Mal’s maternal grandma whom he calls tai gong (great grandfather) grew up in our neighbouring country Malaysia and we have a whole bunch of relatives who are still living in rural Muar today. ?? comes from a very big family with 11 siblings whom she still keeps in close contact. Each of them have huge family of their own and I have lost count the number of cousins I have. There are quite a number of them who are as young as Mal but if you go by generation, Mal should actually call them uncles and aunties! Once in a while, during special occasion, we will accompany ?? to visit great grandfather in his very humble, laid back and simple home in the rural village. Just last week, we celebrated great grandfather 82nd birthday in rural Muar. Though it wasn’t Mal’s first visit, we brought him there more than 2 years back before we left for US, it was his first visit since he became more aware of his environment and could make more sense out of the things he sees.
We went on a Friday night and stayed over the weekend. I call it a 3 Day 2 Night Kampong Getaway and Mal had so much fun. There were so much things to see, try and play and the trip was simply rejuvenating for us.
It is hard to imagine the huge difference in living standard and lifestyle for these 2 places which are merely 2 hours apart by car. It is a place where you wake up to a rooster Kakadoodledoo in early dawn, eat ‘organic’ vege and fruits right from the backyard, collect freshly laid eggs from the chicken pen, watch brood of chicken take flight from the chicken pen and explore the plantation in a mini scooter. It is a little paradise in its own way. A lifestyle that many city dwellers can only yearn for.0