On Friday, a fortnight ago, i.e. two days before their departure to Italy, they invited a few friends to Suasana Permai for iftar. They ordered the masakan kampung from their favourite stall in Hutan Kampung. Understandably the weight freak guests did not eat like crazy and so there were lots of left-over food for them to tapau. To help with the cleaning up, Mama engaged the service of a super efficient Myanmar lady.
On Sunday the 6th of September, after work and school, they drove all of us first to Alor Setar to meet Mama’s friend who has generously offered to look after my brother during their sojourn. Her son also happens to be a classmate of my brother at SAHC. During the process of transferring my brother’s personal belongings at the emotional handover, my brother realized that he forgot to pack his white Bata shoes. Papa gave him an additional pocket money to buy a new pair of shoes and reminded him profusely “Jangan tinggal sembahyang OK” as we said our goodbyes.
From there, we drove to Mak Su’s place in Butterworth for iftar. After iftar my parents had their shower, and just before they made their way to the Butterworth railway station, they decidedly left behind their smelly office wear in the care of Mak Su. As I so enjoyed my sister’s company, they made a prior decision that it’s best that my sister stayed with me throughout our stay with Mak Su. Which means that she had to be absent from school for a few days, excluding the UPSR leave.
And so we had our farewell on the railway platform, right at the door step of the KTM train, which was a wise decision as I could see right before my very own eyes how my parents were whisked away slowly and tenderly by the romantic Senandung Malam train amidst the chugging lullaby sound of sweet “tuut, tuuut, tuuuut”. Just before they disappeared into the still night, they cuddled and smothered all over me with their kisses and kept telling me in quick succession
“Mama dan Papa pergi kerja OK."
"Nanti Papa bawa balik Percy dan Harold OK."
And I just nodded and nodded.
They arrived at the KL Sentral the next day, just before imsak. Mama called Mak Su Suria and Mak Teh, and arranged for an impromptu meeting at the Mid Valley. Later she called Makcik Chah who spontaneously invited them to an iftar function near KL Sentral. Much to his protest, Papa was asked to join the main table, and sans baju melayu and songkok, he was the odd man out. If they had told him it was an official function, he could have borrowed the Hang Tuah baju melayu designed by Mak Su Suria and perhaps added more lustre to an already commendable event.
After performing the maghrib prayer in jamaah, the driver kindly sent them to KL Sentral and they boarded the KLIA express to catch the KLM flight to Amsterdam en route to Milan.
(To be continued)
We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Selamat Hari Raya with families and friends and Maaf Zahir Batin.