Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Happenings: 13 – 14 June 2009

I was suppose to put up a weekend write up for the weekend of 6-7th June but considering it was a travel weekend, I’ve decided to put up my usual travelogue entries for the trip later this week.

This past weekend was my weekend to go home to the family house in Selayang for this month. This was part of the deal that I made with my parents when I told them that I wanted to move out of the house and live on my own after I returned from the States. Up to that point, I have practically lived on my own and they were concerned that I would drift away from the family once I moved out of the house. To assuage their fears of that happening, I promised them that I would make it a point to return back to the family house at least once a month which I have kept this past 14 years since I last lived under their roof.

The monthly trips back home also meant that I get to catch up with the latest happenings in the family. Other than the usual news of my siblings, the latest news is that my mother is finally going to retire from her current employment which I do think is about time. Given the person that she is, she already has some other part time jobs lined up to keep her occupied after her retirement at the end of the month.

An item to note during the weekend was that I finally got a chance to learn how to make my mum’s version of the Fish Assam Pedas. Next to my favorite Javanese Sambal Goreng, this dish is the one that would always remind me of home. Knowing how to make it is one of the rites of passage that my sisters had to go through growing up. It was always expected, by my mum at least, that any females joining the family through marriage would know how to make the dish. Since the possibility of that happening for me is slim, I had to learn how to cook it myself so I could have it whenever I feel like having it.

It turned out much easier to make then I expected. I’ve always been ignorant of what goes into the Assam Pedas dish but now that I know, I know that the special taste/memories of it comes from the fact that it was home cooked. Like the dodol, this dish is another link to my family’s past and could be something that would define me as a member of the family. I’ve already been challenged by my sisters to an Assam Pedas cook off to decide whose Assam Pedas dish was better. I think I have to try it out for a few more times before I take up that challenge.

Weekends with the family have always been kind of strange. On one hand, I feel like I going to the motions to fulfill my obligations to the promise that I made but then I realize that these visits help renew family bonds for me. Being so used to living on my own, I sometimes need to be reminded of this least I feel myself drifting away from my family. I’m glad that I made that promise and have been able to stick to it all these years.

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