Friday, September 26, 2008

Summer of 83

The streak of hot and hazy days in the past week is indeed a test of one's determination at performing the fast. I drag having to go out at midday as it would be blazing hot and by the time I get back into the office, I’d usually end up with a splitting headache. It’s a wonder how those construction workers cope with the heat. I would have melted away in just minutes, that’s for sure.

Funny though, how the present differ from those days when I was a student. Being out in the sun was never a problem and didn’t have much effect on me. I could walk half of Seremban town and still had the energy to pay netball till late afternoon. In fact during my first year of studies in the States, fasting was observed during the hot summer days.

It was the summer of 1983, our first experience berpuasa di perantauan. Had mixed feelings actually and the “scary” fasting stories our seniors told us didn’t help much. The seniors told my friends and I that fasting was longer than back home. We wondered how it would feel fasting for more than 10 hours as Imsak was at 4.00 in the morning and iftaar was at 8.00pm. Fuhh….lamanya nak puasa tu, we thought to ourselves.

Lake Mendota where we lepak-ed a lot, fed the ducks, went boating and also "pak-taw" a lot here too :-)

Then when we actually started fasting, it didn’t feel as bad as how it was put to us. Tak terasa pun the long hours of fasting. Of course we had classes to attend since most of us were enrolled in summer school and masing-masing pulak took like the most number of credit hours we could (which could be a killer to the CGPA if you just bummed around and played Frisbee all summer long).

My summer time routine was class from morning till midday. Then I’d rush home on my bicycle to catch my favourite soap, General Hospital on tv. Lepas tu gi library and bila dah selesai with the assignment baru lah balik apartment and terkial-kial fikir nak masak apa for berbuka. On days when classes were not so mind boggling, ABE (who masa tu baru nak men-tackle I) and I would walk to the University Square and go watch an afternoon matinee. Jalan kaki tu…pulang balik like almost 2-3 km. There were also times when we would lepak by the lake and fed the ducks. Punyer lah so free and easy nya life back then. It was study, lepak, makan and study lagi.

Ice cream...the biggest temptation during the fasting

The average temperature during summer days in Madison, Wisconsin was 36˚C and at times it even went to as high as 40˚C. It was hot and dry and if we were not determined at fasting, mau hanyut. Nak-nak bila tengok most of the folks around us were merrily slurping away. Hai sabar je lah….

I must say that was a very memorable summer for my friends and I. Not only we became closer as roommates and friends, through the ups and downs of the summer days, but also experienced the toughest will power in upholding our faith and worship towards God Almighty.


Anonymous said...

are u sure 36F/40F? more like Celcius.

hey..I went to madison in summer 84 visiting my brother.. maybe u kenal.. wife dia nama kak eton.. they have 2 dotters and 1 baby boy masa tu..

summer fasting in states was fun.. I even went jogging for 10 laps before iftar... gile slim masa tu.. besttt :)

Kak Teh said...

Kay - i think it musty have been summer of 83 - or was it 85, that we broke our fast at 9.30. Its the heat that got to me too. But how easily we forget those times when we broke our fast at 3.30 or 4, kan? Macam having tea saja.

Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf zahir dan batin.

kay_leeda said...

Dear Anonymous,

Oopps...sorry, you are right it's degrees Celcius. Temperature that summer was between 80s to the 90s degrees Fahrenheit. It even went up to a hundred at one point.

You came to Madison in 84? Was yr brother one of those Masters students who stayed in Eagle Heights?


kay_leeda said...

Dear Kak Teh,

Ohh..winter was time when we usually qada our puasa. Heh..heh...memang tak rasa langsung. A glass of milk was just enough to last for the entire day of fasting. Woke up in the morning, went to class and singgah for groceries, sampai rumah dah buka!!

Wishing you and family a joyest Raya too. Maaf zahir dan batin dari kami sekeluarga di Shah Alam.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi Kay and Kak Teh,

I remember when I was in the UK, it was in 1985 that we fasted at the height of summer. Boy..that was the longest puasa I had experienced. Iftar was 9ish pm and subuh was 3ish am. Lembik betul masa tu...

p.s : I rushed home every lunch to watch 'Neighbours' on tv.

kay_leeda said...

Tai Tai & Kak Teh,

No wonder lah tak ingat the hot summer days of 85. That year I spent my summer back home!! Puasa & beraya di tanah air...ahahh.

After all the festives, it felt so sad having to go back.

Anonymous said...

yes.. he was doing his masters..but I dunno what was the name of the apartment long ago & I was just married then :)

kay_leeda said...

Dear Anonymous,

It must have been Eagle Heights coz' most of the married students stayed there. If you don't mind disclosing, what's yr brother's name?

Malaysian students in Madison were pretty close those days in the mid eighties. I might know him (dah jadi macam FB la pulak kat sini eh..)


Anonymous said...

not at all... his name is Azizul & his wife's is Zaiton.. ring any bell ?

kay_leeda said...

Dear Anonymous, macam kena dig out the Madison photo albums. The name does ring a bell :-)

Selamat Hari Raya to you, yr brother and family.

ms hart said...

Kay, sah you awet muda!! Mati-mati (phewwwhh...baik tak mati, ek?!! keh keh) I ingat you are Kak Yatt's younger sister!! 1983 dah di perantauan?! We all berhingus lagi kat boarding school!! Haiyaaa!!!!

Selamat Hari Raya & have fun with your loved ones!

kay_leeda said...

Ms Hart,

I am the eldest ler....dah empat puluhan lor!! Mana muda nyer...but hati muda gak ehem..ehem :-)

Thanks for the compliments anyhow. (tersa kembang semangkuk pulak dah..heh..heh)

tireless mom said...


Wah, sudah post gambar raya ka? It is all summer in Malaysia. And we get to find any reason to endure the ice cream as cheap as Walls or as expensive as Haagen Daaz.

kay_leeda said...


Dah nak raya tayang-tayang ler the Raya pics.

We had special ice-cream back in UW, Babcock Ice-cream was the name and they made those 30 over flavours at the School of Dairy Science. Otherwise, Wisconsin would be called America's Dairyland for no reason. Nak bulat cepat, makan lah Babcock Ice-cream. Dua kali posa during the summer pun tak sure boleh kurus yet or not.

kay_leeda said...

Corrections.."Otherwise, Wisconsin wouldn't be called..."

These by-focals playing tricks on me, esp on my typing skills. Akhhhssss....