Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Post Eid Long Hiatus

Sorry peeps, after blogging quite religiously for the past few months, I seem to have fallen to my old habit of neglecting this blog again.

As I expected, the Eid week was a really busy week for me, especially with the maid being off for 4 days (I repeat 4 days!!) hence I became the Bibik of the house for that week! My chores for the week included picking up after the three boys, preparing breakfast and lunch (by dinner I usually call it quits and just beg Hubby to take us out), washing and sterilizing the countless number of milk bottles (really, Ian - how many times do you have to drink in a day??!!), feeding Ian, washing poop, bathing the kiddos, washing dishes and even wiping the floor (because I was too lazy to take out the mop). Thank god I didn't need to do any laundry or ironing - I made sure everyone wore whatever was already in the closet, and gleefully handed over a basket full of laundry to the maid when she came back.

Apart from that, we spent all our weekends before Raya doing our last minute shopping.We went to PKNS three times - once because the brilliant tailor managed to lose Aiden's baju Melayu, a second time to see if he managed to find the lost baju, and a third time to tell him to just forget it -  we would just buy ready made baju Melayu for the two boys. Then we had to go get a matching songket for Hubby in Jalan TAR. Then I proclaimed that the bekas kuih raya at home didn't match our dining table, so Hubby and I managed to get new ones at OU. Thank god I had splurged on Aiden and Ian's baju raya back when we were in Houston last year (Ian wasn't even born back then!), so at least we didn't have to do that this year. Last but not least was picking up my baju Raya from my tailor. I tried a new tailor this year, and although she slipped from her original promise of getting everything ready before Ramadhan, at least she delivered everything a week before Eid. As for my normal tailor, she charged me a bomb this year - I totally lost it, I collected everything I had with her, paid her in full and severed all ties with her. Depressing - maybe I should just stick to ready made clothes in the future.

Anyway, before I blog about our Eid, let me recap our balik kampung trip to Teluk Intan. Since this year is my turn to decide where we would spend first day of Eid, I decided that we would follow Hubby's family balik kampung in Teluk Intan and then drive to Ipoh the night before Eid so that we could spend first day of Eid with my Papa.

On the way to Teluk Intan. We were stuck in a massive traffic jam, it took us 4 hours to arrive!
Bullying Ian whilst stuck in the traffic jam.
We spent two days in Teluk Intan. Aiden obviously enjoyed himself, although it was quite funny hearing Aiden attempting to speak in Malay (with his cousins). Since there was no network coverage in the kampung house, I gave up on connecting to Facebook or Instagram and simply left my phone in my handbag. The house didn't even have Astro so I had to watch the free channels on TV. So my days were usually spent with helping the ladies in the house prepare for break of fast, prepare food for Eid, watch free national TV, shop at the Pasar Ramadhan, and I even managed to squeeze in a trip to the local salon for a wash and blow!

Preparing Abah's special rendang ayam.

My favourite part about Teluk Intan is their local Pasar Ramadhan. It is located close to the Malaysian version of the leaning tower of Pisa - the Menara Condong Teluk Intan. Although you don't get as many choices as you could expect in KL, two local delicacies definitely made the trip worthwhile.

Acting like tourists -  this is the Menara Condong Teluk Intan.

Local delicacy #1 - Mee Rebus and Rojak Mastan Ghani. 

Different from KL, the definition of rojak in Teluk Intan is a fruit and vegetable salad dish, whilst mee rebus is what we KL-ites call rojak mee, i.e. yellow mee with the tauhu goreng and tempe and such. Well at least that is what I call it. Anyway, their mee rebus is scrumptious! There are two Mastan Ghani restaurants here (the stall in the bazaar is only available during Ramadhan), so if you are ever in the area and interested to try this local dish, ask for kuah campur - a combination of kuah kacang and kuah rojak.

Seriously, they should make this a franchise and bring it into KL!
There was a long line when we arrived, but service was very quick. Probably because they even ask you to kopek your own eggs! *grin*

Local delicacy #2 - Ais Bandung Menara Condong. 

One word - wow! Seriously, this sirap bandung is not the same as the one you concoct at home. This one actually has santan (coconut milk) in it! So creamy and really refreshing, especially after a long day of fasting. I don't know where you can get this outside of the bazaar, but some say that they have a stall close to the Menara Condong.

Check out the big weird looking pot that they use to make the sirap bandung. The drink is packed in long plastic bags, similar to the ones you use to pack Roti John.

Also, my favourite part about Teluk Intan is the crowd and the fireworks! Growing up as an only child with only my Mum, my previous Eids were typically very quiet. I only understood the meaning of balik kampung after joining Hubby's family. Sleeping camping style and wrestling for the blanket came as part and parcel of this balik kampung deal. Our nights counting down to Eid would be spent playing fireworks together, and lawan mercun (a competition to see who has the loudest and biggest fireworks) with folks from nearby houses.

However, this year I managed to coax Hubby to check into a hotel as I wasn't quite comfortable sleeping with Ian and even breastfeeding with everyone else in the same room. But that didn't prevent us from playing fireworks!

This year we even managed to get Aiden to contribute in the line up. He "wrote" the letter I and number 1 - which explains the height difference!
Family competition to see which family could come up with the most creative firework design!

So that was how we spent the days before Eid. Stay tuned for my next post about our first day of Eid in Ipoh!

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