Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Pendang Trip Last Week

Wah wah kejap aje rasanya aku dah cuti tujuh hari starting last Wednesday the 21st.

Had to. Abang's break was on Wednesday and Thursday. So, had to follow jadual dia when he told me he wanted to go back to Pendang to help settle looking for a maid for Mak. Aku sebagai isteri mithali haruslah ikut suami, kan. We were supposed to go back from Wednesday til Friday.

Alhamdulillah, Celi agreed to babysit Labu Labi and the house for us. So, untunglah kami tak yah spend RM120 in total for the kids' boarding. But we stock up the house with food and ice-cream especialynya, since Celi memang antu aiskwim.

We started our journey on Wednesday at 11am, and reached at 6pm. There wasn't any jam or anything on the road, just Abang yang drive slow giler... taking our own sweet time.

We reached Mak's house and Mak terus tunjuk bilik air baru dia, which is en-suite, and also the beautified and tiled bathroom. All paid for by her eight children. Untung Mak ada anak ramai.

Bilik air asal rumah Mak is outside, a typical squatting WC. But since a couple of months ago when Mak's walking becoming more unbearable due to her ailing knees and going to the toilet is such a long and torturous walk, her children decided to help Mak build an en-suite sitting WC to ease her.

Aku dah pastinya antara yang paling gumbira, kan. Aku paling cemuih kalau malam-malam sebelum tidur nak kena pi keluaq rumah untuk wiwi. Suruh Abang teman, memang la dia teman. Tapi sampai pintu dapur aje. Pastu dia masuk bilik balik just as aku tutup pintu bilik air. Dah le tak de lampu. Tak hangin ke bila dia ngelat camtu, tak tunggu aku sampai aku keluar. Dah le Mak and Abang selalu cerita pasal kisah orang-orang kampung yang suka bela hantu kat area tu. Penaya ja.

Aaaaanyway. Fuh cekmain kelesss ke tiles yang Mak pilih untuk each toilet and bathroom! Cuma, kurang perkakas untuk letak sabun, sidai tuala, tempat letak berus gigi and such. I personally did a mental note on the items so that esok lusa boleh pi cari kat pekan.

Mak, macam biasa la. Kalau anak sulung lelaki dia balik dari KL, macam-macam Mak nak masak untuk Abang. Dalam tak larat dia, dia instruct Yaya (the eldest cucu yang dia pelihara) apa nak potong apa nak boh segala. She also planned to buat lunch for all anak-anak on Saturday since Abang's back -- nak buat nasi daging, daging rebuih cicah ayaq asam, kari ikan, ikan-ikan pekasam & acar. Fuh dengaq Mak sebut ja, dah terlioq.

I tell you, I think Abang and I easily pile on kilos everytime we're back in Pendang -- pagi breakfast nasi minyak, tengahari nasi, petang nasi, malam lagi la nasi. Adaiii.

On Thursday, Abang, Mak and I went out to Aloq Staq to pay a visit to three maid agencies that Abang's gotten hold of from KL.

The first agency was rather professional. The lady who entertained us, Doris, showed a file full of varied array of information of the maids that the agency dealt with, perhaps 30plus of them in total, for our choosing. Fuh, borang-borang dia cukup lengkap -- gambar, info tentang berat, tinggi, nama mak bapak and suami, umur dorang, pekerjaan dorang, berapa anak, and preferences in the works they like to do. Puas hati la.

Yang muuuuuulaaaa sekali Mak tolak were the pretty young thangs.

"Aku tak moh hat yang muda-muda dan lawa-lawa, satgi jadi paiyah."

Ok, that narrowed down the search a bit. Everytime we came across the pages with the young and pretty, we just skipped.

"Aku tak moh jugak hat yang gemuk-gemuk macam aku, satgi paiyah nak bangun buat keja."

Kami pakat gelak, la kan. Aku gemuk, Doris gemuk, Abang gemuk. Terasa woooo, kalau nak jadik maid, sah-sah kena reject. Hahahahaha. Kelaaaat, kelat.

And then we narrowed down to those who put preferences of taking care the elderly as their priority. At long last we managed to narrow down to three choices -- a really small woman, age 36, who had some experiences in Saudi ("Makna kata Mak, dia ni besa [biasa] kemaih ghumah hat besaq-besaq, jadinya, dok kat rumah Mak ni, enteng aja bagi dia", I gave my two sen to Mak); one, a lady of my height, but a third of my weight, and had some experiences in M'sia ("Awat ghopa dia menakutkan la Alin... ghambut menghebang semacam," Mak quipped, obviously having a negative vibe towards the lady); and the last looked rather normal but with mata yang agak besar macam anak pompuan Addams Family tu ("Ni ghopa macam Cupah bila tua esok", Mak, referring to her lovely youngest daughter. hahahahaha).

