It was a full moon evidence as it moved from behind the branches of the Angsana tree giving radiance to the Restaurant's compound.
Not that it was a quiet week because we actually moved many kilometres from north to the east , south and north again. This time touching Penang, Cameron Highland, Ulu Dong, Raub, Bentong, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and back to home base Alor Setar. An event in Penang, saw a 'merisik dan pertunangan' session at a brother-in-law's place where I 'preside' at the occasion and being quite familiar with the tradition or ceremony it ran smoothly. When normally the parent would request a representative to break the ice and be the spokesman on behalf of the 'young man' who seeks the hand of his chosen partner, here the father himself came to the fore. After the normal salutation, he politely asked if the young woman in question is unattached i.e in other terms available for the subject to be continued. Tradition takes it normal course and soon enough both parties are happy and the ceremony was over with the original objectives fulfilled. Now we await for the grand occasion when both would be joined in marriage.
Five trays of gifts were brought and presented. Similarly seven gifts were ready for the party to take home. All arranged and placed in the right order. It has always been in the odd number
The mother of the young man now betrothed placed the engagement ring on the young lady's finger.
Two days later we were on our way to Pahang via Cameron Highland. Departing Alor Setar in late afternoon, we reached Tanah Rata by nightfall and it was advisable not to continue on as the road via Ringlet to Kuala Lipis was new to me, unfamiliar with the terrain and rightly dark in the night. A stop over was a good break and in the morning there were opportunities to catch some interesting sites of the highland which we had not visited since several years.
The verdant jungle presented itself right across the verandah of our hotel room, a scene you will not get at any other place for that matter. A morning walk before breakfast exposed the colorful flowers found in the hotel's ground.'
Directly from the hotel dining room, we saw this house on the hill, unoccupied but stately. It once belonged to Jim Thompson and probably is still who vanished and have never been found when he went for a walk in the Highland decades ago. It reminded us of the Mas 370 which is in similar circumstances and surely more gripping and fathomable.
After breakfast we continued on our journey via Ringlet to Raub and continuing to Ulu Dong. It was certainly a long drive along a long stretch of quiet road until we reached Raub. It was good advise that we did not drive along the road at night. The visit to Ulu Dong was to pay respect to the family who lost the father, just ninety days after suffering the loss of the mother earlier. We left Ulu Dong the next day for Putrajaya , stopping at Bentong for lunch
A wedding reception awaited us at Kuala Lumpur and opportunity to meet with family members and especially cousins was a reward by itself. Hj Hussein Hassan who had settled in Kuala Trengganu was there too with his wife.
A picture of the ceiling at Dewan Felda where the ceremony was held. I took the picture as it gives an out of this world feeling.
A return to Alor Setar made us stop at a friend's shop to see his collection of orchid plants. Then I saw his collection of wooded pieces especially for orchid plants. Mind you one of this pieces can fetch RM 10.00 or more. They are not collected in the country but imported from across the border. Mind you we have lots in our jungles, the seasides and at the river sides. Don't we see the value?
Perhaps the walkabout ended with a good end when I came across a collector who showed the beautiful kris. It's an old piece with a beautiful blade. Any offer?