Like always, planned visits seldom take place. Unplanned ones normally do!
So it was decided that three families would go in two cars, mine and Apandi's. We decided to go to Abdullah's (my wife eldest brother) house first.
The day before the trip, Rohana, Aishah and my wife, they were busy preparing food and buying things for their two brothers' families.
We left home at just after eight. Apandi followed us much later; they had to attend Arham's kindergarten convocation that morning.
In Bandar Jengka Pusat, we were frustrated when we found that Abdullah was not in. He had gone somewhere to do some house painting job. His mother-in-law was there, but at first she was scared to open the door. Only after we introduced ourselves that she was brave enough to answer our call and open the door.
After a short chat we left the house and continued our journey towards Kuala Lipis.
Amalia hated the snaking road. It made her giddy. Luckily she did not vomit.
As we were approaching Kuala Lipis we gave Sheila (Ali's eldest daughter) a call telling her that we were on the way.
"Betul ke Cik Nab nak datang rumah?"
"Betul! Kami dah nak sampai Kuala Lipis dah ni."
She did not believe us. We had on so many occassions before this promised to come, but all were just empty promises.
Luckily I remember exactly where their house was. I drove straight into Kg Tempoyang and took a right as I approached the village mosque.
I passed YB En Abdul Rahman's house, ADUN Padang Tengku, on the way to Ali's house.
Passing through their old wooden house atop the hillock, Cik Mek (Aisah) and my wife reminisced those days when they had visited it very long ago with their late mother.
The new house was impressive. It was a single storey house situated next to Tempoyang river and right smack in a fruit orchard (it was not looked after well though). Imperata cylindrica or lalang was everywhere.
There were 11 of them in the house. Strangely, despite of the distance between us and some of us had never meet one another, their children were very close to us.
Pie was especially close to me. I shared some tricks with him.
Surprisingly too, Sheila looked strangely very similar to our own Diyana. My wife and Amalia whispered this to me.
From what I saw I knew that they were living a hard life. Luckily Abang Long, Sheila and two more sons (including the one involved in the road accident) had started working.
Thanks to God, Andak (the one involved in accident) defied doctors' prediction. He was almost normal, but he still had that dazed look.
A barrel of KFC was busily shared between them. Nothing was allowed to go to waste.
That night we all slept very soundly - the women folks in the room and the rest in the spacious living hall. Apandi and family decided to put up a night in a hotel in Kuala Lipis.
That night I heard sounds of wild boars (I guessed) from the back of the house.
Everybody was sad as we left for home. We left with ample supply of tempoyak (fermented durian flesh) and cili padi.
We all promised to ourselves that this would not be the last time. We would come back again to Kg Tempoyang soon.