Sunday morning breakfast was at Mukmin in Bedok. By then, both parents were starting to feel a bit nervous about the entourage that was coming, to ask for the hand for their youngest daughter.
It was a whiff of surprise for me seeing them nervous because my sister, unlike me, has always been ‘Miss Safe’ in the family. Always follow the rules, government job, don’t take risks, always make calculated move. And it reflected in her choice of life partner – Javanese, lives 4 bus stops away, engineer with a semi-govt organisation (read: they won’t do what I did- leave the country 2 days after the wedding!) and would possibly still live with my parents after their wedding. Though she is many years younger than myself, I have alot to thank her for. Her soberness, her meticulousness in ‘playing it safe’ and her follow the rules and conforming stability, I think, acted as a buffer to the many headaches my parents had of myself with my airy-fairy-‘bidan terjun’-non conformist do-as-I-like attitude. And I am perpetually grateful for her ‘safeness’, which lifted the invisible cloud of guilt that always hover whenever I think of the fact that as the first born, I left (and gleefully too, I might add).
Our breakfast table was filled with bubur ayam (bapak’s), kachang phool (mom’s), lontong goreng (husband’s) and my mee rebus special. The thing about going back is that, I abandon whatever diet program I am on, from low carb to blood type to whatever else. My parents, God bless their soul- have the mantra of come eat, eat, eat (my favorite food) whenever I am back, as though I had not enough to eat where I am. On top of that, there in the middle of the table was a plate of ‘kuih muih’ which ranged from Roti Boyan to Abok-abok to Epok-epok’
Mom was not busy at all preparing this and that, like she always does. She catered food this time round. We got home after a hearty breakfast to change to look pretty and presentable. Bapak wore his best batik from Jakarta, jokingly calling himself Yudhoyono, probably to keep himself calm. We all know this sister of mine is his favorite and having a proposal entourage coming to ask for her hand was a tad nerve-wrecking for him, I guess.
The caterer came and holy cow. There was so much food! As though the whole Germany team was coming over to celebrate their victory. There were satay, nasi padang, tarts, cupcakes, mee siam, layered cakes and whatever else. When it comes to food, my mother always very often overdo things, like myself, with the only difference being she goes over the top with her food preparations while I go down under like a dugong for overdoing eating them.
The guy’s side came and the formalities began. I didn’t know what to do or what to say so I just busied myself taking pictures/video of the event, conveniently leaving the husband next to my father looking clueless. His job was to read the closing doa’ of the event and thankfully, he did very well indeed. Calm and composed, like the boys who beat Argentina. Heh.
I had some dollars left before we departed and I spent it on YAMI yoghurt, something we girls always indulged in when I was a teenager in school from at their shop in Parkway Parade. The journey back home for us was uneventful and I slept most of the time feeling happy that I met up with all that I wanted to meet up with, fulfilled all my food cravings, saw Germany making it to the semi-finals and was a part of my sister’s engagement.
Like the Germans say, alles gute ja!