So, yesterday I took a day off work to take care of the first leg in the marriage procedure for Muslims. Because almost every state in Malaysia has made it mandatory for Muslims to get a HIV test before getting married, I went to the government clinic in Kelana Jaya early in the morning to take my HIV test... only to discover that they only made tests after 2pm. Drat. I should've gone to the one in Puchong. Which I did, and luckily they let me take my test then and there.
After getting my results (negative), I called up the Imam Jurunikah, the guy who will sign the papers that will allow me to get a certificate saying that I'm allowed to get married. He wasn't in, and I kept calling back until I got a hold of him a little after 2pm. He asked me to come to his house (thankfully not that far away) at 3pm. I brought my father and brother along, because it is required that two witnesses (requirements: Male, Muslim, Malaysian, above 18) be there.
After being chided for bringing relatives as my witnesses (apparently, you're supposed to bring friends or neighbours because if you bring relatives it looks like you're covering up something, but I wasn't about to tell him that my close friends and neighbours are mostly non-muslim), he signed the papers and we had to rush off to the Religious State Department in Shah Alam, to hand in the signed papers and get the certificate. It was already 3.30pm, so we had to drive fast. We managed to reach there at around 4.15pm. Only 45 minutes left till the offices close. Good thing the offices were empty. The staff were efficient and the paperwork was done pretty quick, which I highly praise. I guess there's some truth in Selangor being a developed state after all.
I can't tell you how relieved I was to have settled all that and get that damnable cert. It felt like one of those dumb annoying fedex quests in a console RPG where the reward didn't match the effort. Now that I have the certificate that allows me to marry L, it's her turn to do the exact same thing, only this time, in Johor. That's the second tedious leg of the whole marriage process.
Groan. I take comfort that after all this crap, I will finally be married to my wonderful L.
As a bonus for my effort, I rewarded myself with a copy of Hamzah Hamdani's wonderful updated edition of Hikayat Abdullah, a truly delightful Malay classic.