Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A Parents' Guide to Backpacking

.........Or how to survive duration of child away backpacking with ventolin

When your child announces that he/she is going backpacking, take a deep breath and a puff or two of ventolin . When your breathing is more regular and your hands stop trembling, google “backpacking” and that will take you to several sites, as this is indeed a very popular mode of seeing the world amongst youngsters, especially those who refuse to tag along with their parents and want to avoid the well trodden path of visiting relatives and museums and familiar places that Tourism Malaysia has on offer.

Most sites will have keywords, such as “unlimited level of flexibility with travel itinerary”, “cheap accommodations” and “cheaper means of travelling”. That alone should be enough to tell you that you DO NOT call up friends and relatives in places where your offspring plans to be. If you had unwittingly called friends, or friends of friends and relatives or relatives of friends or friends of relatives, then apologise profusely to child in question and say that you only wanted her/him to call them once he/she is there to convey your salam. Then, take more puffs of the ventolin.

And when child in question announces that he/she is backpacking in Thailand, attach inhaler permanently to your nostrils and at the same time, trembling hands permitting, go through 25 ways to calm your nerves here.

Several other tried and tested tactics are also recommended. (Success rate not guaranteed)

Bribery: Go to Bangkok BUT only on transit and offer to pay for the rest of the holiday in Malaysia.

Blackmail: You go to Thailand and I promise you I will NOT sleep and eat, until you come back. (add "breathe " if you are really desperate.)

Eleventh Hour Emotional Blackmail at departure lounge: Compose your face suitably as you hug him/her at the departure lounge. Quivering lips accompanied by endless flow of tears and loud blowing of the nose is recommended.

If all of the above fail – doa. Lots of doa.

PERSONAL NOTE: Called up travel agent friend and scolded her for issuing the ticket and not lying and say that tickets not available or too expensive.

Preparation: Ask not just once or twice about travel arrangements, travel companions, parents and background of travel companions. Get phone numbers of travel companions, and that of their parents and grandparents.

Backpack and contents: Go through contents of clothes and essentials to make sure the child does not carry anything you or customs on both sides of the immigration table don’t want he/she to carry.

PERSONAL NOTE: Got at least five padlocks for each pocket available on backpack. Not satisfied with padlocks, get backpack to be cling-wrapped twenty times over at the airport. With backpack looking more like nangka bungkus, child relented for backpack to be checked in, rather than carried on back.

MANTRA PRE DEPARTURE: Don’t talk to any strangers. (But seeing that everyone will inevitably be strangers…) don’t talk to suspicious looking strangers. (Googled images of suspicious looking strangers…couldn’t find any). Don’t accept anything from anyone, keep drinks close to you. Go in groups, do not wander off by yourself.

SMS every move you make.

PERSONAL TRACKER: In the absence of trackers such as GPS, have page permanently displaying TIME NOW IN BANGKOK as screen saver. Google every place mentioned by child, such as “backpackers hostel”, koh samui, th khao san, ferry to Koh samui. Click on images of the above and then more puffs of ventolin.

Place handphone, cheap international call cards nearby. Template added in handphone messages: Where are you? Where exactly are you?

On receiving reply via sms, call.

On hearing loud music and atmosphere of fun and laughter, take more puffs of the ventolin.

66 comments:

Royalshoppingarcade said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Behind all those humor, I can feel the worry. You are right, doa is the best thing to do besides reminding him several times over how dangerous the world really is out there.InsyaAllah he'll be fine. Its always hard to let go your loved ones. Feels the same way everytime I deposit my children to my inlaws. Itu belum let them go to Thailand tu. I'm up ni pun (1:15am Malaysian time) after hearing my chidren cough non-stop..hehhe...take care Kak Teh.

Chahya said...

Hahaha...Kak Teh, no need to go so far abroad for me to have such attacks...
My youngest is only going for her kindy trip to KL Bird Park and when I said I wanted to follow behind in my car she quickly said NO! The fact that she seems comfortable with the idea of going somewhere without her mama is enough to constrict my air passages..lol.

