Barbequed lamb, chickens and mackerels caught in Bangor, Wales (the fish, not the lamb and the chicken)
Nasi Kerabu with huge solok but minus the budu *sigh*
Today is our second invitation to break fast among friends in Liverpool. Unlike the first one where only a couple of families were invited (understandable because the host family is only renting a small 2 bedrooms flat), this invitation is open to all. The host is living in a bungalow so there is plenty of space for everyone. The men break their fast and perform prayer inside the tent while the ladies and the children remain in the house. The main meal is my favourite, Nasi Kerabu and they have the biggest solok I have ever seen. I just wish I brought my specially brewed budu with me at that time.
Today Jo took her friend, Shima on a Mersey Ferry to explore Liverpool from a Mersey River point of view. Ilyas and Maisarah were obviously quite excited to get on the big boat. I couldn't join them since I had to go somewhere else to settle few errands. They started at Pier Head Terminal and stopped by at Woodside Terminal in Birkenhead but only disembarked at Seacombe Ferry Terminal in Wallasey where several attractions were on offer such as SpacePort and Alien Wars.
The trip took about 3 hours to finish. When I saw Ilyas and Maisarah again, their face were beaming and they just can't wait to tell what they have been doing on the ferry trip. We've been here in Liverpool for nearly a year and there are still so many tourist attractions that we have not been to but I'm glad Ilyas and Maisarah got the opportunity to experience this ferry ride.
I got this prayer timetable from a Turkish grocery store. Yesterday was the longest fasting day ever for me and Jo, exactly 17 hours. Towards the end of Ramzan (or Ramadhan as we say it) Maghrib will be more like in Malaysia, at 7.23pm. I wonder what fasting in the UK will be like in few summers time? Maybe Tourism Malaysia can promote a one month Ramadhan holiday package for Muslims in the UK. I'm sure they can arrange daily visits to various pasar malam (night market) and Ramadhan buffets in hotels, things which are definitely will not be found in the UK.
Our first day of breaking fast in Liverpool was really nice because we were joined by friends from near and far. Few hours before Maghrib, I went to the city centre to pick up Shima, Jo's best friend since her time at Uniten, who has just arrived from Malaysia the day before. She is here on a three weeks holiday and Liverpool is her first stop.
Bong and his family also took the opportunity to drop by our house to break fast together after their visit to the new shopping centre in Liverpool, which is called Liverpool ONE. I resist the temptation to take a picture inside of their MPV, so full of Cath Kidston shopping bags! Yana insisted that those were meant for her friends. I thought I heard this kind of explanation before from Jo, whenever we received several parcels delivered to our door on a daily basis.
And don't worry, we the husbands believe you guys. Because I am also guilty of buying loads of Manchester United and Liverpool souvenirs for the past few days. Except that not all my friends really asked for them, just a few misguided cousins who support a club who has not won anything since 2006. But it's better to be safe than sorry, right?
I got an invitation from IKEA Warrington to attend their first ever Crayfish party. I wonder what it tastes like because it looks like a lobster but only as big as a tiger prawn. When we arrived at the IKEA restaurant, they served us with drinks and after a short while invited us to the main table to sample the dishes.
The meal consisted of mainly breads, cheeses, salads and seafood. I tried all of them and they really taste nice. The crayfish itself is delicious with a unique taste and quite different from crab or prawn meats. Unfortunately Ilyas just ate very little of this crayfish and Maisarah were simply horrified at its sight.
During the meal we were entertained with pop songs by a guitarist and participated in a raffles draw for charity. After coffee, they served us with desserts and the kids were given a lunch box and an ice cream. They were also singing and dancing before and after the meal. Ilyas enjoyed the singing and Maisarah joined the dancing. They told us all the food served are available in their Swedish shop.
We went home quite full (well at least I am) and best of all it's free of charge. What an experience!
Ilyas has been waiting for this show for many months now and it was worth the wait. The show was a full house, helped by the fact that school holiday has not yet ended. We arrived just in time for the show to get started. At first Maisarah were a bit scared and wanted to get close to Umi but after a while she started to enjoy the show. Ilyas kept busy by trying to identify the name of the dinosaurs on the show.
The interval during the show was the worst period for the parents as their childrens rushed to the stalls asking (no, ordering) them to buy the dinosaur themed toys. Maisarah and Ilyas are no exception to that. She has a dinosaur tail (to put on your bum) on target and he really wanted the dinosaur set toy. I forgot to bring my debit card (not on purpose, honest!) so Jo had to fork out her own money to keep them happy.
After the interval, the main attraction of the show arrived, which is the mighty T-Rex. The kids loved it especially when the baby T-Rex trying to imitate the mother by roaring loudly. After the show they kept smiling and talking about the dinosaurs. I'm glad that they really enjoyed the show.
Finally, all the stuff have been safely bundled together inside this 20ft container to be driven to Port of Southampton. The expected arrival date will be around 20th September 2009, most probably during Raya time. My own stuff only cover less than the length of this container, the rest are filled with furniture and boxes from various friends in Lancaster and Liverpool. They are chipping in with the transport cost so in the end I paid a few hundred pounds less than the total cost.
I'm just hoping that we don't have to hire another container before we are going back for good next month!
We went to Lancaster today on invitation by Fazrul and Nana to attend their son's birthday party. Ilyas and Maisarah are quite happy to see their old friends. Jo took the opportunity to 'dump' most of our winter clothes in front of the charity shop inside the university. We spent nearly 4 hours in Lancaster before going back to Liverpool and resume our packing for the shipping this coming Monday.
Today is a big day for Ilyas and Maisarah as they will be watching the greatest football club playing in the greatest stadium in the world. We were joined by Ajim and his son, Ryne. This is the first time experience for Ryne as well. When we first arrived at the stadium, Ilyas was quite sad because everybody is wearing a red shirt and he only got the white England shirt with him. So Umi bought him a red Manchester United scarf. Not to be outdone, Maisarah got one for herself too, but in pink colour of course.
This is Manchester United seventh friendly match before the start of 2009/2010 season but the first time held at the Old Trafford. The opponent for tonight is Valencia which boast several top Spanish internationals such as David Villa and David Silva. The kids were quite ecstatic and they joined the crowds singing the Glory Glory Man United song, clapping enthusiastically whenever the atmosphere get excited and participating in the famous Mexican wave. When Wayne Rooney scored the first goal, the stadium erupted with cheers from more than 74,000 fans. The same thing happened when youngster Tom Cleverly scored the second. There is nothing David Villa and David Silva can do in this Theatre of Dreams.
Right after the game, Ilyas and Maisarah asked to watch Man United match again. I told them we will, but the next time will be in Stadium Bukit Jalil. :)