I took a Malaysia Airline flight out on Saturday morning, after doing a few Saturday morning routines with Tress and the little fella. We walked our usual Saturday morning route, came home, and I then headed out to Tullamarine just after 9.30am.
I arrived in KL just after 8pm, and after the usual drag through immigration etc., I hopped into my brother’s car around 9.45pm. He had been waiting there since 9pm, along with Jean. Their hospitality continued right through my short stay. I stayed in their home for a night, becoming acquainted with Chester and Moses, their two lovely pooches. Moses in particular, who’s 1.5 years old, took to me as I played with, scratched and cuddled him. My brother, Jean and I chatted bit before we headed for bed.
The next morning, we headed for KCMC – Klang Chinese Methodist Church – and it always feels strange to be back in the church where I grew up, got married, and had Kiddo baptised. I caught up with a few old friends only very briefly. We then went to a food court/coffee shop that mum’s sibblings and their kids regularly meet up for lunch/brunch on Sundays. I was at a corner of the shop when I saw mum walked in, so I walked behind her and then gently tapped on her shoulder. She turned around and the surprised look on her face was priceless. We had lunch, chatted, then went back to my brother’s home to wait for Daniel to arrive from Penang.
Daniel, my brother, Jean and I then had a good time just chatting through Sunday arvo, before we got ready for the dinner party that my brother had planned for weeks.
The dinner was great. Mum’s sibblings, their kids and a grandkid, as well as Tibby, were all there, some 30 persons. Mum looked really happy and it was a great occasion. I talked to everyone, got to know that one grandkid of an aunt’s, and worked out what each of my cousin’s kids have been up to. They’ve all grown up – finished school and gotten jobs. After dinner, I went to mum’s to spend the night. Daniel was there too. At Mum’s, the house I grew up in, I chose to use the old ladle and tub means of bathing, instead of using a shower. The splashes of cold water in the hot and humid conditions were refreshing and throw in the sense of nostalgia and you get this wonderful visceral sense of being alive. I went on to take several baths in this way, over next the day and a half that I was there…
The next day, May bought some “chee cheong fun” and brought them to mum’s. Daniel, May, Mum and I enjoyed that as a “tiding over” before we headed out for “Bak Kut Teh”, which was at Pandamaran. The first restaurant (“Samy’s”) we went to was super crowded so we walked down the street to another (“Ah Chai’s”) which was also very busy but we got a table (9 of us – May, Goh and Yie Jie, my brother and Jean, Mum, Daniel, Tib and I). After all that jiggly wobbly goodness that was the pork stew and rice with plenty of tea, we went to Mum’s. I rang Tress’ dad, to check out if I could catch up with them. He was just heading out to lunch with a bunch of his friends, and those lunches are always long ones, going on for about 4 hours!. They’re the highlights of his days so I said it was ok – we’d catch up some other time.
Daniel then went back to Penang, Dave and Jean headed off to do some stuff for Moses, and Mum, May and I then went out for Mum to check out some jewellery that she wanted to get for Little Abby, when they head Down Under to see her and attend Nicole’s graduation here in Melbourne. We then went for another bite to eat, this time at Eng Ann’s “drive-in”, a cluster of hawker stalls on the side of a main street in Eng Ann, a residential area northside of Klang. We had some popiah, cendol, and char koay teow, and bumped into an Aunt of Mum’s (Koh Mah) and chatted with her for a bit.
Later that night, we went for an early dinner in a popular restaurant (Hai Xian Zai) near May’s home. Tib and Henry and Joane were there too so it was good to be able to catch up with them, albeit far too briefly. Henry gave me an “angpow” for Little Abby too, which was thoughtful and generous. Towards the end of that dinner, I said my goodbyes and Dave and Jean drove me to the airport. They had been so generous with their time and money and effort to make my very short stay a really pleasant one. I’m so grateful. At the airport, I bumped into Seong York, Yoke Cheng’s husband. He was heading to Melbourne to spend time with his kids. We chatted, and when we arrived in Melbourne, I gave him a lift home. I had parked my car at the airport when I headed out so it was convenient to do that.
I got home around 10am (grabbed a much needed coffee on the way). It was great to be back with Tress again after a few days away. I unpacked, showered, and we then headed out for lunch before coming home to unwind and I had a bit of a snooze before we then took the boys out to the oval. The old routine has resumed. Tired? Very. Happy? Very much. I’m very grateful I could be at the wonderful birthday party for Mum in Klang. Happy 80th again, Mum.