Thursday, December 15, 2016
Dear Dad on Deepavali
A clash between Little Monster's graduation concert and our annual All Soul's Day roadtrip saw the latter being brought forward from November to October. Made the trip on Saturday, which happened to be Deepavali. KH tagged along, but SK didn't as she was in Osaka. We departed KL at 7:00 AM with TMNT playing on the in-car entertainment system. Kept the grumpy and groggy kids happy for a while. For most of the trip, I just slept. When I woke up, we had already arrived. Great! Just in time for breakfast at Jalan Maharani.
Some disappointment that morning. The wantan noodles were too sweet and the yellow glutinous rice too soft. The Liew Kee CCF was also sold out. Thankfully the curry laksa and Mee Java was decent. Moved on to the wet market to get flowers and fruits. Surprised that the public toilet there charges RM0.50 per entry just like Lot 10.
The cemetery was quiet except for a caretaker who was weeding some graves ahead of All Soul's Day. Thankfully, the weather was downcast so we didn't have to worry about the sun. Mum unfurled a large picnic mat and the kids lounged there under a couple of umbrellas. That kept them out of our hair of the adults who were busy cleaning and preparing for the short prayer ceremony. Put some incense on the burner (borrowed some from the Indian family behind us) and prayed the Chaplet for the Dead. Even Little Monster put his hands together and tried to join in his own way. Once done, we poured tea and made our bows. Made a short stop at St. Anthony's Church and we were off.
For the first time, we didn't need to make any home visits because my aunt was out of town and my uncle was recovering from a hernia operation in KL. As a result, we had to find things to do in Teluk Intan. First stop was at Sin Joo Heong to buy biscuits. Think we spent a few hundred there, but still not enough points to redeem an umbrella. Lol. Business was brisk because it was a public holiday. Many other cars from KL were parked outside.
On our way out, we stopped at a small pier to watch the water hyacinth float by in the murky waters of Sungai Perak. Several men were sitting on the concrete steps with their fishing rods out in the water while a fat cat lounged nearby. Classical Indian music drifted to where we were from a nearby Hindu temple. Small town charm.
The most touristy thing to do in Teluk Intan is to visit it's leaning clock tower. It doesn't lean as much as Pisa so there are no people making weird poses. Here's a little history: It was built in 1885 by a Chinese contractor. Originally, the tower was purpose-built to house a water tank for water supply and fire-fighting. The pagoda-like structure looks like it has eight floors, but it actually only has three floors. It leans to the Southwest due to the soft ground it was built on and the weight of the water tank at the top. After years of neglect, the tower is now open to tourists who want to take a look.
The next thing on our to-do list was to visit the goldsmith. SK wanted to trade in her old rings for something new but unfortunately they were closed. Oops. Had to scratch our heads on what to do next. Oh well, might as well just eat again. The excuse? Lunch. Walked into Kafe Xin Asia where they have great curry noodles. CKT's quite good too. Asam Laksa was meh though.
What's after lunch you may ask? After-lunch snacks of course! Teck Kee's always a good place for kuih and Liew Kee CCF. The weather was starting to get to us, so we went out of town for something cold-- Shake Shake Ice. Tried the mango flavour and it was really good. Surprisingly their rojak buah (ada kangkung kat dalam jugak!) is delicious too with a thick gravy.
After all that food, we went back to town for more food! Rojak again at Rojak Ah Chai, just a stone's throw from mum's alma mater--Chung Chen Public Free Night School. That place has been around since my mother's childhood. She said that although she ended up with a tummy ache every time she ate it, she still went back for more. So shocking. They serve a heaped plate of rojak. Perhaps I was too full to enjoy it properly, but I didn't find it that great. The stuff was a little soggy and the gravy more watery than I preferred. If you order the coconut water there, do tell them to hold the sugar.
Reading up to this point, you would think that we are bottomless pits, but truth be told, we had reached our limit, so it was time to drive back to Kuala Lumpur. Until our next food fest!