Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Of Sudden Raya Shopping

Although the title suggests shopping, none of the pictures portrays the activity (my eyes were busy looking for good sales, hence the camera safely tucked in the handbag hehe). We went to Kuala Lumpur for another unplanned trip yesterday. Initially I wanted to find a baju kurung in the local town to wear during Raya, but nothing are attractive enough. Well, some did, but the price is totally not within my budget - so, not attractive. Maybe it was just me being thrifty, but how could such a moderate kurung be priced at RM100. I could make one at half the price if I have a sewing machine. 

Thinking that perhaps we could have more choices in Kuala Lumpur, we went through a couple hours of journey last Sunday, stopping by at Lentang Mosque for jama' Zuhr and Asr prayers. Because I could't pray, I stayed in the car and took some pictures around and enjoyed the greenery. 

Then we made our way through Kampung Bukit Tinggi, Bentong and Karak. Saw some durian stalls selling Musang King durian along the way (but didn't take pictures of the stalls - my husband was saying that my text is not tally with the pictures - he actually scrolled down to see pictures of the durian stalls but didn't find any). Fine, I was just explaining my journey.

Being back on track, yes I did enjoy our drive. In fact, I always do. To me, this part of Malaysia is really beautiful. The green hills and mountains behind, the sky. During our way back at night, the temperature dropped low because of the rain, so the fog appeared. Very misty and beautiful.

And sometimes a bit eerie to me. Maybe I've heard too much of Karak myth.

When we reached KL, we found a scarce of parking availability, duh, what we were thinking, shopping in KL during weekends? Stopped by at the National Mosque. Okay, we thought that perhaps we could park in National Mosque because parking in shopping complexes like Sogo could cost us hefty sum of money. My husband performed Sunnat Tahiyyatul Masjid prayer while I walked around and took some pictures. It was my first time coming to this mosque, and I was glad this first time was with my husband. There was quite a number of foreign tourists, all wearing purple robes prepared by the mosque's management to cover their body parts in accordance to the Islamic rules. 

My husband joked that I could maybe start a photography series of him from the back in order to keep him anonymous as well as a challenge (like what Uncle Gedek does in his Blog Begins At Forty, Natsumi Hayashi in Levitation Portrait or Roark Johnson in A Stranger A Day, awesome, right). The idea sounds really interesting, but to take pictures of him everyday, needs a story - which means he must be up to something everyday. The question is - is he up to the challenge?

Then, because I felt guilty for parking in the mosque's area (to fulfill our shopping desire - now that sounded bad, right?), I asked my husband to find other parking facility. And found parking in Dayabumi next to the Central Market very cheap - RM2.50 per entry during Sunday and public holidays.This was an important note to us because we have spent previous 5 years abroad, we knew very little about roaming and driving in KL, so in every trip, we learnt something. Next time we come to KL during weekend, this is the most convenient parking place to go, with public transport nearby (my husband and I want to travel by the LRT together superbad, because we never dated before we got married).

We went to Jalan Masjid India because I hoped to find some hijab and baju kurung for me, my mother and my mother in law there. Unfortunately, most hijab sold are shawls or awning shawls and I don't wear any shawls but the plain, old 45-inch square tudung, in plain colours, most preferably cotton. It was drizzling too. There were some awesome sales too - RM100 for three kurungs. But I am choosy (because I want to feel my money-eh-my husband's money- to be worth spent). Besides, there were too many people streaming in and out of the stalls, I couldn't make a proper evaluation.

At last, I found one at RM60 - marked down from RM69. Maybe I have saved RM9 but God knows how much it really costs since they are all mass-produced. I just hoped that I wouldn't find somebody else wearing the same kurung I have during Eid, at least not on the same day. That would be epic.
We then break our fast in Central Market food court. The last time I ate there was nine years ago when I was attending boarding school. Such a memory and transformation Central Market has gone through since then. A lot of choices for souvenirs, I also managed to grab some postcards to add to my collection. Perhaps I'll scan them later.

Central Market food court offers a range of local and foreign foods from Noodle Soup, Thailand, Asam Pedas Melaka, Nasi Penyet Indonesia, Kelantanese, Western, Claypot and Chicken Rice. My husband had noodle soup and extra meatball for RM7, fresh orange juice for RM4, soy juice RM3 while I had an awesome (like really awesome, but the spiciness is not up to my level - my spicy threshold is very high!) Grilled Fish with Penyet Rice for RM7.50 and Mocha Blended Bubble Tea for RM6.90.

Then after the prayers, had some pictures taken outside the Central Market and off we went back home.

Alhamdulillah for the cheap parking fee, baju kurung and blouse findings, good and cheap food, and most importantly safe journey back home. 

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