Our Little Home in Kuala Kangsar

The rear facade. The stairs lead to the kitchen.Kuala Kangsar holds an almost legendary status amongst those who were from the place. They swear that everybody from there were descendent of kings and queens. This once-proud town still hold the title of Royal City for the Kingdom of Perak. The Sultan still have his Istana there. All the royal ceremony were still hosted at the town. I passed through the town on many occasions, but never actually spent a night there, until last weekend.

Close-up of the staircaseThe heir is in the house - quite literallyPuan Anita's mother, my mother-in-law was from Kuala Kangsar. She was born and raised there before marrying my father-in-law, who is from Kelantan. She only returned there occasionally since. She now stays here in Kuala Lumpur. She is the last of her siblings, the last one passing away last year. But even then, most of her relatives have moved away from the town. There were still some of her nephews and nieces who were still there. Some of them lived in Kuala Kangsar all their lives. Some returning to their hometown upon retirement, to build their home at their inherited lands.

Puan Anita speaking to one of the buildersWhile Idlan and Irfan looked on.For the last ten years or so, the house where my mother-in-law was brought up in was left to rot. The last of her nephew moved away after one of my wife's aunt died. The area was left in a mess. A version of the haunted house I supposed. Five years back, the land was bough over by our family and now in Puan Anita's name. We were contemplating what to do with the piece of land, and the house. Then came the idea of actually clearing the place and turn it into a fruit orchard. But my mother-in-law was not very keen. It happened that one of our cousin actually managed to salvage some of the woodwork from the original building and gave it back to us. Why not we just rebuild the house according to the original plan, but with better material and with mod cons while we were at it. Six months and a few thousand ringgits later, that was where we were last weekend.

The house was almost ready. Since we only paid the local people to build the place, it took longer than what was originally planned. Some of the workmanship was rather shoddy, but we employed the local builders for a reason. Puan Anita went over last month to pay for the wiring and tiles with my mother-in-law whose was understandably proud of what was done. We also had the acid test last weekend, to see what my two boys felt of the place. They were ecstatic and wanted to spend the night there. Unfortunately, as the water and electricity was yet to be installed, we had to give it a miss. Oh boy! They were running along the wooden flooring like there was no tomorrow. As for where we stayed, it's a lodge called Resort Sungai Perak, and I will write about it in a different entry.

Clearly a work in progressMy mother-in-law inspecting the windowsills. This is the front end of the house where the lounge will be.Paneling preserved from the original house.We were planning to return there next weekend as we will be holding a 'doa selamat' ceremony as a way of introducing ourselves to the local kampung folks. We will also be inviting our cousins and relatives back to Kuala Kangsar, and should they want to return in the future, they will have a place for them to stay for a night or two. We were not planning to rent the place out, but rather to keep it as an escapade. The problem is, it takes around two-and-a-half hours to drive there, plus we also have an apartment in Port Dickson. I am sure we will think of something.

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