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Spiders Vs. Bookworm BUT WHO WINS?

by - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Assalamualaikum, Internet travellers! 
How was your Eid these last few days? 
Did you go back to your kampong ?
 How many houses have you guys visited? 
Maybe we can say a couple of dozens, is that close enough?

This year, my family and me went back to Kelantan a week before Eid to avoid Malaysia's infamous traffic jams. In all honesty, our mass traffic has the potential to literally bore anyone to death. Especially if you are anyone but the driver. There is also the fact that we have a number of the most annoying and selfish drivers you can't find anywhere else, zooming on the road like they own the place, as IF THEY BUILT THE ROAD IN THEIR BACKYARD or something. They are completely nuts if you ask me. I can easily categorize them into several types:

1)The half-asleep-half-zombie drivers, for instance. They are the easiest to spot because if you see a car skidding to the left and right too often, then you know the inmates of the car have emerged into zombies (preferably the driver). Keep a safe distance between the said car and hit your car's horn to jolt them awake. To these drivers: Please stop at the side of the road and get a good sleep.

2) The F1 Drivers who mistakenly think that they're racing on a race track instead of on a normal domestic highway. These kind of drivers can be found anywhere. If there is a line of cars not moving fast enough, they'll be the ones to cut the slack and advance to the front from the queue of cars until they are nothing but a speck on the horizon. 

3) The stalker drivers who drive real close to your car's bumper. The highway is a huge place to drive anywhere to your heart desires. There is so much space on the road yet they still prefer to stick close to other drivers, even in broad daylight (it's understandable if it's nighttime). Safety comes in closeness?

Besides avoiding being stuck in traffic jams, we also had the intention to bond with our families there since we see each other not more than twice a year. Beautiful and charming as it is, I sometimes still blame the country's challenging geography and difficult terrains (plus the half-way built highways) that inhibit people from getting to where they want smoothly. 

Of course, by being early, it will give us the time to get used to the new environment there. From where I live, the temperatures are somewhat alright. If you stay over at my place, you might consider putting on a shawl or a thin jacket because it's cool and sometimes cloudy here. However, you can't really rely on what I say when it comes to the weather, not even my family does that. They think my biological body thermostat is broken! When they're feeling hot with the weather, I'd be the only one insisting to wear a jacket and claiming it's cold. When it is cold or it's raining heavily outside (with no cheerful sun sizzling in the sky), I'd be the person to slam the  remote control fan to max. 

So, yeah. Broken. But in this circumstance, no one denied when I said Kelantan is like the origin and mother of ovens. The place is smoldering with heat and wherever you go; make it on the streets under a shade or even within the safety of a house, nobody can escape from the treacherous clutches of the heat. To prove my point, I could feel the intensity of the heat on the walls inside my grandparents' house, on the floor, in between the freshly folded clothes in the wardrobe and even the fan wasn't much of a help. It was practically blasting hot air to my face. Let's just conclude that Kelantan is a completely different place to my home. 

I think I got a tan too! HAHA.

Back to what I was saying earlier. The day before we surrender ourselves to the mercy of my dad's driving and the dreaded journey to Kelantan, we had packed all the necessary things we needed. Our new jubah that we bought the day earlier, easy-to-put-on shawls that require minimum ironing, pajamas, bits of homework for my sisters to kill time with when they're there and for me, novels and a sketch pad. I brought the books Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (heard she's a brilliant writer and so far, I think she is) and, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (stopped reading it since it bores me). We brought so much stuff that it didn't quite fit into the car boot or whatever it is called. I'm not into cars so forgive me if I labelled the the car parts wrong! Certain bags had to be put under our feet or behind our backs on the car seats or the windshields. 

It was a very tight squeeze. I mean, no kidding, we have three full grown girls at the back with our knees huddled close and two adults at the front. It was quite comfy at first but after some time, it was evident that our knees were starting to ache and our toes becoming numb. I wanted to read in the car but my books were in the trunk and it wasn't such a good idea anyway. As much as I love reading, it wasn't a choice then because it will be like eagerly asking to have motion sickness. 

For those who know me very well, then it's not surprising if I say I couldn't really appreciate the view outside the windows since I slept throughout the journey. Hours at a time. I did promise myself to stay awake and appreciate the rare opportunity to observe nature (there's not much trees where I live) but WHERE ARE THEY? All I saw were acres and acres of oil palm plantation and rubber trees. The only piece of nature I saw were small clumps of the tropical trees that were left untouched between the fields. However, I can admit that I enjoyed looking at the villages and the rural life itself. The view was very peaceful-looking, especially in the early mornings when the cold mists hover close to the ground. It was also thrilling to see herds of cows, goats and buffaloes plodding beside the road. I had no idea cows and buffaloes can be so big. They can easily reach my neck or perhaps, taller! My sister, who was recording our journey back to Kelantan on her phone, didn't waste time in capturing these moments. 

We stopped a couple of times at R&Rs for the toilets or for a brief break for my dad to stretch his legs before moving onward. It took us almost 9 hours on the road before familiar landscapes and buildings came into view. Before we know it, our car was parked in front of my grandma's porch. Just in time for iftar too! Haha.

For the next few days, we did nothing other than cleaning the old house. It was very dusty and that, dear readers, was not good for my family because we are regular "sneezers". We sneeze all the time and dusts can make it worse. This was probably the highlight of our stay at gran's place. I'm not a fan of spring cleaning but I didn't mind holding the mini vacuum in my hand like a gun, stand on a tall chair on my tippy-toes and use the vacuum nozzle to suck in the heavy cobwebs and massive spiders. They were everywhere; on the ceilings, in the corners on the windows, behind the curtains and clothes hung on the walls, and dangling frailly on the door. I cleaned them all with the help of the newly bought vacuum.  

Now before you feel sorry for these little mites, you have to know something important. The thing about my grandparents' place is that it is heavily inhabited by spiders. Just as Malaysia holds a diversity in race, culture and religion, so do the spiders that it have. They come from all shapes and sizes. They have conquered the ceilings for years and nobody have done anything toward them because they're so high up. I'm not particularly afraid of these little, eight-legged monsters but when I'm lying down in the living room to sleep and looking up at them waving from the ceiling, I couldn't help dreading if they might fall on me. Everyone makes mistakes which includes animals too, right? So, there is a probability that one out of the dozens of spiders up there to fall on my face as I sleep. That scares me the most.

Note: Although it was fun to see them being consumed by the vacuum, I didn't like the feel of having them thudding in the vacuum tube under my grasp. It felt horrible.  XD

Nothing much happened during Eid. Guests who were mostly relatives came over and we mingled and chatted with them. It's amazing to notice how much people change over the course of a year. I think that is the best part about Eid when you meet people you haven't seen for so long. 

We got back home on the second day of Eid because of several vital reasons. You guessed it, to avoid traffic. We were on the road for more than 9 hours and I felt like my legs could come away if I had to stay in the car any longer. At least the snacks we had in the car kept us sane long enough till we reached home. However, after some time, we tend to feel queasy of eating sweet and salty foods. I haven't eaten anything too sweet till this day. I'm trying to put a reasonably amount of time in between Eid and now before indulging in sweet foods again.

I guess that is all I can say for now. I think this is one of the longest blog entries I've ever written. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it. 

               HAPPY, HAPPY EID MUBARAK!

Stay cool, internet travellers. Assalamualaikum.

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