Friday, 14 December 2007

Singapore, here we come!

We'll be leaving for Singapore early tomorrow morning. It’s gonna be my first time balik kampung by bus/coach. In the past, it has always been balik kampung either by car, train or by air.

And this is going to be one hell of an experience - travelling with five (or is it seven?) teenagers and seven children.

In the group will be my sisters Nuraina (her two teenaged kids), Lalin (four children), Nina (two) Mia (Ena’s good friend and her daughter), and yours truly with Adam.

Going by coach is, of course, Nuraina's idea after a bad experience she had travelling by train two trips ago. Nuraina and my sisters (Lain & Nina) together with their children were forced to break their journey because rising flood waters made it impossible for their train to proceed. They had to continue their journey by bus in the middle of the night. Thank God, I gave that Singapore trip a miss.

This “Singapore trip:” is our annual “pilgrimage” to the island down south, the place of my birth. It’s sort of balik kampong - to renew ties and kinship. But unfortunately, we don’t have a kampung to speak of. Kampung Melayu is long gone, flattened to the ground. In its place are blocks and blocks of multi storey apartments. No, I don’t recognize the kampung where I grew up before I moved here in 1960.

We normally “squat” at my aunt’s Bedok Reservoir flat whenever we're in Singapore. But this time around we’ll be staying in a hotel right in the middle of Orchard Road. That’s what I’ve been told by Nina. For sure there will be some who are going to be “kecil hati” but we thought it’s best that way. My aunt is too old to entertain and “melayan” us.

Anyway, I missed the last two trips and can’t afford to miss this one. And, I am also doing this for my eight-year-old grandson, Adam. He didn’t make the trip last year and when he found out later that his “uncles” (Lailn’s son, Nik Haris, and Nina’s Heikal) had "lotsa" and "load" of fun in Singapore, he gave me that “how could you, Tok Mommy?” look. Kesian betul!

The arrangement for the trip was handled by my youngest sister, the super efficient Nina. We get her sms-es all the time... “Dear all please prepare a cheque for... being payment for 2nights-3days-stay at hotel…”; “ Dear all, please write a cheque to Kak Ena for...being payment for the two-way fare:” and “ Dear all, please be at Bapak’s house by 7am tomorrow, Friday. The coach leaves at 8am.”

Oh, oh, but I didn’t get the last message. I thought we’d be leaving for Singapore at 3pm.

“No Kak Ton, we’ll be leaving for KL from Singapore at 3pm on Sunday NOT for Singapore," Nina said, somehow irritated that I had misread a simple message. Lol!

Haiyyah, luckily I called up. Otherwise, I’d be left behind. Yup, by 3pm today they’d already be in Singapore.

So we’ll be away until Sunday. Not to worry. I would have been back by Tuesday.

And, yes, MRT will be on.


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

oh heyy, this was the trip kak Ena had mentioned in her blog some TWBs ago.

errm, i'd say what makes the trip more interesting is the fact you guys will stay over in a hotel, smack right in the middle of cosmopolitan singapura. shop till you drop, guys!

and have plesant and safe journey!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi kerp,

Belum tidur lagi?

Yes she hassblogged about it.

This trip is normally done two weeks after H.Raya when we're still in a festive mood and masih lagi dalam bulan syawal.

But we have to defer it because K. Ena's son, Adel, was preparing for his SPM exams.

Dunno about shopping. Maybe the girls (the anak2 dara) will.

We dont have much time - only saturday to do the rounds of visiting the elders.

But we have made plans for younger ones - a visit to the Singapore zoo at night. It's called "Night Safari" and they are so thrilled and cant wait to see the elephants and the lions at nite.

Aunty pun rasa excited!

PrincessJournals said...

jalan2 by bus! tht wud be fun esp since u guys are travelling in a rather big group.
have fun w the relatives kak ton!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi farina,

Most probbaly I will sleep throughout the journey. Havent been able to sleep. Now pun dah pukul 3.24 pagi. Kejap lagi subuh.

Masih nak packing, not my barang2 but Adam's.

Have to leave for my dad's by 6.30am where my sister nina and her children will be waiting. Then at 7.00 am we will all leave for the bus terminal at One Utama.

Thanks for dropping by, farina.

Raden Galoh said...

Selamat bercuti errr...balik kampong akak... Make sure you snap byk photos eh?

Mesti best kan balik kg naik bas...

Salam to all.

zaitgha said...

Kak Ton,

I think by the time you read my comments, you would be home he he...i know the bunch of you will have a grandest time....

safe journey to all...

MaryKate said...

Hi there, have a jolly good time. Its nice to be in SiN during the Xmas season :)

WANSHANA said...

Have fun in S'pore K.Ton, and good luck with the kids! I'm sure there'll be millions of "Are-we-there-yets?" throughout the journey! :D

Perfect timing - Christmas Sales there! Nice...

Take care.

Zawi said...

