Friday, 14 December 2007

Random Sharings Part 2

Anniversaries of sorts

It is December and we found ourselves on the road down memory lane. It must have been the second time in 28 years that we made this journey together to Singapore. The first was when we went there to take the flight to London. I was then a tearful bride leaving for a foreign land with a future firmly placed in the hands of God Almighty. The road that we took by car was a far cry from the modern highway dotted with R & R’s. The 6.45 Aeroline to Singapore was one hour late because of the rain, but I must admit the service was fantastic.

Twenty eight years ago, all manner of thoughts played in my mind but this time, it was filled with excitement and anticipations. Singapore holds memories of school holidays, walks in the Botanical Gardens, visits to Makam Habib Noh, of fresh buah lai and imported apples and gawking at window displays of Robinsons with Pak Lang – his words still ringing clear in my head: “Ni lah tempat orang-orang kaya shopping”, he said, as we walked away.

This time the visit to Singapore was almost like a visit to the official birthplace of GUiT. It was the launch of Growing Up in Trengganu, a meeting with publisher Philip Tatham of Monsoon Books and with friends old and new. GUiT was launched with four other titles. Read more about it here.

It was a very short visit and before we took the Singapore- Malacca Express the next day, we visited Makam Habib Noh once again to offer our respects.

We arrived in Malacca, all sweaty and tired, to be greeted by songs of gazal and gambus at a friend’s wedding. Nurul’s parents had decided to take her back from London to Malaysia for a real kampong style wedding and what a treat it was for us to find a big group of ex Londonders occupying two big tables. This was the first of several weddings that we attended.

Selamat pengantin baru to Leya and Ashraf

The other wedding was of course that of the famous daughter of an equally famous mum. It was held at The Legend and again a reunion of sorts with friends and ex colleagues from Jalan Riong.

Yes, I remember this day in December. “Twenty eight years ago, today”, I told Leya, “your mum was at my wedding, putting my veil in place. Today, I am returning the honours by attending your wedding.”Pengantin lama


When the radiant bride and groom left the stage to meet their guests, cheered on by some friends, we took over the stage, short of sitting on the dias, to take the 28 years later picture.

The GUiT Trip
One of the reasons for our home coming is of course to see how GUiT is doing in the homegrounds. On arrival at KLIA, I was disappointed to see that the bookshop there did not stock GUiT. I made my first visit to MPH Midvalley – again, this confirmed the comments and reports from people in search of GUiT. None- in this case – only one copy lodged in between other books at the Malaysiana section.

My next stop was MPH Alamanda – none at all. And by this time, I was ready to speak to someone to try to understand how the distribution of books works in the absence of the writer himself promoting it. I was lucky that I met a very helpful and kind MPH manager who explained to me how the whole system works. Of course, it is the distributor's job to push the books and to keep on asking if the stores need anymore. And if the copies run out, shops too should contact distributors to ask for more, especially when people are asking for it. In the case of GUiT, I don’t know what went wrong.

Then Kind and Helpful MPH manager took out his phone and made one phone call. The next day – most of MPH stores were stacked with GUiT. And this week – GUiT made it to NUMBER ONE best seller non fiction at MPH from a humble number ten at the beginning. Thank you all for the support. Tabby and his siblings will be mighty pleased with this news.

Indeed, there have been several GUiT meets kindly organized by blogger friends. Thank you again. We are so touched by such wonderful gestures and support from people, some we have never met before. I hope and pray that our friendship goes beyond GUiT.

We will soon be going to Kuala Trengganu for a booksigning session at what AG calls the spiritual birthplace of GUiT. So, do come, one and all. It will not be a grand one, just a modest occasion where we can meet and talk and get to know each other. Thanks to Encik Karim of Alam Akademik (Keda Pok Loh Yunan). For more information, click here.

I guess we will still be doing the rounds now that we are here. Hope to meet up with whoever wish to meet up with us, soon. Insyaallah.

46 comments:

Kenny Mah said...

Again, congratulations on the shared success of GUiT! I think Awang Goneng wouldn't have wrote it the way he did without his lovely wife's support, no? :)

And hope to catch up with you again some day. It's been awhile, Kak Teh... *hugs*

Pak Tuo said...

Dear Kak Teh,

AhwaT Kak Teh tak talipon cek bila tiba Melaka no?

Anyway good holidays?escape the winter no?

Wassalam

a ,alaysian in riyadh said...

Kak Teh
Dok dang dang nok jjupe Merpati Dua Sejoli pada Hari Krismas ni. Tahniah on the 28th Anniversary and for topping the chart leading up to Xmas.
aMiR

Roti Kacang Merah said...

assalamulaikum Kak Teh & Abg AG,
funny you mentioned all those bookstores at popular places tak de GUIT.

