Mu gi straight arr! Ni jalan utamo ni mu pegi straight arr! Nanti ada banyak signboard gi Pasir Mah….
Upon Irving’s request (it seems that he has nothing to do after class period), here I am at last to tell my greatest adventure so far in Malaysia for this summer (last year was Pulau Kapas). This plan was already decided long before the summer holiday begin (arose at the same time Langkawi trip was planned), it was actually in the middle of February this year. The plan was decided after hearing that our legendary friend in Ottawa, Anwar “Bro” Darwin never set his foot in Kelantan and he want to taste the soil and air – at least once – of village scenery of Eastern Malaysia. Together with Harun that never been there even though he is (considered by himself) “ultimate” Malaysian, the plan was later given its tentative date which was set to be 23rd June until 27th. The plan also originally to be filled with 8 people and a van should be use for the trip. Because of so many people coming, we decided to take a hotel or any homestay for our accommodation in Kelantan. Later, when all of us set a meeting again in the middle of June (after I get back from Langkawi), it was confirm for the final round that only 4 people were ready to go and from 5 days of holiday, we shortened it by a day – that is we returned on 24th of June. We later confirmed that our main vehicle of transportation is Perodua MyVi (Bro’s car) and our place to stay was Jeme’s house.
So it begins, the morning of the 23rd, the black MyVi was already in front of my house, waiting for the departure. To get a good departure without any delay, they have to stay at my home the night before so we don’t need to be in hurry the next morning for depart. All is well according to the plan, but Bro couldn’t come the night before, thus he came late in the morning after the football match ended at 5 a.m. Around 8 a.m., after waking up Baim and Harun (also with Bro inside his car in front of the house), all of us get a good breakfast prepared by my mom, get a good shower and at 9 a.m., we depart with Bismillah to Kelantan. The fastest way to get to there is by taking Gua Musang road, which can be accessed by through deeper Bentong and Kuala Lipis. The problem with this road is that it is such an old road (before the age of highways) and has unbelievable F1 sharp corners. At first the MyVi couldn’t accelerate fast enough to take over a car (lorry most of the time), but eventually after some tortures from Harun, the car then turned into F1 mobile which took us 8 hours (1 hour rest at Merapoh) to get to Pasir Mas, Wan Azman and Mu’min homeland. We were fetched by Jeme (Wan Azman fabulous name) at the only-roundabout-in-Pasir-Mas. There was a back story about this roundabout, but it is not important to be share here (and it gonna take a lot of time to compress it into this post).
We did nothing for the rest of the day, except went to a small restaurant and ate lot of Pisang Goreng and Keropok Goter (first at the restaurant then at the house). At night, we sit and talk about tomorrow plans near the front stairs, listening to the sound of the night, the passed by train and few bites by some mosquitoes.
The next day, Tuesday morning, all of us- this time with Jeme – went to Rantau Panjang, an area for heavy shopping with duty free. For being a cheapskate man of the year, I just bought few shirts that interested me with their designed an a shade for RM 12. The money flowing out that day wasn’t over RM 50. But this just applied to me, for Bro that day was the happiest day for him and also to Harun with his “Bat-Shirt” (kind of night gown for woman). Bro did a good job that day by filling up the empty car’s boot with lot of football jerseys and he almost defeated woman aggressiveness for their passion in shopping (as always, huh!). Around 1 p.m., he gave up (all of us too) and leave the place for good. We were all invited by Mu’min to come to his house at that time, so we decided to stop by for half an hour. Unfortunately his house has no electricity at that time: no electricity, no water (as the pump can’t work without electricity). We were forced to eat few rambutans and to sleep there tomorrow night by his mom (without asking us first). We later decided to go to Pantai Tujuh (Seven beaches), but first we have to go back to Jeme’s house to make our prayer (Solat) and then came back to Mu’min’s house; fetched him and went with his Avanza, passed few large Buddha’s statues (one of them is laying down, one of them is sitting) before reaching Pantai Tujuh, which by that time the rain has started to pour a bit (just enough to make your hair looks shiny). It didn’t rain to much that evening. Later that night, we went back to Mu’min’s house to eat Curry Noodle (cooked by his mom), and around 10 p.m., we went back to Jeme’s place for one last sleepover.
