Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Kampong Home In Ampang Jaya

It was the 15th. of December 2007, a Saturday. What was so special about that date and day you would say? Very special. I was going to Pak Idrus's home in Ampang Jaya. I have met him once at Kunikuniya a KLCC over a large cup of coffee. He asked me to visit his home one day and if possible to bring my wife along to meet his wife and make it a friendship of two families. I told him I would and will do so after my wife came over from Pasir Mas on the 14th. of December 2007
An email from Pak Idrus excited me greatly as he was asking me to visit his home on that Saturday the 15th since he would be having a lunch meet with his fellow Kelab Volvo Klasik (KVK) memebers. How opportune can this be.
I shot back a reply confirming my attendance and request an earlier arrival than the 12 noon as per his invitation. Another of my request is to ask for an extra two guests as my son would be driving me there and being just married he wouldn't want to leave his wife behind. Both requests were granted.
An sms from Akmal asked me if I was going to Pak Idrus home for the lunch which I confirmed with a solid yes but apologised in advance that I couldn't help him to get there as my son's small kancil will be full with four adults. Compact cars are really small.

My son Azuan came all the way from Shah Alam to fetch us. He came alone as his wife Izzah wanted to stay home. So there were only three of us instead of four. I gave him Pak Idrus address and the directions given by Pak Idrus on how to get to his place. Pak Idrus said it would be easy for my son to find his place as after reaching Ampang Putri Specialist hospital, take the road to Kelab Darul Ehsan and after SPCA building on the left ride over the two bumps. After the second bump, turn left and proceed uphill and the first road is Jalan Dua after which is Jalan 4. At this junction take Jalan 4D. The second terrace house with the 'hutan' with a brown gate is his house. Simple enough rite? Not when you were looking for SPCA building expecting it to be the size of Ampang Putri. Not that easy when the left turn turn out to be a right turn actually. I made the mistake when recalling from my poor memory. Not that easy when MPAJ forgot to arrange the the alphabetically named roads in alphabetical order and forgot or missed the road 4B. 4H doesnt mean that you are faraway from 4D. The sight of the green Volvo 122 parked behind Pak Idurs's house and walking to the other side and seeing him standing on his serambi brought great relief to the driver who kept pestering me to call Pak Idrus and get further directions from him.

Arriving at Pak Idrus's house.

It was not quite 12 noon when we reached there and no other guests were there yet. That gave me ample time to start shooting pictures of his house from outside and inside. An electric gate opened outward to let us in. A very modern feature in a kampong look alike home. A short walk up the short flight of stairs took us to the 'serambi' of the house which is a typical feature of a Malay house. Food were already served at the 'serambi' but despite our hunger due to a very light breakfast, we chose to engage our hosts in small chats. My wife met Pak Idrus's wife Puan Asmah and after that she settled on the comfortable chairs in the lounge area while the very big flat screen TV was showing some programmes which never attract the attention of any o f us or even the host. Pak Idrus was indeed a gracious host and engaged my wife and son in exciting chat while his wife was busy in the kitchen I prefer to click away with my camera first by visiting the now famous 4 star restroom in his house. It was a comfortable one indeed. I tried the pedestal toilet for comfort. I had to do it after drinking those acasia drink as advised by Puteri for people with high water retention in the body. The drink made my bladder reach its maximum ability to contain the fluid in quite a short while from my last visit of the loo at my daughters place before leaving. Any moment longer and I would have wetted my pants.

Food delicious food were ready when we arrived. It was served at the serambi.

The large TV screen would be fun to watch the movies.

First to impress me was the brown metal gate. It was an automatic gate. Very convenient if you are in a hurry to escape from falling rains. Next was of course the serambi replete with wooden railings. Pak Idrus's pet frog will croak the minute you passed by it to walk up the few steps to the serambi. If you are just coming for a casual chat with the host, sitting around the table at the serambi should suffice. As I had bigger misson than that I had to ask the gracious host to show me around. Near the kitchen I could see another flight of steps to another room where Pak Idrus stock his 6,000 books in his study. No wonder this man could write so much. He reads alot. I forgot to take a good look and a snap of the kitchen. I will have to ask Pak Idrus for a picture of it as I guess it's so beautiful and modern that he will want everyone to share it beauty.

