I’ve never missed my birthday party. It’s not necessarily grand and great…sometimes it flows as plain as having a no-topping-cake or no-candle-cake. To be appreciated by people I love; is perfectly enough. I come from a family culture which appreciates a birth date as an important day in someone’s life, although it is not so much vital to some family cultures. In relation to that matter, we consider a birthday celebration as an event, a festival or an occasion; so it must be respected by the whole family members. It is a gathering day, of course. Sometimes, it becomes more memorable than any other family occasions. Today is my birthday. I am now 20 years old. Usually, we bought a readymade cake, so that we didn’t have to trouble ourselves much in preparing the party. However, my mother wanted to make a change in this tradition. She bought 20 cupcakes and a simple fruit cake. I had to decorate the cupcakes myself.They looked terrible but the taste was as such delicious as my sweat and tears…daaa! Well, never mind! The relatives had so much fun enjoying the cakes and a simple dinner. First, thank you to my mother who has troubled herself so much; going to shop while I was still sleeping on my bed. Thanks for the presents! NIKE bag, (Yan-cousin) Body Glove bag pack and shirts (my mother), Sarawak cake (my father), Dolly blouse, Garfield pillow, a teddy bear (from Kak Dina-cousin), pocket money (Mama-grandmother) and bla bla… Kak Ain (housemate) gave me a Teddy-Pink Hippo…So cute! The most special gift was from my only uncle....a bottle of soy sauce, a sauce container and RM10. I just can't live without soy sauce. Thanks to all my friends who made wishes via SMS!...Fatin, Cak, Kak Farha, Kak Ain, Nasuha from Alexandria, Alia, Azmir, Mun’im from Egypt, Kak Tira & Coozy (who share the same birth date with me), and my father (Luckily, he remembered my special day and brought back a Sarawak cake which I love much)…hahaha. Let’s pray for our peacefulness!
He called me just now, informing me that my next allowance will be credited this Sunday. I love my dad very much. He never says NO for things I require (needs, wants, attention, love etc.)…surely I’m not a picky one! He’s always there in need. He might be busy all the time and spend less time with me (family), but I’m sure there must be a special space for me in his mind. One of the evidences is he would never forget my birthday, although I did forget his birthday on 1st November 2009.…. I didn’t wish anything…not even send a message. I was too busy with late assignments and final exams….. BUT! A daughter may forget his father for quite sometimes, but a father will never forget his princess even once.
As semester break begins, I’ve been thinking to bake cakes. One Monday morning, I asked my mother to buy me some ingredients because I knew she is ‘hantu supermarket’. Next day in the evening, I baked two cakes; chocolate cake and orange cake. The taste should be nice….but it became slightly different for several circumstances. I don’t have time to figure out why. Let it be that way. In fact, both cakes were finished. To be precise, the cakes were not baked, but they were steamed. They were nicely steamed in 45 minutes.
As soon as the cakes were ready, my father’s friends came. We did not have anything special to serve, so the cakes had been sacrificed. Although the taste was not as delightful as bakery’s cakes….but I could grade myself 10 marks over 15. Well, they ate the pieces…meaning that they were deliciously alright. Hopefully, they would not get stomachache or something like that.
Actually, my mother manually stirred the dough, not me. She asked me to use the electronic mixer; I said I don’t like my cakes to be technologized. I wanted them to be manually prepared. But, I did not want to mix the dough of both cakes myself. I asked my mother to do the mixing part. I just watched her and give instructions which ingredient to put first and things that followed. She prepared the steamer as well. Then, the cakes were ready to be served! I did not know which part of the cakes was my handmade. Never mind! I still claim that they were my cakes! Why? Because I was the one who gave them flavours! Hahaha…..If you want the recipe, check it out from my older post. I’ve posted the recipe a long time ago. But for these two cakes, put chocolate or orange flavour instead of Horlick. That’s all! Nasuha (my bestfriend who is now in Egypt), try this new recipe..ok?!
