28 July 2014

Coincidentally this year the fasting month goes head to head with the school holidays. Well we actually started fasting for 2 weeks or so during regular school hours and the rest during the shortened school break hours. On normal days, I report to work at 0730 and checks out at 1600. During extended school breaks, I go to work a little later at 0800 and leaves a little bit earlier at 1530. School breaks also means less work or problems arising from the teachers and other staffs. However that doesn't mean we just hang around on our butts all day. There's always stuff to do like the perpetual asset-checking, formatting laptops and desktops, re-installing ipads and the like. Rest-assured my boss will always find something for us to do every day.

Coincidentally also the fasting month starts from late June to late July. For the staff at my place, July is the most eagerly anticipated month of the year because that's when the bonuses come in. It is fair to say that everybody will have their share of bonuses. The amount of the bonus however will depend on how well you did throughout last year. I am pleased to say that I must have did pretty well during the last 3 terms because the management have rewarded me handsomely for my work :)

This year we only left for home just two days before Hari Raya (Eid). Linda had to work up until Friday although I already started my long festive holiday since Thursday. The thing about leaving the city that late is traffic. Sure enough traffic in some part of the road was horrendous. There's a long crawl after the Gombak toll plaza and another along the Merapoh - Gua Musang route. This time around I've been a little bit clever with avoiding traffic. I took all the alternative routes provided to me. Whenever I see the sign for alternative road to anywhere I will turn straight into that path whether traffic is visibly bad or not. That's why I didn't get stuck into as much traffic as I had last year save for the two that I've mentioned earlier. From KL you can use the old Gombak - Bentong trunk road. If you're using the regular Karak highway route, skip Bentong altogether by using the Sertik-Mempaga pass. In Gua Musang, skip the crawl in that small town and also Kuala Krai by taking the Pulai - Jelawang - Jeli road to go to Tanah Merah, Pasir Mas and beyond. Trust me, it'll save you a lot of headache (and knee pain) and makes your journey a lot faster. Alternative routes is the way to go.

Since we take turns to spend the first day of Raya, this year we'll be celebrating in Tanah Merah first. Although I'd prefer celebrating the first day of Eid in my hometown in Pasir Mas (naturally), I've come to terms that spending time with my in laws is not that bad. In fact I've learned to love them as much as I do for my own place. The kids were especially excited to be able to play with their cousins and aunts and uncles and their grandparent.

We didn't have a full house in Pasir Mas this year. My elder sister Lina didn't come home until the 4th day of Raya. Uncle Din and his family didn't come back either and he already visited during the fasting month anyway. Still, with 6 great grandchildren and almost a dozen grandchildren, my house in Pasir Mas is still as lively and happening as ever.

I bought Mom her first ever smartphone. She's been talking about wanting to have one for sometime now. And since I have a few extra ringgit to spare this time, I thought I'd get her one. It's only a second hand iPhone 4 but it'll do and she looks delighted to have it anyway. I was thinking of getting her the Redmi 1S but I thought the iPhone would be better. Now she finally can socialise on Facebook, chit-chat on Whatsapp and maybe post a few pictures on Instagram.

Later in the afternoon, my siblings and I went to visit my Dad in Pasir Pekan near Kota Bharu. Usually we would meet up at Tesco because somehow the thought of visiting him and his wife at home never occurred to us. Actually we have this aversion of visiting our stepmother's place you know, because of the bad things that she used to do to us back in the day. We were genuinely worried that she might do something evil to any of us. This time around however, I thought what the heck. Surely we can't be meeting at Tesco again like complete strangers. So I suggested to my siblings that we should meet at his place in Pasir Pekan for once. What's the worst thing that could happen anyway? They all agreed and we spend a lovely afternoon at his old kampong house eating rambutans and chit-chatting. I'm happy to report that none of us fell ill or anything later on. Although I can still remember vividly some of the things that my mother in law did years ago I have learned to forgive her. There's no use keeping much hatred and vengeance for something that has passed and nothing you can do about except to forgive and to forget. Although I doubt the forget part will come anytime soon.

So that's how my Eid been for this year. The journey home was smooth and uneventful. Again I took the Jeli - Gua Musang route to avoid traffic in Machang and Kuala Krai. Linda had to work on Friday so we need to go home the day before. Selamat Hari Raya to everyone and my sincerest apologies to all that I have wronged or offended before.