The serambi is a nice place for visitors to chat.

The decor of the lounge area was definitely very pleasant to the eyes. Everything was neatly arranged. The lady of the house must have loved it very much and spent lots of time arranging and dusting the many mementos from their travels and gifts by loved ones in such a neat manner. I would have spent more time there if not for the need to fill up my growling stomach which was by then trying to outdo the croaking of Pak Idrus pet frog.

The gracious host in his living room.

Two attentive listener listening to stories from Pak Idrus.

Didn't I tell you the rest room is classy?

The shower room is enclosed keeping the rest of the area dry.

It would not do much justice if I didn't tell you anything about Pak Idrus's mini garden. Located at the front end of his serambi, this garden seemed elevated from the road level by some 5 ft of height. That made it all the more fascinating as sitting at the serambi will give you quite a vista view of the neighbourhood. Though a small garden, it was complete with many plants among which was the orchid plants. A small pool with fishes swimming around made the garden complete. It was at this garden that Pak Idrus bribed the wild squirrels with fruits no less than apples to make them visit him as often as they could. I now know that the ciku fruits were not good enough to make the couple of squirells at my home to pose for me for the kind of photography sessions that Pak Idrus had managed to get with his squirel models.

The mini garden where Pak Idrus kept his guard frog. The frog will never fail to greet a visitor.

Puan Hasmah, the lovely wife of Pak Idrus.

While we were having our lunch, the frog gave another croak announcing the arrival of our mutual good friend Akmal. Akmal had taken a taxi to get there. He joined us for the lunch of delicious multicoloured nasi minyak with mutton, beef and chicken curry. Such a varied servings and you can't blame the host if you still cannot find something of your choice. The dalcha was nice too. For desert the host gave us musk mellon, chocolate fruit cakes made specially by one of his children. There were delicious biscuits too but after 3 helpings of nasi minyak, I had to forgo all the other delicacies except the chocolate cake which was too delicious to pass.

Akmal in the dark shirt came in time to join us for the lunch.

Pak Idrus's friend by the name of Encik Ahmad who used to work in Sarawak came next. Pak Idrus spent sometime doing his goverment service in Sarawak of which he had many fond memories. Another guest who came was an Encik Kamaruzaman whose face looked all too familiar to me. Pak Idrus introduced him as a former Felcra Officer (Federal L and Coordination and Rehabilitation Authority). Upon recollection, I now remeber that he was The Director General of that organization. Never too scared to voice how I felt about him as being familiar, I told him that I was an ex Felda (Federal Land Development Authority) staff. I narrowed it down to the Training Division and threw down a few names for good measure to rekindle his memory. Bingo, he was an ex officer at Felda too before joining Felcra. In fact he was my boss when I was in the the training division. I opted to go to the plantation side to get better promotional prospect. It was only for a while that I served under Encik Kamaruzaman and hence the poor recollection of him but remember him I did. He invited me to his home nearby to Pak Idrus which I declined as I want to pay another visit to Pak idrus and drag him along to Encik Kamaruzaman's place to reminince about old times.

My Ex boss En. Kamaruzaman. He was the head of The Training Division when I was a training instructor in one of Felda's Training School.

More guests of Pak Idrus came, mostly from his Kelab Volvo Kelasik. How I wished I could stay on as Volvo classic is another dear subject to me as I had rebuilt one my self when I was in living in Kuala Krai. If you see the Volvo 122 with the registration number MB 7363 running around in Puchong soon, you know it was once my baby. The car is being refurbished again by its current owner Mr. Ng Kah Sing, an old friend of mine.

