Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kota Bharu, Here They Come.

Flight MH1396 touched down on time at Kota Bharu Airport on 11th August 2008. Puteri and her huband Douglas with their children Duncan and Denise in tow with two trolleys of baggage were the last to exit from the arrival hall.

They had to hire a taxi just to carry their baggage to Hotel Raudah where I have booked them a room. A family room with two extra beds in a hotel right smack in Kota Bharu seemed to have serve them. If they are not happy I will have to relocate them to another hotel in town.
Due to the death of a distant member of the family by a fatal road accident, I was unable to take them around on the second day. They did some part of the town on their own. They made the mistake od taking an unnecessary taxi ride to The War Museum which cost them RM8.00 (after some bargaining) since it was just a short distance away from where they were. See Puteri's story of their adventure in Kota Bharu here.
I came over the next day and took them to visit the Buddhist temples in Tumpat namely the Sleeping Buddha and the squatting Buddha. Puteri pointed out the influence of the Chinese culture in the later as displayed by the presence of the dragon motif on the pillars and the Chinese God which I wouldn't have noticed while Douglas pointed to the sculptures of the monkeys that depict the famous "see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil" principle that we all should adhere to.
On the way back to Kota Bharu my guests wanted to see how akok is made and they saw it somewhere in Wakaf Baru.
We had lunch at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah in Kota Bharu which many tourists wouldn't have done. Puteri was attracted to a stall with some large cuttlefish on display. The stall was empty so it was convenient for the five of us to sit in. I forgot to warn Puteri that an empty stall during peak hour doesn't reflect well on the food's palatabilty. It was later proven so when the cuttle fish turned out to be leather tough and not as succulent as it looks. Douglas had two packets of laksa Kelantan costing a mere ringgit each which serve him fine for what was to follow uo next.

Duncan can put up a sweet smile while Denise who is hidden behind Duncan enjoyed her piece of chicken. Puteri looked at her seemingly delicious cuttlefish which proved to be not so succulent.
After the lunch I showed Douglas and Puteri the most often photographed central part of the Pasar and they took a couple of shots with their camera.
Next we went over to the fruit section on the ground floor where Douglas showed every passerby how a durian loving American eat the durian batang mas from Thailand. The same durian would have cost them dearly if taken in California. Durians are exported in the frozen form from Thailand. The earlier laksa lunch was fine for Douglas as it leaves him with enough space to finish off the whole durian with Puteri. Me? I can't take any durian and just enjoyed the sight of them eating them while taking pictures of them with my old camera. How I miss my Alpha 350 which is still under repair.

Puteri admiring his man for being able to eat durian like the locals do.

Duncan need to pee. I took him to the public toilet and he readily posed for a photograph with a smile while holding back his urge to pee.

Compared to the toilet near the fish market in Labuan, this toilet isn't very ceria at all. Anyway Duncan managed to do it this time which he couldn't at the other toilet on the other side of the pasar. Anyway they refunded his payment for entrance when I told the keeper that the toilet wasn't clean enough for him. Being a child, the lady keeper had to believe him.

It was the night for the gathering with Kelantan bloggers at Yati Ayam Percik in Jalan Long Yunus. I went there early to book tables for 20 people set at 8.00 PM. Pakpayne of A Clear Blue Sky and Bakpo and family came to the Raudah Hote Hotel first since he didn't know the location of the place we were holding the gathering. Pakpayne doesn't look his gae and Lil looked resplendent too. After doing their maghrib's prayers, Pakpayne and family followed us in a convoy from Hotel Raudah to the place and so he had no problem. Captain Yusof of the Ancient Mariner had checked the place out during the day time so he thought he could find the place easily. I had to ask the others to start eating while I went to search for Captain Yusof with his group of NGO friends. He told me he was waiting infront of a small mosque at the junction of Jalan Bayam and Jalan Dusun Muda. He missed the bigger landmark of the 13 storey Wisma Persekutuan and The Sutera Inn across the road whose only signboard faces the other side of the road. The mosques was definitely too small as a lorry parked infront of it hid it from my sight.
When we reached Yati Ayam Percik, the other members including the latest arrival Awin of Little Dewa and her kid Dani were almost done with their dinner. Our own dinner was served soon after.
Wan Aziz of Kelantankini.com was the last to arrive as he had to send his wife off to Perak.

