Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pak Idrus In Kelantan.

It was on May 17th that I received a message on Facebook of Pak idrus' intention to visit Kelantan. When he confirmed his dates he asked me to book 2 rooms in Kota Bharu and the same number of rooms in Gua Musang as he intended to travel via the Kuala Lipis-Gua Musang route to Kota Bharu from Kuala Lumpur. Breaking journey in Gua Musang especially for elderly people like us who have exceeded the 10 decade marks is extremely necessary. Anyway if you know Pak Idrus, he is still young for his more than 70 years living in this world. Very often he outpace me when we walked around in KL.
This visit would be most appropriate for me to repay his kindness towards us a he had feted us to a sumptuous lunch at his place in Ampang when my wife Fatthiyah and me visited him with Akmal some years back.
The rooms in Gua Musang was booked for 24th May via an old friend living in Gua Musang. I specifically told him to book some comfortable room in Gua Musang New Town in order to surprise Pak Idrus who is a first time visitor to the modern days Gua Musang which has developed into a lovely township. Contrary to popular belief the recent development was brought about by the Majlis Daerah Gua Musang with the basic infrastructure put in place by Kelantan Selatan Development Authority (KESEDAR). Without the combined effort I doubt that the town would be like it is today.
The rooms for Gua Musang sector was easily done and I had to trust my friend Othman Hassan to get the nicest available room. The problem is for the Kota Bharu sector as my attempt to get rooms at The Royal Guesthouse on 25th May for two nights at the small cozy hotel was a failure since they had a large group on that day which will only check out on the 26th May morning. Though there are other larger hotels in town but I doubt that they will provide the kind of ambience that I want Pak Idrus and Kak Asmah to experience.
Browsing through the internet I found out that a new hotel belonging to Habib Jewel Sdn Bhd is already in operation. Knowing Habib Jewel's reputation as a seller of jewellery products of high quality, I believe they would do the same thing for their hotel. I called the hotel and was told that the required rooms were available and within the budget that Pak Idrus had given me. Take it from me that the price of the rooms are cheaper if you book via the internet. So when I confront the receptionist on duty about the lower price on the net, she agreed to give a discount.
When Pak Idrus checked into the hotel in Gua Musang, he was happy with the new hotel. His only comment was that the management should be more professional and stress more on maintainence as he had spotted some part of the wall papers peeling off. Small thing but important to discerning travelers.
On the afternoon of 25th May, we waited for Pak Idrus' and his entourage to arrive at the hotel in Jalan Maju, Kota Bharu. Pak Idrus had promised to leave Gua Musang early and I gave him three hours to reach Kota Bharu. He had brought his nephew En. Rahim along to drive for him. As a 70 plus year young man, Pak Idrus must be feeling his age when driving long distance.

Immediately after checking into the hotel we headed for Kampong Kraftangan located near the Istana Balai Besar which is beside the Royal Guesthouse where I first wanted to book for Pak Idrus. As the parking lot close to the Kampong Kraftangan were fully occupied, we had to walk a short distance to the eatery.
They had to walk a short distance to Kampung Kraftangan for lunch. From left is En Rahim, my wife Fatthiyah, Kak Asmah and Pak Idrus.

The restaurant is self service but there is an air conditioned room where it would be served albeit at a slightly higher rate. Who cares as all the tables outside were occupied since lunch is popular at this place.
We were served the ikan keli goreng (fried cat fish), ikan patin masak asam pedas, ayam goreng, an assortment of ulams fresh or boiled to be taken with either budu (fish sauce) or sambal. Even as a regular I was surprised with the whole bowl of budu that was brought to our table. They were more than enough for the five of us. In the budu not only chili padi was placed in it but also a dollop of durian which was certainly not a tempoyak since tempoyak is fermented durian. I think they may have run out of tempoyak and place the durian flesh instead of tempoyak. Anyway it is normal to do so to the Kelantanese. Now the Thai durian is in season and fresh durian is the only option. The durian season is Thailand is quite far ahead of our durian season in Kelantan. I believe lime juice has already been squeezed into the bowl of budu.
Pak Idrus dug into the ikan keli and he seemed to be the only person among the five of us who took it. I do take ikan keli but at that moment I preferred the ikan patin masak asam pedas and let Pak Idrus alone to enjoy the two large fried ikan keli.

Slightly later Chegu Hamid, the restaurant owner came to join our table for small chats. According to Chegu Hamid, even the royalties and their guests come to eat at this place. On such occasions the eatery will be closed to the public and his staff will take a rest after cooking all the food. All the servings will be done by the people from the istana who are familiar with the etiquette and only special crockery owned by the palace will be used. Today we have Pak Idrus and company using the room alas with normal crockery and served by the restaurant's own staff.
After taking them to their hotel we bid them good bye and let them paint the town of Kota Bharu red. Before leaving we invited them to dinner at our home in Pasir Mas.
It is not really easy to locate my home but knowing that Pak Idrus has a Minah Garmin GPS, I sent him my house address with the coordinates for good measure.

The above pic showed Pak Idrus holding his Minah GPS.

