Before long it was Teluk Bidara and Rantau Abang...and then we arrived at my kampung halaman .... queing only twice, at the traffic lights in Batu Buruk and Mengadang Akar...the ever busy places in KT.
Our kampung house had been transformed for the kenduri...new driveway, coat of paint on the walls inside and out, new curtains, the pelamin and the bilik pengantin! i had not been back in the house since Toktok passed away...just as well that everything was so different...cheerful greetings from the long queue of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews soothed away the sudden pang of longing for Toktok's smile.
D-day began with a mini havoc of what time everything was to take place... Epo's menyambut menantu, Lina's akad nikah and the big kenduri...who will go to the masjid terapung...who will stay at home to welcome early guests...?
At the mosque, there was a long queue of couples to be married and their entourages but we were well ahead. As soon as the Kursus Haji ended, Lina was escorted in and Ayah Jak started the whole process. Everything went so smoothly and then it was time to go home for the kenduri and meet the guests...Lina and E'i in green while Epo and Ani in pink.
It was an extremely hot and sunny day. Most guests did not linger because each had as many as ten invitations for the same time. Later in the day, guests came and went without partaking the nasi minyak because ours was their sixth house, or seventh. Someone said the queue on the Jambattang was really long, it took 2 whole hours to get from Gong Badak to Bukit Besar....
A whole hour or so later the road was fairly clear, but not for long. As soon as we came out of the Genting Sempah tunnel it was a crawl again. There was a festive mood somehow, at every rest stop and all along the road both ways. We joined the crowd, snaking our way downhill, all the way to the DUKE highway and home....a long, long journey of ten hours!