After a few hiccups on the way to Jakarta, my family and I finally made it to arrive at Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Cengkareng, Jakarta, Indonesia. Nothing could make me feel so relieved to be able to see the familiar faces I had been missing so much. My dad took the whole family including my uncle and my aunt to pick us up. Our (Air Asia) plane landed 15 minutes earlier and things proceeded smoothly. I had prayed hard for this because I had experienced so many terrible things, such as loosing my husband's hand phone, just before we departed. Thank God everything went great the moment our plane took off from Sepang LCCT airport.
So, for 8 days, I spent wonderful times with the whole family. It's hard to describe how happy my parents were to be able to gather their children and their family during this festive season. Many times my mom expressed her happiness by saying that she's so blessed for being able to run around preparing food for her beloved children and grandchildren. My aunt and my uncle joined too. Unfortunately, they had to go back home on the 3rd day. But they were very nice to lend us their car. Thank you, Auntie, Uncle!
We don't celebrate Idul Fitri but we wanted to use this opportunity to be with the family and to enjoy Jakarta sans traffic jam (which only happens once a year)... :)
Although my family don't celebrate Idul Fitri, we still prepared some snack for our guesses because on the 1st day of Hari Raya, my neighbors would come to visit us bringing their family wearing new cloths and happy smile. Many neighbors delivered some Idul Fitri traditional food such as ketupat (sticky rice cubes) complete with opor ayam (javanese curry chicken) and rendang (spicy curry beef), uli (sticky glutinous rice cake - something like lemang) complete with its tape ketan (black glutinous rice fermented). Oh the food was soooo yummy!! I don't get a chance to eat this kind of food every year, so, while they were on the table, I've got to taste them all... :D :D
Early morning of the 1st day of hari raya Idul Fitri, many children had gathered in front of my gate waiting for Pak Raden to come out (my Dad is called pak Raden by the kids in my neighborhood because he is just like Pak Raden, a character in Unyil show who is super stingy).
These children were waiting for some 'green packet (contains some money)' (red packet is for chinese new year) to be given out. Yeap! That's the tradition. We ought to share with the needy ones. My mom and I distributed the green packets to all children in the neighborhood. They were very happy. They would go around the kampung to collect as many green packets as possible.
Since I have cousins who celebrate Idul Fitri, we went around to visit them and to have a family gathering too. It was great because for my husband and my son, this was their first time to see some of my cousins and family. I personally seldom see them. The last time I saw some of them was 4-5 years ago. So, this was great opportunity for a family reunion.
To me, every time I have a chance to go back home, it is the opportunity to meet up with my schoolmates and to catch up with their life stories.
All in all, the experience was marvelous. The only thing that refrains me from going back home is....the MOSQUITOES. Damn! I don't understand how the people in Jakarta can survive the stubborn-and-very-determine-to-suck-your-blood-mosquitoes. My dad has 3 electric rackets to kill the mosquitoes but I don't see that help. My son and I still have to 'bring home' many red spots all over our bodies as the souvenir. The only way to reduce the number of mosquitoes is to let the 'longkang' (drain) flow. The longkang in my neighborhood is still stuck and gets dirtier and smellier. This is the 'home' of the very happy mosquitoes. Plus, Jakarta is a very dirty city. The view like in the pictures below is found every where as if Jakarta is a giant rubbish bin.