Monday, April 13, 2009

A Swede family in KL, the Cedhagen...

In life nothing stays the same, you may plan but what would actually happen none of us could tell and folk that is what made living so very wonderful. I love excitement for it adds color to my life and the life of my loved one. It is sort of the story of my life and I am enjoying it. The journey of life is like that and like the dialog in the 94 movie 'Forest Gump'. "Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you going to get next". That is what made living so interesting for it is the unknown that made it sort of a mystery. This posting is about what happen last week that add color to our lives.

The story is like this. Out of the blue I received an email from a stranger Tomas Cedhagen saying that he and his family would be arriving in KL on March 20, 2009; Zaharan his long time buddy of 33 years had introduce me to him, saying that he was hoping of meeting me here in KL. I replied that I would love to meet him and the family. And on Sunday March 22, while I was enjoying myself at the Pekan Sari [Sunday Market] at Temerloh and lost in the midst of the disorganized market I received a call on my cell phone and it was from Tomas, saying that he had arrived in KL and already having a great time visiting places of interest in and around KL. They would be going to Taman Negara [the National Park] in Jerantut the next day. After that would leave for the east coast. With that I wish that they would enjoy their stay here and that trip to the east coast. Back home that evening I email him telling him that he did make a good choice to visit the east coast and that to call me when he is back in KL.

Some time in the early morning of Monday April 6 I received a call on my cell phone and it was from Tomas. He says that they are now back in KL and now staying at a hotel in Bukit Bintang. I told him that my spouse and I would meet them and since I have not met him and his family before, told him that we would meet at the 'Loaf' at the Pavilion shopping complex not that far from the hotel he was staying, at 3:00PM that afternoon. That folks is how the drama of the week begins.

I choose the 'Loaf' cafe since it is easily spotted from outside as well as from inside, moreover it is a local franchise that is well known now. A one of its kind at the Pavilion. So at just past 3:00PM on that lovely Monday afternoon I met them sitting at the foyer of the cafe. We introduce ourselves and then sat to have some refreshment at a table inside. When we got our coffee and other drinks as well as some pastry we sat to chat and it was really nice to see their two young kids so active and lively. Lena first words were that it good to get some taste of home again referring to the pastry of the cakes, the buns and the cookies that we had ordered. It was her first visit to Malaysia and I am glad that she love been in this country of contrast, the developed and the undeveloped parts of the country. So here we are Stranger No More enjoying an afternoon over coffee and pastry in the luxurious cafe at the Pavilion. This joint do made great coffee and pastry, a one of a kind bakery. Because there are so many varieties of pastry it was just difficult to pick the one you like since all look tempting and delicious. Despite that the two kids had to fight over a cookie, the last piece on the display plate. Both wanted the same one and soon they fought for that only piece. So like all moms do, mom had to step in to stop the fight over that piece of cookies by dividing it into two. Kids are kids, indeed it was fun to watch the growing up process of one of our species. We chat over that great coffee and they told us that they truly had a great time in Kelantan where Zawi took care of them and in Terengganu where they live for a week on that enchanting Perhentian Island on the China Sea. And of course while there they met Zaharan, Tomas buddy of 33 years.

The next day I pick them up at the hotel at just past 9:00AM and took them to see Putrajaya by way of the new highway from the Kampong Pandan roundabout and it was indeed a beautiful ride on a cool Tuesday morning. The scenes on both side of the new highway were spectacular that of an urban jungle setting of various kind of dwelling intermingles by greens here and there. This is the first time I had ever driven on this highway and I did enjoy driving and watching those picturesque scenes passes by. In just about half an hour we arrived in Putrajaya, the new capital city of Malaysia. After sightseeing for two hours there we drove back to KL and this is where the fun/excitements begin.

Actually I could not get onto the same road back and went on to a trip to nowhere trying my way to get us back to the city. The road signage was not that good and that made it difficult to find the road that we took on the way here. I drove on and just follow the sign and still did not reach the city proper in good time. It was just a crazy drive on the highway although the places that we pass look familiar to me. At this age my memory of places are not that sharp as before, moreover my spouse Asmah was not in the car to act as navigator as she usually does. So it really takes time to recall. I drove on and eventually found ourselves near the Ikea of Kuala Lumpur. Since I am used to the road here I was happy that at last we are somewhere in the city. But unfortunately I missed the Pencala Link, a new bypass which is a new road back to the city and had to drive on and eventually we emerged at Batu Cave. That mean we have been driving around the city from south to the north and south again. By that my guests the Swede got a good look at the city of Kuala Lumpur from all angles. In a way getting lost was sort of a good thing but then we loose time getting back to the city. Indeed it was a trip to nowhere for the Cedhagen. Personally I hope that they enjoy the trip to Putrajaya and back. I then left them to be on their own visiting the Museum Negara and the other parts of the city.

At 4:00PM we met again at the KLCC for another round of shopping. This time with my spouse who too love shopping. We end the day enjoying a sumptuous dinner at a Japanese Restaurant in the Pavilion. The image here shows how the Cedhagen kids were enjoying the Sushi. The next two days they were on their own, sort of a free and easy tour. They left for home on the evening of April 9, 2009. Before they left they SMS me saying that they did enjoy their visit to Malaysia and would come again in the future.