A certain Dr. Chow Chee Keong who was originally from Malacca must have left the car in Kelantan after upgrading it to a newer model, a 144 or even a 164 probably. He was a medical practitioner doing his practise in Kelantan.

Taking leave from our gracious hosts Pak Idrus and Kak Asmah, we left for my sister's place in Gombak, a sister whom I have not visited for some time. With a son doing the driving, visiting places around KL is so much fun.


U.Lee said...

Hello Zawi, wow! Pak Idrus sure has a lovely home.
You know, now I know what is a 'serambi'. When you first mentioned the word, I was scratching my head. Now I know. Gosh, the MAN has class, and his home really cosy and comfortable not to mention his cinemascope TV too. Both Pak Idrus and Mrs look very good, look young.
Hey Zawi, both you and isteri look real good too,...you have a nice personality too.
Wa, saya tengok you all wear loose shirts and t-shirt....and I here in my very thick heavy winter jacket and fur hat and gloves, ha ha.
Got to shovel my car out, as snow too high! Keep well Zawi, Lee.

Zawi said...

Actually I wanted to post this one first before the tag but I guess people will leave this and go for the newer post which will then be the tag.
He definitely has a fine taste, honed from his many travels, and his condo living in Malacca. I guess he is right in making his home a Kampong environment right smack in KL. I guess he has great mighbours too making it a bonus.
With no kids to litter and scramble all of their many decorative items, everything was immaculately arranged. I guess the children of his children are very disciplined too.
I will take you to his place when you are back in Malaysia.
Hey you were lurking to be the first to comment. Good to have you to taste a virgin post.

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Whoa, you made it first, and nicely written too. Should I come out with another entry, I'll make a wicked link.
That house indeed is very well made up by the owner. I don't have the chance to go inside, but the outside explains the internal beauty of the house. Your pictures made the confirmation.
Don't worry about the hitchhike thing. I thought you are going there alone, so I may accompany you. My little adventure with the cab is good, anyway. I don't have to wait long for it, and the driver is so warm that we had a nice conversation all the way to Pak Idrus's house. A funny fella, that guy(",).
I got freaked with the 'froggy' welcome actually, but I manage to get a grip on myself.
You have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Zawi, Thanks. A great posting. My spouse and me are indeed honored and flattered of your thoughts as posted. It did made my day. Thanks again and Have a nice day.

Zawi said...

My grand daughter would say "rugi, rugi, rugi" when she missed something real good. You missed it too then if you didnt explore the house. It was like a hotel. How I wish Pak Idrus would have invited me to see his books. 6000 of them. It's like a small library.
Anyway the pictures didn't show all yet as I missed the kitchen, the bedroom and the backyard. Seeing the rest of the house already we will leave some for our imagination to conjecture.
Hahahaha you didn't expect the 'frog' to greet you right? I must clone one frog for my own home. Then I can be always reminded of Pak Idrus' beautiful house.

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
You are most welcome. You and your wife's great hospitality had made our day too. May the friendship between our two families continue to flourish. I hope I did justice to what you did to us and thank you for showing us the way to make a home beautiful.

J'da said...

Hmmm, I cud find pak idrus house quite easily next time i make a trip to my still-vacant-apartment behind the Petronas there. In fact, when i was reading ur direction description, i told myself Jln 2 is on ur right (not left) - but luckily u mentioned that it should have been on ur right turn.

I cudn't figure out where the frogs are...

good coverage pak zawi, next time u are there, perhaps u can post another posting part two and take a photo of 6000 over books collection....

Zawi said...

It is easy to get to Pak Idrus's place really. Just find Jalan 4D and you can recognize the house from the picture.
Your apartment is very near to Pak Idrus's place if its just near the Petronas Service station. Why is it vacant? Are you letting it out? Get Pak Idrus to advise you how to decorate it and you will get a good tenant soon.
Go to his place and the 'frog' will croak its greeting.
Let us ask Pak Idrus to blog about his books. Awang Goneng's GUIT is one of them.
Have nice day. I am going to MRT @ Kak Ton's place today.

