Who should come into town but HijabMan, fresh from a posh international wedding photography gig in Penang! Scarcely had he set foot in my house but my children were hopping around with balloon helmets, balloon flowers, balloon swords and balloon dogs (strictly halal). Uncle HijabMan knows how to get in good with the little ones.
It was too short a visit, but we managed to bring the Man of Hijab to commune with the Men of the Forest at the Semenggong Nature Center where my kids were as enthralled with the bright orange apes as they were with the dung beetles making quick work of their leavings on the observation deck. They say monkey see, monkey do and it must be true because no sooner had the Orangutans descended to the feeding platform to snatch some bananas than KakYang, KakUda and Andak were begging me to pick up some bananas for home.
I spent half the time driving from one strike-out location to the next: under new ownership, closed for repairs, not open for lunch. Even the surau we stopped at for zuhr prayer was locked! I guess when you only get a good reason to hit the town once every year or two you lose track of what’s where and when. Nonetheless, I was finally able to locate the home hosting the weekly study circle led by our Ustaz Abu Muhammad, and remembered the road out to Sirikin on the Indonesian border the next day to pick up some wild honey, local hill rice and of course… some bananas for my monkeys back home.
Malaysians, don’t forget to contact HijabMan to photograph your next special function (so he can come visit again).