Thursday, September 15, 2011


Last night, my friend, Senor Pablo, who I met in my event launch of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at Times Square, invited me to come over to their Open house. As you all know, an Open House is an Eid Celebration wherein Muslims invite relatives, friends, neighbors and acquaintances to dine at their house. Traditionally, guest come over wearing their baju kurung (For Female) and baju melayu (For Male). But for non-Muslims, wearing a comfortable clothing (insert: wholesome) is recommended.

Wanna know the interesting food that I really enjoyed that night and the friend I met? Read on.

At first, I was anxious to go to Senor Pablo's Open house. Apart from the unfamiliarity in going to Kampong Rimba, where his house is located, the heavy rain made me lazy last night. But thank God to a 45-minute dance routine, I got my energy up and I craved for a little night activity.

Soon, I was driving the long and wet road going to Kampong Rimba. Listening to some disco music, I drove slowly. I shouldn't miss the road where I should turn left. Good thing, I didn't miss that road as road signs here in Brunei are well lighted and not overshadowed by big billboards.

I reached Senor's house at around 7:40. As a tradition in Muslim houses, you have to remove your shoes as you enter the house. Yes, you must be in barefoot. Positively, I'm confident with the cleanliness of my feet. As I set my mind, I should at least be presentable (yet comfortable) for there are a lot of guests. The noise from the inside reflected the jam-packed house.

Senor, together with his family, was in the door. As a gesture, they welcomed their guests as it arrived one by one. I was one of the guests and yes, Senor was very warm to usher me to their house. I did the traditional hand gesture; shake hands and touch your left chest with your right hand.
Some guests in the living room.
Spacious and vibrant; that's how I may describe Senor's house. In fact, the rain didn't affect the celebration as their house was able to accommodate everyone inside. Well, apart from the feast on the table, the interior design of the house threw a rich cultural banquet.

I really can't remember the names of the food that I had. The only thing that I can remember is how the appetising dish enslaved my taste buds. Seriously, I love the idea of the a feast packed with finger foods and sweets. The cocktail set up made everyone to socialize.

Here are some of the food that I had last night.

The desserts were so fantabulous last night. Since I have a bad memory on identifying the name of the food, the only thing I can say right now is that the baked desserts completed my night. It is like I walked in at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. My eyes really popped out with Senor's specialties! Yes my dear readers, the desserts are all home-made by Senor ranging from cakes, biscuits, cupcakes, and a lot more.

While I know for a fact that I'm sociable, last night, I was just shy. I just seated in one corner of the house as other guests passed by. I just enjoyed myself eating the food on my plate while playing my fingers on my mobile phone. Surprisingly, despite coming alone in the Open House, I met someone and became my friend; senor's relative name Ezy approached me and started talking to me.

So Ezy had a chit chat me. Thank God, I found someone who can talk to. It was a different encounter because it's my first time to socialize with a complete stranger, in an Open house. Well, I suppose I should be shy more because he is the relative of my friend, and I'm just a guest.

So we talked a lot of things as I took a bite on my sweets. We talked about the life in Brunei, his work, my work, and a lot and funny stuff. So, he lives in Morocco and he's here for a special assignment in the Arab Embassy, yes, a diplomat. He's been here for more than a year now.

It was nice meeting him for he's very jolly and accommodating. He even kept on asking where did I get my dog tag and how he appreciated my shirt and jeans. And he kept on saying that he's comfortable talking to me; it's as if he knew me in the past. "Ha?," that's what I uttered.

One hour turned to hours as time went unnoticeable because of an animated chat with a new found friend. Soon, I excused myself and went off. He also bid goodbye to me and once again said that he's comfortable talking to me.

As I drove home, a smile surfaced on my face. I said to myself: "Paminsan-minsan, it's nice to get out of your comfort zone and brave the rains."  I didn't only enjoy an Open house packed with sweet delights, I also met a friend.

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