J'da said...

We are still waiting for the key to that apartment, pending on electricity installation. Been pushing the developer to get it done fast... we already book the sofa since june this year (downpayment paid) yet the apt is not ready...

we always took a short cut to pandan indah via that road passing pak idrus' house.

So, pak, this raya haji will u celebrate it in Puchong? Or in Ampang at Pak Idrus' place... :)

Zawi said...

Don't forget to include Pak Zawi for the coming house warming party. Ask Pak Idrus for the caterer's number and you will get a good caterer who provide delicious food at reasonable rate.
We are supposed to drive home with our son to Pasir Mas tomorrow but the flood in Kelantan is yet to reside. We are hoping that the weather will turn for the better tomorrow as getting stuck in the middle of nowhere for Raya isn't our favourite way of celebrating Raya.
So you know his place very well la. Just look for the Volvo classic and you know it's the place la.

zaitgha said...

Pak Zawi,

Just saw one blog which showed how bad the flood in Pasir Mas...i hope your place is in the high ground...i really wanna see your take on the flood if you managed to go home tomorrow....

Zawi said...

Let me know which blog as I need to know whether I can go back or not. Might as well spend Raya with my family here than spend Raya with the monkeys in the jungle of nowhere.
Please send me the URL to the blogsite.

zaitgha said...

Pak Zawi,

i baca kickdefella, kat Nuraina's ada link dia, tak tau how to put d link here...dalam paper Utusan pun i nampak memang teruk this time...dulu2 masa kat KB i memang suka banjir time but now i know better la...

keep dry Pak Zawi and take care

L'abeille said...

Wow..great host, nice food, beautifully decorated house!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi zawi,

Pak Idrus's house looks so cozy & comfortable. He's got taste lah.

Boleh masuk dalam majalah Anjung Seri.

tokasid said...

Salam Pak Zawi:

Alhamdulillah Pak Zawi serta Akmal dapat merapatkan siraturrahim dgn Pak Idrus.And the description of Pak Idrus's home, I know it must be lovely and pleasant to lived in.

Nak tanya sikit Pak: Frog tu real frog atau what?

U.Lee said...

Hi Zawi, I was looking at the pic of you guys eating the delicious food.
Ohhh gosh, how I miss Malay food.
Those days in the 60s and 70's used to get makan invitations by my Malay friends. Really enjoyed their cooking.
When we were last balek kampong in 2002, my Malay friend took us to Petronas Towers, 4th floor I think where they have a foodcourt and had Trengganu or Kelantan dishes.
Zawi, I sure ate a lot too, ha ha.
Then enroute to Singapore we stopped at one Highway foodcourt, and seeing Malay food, I gobbled again, ha ha.
You know, one of my favourite fish dishes is that fish, 'chincharu' I think, where you stuff chillie sambal inside then goreng. Alamak, think of it going to drool la, arhaaa ha ha.
I was very fortunate old days having lots of Malay good friends (girlfriends too, heh heh) and have eaten Malay food in Alor Star...to Johore to Kelantan to Malacca and inbetween some small kampong towns.
Ada dua tiga kali the makcik will joke, "hey Lee, bila you nak kawin Sharifah"? (Or Aini?)Arhaaa ha ha. Ahhh, the good old days!
I love spicy food, even now my isteri makes sambal belachan, but ONLY! in Summer, otherwise the neighbours will phone Pest control think ada tikus died somewhere or call the Fire Department.
Once I bought durians and my neighbours enquired "what was that horrible smell"? Had to wrap the skins in 5 paper bags to dispose of it. Ha ha.
Aiyaaa, these Mat Sallehs!
As if their cheese ta'bahu? Ha ha.
Okay, I'm going to Zaitgha's house see she cooking her famous chillie padi crabs? Self invitation, ha ha. Lee.

