On opening the gate we got hugs and kisses that reeked of hot pisang goring that they had bought from the Abang Goring Pisang at Setiawangsa LRT Station. But their capacity for sharing was quite commendable. " Have some pisang goring - it's really yummy," said Irene to Uncle and Miss Hamid! What more could we ask for eh??
I know this blog is almost comatose. Like the parrot in Monty Python's sketch, Ash is not "quite dead, demised, passed on, ceased to be, bereft of life, not quite pushing the daisies". AsH is "resting, stunned and pining" buffeted by the winds of a Kafkaesque bureaucratic drama in the land of my father, my grandfather, great grandfather, great great-grandfather and perhaps right into the ooze and slime of the origins of life on earth.
At times all I can appreciate in my Tanah-Air is the Tanah and the Air. Anything else (other than the wildlife) is pathetic and oppressive. It has worn me out - wafer-thin.
Well, Jai and Irene were like a breath of fresh air ( and the aroma of pisang goring). Not only that, they (especially Jai) nagged and tormented our dear neighbour - Zarina and Ken - for "ikan tiga rasa" and Aik Cheong kopi O! We call such Singaporeans kaki menginding. Jai has polished this very fine art of mooching (like our cat Rusty) with us when he was a student in Glasgow - hinting at roast chicken with stuffing, sambal pedas ikan goreng and acar ikan kurau.
Zarina succumbed to the harassment and here are two very happy Singaporeans and the two diddies. And just the night before they gave us really succulent Satay from AU3!
|Smiles and Smiles of Food! This included a bonus dish of Kurma Ayam.|
Here they are: our long-suffering Zarina and Ken and their two boys Haiqal and Daniel.
Jai has invited Zarina and family to stay with him whenever they visit Singapore. We know Jai is a very hospitable host. Zarina will have full use of his kitchen and Irene will prepare the Menu for each day of their stay.
I must say I felt so much better after this weekend because I can now paint six wonderful people onto the landscape of my Tanah-Air. Thank you all.
Last, but not least there's Lely.
One day Lely, one sweet day, we will revive those halcyon days at Setiawangsa - to a Setiawangsa "cluttered with books and buffered by greenery" , according to Jai.
You are always here , in spirit - with us.
Madam, you are beautiful! your writing just oozes it.
KT - Thank you my child.
The writing was inspired by these beautiful people in my world.
I could not do it otherwise.
It was a short but oh so lovely weekend spent in Setiawangsa.
Thank you Ms Hamid and Uncle Iain for making our stay so comfortable in your home which felt so restful.
The friendly neighbours Zarina and her family generated feelings of warmth and cheer. Yummy food came from not one, but two homes! What a treat! Could not have asked for more.
Wonderful people, delectable food, cats with different temperament, even a quaint short story to read at bedtime.... These and more have made memories of Setiawangsa so sweet.
To know that our visit has lifted your spirit makes us happy too.
One fine day, I hope to make the trip again, with Lely along too...
Many thanks to our "middle-aged" youngster for this note and for keeping us company over the weekend.
"Your song will fill the air.
Sing it loud so I can hear you."
Love from Miss Hamid and Uncle Iain and Rusty, Comot and even scaredy cat Socks!
At last. After a long wait of more than three weeks, another posting from you.
If it means anything to you, I appreciate this blog mainly because it portrays a sense of normalcy and tranquility amidst an ever-increasingly chaotic and tumultuous world.
Reading your lines has an almost therapeutic effect on me.
Thank you and keep on writing, ma'am. Please.
Dear Anonymous 26 November,
Thank you for a very sweet comment. In these times - especially in Malaysia -littered with phonies, opportunists and duplicity I so appreciate positive voices like yours. You are just as 'therapeutic' for this septuagenarian.
I'm grateful for the people around me who offer such "normalcy and tranquility".
I would like to add you as the 8th person to paint on to my "landscape". (The seventh is KT of course.)
I shall endeavour to keep up with writing when I get back to a more peaceful landscape in the spouse's 'kampung'.
ASH you might not know me but I'd been your silent reader since day one. What I like most about this blog it always ended with a song.
Salam changgeh. Thank you for the nice comment.
As that song by Mario Lanza reads: "With a song in my heart...."
I have been besotted by music, of all sorts and in all languages since my father bought us a radiogram in the 1950s in our Pasir Panjang (Singapore) kampung house.
Thank you again for reading and 'listening' to my blog.
it's been a long time since i dropped by for a visit.
we met once if you remembered, at bukit batok for lunch with my children.
happy to know you are both doing very well.
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