Eid amidst the coconuts

Miniature chickens or <em>ayam serama</em>
Miniature chickens or ayam serama

The kids had a great time for Eid. We all flew back to West Malaysia to my wife’s village, just got back last night.. It was the first time my wife had been there for Eid in 8 years, and my first time ever. The kids got along great with all their cousins and second cousins, and were spoiled
rotten by all their uncles and aunties. All 7 of my mother-in-law’s children came back this year. She was very very happy. She has 10 grandkids now and 12 step-grandkids. I’m finally getting fluent enough with Bahasa to keep track of what’s going on in the family, and beginning to really remember all my cousins-in-law. My wife must have first cousins in the triple digits. The custom here is to go visiting neighbors after the
eid, to have tea and snacks and then move on the next house. Kids are given a little bit of money from everyone they visited. Long cleared 55 RM. He was a little avaricious banker by the time it was all over, counting and recounting his money in the corner of our room.

The worst incident of the whole trip was when KakNgah got attacked by our neighbor’s rooster. He’s lived next door all his life, knew my wife’s late father very well. He’s also a distant cousin. Well, he likes to keep chickens, and they peck and scratch in our yard too. One old rooster is a little daft, and the d*mn thing attacked KakNgah. Luckily she had the good sense to turn around and run, so she was only pecked on her back and arm. But the bites ripped her shirt and drew blood. This would all be terrible
on its own, but the worst thing is, this all happened to Long three years ago! The same damn rooster! At the time, back in 2000, we were quite upset of course, but since it had never happened to anyone, we just let it lie. Then it attacked my three year old nephew a little while later, after we went back to the US. That was the last I heard about it, and I just assumed the rooster had wound up in the stock pot after it’s second offense. But in fact, the rooster was spared. Then it attacked our neighbor’s own grandson and tagged him right above the eye. His son-in-law demanded the chicken’s death but our neighbor would not relinquish the bird, claiming it was good
luck. The son-in-law took his wife and kid and has not been back. Well, I was furious, but social ettiquette just would not allow raging at the old man, and besides, if he denied his own grandson justice, he certainly wouldn’t grant it to me. So I plotted to kill the rooster. If it was dead and gone, I could simply apologize and he would have to accept. But I failed. I had a good go at it with a machete, and several times with a
slingshot, but I couldn’t bag it. After every failed attempt, it would crow upon reaching safety. Sometimes, when it was in the yard, it would see KakNgah and crow some more. What a cock.


6 thoughts on “Eid amidst the coconuts

  1. I was in Kuching for the Eid. There were a lot of relatives to visit. Lots of food & cakes to eat.
    On a more sad note, one of my husband’s cousin whom we met in Kuching, passed away (heart attack) on Tuesday in Shah Alam. We went to the funeral yesterday. It was very tragic, he was only 31 and has left his wife with their 5 months old daughter. It is Allah’s will.

  2. We lived in a housing area in Shah Alam and my dad had an “ayam sabung” (a fighting cock) in the backyard. Boy, did he loved that rooster. Unfortunately, it died due to some disease. It tasted really delicious in my mom’s Ayam Masak Kuning (chicken cooked with cumin and coconut milk). Guess who abstained from eating it? 😎

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