Doris made us copies of the 3 choices for us to go back and think it over, and also provided us with the calculations yang kena dibayar -- berapa, when and how. Agak mahal la gak, tapi from a rather professional dealings la, kan.

Stepping out of the first agency, I realized I had left my SE phone still charged in the car. Alah, rilek la kan. Keta dalam compound ofis (which was a house converted into an office, macam rumah-rumah sepanjang Jalan Maarof kat Bangsar tu), handphone pun tak le semahal mana. Tak semenggah le nak dicuri ke apa, kan.

Once in the car, I unplugged the phone out of the charging socket. Ok je.

Ada symbol Java kat handphone. Terasa macam nak padamkan.

So I switched it off for a while.

And yup, it died on me there and then. Teruih tak leh bukak balikkkkkkk! Setan betul.

After meeting another two agencies (not worth mentioning, tak dak yang menarik sangat, though much cheaper than Doris' office), we went to a few handphone shops. Semua kata I shouldn't have charged my handphone in the car due to the power fluctuation (tapi sebelum ni aku charge handphone kat myVi, okaaaaay aje? Entah la), and semua beritahu the bad news -- that my software prolly suda kaput, hence say goodbye to the infos inside it.


Dah le aku padam semua nombor kat simkad aku (sebab boleh muat 250 aje) and semua number aku store dalam handphone aje (boleh muat 1000). Pastu dah memang gatal dan degil, aku dok procrastinate updating my back-ups on my lappy since last year August! So, there goes all the numbers, infos, calender, notes, etc.

Mujur gambar-gambar and memorable ringtones ada dalam memory card.... syukuuuuuur!

Hmph kelantak pi la my bosses, consultants and friends ada call hari tu (which was still a working day) tapi cannot get through. Esoknya dah le hari Jumaat, which is a weekend in Kedah. Tapi since the hp is still under warranty, nak le hantar balik ke kedai di Cheras, kan... tapi plan nak balik Cheras dah ditukar from Friday to Saturday after lunch instead... high possibility that Saturday would be a half-day to most Chinese-run shops in KL. Adaiiiiiii.

Hmph there goes my camera that I'd use to document my travels, and also for my mobile blogging. Rasa tempang, siut!

So, esoknya, Friday, was supposed to be Abang's working day. We went out looking for cybercafes in the Pendang town. Ada la 2,3 yang buka... but mostly rosak kena virus. Can ah laidat??? But we end up using the cybercafe on the older part of Pendang Town... yang I sent the entry from, tu.

After a quick use at the cafe, we went out looking for stuff for Mak -- perkakas barang bilik air, also barang-barang untuk jamuan tengahari esoknya. After which we passed by Abang's old school, which got Abang pretty sentimental that he planned to blog something down about his old school and his old teachers Cikgu An, Cikgu Yahya Yassin, Cikgu Jamil, his old friends, his hang-out place and all. Well we'll see about that (him blogging), won't we? haha

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pendang

That evening, Abang and I paid a visit to Qia's mom, Kak Roih (Kedah for Rose. Abang's 1st lovely younger sister, by a year --> kena sebut ni, haha) in Laguna Merbok @ SP to discuss further about the maids. As usual, trips to her lovely home is always always filled with good chats, good jokes and hearty laughs.

Okay fast forward till Saturday, we cooked lunch soon after breakfast. I love sitting down with Mak at the kitchen table. She will never fail to share bermacam-macam cerita and petua. You'll be amazed at how sharp her mind still is remembering the olden days. One would easily forget details, but not her. Aku pernah beritahu Abang that he and adik-beradik should perhaps one day compile her stories -- some funny, some scary, some informative. Rugi tak kumpul.

Eventually there were only us two, family Abang Badrun (Abang's 1st younger brother), family Mohamad (Abang's 2nd younger brother), Mohamad's in-laws and Kak Long (Yaya's mom) yang mai makan tengahari. Lima adik-beradik lain tak dapat mai. Tapi okay jugak -- makanan ada cukup-cukup aja! Dagin rebuih licin, ayaq asam licin, pekasam licin, nasi dagin licin -- tinggal kari and acar aje! Gila barbie fantastic, that lunch was!