Pakpayne' family is at the ened of the table. Will have to ask Pakpayne for a picture of his other half.
Captain Yusof explained to me the function of his NGO, The Friends of Kelana Jaya. The association also help them to find an excuse to be away from home. I must set up a similar association in Pasir Mas too. I definitely need an excuse to be away from home sometimes.

The five of them above are from the NGO. The nearest to the camera is of course Captain Yusof, Syed Khalid on his left, Nusa hidden behind Syed Khalid, Yap hidden behind Captain Yusof and Gabriel beside yours truly. Let us see if others have more frontal picture so that I can replace this picture.
It seemed that nobody brought their kain batik lepas and Puteri brought along a kain batikSarawak since she didn't know what a kain batik lepas is. The five pieces that I brought along was of course not enough to give everyone each. After writing our names and blogsite on the kain batik lepas with a fabric marker which Puteri brought out from her bag after seeing me brought only a permanent marker which wouldn't last, we wore the cloth as a semutar for the photography session.

Kamal showed Douglas how to wear the semutar while Captain Yusof looked on.

The group photograph. From left to right: Awin, Pak Zawi, Pakpayne, Kamal, Wan Aziz, Douglas, Captain Yusof and Puteri.
The kids: Duncan, Luqman and Dani.
It was at about 10.30 PM that we called the day off. How I wish we could stay longer with such friends but knowing everybody has had a long day, breaking off early is definitely a wiser action. Let the event be short and sweet.
Finally I would like to record a word of thanks to those who contributed financially to the event especially the one from KL who contributed but knowing full well that she couldn't attend. To Syana, you were with us though not physically. To those who attended, you were our guests and we definitely enjoyed your company.
Today 14th August, Puteri, Douglas, Duncan and Denise has left Kelantan for a night stay in KL before flying off to California USA tomorrow. We wish you a safe journey home.

34 comments:

pB said...

salam

finally ...
apa yang ditunggu muncul jugak ...

jenuh dok masuk dari pagi sampai sekarang ...

tak baca lagi , just tengok gambar.

lepas ni , baru nak baca


tapi , what ever , mesti semua HAPPY ....

Gurindam Jiwa said...

jeles la ...

If I get to KB before Raya, may be we'll get in touch. Although if puasa, we may not be able to eat...

Puteri said...

Zawi, we arrived in KL safely and are now checked in our hotel. Doug couldn't wait to check out the wi-fi!! We will be leaving for downtown KL immediately after this.

And oh, the kids car seats got "lost" and we had to make a lost luggage report. But all is well, because I just got a call from the airport saying that the car seats have arrived from KB and will be delivered pronto to the hotel. It is now 2.08 pm.

Thanks for all your hospitality. We wished we had more time to see more places in Kelantan. Maybe next time, eh.

NaNa said...

Pak Zawi,

Looking at the pictures, it is very obvious that you guys had a wonderful time.

Zawi said...

PB,
Itu sajalah yang mampu Pak Zawi persembahkan. Gambar-gambar pun ala kadar je bab kamera rosak.
Kira happy la.

Zawi said...

Mazle,
We will berbuka bersama dimana mana saja.

Zawi said...

Puteri,
I am glad you got back the car seat. Maybe somebody like the look of the car seat and hid it hoping that you will not notice one of the many maggages you were carrying was missing.
Hope you like this post which is mostly about you and your family.
Come back again another time OK?
Have a safe journey home.

Zawi said...

nana,
It was rather too short a time and I had anxious moments looking for Captain Yusof lest he and the others in the group 'merajuk' for not being able to find the place. I am glad I was able to locate him beore they became hungry hahahaha. Hungry men are angry men.

