Right at this moment, I am sitting on a comfy couch like a sleepy dugong after a heavy buffet breakfast somewhere in a nice hotel in Cameron Highlands. This would be our ‘last kopek’ trip before the Gregorian calendar ends for yet another year tomorrow evening. I love this hotel with its Scandinavian touch to it, which feeds my all things Swedish fetish just perfectly. Nice end to the year I reckon. Alhamdulillah.
It is a nice beautiful cold Sunday to go for a walk– which I would go later, but now I just want to pen some thoughts down. In December 2011, we had Sensei Kaoru from Japan with us for almost a month. That was one awesome ending to the year because Sensei Kaoru was staying with us in our home and Sensei Hakim was also here with us but staying with another student. We trained every single day in that December (except for the few days we went back to Singapore to welcome the birth of Abdur Rahman). We trained even on New Year’s Eve, after which we rushed off with Sensei Kaoru, who, when out of his hakama and dogi, was really a typical Japanese shutter frenzy Japanese snapping pictures whenever he could. We drove by Duke Highway and parked the car along with many hundreds of other vehicles and waited for midnight where the fireworks from KLCC made such a spectacular display. The three of us ushered in 2012, perched on top of the railing by the highway, each of us with our cameras, unknown to us that it would be the welcoming of a year to remember.
In summary, this year was a year full of travelling, physically, mentally and emotionally. We started the year out in Australia, going for the wedding of the husband’s old friend. It was there we were reunited with Imam Afroz (at the wedding) to which he simply gave us the responsibility of starting the Seekers Circle Malaysia. We did, and currently we are running the 3rd cycle and the husband’s responsibilities have now extended to that of the Asia Pacific region coordinator. From just one meeting at one wedding…who would have guessed?
Then we were also in Palembang, one of the places in my to-do list. Then we wanted to go to Hajj but we didn’t get the quota. So we applied to go to Jordan instead, which also didn’t work out. In the end, I got my dream of spending the entire Ramadan in Makkah, which was so surreal that to this very day, I sometimes wonder did that month really happened or was it just in my dream? It happened of course, based on the hundreds of photos in my ipad on that trip alone.
The one thing both my husband and I can never fathom about this year was the coming of the AFS kid into our lives for those 4 months she was with us. Looking back, I really do not know what to say or make out of that whole chapter for this year. After all the whole trouble to get her to be with us as a favour to her father, all the letters and appeals and what not to AFS, her staying with us didn’t work out. At the end of the four months or rather on the first week of her fifth month here, we decided to let her go and released her back to the AFS.
However, now this is the big ‘joke’. My husband as the official legal guardian still had to settle her passport visa for her long term stay here. This means that he had to go to Shah Alam immigration to settle the admin for her change to a new family, and the visa under a new school. It was not her fault really but we all know how crappy immigration procedures here in Malaysia can be right? So my husband, who works in KL had to take many, many half day offs (his leaves are all gone by the way so it is time out from work at his expense totally) to go up and down Shah Alam, joined the queue and on occasions when he had already driven from KL to Shah Alam in the middle of a work day, in the notorious traffic jams and everything, the immigration officer can simply say, ‘Sorry sir, the passport not ready. The officer in charge of signing it is on leave…’ and the classic one ‘Sorry sir, sticker (for the visa) finish. Come back another time ok!’
You know how frustrating that is? He went up and down the immigration so many times that one officer felt sorry for him and gave my husband his personal handphone number and asked hubby to call him first before coming the next time so that he can check first if the passport was really ready.
FINALLY, one day circa 3.5 weeks ago, hubby got a call from immigration that the kid’s passport was finally ready. He drove from his office in KL to the immigration in Shah Alam, collected the passport and straight to AFS in PJ to hand in the passport and exonerated his legal guardian post once and for all. That was his ‘nah amek kau’ day sekali.
Having gone through ALL of that to get the immigration to paste a sticker on her passport for her visa to go under a new family till July 2013, on Christmas day, we got news that the girl had gone back to Germany for good on 22nd December. Ya Salaam! *sigh* We really just had to laugh. An exasperated laugh but a laugh nevertheless. Like Oh Allah, from the very beginning to the very end this girl had been a test to our patience and after You made us go through all these, she went home? *slaps forehead*
Hence at this point, we can just simply say, this year is a year of acceptance. Of acceptance of His decree and just go along with the scheme of things as planned by HIM and try to find the ‘hikmah’ behind it. I am really now enjoying my stay in Cameron Highlands, with all the pine trees and beautiful cold weather. I do not want to wonder what 2013 has in store for us. I just hope this year our Hajj application is successful and that would be the only thing to look forward to. To everyone, I wish you a good year ahead and may you be blessed in every manner by Him. Ameen.