Friday, February 11, 2011

Balik Kampung (Rush Home For CNY)

This year, the balik kampung begun earlier than usual because of the long weekend and Federal Territory Day. So, by the time I drove up to Teluk Intan with Kristina, on 1st February, the roads were clear and the drive on the NS highway was a breeze, except for a scare.

Just before Bidor, my car experienced a loss of power and I prayed hard that it would not break down. The trusty old horse did not disappoint and we made it safely to Teluk Intan. Imagine the inconvenience and tension caused if the engined had stalled!

By the time we made it to Teluk Intan, about 5.30 p.m, however, the worshops and service centres were closed for the day.

So, the first thing the next morning, I took the car to the Eon service centre for a check up and the guys there diagnosed the problem as excess engine oil. I had in fact sent the car for service at the Proton service centre in Taman Kosas, Ampang, Selangor the day before we left for Teluk Intan. The guy who did the servicing was someone I had not seen before, probably someone new.

The guys at the Eon service centre Teluk Intan did not charge me for their service and this was a auspicious start to the Chinese New Year. In appreciation, I gave the two receptionists and the mechanic who attended to the problem an ang pow each.

New Year eve, the girls were doing their nails

The girls doing their nails
At midnight, the new lunar new year was ushered in with the letting off of loud firecrackers and fire- works into the wee hours.

Early in the morning of the CNY(3/2/2011), a lions dance troupe came to perform at a neighbour's house, but I was still catching up on some sleep. I regret not being able to record the event on camera for this post.

As usual, the day started off with the traditional giving of ang pows(red packets).

Osama ready with ang pows to give to his children

Happy Faces

That night, we had a karaoke session at the newly opened hotel in Teluk Intan which name I have forgotten.

Budding Artists                                                             

"Young"-Timers Seeking For A Spot Of Lime-Light

The 2nd Day of the CNY we played some rounds of gin rummy using mahjong tiles embossed to represent the cards. This was the first time I had played the game of gin rummy using mahjong tiles instead of cards, and it was definitely different tactilely. The day was hot and not conducive to CNY calls on friends/realtives.

Gin Rummy In MahJong Tiles

We left Teluk Intan on the 3rd Day of CNY(5/2/2011). Past the Teluk Intan toll, traffic began to build up and at some point came to a crawl with the reverse rush back from kampung.
The next day, we headed south to Kluang, Johore, to visit my brother and sister. My sister, Wendy, and her grand-daughter, Ling Ling, joined us from Seremban.  Traffic was relatively smooth but as we neared Ayer Hitam in Johore, it came to a crawl and at some point it took some 30 minutes to cover just 5 km!

In Kluang, we had reunion dinner and tossed yee sang for good luck.

Reunion Dinner With Family

      Tossing Yee Sang For Good Luck

Ling Ling was getting restless, so the next day we brought her to Kluang Mall.

Ling Ling

Ling Ling With Wendy Having Yong Tau Foo For Lunch

Ling Ling With Kristina At The Kluang Mall

Ling Ling Having Fun

While in Kluang, we put up at the Rest House. The lack of maintainence was obvious from the run down furniture and beds. But the room is large and it has a hall of its own and the place is quiet.

A View Of The Rest House

Another View Of The Rest House

The Spacious Rooom

The Hall
We left Kluang on the 6th Day of CNY(8/2/2011). Traffic was smooth all the way back to Ampang.   

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