Cik taught Nia about numbers using the hotel signage. Irfan took a photo of us at the hotel lobby. Soon Nia joined us at the lobby with her favourite hat. We drove to the hall and then got a group shot of the entire contingent. A difficult effort, because the sun glared down brightly, preventing […]

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Close up on the results

Driveway Apam Balik Station

One Saturday, our driveway became an apam balik station. Many visitors came to obtain free apam balik as dessert to go with their meal. The driveway had been converted because of the wedding feast held by our neighbour to commemorate the wedding between his son and daughter-in-law, and his daughter and son-in-law. A twofer! The previous day both Ain and I helped out with the preparing of the food. I helped cut up the beef into small pieces while Ain had her fingertips chemically seared off when she attempted to remove the skin out of a million metric tonnes (or so it seemed) of garlic. Apparently de-skinning a large amount of garlic can be painful to your fingers. There was a meeting some weeks back and we had given them permission to set up the apam balik station here. Across the street where the food was being served, an ais […]

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Wedding at Lunas

One day we had to leave Betty kitty at home for the weekend. [[image:lunas-wedding01.jpg:What IS up with the many-angled ones?:center:0]] We travelled south to Lunas, Kedah about three hours south where Ain’s cousin Zariff was getting married. [[image:lunas-wedding02.jpg:Lunas is near Kulim which is a spitting distance from Pulau Pinang:center:0]] Ain had found a homestay online and booked by phone. It was quite a comfortable pace to stay, we discovered upon checking in. [[image:lunas-wedding03.jpg:This is the same place we rendezvoused with them a couple of years ago:center:0]] Then we rendezvoused with Tok Bah and Tok Ma in Kulim who had driven in from Pasir Mas, and had some nasi ayam for lunch. We also took a drive to Butterworth to buy some pickles at the pickle store. [[image:lunas-wedding04.jpg:Soon Irfan will be taller than me:center:0]] The next day, we took the opportunity of having family members around us to take a photo […]

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Selamat Pengantin Baru Cik Ma and Farid

Irfan’s Cik Ma and Uncle Farid got married on the 11th at Pondok Lubuk Tapah; and thus Uncle Farid was upgraded to Irfan’s second Ayah Cik. Since I had an exam the previous day, I arrived just in time for the festivities. Here are some photos from the wedding festivities. [[image:cikma-wedding01.jpg::center:0]] When everyone was busy sometimes Irfan babysat Zara. [[image:cikma-wedding02.jpg::center:0]] Aqad completed, Ayah Cik and Cik Ma were now husband and wife.I photographed stuff in the back. [[image:cikma-wedding03.jpg::center:0]] The newlyweds bersanding at the pelamin. Cik Su F had Cik Ma’s wing. [[image:cikma-wedding04.jpg::center:0]] All the tweens of the extended family also got to pose at the pelamin, even Irfan.Later that day they all played musical chairs under the rambutan tree. [[image:cikma-wedding05.jpg::center:0]] Then on the 15th, the family gathered at Jitra for the festivies at Farid’s place in Jitra. [[image:cikma-wedding06.jpg::center:0]] Atok Irfan took a group photo of the close extended family before […]

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Abang Ngah and Kak Ngah

Abang Ngah’s Wedding

Six years ago we attended Abang Long’s wedding kenduri at Kampung Permatang during a balik kampung trip back to Sitiawan. It was now time for his younger brother Abang Ngah’s wedding, though technically the aqad was performed in Ipoh the previous weekend. As always it was great to see relatives pooling together to get the kenduri running, working the logistics, greeting and serving guests. We had visited the previous night when they were building up the main table and backdrop from scratch. The following morning it looked like this: Here are assorted photos from the kenduri that day. Congratulations again to Abang Ngah & Kak Ngah.

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Perth – Part 4

It’s now our third day in Perth, and it is one day before EJ and Indra’s wedding. We start off the day when EJ came to pick us up in a rental van. We then drive down to Cottesloe where Hsu and David are staying. [[image:oz45.jpg:EJ and Vin by the van:center:0]] [[image:oz46.jpg:View from the street:center:0]] [[image:oz50.jpg:Beautiful beach:center:0]] [[image:oz47.jpg:Pete, David and Hsu admiring the view:center:0]] [[image:oz48.jpg:EJ and Vin by the beach:center:0]] [[image:oz49.jpg:Group photo:center:0]] We did have to walk on the beach and feel the water (which was a little cold). [[image:oz51.jpg:Walking on the beach:center:0]] We decide to have lunch by the beach. Can you blame us? [[image:oz54.jpg:EJ and Hsu:center:0]] [[image:oz55.jpg:Pete and David:center:0]] [[image:oz56.jpg:Vin, EJ, David and Hsu relaxing after lunch:center:0]] [[image:oz53.jpg:Unexpected and rowdy guests:center:0]] I guess, Down Under, pine needles grow upwards for a reason? [[image:oz52.jpg:Pine tree:center:0]] This one is for Abah: [[image:oz57.jpg:Some kind of MG?:center:0]] After we hung out for […]

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Irfan’s Conflagration of Grandparents

For the first time in a long time, all four of Irfan’s grandparents were at the same place and time. All the way from Sitiawan, Atok & Opah Irfan travelled to Pasir Mas to spend a couple of days there at Tok Bah & Tok Ma’s house at Lubok Tapah. They came to attend Ain’s cousin’s wedding in Kota Bharu. Which turned out to be great vacation in the end. Soon after their arrival, we went to the wedding kenduri where photos were taken and food was consumed. After the function, we left Tok Bah & Tok Ma to help with the cleanup as we out-of-town tourists went a-visiting beaches like Pantai Seri Tujuh, and Pantai Cahaya Bulan the next day where Irfan played with a kite. There is no picture of the kite being played, but we do have these photos instead: [[image:kb_wedding00.jpg:Newlyweds surrounded by the family wimmenfolk:center:0]]Newlyweds Zulham […]

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Setting up booby traps?

