We are still celebrating the end of Ramadan the fasting month of the Hijriah year 1431. Syawal is a joyous month of forgive and forgave. It is synonymous with the culture of Open Houses.
This time around Jun wanted to go back to her hometown Tanjung, better known officially as the City of George Town, Penang. I will not call it “kampong” because her ancestral home is not in a kampong. It is smack in the middle of the city itself.
She got a lift from Noni, a sister-in-law of her nephew, a town planner by qualification and has her own business in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. They left on Saturday morning 2nd October 2010.
Two big questions I have to answer from all. First, why I didn’t tag along. Second, how am I going to survive in her absence, food wise. Answer to the former concern logistic on my part. As age advance I have to take care of nature at least once a night that disturb my sleep. Being an old house with its ancient bathroom and facilities the whole house would be disturbed. Hence the decision to stay put at home sweet home.
The second is interesting. The Open Houses was helpful in my survival.
On the first day we had breakfast together before she left for Penang. Lunch was on Dr. Kamy’s invitation to his daughter’s engagement across the road in SS 18 Subang Jaya. My good friend Tengku Ali (Pok Ku) fetch me. After the ceremony we were treated to a sumptuous spread of “nasi minyak”. Thanks for having us on your invitation list Doc. Congratulation to you, the Mrs and the couple.
For tea Datin Ramlah, wife of my good Arwah Dato’ Salleh Pateh Akhir was having a farewell do for her daughter Sabariah who is continuing her PhD in Vienna, Austria. On reaching home my neighbour Haji Adnan came over to invite me to his open house. That solved my dinner problem that Saturday. I had “Yong Tau Foo” manufactured by a Malay entrepreneur whose factory is in Batu Caves Industrial area.
Sunday started with a sad message on the demise of an old friend Haji Naburi of Ipoh. Without breakfast I hurried to his son’s house. “Carl” lives in Kota Damansara. Going there on Sunday morning via the newly built roads beside the old airport at Subang was breeze. Looking for Section 5 K.D. was problematic. As usual I have an issue to pick on signage. The authority concern never gives thought to the predicament of total strangers to the place. The overgrown greens multiple the situation. It could not be the holiday season that causes the overgrown.
Anyway after getting the information from the local police base I found the section. The roads were narrow due to the greedy developer who wanted to sell more houses. So negotiating them was a nightmare. To make it worst is the vain of modern living. The area seems to be like a fortress, well guarded by security companies. Every head junction has gate. The one without the guard is lock. Having said that I reached Carl’s house in time to witness the jenazah being placed in the hearse to be taken to the “Yellow Mosque” for further rites. So off I went to the mosques and met relatives and former schoolmates at Anderson, Ipoh, some of whom I have not met for half a century. After the prayer I left for home.
It was straight to Surau Al-Ikhlas of SS 19 for its Open House. I was among the early birds and we enjoyed the conversation. It was lunch of barbecued lamb and of course the normal buffet. The lamb was well marinated and prepared. Sumptuous. I caught with loss of sleep on reaching home later.
Dinner was at another neighbour’s house, Zul and Maria. Both hail from Kijal, Trengganu. The LAKSAM was truly original Trengganu with the correct ingredients, sambal and belacan bakar. I had a second helping at the host behest. I did not have a second look at the other fare on the table, including lemang, ketupat, mee rebus etc. My target at their house has always been LAKSAM.
Monday was lunch at Cikgu Murni @ Food Court of Danau Kota with the gang of Tengku Ali, Zulkarnain Hassan and Azharuddin. The usual petai and tempoyak was there in abundance. So were Gulai Kawah and Ikan Bakar. Tengku missed his Pucok Gajus and my favourite Kerang was absent. In its place Azharuddin picked Siput Sedut. We did not miss anyone who did not want to tag along.
Dinner was a simple oat with milk and bread with cheese.
I missed breakfast on Tuesday and went to Carrefour Food Court for my favourite hotplate Ginger Beef Kueteow for lunch. When the blackout cut short my surfing on the internet, I just went to sleep under the cool weather. Jun woke me up and asked to be fetched at the Jalan Duta Terminal. Her bus arrived at 7.30 p.m.
That was a bad period to move out from Subang Jaya to Jalan Duta as the roads were always clogged with people going home after work, compounded by movement of heavily laden lorries and containers. It is the normal boring story that I won’t dwell on.
Dinner was “Gulai Kaki Kambing” a great delicacy imported from the city of Georgetown, manufactured by “Restoran Tajudin Husin” of King Street. That concludes the story of “Life without a Wife”.