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.