Kak Teh said...

royalshoppingarcade, thanks for the visit. Insyaallah my child will be fine. Tawakkal saja dan doa. I know we will never stop worrying. And the phrase." letting go" doesnt mean a thing to us,kan?

chahya, when they were small, we insisted on going on school trips with them and luckily schools readily accept parents on tours to help look after other kids as well. Tapi, kesian budak2, kan? It must be embarrassing for them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kak Teh

I can empathise with you - my daughter went to America last year and I had to say tons of doas and reminders which she chooses to brush aside as over anxiety syndromes(thankfully not the doas) and a case of verbal diarhoea when I keep going on and on about the safety nets. And this is to go to a family that I know but being a parent you can never stop worrying. She has left again with brother in tow to Dubai and then to Kl. She then tells me at the airport that she plans to go backpacking to Penang with another girlfriend.My mum was on the line telling me that Malaysia is not as safe as it used to be ( tak macam dulu tau!)- child abduction la for prostitution la etc etc and now I have anxious nail biting moments thinking about it!! So ultra worried dad who cannot afford to leave his business has also packed me off to Malysia next week to be with her and son!! and to make sure that she does not backpack! With her adventurous spirit Thailand may be her next stop and its a NO No for me!! So deep breaths like you I am taking and hopefully will be in time to see her next week before she twist around her Tok's finger and end up in Thailand. And its all in the name of fun - kids!!

Life for Beginners said...

Nothing quite like Mommy's worry to show Mommy's love. But kids will travel, and perhaps the best prayer is the knowledge that one has brought up good, sensible kids. :)

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi Kak Teh,

My two teenage kids had gone for overseas camping trips in India, Thailand and Hong Kong with their school. It WAS difficult to let them go and I was agitated thru-out.

Eventhough I knew they were in safe hands, I couldn't let go of the maternal anxieties. I missed them like crazy. Very sayu each time I passed their room esp in the night.

But the kids tak pun rindu kat kita. Depa dok syok2 dgn activities kat the respective places.

With lots more overseas trips to go in the subsequent years, I really got to learn to worry less.

As for you Kak Teh, insyaAllah your child will have a safe passage. If you look at it positively, the backpacking trip will teach him to value his family/life more and also learn to be a better self-reliant person.

My doa for your child's safe journey.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Kak Teh
Gone are the days where children travel when their parents travel. These days, they make their own travel arrangements with cousins their age and friends.
It gives the parents the much needed break away from them but I can understand their worry, too.
Doa and reminders are all that we can give for their journey. Insya'allah, they will be okay.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Kak Teh,
Khao San Road is my playing field when I was in my 20s, single and, er, swinging. Been there at least 5times (thanks KTM). There is a buzz to that place, a special charm and a bohemian feel. Absolutely fabulous.

On each visit, I would never forget to buy big and little souvenirs for Wan; floral design comforter (Laura-Ashley like), leather hand bag, psychedelic wooden tulips, paper lotus, etc. To this day, Wan still carries the 20-year old hand bag whenever she goes out (mostly to the hospitals). Ahh, the unintended joy of backpacking ...

Let me know if (s)he needs any help here.

aMiR

Jasmine said...

A'kum Ka Teh
Your latest entry on backpacking reminds of the time some 20 years ago when I approached my parents on the idea of me and another girlfriend backpacking through Java and on to Bali for 3 weeks...at the time the pretense or excuse it was for our Batik project!! Maklum masa tu buat degree on SEAsian studies. So it took a lot of persuasion on my part and we kind of compromised that for the first 4 days we would stay at a friends house in Jakarta before heading on to Jogja and Solo. We had the time of our life ofcourse staying in some dodgy kosmen that was really cheap!! calling home now and again ..like once a week!!but had we had the kind of communication and internet facilities available today I'm sure my parents and grandparents would have slept better at night!! God only knows what it would be like when my children ask me such for such requests!! Even now school trips are already big deal let alone sleep overs!!Bertawakal saja lah ya! Warmest regards
Jasmine

Kak Teh said...

Anon, you are lucky that you are able to fly to be with them and perhaps in time to stop the planned backpacking to Thailand.
You can say that I have been to most parts that my daughter mentioned - I look at the map of Thailand and sort of follow the journey with my doas.
At this very moment, she is at an internet cafe after finding a hostel, after arriving fr koh samui.
Good luck with your venture - perhaps she will persuade you to backpack with her.

kenny dear, All I can hope for right now is that I have brought up a sensible kid. Arriving from Koh Samui at 5am - she took taxi around Bangkok that is still sleeping - in search of breakfast and hostel. Is that sensisble? two hrs ago I didnt think so. Now, she found a backpacking friend at the internet cafe - and am so relieved.

