Friday, November 11, 2005

Raya recap

I thought twice about blogging about my raya. I thought maybe it was too late to do so, since it'a already been a week.
But then when I found myself having to write about it for the second time in replying emails from my friends, I thought, maybe I should blog about it. It saves me the effort of having to write about it over and over again..

As i mentioned in my previous post, I made sambal ikan a few days before 1st Syawal. I had really anticipated 1st of Syawal to be on Wednesday, so Tuesday night I cooked some peanut sauce. But then we heard no news, so the peanut sauce went into the fridge. My kids chatted with their grandfather over the webcam, and we made a date to chat again on EId itself, when my sister comes over to my dads with her kids.
Wednesday, the last day of Ramadhan, my kids got bored out of their wits, so I made them help me make some chewy peanut butter and cornflake cookies (no baking required). They had so much fun and the cookies smelled so good that Ihsan decided to break his fast right there and then. That night I boiled the only packet of instant ketupat (pressed rice cakes) I had (donated by a kind Malaysian).

1st of Syawal, Taufik was up and about really early coz the Eid prayers starts at 6:30am. Yes ladies and gentlement, I said 6:30 AM. Suffice to say, I did not get to go, not only because it was too early and the kids were still asleep, but also because I did not see any women going for tarawikh prayers at the mosques near our compound during Ramadhan, so I expect there wont be any ladies going for the Eid prayers either.
I was right.
When Taufik came home an hour later, he said he had to drive around to find the only mosque that was open, and there so many people, he and a large number of males had to pray on the street, on cardboard boxes from the grocery store nearby.
By that time I had taken my shower, was already in my festive attire, had reheated the peanut sauce, had cut up the rice cakes, had laid the table, had brought out the cookies (Thanx Nina and Firhad!!), and had laid out the kids' clothes.
Taufik woke up the kids, they woke up all excited and took their shower and put on their normal clothes (coz I know they'd spill something on them during breakfast) and we had breakfast as a family. It didnt feel like Raya back home, but it was close enough.

After breakfast we cleaned up the house a bit, cleaned the kitchen, mopped the floor, vacuumed the living room and I tried to get on-line. Got "Username/password is not valid". I thought, "ok", no reason to panic, this has happened before, would try again a few minutes later.
I got the kids to change into their Eid outfits and I got ready as well, coz I thought we'd look all festive for my dad, chat with my family a bit and then go straight to the Gathering of Melayus in Khaloud.
While the kids watched cartoons in their outfits I tried the internet again.
Same error message.
"Taufik, did you change the password by any chance?" I hollered.
"No, i didnt" he hollered back
"Then why can't I connect to the internet?" I asked.
"Eh, what date is it today?" he asked me instead.
"November 3rd, why?" I answered
"Did we pay the internet bill?" he popped his head into the room, his brows furrowed.
"aaarrrrggghhhhhhh no...!! I totally forgot!!" I said , as I banged my head on the keyboard.
So we went downstairs and took pictures instead.

Then we left for the Gathering of Melayus in Khaloud Village in Dammam.
We started feeling a little festive then. Everybody was in their prettiest clothes, and the spread of food was sumptous. There were Nasi Minyak, Nasi Impit, Gulai daging, Ayam Masak merah, Soto ayam, kuah kacang, pulut kuning with rendang, assortment of cookies and sweets. The kids got some goodies and duit raya and we all took pictures (which I won't put up here coz I don't know how some of the other ladies would feel about having their faces displayed on-line without their permission). By noon we were full, and the kids kept bugging us about the camel (which we heard was making an appearance in our compound) so we packed some leftovers for lunch/dinner and headed home.

When we got to our compound, we found that the club house had been decorated with streamers and balloons and there really was a camel, and also a pony. Many of the compound kids were already queueing up to ride the camel and pony, so we decided to just watch for a while.

The camel was really smelly though, and it was chewing some vile thing that made its teeth look greenish brown and we could see it everytime it opened its mouth and .. er.. moo-ed, sqwuaked, neighed, bleated.. or whatever it is that they do. So we decided to forgo the ride. Poor kids. We had to promise them we would go for a ride, some other place and occassion, when there was less queueing time.
We went back home where Taufik and I took a nap, and the kids kept going out to watch the camels. They even got all their raya money together to see if they had enough to pay for the tickets. To compensate, we let them go to the mini-market and get some doritos instead.
Taufik decided to invite some of his colleagues over for dinner and after I sternly stated my predicament of not having enough serving plates nor dinner plates, we decided to go to the supermarket to buy some. tee hee. Nothing beats shopping!

