Tuesday, 16 December 2008 @ 12.39am
Friday, 12 December 2008
It was about 5.15am. I shivered through my cold shower. It's a good thing I'd already packed all my things two days before. I reached Eddie's place at about 6am. He and Qayum were ready. When Eddie got in the car, I salam him and pulled back immediately instead of the usual hug hello. I was still recovering from our bitter argument the night before. (He'd insisted on driving back to Teluk Intan after he closed shop at 12.30am. I told him no. We fought.)
We drove in silence at first. Then he asked what's wrong. I fired back, "you want to do this in front of Qayum?" His reply, "ignore him. Just talk to me." I just shook my head and kept silent. We stopped to fill up petrol. When Eddie got out, Qayum said, "Relax Na, sekarang ni dia tengah panas. Nanti dia ok la tu." Half an hour into our journey, Eddie held me hand. My hand stayed limp. Qayum was drifting in and out of sleep in the backseat. It took about an hour and a bit before Eddie and I were ok.
We reached Teluk Intan at about 8.30am. But we went straight into town to look for flowers for Imah's wedding, and went to have breakfast first. It was Qayum's first time there, so we were showing him what little sights there were while looking for a place that sold fresh flowers. It was a dark and damp morning. After that, we went to buy Imah's gift - a 47-piece dinnerware set.
We reached Ayah's house at about 11.30am. The house was bustling with people. The women were sitting on the floor outside cutting onions and garlic and chili. The men were setting up the tent. Eddie's family were all assigned jobs and busy working. After the initial hello, we went straight to work. There were 1,800 doorgift bags in the middle of the living room where the TV and sofa should have been. Our first task was to pack up the door gifts and put it in the house next door before packing the remaining of the 3,000 door gifts that were to be prepared.
By 9pm, everyone was settling down. Most of the jobs for the day was done and everyone was beat. I took a shower, changed and went to sleep. And it was because I slept early that I missed everyone using the inai on their fingers :(
Saturday, 13 December 2008
I witnessed my first korban (sacrifice) today. Eddie wanted to see it but had to go and pick up relatives who were arriving from Singapore. While I was busy packing the different door gifts with Maksu and Ijah, Hassan came rushing in, "Kak Anna, Abang Eddie suruh ambik video. Jom!" I took my camera and Hassan drove me to the nearby surau. All of Eddie's cousins (90% of whom are male) were heading off on motorbikes. When we reached, the cow was standing at the corner. It was almost time.
I'd never witnessed one before. Especially not this close. We (me, Eddie's half-sister and all his boy cousins) were crowded at one side waiting for the action to begin. I thought I'd be horrified, by the slaughter or the poor animal grunting and fighting in pain. But surprisingly, I wasn't. Just a little sad for the poor thing. I watched and took photos from when he stood till all that was left was his skin spread out on the ground and his innards laying next to the skin on the ground. A few hours later, I just made a face when Eddie brought me a bowl of sup lembu.
At 6.30pm, I was heading to the room to get ready. To my surprise, Imah was still in the room...not even an inch to being ready. I asked her why she's not getting ready. We had to be at the surau by 7.15pm. She said the make-up lady hadn't arrive. I took a shower. When I came back out, Ijah came to me and said that she was equally horrified when she saw her sister not getting ready yet. After some insistence and phone calls, Imah was in the bilik pengantin getting her face made up.
We were late. I was appointed as Imah's pengapit (did I spell that right?) since her girl cousin who was earlier appointed went MIA. At the surau, I sat with her on one side with all the other women. Every so often, Imah turned and said, "Macam mana ni, Kak Anna? Takut." I had to reassure her a couple of times before she started to calm down a bit. When she was asked to go sit next to Hidayat, she really panicked. She half stood, turned to me and said, "Jom la Kak Anna. Jom la." Half the women were saying follow her, the other half said let her go herself. I looked at Eddie. He was sitting as a witness to the marriage. He gave a slight nod that said, follow her.
It didn't take long. Between Imah panicking and seeing Ayah on the verge of tears, I saw Eddie looking stressed. He wasn't happy and wasn't ready to let his baby sister go. So I decided to smile my biggest smile while Qayum was taking photos. When it was done, Ayah went outside to take a breather. The tears couldn't hold much longer.
The night ended at about 11.30pm when Eddie decided to pass out in front of the TV as the guests were beginning to leave. Instead of staying there that night, I decided to stay at the motel that Ayah rented for his guests. Maksu shared a room and living hall with her husband and son, while I had a room (or bilik bujang) all to myself for the night. Ahhh...I managed to relax alone, take a long, hot bath, watch a bit of TV, charge my laptop, camera and phone. It was definitely a blessing in disguise that there happened to be a spare room for me to rest.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Family members were all wearing green today, along with green pins to symbolise who the family members were. Guests started coming in the morning. Everyone had their roles to play. The men - Ayah, Paklong, Pak Mamat and Eddie - were greeting the guests. The women were guiding guests into the house or where to sit and eat, and to give the door gifts that we so painfully had to pack for two days.
Twice I was mistaken as the bride. Both times I would immediately say, "Tak, tak, tak. Pengantin ada kat dalam." And immediately Maksu would say, "Ini bakal isteri Zaidi." with that cheeky smile on her face. It didn't take long before everybody knew who I was. Eddie was happy. He was grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole ceremony.
When the ceremony ended and everyone had settled down, the boys were busy cleaning - after Eddie took the initiative to start clearing the tables. I settled down in between Umie and Maksu at the front of the house, having tea and tidbits. When Eddie had finished cleaning, he settled himself in the house and called me in. We finally had some time 'alone' (meaning that everyone was distracted with something else) and just sat and updated each other since we were both busy the whole day. It didn't take long for Paklong to come and joke around with us. It was also that moment that he took the opportunity to tell me that he has fully accepted me as one of his anak buah and understands why we've chosen to wait.
Eddie was grinning from ear to ear. Although there's picture proof during the actual akad nikah that shows Eddie's obvious dislike toward the matrimony of his sister and Hidayat, he was happy that he was there. That he was a part of it all. That his father and him have finally found a mutual understanding of how to communicate with each other.
It was also during this trip that I and his family have established my position. I am Kak Anna, Kaklong. I've developed some sort of strange bond with Paklong with him constantly joking with me during my three-day stay - it was his way of getting to know me. I've become Maklong's new anak buah and her 'kissing' bag - she loves to kiss my cheeks :) I've become closer to both his sisters and even felt slightly protective over Imah when I was saying goodbye to her and Hidayat - I'm afraid that he's going to hurt her or won't be able to care for her. I've been accepted as Kak Anna by Ijah - even though she's two years older than me. I've been accepted as the 'sporting' older type of sister by his younger siblings and his cousins. And I've been accepted as "bakal isteri Zaidi" by Ayah and Umie.
I'm just hoping that things will find a way to develop the way it has for me with Eddie's family in regards of him being accepted by my family.
Good luck, Sayang.