Hosting headache

Raya or Eid in Vancouver is pretty something. For the next 4 weekends, we have house after house that we are invited to, thanks to the vibrant Malay community here. And these invites are not the come-sit-down-and-have-dinner with us types, these are the full-on, everyone wears samping and songkok, buffet with 10 dishes kind. You will end up seeing the same people week after week, and often, the Syawal month is the one month that we see each other most often – before everyone has to get back to the usual grind.

So this year, DH and I didn’t get into much discussion if we will be hosting. Like what we did last year. We managed to squeeze 60 people into a 900 sq feet space last year. We did the smart thing by catering from everyone’s favourite restaurant – Ma’s , which by far, I dare to admit is the best Chinese-Muslim restaurant in the world! No kidding. We had Planet Earth on the DVD, and in between gasps of gossips, there were gasps at the aerial shot of running bulls across the fields. Everyone was happy with the food and the company. We were exhausted.

We have not really decided if we are hosting that big do again this year. Our main excuse has been the absence of Mr Ma. You see, he has gone back to Hong Kong to be with his family and manage his other halal restaurant in Kowloon. We are now thus deprived of a guaranteed winner in our attempt to serve people. We thought – no Mr Ma, so no hosting this year. Until we get asked incessantly last night at 3 different houses.

“Set a date, yet?”


“Everyone is asking – when is your place going to be?”


“Are we invited to your place this year?”

OR the very classic,

*on his way out of one of the houses, when asked he was going – he said* – “I am going to 41st and Dunbar!” (thats OUR place).

So that got DH and I into a discussion somewhat. Should we host or not? More importantly, where do we cater from this time? We thought of Nam, a famed vegetarian restaurant which is apparently a hot spot among Vancouverites. We also thought of East is East, an Afghani-Indian fusion place. Then there’s always Mex Burrito, a Mexican joint. What we know for sure, we cannot serve Malay food. These guys are super cooks.

And so the hosting headache will begin. I will have to start making calls to these restaurants this week to find out what their rates are etc, and also pick a date.

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