Monday, 31 January 2011

Semester Break Begins!

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah!

We had began our semester break altogether with Chinese New Year holiday last Thursday. It is only a week holiday anyway. On Saturday, I felt so bored and  feel tensed with my Palestinian roommate. This recent roommate placed with me by the office is the second Palestinian. I had earlier lived with another Palestinian and also with an Indonesian after the first roommate moved out. So, I decided to have some sightseeing and day walk around Georgetown. 

Georgetown?? Hurmmm, I had been in Penang for almost four years, and now only that I get the chance to go to Georgetown. Many places in Penang that I haven't discover yet. Instead of thinking too much of whom will accompany me or being my company to travel. I went there alone... Of course I am afraid that it is not safe there in the town but before I went out I made some prayers so that Allah 'Azz wa Jalla will protect me. I believe He will always protect me.

To cut it short, I went to Georgetown by Rapidpenang from the bus stand just in front of Khaleel restaurant. I didn't plan much but I made some lists of places that I wanted to see. It just cost me two bucks for a bus ride and the rest I just spend on my food which doesn't take me much because I just eat like in a pinch.

I brought a bag filled with few clothes with me just in case and a camera to capture some memories. Well, I made my move to Georgetown around 12:00 noon and of course I arrived at the town around Zhuhr prayer. The first place that I visit was Masjid Kapitan Keling. 

After that, I walked around and capturing pictures. Here are some pictures that I get. This one is just close to KOMTAR, on the flyover junctions. It is quite interesting, well for me because we can see those crossing roads from above. We can talk about philosophical matters here related to the flyover junctions but I would like to avoid it here because I just want to record my experience walking all the day alone in the town in silence : )

I can't really remember which roads and streets that I had passed by because I believe I walked around and around without having the chance to jot down the names of the road.  What I can remember, I walked along Jalan Macalister too.

Along Jalan Macalister, I can see foodstalls selling Chinese cuisines. And I was trying to find Jalan Zainal Abiddin which was previously known as Jalan Yahudi. Just to see the Jewish cemetery because I had heard that those people were once settled there. But at that time, it was already Asar prayer time. I have to stop by at a mosque or at least a musalla to respect the Lord who have the Dominion over the Time

Then I found this mosque, Masjid Pakistan. I went inside and pray together with the congregation there. The imaam has a good voice and recitation, maasyaa-Allah!!! Too bad that I can't stay long there because I am on foot and I have to follow everything according to what I had planned in a bit last night. It's not a big mosque, just a little one with small number of people in the congregation. 

This house is the Center of Sun Yat Sen. Everybody knows that he was related to the early development of Guomindang. Also few Chinese Muslims from Guangxi and Gansu involved in Guomindang and Chinese Nationalism. But I was not fortunate that day because the center was closed once I walked in front the center. Maybe next time, I still have plenty of times to plan everything and Allah will arrange it for me.

 Maqabir Yahudi (Jewish Cemetery)

 Jalan Zainal Abiddin (Jalan Yahudi)
The Jewish cemetery is taken care by an Indian family. They locked the gate and they have a dog there. I don't want my pants being polluted by dogs fur because I need it for praying so I just stay outside the gate and snapping the picture. 

I guess they might be hired by those Jews who had moved out from Penang to other countries like Australia or Singapore to take care the grave of those deceased family members. I saw a guy looking something, perhaps his family member grave by reading the name inside the grave compound.

Later, I visited three Buddhist temples in that same day. It just reminds me of my confused times. But I just went there for visit like normal tourists, not as a devotee anymore. I don't kneel to Buddhas' idol like before and chanting gathas in Pali, Thai and Chinese with my heart crying pouring down all of my problems and asking for things that I need in front of the rupam (idol). 

I saw "tikam nombor" lists at Wat Pushparam prayer hall for civilians in Jalan Perak. I don't think that it is right in Buddhism either, because it is considered as speculating on something which we are not sure. I don't want to talk with the monks there and  I am sure they are puzzled looking at a strange guy who walks passed all of the idols and just standing in front the idols and grinning alone without performing any "vai" or worship.

 Wat Pushparam, Jalan Perak

Wat Chaiyamanggalaram

On the way to civilian prayer space in Wat Thammikara

Not to forget that I was locked in Wat Thammikara. It is a Burmese temple. I keep snapping pictures and reading about the deities in there till I forgot that the temple is closing. The monk was locking the gate in the evening. They are in renovation for the time-being. 

I had to pretend to be a Thai and talking in Thai to workers and monks there asking politely the other way out from there as not to create problem for everyone, hahaha. Or else I will have to sleep in the temple compound or asking mercy from the monks there to shelter me in Kutthi which is monks' compartments while I would be donating something in return to them. 

The day after the visit to Georgetown, I planned to visit Kek Lok Si but I changed my mind. I better go home first and seeing my parents because I think that they might miss me. I could sense that when my mother keep sending me messages asking me here and there, what am I doing, had I prayed? She might feel lonely like I feel too.

This travel reflects my journey to return back to my ancestors' faith and heritage. Walking in silence alone with prayers in my heart to Allah SWT and trying to find His love and lamenting my sins for blaming Him without any rights as we are just His creature not even equal to Him. 

There are few other pictures but I think these are just enough and I will just print the rest out for my memory. Chinese New Year will begin at 3rd of February I guess. I still have some times to stay at home. 

I end this post with my prayers to Allah 'Azza wa Jalla for His Mercy to everyone.  Bless be our journey in this world to the hereafter world. Help us O Allah to see You, Your Glorious appearance. What else is more satisfying then seeing You O Glorious God :) 

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