2nd of Syawal, I made Taufik pound onions+garlic+ginger+chillies. I cooked Rendang Cikgu Munah, which I think would've turned out better if I had a bigger pot and more coconut milk. Then we wbrought the rendang to another Gathering of Melayus in Ar@mco compound. We stayed and ate and chatted from 3pm to 10pm!

3rd of Syawal, We had another Gathering of Melayus in the apartment of a Malaysian lady who is married to a Syri@n. I had expected Ar@b food, but she served us Briyani instead. Oh well.. I'm not complaining.. it's free food.. heh heh. The gathering was in a typical ar@b setting though, where the men and women are seperated in different sections of the house/apartment. I heard from taufik later that he was kinda bored, but we ladies had a hooting good time. The hostess and her daughters even gave us a short lesson in belly dancing! Anis had a good time playing with the other kids even though she got scratched by a cat wile I was performing my solat.

4th of Syawal, a few people invited us to join them for a trip to Bahrain, but we couldnt go coz Taufik had to work. Bummer. In the evening we went to Ramez, and taufik saw for the first time why I liked it so much. We bought a blue+white porcelain vase and some jackets for the kids.

5th of Syawal, the kids went back to school, Taufik went back to work, and I went back to my usual routine of cooking and bus-monitoring. I paid the internet bill, and tried the whole day to get on-line, but only managed to do so the next day.

So, that was my Eid.. I don't really see that much 'festivities' in the Ar@b community.. I think most of it is spent indoors within their own family. There were no kids roaming in packs visiting houses to ask for duit raya (Which I found to be pesky in Malaysia, but now I kinda miss). But I did get my dose of eating and socialising, so I'm happy with whatever I can get :)

I hope your Eid was as happy and safe.

Blog Comments

Posted by:nutty
Date: 11/11/05 at 3:57 PM (2M3d ago)
banyaknya gathering melayu!
glad you had the raya thang.
got to ask.. orang arab punya baju raya macam mana? kaler hitam ke kaler-kaler?


Posted by:elisataufik
Date: 11/12/05 at 5:07 AM (2M2d ago)
Banyak gathering melayu... tapi we met the same melayus at all the gatherings.. :D. It's not that I minded, since I enjoyed the food and company. I live so far away from everybody else, i'm happy everytime I get to met any melayus.

When they are outside, all of the women are covered in black. Some younger ones might have flowers or glitter or tassles and colorful decorations on the abaya, but most of the older ladies would usually just wear their plain black abaya.
But inside.. phuyooo.. very ornate and expensive looking long sleeved dresses and head covers! Maikcik2 melayu mostly pakai baju kurung or jubah color2.

I asked taufik what the men were wearing during Eid prayers, he said most of the local men wore their white 'taup' (actually I don't know how they spell this), which is the white long shirt that looks more like a dress (with white pants underneath so that we can't see what color spenders they're wearing) and the white and red head scarves. Pakistani men wore grey, dark blue .. muted colors. Taufik was the only one in very bright green.

"we were but stones, ... your light made us stars"

Posted by:LoLlieS
Date: 11/11/05 at 4:14 PM (2M3d ago)
woo Ihsan dah puasa ya? bagus bagus

so duit raya dapat dala riyal ya? selamat hari raya elisa.

Posted by:elisataufik
Date: 11/12/05 at 5:13 AM (2M2d ago)
Ihsan fasted only during weekends and holidays. So this year he managed to fast for 8 days. :) He's quite okay, except sometimes he asks for a drink and I remind him he's fasting and he'd say "Oh, I forgot".
Yup, the kids got their duit raya in riyals. Each of them got about 20riyals.

"we were but stones, ... your light made us stars"

Posted by:nekbat
Date: 11/11/05 at 4:37 PM (2M3d ago)
In the end, anak Cikgu Munah yang tumbuk-menumbuk for the rendang. Heheh.

Posted by:elisataufik
Date: 11/12/05 at 5:19 AM (2M2d ago)
heh heh
and because it takes at least 2 hours to cook the rendang, I woke taufik up really early to get him to pound the ingredients. He sat cross legged on our kitchen floor while he pounded. I would check on him from time to time, teasing him with "Belum lagi tu.. kena halus lagi..", "Penat..? kan kalau ada blender senang..". But I'm so proud of him, he took it with stride and managed to pound the ingredients quite fast and well.

"we were but stones, ... your light made us stars"

Posted by:zan
Date: 11/14/05 at 7:50 AM (2M18h ago)
i never expected that taufik betul2 tumbuk dgn lesung batu...cayalah...

anis, dah besar n looks so masa gathering with the melayus, ada sessi karaoke ker, lagu siti ??

Posted by:famygirl
Date: 11/14/05 at 3:06 PM (2M10h ago)
a camel ride as a hari raya treat? that's something :)

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