Over the years since we got married, a good 22 years ago, mind you, we always celebrate aidilfitri either in Ulu Kuang or in Kuching, except in 1994 where we spent Raya with our circle of friends in Stirling, the land of kilt wearing males. But this year we collectively (read: the wifey decide, I obey, LOL) to spend raya in KL. There are good reasons to justify the decision. One, we are to travel to Terengganu for our nephew’s wedding a day after the aidilfitri. Two, my son’s PMR is coming up next week and he need to brush up (so he said). Three, the monetary cost and physical cost to travel to Ulu Kuang and then to Terengganu would too prohibitive
The Terengganu trip took us past the coastal town of Cukai, Kerteh and Paka the towns that oil built, Dungun, Marang, before reaching KT itself. We decided to put in Batu Rakit, which is actually 40km away from Kuala Ibai, the wedding place. With the hari raya crowd, the traffic jam in KT is much like KL during normal day. It took us almost one hour to reach Batu Rakit from KT. Well so much for the thought of having a jam free vacation. The akad nikah was done on Friday night at the bride’s house. My nephew looked really dashing and handsome young man. Alhamdullilah, everything went smoothly despite the endless monotonous ramblings of the tuan imam. I was made one of the signatory witnesses by virtue of me sitting nearest to the groom, next to his dad who did not qualify to be a witness. The last time I was called upon to be a witness in the exchange of wedding vows was almost 27 years ago when my close friend got married in Nottingham. That was another story. On the wedding day, the group had to wait for us for almost one hour as the we were held up on the Sultan Mahmud Bridge. It was a simple but elegant wedding. I did not notice anything notable anyway as I was busy catching up with other family members whom I have not met for many months or even years.
The journey back to KL was a slightly more sedate except for some minor stoppages and crawls near Kemaman and Marang. We stopped for prayers at Cukai and the Geliga mosque is not that alien to me as I had perform a few Friday prayers in the mosque back in the 90s. But the
notice at the entrance to the mosque’s library caught my attention. It was a sad reflection of the state of the muslims in this country or maybe in the world today. Islam teach us to value other people possessions and punishment for stealing is really severe. It is more of a deterrent that punishment. You’ll have you hands chopped off if you are found guilty of stealing. But still they are Muslims in this country become robbers, pick pockets, petty thieves and big time thieves. Maybe because the law is not fully implemented here. We reached KL safely just in time for my sons to watch another insipid performance by Arsenal.
Sunday was a hectic day as I continued with my driving duties. First to Sg. Pusu in Gombak, then to Kajang and to Melaka after that. All in the line of duty being a responsible father ferrying his children to the various learning institutions. As anticipated, the journey back from Melaka was slightly more horrendous. The approach to Seremban was the most difficult part. Surprisingly the condition eased up as soon as we crawled past Seremban. By the time we reached Nilai, the traffic was normal weekend highway traffic, much to my surprise. I am still wondering why was the snarl was so bad along the Pedas to Seremban stretch? In fact more cars would have entered the highway after Seremban as many would have came in from the Pedas, Senawang, Port Dickson and Seremban entrances. It was drizzling as soon as we reached Pedas and it did not let up until Bangi. Mind you if I was not the one who did the driving I would have my note book full of pictures and details of the cars that zoomed past us via the emergency lane. I noticed that seven out of the ten cars that did that were either the Mercs, Beemers, Camrys, Harriers, or their ilks. Irritatingly they would cut back inside as soon as they can sense the highway patrol approaching, thus forcing the law abiding drivers in the outside lane to slow down and creating the jam. Unfortunately I saw only one miserly Avanza and an X Trail were issued traffic summons. More irritatingly the Mercs, Beemers, Camrys…etc escaped. These people always get things their way. Maybe that is why they are so successful – so said the wife. Of course she was being philosophical. More importantly our hari raya travels ended safely and a quick peek at the tripmeter noted that we have covered 1356km for the period of four days and the petrol cost is RM400. Average that out, it came roughly 29 sen per km or 3.39km per ringgit. Ummph… I think the Serena is getting more power guzzling appetite than before. Maybe I should learn form the guy who drove to JB and back with one one tankful. But can I endure the average speed of 56km/h without aircond in the tropical heat? I would sooner suffer a revolt from the family!