Thursday, June 10, 2004

Experience 'Oghe Kelate'

I’m finally back from Kelantan! What an experience! I never fully realized that I love visiting Kelantan and that it’s a great place to be (although I wouldn’t necessarily want to live there). It’s a great place to get away from it all and each time I go back there’s bound to be major changes done especially now that Barisan has taken over a lot of the areas in Kelantan. I guess they fear losing whateever power that they have gained in Kelantan so they feel that they must show the people that choosing them was the best choice they did. For me… I’ll leave it to the ‘real’ Kelantanese to decide.

This time my trip to Kelantan was more than an occasional visit to see my family or for shopping but instead it was more towards discovering my birthplace. It all happened by circumstances really because if we weren’t lost in getting our way round Kota Bharu we probably wouldn’t have found this quaint little tourist village smack dab in the middle of the city. The guy working there even admitted that not many of the locals know about the place because it’s hidden away by the bigger and grander old Sultan’s palace and of course the main shopping attraction the ‘Pasar Siti Khadijah’ and ‘Bazaar Buluh Kubu’. You should have seen the way my mum, my sister, my cousin and myself going around taking pictures of everything on site. It was really cute but the funny thing was to the locals we probably would have looked like any tourist visiting Kelantan for the first time but as we drew near we were all talking rapidly in Kelantanese. Everybody must have thought that we were ‘orang ulu’. It was fun finding out stuff about my native state. At least now I feel more of a Kelantanese rather than someone whose origins is in Kelantan but knows nothing much about Kelantan. Now I don’t feel so lost.

Another reason that made this trip fun was that I get to watch the ‘Bargain Queen’ at work again. Who is she? None other than my MOM herself. She is a wonder at getting the things she wants at the price she is willing to pay for. Can you imagine she managed to get 4 meters of exquisite silk cloth with batik prints at only RM100 when the original price was RM280. Not impressive enough? The price for the same cloth for tourist was set at a whopping RM350. I wonder how she does it. If people were to say she gets that price because she’s a Kelantanese well the sellers can tell that she’s not living in Kelantan because they always ask her where she lives. My mom’s slang has become like mine, a watered down version of Kelantanese slang- fluent but not like the locals. So every time she goes shopping in Kelantan I make it a point to follow her. I have to know her secret! It may be a long and tiring walk from one store to another but in the future its way worth it because with the stuff that I buy I can sell it to other people at twice the price! Muahahaha!! Money!!

It was a great trip this time and I’m glad that there weren’t that many people like during raya season. I’m really looking forward to my next trip back to Kelantan. Who knows there might be other little treasures that I might find accidentally while I’m there. As for current plans, Penang is my destination for the weekend. Ferringhi Beach… here I come!!

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