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

MasyAllah! I love Pak Idrus's house! And I bet he and my elder brother would make good friends, judging from the decor Pak Idrus has.

Anyway, I have your number already, thank you. InsyAllah, I will call or sms you.

Puteri said...

Wow, really impressive home! Wished you had posted more pictures!

Is serambi the same as verandah? Hehe, don't know the word.

Com over to my blog, and check out Lee's movie review! :-)

Zabs said...

Salam Zawi,
You really have a good time here in KL. It was very kind of Pak Idrus to have you and wife at his house.
You were an training instructor with Felda befoe. I work at Felda HQ (70-72), before joining the Navy.

Zawi said...

I am now back in Pasir Mas and I coud see signs of the flood. Came back via Grik and took me 12 hours from KL. The delay was mainly due road jams when entering Tanah Merah due to road repairs in preparation of the opening the second bridge at the Thai Kelantan border in Bukit Bunga. The contractor was resurfacing the road in the rain! A futile effort to say the least. The ceremony will be jointly officiated by our PM and the Thai PM on 21st December 2007 at 9.00 AM.
Another reason for the delay was the clearing of fallen trees across the road to Tanah Merah caused by landslide.
The flood has subsided now but certain low lying areas are still flooded especiallt those areas in the Golok River Basin. I will survey the flood when I have the time for it and will post pictures of them.
Luckily my house is located on the highest piece of land in Pasir Mas so the flood doest affect us even though we literally lived on the bank of the Kelantan River in Pasir Mas.

Zawi said...

You said it all in just the few words. Thanks for the visit and comment.

Zawi said...

Kak Ton,
Even by looking at the pictures you can feel those cozy and comfortable feature of the house. The kampung ambience must be experienced to really feel it.
You tell those people in Anjung Seri and they come running to feature it in a more professional way compared to my amateur attempt with a 'kokak' camera. Mat Salo will definitely do better with the photography.
My family, especially my wife felt most grateful for your wonderful and most kind reception accorded to us at your place for MRT of the 18th of December. We felt like being part of your family even though it was just their first visit.
We would like to invite you to our humble abode the next time you visit Kelantan.

Zawi said...

Akmal and me are bonding well with Pak Idrus. I believe we could do the same with everyone else including you. Age is no barrier as Akmal has proven it.
Pak Idrus is living in heaven. He prefer to live in his 'kampong' house since he loves it better than his posh condo in Malacca, which he goes to only once in a month just to keep it ship shape.
The frog? You are the first to poke me about it. It is a mechanical frog fitted with the motion sensor of course hehehe. I was waiting for someone to ask really but many may have assumed it to a mechanical frog, so they didn't bother to ask. You must be really curious for details Doc.

Zawi said...

U Lee,
I know of your fondness for everything Malay from food to women hehehehe.
My invitation to you still stands and I will fete you with authentic Malay dishes that may make you want to return to Malaysia for good.
The mat sallehs will realize the greatness of the durians after tasting it. You must serve the durians with pulut rice with santan and coconut sugars. Served that to some french youths who tasted them for the first time and none of them throw up and most had seconds. So if they are properly served, they will take it and forget the smell.

Zawi said...

Those who visited his home fell in love with it. Whatmore if you get invited to see the house inside out. Now I know your brother has the same taste. We will get the both of them to meet one day and I know they will talk to each other about home decor from dawn till dusk.
Lets keep in touch. Let us not waste this opportunity to know each other more.

Zawi said...

How I wish I had taken more pictures especially of his library with 6,000 titles. Missed the kitchen too since Kak Asmah was busy preparing the food, I didn't want to intrude in her territory. Hopefully Pak idrus will send me some pictures taken with his better than mine camera to do justice to the beautiful home.
OK open your door as I am coming over ASAP.

Zawi said...

