Our German Friends.
One fine day in 2008, me and the neighbors are having durians in front of my house when Mr. Nasir owner of house no 2 arrived. He said that two German student’s one male and one female will be renting his house for 4 months. These students are here for the ‘Student Exchange Program’ with UiTM. A man and woman who are not married to each other will be living in the same house? Will they party all night long during weekends? Will they wear inappropriate cloths while sun bathing in the garden? How to control our children from asking ‘difficult’ questions? Well, thanks to the people who invented television, most people here are having those kinds of skeptical thoughts when it comes to westerners. The fact is, even some Malaysian did the same thing.
I personally think that we should take this opportunity to tell them who we Muslims really are. We are not terrorists for God’s sake. We respect people the way we want to be respected. It’s a good opportunity for us to get to know people from other culture as well. So I’m excited to wait for their arrival. I can’t remember the exact date they arrived but I sure do remember the first impression that I had. “They are afraid of us”…ahahahaha…what a silly thought of mine. Just imagine, for two months they spent most of their time in the house, while we are waiting for them to come out so that we can have a talk with them. One night, I’m on my way back from the surau (mosque) when I saw them at their gate. They are about to go out for dinner I guessed. I took that opportunity to introduce myself & welcome Ines & Mike to the neighborhood. Since then we always greet each other in the morning, I’m heading for work & they are heading for class and that’s it, just greetings still haven’t really talk.
It’s Hari Raya celebration that changed everything. It is normal to have open houses (you invite people to come & eat at your house) during Raya celebration (for one whole month mind you…hahaha). I still remember how it started. It was Kamarul’s open house. All of the neighbors are enjoying the delicious foods when suddenly Jamal my next door neighbor told me that somebody is watching us from her window. I looked up and there was Ines watching the ‘eating fiesta’. I wonder what’s on her mind. I straight away call her down and we finally had our first ‘real’ talk…ehehehehe. It rains heavily that day, forcing her to spend hours in our house talking with me and my wife. My first impression? She’s so friendly and she seems to understand the sensitivity of our community. When the rain stops then I brought her to join the neighbors for the open house (makan2). She said Mike’s a bit busy with their assignment so he can’t join us. Since then both of them start to join us in our activities. Mike even tried to play Sepak Takraw. A tall guy like him will surely have an advantage but Takraw is not just a sport, it’s an art which is not that so easy to master. Give him some more time; coupled with determination I honestly believed that he would be a great Takraw player.
We later had a very big event in SU3, “Jamuan Perdana”. We have lots of foods, fireworks, silat demo and performances by our kids etc (http://gallery.saujanautama3.com). Mu’az was dancing & Muna was singing. How sweet. Mike & Ines also join the crowd and guess what? Ines wore our national dress..:)
Time flies. It is time for Mike to leave & go back to Germany. On his last day he went to the takraw court and personally asked me to thank everybody for the unforgettable moments that he had spent with us in SU3. Wish him all the best for his future endeavors. Ines stayed for another 2 weeks. Her boyfriend Willi arrived few days before Mike’s departure (He played sepak takraw quite well since that he play football in Germany). On his first day here we brought Ines & Willi to Sally’s sister’s wedding. Ines had experienced it before but it is the fisrt time for her boyfriend Willi. They seems to enjoy doing the “menepung tawar” rituals.
They spent the remaining 2 weeks going places (mostly around Klang Valley). To explore the whole country definitely requires more time. Few days before they went back to Germany, Ines & Willi came to my house (look at the photo..they are wearing sarongs…ehehehehe) and we talked until late night (1~2 o clock in the morning mind you). It’s difficult to say goodbye since that we had became close friends. Before I forget, we also brought Ines & Willi to our night market. They never had been to such market before. We went there with my car. Immediately after we were seated both of them quickly grab the seat belt and buckled up. J We Malaysian only use the seat belt when we saw road blocks…ehehehehe…
By now they are already in Germany. We still communicate thru emails. I received New Year & birthday wishes sent by them via SMS. They shared photos of their backyard & neighborhood, covered with white snow. I shared with them most of the activities that we had done here in SU3, just to make them feel that they are still part of the community.
Ines said that she would love to come back for their honeymoon, she really miss SU3. Hope that we will meet again. Some people said; when the time to say goodbye, what you bring with you is less important compared to what you left behind. It is how people remember you are what matters. We will surely remember our German friends as very friendly & always respect the way we live our live here. Hopefully they will also remember us for our good deeds. They want me to thank everybody in SU3 for the hospitality & friendship. People come and go; few will touch your heart before they leave. Hopefully the friendship will last…hopefully we will meet again…
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