Kak Teh said...

madam tai tai, when children went on schooltrips, parents were not allowed to telephone...that is the biggest torture! I used to wake up in sweat, with worry. I am still not used to them being away like this.
Thank you for your doas.

fauziah,talking about arrangements with cousins - after bangkok she goes back to KL where she will try to get visa to go to India to meet up with cousin studying there. So my heart will then lurch forward to India. She returns to London , Insyaallah and then waits for another cousin and they fly off to Geneva for hari raya with another cousin there. I'd be very lucky if my mak would alow me to go to Penang from alor star all by myself at her age.

aMiR - she is at this very moment in Khao San district. I wanted to arrange the malaysian govt guesthouse but she wouldnt hear of it. Need help? Of course I need someone to shadow her...if i cant be there myself. Thanks , but you make it sound fun and I hope she is having fun too while I worry.

Kak Teh said...

madam tai tai, when children went on schooltrips, parents were not allowed to telephone...that is the biggest torture! I used to wake up in sweat, with worry. I am still not used to them being away like this.
Thank you for your doas.

fauziah,talking about arrangements with cousins - after bangkok she goes back to KL where she will try to get visa to go to India to meet up with cousin studying there. So my heart will then lurch forward to India. She returns to London , Insyaallah and then waits for another cousin and they fly off to Geneva for hari raya with another cousin there. I'd be very lucky if my mak would alow me to go to Penang from alor star all by myself at her age.

aMiR - she is at this very moment in Khao San district. I wanted to arrange the malaysian govt guesthouse but she wouldnt hear of it. Need help? Of course I need someone to shadow her...if i cant be there myself. Thanks , but you make it sound fun and I hope she is having fun too while I worry.

Kak Teh said...

jasmine, a batik project!! My daughter says she is going to take pictures and draw along the way. Yeah, right!My daughter has yet to meet with some people I had contacted. But she has met up with her friends. I continue to bertawakkal. Thank you for sharing your story.

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Teh,

An uncommon adventurous streak, your daughter has. She dares to explore the unknown. I wished I had half of her courage and spirit.

Pi Bani said...

Kak Teh dear,
Take a deep breath... tahan... tahan... tahan... until your child comes home safely... ;)

Typhoon Sue said...

*LOL*

so someone is off to an adventure trip again??

I learned from an early age that it's best to have all these adventures without Mummy's permission bcoz if she knew abt it, there wd've been a blanket ban on just abt everything!

Kak Teh said...

Hi&Lo, it was because I wasnt allowed to and didnt wish to go on such adventures that I didnt and couldnt understand why she wanted to. Until now - if I am to go on assignment alone, anywhere - that is fine. But to go aimlessly, alone - no way I will do it.

Pi Bani, thank you. Am breathing, yes, just about manage to breathe. Thanks.

Typhoon Sue, aiyooo, why you like that? I have other threats if offsprings go without telling me...hehe! Arent I the paranoid mum?

Mama Rock said...

kak teh, this will be me...first hyperventilate, then the volcano erupts, sct out like a defeated rocky, menitik air mata like noorkumalasari...and the finale is a drama queen receiving an award :)

so, do you have enough stock of ventolin ;)

Kak Teh said...

mama rock, I have done noor kumalasari, neng yatimah and God knows who else but to no avail. I have gone easy on ventolin - as she is still doing the Malaysia bit and keeping stock for her last leg which is India.

Theta said...

Kak Teh,

I found myself sniggering when I read this post. Not that I wasn't empathising, mind you. It's just I love the fact you manage to inject humour into your state of anxiety.

It must be difficult to come to terms with a wanderlust daughter. I'd be the ever emotional one if I were in your shoes! But I'm confident your daughter will be in safe hands and an admirable company to boot, insyaAllah.

Kak Teh said...