I guess he has yet to learn how to key in the location using coordinates instead of an address. Since the Minah GPS came from the United States of America, she has yet to know of such remote places as Jalan Pam Air KADA, Mekasar, Pasir Mas. The Minah GPS must have prompted him to key in Jalan Parit Air KADA, Pasir Mas Kelantan instead and thus led him to the other side of town in Lati instead of Mekasar. Luckily for him there was a platoon of policemen doing some sort of exercise. The sight of an important looking man in a brand new Honda Accord must have moved them to help out Pak Idrus and he was told that Mekasar is on the other side of town on the way to Kota Bharu.
He did the next sensible thing by calling me on the phone and I waited by the main road after giving some obvious landmark for him to locate.
As is anything with high technology, the output depends on the input. GIGO or garbage in and garbage out holds true for such equipments.

Here they are chatting after having dinner of nasi putih with ayam percik, telor goreng dadar with pucuk cekur manis, ikan kering and some beef curry. They all love the ikan tamban kering.
We adjourned to the living room and continued chatting till almost 11.00 PM when our tired body couldn't take it anymore. Hey old man like me sleeps early.
Pak Idrus and Kak Asmah, we were really happy to have you as our guests. Please take this post with a pinch of salt and laugh at those humorous parts as spices of life though it may bite you slightly.


Pp said...

Pak Zawi...:-) always nice to read -union- stories amongst bloggers.
you are always, and proven here once again - a big hearted and gracious host.
i teruja membaca mengenai restoren itu...must make it a point to visit one day~!

Oldstock said...

Pak Idrus doesn't look his 70 years lah..

My missus dah lama dok teringin nak visit Kelantan, cuma saya je yg belum ada kelapangan.

Secret @ Women perfume said...

Yes I like this posting. Life is more important only happy is most favourite one. Thanks for updating this one keep updating I share this blog to my friend. how many years you maintenance your blog. really super job man. all the best. Bye..

Pak Zawi said...

We will make it happen the next time you return to Kelantan. I will be too happy to play host to you since the last time we met in Kelantan it was dinner at Yati's Ayam Percik with the late Capt. Yusof Ahmad and Puteri Campbell from the US, this time it will be lunch at Restoren Kampung and dinner at Pak Zawi's house.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus is 70 yrs young!
Please visit Kelantan soon but don't make it during the school holidays as Kelantan will be crowded with visitors as well as Kelantanese returning home to visit their families. Everywhere you go will be crowded and even the mosques will be full.
if you were to come, come on a Thursday so that you can see the crowd in the heart of town for the Majlis Ilmu and return on a Sunday. It will be an experience you will never forget.

Uncle said...

that's what friends are for!

Pak Zawi said...

yeah even friends on internet will turn to be really great friends. Bila nak ke Kelantan?

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Pak Idrus and Makcik Asmah are great company, and it is fun to be able to catch up with blogging friends in real life! I am thrilled you got to play host to Pak Idrus, Abang Zawi.

Pak Zawi said...

ee Lynn,
Pak Idrus and Kak Asmah is a great couple either as a host or a guest. With them time is always a constrain as there is so much to talk about. It was a pleasure to have them.

Temuk said...

Seronoknya apabila orang lama duduk semeja, panjang bercerita. Teringat kata-kata Pak Idrus di blognya: Strangers are friends that you have yet to meet. Ketara beliau amat utamakan ikatan & pemanjangan silaturrahim. Dan Pak Zawi sendiri ketara amat seronok didatangi tamu. Moleknyalah jiwa & hati kalian. Salam bahagia.

Pak Idrus said...

Zawi thanks for that colorful narration of our visit to your motherland Kelanan. Asmah and I did enjoy those wonderful time we have had with your spouse and you. The lunch at that Chigu restaurant was one of a kind and as you saw we both enjoy those delicious spreads. Indeed one of the lunch to remember. And that dinner at your home was special too for it gives us more time to continue to chat of what blogger love to do.

Thanks to all who commented,for their good words on Asmah and I. To all those young folks we live to enjoy life and we both after doing what we had to do in raising our kids we set on to continue to enjoy life as much as we could and the way we like it. Although age is catching up on both of us we are grateful for all those friends both in cybersphere and the real world for contributing in making our lives so very colorful. So on this trip all the happenings cotinue to add color to our already colorful lives.

To all the young of you do give as much love as you could when you are still young and when you are in the golden age like Asmah and I all those investment of love came back in form of many kind of bonus that continue to enriched our lives, thus kept us happy always.

I found Blogging a place to meet like minded folks like Pak Zawi and others. Thus enlarged our circle of friendship and with that give new meaning of what friendship meant in both the cyberspace as well the real world. I am indeed glad that through blogging I got to know Pak Zawi and later on his charming spouse who now are more like relative than just friends.

Have a nice day folks and thanks so much for those kind words. Take care.

Pak Zawi said...

Diusia yang semakin bertambah ini kunjungan dari rakan dan taulan menjadi satu kegembiraan yang tidak dapat di letakkan dimana tahapnya.
Bila ada kemungkinan elok la kita berkunjungan untuk mengenali secara lebih dekat.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
What you wrote in your comment represents the view of parents like us. Thank you for speaking on our behalf.
See u in KL soon. The lunch offer at the Dome KLCC still stand I presume?

Pak Idrus said...

Zawi, let me know when you would be here next. The Dome is still on. Take care.

latape said...

assalamualaikum Pak Zawi,

been reading your blog. Interesting. i would just like to know, is there a way i can get in touch with you via e mail...

hope to hear from you.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
We will take up the offer after we returnfrom our Jogjakaarta trip in November.

Pak Zawi said...

Waalaikummussalam. I will email u something so you can take it from there.