I went to the bookstores in Amcorp Mall (not-so popular place eh) soon after the book was released (as per your entry) and there it was, mostly side by side with Tunku Halim's, Dina's and Adibah Amin's to say the least.

how can i get a signed copy ek, now that you both are in M'sia...? can i transfer some money and get them posted ke, macam mana, ek??? *batting eyelashes*

kaklong said...

Dear Kak Teh,

Would there be any meet the author/ book signing sessions in KL/PJ bookstores? How about the talks at selected universities' libraries in the Klang Valley? Would love to attend if you are having one, either in or around KL/PJ. Please, please post the date, time and venue. Hope you and your husband are enjoying your trip back here (but hope you're not caught in the floods!).

Honeytar said...

Kak Teh & AG,

Congratulations on your 28th Anniversary! 28 also happens to be my lucky number. ;-)

And BOG congratulations for getting to the No.1 spot at MPH. A gem now discovered by a lot of people!

And thank you for a wonderful evening at KLCC yesterday!

Gotta go!

zarina said...

Salam Kak Teh

Would like to introduce to you that my parents are family friends of your sister, Zaitun Bangi.

bergen said...

Kak Teh and Abang Wang,

Happy Anniversary. Gosh you look so good together.

ms istanbul said...

Kak Teh dear,

Happy anniversary! Many happy days to come filled with love.

ps: Why didnt you sit on the stage? Baru betul pengantin. ;-)

NJ said...

salam Kak Teh,

Hey, I finally managed to buy GUIT last Monday from Kino. But so far only managed to read a few pages only... So very looking forward for weekend so I can induge myself into GUIT, under the duvet.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...

happy anniversary to both of you! congrats on the success of GUiT...

ubisetela said...

Happy Anniversary KakTeh & Awang Goneng!

*memang macam pinang dibelah dua! :D

ailin...in aalborg said...

I would have loved to see the "original" picture from 28 years ago....

ruby ahmad said...

Hello Kak Teh,

I have not gotten over our meet the other day. It was a blast! I feel honoured I managed to get a sneak preview of these photos off your camera at our coffee session.

Oh you're heading for T'ganu for GUIT session on Christmas. Well I'll announce it in my comment page should anyone wish to go.

Hey, we have a gossip session soon, no! Ha ha. Take care dear. Salam to AG.

Kak Teh said...

kenny dear, thank you and yes, we will and we must. I must introduce my husband to my talented friend. See you on 29th?

Pak tuo, oh, i didnt kow that you are there. We were there very briefly and melaka is choc-a-bloc - jam sana sini. Yes, I hear it is very cold in London now.

aMiR - cant wait to see ypu too. Can exchange stories. and thank you.

Mior Azhar said...

Kak Teh,
I could not make it for the session at the Kinokuniya the other day. Still kicking myself for not being able to do so. I've already gotten myself GUIT finally but has yet to read it... sebab I wanted to have Awang Goneng to sign it first. Heard that there will be a reading session in Bangsar on Dec 29th. Is it true? Details please...
And oh ya . Happy Anniversary... Both of you lok glorious depan pelamin tu...

wonda said...

Congratulations to you and AG that GUit shot to Nombor Satu. Yay! Oh, and Happy Anniversary too! You both look so ROMANTIC in the photo! 28 years younger, eh?

D said...

Singapore - KL - Terengganu. And mind you, checking the bookstores too! HeHe.. It's no wonder that GUiT hit TOP bestseller. No wonder at all. Enjoy La Malaisie and again, don't forget to come back! (though I'm sure those cats are fine..)

ZLAA said...

Salam Kak Teh,

How do I get a copy of GUiT? I'm in Notts.

Theta said...

Nice to have you both back at this side of the globe. :)

Hectic yet enjoyable schedule, to be sure!

Do you have a signing going on in Bangsar as per Encik Mior Azhar's query? If so, I'd like to drop by and say Hello, probably with the parents in tow (if both are free). :)

Have a safe and fantabulous trip to KT, KT and AG! Hehe...

-ex-Sek. Ren. Sultan Sulaiman 2 (1984-85)-

simah said...

congratulations should be the order of the day... :0)

sebelum terlewat kami disini ingin mengucapkan selamat hari raya aidiladha.. maaf zahir dan batin :0)

Manal said...

Kak teh,

Looking forward to get my GUiT signed by AG and you soon in the next book meeting/gathering/etc/.

If people like Naguib Mahfouz left u imagening Nile Rivers, khan al-khalili bazaar and so on, GUiT had me thinking on the next plan to see Tganu from its point of view (plus nak pi those islands redang, kapas, perhentian as well).

Jiwa Rasa said...

Kak Teh,

Happy Anniversary.
Moga panjang umur murah rezeki!