Theta, emotional doesn't describe it enough. Drama mama comes to mind. Paranoia just about covers it all. hehe! what says you?
Yes, Insyaallah she will be back with more stories, some of which will make me want to strangle her.

nadya said...

hehe! kelakar la kak teh nih. this is one funny post.

u sound like my parents when i mention - 'travel'

insyaallah everything will be okay :)

wanshana said...

Kak Teh,

My do'a that she'll have a safe journey, and that she'll have the most wonderful experience back-packing, that at the end of it she would thank you profusely for letting her go... (which might lead her to start planning for her next back-packing trip??!!! "Oh No!!! I hear you say...)

She'll be fine, insya Allah.

It's you we're worried about! Hehehe! Errr...make sure you don't forget to take your hypertension pills, Kak Teh!

Kak Teh said...

nad dearest, I know that you'd do this kind of things, making parents worried!!
Hehe - print out this entry and hang on your wall. Take care.

Wanshana - helppppp, her phone battery's flat! No way of communicating with her.
aiyaaaa, children! Ya, am sure she is already planning for her next trip.

Anonymous said...

Liz THE KETAQ MOM......ha ha ha...chill mom...chilll.....life is short and let them get the feel of what is out there for them to understand and appreciate.......way to go NONA....yessss Liz...it is way tooooooo lateeeeeeeee now....:)

-The scarry-merry Samantha-

Kak Teh said...

arghhhhhhhh scary mary samantha, I shd have known better than to ask you to calm my nerves! Those times you babysat my children, you must have brainwashed them and now - yes, yes, yes,, its tooo late!

nuriyah said...

Hi kak teh
now i do understand how you feel, and how my poor mum felt when i went off on all my travels- 4 trips around south america- from 3 weeks to 3 months, including 6 weeks alone in venezuela, plus various trips around europe, the middle east and the himalayas. i had the most amazing time on my travels and thought that when i had kids, the best present i could give them would be to encourage them to do the same. Now i have a 4 month old baby, and am freaking out about the thought of him having to sleep in his own room in a few months. what if the roof falls on his head and I can't be there quickly enough?? and as for a gap year - my little boy on his own in the big scary world without me to look after him??? forget it!!! when the day finally comes, i know i will be a nervous wreck...
on a positive note, backpacking is so much easier and safer these days, with mobile phones that work, email etc. plus kids tend to meet up with other backpacking kids, and tread a very well -trodden path.
i am so grateful - and in awe of- my amazing mother who is such a worrier ('don't take the tube after dark' ' why do you want to go to south america - those countries are lawless!' and, when i am back in KL, won't even let me stay alone in the house if there are workmen next door- and i am now 37!!!) - but only now do i realise how hard it must have been for her.
your daughter will have a great time, and everyday she is away 1s one day closer to her getting back. Nuriyah xxx

Kak Teh said...

Hi Nuriyah, If you are my child, I'd tie you to a post in the garden shed and feed you through the windows! hahaha ! :)

But what a wonderful time you must have had. and i cant even imagine how your mum was during all those times you were away. Now, as she has been away for a week, as long as I can get an sms reply, I am fine. She has given me a friend's number as she is recharging her phone. And you are right abt backpackers, although the original number was three to meet up in Bangkok, one was in Chiengmai with no contact at all. So two of them went off to Koh Samui...then, one went off to Bali, my daughter returned to Bangkok and then met the one who was supposed to be in Chiengmai.

I had an attack of nerves yesterday when she arrived alone in bangkok at 5 am and when i spoke to her - she was in a taxi - alone - with the taxi driver taking her from one hostel to another - I asked her to immediately stop when she found a restaurant that's opened for breakfast. She said: Mama , you always worry!
ya...that's the previledge of being a mama - we worry.

Thanks for you comment - your life must be very rich with these - i can only remember going to padang besar and pantai merdeka, when i was young! hehe!

Queen Of The House said...

Kak Teh, implanting a tracking device in your child is not such a bad idea. A tracking device with CCTV would be a better idea, hehehe.

So is she off to India now, or back already? I am sure she had a grand time!

Kak Teh said...

QOTH, I thought of that but how do I do it without her getting suspicious?? There must be a way!
I dont have GPS but I have to rely on my ESP. Its not quite absolete and quite reliable.

wonda said...

