Monday, Oct 27th
Mum: Can you take leave on Friday?
Mum: Your aki (grandfather) is going to have his operation on the 29th. We are going back to visit him at Sarikei.
Me: But I haven’t confirmed baahh… how to take leave..
Mum: This is your grandfather we are talking about. You have to go back also.
-Phone hanged up-
That’s a typical conversation with my mother. She will talk me into something, when I refused, she will hang up and give me the silent treatment for days (or week). Maybe it’s typical of mothers to do that, huh? [To my future babies, mummy promise you that mummy will never do that *finger crossed behind back*].
Thursday, Oct 30th
Aki: Hello! Ajik!
[Ajik is my nickname. And my grandfather always talks in a thunderous voice. Sigh]
Me: Ya, ya! Ajik here! Anything, Aki?
Aki: I’m out of the hospital already.
Me: Are you fine? I’m going to Sarikei on Saturday. I’ll return back to Kuching on Sunday.
Aki: For one night only! No need lah! I’m fine already!
Me: have to visit you. Mummy is giving me hell about me not going back on Friday. She didn’t understand kah, I haven’t confirmed yet. Have to take unpaid leave…
Aki: Huh. Your mum. Don’t mind about her. If you don’t go back, also fine with me.
See? My Aki so understanding.
Nevertheless, I went back to Sarikei anyway. So, I took the express boat ride on Saturday morning, 8.30 am. Gee, I hate using the boat. I can’t swim, you see. So, the sight of water all around the boat freaks me out. The boat ride costs me RM40 – for a 3 hours plus journey. It sure beats the 6 hours journey if I opt for a bus ride – for the same price.
This little guy sat beside me.
He keeps me entertained throughout the journey – when I’m awake.[ I spent 2/3 of the journey, sleeping ]
I reached Sarikei around 12.00 noon. And the first think I noticed about Sarikei is… it has a Guardian store! [no photo to prove.. next time..] Wow. Sri Aman doesn’t have one. And my family lives there. Darn.
Arrived at my aunty’s place. Head straight to the kitchen. What’s for lunch? Fried ‘Tenggiling’ (ant eater) and python soup. Yes, you read me rite. Python, as in ‘ular sawa’. Again, no photos. I’m afraid that the animal activists will hunt me down..errkkhh.. for all its worth, I’ll defend myself by saying: I’m an Iban. Iban eat exotic food. And I don’t eat the python. Not nice J
Since Saturday is my sister’s birthday, so we celebrate it in Sarikei. We have almost the entire family on board. As usual lah, we celebrate with simplicity in mind – but abundance in food!!
We have porky pork…
We have vegetables..asparagus and baby kailan. Surprisingly, one can find crunchy young asparagus in Sarikei.
And check out Didek’s cake..
Notice the Shin Chan figurine? It has a pair of white bra covering the eyes! Ha ha ha ha
We didn’t notice about it until the very last moment after we open the box.
That nite, I spent the nite at my bestie Kate’s house. And as always, we came up with this crazy idea of taking photos in Sarikei’s landmarks. [never mind the fact that it’s 10 at nite and the police patrol car keep slowing down to see what we do.
First.. the famous Sarikei’s Pineapple..
Sarikei’s Lake Garden.
Actually, we want to take photos at my old schools. But we dismissed it as a crazy idea coz we don’t wanna get caught around the property at 11 pm at nite. I don’t think the guard will buy the ‘saya cuma maok ambik gambar di sini’ story he he he
We leave around noon on Sunday. I’m a bit disappointed coz I didn’t have the chance to go to my favourite kopitiam for my kampua. I sulked at my parents because of that. They don’t understand how hard it is to find delicious kampua in Kuching. Sigh.
Now back at my office, I missed Sarikei already. It might be a small town but I am thankful that I was born and bred there. Keep my feet on the ground, you know.
Sherry, the small town girl.