“I’m not from India, I’m from Iran”, the bunk bed neighbor’s traveler answered my question.
“Do you know where is a middle eastern salon near here?. I think I need a salon for relaxation”, he suddenly asked the receptionist and hotel owner.
I inwardly laughed at that “funny” scene that morning, a light conversation before I set out to explore Kuala Terengganu for the first time since arriving.
I rushed down the stairs to get out of The Space Inn, along Engku Pengiran Anom 2 Street, heading north, repeating the original way when heading to the inn. Of course, I went back to Air Jernih Street, met again at the intersection where Politectic Kuala Terengganu became a landmark besides PMINT Tower and retraced Masjid Abidin Street until I arrived back in east side of Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.
It was just that, two hundred meters before arriving at bus terminal, I was fascinated by the art of yarn bombing which pinned colorful knitted threads to a row of trees in a side of Masjid Abidin Street’ sidewalk, right on the west side of PB Square. Make the city atmosphere more lively.
Arriving at bus terminal, I immediately struggled to find an Interstate Bus ticket to go to Kuala Lumpur the day after tomorrow.
“There are even cheaper ones, Sir?”, I joked at an Arowana Bus ticket counter staff.
“Nothing…. It’s only 43 Ringgit, Sir…. this is the cheapest”.
“Okay, I’ll take one, Sir …. For the date of 31st”.
A few minutes ago, I had secured a ticket to Kuala Lumpur, now I was a little calmer to start exploring my first destination.
Yupsz, I was going to Kuala Terengganu’s market.
That market is only a kilometer from Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu, so I decided to just walk. I slowly enjoyed the crowds around Kampung Daik Street, under the shade of roofed corridor along sidewalk, what a comfortable way to walk. My steps also had to turn right in front of Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat Jalan Kota’s Office, which were identical in color to the fire brigade offices in Jakarta (my hometown), bright red.
Now I felt reluctant to continue swinging steps due to the scorching heat of sun in the path in front of me that wasn’t longer covered. Finally, I decided to take a break at the end of covered corridor, sitting in a concrete bench, waiting for the cloud to cover the sun.
A few moments of waiting while enjoying the passing of local residents, the cloud was present, now the street didn’t sting anymore, I immediately took a quick step down Sultan Zainal Abidin Street. Finally, two hundred meters ahead, I arrived at Kedai Payang Market which was starting to get busy.
The Kedai Payang Market dis seem to show off its beauty, it was said that the two-year-old building functions to replace the old building that had retired.
Rows of tents with white cloth roofs stretched across market’s face, separating the parking area from commercial area. The large tents showed that market’s interior area wasn’t enough to facilitate the bustling commerce in downtown Kuala Terengganu.
Now I’ve entered market inside which was very crowded, the stalls with red brick motifs still looked new, the alleys seemed full of visitors passing by. Several clowns and pet equipment sellers were seen cramming into several corners of stalls selling songket, batik, handicrafts and traditional snacks from Terengganu. While in the back area, it appeared that a special area was provided for a row of culinary stalls with a mainstay menu of Nasi Dagang, Laksa, Nasi Lemak and several other specialties.
I just kept going until I reached its backyard. Apparently that market is right on the outskirts of very clean Terengganu River. Bot Penambang (Passenger Boats) could be seen moving back and forth to mobilize Terengganu residents from a bank to another. The Bot Penambang (Passenger Boat), which is relied upon as the city’s water taxi, seems to have originalized the atmosphere of Terengganu that morning.
The beauty of the expanse of Terengganu River finally started to make me fall in love with that city and managed to tame me to just linger for a while enjoying the gentle breeze in a concrete gazebo which is part of public facilities belonging to Pasar Kedai Payang.
“Don’t be in a hurry, Donny….Sit down and enjoy”.