Kak Ton,
Hope it will be an enjoyable ride all the way to Singapore. Your bus will be a different kind of bus than the RapidKl that I rode in KL so dont expect it to be an adventure at all. Anyway please blog about it as it will be an eye opener for those who has never taken an express bus ride in their whole life.
MRT still on? God bless you. Despite the long travel you are still willing to do it. Let us see if I can bring my other half to meet you.

acciaccatura said...

salam tok mommy,
fulamak, best lah!! i miss orchard road kak maria. the last time was like fifteen years ago. used to walk from one end of orchard road to the other end, just window shopping with friends. ambik gambaq banyak-banyak for us no, tok mommy. enjoy your holidays!!

(alamak, how to go back to KT banjir-banjir ni?)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Maria,

Haha! I bet all the regular MRT people would have had their hearts boop-boop-booping when they heard you were going to Singapore...

The last line must have cause quite a sigh of relief! ;)

I remember Rocky sms'd me (in jest!) a long time ago with a: "It's Mi Rebus at Maria's Day", and his message sounded soooo happy...

I, incidentally, was having mee rebus at one of the mamak stalls, and gosh, it was terrible!

I was soo tempted to drown (figuratively lar!) my sorrows at thought of all those darn lucky bloggers who were having good mee rebus, while I had to eat the horrible one...But biasa not wasting food adi...

By the way, how on earth do you manage to cook soo much, for soo many people, every week?


Rita Ho said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zawi said...

Kak Ton,
Enjoy your Balik Kampong.
Request permission to bring along 5 big mouths and 5 small mouths to be fed with mee rebus on MRT. I am bringing the whole family there and contemplating coming early to avoid the big crowd later hehehehehe.

adik said...

Hi kak ton

You must be back by now.

I am sure you had a good time. At least I am sure the kids, Adam and aunty Lalin's and Aunty Nina' had a ball of a time.

Welcome back to Malaysia!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

hi dalilah,

We arrived here here at abou 8.30pm. & sampai rumah almost 9.

Letih juga, maklumlah dah tua. It was a good trip for the kids

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi zaighat,

Betul tu. By the time I buka p/c baca all the komen-komen yang mengucapkan selamat jalan, I dah balik pun. Lol.

Tak sempat nak pi kat internet available at the hotel. So many things to do with the budak2.

Apa pun terima kasih for visiting.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi marykate,

We sure had a good time. Orchard Road was crowded with people( shoppers & tourists)...well just croweded.

It's beautiful. especially at nite, the whole stretch of Orchard Road all light up for Xmas & the New Year.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi wanshana,

I slept throughout the journey.
But the kids managed to keep themselves occupied, tengok video, main "game boy", makan & minum, makan dan minum lagi.

In fact we had the whole bus almost to ourselves. It was a pleasant journey with a short stop at Pagoh in Johor.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Zawi,

Yes, it was a pleasant & comfortable journey. T Tak ramai passengers. The fare was inclusive of food.

Yes, there is going to be MRT tomorrow. You're welcome to bring along yr mrs. :)

maria a samad (kak ton) said...


Wah, that is a long time ago. But that's okay. Tak banyak perubahan di Orchard Road. Tang's the famous name among Malaysian shoppers, is still there.

But I still prefer shopping di Kuala Lumpur. I hate crowd. Really.

And there is nothing you cant find here that you need to shop in Singapore.

We go there because nak jumpa our elders. So kita pun ambik kesempatan, dah telanjur di sana; kita sambil berenang minum air.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Daphne,

If you happen to be in KL around that time or day of the week, do drop by for MRT.

Masak untuk kekawan -- no big deal lah Daphne. I come from a big family. Cooking for 50 or more people, dah biasalah.

Thanks for droppping by.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Rita,

You are welcome to the MRT.

No need to be ..."Blush-Blush."

Yes, we took the Aeroline Bus. Very comfy, clean and efficient service. And punctual too. I like that.

Oh, so Singapore is also your kampung? People balik kampung to a real kampung, kita balik kampung back to the city. But my other half always teases me and said I am a "budak pulau". Lol!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Rita Ho,

Sorry, I accidentally deleted your comment. Dont know why I did that. :(

But I've responded to the comment.

Ayoh not thinking straight.

Sorry Rita.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Zawi,

By all means, you are welcome to bring all of them along for the MRT tomorrow.:)

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi adik,

Yes, we all had a good time. A little tiring because we wanted to pack so many things during a short trip.

yes, it's good to be back.

the witch's broo said...

kak maria,

must be a fun balik kampong. do you like singapore now?

Rita Ho said...

Kak Ton ... you deleted my comment? does that mean I can have 2 servings of mee rebus? Haha! Just joking. At least you did not accidentally delete your post like Ruby did. :)

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi witch,

It's always nice to balik kampung. It was much nicer when I was younger because there was a kampung to speak of.

Now, whenenever I am back I feel a tinge of sadness: our family home is no longer there and many of the elders are gone.

But I still have many cousins & relatives there.

Thanks for the visit, witch.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Rita,

I overlooked yr reply pula. You're welcome to have more than one serving. Tak kisah.

Call me when you're back. Just leave a message in my blog.