Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Air Aishah

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O eccentric beings, welcome to Air Aishah, an airline that believes in one miracle: now, everyone can fly through time. The next destination is Phuket, circa April, 2013. Your mocktail will be served shortly.

Running around

Above, is one of three million reasons I do not own an airline. Let us travel via my blog instead. More of Phuket soon.

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Home

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Photo: My Instagram

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Beautiful Week

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Photos: Senja, Bandar Baru Bangi

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Ketupat Sotong

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Photo: My Instagram
I have always loved every single thing that my mother cooked. Nevertheless, Ketupat Sotong remains on top of the list. Number two is Nasi Himpit with Kuah Kacang. How I wish to surprise her with both dishes, prepared from scratch. 

One Sunday, as Kamal and I were marvelling at the fresh catch in Tok Bali, Pasir Puteh, we saw the squids and thought of one phrase: Ketupat Sotong! My mother-in-law, whose patience and passion in the kitchen I truly adored, agreed to guide me. 'Jom Memasak dengan Mok' session the next day it was. 

Monday came. Post Subuh, I received a call from my mother. A dear relative has passed away in Tanah Merah. Kamal, Ayoh, and Mok attended the funeral. I stayed at home with the maid because Khalish was a handful. Mok put a smile on my face though as she shared the step-by-step methods to cook Ketupat Sotong right before leaving.

The first step was to keep the child occupied with activities within the kitchen itself. The second step was to work hand in hand with the maid. The third step was to recollect the mother-in-law's instructions and the mother's ways as the child asked for more activities and the maid scurried around to finish other dishes.

Mok reached home the moment I filled the second last squid with the half-cooked glutinous rice. Oh, she did say that there was a room for improvement, but she added that it was an accomplishment for a first experience. Thankfully, she was there for the final touches.

The Ketupat Sotong that afternoon brought me back to 1996, when I first tasted my mother's version. Mak thanked Cik, my paternal grandmother, for the recipe. Then, I realised how special Ketupat Sotong has actually been to my mother and I. Through the delicacy, we have become closer to our respective mothers-in-law. :)

Tok Bali: Seafood Glorious Seafood

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Ketereh - Kuala Besut - Pasir Puteh

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A day before Kamal, Khalish, and I departed back to Bandar Baru Bangi, we accompanied Ayoh to Kampung Seberang Kastam, Kuala Besut. The furthest all of us have been for breakfast. It was worth every kilometer though. The Nasi Dagang was simply scrumptious. 

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To return to Ketereh, Kamal decided to drive along the more scenic route. Seeing the sign 'Pantai Bisikan Bayu', I requested for a brief stop. To which everybody agreed. Particularly the boy whom the parents nicknamed 'The Crab'. 

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The Crab thought that the weather was perfect for beach activities. Art on the sand was a must. He did think of immersing himself in the sea, but the waves were not amiable. He and I cherished the breeze instead while reminiscing our first visit to Pantai Bisikan Bayu, Pasir Puteh.

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Nasi Paku

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My father-in-law, back from the hospital, suddenly craved for Nasi Padang Osman Larin. So, his eldest son brought some home. For the whole family. I learned from The Kelantan Clan today that it has been a tradition for the restaurant to seal the food wrap with nail. Thus another name: Nasi Paku. Unique.

As Instagrammed 18 weeks ago.

Ketereh - Kota Bharu - Bachok

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Unlike our previous stays in Kelantan, during which Kamal, Khalish, and I favoured to be at home with the loved ones, we found ourselves at more places this time around. Thanks to Ayoh's requests. One destination in the morning, another in the afternoon, one more in the evening, and a drive around Ketereh at night. 

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Of course, Khalish was delighted with the new experiences. So was I. Kamal teased that he, the Virgo, has been more homely than I, the Cancer. Oh, I must have contracted the contagious travel disease from my father, and now, his father. He said that he has had symptoms of the disease as well. 

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That Saturday, the whole household enjoyed lunch at Restoran Hover, Kota Bharu. I have had Nasi Padang Osman Larin from the aforementioned restaurant once, but it was brought home. Loved the deliciousness, loved the unique wrap. I shall write about it in a different post though. Back at the restaurant, the owners were grateful to meet Ayoh and Mok again. I then remembered the delicacy being mentioned in many stories from Kamal's childhood. Alhamdulillah, Ayoh's otherwise decreased appetite returned at the sight of the lauk-pauk. His favourite was Ayam Kampung Goreng. Mine was Gulai Otak Lembu.

