Day 1: To Kuantan instead of Penang

I had made plans with Sue (Suraiya is my eldest daughter) to travel up to Penang on 30 July 2017 and return to Kuala Lumpur on the afternoon of 2 August 2017. The main reason for the trip is for me to attend the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Libraries 2017 or ICOL 2017 organised by the USM Library. The venue was Hotel Vistana and going earlier would give us ample time to explore Penang. But, we had to change our plans since I had to attend a meeting of the Lembaga Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Pahang on 1 August 2017 in Kuantan. So, change of plans … from Penang to Kuantan. No regrets since the last time I was back home was in May 2017 to lay my brother to rest and I had intentionally skipped celebrating Aidil Fitri in Kuantan this years.

So, with Sue, Azwa (my 4 year old granddaughter), 2 bags and an assortment of plastic and paper bags we left home at 11.00 am on 31 July 2017.

A quick stop at BHP to fill up the petrol tank and pump air into the tyres, we headed for the Gombak Toll stopping at McDonald’s to get a packed lunch. The weather and traffic were both good. We stopped over and ate the Spicy Korean Burgers from McDonald’s. I ordered the set (which came with an ice blended coke and really crispy criss cross fries which Azwa likes) and an ala carte, each costing RM15.99 and RM12.99 respectively.

Choosing our packed lunch

Spicy Korean burger

Stopped at the Karak Toll and Azwa was spoilt for choice

Sue with Azwa’s goodies

She does not want to be photographed

We then continued with our journey and exited the Temerloh Toll and headed to my cousin’s house in Taman Temerloh Jaya. My sole intention was to visit my one and only aunt (she is my late mum’s youngest sister). My cousin (Ros aka Rosalin) told me earlier on that her mum is feeling poorly and not eating well and so I decided to drop by and say hello. She’s 84 (I think) and alhamdullillah, she looks good but her memory does fail her. It took her quite awhile to remember my late mum and my connection with her but in the end, she had it all figured out. We had lunch – simple but delicious – rice, fried fish, fried chicken, spinach soup, ulam and sambal tempoyak (my all time fav) and my aunt ate heartily and so did I.

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Having lunch with my aunt

Ros then informed me of another cousin of mine who has been admitted to Hospital Temerloh and we agreed to go and see her. Ros, Sue, Azwa, my aunt and I got into Ros’ car and she drove us to the hospital.

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I knew her from way way back

Whilst Sue and Azwa stayed behind exploring the lobby, the rest went up to see Ngah Limah (her late father is my late mum’s brother from the same mother but a different father). Her daughter (my niece) Salmah was there but Ngah Limah has been taken out for a scan. We waited and waited and then Ros took is up to another ward to see another relative who is very sickly. Her husband is related to my late mum – a cousin or something to that effect. We spent some time with her and then went down to see Ngah Limah. She is cheerful and wants to go home but she has to stay awhile cos she is so dehydated. I had to excuse ourselves since I still have to drive down to Kuantan. We got into Ros’ car again and stop over at this shop to get coconut shakes, coconut water, coconut water + lemon and cekodok. After downing 2 glasses of drinks and lots of cekodok, we said our good byes and left for Kuantan but we still had to make a stop at the nearest R&R for prayers.

Highly recommended

You sit in the car and they literally walk to your car to take your orders

Coconut shake – not too sweet but just right

We got into the car once again and I took the wheels only to ask Sue to take over cos I was getting sleepy. Both Azwa and I slept and only woke up on reaching my sister’s (Edah) house in Taman Guru, Kuantan at 8.45 pm. We unpacked and had home cooked dinner and slept.

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