we arrived at 11 am local time. The long queue at the immigration was terrible. Some men started to yell at each other. “Welcome to Algeria”...Honeystar whispered to me, “You have seen nothing yet”. Things were worse for some foreigners who speak neither Arabic nor French…and I was one of them. HoneyStar kept reminding me not speak English at least not loudly. So I was in “mute”. Long after the immigration, here came the luggage…no, not yet. We waited for one hour and glad to see our two luggage on the sight.
We went out the terminal and there was my FIL, BIL and two SILs. We were greeted the “hugs and kisses” way. I could predict that it’s going to be lots of hugs and kisses while im here.
We are taken straight to the makbara visiting my MIL’s grave. Again, HoneyStar dint let any tears to run down his cheek. I had a mixed feeling. I was sad but I guess the fact that I dint have the chance to really know her made me less emotional. I remembered few phone calls and she would always want to say something to me. A simple greeting that’s all we had. I always planed to thank her for giving birth to the wonderful man that I’m married when I meet her but I had no chance. Prayers for her, May Allah granted her Jannah.
HoneyStar said...we don’t come back to mourn but to comfort the family. That’s the way a death should be.
A short time in makbara brought us back “home”. The family and relatives were waiting for us. I was introduced to them, one by one, from the eldest to the youngest. Hugs and kisses gain and again. I recited the same sentences again and again “wusraki? Alhamdulillah, Labbas”. The phrase is the only words I know in the dialect. Well, up to that moment and I was quite sure that I’ll learn more during the stay.
The journey was tiring, they constantly asked me to have a rest, to lie down but I just couldn’t. I just sat there among the elder ladies and smiled. Yes I smiled a lot. With 7 hours difference, I had more than 24 hours in a day. We had 31 hours a day. I remembered that I used to say what it will be like if we had more than 30 hours a day. In a way, I had it.
Finally I gave up and was dozing off by 7.00 pm. My SIL, Fatimah covered me with a nice soft fluffy blanket, 17 Celsius felt less cold with the warmth and loves in the house. I just could feel it. I woke up after one hour and had a dinner which I felt like having sahoor. It was past midnight back in Malaysia.
I continued to sit with the old ladies, “listening” to theirs stories.