<bgsound src="http://www.ijigg.com/songs/V2BFBCGCPAD" > My Big Big Adventure: October 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What I learnt from Hari Raya

Whenever Hari Raya coms along, the immediate reaction from others would be: long holiday, government department closed, jam-packed on outstation traffic, great food of rendang and ketupat, and of course good friends and close-knit family to share the good holidays with.

The thing I enjoyed about Hari Raya is to see happy faces on everyone, being guests or hosts. I understand from my Muslim friends that whenever they have open-house, it is a sign of inviting good fortune, rezeki, as they called it. During these time, the host would be generously inviting everyone into their homes to catch up with old times, share wonderful cooking recipes and delicacies, and of course to make new friends along the way. What a good way to cherish and foster a close-knit relationship.

Being in a family of complicated parentage, I understand that my dad have never like guests to be in the house, as opposed to my mom who always make friends with her generous invitations. Maybe that's why we never have open-house like what my Muslim friends have during festive seasons. Maybe one day if I get a new place, I would throw open-house every now and then to invite friends over for a drink of celebration. I can imagine how nice it is to be when the time comes.

Also, Hari Raya does reflect a true forgiveness and gratefulness. On the first day of Hari Raya, every family member will ask for forgiveness from their elderly, siblings, spouse, or even children. It's a good way to reflect on oneself and improve from there. And, when one forgives, the value of gratefulness will come in, as they would cherish whatever they have: family, friends, shelter, transport, etc. Being grateful is the best thing a human could have.

I am so blessed with having great friends to share with in these joyous moments.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and thank you for inviting me into your lives. I am so thankful!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Makan-sutera in Kota Kinabalu: 25-27 September 2006

After coming back from Chiang Mai, it's another trip coming, just like a great wave after another. This time round, I was joining my cooking class mates to Kota Kinabalu for a great trip of eating and doing marketing.

There were eight of us in this trip: Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Yap (Mrs. Lee's sister), Amy (my cooking sifu), Mary, Chris, Mrs. Yew, Gam-jeh and me.

We took off at LCCT in Sepang the earliest flight to Kota Kinabalu. Without further delay, we arrived at Kota Kinabalu around 11 am. First stop, a welcome by Amy's friend, Simon (apparently, the owner of the Ocean Seafood Restaurant, a famous restaurant in Kota Kinabalu), who chaperoned us around like a warm host.

The three days, I must say, I have gained at least 3 kilos easily. From morning till night, non-stop eating and non-stop laughter by these wonderful women I was with. Really an honour.

Besides, we were at this Philippine market to shop for esquisite pearls and also some handicraft. We were at this market almost everyday, buying off-the-shelves from this particular shop at a good bargain. I even got myself a pearl necklace, though the other ladies in our group got more. You should really see them shop.

The funniest thing happened one day. I was intended to get a hand-made bag. Mrs. Yap knew about it and was on the look for me. Guess what? We were passing by a row of cars park along the market, and being an observant lady, she spotted a nice rattan basket in a red kancil car with a nurse uniform on resting in her car. Mrs. Yap knocked on her window to awake her and asked to buy off from her the beautiful basket. FYI, the basket was bought from a friend at RM 15. I think she was quite in a shock, getting strangers to ask to get second-hand goods just like that. Anyway, we asked to sell us for RM10 and there I have it! What a peculiar person, I bet the nurse might be thinking.

When Mrs. Yap and I told the rest of the ladies, they just could not stop laughing. It was quite a funny thing to share with.

Simon got us really good stuff to eat, and of course we have our seafood dinner and lunch at his place. We had lobster, tiger prawns, mantis prawn, shells and lots of seafood. Lots of fresh seafood that you could hardly find in the peninsular, and the sizes are amazingly big! I, of course got a stomachfull of the delicious seafood prepared by our host Simon.

It was an enjoyable trip. I think that's what sisterhood is about, and I now understand it more.

Thanks ladies!