I remember you mentioned your mak used to sit on the swing and wait for your return. But this is a long distance travel, so it's a different story.

Akmal said...

Salaam Kak Teh,
All mums are like that eh? Hehe :D
Are you breathing easy now? No? :P

khalidah said...

Salam Kak Teh,

I was grinning as I read this, as it reminded me of my wanderlust years post-uni some 10 years back. My mum was away in UK doing her degree, and there I was, armed with Thai picked up in my SEAn studies course and inspired by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

There's something about Thailand that beckons the first-time backpacker and I must have been up there every 6 months for 3 years. Like Amir, my base would be Khao San Road, with all its dinginess.
And Kak Teh...when you're already in Thailand why not cross its borders, right? So there I was getting cheap thrills taking photos while straddling borderlines at Sungai Kolok and at the immigration points into Laos and Cambodia.My kakis and I even made it to Angkor Wat by road (all the way from SG), using all forms of transportation.

Looking back I must say some of the situations we got ourselves into were pretty scary, especially in Cambodia and along the Mekong River (where we took a 6-hr speedboat ride from the Laos side to reach the Thai border stuck with 3 Liberian refugees and one of them proposed marriage to one of my friend))...tak pernah dengar pun negeri nama Liberia sebelum ni.. At times like that I remember thinking "kalaulah mak aku tahu...".

But alhamdullillah we always came back in one piece, probably due to lots of baca-baca along the way and long-distance silent prayers from my mum and also being able to speak Thai and pretending to be from Pattani to get local prices..haha

But Kak Teh, contacting contacts your mother gave you while backpacking is so sungguh-tak-cool...hee hee...

Now that I'm the mother of 2 tots, I cannot, of course, imagine the day when they display signs of inheriting my Lara Croft genes :)

Just sit back, relax and say lots of doas. And oh..keep that ventolin within reach of course :P

IBU said...

Oh no... oh my gawd.....kak teh....

u r scaring me!

when idin asked me if he could take the school bus (the typical yellow one) instead of going with our regular Ms Rameni (who ferry my kids to school & back), I almost choked (yeah, yeah.... exaggerating..)

Now I can imagine, the request for backpacking looming ahead.... Oh...oh ...oh.....

Hope everything would go well with your daughter's backpacking trip. Mommy's doa the best emergency kit ever.

Zabs said...

Salam Kak Teh,
That is how our parents felt when we left home for the first time when we were young I suppose.
Now is our turn to experience the same.
Hanya doa dengan penuh keyakinan mereka akan selamat selalu yang dapat kita pohonkan dariNya. InsyaAllah.

wonda said...

Ooh, Kak Teh! What a surprise! Love this green tea chocolate of yours - pleasant to my eyes and delicious! And eco-friendly,eh? Haha!

mekyam said...

poor KT! she'll be okay, insyaAllah!

and how is AG coping with it all, i wonder... not the daughter backpacking half-way across the world bit, but the wife half out of her mind with worry bit. ;D

Kak Teh said...

Wonda, yes,mak would be sitting on the swing with her selendang and handbag all ready to go out and look for me. But I never ventured far - not brave enough.

Akmal, in an hour she boards the plane from Bangkok to KLIA.Then I breathe more easily. Then she applies for visa to India....she gets that, I have to get more supplies of ventolin. Mums are ade to worry.

Kak Teh said...

Salam Khalidah,

At least you had some Thai, and some courses in SEA'an studies. She had nothing. The only word in Thai I could teach her was Chan Rak Ther and I dont think it is advisable to teach young girls that phrase. Hehe!!

She has done just a bit of what you did. She is totally disappointed with Koh Samui - likening it to Bournemouth with lots of pubs and clubs and the last few days, in Bangkok, she must have seen something truly Thai.

She did mention Cambodia - and immediately I thought...aaah, I have a friend who has a hotel in Seam Reap!!! At least proper food and bed, kan?? But of course, which self respecting backpacker would be seen sleepin on a proper bed?

I was told abt Khao San, so that was why I suggested the malaysian govt. guesthouse...hmmm nope!

Hehe - dont give my daughter ideas abt crossing borders!The lastime we did that was the French/swiss border and she didnt even know what's where.