And this folks is a caricature of Ingrid, the gorgeous girl of the family. The handsome boy Carl is seen here with his new toy, a gift of the latest digital camera which his parent got at the Pavilion the night before. The caricature was done at a shopping stall in Putrajaya. The boy did not want a caricature of himself. So now only Ingrid has a piece of an original for herself. To me caricature is a work of art and is priceless.

Zawi takes on their visit to Kelantan is here and Zaharan's here.

So folks, that is an interesting episode of my life eh!!. Enjoy! and do have a nice day as well.


svllee said...

That's such a nice story Pak Idrus. You and Pak Zawi are real ambassadors for the country, much more than any Official marketing campaign or advert can replicate!

Zaharan Razak said...

PI: A most interesting story and thanks for taking good care of the Cedhagens. I'm sure their memories of Malaysia have been further enhanced. Strangers no more!

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
Thanks for taking care of our new friends. You and Zaharan did better than me because I only had an evening with them.
Either you forgot to mention it in your write up or you forgot to tell them that you won a Volvo 122! Tomas father did provide parts for the Volvos of that period. Tomas was so excited when we saw that model in Kota Bharu and I did tell him you have one. I guess they didn't get the luxury of visiting your home to sample the sumptious food usually served by Kak Asmah and thus he missed the Volvo.

Covert_Operations'78 said...

Salam, Pak Idrus!

Isn't it great when we get to make new friends, more so those from other countries? I miss playing ambassadors to my friends from abroad. It is fun to take them to Batu Caves, FRIM, Fraser's Hill, Kuala Kubu Baru, Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary and all those places of interest not covered by the usual travel guides, and more fun still to watch their responses to new experiences!

I would have loved to play host to the Cedhagens, if it weren't for my busy work schedule. I would have taken them to places of natural interest like waterfalls and Orang Asli villages, where they would have to rough it out and enjoy themselves thoroughly.


Pak Idrus said...

svllee, Steven thanks for the visit and the good words on me and this posting.

I am just doing whatever I could to make the lives of our visitors more enjoyable while in our country. At the same time it was great meeting stranger which is the beginning of friendship.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Zaharan, thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting. It is in our culture to treat visitors to the best of our ability. The Cedhagen were great folks and I am happy that you introduce them to me. We, that is Asmah and I did enjoy their company while they are in KL, my home territory.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Pak Zawi, thanks for the visit and the good words on my taking care of our friends the Cedhagen. They are indeed a great guests and we did enjoy their company while here in KL.

Well, Asmah and I did whatever we could to make their stay an enjoyable as well a memorable one.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Covert_Operations'78. Ee Lynn thanks for the visit, the good words and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Yes my spouse Asmah and I did enjoy the time we spend taking them around in and around our city. They had limited times and as such we could not do more to them except what we have done during the two days we were with them. I believe they did enjoy those time visiting Putrajaya and shopping in the malls in KL.

There are many places to visit and I think they would return for another visit to see more of our enchanting country.

Have a nice day.

goestaf said...

I enjoyed reading your story. Tomas was my great teacher. He is a lovely man I've ever met. We've never met again when I finished my study at Aarhus Uni. I learn many things from him and his family, too.


Pak Idrus said...

goestaf, thanks for the visit and the good words on my kind of blogging.

Yes Tomas and his other half Lena and their kids are great folks. My spouse and I did enjoy their company while they were here on a holiday. It was great to know him personally, such a great mind to have intellectual discussion with. I had a great discussion with him on various subjects and it does enlighten me with new knowledge. Yes, I too learn new things from him.

If you happen to be in KL do keep in touch.

Have a nice day.

all-in-one said...

Dear PI,

Thank you for being such a nice ambassador, you may not be the perfect tourguide (the spinning around KL) but you definately leave a deep impression on our guests with your simple hospitality.

Nice day to you and family.

louis said...


You and Asmah, ever the gracious and generous hosts!

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

A great warm welcome to Malaysia indeed!
'To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia'.
Thanks for sharing.

Pak Idrus said...

all-in-one, thanks for the visit and the kind words on me and this posting.

Well, we tried to give our best to our guest and we are indeed enjoying it as well. Golden age is the time to give and at the same time enjoy as well.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Louis, thanks for the visit and the kind words on us.

We did enjoy the adventure of the day. Golden age do has advantage in that other they giving we get to enjoy as well.

Have a nice day and regard to Elena. Take care.

Pak Idrus said...

Keats The Sunshine Girl, thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting.

Well, it is in our culture that we treat guests with honor. We are in our golden age and giving is the order of the day and we are indeed enjoying it.

Have a nice day and take care.

jane said...

a great story..... tomas's my teacher... and it's great to see the family too...

Pak Idrus said...

Jane, thanks for the visit and I am glad that you like this posting and the images of your teacher. Indeed the wonder of blogging.

Yes the Cedhagen are great folks. We did enjoy their company.

Have a nice day.