Yes I had a great time in KL. Open up my minds to many things through experiential learning even at this age of mine. I have so many things to blog about that I may be publishing more posts in a shorter span of time.
Above all I met many great friends like you who would otherwise remain cyber friends. Now we are real friend whom we could recall with ease.
I joined Felda in 1972. HQ was to me The Training Division only then. Maybe we know of mutual friends if you could tell me which division you were attached to when you were there.
Look forward to meeting you again soon.

J.T. said...

Hi Zawi

Pak Idrus has a lovely home. It looks so cozy. There is a sense of comfort just looking at the interior and the greens around.

I like his bathroom. I especially like the fact that it is not a wet bathroom. :)

Whenever I am in KLCC, I rather just pay to use the premier toilets because their floors are always dry and the atmosphere is inviting - more importantly, no weird smells! :D

I could help but chuckle at Lee's remarks about his current wardrobe. Although Louisiana does not have the heavy snow like he is getting in Canada, some mornings are cold enough that I need to use my sweater and jacket.
I did not mind the cold season but sometimes putting on all those heavy clothing became a hassle, especially when the next thing I had to do was shovel snow (when I was in Germany). That is the time, I would say "Ah! how nice to be back in sunny and warm Malaysia."

Take care now.

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus made his ordinary single storey house into a comfortable and lovely home. Ain't a home is where the heart is? That's is what he did.
The dry bathroom is the best feature. There is a footrug infront of the pedestal toilet to keep the feet warm on the coldest of the Malaysian weather. The seat cover is covered with a beautiful cloth cover but I didn't dare post the picture lest it may offend the good host. I would have gladly posted it that you can have a dry bathroom if you know how to use it. In my own bath I use bothe the tissue toilet paper and water as well in that order in order to clean up the point of exit. The only way to a dry bathroom is to isolate the shower area which Pak Idrus did.
The toilets in KLCC are clean compared to most other toilets in KL.
Can you imagine how big U Lee would look in his winter clothing? With his more than 6 feet frame he would look like a giant to most of us small sized Malaysians.

Zabs said...

Salam again Pak Zawi,
I left Felda in Jan 1973, for my cadet training in UK. I was in Settlers' Account Division and look after the Pahang State's Felda Scheme. Ahmad Panjang is one of them. There was also En. Mansor Kassim, En Zulkifli Sidek and En. Mustapha our supervisor and En. Ghafar the Admin Officer.
Salam Zawi. Take care.

Zawi said...

I was still in the trianing division in 1973. Only after being transferred to the settlers scheme that I got to know of people in The Settlers Account Division such as Nordin Nawawi.
Those names that you gave doesn't ring a bell in me. Thanks anyway. At least we used to work for the same Agency once. I was a Felda Scholar during my college days in College od Agriculture Serdang.

uncleawang said...

Pak Zawi,
I visited yr blog almost everyday as well as PakIdrus blog.I see you enjoy the hospitality and food serve by PakIdrus family.Pak Idrus and Encik Ahmad who used to work in S'wak must have heard of S'wak Olive (DABAI)& now is the Dabai & Durian seasoned here.You can visit my simple blog (uncleawangcapture.blogspot.com)
I'm budak baru belajar..
Salam berkenalan.

Zaharan Razak said...

ZA: I feel almost embarrassed to arrive here almost two years after all the other guests have left! It is like visitng Hotel California by the Eagles! And that too only bcoz the houseowner Pak Idrus directed me here, if not I wouldn't know what I was missing. Oh yes, the house is outta this world. Anybody dreaming of starting all over again such as me will find many ideas here especially after a reality visit and not just a virtual reality visit! This is likely to materialize as PI has kindly invited me over to look over his place after he "kasihan" me struggling wtih my own housing project!

Zaharan Razak said...

Oops, not two years but some 13 months ...

Zawi said...

My apology for not responding to your comment. Somehow I must have missed it. I will look at your post on the dabai as I love traditional fruits and would like to learn about them all.

Zawi said...

Bro ZR,
There is nothing to be embarassed about. We definitely can't be reading every post by our friends. With so many friends mean so many posts to read everyday. I am at my wits end to read them too.