17 July 2015

Hello hi, it’s been a while.

About this time around last year I have just received my bonus, just a few days before Eid. While I didn’t have time to shop around much, having a some extra money in my pocket sure helps make my Eid a lot brighter and merrier. This year however, our bonus didn’t come in until a week after Eid so many people including me had to make do with whatever we had. Meaning unless we saved some money beforehand we’re left with only our meagre monthly salary to use for Eid.

Fortunately for me, I made some extra money from my side business during the fasting month. Therefore I was not completely broke just before raya. My friends or colleague at work however was not so thrilled to celebrate raya nearly broke. The domestic and maintenance people especially had it worst. I guess you might say it is prudent to save up a little for days like these. I don’t know their story so I’m not going to judge them or anything.

We purposely applied for our leaves a few days in advance so that we could skip the notorious annual balik kampung traffic rush. We left the city 3 days early and as expected traffic was smooth all the way home. I’m especially grateful for the newly finished 2 lane road near bukit Tujuh in Pahang. That saved us at least an hour of driving. The rest of the city folks who left later than us, even the day after was not so lucky with traffic. I heard horror stories of 12 hours drive to get to their hometown. That’s just the way it is.

This year it was my turn to celebrate the first day of Eid in Pasir Mas first so as always we stopped by overnight in Tanah Merah. Our annual Eid routine goes like this: morning prayers in the town mosque, visiting the dearly departed at the local cemetery and then gathering at my mom’s place. In the afternoon my siblings and I went to Pasir Pekan near Kota Bharu to meet up with my dad and as always his wife. As much as I’d like to erase the bitter memories of the horrid things she did to us, I’m constantly being reminded by Mother and Matok especially as well as my siblings and other family members. It’s like they’re making sure that I never forget. That’s right. Sure I can forgive her but I’ll never forget. She single-handedly got my Dad, her own husband fired out of spite and practically ruined her life and my parent’s life and marriage. That said, whenever I meet her I tried to be as polite and civil as possible. If I were to go mental I did what she did to us then I’m no better than her.

This year my big sister brought her family home to celebrate Eid here. You can never be too sure with Lina. One day she’ll say she won’t make it home this year but before you know it she and Zaidi would show up at our doorstep. On Raya eve this year Zaidi suddenly asked me to tag along on join him to go shopping in Wakaf Che Yeh, a popular shopping destination in Kota Bharu. I didn’t have the heart to say no so I just went along with him. Now like I said, I don’t have much budget to splurge on anything this time around so I thought I’ll just go sightseeing in Kota Bharu that night. To my surprise, Zaidi bought me several pair of clothes although at the market. In the end I’ve got as much stuff as he did that day. As much as I like free stuff, I don’t really feel comfortable owing people so much favour like that. Yes free things are good but they usually comes with string attached. Anyway I don’t want to fret too much about that and just accept his generosity as it is.

Just like before Raya, we decided to go back early as well after Raya in anticipation of heavy traffic on the road and highway. I wanted to leave as early as possible in the morning but you know how it is with women. We didn’t leave until well past mid day. As a result we get reports from social media of massive traffic crawl in many places especially the usual suspect in Kuala Krai, Bentong, Karak and Gombak. I had to take as many alternative roads as possible to avoid the jam. Even after that, we didn’t get home until about 11 hours later. That’s it, next time I will make sure we leave home before sunrise.

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