Entries in Aidilfitri 2017 (6)


The Preparations

When Anita got her mind set for something, she would obsessively pursue it. And the family open house the other was no exception. She was planning it for some time and got all the logistics organised well ahead.

For her part, she cooked her famous soto. She ordered a few items from her Instagram contacts as well as getting one of her friends to bake the cake for us.

Her Mum helped with the decorating and she got one of our maid's friend to stay over as well.

Certainly all her effort came into fruition as things started to fall into place. Luckily since our apartment was recently renovated and one of the leaked bathroom had been fixed. A few days before, she went to Sungai Buloh with her friend to get some fresh flower pots for the balcony. Therefore decorations was rather straight-forward.

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Open Apartment

Last Sunday, the day before my and my father-in-law's birthday, we hosted an open house at our apartment - hence the dubbed open apartment - inviting mainly Anita's cousins and my father-in-law's siblings. The turn out was better than expected. Mixed with that, we also had an impromptu cake-cutting and all the usual birthday stuff.

It was just beginningMy parents-in-lawOne of Anita's auntIt was an excellent day all around and some of our friends stayed until the evening. Food was curtesy of Anita's excellent soto as well as a few orders of biryani and "laksa Johor". Everyone was entertained, even our new driver - who was a pastry chef - chipped in with some desserts for good measures.

Most of our cousins only visited us for the first time, and many had not been here since the renovations last Christmas.

The four of us ....A close-upEven the baby was behaving ...Good time all around ...Everybody had a good time and Anita was the most pleased. She put plenty of effort for the afternoon, and her mother actually spent the evening with us. We also got the help from a friend of our maid as there were plenty to do during the event. But everything went well.

Idlan and Irfan though only made sporadic appearance, although one of their cousin joined them in Irfan's room playing with the PS4. That left us adults to chill out while enjoying the food. The main problem our visitors had was the security and parking arrangements. To make things easier, we stationed our driver at the visitor's car park to fetch them through the main lifts rather than them having to go through the visitor's route and the main entrances.

Peace!The day's entertainment ...Group photos with friends ...We were stuffed by the late afternoon, and the party was only halfway then. My father-in-law did not stay until late as he was getting tired from all that. He did however gave a speech after cutting the cake. Off came the story when I called Anita's home when we were both still in college. Hilarity ensued! But great day all around ...

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Stop! Hamper Time!

I must say that the number of hampers this year for the Rays was more than I expected. Last Chinese New Year was quite minimal, I remembered only getting a couple of boxes of mandarin. It was plenty more the year before.

But this Raya was nice. And as usual, Anita and the boys were the ones pleased.

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The Drive Home

I was dreading the drive home for the past few days. When the day finally arrived, I decided the route to take with the help of one of my cousins. It would be through the new Lebuhraya Pantai Timur via Kuala Terengganu.

The drive was smooth once we entered the highway, but getting to the highway entrance was another story all together. We set off from Kota Bharu after dropping my father-in-law at the airport. We left at around 11, but only entered the highway just before 4 pm. The drive was horrendous. It seemed that there was traffic lights every half a kilometer and getting though the lights easily took 20 minutes each.

The powerbank was charged!We stopped for lunch at Jerteh as we were starving. Traffic was heavy both ways but luckily the boys were behaving themselves. It was just the sheer number of cars, there were no accidents and to be honest, they could do with less traffic lights.

Once we entered the highway, it was smooth going until we entered the Karak toll just after Bentong. The traffic piled up again and we decided to take the Janda Baik road, again reentering the highway at Genting Sempah. We finally arrived at Gombak at 8.30 pm.

I slept as soon as I unpacked at the apartment. It was blissful sleep until I woke up thie morning to send Idlan to school.

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A Day of Rest

I had a good night sleep last night, dozing off despite the TV blaring away. The 7 hour drive up to Kota Bharu certainly contributed. We set off just after noon and everything was moving swimmingly all the way to Gua Musang.

In fact it took us only 3 hours to get there. But the drive from then on was a completely different proposition. Kuala Kerai to KB took almost 3 hours. So many cars ... and too many roadworks. The initial estimate of getting to the hotel by 6 pm was certainly an optimistic one. But a 45 minutes delay was. To too bad.

The day then kicked off with a visit or two ...We soon got settled in, went for an early dinner with one of Anita’s Aunt joining us. Not long after, we were back to our room, hitting the shower and soon enough, I was already in the bed. But not after getting some family Raya photos from the morning sorted out.

Woke up this morning fresh, got the boys sorted out and we down for breakfast at the cafe. Unfortunately, the place was already packed, and we ended up in the smoking section.

Irfan had something to tell ...The rest of the day went by pretty swiftly. I went to the airport to pick up my father-in-law who caught the flight from KL in the morning. Then we went straight to one of my Anita’s Uncle’s place for lunch.

I spent the afternoon having a walk into town but it turned out to be a boring one.

Not much else happening in town ...Most of the markets were still closed and the shops were deserted. The malls were opened but it was nothing special. I turned back to the hotel empty handed, with only 10 shots on the camera. Next stop would be taking the boys for a swim at the hotel pool, before another family dinner later tonight. Hopefully another early night as I got a long day tomorrow.

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