My other daughter went to Egypt, not backing though.But because she is fluent in Arabic and was with some Arab friends, I wasnt very worried - except for that bomb blast in Sharm el sheikh. And someone prosposed as well - a few thousand camels and keys to his shop!!

Ya, I suppose I must let go. I hope you have documented your experience in a journal.You must, and let us read. Let me know, ok?

Kak Teh said...

Ibu, that time will come.The first time she went away was to Spain. I broke out in sweat in the middle of the night because I couldnt remember whether there was one or two driver for the coachshe was travelling in. I thought, what is the driver fell asleep??
Crazy kan?
Then she was off to Portugal - but al these were school related trips - with teachers around.
Oh, well - IBu, print out this guide and pin it on yr wall for when the time comes:)

zabs, yes, I wonder how my Mak felt when I left her to come to London. AllI could feel was her clutching my arms in the car to the airport. and as we neared the airport - the clutch got tighter and tighter. But Mak being Mak, she said as we hugged and I kept running back to her: Pi lah...Zaharah dah jadi isteri orang!

Kak Teh said...

wonda - i had you in mind when i did this - and I am glad u like it.

Mek Yam - he doesnt need ventolin. He spends his timetiling the bathroom and said to me: Give her some breathing space.But sekali sekala, he says: Phone dia sat tengok dia di mana?

Kak Elle said...

KT sori dah lama tak jenguk aleh2 dah tukar rumah lagi:)
biarkan lah mereka lasak gi camping otherwise they won't learn the meaning of ROUGH...haha

Last weekend they wanted me accompany year3 students to Kuantan for a day but the thought of the trip and coming back next day I rejected...camping and cleaning the beach(community work)for the students.

Kak Teh said...

kak elle, you sibuk dengan tetamu - i read abtsimah's visit.

Going away with a bunch of kids is not my idea of a holiday- espcially other people's kids that you have tobe responsible for. So , you did right by opting out.

You have done quite a lot of travelling yourslef - though not backpacking lah.

My daughter dah sampai KL and I can relax a bit.

Salt N Turmeric said...

hahaha Kak Teh. dalam risau pun boleh buat joke. im sure ur kid would be fine. worst case scenario, you can always fly to bangkok and accidentally 'bump' into him/her. ;)

Kak Teh said...

farina aka salt & tumeric, hehe- the only way untuk mengubat hati yang gundah gulana! anyway,she is in KL now. So, I can put my mind at rest - for now.

NJ said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Hehehe… I believe that’s why people lurve your entries, you managed to inject humor to serious subject. Mom will always be mom..kan Kak Teh. My Mak too still would be interrogating and pestering me with all those micro details whenever I told her I am packing and leaving on a jetplane for WORK, even on domestic flights..argh!!!

But, the scarry merry Samantha is right though…haha! Way to go scarry merry Samantha..err..I mean Kak Teh’s Sayang Mamas…hehe..

Puteri Kamaliah At-Tarawis said...

(Sigh..) Kak Teh, why do we sayang our anak-anak tersangat amat? I wish I know the answer. Every step that they make out of our sight, kita risau. My kids pindah to stay on their own in November last year - sharing an apartment in Bandar Utama - and I am forever enticing them to drop by our pad by cooking macam-macam.. rindu bagai nak rak all the time. But when they were staying with us, isyy.. kalutlah.. always under my feet....

ruby ahmad said...

Hello K Teh,

You wrote:'attach inhaler permanently to your nostrils and at the same time, trembling hands permitting, go through 25 ways to calm your nerves'...I almost fell off my seat laughing. Oh you're such a doting mum. I can imagine how hard for you to let Sayang Mama go on his backpacking adventure... especially with our current goings-on. But with your wise guidance & ample guide on how to survive a backpacking trip (he he), yes insy he will be ok.

When I was a young student, I was such a good girl..he he. While all my friends went backpacking to Europe, I went home every summer. I was of course teased by them. But life has a way to be fair, I more than made up what I lost out traveling with my friends, in my working trips overseas, later years..he he.

You take care dear.

Kak Teh said...

