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On the way to Penang, we made a stop in Taiping to visit Opah & Atuk Idris. They are the proud parents of Uncle Najmi (or Khairul Najmi, the Akademi Fantasia* 5’s English Teacher). Uncle Najmi is an old pal of my dad and during his university days, dad used to visit them in Taiping. I enjoyed spending time with them as I enjoyed the company of Uncle Najmi.

We saw old photographs of Uncle Najmi. Opah told us an amazing story of how Uncle Najmi [at the age of 8] picked up Opah’s handbag and kept it safe when the family’s car collided with a lorry after an outing. Uncle Najmi was the only person who escaped unhurt and he even gave the statement to the police!

My little brother, Ahmad Ali was really amazed to see so many houses in red (either painted red or using red tiles with red roof). Even Atuk Idris’s house has red pillars! We drove past the Taiping Railway Station which must had been built a very long time ago.

Note*: We do not watch Akademi Fantasia, Gang Stars, American Idol and those likes. Dad taught us to be smart in choosing what to watch on TV; infact at home we do not even suscribe Astro. Even though I enjoyed Astro once in a while especially the Discovery Channel, I do not miss them at all. I find reading more satisfying.

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