Some of you may want to visit Kelantan. Kelantan is very quiet during school days and very hectic (worse than KL) during school holidays. Don't come to Kelantan during school holidays because the roads are congested and the shops are filled with holiday shoppers. Come during non school holidays and you will be 'King of the Road', and getting around is rapid and shopping is easier. You waste less time on the road and get more things done. You get less headache and normal heartbeat. We have 2 flyovers now to help curb traffic jams. Parking is a problem in Kota Bharu and here the town officers clamp tyres and you have to pay a fine to get your car back. Despite all the unpleasant episodes, Kota Bharu still remains a tourist town. There is a continuous flow of tourists to this unique characteristic old Malay city. It still remains the 'Cradle for Malay Learning' and will always be. Many students come here from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines. The teachers comes from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc. The students mainly study the Quran here at the many Islamic schools and pondoks. Life is very quiet in Kelantan. I have lived here as a little girl, as a teenager, most of my adult teaching life, and now in my middle-age. I have lived in Kelantan for about 33 years. I am not a Kelantanese but I like it here in Kelantan. It is very quiet - I don't hear dogs bark at all. I see only cats, goats and cows. We get soft Australian beef and mutton in Kelantan. We get fresh vegetables and fruits from Thailand and Cameron Highlands. We have a lot of fruit juices, just about every type, including apple juice, soursop juice, mangosteen juice, etc. Internet speed is also faster than in Klang Valley (I think the fastest in Malaysia). That's why I can upload a lot of photos (even though some readers have complained). I will move most of the photos from my blog to my Facebook later.
My husband and I went up to the 11th floor of the Tabung Haji building in Kota Bharu. I took some snapshots of whatever I could see from a tall narrow window that was shut and had an iron grill. My camera is small enough to slip through the grill. But I had difficulty focusing as when the lens tube expanded, there was no room to fit the camera, and it was awkward holding the camera in such a small space and yet try to focus or turn the camera properly. I managed to get some photos. Some shots are not so good.
We then went to talk to Encik Amri bin Husain in the Tabung Haji office on 9th floor (he will be shifting office soon). He is in charge of the Hajj pilgrimage for Kelantan sector. I informed him that I am only doing Hajj history and I don't belong to the USM Hajj Research Cluster which only does clinical research. He loaned us 2 Tabung Haji reports for my research on the Hajj pilgrimage. He said to make copies and to return them as they are the only originals his office has.
We then headed down to have capati at the nasi biryani shop, our usual hangout when we go to Kota Bharu. The nasi biryani shop is in front of the parking lot in one of the photographs. Nasi biryani is RM7.90 per serve or package. Capati is 80 sen a piece - we shared 3 pieces and each had a tall glass of sweet fresh orange (RM2 per glass). We bought 5 packs nasi biryani for the house and for Affandi's mother at the pondok in Terusan, Pasir Tumboh.
|This is the hockey field where I played for my school, Zainab Secondary School. This one is covered with artificial turf; we played on natural grass on hard ground in 1971.|
|There are 2 bridges on Sg Kelantan, and they lie side by side. The older bridge is nearer the camera. The newer bridge is on the other side (TESCO side).|
|Kg Gajah Mati is Affandi's village. He was born there. It was a royal Malay village in history. It is just a slum today.|
|The building with the 3 domes is a shopping arcade. They sell a lot of textiles here.|
|The few high rises in Kota Bharu. From left: Billion Shopping Centre and Renaissance Hotel, Kelantan Trade Centre, and new Perdana Hotel. I don't know the last high rise but it is in front of the State Secretariat. Looking southwest.|
|Nasi biryani shop is the one with the red roof and near the trees (parking lot).|