NJ, when I am back in Malaysia with my mother, she worries abt me travelling on the LRT alone, abt me coming back late - etc etc. So, where do you think I got this from and I am inflicting it on my children. Not enough with worrying about children, we worry abt cats. Where's Tabby, where's Kissinger? Why are they not back? Paranoid habis!

Puteri,
I did the same with my son who flew the nest last year. Balik laaa, mama masak mee bandung. Balik laa mama masak ketam. That was what my older siblings used to do to bait me into going back to their house every weekend - you know that house in Kpg Tunku? Abang Lid used to bribe me with promises of Laksa and ketam sambal.
Wow, your children are so big now! and all in the media? We discouraged ours from following our footsteps , we say, look at us now - we have not gone very far - go on and do other things.

Kak Teh said...

Ruby, How right you are. I consider myself deprived too - no backpacking no rombongan cik kiah. But now, I do travel a lot, in the name of work. Sleeping in nice hotel rooms with breakfast served is not bad, is it?
Am off to Edinburgh for two days next week - and am so looking forward to me time on th efour hour train ride.

Ordinary Superhero said...

The kids are also yearning for their fair share of adventures. Yes, lots of doa.

Kak Teh said...

OSH, yes, I do agree and also am counting the days.Thanks.

melayudilondon said...

Hai KT,
I rasa Alia mesti nak backpack kat London + Europe when she is bigger. hehehehe. so you know who i will contact and email endlessly. hehehehehe

Kak Teh said...

melayudilondon, I think kalau alia backpack, mak pak dia pun turut backpack! you can all camp in my backgarden, the cats can keep you company. My garden is looking quite nice now.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Kak Teh, what's the name of the handsome fella in the picture of your blog? He is sooooo CUTE!! Geramnya tengok!

Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim, kucing ray yang alim.

Kak Teh, siapakah kucing yg di dalam blog ini? kata Pak Malim sambil berenang di Tasik Chini. Dia sangat cute, kata Pak Malim sambil menekan butang mute. Adakah dia juga akan pergi backpacking? kata Pak Malim sambil makan Burger King.

J.T. said...

hahaha... Kak Teh. That was so entertaining.
Now I know how my mum would have felt when I told her I was going to travel alone. I had confirmed places to stay in all my destinations (out of Malaysia) but I am sure she could not sleep as long as I was not at home.

Kak Teh said...

Madam Tai Tai, that is Snowbell, mother to tabby and the rest. Will put pictures of the others soon. This Snowbell has claimed squatters' rights in our bedroom..and so manja. Mesti nak usap-usap dia selalu!

Pak Malim, inilah kucing kami
yang agak sewel,
namaknya Snowbell,
setiap hari mesti diusap,
kalau tidak susah nak lelap!

JT, I am for now quite happy that she is resting her feet in Malaysia, catching up with aunts, uncles and cousins and more importantly, her grandmother.
But next week, she is off to India....helppppp!!!

Ms B said...

Kak Teh dear,

I read ur column the other day in NST on this topic. I tell you, I have this feeling that the lil one will follow the same. They love the adventure, yeah?

Flying back tomorrow. Truly sorry for not being able to find the book. See u soon!!

Kak Teh said...

Ms B, looking forward to your return. Aaah, the lil one - i had tears in my eyes reading your current entry. You both will be strong. You have each other.

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Teh,

Comment abt you in Elviza. Like lightning you replied.

If I may repeat my anecdote here abt a Sabah minister ('70's era) who tried to speak English.

One day he wanted to invite friends over to his house for dinner.

"Easy, easy, come to my house. My cock now big. I ask my wife cut cock cook curry."

This was how he described his car skidded:

"I brake, brake. Brake cannot eat. Tyre no flower."

Kak Teh said...

Hi&Lo, I hope for his own sake, he doesn't do too many curry dinners!

arenaKu uKanera said...

auntie zaharah, what a guide this is!

Kak Teh said...

arenaku, thanks but i dont think you or your parents need a guide like this, after all you are a seasoned traveller.

Tan agnes said...

Hi Kak Teh, I really enjoy your humour, and your writting, you are such great & loving mum.
love you agnes

Kak Teh said...

Agnes, thanks for the visit. I was such a nervous wreck when i wrote this - and of course she went on to India for a month after that. Now she has plans further afield...arghhhh, more puffs of the ventolin!