Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cuti Cuti Malaysia 5: Dec 26 2006, Fourth Day, Tuesday, Alor Setar, Kulim

We woke up with no specific plan and thus took our own sweet time having breakfast at the hotel. While having a good time with my family I opened up the road map that I had with me and started to trace the possible route that I could take going south. Of course our objective for that day was Kulim but getting there could be interesting depending on how adventurous we want to be.

I decided to go to Kuala Kedah to check put the place and then go south using the Yan Kechil and Yan route with the intention on passing Lembah Bujang to really see if there were a lot of orang bujang there :). From there I was to take the Federal Route 1 South towards Sg Petani and enter the Plus highway at Sg Petani Utara interchange. Well that was the plan.

We checked out after breakfast and loaded the Ranger that by now the back of the Ranger already assumed an impression of a baggage area for Hajj pilgrim. ‘But that’s what the Ranger for’ said my dear wife when I started to tease her. Indeed, another reason why we loved the Ranger, which my son at one time named Badang, as or main transportation. Since Along was not traveling with us the task of loading the Ranger was honorably given to Baqir. Done with the loading I started to drive around Alor Setar to visit Yayasan Al Bukhary. Along the way there my children indicated a Canggih shop, if you still do not know it Canggih is the now famous brand name for school apparels, but I drove to fast to stop. Yayasan Bukhary was actually along the same road but about two kilometers ahead.

Yayasan Al Bukhary was really news to my children as they did not have a clue as to what it is and who Al Bukhary is. After I explained to them they understood but my explanation was not about the person but the aspiration and the kind of achievements of that person. It is a symbol of success and how you can spend your money to the benefit of others. The place was also beautiful to me. We did not stay long there though and left going around the same route again as my children insisted of going to the Canggih’s shop that we had missed. So another set of school cloths for them and a few more stacks for the already packed Ranger.

We drove out of Alor Star as we planned speeding towards Kuala Kedah. The sun was really shinning and heating, I guess to the envy of people in the south, the surrounding by now. We were a bit disappointed when we got to Kuala Kedah as it seemed during the day it was nothing. If not for the ferry landing it would have been another nondescript coastal town. I drove the short stretch to satisfy my curiosity and stop at the ferry terminal to pee. A thought of doing crazy thing like hoping into a ferry to Langkawi there and then did cross my mind for while. Only to be dissuaded by the fact that I would not have found a place for a night. I knew my wife was glad to see me walked back to the Ranger to assume our journey instead of going to the ticket counter :)
It was our first time on the Yan route even I did not know what to expect I knew that we would be travel passing long stretch paddy fields. It was a beautiful sight for me and I really missed it when I reminisced running within the glowing paddy fields that were ready for harvesting when I was 7 or 8 years old. I asked Baqir to take as many photos of the fields but he failed me. When you were driving along a small route or small state road you most of the time will pass through several small villages and at certain interval there will be small commercial area on each side of the road that became a meeting point for the village folks. Normally this place would consist of one sundry shop and stalls selling drinks and local kueh. If in Johor, Muar and Batu Pahat, such a place could be found at every interval of each ‘parit’ intersection. It was one ‘tali air’ after another that we passed in this case. It was a beautiful experience to me and now I regretted not stopping at any of them. We got to Yan, which is a small town, eventually and I got confused when I came to a junction with no conclusive sign board. In the end I took the one that indicated the direction to the Highway. By the time I got there an overflow of acid in my stomach that culminated into a gastronomical attack consumed me. I knew I had to stop somewhere fast for lunch. Of course I thought I was on the Lembah Bujang route and would not be expecting any town when I was surprised to read that I was approaching Guar Chempedak town. I knew then I had taken a turn too soon. Nevertheless as it turned out Guar Chempedak was a good place to stop for lunch. Strategically I happened to stop near a Taman Selera where one stall was selling all kinds of ‘lauk-lauk’. So eat all we can session started immediately. Of course at the end of it there was this one bowl of unfinished laksa with no ‘kuah’.
Famished and satisfied we left Guar Chempedak around 1400 to enter route 1 South towards Sg Petani. We did not get to Sg Petani town though as I entered the plus highway at Sg Petani Utara interchange.

It was around 1515 that we entered Kulim and straight to my sis’s place. It was not long when we decided to checked out Queensway Penang. Since a lot would want to follow we went in my sis’s Avanza. Another round of shopping occurred at Queensway and this really was in a big way as we bought two pillows, a bolster, towels and few other things. For sure the Ranger would be a packed truck after that.

On the way back I announced we were going to Sg Sedim the next day and a yell of whoppi filled the air.

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