Friday, December 22, 2006

Air sirap

I love air sirap. Sirap limau, plain sirap. Well rose syrup le... Sirap bandung not really though. Kadang-kadang macam nak rasa tapi bila dah minum rasa mual lak. I think a nice sirap bandung that doesn't make me feel like regurgitating it is sirap bandung with a hint of ice-cream soda in it. Maybe...
Anyway, when I worked in Ampang, Janet the Accounts Clerk, once remarked that Malays like to drink sirap. I said really ? And for me at least, it is quite true ( can't speak for the rest of the Malay population ). However my dream sirap had always been sirap org kawin... Emmm..... I don't know why tapi siraps at kenduri kawin are the best. My own kenduri kawin's sirap was quite good actually and I had always look forward to testing the afore-mentioned beverage when there are weddings to attend.
I don't like homemade ones that letak jintan ( for whatever reason it is required I don't know ) and I have forgotten the taste of F&N Rose syrup because it is in my boycott list.
Sirap... hmmmm..... DeliFrance have added new drinks in their menu. They have green apple, passion fruit and grapefruit ( I think ) syrop diluted with soda water, served in a very nice big martini-like glasses. They tasted marvellous and gave me an idea of drinking my own very malay sirap with soda water... Tapi since I am not a big fan of carbonated water... well we'll see..

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The perils of bowling

What is the hazard of bowling ? So far, I haven’t had any except once in Nottingham, this bowling alley ( I have forgotten the name of the alley ) had a promotion of Buy 5 for 1 quid each. Meaning that we have to bowl 5 games and each game costs 1 quid as oppose to like 3 Pounds per game. Wee haa…. ! What a bargain ! So we did, hubby, Ashraf, Tasren, Zul and I. After the 3rd game, our weary hands threatened to dislodged itself from our bodies. So that was one occupational ( or recreational ) hazard of bowling that I experienced.

I seriously haven’t heard of others ( if there are any, please tell me ) until last Saturday. I think my husband had a ( or 2 ) slipped disc through bowling. He can’t move and had to be still most of the time. Sudden movements hurt and simple actions too can cause so much ache. He so wants to steal my thunder !!

It is true !! Everytime I demam, he will feel feverish too. If I have the flu, he will start sneezing in a matter of minutes. I can’t even have my monthly menses without his participation. Everytime I am about to get my monthly flow, he will get a zit first, as if to announce that I will be needing sanitary pads soon. I hardly ever need to calculate my due time. I just go by the condition of his skin.

“Ooppss… there you go, a big zit on your nose, hubby. I’ll go buy my Kotex now….” His skin could even detect when my flow is irregular. Once he sported a spot 2 weeks after my period. “Are you spotting for your girlfriend husband dearest, as I just had mine.” We had a monstrous row with him protesting and me accusing. And then, 2 – 3 days after that I was menstruating. He he… sorry…..

Anyway, maybe because we are already old. The bones are creaking and the muscles are groaning due to Father Time. Dah, nanti I beli Panadol for body ache to ye...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Discussion of Dialects

My colleagues and I had a very lively and fun discussion today on dialects and telor.....

It all came about when I asked Su who hailed from Terengganu if our new Agong speaks Terengganu-ish at all.

" Beta hukum mung kerak kepala.... "

Ye ke ? Or maybe Sultan Kedah will say

" Beta tak bagi hampa pi KL la ni. Hampa dok diam-diam tang ni. Besok lusa baru hampa pi... na.." He he....
I went to have breakfast with my boss yesterday. I was still busy choosing food when my boss said something to the lady at the cash register. When I went to join him, this lady addressed me but I couldn't understand a word she said. I went "huh ?" and leaned closer. Pekak ke aku ?
She repeated and for some reason I couldn't decipher what she said. Orang mana ni ? I looked inquisitively at my boss and he asked me what was my beverage of choice. Laa... tanya nak minum apa ke ?
For some reason I got annoyed. I know the Malays are enriched with all the different and wonderful dialects, but it is understood that in the name of getting our messages loud and clear, we have to speak in a language that is understood by all. Speak in Bahasa Malaysia if the person whom you were talking to in your mother tongue, screwed her face in incomprehension. That is a clear message that she/he doesn't speak your dialect !!
I would not dream of speaking in Penang-ish ( ye ke ... he he ) to Su because she would definitely retaliate by answering in Terenganu-ish ( if she could actually get what I said ), which I found very foreign apart from the easy ones like mung or ikang or spoong ( ha ha ha ... jangan marah ).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My friends

