A regular reader of "Tuesdays With Bapak" is Rubiah Ariff. We have developed a kind of closeness. She was the one who asked a lot about my niece, baby Sharmaine. In a comment in the latest TWB, Rubiah alluded to her childhood. I caught a story there. I said that she had a story to tell.
She certainly has. Rubiah sent me a little tale about her life as a young girl in Sarawak and when she furthered her studies in Penang.
She said, perhaps it was not to be published in my blog, because her husband cautioned to not "steal Nuraina's blog".
Hai, suami, suami.
Forgive me, Rubiah. I have to post your story.
Here is Rubiah's story.
"Dear Nuraina, Assalamulaikumsalam.
Our life is simple saja. I was born in Long Lama (Ulu Baram). Pa was from Kedah (kerja polis) and Ma was a local (masuk Islam after kahwin -- umur 14 tahun). Have 2 sisters and 1 brother before myself and another bro and sis after me.
Long Lama is an outpost town (12hrs journey by boat from the nearest outpost-Marudi). At home, life is too simple. One clinic cum post office cum ofis pendaftar. School is just a small room at the back of the gereja (st. Anthony's). A priest comes in daily to teach. We were the only Muslim family there. (Tapi you can find several chapels in/around Baram, pelik, kristian dah sampai, Islam belum). So Pa susah hati, takut jadi kristian. So he packed us off (the older ones)to boarding in Marudi (malays everywhere).
Parents visit 3 bulan sekali (sebab jauh). Biasa lah, I was known as the "airmata" princess. (makan taugey hari2, no taste). Pa goes hunting weekends, payau (deer) and fishing (prawns, fish) nearby. No fresh beef! No peti-ais, no ais-krim. kalau sakit kena travel in a long boat to Marudi. Nasib baik, emak "murah" masa melahirkan we all. But one thing is clear, we are all brother/sisters to everyone back home. The elders are called Apai/Indai, kakak/Abang, Anak/Adik.
Kerja Pa senang, mana ada gaduh2. Semua peaceful folks. later on, SPM over, I studied nursing in Penang. Wah... sedapnya makan2 situ. By then the elder children dah kerja, Pa&Ma dah pandai naik "belon" (flight). They were at my "grad'tion".
I worked as a "reader" at Kindergarten in Penang (waiting for job). Then dapat kerja kat Adventist Hospital. Disitu bertemu jodoh dengan suami (Shariff Osman). Abah dia accident, kita onduty at A&E. Nenek dia yang jodohkan.
Okaylah, dia juga baik, tak banyak cakap. Saya juga budak "ulu".
Pa&Ma suruh terima pinangan (bukan apa, takut terpikat kat anak2 mamak Penang!) tak balik Sarawak!.
Tunang 2 tahun (suami masih belajar o'seas). Kahwin di Penang, suami dapat kerja (kerajaan) dan lepas tu' transfer to Sibu (sarawak).
Dah masuk 4 tahun di Sibu (another small town). Pa dah meninggal (heart attack). Sebelum Pa meninggal, ada beli rumah di Marudi sebab ramai kawan kat situ. Changes don't happen so fast in small towns.
I love going back to Marudi and Ulu Baram. Suami paling seronok mandi sungai, hunting, climbing. Adventure betul. No fear of crocs.
I remember, each time Pa takes us home for school holidays (year end, sebab holiday panjang) I would sit in the long boat, paling depan sekali, lepas my tocang and let my hair "fly with the wind". Kak/abang bising, menjerit "Ikat rambut, nanti botak". Kat sekolah, rambut ditocang 24jam, skearan bebas!
It still is fun! Good old days. But your life is more colourful. Alhamdulillah, kita semuanya selamat dan sihat.
Eventho' I live in Sibu, my family & in-laws selalu in and out juga. Mother in-law paling suka kalau diajak balik ke LongLama. Tak pernah complain apa2. Pandai swimming, tau! Dia pakai seluar sampai kelutut dan t-shirt besar. She forgets herself sometimes, berenang kat tempat dalam2. Bahaya, ada rapids.
Syukurlah. Terima kasih sebab sudi tanya pasal kita. My salam to everyone at home, baby, Bapak & family. Harap2 Nina dah sihat, jangan putus susukan baby, supaya baby cepat besar, sihat dan cantik.
p/s: Tolong jangan publish yang ni kat blog, ya? Suami kata "trying 2 steal Nuraina's blog". Muah Muah