Monday, October 01, 2007

A Small Town's Charm

I was in Sungai Siput, a small town off Ipoh, for 4 days over the weekend. It's kinda felt like a semi-vacation, because I could take naps every afternoon with Daniel, and (main reason) I didn't have to do the laundry or any cleaning because we were the guests in the home of Paul's uncle. The same house we stayed at during the CNY this year.

How much does it cost to build a bungalow like this in Sungai Siput and Ipoh?

Enough garden space for two adult dogs and two puppies to roam about, enough porch space for 3 cars, 8 bedrooms where an average size of a room is enough for 5 king-sized beds.

Land+house=RM400,000. That's freaking cheap for a freaking big house! It's almost like an inn!

But the house is not what makes the home. It's the family. This is one amazingly dynamic household. Everyone in the family is always doing something whether it's cooking, helping out in the kitchen, peeling something somewhere, plucking out the weeds, watering the plants, playing with the dogs, feeding the dogs, washing the car, just keep going but it doesn't make you feel tired watching them because they do it so naturally, with ease, like it's part of their everyday routine. How do they do it! Everyone has a role. Here's the best part, the amazing people here includes the men. YES. The father, the two filial grown-up sons. I am utterly impressed. The Domestic King and Princes.

This is where most of the hustle and bustle take place. Outside the kitchen where there are the traditional charcoal stoves for brewing huge pots of red bean soup, whatever soup to feed 50 people.

Aunt-in-law. THE superwoman who can cook any Chinese dish you name.

I couldn't help but wonder why I feel this way. Is it because I was brought up in an environment opposite of that? My dad never cooks or clean effectively. And now, my husband, although I would say he's much better, but still not up to expectations. So, from the point of view from someone who is surrounded by male chauvinist influences all her life, I just have to make this a big deal.

Another advantage of having a big family is having less stress as your wedding approaches. All you need is to settle your gowns and your make-up. The other traditional what-nots are usually taken care of by the older more traditional folks. Sadly, I didn't have that luxury.

The wedding dinner was held in a hall with no walls. It reminds me of my school hall. No air-conditioning. The ambience was certainly no Shangri-La, but the atmosphere was lively and warm. Everything just fell into place and it warms your heart. Like the wild laughter we had when Daniel and his 6 year old cousin unexpectedly walked onto the stage to sing karaoke. That took us by surprise. We thought he'd be embarrased but he felt as confident as a peacock standing beside his cousin, holding the mike, dancing a little and not feeling an ounce of fear or embarrassment as the crowd roared with laughter. They're like brothers going through thick and thin! It's such an amazing bond no one could explain. Daniel was just like Ah Koon's shadow the first day they met.

What a charm. That big house is going to to be filled with good memories and lots of love. And it'll be nice to visit now and then.

More photos...
The dog called Only, because he was he only one left in the pound to adopt. Only is a very lucky dog now, with all that space to run in.

Daniel took this photo.

More dogs...

Recently, he developed his trademark camera hand-pose. It's a variation from the typical Asian act-cute show-TWO finger pose. I remember it was the IN pose when you have a fun group photos taken. Then it kinda fades off. Well, not anymore folks! Daniel has brought the finger-pose rave back! Everybody is acting cute now!



Angeline said...

wah daniel has 3 finger post now.

i wanna move to sungei siput too.

bloody cheap is right!

i bet the food there is good n cheap 2.

Ally said...

Damn right you are. Bloody good food I tell you!