The first day of Raya had us traveling back to our kampung in Kuala Pilah. Although both my MIL and Mom now stay in Seremban, we still have our Mak Ngahs and Mak Langs in Kuala Pilah. ABE’s family hails from Seri Menanti and while mine is from Juasseh. The usual Raya ritual is to go visit ABE’s Mak Ngah and then to Juasseh to visit my Mak Lang and Mak Chek. Mak Lang and Mak Chek are Abah’s cousins.
The crawl up Bukit Putus Road
Relax lah....Never mind the jam. Moms here would be snapping away...
The drive to Kuala Pilah was…ummppp how shall I put it…menguji kesabaran (even during the fasting month kesabaran tidak tercabar to this extent). When we got to Paroi, there was already a crawl up the Bukit Putus road. Ahh…for folks who travel up and down the Seremban – Kuala Pilah trunk road, this is one stretch of road that would give either shivers to your stomach or for the not so weak at heart, the least you’d be asking for after you get down at Ulu Bendol is a bottle of Minyak Cap Kapak, hoping that it would help with the motion sickness you had experience before. But for me, I’ve traveled these sharp cornered roads since I was young, so no excuse nak mengada-ngada nak singgah kedai mamak beli asam (but I’d still carry my Vicks, just incase)
Somehow this year...dear Dato's Raya greetings were all over town...ain't it cost cutting time Dato?
There have been road construction works along the Seremban – Kuala Pilah trunk road (and mind you, the construction work has been going on for ages...my appeal to Dato’ MB doregh lah siapkan jalan ni…. raghmai yang dah tak soba dah ni….who knows, my speaking Noghori might get to him). I recall last year we had to brave the jam up Bukit Putus as well and this year, ulang tayang lagi!!! Hati ada skit hangat juga laaaa…Dato’.
Anyway, no point bising-bising lah kan…since we were determined at visiting our relatives over the hills of Bukit Putus, we’d just have to go with the flow. As the vehicles crawled slowly uphill, we saw thick black smoke ahead of us. Then there were two firemen on motorbikes heading towards the few cars in front of ours. Not long after that, as we turned at one of the bends, a sight of what was causing the crawl was clear in our view. Gosh..there was a brand new Merc on FIRE!!!! An E-Series halfway blazing away. Ayoooo……..sedey tu!!!! I offer sympathies to the owners of the Merc..rasa nya dapat claim from insurance la kot. But till the replacement comes in, patah kaki la kau jang!!!
It was a good 1 hour of traveling before we arrived at Seri Menanti. As usual when we got there, Nissa refused to get down. Panas lah, the tanah got water lah, her feet would get dirty lah, got mosquitoes lah kata nya. Adoi lah….this candle princess of mine. Luckily for her, ABE was in the mood to pacify her. Else she’d be dragged out by Mom, the Jerit Queen.
A family send off...bukan nak gi mano pun...ke baghroh yo...
As predicted, there was rebusan at Mak Lang’s house. It was sinfully delicious and my children had a jolly time digging in. I did take a few small sips, couldn’t afford to really go all out for it…hai, tak muat pulak baju raya lepas ni!!
The girls and their Atuk Kassim & Aunty Marissa (in blue). Nissa practically didn't want to lift her feet....got mud she said. Hayooooo.......
After Mak Lang’s house, we moved on to visit Mak Chek. Both houses were not far from each other, so it made sense to just walk there. Again Nissa was up to her acts. Jauh lah, bugs lah, my feet hurt lah were some of the excuses she came up with. It was my uncle who came to the rescue this time. Puas lah he memujuk Nissa tu walk with him, in the end, Nissa agreed.
By the time we were done at Mak Chek’s place, it was almost Maghrib. There was still one last house to go to, another Mak Lang in Batu Kikir (yes…that Batu Kikir, Jembatan Bosi…as how it was sung in the song).
Mak Lang is a another aunty from my mother’s side. He late husband was my mother’s cousin. It was dark when we got there. Mak Lang’s house was packed to the brim with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Full house!!!!
I told my cousin not no serve us with rendang or lemang. If it was dinner she was preparing us, telur goreng with kicap would suffice. And dinner that night was fried vege and telur goreng with kicap. My kids ate like there was no tomorrow!!!
By the time we headed back to Seremban, it was 9.00pm. As it was pretty late, the jam back to Seremban had cleared. Kids had dozed off in the back seat, so typical of them lah. Makan, suka hati….and next is to zzzzzz.
It had been along day for us, but I was happy that we managed to ziarah all of them. It’s not often we get to do this….only during Raya that we head back to Kuala Pilah and meet up with them. Time and time again we explain to the children the importance of knowing their roots. They just don’t exist in the concrete jungle of KL or Shah Alam out of the blue. There is kampong, there is sawah bendang…just that we have merantau jauh, but never are they to forget their asal usul. They may be young to understand the whole works now, but I know someday they’d truly appreciate these practices we instill in them.