Pasar Siti Khadijah
Next day was the most enjoyed and tired day for us. The big day. The trip to Kota Bharu (KB), capital of Kelantan. We packed our stuff that morning and after saying goodbye to Jeme’s mom, we went to Mu’min’s place, put our stuff and took Avanza as the main vehicle to KB. The plan was first is to get to Aini’s house (her mom has ready to feed us with Nasi Dagang) and then tour around KB before going to Wan Akmal’s house for another “small” treat. We were lost before reached Aini’s house, she had to pick us up at some place with her dad. What a happy start actually. We were then interrogated by her mom (Harun did all the talking) while enjoying the Nasi Dagang. There is kind of surprised to learn that her dad is actually in the 80’s and her mom is in the 60’s. Even my dad isn’t that old. We also learned that her dad was no mere citizen, so be prepared to have large sum of money to get in line with her (Aini, if you happen to read this, I am so sorry for being such an-ass).
After having our stomach filled, we then off to Pasar Siti Khadijah, a famous wet and dry market in Kota Bharu for their, err, I don’t know what it is. Maybe becaouse of the seller which mostly women?. I don’t really know. Then we went to the Kompleks Kraftangan, a place where you can buy souvenirs made specially by hands. Thank you for being cheapskate of the year, the tour yielded a good shot by my camera. Then we went to Masjid Muhammadi, the oldest mosque in Kelantan (probably in Malaysia? I don’t remember). Harun bought a hat (ketayap in Malay) as a symbol of peace and outer tranquility for himself after the prayer (until now the hat had delivered a doubt in “one of us”). Off to the next place is the Gelanggang Seni, a place where you can see it for yourself the beauty of Malay Culture. The place is free of charge, anyone can come to see the man of the show, the host himself! What made him the man of the day? He can speak 5 different languages fluently without interruption. French, German, Japanese, and other 2 which I unable to identify directly from him (perhaps English and Malay??).
The show started first with musical instrument of the past, called Kertuk. It is built with bamboo on top a box of wood with a hole on it (the way that sound can be made if you hit the bamboo, no further explanation). After few demonstration by the old legendary guys worked there, anyone was invited to test it (and I did). Keletang, keletung the sound it made, the show then proceed to Silat. Silat is another type of martial arts famous in Malay Archipelago, which combine with mystic power (what a way to describe). The show was carried with traditional music played with bamboo flute, few drums played by 5 to 6 people. The performer of the Silat changed every time, from 1 person stand alone to 2 person battled each other. As the show went on (with some interruption by local TV crews), I became bored and almost felt asleep near the stage. The guys took a break about 3 minutes and proceed to the last performance of that evening: the Kicking Feathers Game (is that sounds right??). A group of people stand in a circle, kicked and passed around the feathers put together with some heavy wood so that people can kick it easily. That in a nutshell how the game looks like (damn, if I have a better picture). The show ended at 5 p.m., and we have to wait for Aini to came back for about half an hour (she went back home for few errands). So we actually leave the place at 530 p.m. and headed to Pantai Cahaya Bulan (PCB). The beach is not a beach for swimming, but the place is nice to hang out while enjoying the breeze with few refreshments from nearby restaurants. Well, that is again in a nutshell what we did at PCB. With nothing to do, nothing to lose (the rain was approaching at that time), we have an hour left before going to Wan Akmal’s place. We stopped at KB Mall, the only mall at KB (ha!). The purpose we stopped there was to find a Surau so that we can pray before going to Wan’s house, not for another shopping FYI. After that, at 830 p.m., we embark on a wet journey (the rain has come) to find her house. The direction that was given to us: after we get in the road of her house, find a house with open gate. Apparently, all houses at that time opened their gates. We have to find by numbers then. Luckily, we manage to get the real house, and after greeted by her parents, we ate again after 2 hours break from the last meal.
Nasi Kerabu, Laksam, Satay Ayam + Perut, Rambutan, Fresh Orange, she sure did a good job killing us with food. At around 10 p.m., we leave her house and headed back to Aini’s place, sent her home, then went straight back to Pasir Mas to sent Jeme, and finally arrive at Mu’min’s house around 12 midnight. Another football match was on that night, and as a man without passion for football, I went to sleep and woke up next morning, only to find that it was the day to leave Kelantan.
The morning we leave Kelantan, we have a good breakfast, and with the nice weather, we stopped by again at Jeme’s place to get some Keropok. After that, we headed straight back to KL (the MyVi was stuck in muddy slump, and few hard works were done to get it move), and arrived safely at KL arouund 7 p.m. That night I had a feast for my father (what a life I had that day), and indeed as I think back again, the trip was the greatest trip I ever felt in my whole life (so far, duh).