A fortnight ago, along with a group of friends from my former office, I went for an excursion to Melaka for a wedding and a fruit feast.
A wedding of a former colleague who is now based in Ireland and a fruit feast hosted by another former colleague of mine.
The trip to Melaka, in a chartered coach, reminds me of a similar excursion to Pangkor several years ago with more or less the same group of people. Though most of us are much older now, the fun and joy of travelling together are still very much intact.
If previously, most of us were bachelors, now we have teenage kids as our children. And the things we talk about are things that we never talked before. We talk about raising children, children's education as well as retirement plans!
In the trip, there were some of us who brought their children along. The fun is now is with the kids, as now almost all of us are known as either uncles or aunties, if not papas and mamas.
So to welcome another former colleague into our world of family land, we decided to make a trip to Melaka to wish him well and as a gesture of strong bond of acquaintance.
And I'm sure the bridegroom must be so glad seeing his friends taking the trouble to travel more than 200 km just to see him wed.
Melaka's wedding reception is of a class of its own. Though the food was catered, the spirit of "Gotong-royong" is still very much alive with aunties in uniform serving as waitress and guys preparing additional dishes in big big "kualis". We were served with "dodols" too, something I had never had at any other weddings that I've attended before.
Entertained with nostalgic songs, I just can't help but admiring the Deejay in charge as he was very different than any other deejays I've seen before. This deejay not only spin songs, he sings too. And he sings beautifully too, very much like a professional singer.
There was not one song that he delivered poorly, all were delivered superbly. From the Malay favourites of the 70s, 80s, 90s and the 2000s to English and Hindi. All the songs were sung by heart, a perfect candidate to participate in the local game show "Jangan Lupa Lirik".
Unfortunately, as our time was limited and the itinerary was pre-arranged, we could not spend much time at the wedding reception. Almost immediately after the arrival of the bride and bridegroom and while they were still on the dias for the bersanding ceremony, we had to leave for the next itinerary of the day, a visit to a fruit orchard. So we left without having the chance to even say a "Hi" or a "Bye" to the bride and bridegroom.
Photo courtesy of Marjit
At the fruit orchard, the uncles and aunties were transformed into kids again. Everyone were overjoyed to see the so many trees bearing so many fruits. There were rambutans, mangosteens, "jambus" everywhere. And all we need to do was just pluck and eat - absolutely free of charge!
Looking at the surrounding and its atmosphere, I guess most of us just can't help but appreciate the good country life, a life that either we had left or never had. I for one, never had a real "kampung", as my "kampung" was another city by the name of Georgetown, the Heritage City of the Straits.
So there were no rambutans, mangosteens or "jambus" to pick, and if we need to eat any of those, we had to buy them from the market! Just like a couple of days ago, getting Mangosteens from MaxValu with half of them could not be eaten as they were already bad!
So there goes the good memory of a short excursion to Melaka, a special thanks to all my friends who shared the experience together and especially to the host of the fruit feast - thank you very much, your rambutans and the side dishes really tasted good. Even your coffee tasted nice, I had cups of it, ummm, yummy yummy.
As for Apen, the bridegroom, who is now back in Ireland with the new bride, "Selamat Pengantin Baru" - thank you for remembering us and letting us celebrate your joyous occasion.