This is my letter to the world, That never wrote to me, -- The simple news that Nature told, With tender majesty. Her message is committed To hands I cannot see; For love of her, sweet countrymen, Judge tenderly of me! - emily dickinson -

Monday, July 11, 2005

nice day

the day started nasty.

the alarm didn't go off. we hadn't packed. su's kurung still needed ironing. the gift hadn't been wrapped. and worst of all, we didn't have anything to wrap it with! so, we scoured the entire strip from renggeh to kelulut hoping that one of the roadside trinket stalls would be open. i was thinking of a bamboo basket that would fit the teak vase just nicely. no need for wrapping paper. enough trees had died. bamboos are plentiful and they are the fastest growing plants. but either it was way too early or all the sellers decided to open their stalls late that morning, we couldn't get any baskets in marang. well, perhaps the souvenir shop in taman shah bandar would save us. and it's just along the way, i told su.

after changing into our travel gears, filling the kancil with our stuffs and locking all the doors and windows, we bid farewell to qop qoon and qoom qoom and rushed towards downtown kt. two minutes later and about fifty yards from the shop, we could see the "close" sign on the door. great!
well, maybe we'd find something along the way to ketereh. after all, this is the east coast where all the bamboo baskets are made. so, somebody somewhere along the way was going to be our salvation, right?

as it turned out, we got to ketereh two hours early. how? camus explained over the phone that he'd sent me a message the day before, telling me that i should be at his parents' only after two. but he probably used the maxis number that i had suspended. of course i didn't get the message. but i was glad, actually. that meant that we still had time to get our basket. so, i called zaitun in tendong.

-fast forward-

but we ended up buying two strips of organza ribbons in rantau panjang! all the baskets were either too big or were not of the appropriate design to contain our fine teak vase. ribbons? well, i decided that the vase looked too good to be wrapped anyway. the ribbons were to say that it was a gift for the newlyweds.

it was almost five when we finally reached his parents' house. it was nice that su and i had freshen up at zaitun's place. and we were color coordinated. if we had to be late, it had to be with style.

i could see camus as i parked. he was dressed in sparkling cream with black songket. and his new bride was dressed in, maroon? no, was it mahogany? what? how could? who could've? what the? was the mak andam color blind?

i was so glad to see camus. i grabbed the hand he extended and pulled him close so i could hug him. it's been over five years since we last saw each other. i wasn't sure whether the tears i had welling up in my eyes were for the past he was leaving or for the future he was starting. but i knew that i was just so glad to see him.

and his wife... . oo what beautiful full lips you have all glossed up under that smashing lip-ice glitter... . ouch! yes dear? no dear, i was just complimenting the bride. she looked nice, didn't she? yes, of course. you looked nice too... .

and there was kichi! my, he's a tall guy. maybe he needed more meat on those bones of his but he's got a tall frame. i had to look up as we were introduced.

so, we all sat at a corner as the crowds came, salam, ate, salam and left. we ate. we joked. there was plenty to laugh about. updates. questions and answers. missing persons. asides. i hope i didn't talk too loud, i said at one point in all the excitement. we cautioned our wives about our strange ways. we warned them that they would feel left out most of the time. they knew that. someone else's wife had told them!

i did my best to impress the couple and su was the sweet smiling package that had me falling for her five years back. i hope camus enjoyed my visit as much as i was glad to see him. but somehow... .

i wished him well. live long and prosper, i told his wife. plenty of nice days ahead, i pray for all of us.


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