I made plans to meet up with him several times during my stay, but because I was busy and he was working, it got postponed until a day before I left Makkah. He invited my family to come to his house and we happily accepted.
|It was on a hill near Masjidil Haram, with a fantastic view of the clock tower. I bet it would look even better at night.|
The road heading up to his house was very steep. It was quite a scary ride, felt like the car would turn over anytime! Suhaimi assured us it was fine, he had been driving up and down the road every day. After all, we were riding a huge 10 seater GMC four wheel drive, a monster of a car.
I wondered how fuel such highly powered car consumed. Apparently it wasn’t a big deal, because RON95 cost SAR 0.50/liter and RON97 cost SAR 0.65/liter. In ringgit, that would be 43 sen and 56 sen! Guess how much a liter of mineral water cost? SAR 2. No wonder Arabs drove big cars, their fuel was cheaper than water!
|Welcome to Pattani neighborhood in Makkah. Yes, most of his neighbors were from Pattani too.|
Suhaimi’s mum and aunt were in food business. They sold Pattani dishes to people in the neighborhood and took bulk orders supplying food to pilgrims. As soon as we arrived at their house, we were served course after course of yummy Pattani cuisines.
|First course was kuih-muih. The two white ones were made of sticky rice. The brown one was something like kuih deram @ peneram @ denderam.|
|Second course was nasi kerabu Pattani.|
Though it might look like nasi kerabu Kelantan in a glance, I noticed one main difference – there was no solok lada. For nasi kerabu Pattani, the coconut shreds were mixed with fish, so no need to have solok lada as source of fish. Suhaimi’s aunt mentioned that their budu was also made differently. Pattani budu was cooked while Kelantan budu was raw. It tasted so good that local Arabs ate nasi kerabu Pattani just to enjoy its budu!
|Third course was roti canai with kari ayam.|
|Fourth course was laksam. By this time I was already full, but because I loved laksam, I still grabbed a bowl.|
Each and every dish was incredibly yummy. Furthermore, after 11 days of catering food, it was really good to return to homemade food. And we were already tired of Arab dishes, so to eat authentic Pattani dishes was a welcomed change. Suhaimi’s mum and aunt even packed the food for us to bring back to the hotel.
|A glimpse of the neighborhood. The houses were made of bricks and the doors were steel.|
|The alley leading to Suhaimi’s house.|
|A cute little white mosque nearby.|
And we returned to the hotel feeling really full and happy. We brought back so much food, there was no way to finish them all, so we gave some to other pilgrims. Thank you to Suhaimi and his family, it was truly an amazing experience visiting a local’s home!