Sunday, 3 May 2009

Kampung Tanpa Halaman

Wish I were with Zara. I am a bad, bad grandmother. Zara is going to be 2 weeks old and I have yet to see her. Well, the truth is, I am not a very assertive person. I just don't know how to broach the subject with my boss or go into HRMIS and apply for a whole week's leave right after returning from a three day most needed vacation of sorts in my kampung tanpa halaman (village without compound). True, I seldom go on leave other than the occasional medical and there remains a total of 69 days to my name, but assertion is not my middle name. So I have not gone to see 13-day old Zara.

It is a love-hate relationship of sorts that I have with that place south of the border I call my kampung tanpa halaman. So many reasons to hate yet many more memories to love, the way I love my 3 year stay on the 25th floor of Great World City. Yes, a building is a city there but well, a village to me. Spent 3 hari raya eid-ul-fitr in that kampung and made real nasi dagang. And since down on the ground there is no compound to shout about, actually up to 5 floors below my apartment is a shopping complex, it is to be sure my kampong tanpa halaman.

That April visit was the first time I was back there since I left, walking down memory lane with precious people from that part of the past doing the things we used to do then,......going to Tong Seng for chicken rice then ice cream in the mall, and to River Valley for nasi padang, and hang out all afternoon at the bookstore until it was time to wander into the restaurant for dinner and then spill out into the crowd on Orchard Road for that long, long walk back to the hotel.

Anyway, I could not make the short non-chalant walk up to the boss to ask for leave after that holiday, neither could I bring myself to ask for a week or so off to go see my Zara this month, since I'll be away from office close to a fortnight, to attend meetings at my other kampung tanpa halaman. Yes, I go to this place so often, it does feel like I am going back to kampung! But almost always, I stay in a hotel, no halaman, just Rue de Lausanne outside the hotel.

So here I am sitting at the concourse of St. Pancras international, wondering what Min and Eez thinks of their Mama and one day, what Ary and Zara will think of their TokTok. I hope they forgive their yellow-bellied grandmother who has been forming a whole gamut of feeble excuses and laughable reasons for not applying for the time-off and making arrangements to go to Doha and see them.

The gentleman sitting beside me on the flight over was actually visiting his brand new grandchild here in London, before he flies off to New York. He is even worse off than I am, even though I say so myself. It took him 4 months to come see his grandchild who was born in January. But will I break or match his record? I pray neither! I will go see Zara soon, well before she is 4 months old and goes home to her kampung halaman for the summer and hari raya.


cakapaje said...

Salam Beebee,

Blogging from abroad, are we? Well, I do envy you. Have not been there in a very long while. Very, very long, till I can't even remember St Pancras.

Bebee said...

Salam Cak,

Used to spend waiting time at stations and airports eating or shopping, but they take their toll on both physical and financial health! So better to blog than be poor and bored!

Not sure if i have downloadable pics of St. Pancras to remind you, but we'll see. Meantime, please don't turn green.

rerama salju said...

Salam Beebee,

Zara must be very cure is'nt it?
By d way,Thanks so much for your kind words the other day...really appriciate it...

Bebee said...

Salam Rerama Salju,

Thank you for visiting...Actually, I am in Geneva, still unsure when to go see Zara.

Talking about loss, I still miss my late sis who I lost in 1975 and my late mum who went in 2004. Hope you are feeling better and that we are ever constant in our prayers for those who have gone before us.

a woman who is said...

I don't know how I ended up on your precious blog. But I must say I pray you get to see your grand daughter Zara soon. That must be hard on all of you. I myself am a new grandmother and I so enjoy getting to hold baby Avey.