After kemas-kemas and mandi, we started off our journey at 3pm, leaving Mak alone with Yaya. But not without so many buah tangan yang Mak, Abang Badrun & Kak Sa'da and Kak Long bekalkan ke Umi Ayah!

I'm always amazed that Mak never show us if she's feeling sad and lonely to see us leave... unlike Ma and Umi who will visibly shed tears whenever the kids start to leave. I know deep down mesti Mak rasa kosong tiba-tiba, like a huge void bila anak-anak beransur balik. As usual, I'd salam and kiss her just like I would to my Umi -- salam cium tangan, peluk and cium pipi. You would want to wish that moments like that would linger longer, and our mothers would stop aging, you know...

On the way back, these were what we saw... (taken using Abang's phone)

...very long crawl towards the Penang Bridge

...very long crawl towards the Jelapang Toll [woops, no pic plak] rushing off up North after Maghrib

...and we were like, nyeeee nye-nye-nyeeee nyeh *jelir lidah ke opposite cars*, paaaaaaadan muka kawuuuuuuuuuuuu. HAHAHAHAHAA! *evil laugh*

We reached at 8.30pm, not before first taking our chances going around looking for any mobile shops that might be open. Nada. For obvious reasons la, esok ada Makan Besar. Sigh.

Sedang elok that Udi came back from Malacca and was at home with Celi since the afternoon, and was waiting for me to come home first before heading back to Bangi. So I handed him Umi Ayah's buah tangan dari Pendang. Mesti Umi Ayah suka gila.

Oh by the way, sampai aje di rumah, Abang korek handphone lama kesayangan dia yang umur paling kurang 4 tahun -- the last of Ericsson before jadi Sony Ericsson.

Belakang badan dia berskru, kau. Abang kata, kalau buka, warranty void (macaaaaaaaaaaam la ada warranty lagi, kan). Nak letak simkad, kena tarik satu small tray out from the kepala, and put the simkad on the wee tray and push it back inside.

Fuh cemuih gila guna phone ni. Tapi, apa leh buat... beggars can't be choosers.

So, itu aje lah cerita kami balik Pendang kali ni... bukan untuk bersuka ria atau bercuti, tapi untuk tolong cari kan maid untuk Mak.

Hari Ahad, aku bantai kemas barang balik dari Pendang and caught up with some sleep while the husband went out to work. Hari Isnin dan Selasa -- hari blog layout. Hari ni dah hari kerja.

Sekejaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap aje 7 hari aku cuti. Bawak balik kerja ke rumah pun, tak jadi apa.



Jumper said...

Nice entry!! Your Mak, with her slang utara really came out of my laptop screen - mengalahkan all the Oscar best supporting actress nominees..

Naz said...

Me like! Me like!
Alahai how you make me feel homesick with this entry la.
I'm glad you've had a wonderful time up north.

nik awin said...

akhirnya...sekian lama dok tunggu.

mak aih besaq henfon..takdak yg lagi besaq ka??


~lepas guna,jgn lupa hantar ke muzium (buat pameran)

Zetty said...

cutenya henpon dia.
hik hik hik.
jgn maraha.
*lari lari gelak*

Roti Kacang Merah said...

deghian meloncat
hehe tu belum semua 8 bradik my husband berkumpul lagi tu! habis satu entry i bercerita penuh slang utagha, kot!

kak naz
alaaa kan kakak nak balik dah kan...? nanti kalau nampak the newly opened 'Tol Pendang', ingat-ingat ke kami, naa? hehe

Roti Kacang Merah said...

hui nak beghapa besaq lagi cek oiiii! cukup la tu! haha

*baling henpon ericsson arah etty* haha!

F Manchester said...

RKM- brilliant entry! Couldn't stop laughing at your mum in-law's quotes. I even found myself being able to speak utargha...

BUT maids... argh!!! Had too many bad experiences- just be careful, even though the agents may seem professional at first, they sometimes can be worst then the maids themselves. But Insy'ALLAH rezeki mak you is good and will get a really good maid.


Roti Kacang Merah said...

kak ilush
haa apa lagi, buleh la practise utagha dengan Din and Shadah! hehehe

yup we hope rezki Mak would be as good as my gramps -- their maids have been hardworking and loyal to them!

Saya said...

Love this entry too Alin. really good the flow and all. Felt like I was there too.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

kak saya
ahh, then i've done my job well! tenchu kakak!

Sanity said...

oh my gawd, I think I remember that phone!!! hahahaha XD

Roti Kacang Merah said...

like, that phone has existed THAT long??? hehehe


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