Balik kampung

Usually I only go back to my home town once a year, during Hari Raya and that's it. I think the distance and the infrequency that makes that trip, that occasion much more special. This year though, we've decided to go back more often (i.e more than once). Actually my wife planned all this. I just go along. We've been planning this balik kampung trip since last month. I think my car didn't really like this idea because the battery went flat last month and the cable plug and ignition coil gave up on me a few days ago. Altogether we spend more than 700 ringgit fixing the car in less than a month.
As always I preferred to start early in the morning. It's much cooler then and there's less traffic (plus it's a Saturday). It drizzled and rained intermittently from KL to Manjung where we're headed. I used the PLUS highway this time so that we can reach our destination faster. It stopped raining when we exited the PLUS highway at Bidor and it's all clear and sunny all the way to Manjung from there on.
At Manjung we stopped for an early lunch and to pick up Linda's mom who's joining us for the trip back. My little niece Shafy Qasif is not that little anymore. She's even bigger than our Mia although they're about one year apart. Maybe she ate genetically modified giant cereal or something.
From Manjung we head straight to Kelantan via the East-West road. 3 hours later we reached Pasir Mas, my home sweet home. Pictured above is the historic Lot 173 Lorong Che Nor Pesaka. At least it's historic to me because I spent most of my time growing up there. The house had just been repainted last year. Is it any wonder that I always feel at peace coming home here every time?
We spent the night in Pasir Mas and early next morning I send my sister Izni to her college just outside town. She teaches at a local IKM nearby and she's off to Kedah for a week for some sporting event. Izni just transfered from Johore earlier this year. My grandma went to see several high-ranking politicians to help her move nearer to home. My sister is only 25 this year but my family (i.e my Mom and grandma) is worried that she has no plans of getting married anytime soon. Heck she didn't even have any boyfriend at the moment since she broke up with that Megat dude a few years back. Either guys are afraid to approach her or my sister is the really picky type. Nevertheless I think at 25, she shouldn't be worried to much about marriage and stuff. She's got 2-3 years more to enjoy life before settling down and I believe no one should push or coerce her or anything. It's her life and if anybody should be making the decision, it should be her and her alone. Anyhow I heard a few bachelors back home is making formal enquiries about her already. So I think she would be married by next year should she fail to pick one herself haw haw.
After that we left to Tanah Merah to my wife's place. But first we had to stop at Warung Kurnia Ibu to sample their famous noodle soup. Noodle with beef, some vegetables and anchovies and if you order the special, you'll get a half-boiled egg thrown in together. To add more kick to the soup, pour some soy sauce, vinegar and squeeze the lime and don't forget to sprinkle some salt and pepper to your steamy, hot bowl of noodle soup.
Nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a rainy day. But your visit to Warung Kurnia Ibu in downtown Pasir Mas is not complete without tasting this succulent, freshly home made coconut shake, topped with 2 scoops of vanilla and yam flavored ice cream sprinkled with some ground and hazel nuts. Take your time to savor the creamy and milky coconut juice while taking a bite at that delicious fresh young coconut pulps. Ah so heavenly! (Your mouth watering yet?).
Next in Tanah Merah, I did what I'm known to do best every holiday - sleep all day long. Nothing like a good, long sleep on a rainy day especially after driving all day yesterday. The next day we went to Kampung Sat nearby to visit some relatives (it's compulsory). After that we went to the hospital to visit a sick friend at the Tanah Merah hospital. I've never had so much fun in one day.
It rained again today but that didn't stop us from visiting Tanah Merah town to buy some stuff. While Linda spent an hour at the bank, I stumbled upon this long lost snack peddler that I last tasted when I was in primary school. If you grew up where I live, you'd probably heard of lok ceng (fish satay), grilled on charcoal and dipped with a special sweet-sour sauce. I can never grow tired eating this. Too bad they're much more expensive today. 1 ringgit for a stick of 5 puny fish balls. Bleh.
To be honest, my ideal vacation would be visiting some interesting and far away places that I never or rarely get to visit. Going back to the same town year in and year out is not my idea of a memorable vacation. Still you know vacations anywhere don't come cheap nowadays. You had to pay for fuel, accommodation, tickets and what not. At least when we visit our loved ones back home, a few people will be really happy to see us and that should be worth it.

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