This past weekend, Alex and I were invited to an end-of-Ramadan open house by one of his students. I thought these open house parties only happened in the two days following the end of Ramadan (Hari Raya). Malaysian time is quite flexible though, so I wasn’t too surprised to learn that they were still going on two weeks after Ramadan ended.
There were about 25 or 30 people at the house when we arrived around 4:00 on Saturday. Most of them were other students, though there were a couple of family members, too. The girl whose house it was, Wara, greeted us and introduced us to her mother. Her mom didn’t speak much English but was extremely friendly and welcomed us into her home.
We sat down in the living room, and were immediately handed steaming cups of tea. I’m slowly getting used to drinking hot tea in 90ºF weather, though I’m usually sweating profusely by the end of my cup. Saturday was no exception, especially because I was wearing jeans (going into a Malay household, I wanted to be slightly more covered up than usual).
Next came the food. This is a bowl of chicken noodle soup, emphasis on the noodles, that was quite delicious:Next we enjoyed(?) some fresh fruit and veggies with anchovy(?) paste:I’m still deciding on that one. After we had something to eat, it was time to take pictures. Many, many pictures. The kids were using something called a “selfie stick,” which is essentially a long pole on which you attach your phone at the end and take selfies. It was bizarre but allowed for enormous group selfies, so there’s that.
I managed to snag a couple pictures on my phone as well. That’s our hostess, sitting to my left.And with aching jaws from smiling so much, we said our thank yous and goodbyes. On our way out, we were presented with these:Hari Raya gifts from Wara’s mother, each with a couple ringgit inside. I’m not sure if everyone who stops by gets one, or if they’re only for the kids, but it was a very kind gesture.
It was great to meet some more of Alex’s students, and even better that they think “freelancer from New York” means “glamorous reporter from New York City.” We’ll be meeting up with the girls for dinner soon, so hopefully they’ll finally grant me an interview for the Rambler!