Haniza said...

salam pak zawi,
i was so happy to see my husband was there with you. he told me that he was very happy to get to know all of you. Actually I intend to attend the gathering too but have to start my journey to Ipoh last night. Anyway, i can see that all of you really enjoyed each other. I'm hoping to donate some books from my shop. Insya-Allah i'll inform you later.

Zawi said...

haniza,
You should have come before you leave for Ipoh and just have a bite.
We definitely enjoyed each others comapany. That was just a start.
All book donations are being given to Sek Keb. Pangkal Kalong, Kemubu. Should you want to contribute anything, just contact one of the teachers there to collect them from your shop.
Hopefully we will get together again just for tea or something and you will be able to make it. I intend to discuss with Wan on how to improve my blogsite by using .com like yours.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Zawi
It would be nice to put the face to the names one only know through reading their blogs.
I hope I can do that one day.

The Ancient Mariner said...

Pak Zawi,

Just got back home in Kelana Jaya. Many thanks for the dinner and a wonderful evening. It was our pleasure indeed to meet you and other Kelantan bloggers and we shall treasure this.

Best regards from Capt Yusof, Syed Khalid, Musa, Gabriel and Yap of FRIENDS OF KELANA JAYA PARK. (Check out our blogsite: http://fokjp.blogspot.com/)

Zawi said...

fauziah,
Of course you will get to meet us. When the other half is better, bring him over as he deserves to see this part of the world and the people here too.

Zawi said...

Captain,
We just provide the opportunity and the company since it was your dinner too. We were to happy to have your group with us and it would have been a great miss if we couldn't locate you that night.
Thanks for the list of names. I will update the blog ASAP.

sYaNa said...

I wish I was there but couldn't go back on a weekday. I'm sure everyone had fun :o)

good company & good food, nasi kerabu Yati is one of the best!

aiseh ... lapar plak .... hehehe

PakZawi :o) TQ but it was just a small gesture on my part. To be there would have been better :o)

Zawi said...

Syana,
Find another opportunity and we will have another mini gathering of sort so that you can taste the Ayam Percik and nasi kerabu that you have missed having with us on that night.

J.T. said...

Hi Zawi

I was in Facebook and the photos Capt Yusof posted gave me a clue that you must have updated on your bloggers gathering. :)
It is hard to imagine Capt Yusof being a beach bum. haha

Glad to see that Douglas could sit down and enjoy durians (hats off to him!). My hubby has tried it but prefers not to eat it again. :P
Me? I can't wait to eat it again, especially with santan.

Wish I could have been there. I would have finally met Puteri and her family and, of course, catch up with Capt Yusof and you. I guess if I have the time on my next trip, I will have to make an effort to go up to KB. That will give me a chance to meet Mr & Mrs Foo (and all the old family friends who are still there) too.

Thanks for sharing about the gathering and Puteri and family's adventures.

Akmal said...

Loads of fun I have missed. *Sigh*~
Gambar last tu, macam hero hindustan pun ada :)
Luqman? That must be one of the youngest bloggers we have around right? His is http://namqul.blogspot.com/, if I am not mistaken :)
Have a nice day.

Zawi said...

j.t.
Captain Yusof a beach bum? A very rich Kelantanese has an underutilised private chalet not very far from the sea in Tok Bali, Pasir Putih, Kelantan. It was all for free. I doubt that they even dip thier feet into the waters at the beach of Tok Bali or even laze around by the beach.
Douglas was showing off his prowess of eating durian to us. Actually they had eaten the frozen durian in California before and by now have aquired the taste such that the heavenly taste is worth than the hellish smell when you burp hahahaha. It was a real joy seeing him dig at the durian. The batang nas variety is really nice to eat, being very smooth and sweet.
Actually it is much easier to introduce durian to beginners by letting them take it with santan and pulut. From my experience with French youths who came to experience homestays in Kelantan, non of them rejected the durian when served that way. David may be difficult to be persuaded now because he had established a dislike for it.
Should you ever come this way, we will have a small gathering with Mrs Foo's family and The Bate's. They will be happy to have you as they were close to your late dad.
When sharing such things, I feel similar joy too.