Saturday night, I went back to my hometown in sudden. Sunday morning, I had an appointment with a company (Rekajati Arkitek Sdn. Bhd.) in Kota Bharu to complete my course assessment. Before going home, I showed a permission letter to Dr. Mazli (The head of programme), so that I would be excluded from Part3 Modul. I did not know that my appointment and the Modul were on the same day. That was why I had to make an apology to be absent during Part3 Modul, and alternatively attend the similar Modul next semester with students from another programme.
Nak dijadikan cerita (The story began), Dr. Mazli was going to Kelantan as well. He said he would call me once he arrived and asked my favour, to accompany him walking around Kota Bharu. It was a hectic day! At the same time, I had a few assignments to complete at home. How could I entertain my lecturer?
Sunday evening. We met at Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. I went there with my mother. Dr. Mazli said, he was waiting for my father. Funny! I did not even know precisely that my father was coming back. Dr. Mazli was actually from Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu with his children. UiTM car took him to Kelantan. He came here (the airport), to send his children home (Kuala Lumpur). At the same time, he promised my father to meet here. My father departed at 4.30 p.m. from a meeting. So they met each other. Dr. Mazli was accompanied by a French friend, Ismail, who he met at Pulau Perhentian. .
I went home with my mother. I had a lot of assignments to do! I let my father to handle the two guys. He took Dr.Mazli and Ismail jalan-jalan around Kota Bharu.
Around 7 p.m., they arrived at my house, a fifteen-year-old house. Luckily it was already dark, so they hardly saw its old paint. They were brought to my father’s orchard in the backyard. There is a small gate to enter the place. There are a lot of salak trees in there.
After Solat Maghrib, they were served a simple evening tea. There were only maruku, kuih lipat, chocolate cupcakes, hot tea and cold Pepsi. That’s all! Nothing much, since it was an urgent visit. We did not have time to prepare anything. Sorry for a very simple service. The most important thing is, we had a memorable chat with the visitors. We exchanged knowledge about France and Malaysia. The similarities and differences were nicely dug out and shared.
Ismail, is not so fluent in English. He can only speak simple English, but passionately tries to be in the conversation. My father does not understand English so much, except ‘yes,no,alright,okay’. He was Arabic-oriented, zero English! So I had to translate much of the conversation so that he would not feel outgroup. Ismail is a good observer. He asked Dr.Mazli, “Why do you speak English with her (me) and you speak Malay Language with him (my father)”. We explained that we are a lecturer and a student. Since my father does not understand English, the medium of instruction must be Malay Language, a language that my father understands. Ismail also wondered why we speak fluent English, instead of ‘his kind of English’. I forgot what we had said.
My father gave both visitors a kain pelikat. Ismail asked whether it was the same thing as he was wearing at that time, pointing at his kain pelikat. Dr. Mazli and my father taught him wearing it before going to masjid just now. He said, “Your father is good (pointing his finger to his head). He knows what I want. I want to ask this, I want it. But he gave this before I ask”. What he said was simple, but the meaning was deeper than that. Again, I was the translator. My father laughed as soon as he got what Ismail meant. Huh! Now, it has made me realize how important English is……..
After that, they were brought to my father’s guest house, Teratak Homestay. I feel so sorry for the very simple service. It is just one of those simple motels, without any air-conditioner. The building is just 500 meters from my house, and one kilometer away from Jelawat Town. Friends may contact me if you don’t have place to stay while visiting Kelantan (ADVERTISEMENT..hahaha).
That night, they accompanied my father taking me to Kota Bharu Bus Station. I was leaving to Shah Alam since I have a class the next morning. Giving a goodbye kiss to my father and waving farewell to Dr. Mazli and Ismail, I left Kota Bharu. Then, my father brought the two visitors to Wakaf Che Yeh, a must-visit-night market! That was also the first time for father going there. Dr. Mazli really wanted to visit the place since Majalah3 has ‘persuaded’ him to go. It is not a night market, actually. It opens 24 hours. I don’t know what’s so special about Pasar Wakaf Che Yeh. I myself haven’t been there, although we pass the place everyday.
So, the moral of the story is….English is the most important medium to speak with the foreigners. Learn it if you don’t want to face troubles. Next, Kelantan is an interesting place to visit. Save your time and money.…everything is here! Hahaha…..come and see it yourself! This is a semester break to all university students.
Cuti-cuti Malaysia…Truly Asia.