I had a great weekend. Sarah and myself, we took the 11 pm coach down to Singapore. Hubby would join us the next day after attending a funeral. I am used to travelling up and down PJ/KL –Singapore solo but that was the first time I was travelling with a minor. I was not anxious nor worried, just very sleepy. It didn’t help that the air conditioning was centralised and we couldn’t adjust it in any way. Sarah kept saying she was feeling cold, so I gave her my extra shirt and sejadah for her to bundle herself up. Only then she fell asleep. But it was winter for me, so to speak. When the coach stopped at the toilets, I made a quick exit, helped myself to a generous helping of toilet paper and stuffed it through the aircon duct. The rest of the journey was uneventful.
I met Sarah’s father for the first time that wee hours of the morning. A very lovely person and it’s not difficult to see where Sarah got her good manners from. As it was too early to go anywhere, we went back to his apartment where he served breakfast and we talked and talked and talked. Then I did subuh there and he sent me back to Tampines, where this ‘budak-mentel-nak-kena-romos’ was waiting for me.
Then the whole shebangs of catching up and eating began. First on Mak’s list for breakfast was homemade roti kirai with her signature kari ayam and serunding daging. I was about to tell her that’s too much meat for one meal when she beat me to it with ‘ Mak dah masak kan tu.. Makan eh jangan tak makan’. While I was still eating, she left for the market. For what? I asked, for there were so much food already. “Nak masak mee soto lah.” That’s like my most favourite meal. When she said that, it actually means ‘Welcome Home’. Later on, she was in the kitchen for hours. I noticed it was not only mee soto that she was cooking, but hubby’s favourite –‘tulang beach road’. That night, all of us feasted with every single one of the food I love. Mak is not very good with her words. But she is a pro at cooking and she communicates with us through that. I get it, whatever she was trying to say to me that night through every single dish on the table.
The next day was spent with the love of my life…
She is my everything. Both my parents worked since I was born so she was my world. She still is, despite being frail and Alzheimer’s stricken, she still remembers me. This time round, she kept repeating this over and over again, while weaving in and out of her ingat-lupa-ingat-lupa pattern: “Maafkan nyai tau..Maafkan nyai kalau dulu nyai jaga kau selalu marah-marah. Maafkan nyai tau..” I don’t know what’s going on in her mind but deep down inside, I somehow feel that this may be our last Raya together, either she goes first or I do, we won’t know but I was thankful that we decided to make this trip down.
After that, hubby made his compulsory visit to WardahBooks to meet up with his buddy Ibrahim and the rest of his Wardah gang. I got the blue kebaya out and met up with mine. We did a photoshoot session at the park too, which was helluva fun. Then I had to hurry home.
Cousins came that night pouring in, keeping all of us busy. After midnight, bapak wanted to go to Mustafa Centre and we all decided to join in, baby dragged along. I bought lots of chocolates, teas, coffee and drinks for the home and multi-flavoured cornflakes for Sarah. Hubby did the tsk, tsk ‘stocking for a year?’ he asked. Whatever.
Sunday morning was spent with bapak’s side. His 13 siblings, their spouses and my 35 cousins. Two words: kecoh gila. Even though it was not full strength as not everyone could make it to my aunt’s place.
Then it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Especially the budak mentel, who had since bonded with his onkel Amran.
Till Raya Haji, insya Allah.