Thanks for the wonderful and memorable meeting at KLCC the other day.

bluewonderudderhalf said...

Could you please tell us when youre having the signing and launching in Bangsar...my wife is dying to get a copy...She is pestering me ! Help.......

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...
wish you and family a happiest eid adha...may it bring joy and happiness, peace and love. happy new year 2008 and may you have a GREAT year ahead!

Anonymous said...

bangsar 29th, too far 4 me. if sir is coming to this side of town pls buzz me.

tahniah to sir, tahniah for the anniversary.

-atenah

Bustaman said...

Happy Anniversary! And we finally met and what a meeting it was.

wansaiful said...

I saw the book on sale at Alamanda (last night) and KLIA. Nicely displayed on their "Malaysia Interest" shelf.

J.T. said...

Congratulations on GUiT taking the number one spot. That's so cool!. :D

Looks like you are having a swell of a time in Malaysia. It is good to be home, isn't it?

Happy Anniversary to you and AG. May you have many more beautiful years together.

Restless said...

K teh... u came back to see the wedding? Tak cakap pun balik Ko Lumpo...

D said...

kak teh, NJ has suggested that we run a tag ala GUiT style. HeHE.. Thought I'd tell you about it. You can check out her blog and mine. Somehow, everyone is frantically looking for GUiT now! LOL.

latape said...

kak teh....

hello i have been an avid reader of your blog. I do have some personal questions to ask you....tried looking for your e-mail tapi tak jumpa...can u contact me at latape@gmail.com. Thanks

awang beso said...

Kak Teh, we met in KL and this is the first time I came to your site. Something is wrong with your Links code and below. the text is simply too big and crashing your sidebar. Go check the template codes (edit HTML) and see if the CSSs are okay.

Kang kalo tok buak, susoh organg nok bace. Tima kase.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Kak Teh
Got GUIT, finished reading it in two days. Now, have to get Awang Goneng to sign it, boleh?

anwardi said...

Hi,
You guys were back and didn't drop me a line? How could you...except I believe you guys didn't have my number lah.
Anyway Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha and Happy Wedding Anniversary - we are getting on aren't we Mr Hulaimie sir...hehe. Drop me a line lah...its anwardi@gmail.com or visit me at sayaanakwayang.blogspot.com.

Didi and Puteh

kimster said...

Kak Teh:
Camana nak mintak autograph the author nih? :)

Kak Elle said...

a very bust trip this time eh KT?Hope you had a wonderful trip to Cambodia.

Congrats for being top seller:)

Anonymous said...

salam KT,
My hubby got it for us.......tahniah from us
ME

Kak Teh said...

roti kacang merah, I will let you know when we have any book signing sessions. I think there's a few in the pipeline.

kak long, on 29th dec. there will be a reading in Bangsar at 3.30 - i will post the anouncement when we come back from Trengganu. Hope we can meet up with you.

Honeytar, thanks - and hope to meet up again.

Kak Teh said...

zarina, what a small world!! I will let my sister know. and are you anywhere in this area?

bergen,thanks for your kind words. Hope to meet up with you soon.

ms istanbul, ish manalah boleh duduk atas pelamin pulak? hehe ! dah pengantin lama!

Kak Teh said...

nj, i love your dea on GUiT tag - when we come back from Trengganu, am going to do my version - GUiK - Growing up in Kedah! It will be GUiT vs GUiK!!!

danial, thank you so much!!

ubi, terima kasih.

ailin, aiyaaa, u want to see the 28 years before ah? Next time u come to london, i will show you!

Kak Teh said...

ruby, have spoken to fauziah - will meet up real soon.

mior, do come on 29th - i will put up the announcement soon! or go to sharon bakar's blog.

wonda - misss our little chit chats - hope you are well.

Kak Teh said...

D, we are already planning to come and see you when we come back - thanks for the support and I love your version of Growing Up...

will come back and continue, although no one has tagged me yet! :(

zlaa, sorry for the late reply. When I am back in London, I will certainly post one to you. How about that?

Kak Teh said...

theta, it'll be great of you can come t the bangsar do - bring your parents!!!

simah, thank you and my deepest condolence for the loss of your father in law.

manal - am on the move now - hope to see you again.

Anonymous said...

i first met awang goneng some 30 years ago while having roti canai at a roadside stall off jalan riong, and yesterday was my second time seeing him in person...he seemed not to aged much... still awek mudo kak teh....it is timely to lauch the book while kuala terengganu is going to metamorphose to a city.whatever it is...

Anonymous said...

first time saya tengok muka kak teh. baru saya tau, staf rtm yg datang ke southampton hari raya hari tu rupanya kak teh. kalau saya tau, mesti saya tegur.