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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Home sweet home.. and it'll always be in Penang no matter what

I went to Penang yesterday. The supposed reason for going there was for the traffic survey for the flyover at Jalan Masjid Negeri, but for me on the other hand, going to Penang always means so much more.

I went to fetch my juniors (who will be doing the traffic count.. and PAID, mind you, a hefty RM80) around 5.45 am, with the plan to perform our Subuh prayers at Masjid Negeri. Upon arriving, we quickly entered the mosque to perform our morning duty before heading out to the flyover. Luckily the side gate which was closed the last time we did the traffic count, was thankfully opened. Harun, Zariman and Mahadi quickly chose the aprroach closest to the mosque while Poksu, Fahmi and Yuhyi were left with the side across from them. After making sure everything was ok, I went to find some breakfast for them.. hehe, where else, at Taman Tun Sardon lah!

I had my breakfast with them. At first I sent breakfast to Poksu's site before crossing the road to Zariman's side and having my breakfast there. Since I wasn't the one doing the traffic count, I got a little bored after a while and proceeded to read my book I purposely brought along. Still, after a while, I was going crazy just sitting there so I excused myself and went to Tabung Haji in Bayan Lepas. On my way back from Tabung Haji, I passed my hometown, Sg Ara. I would have gone right through it if I didn't have this sudden feeling of wanting to see the place.

I entered at the exit near my home and, boy, it sure bought back memories. I laughed out loud when I passed the corner where I did my 'devillish turn' after I just got my license haha..

Upon arriving at the house I grew up, my heart was sudenly filled with mixed feelings of sadness and longing. I grew up in this very home since I was in standard 1 throughout my schooling years (eventhough I DID spend a few years in the hostel, but still I came back here during the holidays). Even when I started my matriculation and college years, THIS house was still the place I called home.

I had my first crush here (if I don't count that silly crush I had on Mark when I was 5 or something). My happy school days here. My first 'big exam' result a.k.a UPSR here, which ended in tears when I just got 3A's instead of the much-hoped-for 4A's (Abah didn't talk to me for days, still remember that silent treatment I got hehe..) I had my first period here haha, and was scared to death on that day when I realized I was in my first step to becoming a woman (though now I wonder, when am I really gonna grow up?) Even my sister Izati and brother Iskandar were born when we stayed here.

So many memories and only now would I admit that my best years were spent here. I wanted to go to my room but it was too dusty. And to think that once upon a time ago, that room was my refuge when I thought the world was not being fair to me. Haha, I still remember every night after dinner, I used to sit at my desk and pretend to study until my father checked on me. After that, I'd be reading my Dragon Ball comics or Dragon Quest comics or maybe one of my books I had in hand. Such a pretender, eh? It was in this room that Izati and Iskandar tried to hatch a chicken's egg right on my bed hahah.. I still remember how hard I tried to keep a straight face when I scolded them for messing up my bed and how I had to lock the room when they went out after being scolded because I just couldn't contain the mass of giggles that were threatening to burst out of my mouth.

Yes, I really love my room. If the room could speak, it could talk of my transition from a pony tailed girl who always brushed her hair 100 times before going to sleep and who always arranged cuddly toys around her bed, to a teenager who prefered fluffy and colourful cushions (and who struggled, every morning at 5.15am, to tie her long and thick hair in 1001 different ways so it won't show much under her school 'tudung') and (suprisingly) an almost woman who stepped back to her childhood days and discarded her cushions to her more favourable cuddly toys. My softboard was always full with birthday cards, poems, interesting quotes, Snoopy cut outs (yes, I was and still am a BIG fan of Snoopy), newspaper articles etc.. etc.. I used to love chosing different themes for my softboard whenever I got bored with the old one.

Haha.. the boys even had to use my room when they 'bersunat'. Iwan, Adi and Ikram. Their room weren't quite suitable for the cause so I had to surrender my room for 2 weeks. That event really brings out so much flash backs that I'd rather not tell here hehe..

Even the dining area bought out memories. We used to have dinner together and talked about everything though Abah was quite a spoiler coz he always chose dinner time to scold us. And I remember when all of us 'told' Ikram he was adopted. I'll never forget his reaction. My gentle brother (at that time la) suddenly leaped like an angry tiger and THAT left us stupefied (I'm borrowing this word from Harry Potter). We never tried to tease him again haha..

Then the living room. Whenever it was near raya, me, Adi, Ikram and Izati (Iwan and Iskandar don't really join us during this activity) would make biscuits together and the living room would be the placed where we cooled down the cookies (and ehem, ate about half of the batch we were making) The biscuit 'wajib' would be Melting Moments, Flap Jacks and Chocolate Chip + Coconut cookies. We'd line up the tins with brown paper before arranging them carefully and SEALING them so anyone who refused to help us during these night WON'T be able to 'steal' them haha.. But the part I'm still 'tak puas hati' with is when it comes to spring cleaning, suddenly everyone would be missing, leaving me all alone tsk.. tsk..

Then there's the kitchen where me and Adi used to pretend we were famous chefs. Mama used to scold us for being so noisy whenever we cooked together but I know, she must be happy seeing us like that though she complains that we use too much utensils. When Izati grew older, she joined the two of us and we used to make up cooking shows that would leave us in laughter AND a burnt meal. The fridge was almost always full with our experiments.

How about the stairs.. the phone used to be at the stairs so it would be fair for anyone upstairs or downstairs to pick up the phone. I remember once upon a time ago when I used to curl up with the phone till way past midnight haha (and THAT wasn't even in my teenage years.. more like my early twenties). I'd talk so quietly, being afraid to wake everyone up and how I'd be so embarrassed if Abah or Mama happened to wake up and catch me on the phone in the middle of the night thus prompting me to pretend arranging the telephone books etc hehe.. but that was a LONG ago story which I'd rather forget (have I?). Adi or Ikram used to sleep right on the stairs steps. Its a wonder why they never fell of the stairs anyway. The stairs were also our some sort of peeping 'hole' to see who has come to visit, or to see when my father has come home so we'd be able to hide all the things we were doing that we were NOT supposed to.

Wow.. there are lots of stories for everything in that house. Even the garden which looks more like a forest reserve now. Since Abah always planted bouganvilleas at the front, the plants were so huge that anyone from outside couldn't really peek inside. When it rained, I used to take off my tudung and ran in the garden to play in the rain with Izati and Iskandar (now, looking at the differance of age, I think I sure looked silly haha..) The fish pond was our fort back then and I'm sure if the fishes could speak, I'd be the one with the most scolding from them. Then there's the mango tree where Abah once tied Iskandar bike up on its highest branch. Iskandar used to dissappear after breakfast on his bike (and sometimes without even taking his bath) and only come back when he was hungry (which means, hardly ever) or we'd only see him at maghrib. So to punish him, Abah tied his bike on the mango tree and we were left to the mystery of its disappearance for quite a while.

Memories.. memories.. I could go on rambling about them, couldn't I?

Anyway, what greeted me that day, wasn't anything like before. Mr Long was still there though, he greeted me with his mournful 'meow' as if asking, "Where have all of you gone to?" Its sad, you know, knowing that things have changed so much. Looking around the house seemed to have awaken all the things I let to sleep. By the way, I AM wondering if Long was the one I put in the washing machine AND let it spin for about 5 minutes? I wonder if he's forgiven me for my childish prank (though I remember quite well that I was in form 4 during that unfortunate event)

I left the house, more sadly than when I arrived.. Though the house has changed so much, its still the only place I'd call home.

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