As you all know, Brunei is celebrating its first day of Hari Raya today. With that, the whole country is set in a festive holiday. And for foreigners like us, this day doesn't only mark the festive season. It is also a special day to unwind and relax for it's a non-working holiday, which is set in two days.
Wanna know more about my first day Hari Raya adventures? Read on.
Last night, my colleagues and I went out to dine at London Kebab in Times Square. Soc and Jomai were with me. We stayed at London Kebab and toured Times Square and a nearby Mall while we patiently wait for the announcement of the moon sighting, which determines the Hari Raya in the sultanate.
|Jomai and Soc|
|Me and Jomai|
After exercising, my craving on pansit bihon bugged me, again and again and again. Actually, I've been craving for pansit bihon since the other day. But afraid to buy restaurant cooked pansit for it might have a more salt and added seafood, which is bawal for me, so, I opted to do my own version.
So this morning, I cooked my first every pansit bihon. I was so surprised because it's so easy to make. However, as I tasted my own masterpiece, I felt that I there are lacking ingredients which could add punch. Then again, I'm still proud of what I had. Tutal, ako lang naman muna ang kakain. If ma-perfect ko na ito, for sharing na.
|My First ever Pansit Bihon!|
After I cooked, I started finishing the book I bought in the Philippines; it's entitled "Connecting Flights." It is a book written by Filipino Writers in their encounters in foreign land. I highly recommend the book especially for someone who loves interplay of metaphors. On top of that, Yvette Tan's story entitled "Seek Ye Whore" is just a mind f*ck. I almost ripped off the page after I read her story. It's so creepy!
|The book! Grab a copy, now na!|
As soon as I finished the book, I texted Ma'am Betsy if I can swim in their place, as I've been fantasizing to swim for over the past days. And in just a few minutes, I got a confirmation from Ma'am. Immediately, I packed my stuff and drove to Bandar.
|Ma'am Betsy and Me!|
|Nakapamewang (one month pa lang of Taichi and I feel light na!)|
|Me with the Curaming Kids!|
Soon, I was already enjoying my day at Pangsa Mar'azmala. But here's more, after my swimming session, Ma'am invited me to join in a special dinner for her husband's bestfriend. I didn't hesitate. I said, why not. Ang kapal ng mukha ko. Eh since wala rin naman akong masyadong gagawin and I wanted to unwind, go na ako.
I loved the dinner that Ma'am Betsy prepared. She cooked a ginataang gulay with shrimps and a daing from Palawan called Bulad. On top of that, we also had ice cream for dessert. Hey, I didn't even dare to eat the shrimp since it's bawal for me. Apparently, the ice cream we had was with peanuts. Di bale, inom na lang ng maraming tubig and yes, gamot ever!
|Table for 5!|
|The super sarap na ginataang gulay with shrimps and bulad!|
There is something special about this day that I just realized worth noting. Apart from the reflective and therapeutic impact of cooking on me, especially now that I live alone in the staff house on holidays and weekends, I feel that God has always been guiding me in different ways; this may range from people I meet and friends I interact with.
Seriously, as Ma'am was cooking in the kitchen a while ago and I was watching television and helping her prepare the dining table, I felt at home. And I kinda miss my Mom as well. It's been six years now since she departed.
As I drove my way back home, and as fireworks painted the sky with celebration, I reflected on the saying of "Life is about the choices you make." Whether you want to be happy or not, to be single or be in a relationship, or change career and take or risk, or as simple as discover something new, be it a skill or knowledge, it's all up to you. However, just don't forget that along the way, there are people who will be there to complete the puzzle you envision for your life.
To all my Muslim Friends, colleagues and Family, Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Dan Batin.