Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Day with the Clan

The long and winding road took us to the hills of Tamparuli and led us to this house nestled in the middle of an orchard. It is the fruit season and the tall durian trees dotting the property proudly dangle their fruit high above the ground. Meg, Rita and I took a walk to see what we could see but were driven back to the house by a cloud of pesky mosquitoes hovering over our heads, and the fear of falling durians.

 The cold came early and although the wind was but a gentle breeze during our walk, it was strong enough to shake a durian fruit off its stalk. The big fruit hit a branch on its way down and we watched as it burst—like a mini bunga api discharging a shower of white durian flesh into the air-- before crashing into the bushes… missing us by a few feet.

Back at the house there were stories to share, games to play and food galore. So over mugs of Kopi Tenom we played Scrabble and talked about the missing siblings and wondered what urgent matters had kept them away from our once-in-a-blue-moon get-together.

Between taking our turns at Scrabble and munching on crunchy peanuts from Sandakan, we were shown how to put toppings on pizza doughs by the Lord and Master of the property. “Not too much of this and that and just a bit of cheese. You want it crispy, not soggy,” he said as he uncovered a bowl containing diced pieces of boiled pumpkin.

There were also two birthdays to celebrate—the birthdays of the two youngest siblings. We sang Happy Birthday twice and they blew the candles twice all because someone didn’t have his camera ready! Nobody was complaining though.

The Princess had fun. The company was great and the sunset hinted at a fine tomorrow but we couldn’t stay the night like the rest of the clan. Dottie was leaving on a jet plane early the next morning so it was: “Bye-bye Kampung Kiwoi. Have a great time, everyone!”

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