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The day was ended at Pantai Melawi, Bachok. The first beach where Kamal, Khalish, and I had a picnic with Ayoh and Mok. The three of us were simply happy to create new memories with them.  

The Everything

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Khalish
Ketereh, Kota Bharu
March 22, 2014

The actor
The comedian
The dancer
The son

Pantai Sri Tujoh

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As happy about being on the beach as Ayoh was Khalish. The boy even packed books to be read while picnicking. Which remained in the bag as soon as he saw the vast Pantai Sri Tujoh, Tumpat. Oh sand, oh kites, oh sea, oh Jemput-jemput Pisang bites. 

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The first time Kamal and I visited Pantai Sri Tujoh to photograph our nephew-in-law and niece, Nazri and Farah, we were charmed by its tranquility. The second time around, we were captivated by the activities that breathed a different life into the beach. The truth was, Kamal and I were as happy about being there as Ayoh and Khalish.

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The boy was the happiest of all. Knowing that Ayoh, due to age factor, preferred a brief stop at one place, Kamal and I purposely left Khalish's swimwear at home. To no avail. Oh, yes, not only was he wet from top to toe within seconds, he was also responsible for prolonging the visit. Alhamdulillah, the grandfather was too engaged with the grandchild's antics that time became an illusion. 

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Great for Khalish. Being a child, he never ever cared about time. All he knew was to play, play, and play. How Kamal and I wished to have another vacation with the rest of the clan. Just like this

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It was Mok who motioned us to return to Ketereh. Khalish would love to be at the beach again, just for the unique kites. I seconded the idea, just for more photos. Ayoh echoed our enthusiasm, just because. 

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Wasatiyyah

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The first quarter of 2014 was eventful. One by one, I will share the experiences here. Let me begin with my family's recent visit to Kelantan.

March 19, Wednesday. Kamal, whose work often required him to be at the office past midnight, returned home with a suggestion. "Let us be in Kelantan until Monday, shall we?" Over a drink, he shared with me his siblings' concern about their parents' health.Thus the urge to leave work and be with those that mattered more.

The next day, Kamal, Khalish, and I boarded a plane to Kota Bharu. Ayoh and Mok welcomed us with their warmth. It seemed as though nothing had changed. Until Ayoh requested to be driven to the beach. Not once, not twice, not thrice, but innumerable times. Even long after Kamal assured Ayoh that both of them would do so every day as long as the former was there.

Both Kamal and I perfectly understood the situation then. Ayoh has gradually been affected by aging. Consequently, Mok has gradually lost her strength. A crucial time for the children to be with them.

So we stayed in Ketereh until March 24. Our commitments were to ensure that Ayoh had daily dose of excursion and Mok had sufficient rest. Back to work now, Kamal and I pray that we manage to balance our time for the parents, the children, ourselves, the family, and the social communities. To Rembau and Ketereh soon.

Knock, Knock

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Knock, knock.
Who is there?
Ya.
Ya who?
Wow! You sure are excited to see me!

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Years

2013

I welcomed 2013 with a view of an ancient city at dawn. Being a romantic, I prayed for a beautiful year. Leaving the place, my prayer granted. 

Life thought of beauty differently though. So, it introduced a realist to the romantic. Together, they faced one challenge after another, until I thought of beauty differently. 

The peak of the challenge was a particular scene. As I wrote, "redha, I have been." Alhamdulillah, with redha, came the chances to create new experiences. New photos. Soon, new posts on Chech: Eccentric.

As the romantic and the realist explored the paths life proffered, the year became profoundly beautiful. At the final path, they saw more paths. 2014 on the arch. Being me, I prayed for an extraordinary year.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Faster, Higher, Stronger, Louder

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May 18, 2013. Our firsts. The son's first participation in Q-Dees Annual Sports Carnival. The parents' first experience as the audience. The three of us missed the one in 2012 because of a travel arrangement.

Ironically, Kamal, Khalish, and I travelled a lot last May, too. That resulted in the boy losing hours of sports practice. Kudos to the teachers, particularly Mrs. Nurul Faizah Mohamad, the principal of Tadika Damai Impian (Q-Dees), and Mrs. Rozeleen Yussof, the class teacher of En-Einstein, for the confidence instilled in Khalish. 

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That Saturday, Khalish and the classmates won against other teams from another preschool in the five-year-old category. They did so twice. Never mind the time Khalish took during one of the events to choose a hat he fancied. 

Kamal and I cheered along the rest of the parents. Yes, all of us were very spirited. The best of all, we cheered for each child, each teacher, and each person who made the carnival fun.

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