The most enjoyable weekend you have experienced – an Open Speech

The most enjoyable weekend you have experienced – an Open Speech

Tina and I had a fabulous time in Terengganu last weekend. The accommodation was free – we stayed in a relative’s house – and we had the sun, the sand, and the sea.

Tina’s aunt’s house was a stone’s throw from the beach. The moment we reached the house, we flung our bags down and headed for the beach.

It was spectacular. The sea seemed luminous. It was so early in the morning that there was no one else there. The beach seemed to have been washed clean by the tide and no one had walked on it except the little crabs and the gulls.

After the incessant noise of the city and the overnight trip on the train, the silence was utter bliss. Enjoying the warmth of the sun, both of us just sat on the sand and watched the waves roll gently on the shore. Far out on the distant horizon were some fishing boats. It really was the perfect start for the weekend. Tina waded into the shimmering blue and green sea, jumping to avoid the foam breaking onto the shore. I ran on the wet sand, enjoying the feel of it under my bare feet. ‘Coee!’ I answered the gulls and gave a cartwheel in sheer joy.

Auntie Lis was waiting for us with freshly cooked nasi dagang. The aroma welcomed us as we stepped into the house. After the scrumptious brunch, Auntie Lis said it was time to paint the town red. The first stop was the Kuala Terengganu market. It was fun exploring floor after floor of local delicacies and crafts. There was keropok lekor that we sampled at the food court. We drooled over the hand-painted batik fabric and bought colorful batik pants and T-shirts. Of course Aunt Lis bought packets and packets of dried fish and keropok for us to bring home with us. The wet market on the ground floor had an intriguing array of fruits and vegetables in all shapes and colors that we had never seen before. The best part was the duku langsat. There were mountains of them and I had never tasted such big succulent and sweet duku langsat before. Auntie Lis had to put a stop to our fruit tasting. `Enough! Your stomachs will burst soon. Keep some place for other local delicacies.

Our next stop was Kak Yah’s where we sat down for plates of their famous keropok and tea. It was wonderful. Auntie Lis had to drag us out of the shop to a batik factory. There we tried our hands at batik painting and created our own masterpieces. We also saw songket weaving and appreciated the fine craftsmanship.

We went home for dinner after that. Aunty Lis reminded us we would celebrate Earth Hour ’09 by having a barbeque dinner under the stars. It was truly a memorable experience having dinner underneath thousands of stars, listening to the lapping of the waves and Uncle Shah’s stories of old Terengganu.

The next morning we set off to the turtle hatchery near Kuantan. We were beside ourselves with excitement when we were allowed to release little turtle hatchlings into the sea. It was an incredible experience to watch the week-old hatchlings waddle into the sea. I held my breath when a huge wave swept the little ones into the sea and whispered a prayer for their safety.

All too soon it was time to take the train home. On the way home, we talked and talked about our unforgettable weekend in Kuala Terengganu. We had left for Kuala Terengganu exhausted and burnt-out. Now, we left it refreshed and filled with a quiet joy.