Abang Long’s Wedding

Last weekend we were back in Sitiawan where Abang Long, the second cousin of Sila and I, had his wedding in Kampung Permatang. The bunga manggar above marks the occasion of a wedding at the house. The pelamin in Wan Alang’s living room, where the bride and groom will sit. Later when they were sitting there I was unable to see anything or take any pictures because of the crowd. The grand meal set up for the groom, the bride and the bride’s family. Some tasty stuff there. The official photographer and his assistant stands by for the occasion. The guests flood in and Abang Long’s younger brother Abang Ngah greets them and directs them to the dining tents behind him where the buffet was served. Irfan and his Pak Cu Hazwan await in the shade. For some reason on three separate occasions, people thought Hazwan was my son. Suddenly, […]

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With the newlyweds

Brief Pahang Incursion

Ain’s good friend from Univerity Malaya, Jalilah, got married last Saturday. It was, of course, another Family Trip to parts unknown; this time to FELDA Lepar Hilir 1 in the state of Pahang to the east. Since the car’s suspension was repaired a couple of days earlier, I felt confident in making the trip without having the car losing its tyres halfway there. So, at 1030 hours on that day, we left the house for Pahang. We didn’t take the new East Coast Highway, cause I miss driving on the old Federal main road east through Karak, Mentakab, Temerloh and Maran, which have better roads now and less traffic thanks to the new highway. It was quite a feat, trying to locate the bride’s home via the map that was on the invitation card. And who would have thought PMG meant “Pusat Mengumpul Getah” (Rubber Collection Centre). Right by the […]

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Henna

Malay weddings aren’t complete without henna. Malay culture isn’t the only one to include henna in its rites and rituals. Henna is an ancient tradition practised by many ancient cultures, and is an integral part of weddings and childbirth for Hindu as well as Muslim cultures. I had hoped that one of the benefits of marrying out of my own culture would be that I would be allowed to skip some of the more tedious rites, but (un)fortunately, my aunts and cousin would have none of it. So whether we liked it or not, henna became part of our wedding. After the aqad nikah (marriage) ceremony, Vin and I both sat down for my cousin Ija (Kak Long) and she meticulously applied the ritual henna on our digits. Well, Vin only had to have the three fingers on his left hand hennaed. I had to have all of my fingers, […]

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Honeymoon in Redang

As Hisham has faithfully chronicled in here, Vin & I got married in Malaysia recently. A few days after the big kenduri (feast) in Sitiawan, Hisham’s and my hometown, Vin & I flew to Kuala Terengganu, on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia where we were picked up by a bus and driven to the Marang Jetty. There, we got on a speedboat and left for Pulau Redang (Redang Island) for a 3-day snorkeling adventure. My father had taken us on a few of these vacations when Hisham and I were in our late teens, but the last time I had been to Pulau Redang and its neighboring islands had been at least 10 years ago. I had been worried that the last 10 years might have brought “development” (and its evil twin destruction) and that tourism might have brought about the destruction of the natural coral reefs that surround […]

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The newlyweds

KLIA June 2005

Their time in Malaysia had come and gone. Vin and Sila left the country, back to their own lives in the United States last night. It had been a fantastic month, and we were all saddened by their having to leave. Irfan, on the other hand, took it well. Even after the evening claiming his Ayah Cik’s luggage as his own, Irfan waved his goodbye to my sister and brother-in-law without any fuss. Even this morning, when I asked him, “Ayak Cik mana? (Where’s Ayah Cik?)” Irfan cheerily replied, “Ayah Cik naik kapal terbang. (Ayah Cik got onto an aircraft.)” Here are pictures from last night sad event. Here are some general pictures of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport taken without flash and with long exposure.

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Sisters-in-laws

A Stay At The Hilton: Another Photojournal

For the last year or so, after sending Irfan to day care, we drive to work together. After the construction of Hilton KL Sentral, we drive past it every morning. Sometimes we wonder if we would ever get a chance to spend a night at the newest and state-of-the-art hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Then suddenly last week, newly-weds Sila and Vin booked us on what would be a 2 night stay there. After their honeymoon in Redang we were to rendezvous with them at KL Sentral. Soon after, we were enjoying the air-conditioned, luxurious rooms of the hotel. Here are pictures from our awesome stay at the Hilton. Here we are settling down into the hotel room. Irfan warmed up to the bathtub immediately. He had to have his Ayah Cik Vin around for him to fill up the tub with tepid water, before he takes a dip in it […]

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