Mr Mode spent a large part of his childhood in his grandfather’s (Ah Gong) kampung in Malaysia; the place contains many beautiful and precious memories for him. I had only met Ah Gong once, when I joined Mr Mode’s family to visit Ah Gong during Chinese New Year. It was usually quite hard for my unmarried self to be with a family other than my own during the festive season, but Mr Mode and I had finally got engaged and I kind of had official reason to get to know his extended family in Malaysia.
Ah Gong’s kampung is 2-3 hours (without traffic jam) away from Singapore. No matter the occasion, you will look absolutely ridiculous and out of place if you dressed in anything more glamorous than my above #OOTD. Lol. Comfort > Style.
Mr Mode said this rusty swing has been around since forever and it’s where the most fun, the most heart-to-heart conversations, and the exchange of ideas have been made.
We had returned this time to hold the third segment of our wedding because many of his relatives do not own a passport and it was logistically difficult to have so many of them join us for our wedding in Singapore. Which was fine by me coz having a wedding in a kampung sounded fun and different!
In the evening, I changed out of my kampung gear, into something suitable for a simple wedding dinner.
This restaurant is probably the most glamorous restaurant they have in the vicinity. It’s where all kinds of events are held – weddings, celebration of 60th birthdays (hence the ‘寿’ word at the stage), family dinners, company dinners, etc. It looked like those I had been to in Singapore in the 90s.
It was a very simple affair, 3-4 tables of relatives , as simple as Mr Mode had described, but way simpler than I had expected – everyone just sat down and had a 9-course meal. Nobody felt the need to take pictures so the bride had to suggest taking some LOL.
What happened after the dinner was more fun. Having grown up in Singapore, I never got to play with fireworks. The relatives were very nice, they had exhausted most of their fireworks supply the day before and went to dig out more for me.
It was as entertaining for them to watch me get excited over fireworks as it was for me to play them. Hahaha. We used the joss stick to light the firecracker and when it starts to spark, RUNNN!! And it would shoot high up into the sky with a loud SHEEEUUUUU!!! 😀
Ah Gong went to move his car away in case we got it on fire. Lol. He has been driving this same car for over 20 years.
Love the kampung vibe.
And this is Ah Gong, who looks pretty much the same except for the change in hair color. At 70, he still is very fit and strong. I hardly know Ah Gong, but from my observation and little interaction, I feel that he’s a good role model. Even though he has earned enough money to last him for many, many retirements, he still goes to his rubber plantation every morning at 4am to tap for rubber. He goes under the sun, works hard, drives home in the 20+ years car, spend time with family, and sleeps early. Very simple, healthy lifestyle. He works not for the money, but for a purpose in life.
Morning came and I went exploring. This is the water tank which contains their water supply. They grow rambutan, durian, papaya, and many other kinds of fruits and vegetables in the backyard.
This is Ah Gong’s favorite part of the house – his shed. It looks like junk to everyone else but nobody is allowed to throw anything away.
Old-school toilet that made me extremely nervous when I had to pee in the middle of the night. The shower is at another part of the outdoor yard, which has no heater – we scooped cold water from the bucket. It was FREEZING. 😯
The kitchen has remained the same as when Mr Mode’s mum was a teenager.
Ah Gong also bought us Mr Mode’s favorite Hokkien noodles from a coffee shop in the kampung. In my opinion it’s nice but not exceptional, but it’s Mr Mode’s favorite thing in the world since it brings back a lot of memories for him.
Mr Mode’s mum said this cousin is a splitting image of Mr Mode when he was this age. Haha.
Have you been to/lived in a kampung before?