I first met aunt Sariah on the second day – it was a strange encounter. Since I couldn’t bike, I had to stayed behind at the hut to wait for everyone else. Because I was bored, I was folding origami flowers when aunt Sariah approached me. “ Do you want to see my cats?” I was taken surprised by the question as I was fixate onto the paper. Looking up, I saw her gazing and smiling cheerfully at me. She told me to refers to her as Auntie – she was very friendly and talkative. It was unanticipated how fluent aunt Sariah was in English; aunt Sariah is very eager to speak to tourists so she can improve her English – sadly her children were not as brave – she told me jokingly. She was an elderly woman at the age of 60 yet she was as energetic as a child. She told me she would spend most of her free time biking along the narrow path of the paddy fields; her love for biking was the reason she decided to started this bike tour: “ The views along the bike tracks are magnificent. The ivory of the sun complement with greenness of the rice plants. Truly a beautiful scenery.”
I was able to learn a variety of cultural customs and daily activities of a typical Malaysian family from aunt Sariah. Aunt has three children, two sons that were around my ages and one daughter who is currently studying in a university at Kuala Lumpur. Her husband and sons were currently accompanying the others on their biking tour.
Aunt Sariah is very fond of cats. Currently, she has ten cats, five of which are kitties – they are all stray cats that wandered into her house. Not only her adores cat but her daughter also love cats. That’s why none of her family members were object to aunt Sariah taking care of so many cats. She told me she had much more cats before, but they either died of old ages or left on their own – she doesn’t put a chain on them so they are free to go wherever they like. Nonetheless, aunt Sariah treasures one cat very dearly: he was an old black cat with an bandaged leg. When I commented on his ebony black fur, aunt Sariah laughed gently as she explained her believes cheerfully: “ It’s because he was black that he often got beaten severely by his previous owner. I believe in superstitious things but that’s a lame excuse to treat an animal inhumanely.” Although the old cat’s injured leg costs aunt Sariah a lot of money, she wanted to relieve the cat of his misfortune. Aunt Sariah was the first person I made friend with during the trip, and she was older than my mom.