Zawi said...

Akmal,
Puteri was asking for you but when I told her Kuantan is several hundred kilometers away then only she understood. Call her to wish her goodbye on this number 0143945466. This morning will be the last day this number is active. She will be flying off today.
I will check the URL that you gave and see if he is the owner of that site.

Mat Salo said...

Alaa bang, best habih. You did kirim my salaam and regards to the attendees right?

Hmmm, how nice if one day WE can go around the country and host these blogger-do's... heh.

Nightwing said...

Helo Pak Zawi,

Good stuff. Thank you for sharing the photos and the event.

Puteri and family got pics taken during arrival...macam orang famous...:)

Am sure everyone had fun.

Zawi said...

mat salo,
Sheikh didn't attend so me and Captain couldn't extend your salam. Furthermore Sheikh changed his phone number and kept it to himself and probably some close friends only.
Get yourself away from the barge longer and we form an NGO like Captain did so we can go gathering all over Malaysia meeting other bloggers hehehehe. How about registering an NGO called Friends of Bloggers just like Captain's Friends of Kelana Jaya?

Zawi said...

nightwing,
Thats what we accord to people who called themselves Puteri hehehehe. Being given a shot upon arrival. I will accord you the same treatment upon arrival if you were to come here.
Yeah we had fun.

LITTLE DEWA said...

salam
hi uncle. it was really a pleasure 2 hav met everyone. sori ye my littledewa wasnt behaving well thruout the dner. thx 4 the kain batik lepas (alamak... i 4got 2 pay u lah! how?)

Pp said...

alamak pakzawi...sudah tinggalkan komen tapi bila baca balik hari ini, rupanya tidak muncul2 komen itu....ke mana perginya ??

i forgot what I wrote exactly...but it was an expression of appreciation for organizing the dinner....and a well chosen venue. The food was best in class!!

thanks a lot!

Pp

jaflam said...

Salam Zawi,
Happy to see the great times & meeting at KB among bloggers. As Mat Salo said it will be good to have a focal point at major towns in Malaysia for bloggers to refer and rally.

You have been an effective focal point for KB. Tahniah.

svllee said...

Wow, Pak Zawi..what a wonderful gathering! (Sorry to read about your Sony. Did you get the Nikon instead?)

The food you posted looks so good, maybe the next time I will make it a point to come to pay you a visit!

Zawi said...

little dewa,
I am glad you enjoyed the mini gathering. I guess we all enjoyed it.
Don't be apologetic about your little dewa. He was just behaving like any other active child does.
Pay me? There will be another occasion of course!

Zawi said...

Pakpayne,
Sorry for the late response. Just came back from an enjoyable time in Redang. Will be blogging about it soon. Please find to get there before its too late.
When organizing the event I was worried to death due to the lack of response but in final analysis I am definitely happy the numbers were not more than that and the choice of place was apt with the kind of food they serve as being authentic Kelantan dish.
Thank you for that gift. The other half really love it. She asked me to convey her regards to you and Lil.

Zawi said...

D Jaff,
Thank you for highlighting the gathering from that perspective. Future gatherings among the local bloggers will follow soon and all announcement will be in Malay so as not to make the non English speaking bloggers feel intimidated.
Of course the non Kelantan bloggers will be welcomed too. KB will be the other focal point for the East Coast.Thanks.

Zawi said...

svllee,
The Sony Alpha is yet to be returned to me. I really missed it when I was at Redang Island with the rest of the family for a holiday. The Nikon? Was just kidding about it. I can't afford another camera hahahaha.
Redang Islands is superb for a photo shoot.
Please come over to Kelantan the next time you are back in Malaysia.

kbguy said...

hello. Read your interesting post.Thousand apologies for couldn't make it.

Zawi said...

Lim,
Tried to call you to ask you to join us. Unfortunately I cant reach you. Join in the next time OK?