We started our journey at 12.15pm with an objective of reaching Linda’s place at 2 pm. I sped down the highway and almost overtook a petrol car along the way..LOL. We reached Simpang Empat Tol at 1 pm and I was confident to be on time. I found out that ‘they’ are still messing around with the old road. The intention is right and noble in trying to widen it but they could not work fast enough. This is really a Malaysian problem where we promise on something but do not know how to deliver. Nevertheless, the situation actually hampered our journey; instead off being able to cruise down to Klebang smoothly we had to be contented with stoppages and slow drivers. This is my other observation of Malaysian drivers – no I am not saying that all of us should break the speed limit but you can't drive too slow either, especially on the highway. On the highway you cannot drive slower than 70 km/hr as it is dangerous to others. If you drive this way on any highway in the west you will be fined. Anyway, we moved slowly down to Klebang. Once on the trunk road one thing that all of us clearly noticed was ‘ ramainya orang kahwin dekat Melaka hari ni!!!’ I mean if for whatever reason we couldn’t make it to Linda’s wedding we can always stop at any one of these ….LOL. Really, if I am not mistaken not less than 10 weddings we saw along the way. Jawabnya tahun depan makain ramai la rakyat Melaka. Cuma ada satu baby tu nanti kacukan Klebang and Kuala Kangsar.
I meant to take the Pulau Gadong road but instead took the earlier one via Bkt Rambai as I knew it would take me to jalan pantai at Klebang. Clever me, I made a mistake of turning right at the junction and went cruising towards Sg Udang. I knew then I made a mistake as I thought the ‘empangan’ was after Riveria Resorts. I finally made a u turn in front of the Petronas refinery and proceeded toward Melaka town. When we reached Klebang Besar I told my daughter to be on a look out for bunga manggar sign on our left that has Linda and … printed. I knew the map was a bit off, sorry Linda jangan mare, but I was sure Linda’s house would be just after the ‘Empangan’ and we got there my daughter saw the Jalan Melaka Tengah and it was actually next to the river bank. Had I driven from Melaka town I would definitely have missed it. The most important thing we arrived safely and when we were about nearing the house I saw Linda’s future husband under the hot sun waiting with the pengapit, just the two of them. The pengantin holding on his right hand the tanjak and pointing at somebody with his left looking a bit worried. Takut tak dapat kahwin kut…LOL. I remarked to my family, ‘Laa sapa plak tinggalkan pengantin tengah panas ni’. At least we knew we were not late. We passed the pengantin lelaki and made a turn to park. Before that just to be sure I asked a group of budak-budak whether that was Linda’s wedding or not. Just to be sure as it happened to my friends before. Syok confident je makan sampai nak balik baru realized wrong wedding..LOL. So, after we had parked our truck we walked to the compound. As I am not expecting anybody to menyamput us we walked straight to where the food were..LOL. I over heard somebody calling Bang Kassim to a gentleman and I look at the man and assumed that was Linda’s father and I was right. We started to eat and enjoy ourselves. While eating I look around, a habit of mine actually, trying to understand how some people live in their environment. Although I am at a wedding I just could imagine the folks going through their routine each day within that area. As we were about to finish our food we saw the pegantin slowly approaching accompanied by the kompang group. It was a bit like they were doing a slow march under the hot sun. I pity the Pengantin but then that what you have to go through to get married here…LOL. Sure enough a very beautiful pengantin perempuan came out of the house and waited for the groom to arrive. The bride was smiling and looking ahead anxiously..mengelabah kut… We continued to eat. Linda eventually walked out to join her husband and together they march towards the house. Cameras were clicking and viewing away frantically – my Nikon is a bit of on holiday and I restrained myself from being a photographer. Sorry Linda, not that you guys were not beautiful but when I looked at the photographers that you have I think you have more than enough. So I look from a far especially at the entrance when the groom was teased and taxed. No many do this anymore at wedding but it was enjoyable to watch. The groom was finally given a passport to enter the house. We waited for few more minutes for everyone to settle in before we moved to the serambi to look at the bersanding. I sneaked in immediately to take one short at the pengantin and went outside to wait. When I was there, Haida who was there on a mission herself greeted me. You know what I even got another wedding invitation while attending this wedding.While I was waiting, Haida approached me with an invitation of her own. I opened the card and look at the date. At first I saw the address in Kuantan and I said to myself, `Great we are going to Kuantan again!'. But I was corrected by Haida that her kenduri would be in Melaka. I looked at the date again and was amazed to notice that beginning with Linda's wedding I will be going to Melaka almost every week for weddings. Only exception would be the fourth week of June that I would be outstation. Haida actually introduced her sweet mother to us. Now I know where Haida got her sweetness. After Haida left us we stayed a while, as I wanted to say hello to Linda before we leave. I saw Wan walking out and he saw me and straight away came over to say hello. Apparently, while waiting, somebody, probably Haida, actually mentioned to Linda's father that I was her lecturer. Linda's father greeted me with, ` Assalamualaikum Tuan, Tuan sudah makan?' and I was a bit awkward to be called Tuan. I politely replied, `Ni bapa Linda ke? Ye, kami dah makan.' Then Linda's father actually went inside to the pengantin yang tengah sebuk senyum atas pelamin and made an announcement that there is one more important person would do the menepung tawar and that `important person' was me. I was stunned for a while and complied not wanting to disappoint Linda's father. All my life I have been trying to avoid doing that. Not because of anything else it just that I do not think I am important enough to grace the occasion. I even turned down an offer to merenjis my niece. I could not taichi this one as Linda's father was so persistent and again I did not wish to disappoint him. So, Linda girl, you are one lucky lady, could be unlucky as well …LOL, to have me doing that to you. My first time ever and my wife actually laughed at me. Really I did not know how to do it, I thought of taburkan beras kuning atas kepala Linda je tapi I made do with putting the stuff into their palm. Renjis air mawar pun dah tak keluar dah..dah habis kut…LOL. I thought that was it and I can go home then. While getting ready to leave my wife, a former PNM librarian, met up with her old colleagues and started to chat a bit. I made a decision to take few more shots of the pengantin. When I was done and about to leave with my family a nice lady came to approach me to ask, ` En ni pensyarah Linda ke?' and I said yes politely. The lady then insisted for me to wait for a while, as she will pack for me something to take home. I said no need as we had more than enough but she insisted. So we waited a bit longer and I continued to be photographer until the lady approached us with another sweet lady with the goodies. Only then the lady introduced herself as Linda's sister and the other lady Linda's mum. We were really touched by their gesture and hospitability. When we arrived we honestly would just be a normal guest coming to eat, greet the bride and bridegroom, take few photos and leave. Instead we were accorded with all the hospitability that, come to think of it, I did not deserve. As I only was your lecturer for two months and of course I am more a friend or a brother to all of your than a lecturer. In fact that's how I see myself with all of you. I talked about it with my wife when we drove home. I said I may have done something right during those two months for most of you to take me as your friend. Really, apart from Yazid and Huda, who took my KM class, all of you only with me for those two months? I really thank you all for accepting me to be part of your life. To whatever invitations I received from you all I'll try my best to come only if I have prior engagement or I am not in Malaysia. My wife actually remarked,' lecturer lain tak ada pun.' Well, they could probably left already.
Thank you Linda
Thank you Linda's husband
Thank you Linda's Dad
Thank you Linda's Mum
Thank you Linda's sister and
Thanks you to all of you
We were safely home at 10pm … Ronda-ronda kat Melaka town dulu. This weekend I'll be in Melaka again for my friend's daughter's wedding.