Went to Manila last week and it was great. The people we met were helpful and friendly. The hotel room was marvelous and the food good. Well the food dekat hotel lah sebab halal food was non-existent.

As I entered the plane to go home, a very familiar face greeted me. I looked at him, my face screwed in recognition and he said, “ Macam kenal je..,” It was our friend Amir Hamzah. He has been a steward for about 3 years and this is the first time of my traveling experience that a friend of mine was working on board the plane that I was on.

That was what I told Amir. He laughed and said it was my lucky day… He he… We exchanged numbers and hopefully will be in contact at least once a year.

I like collecting my friends. I like to turn acquaintances into friends and keep on a friendly basis with everyone. Sure I was not close to Amir at all during school time but I already know him and how can I un-know him ?

Friends are great. And I rely not on just my family in time of need, but I depend on my buddies too.

Take last week. Last Friday, my eyes hurt like there is no tomorrow. Called my husband and he was in Puchong with a client. Can’t abandon client just like that. So, whom did I call after Dan ? Good ol’ Shazmi. He said to wait for him as he was in a meeting and he will rush me to the hospital as soon as he can. After half an hour he regretfully told me that he would be stuck in the meeting for another hour.

As I was about to call Anu, Aik Peng ( a colleague ) came up to the surau area where I was and saw me sitting there with one hand covering my left eye. “Aiyoo, what is wrong Myra ?” When I explained, she abandoned everything she was doing and dragged me to the hospital without me asking for it. In the car I called Anu and when I arrived at Gleneagles, the doctor was waiting for me. Thank you Anu !! And thank you very, very much Peng. Really appreciate it.

Once I was scheduled to arrive in KL about 11 pm after a meeting in Kuala Terengganu. Dan too was out-stationed and whom did I call ? Shazmi. He went to catch a movie while waiting for me and at 10 pm when I arrived in KL, he was there to send me home.

Nice huh ? I can’t tell all the good deeds my buddies did for me, as they will be long and the work will be labourous, but you know who you are, my friends who have made my life easier and more manageable. I am truly blessed.

Thank you. ( Emotional lah pulak )

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

At the movies

I had a date with my husband yesterday. We went to watch Casino Royale. It was terrible because we sat 2 rows away from the screen. Had to change positions many, many times.
Anyway, as we were waiting for tickets, I heard a familiar baby's cries and lo and behold, there was the prop for Colic. I pointed it to Dan. My hubby smiled and looked away. Okay, so I thought he was unimpressed. Suddenly, he said, " I should've been there when Umar ran from that thing," I looked at him, very surprised indeed. He smiled and looked at me. " How terrified was him ? " I told him again ( plus a few exeggeration I am sure ) and he lapped it up like a hungry boy, coolly I might add... ( he.. he.. he was cool but I could see his eagerness ).
After paying for the tickets, I took him there to view the prop but it didn't make any sound. So I nudged it a bit and the cries racked the lobby. " Tang ni lah Umar lari, " I said. He smiled and looked away. Maybe he misses his son.
Dan has been working very hard. He works weekdays and some weekends, but since Raya, he has been working every weekends. It is quite okay if he only works 1 weekend day and rest on the other 1, but he has been working both weekend days for 3 weeks in a row. My poor baby.
That is why I have been actively taking my children out and about. At least the outside surrounding is helping me to make up for their daddy's big presence. At least their attention is diverted to many places and many things.
Last week Titi woke up when Dan had already left for work. She looked around and exclaimed, " Oh, Abah dah pegi work, ". Maybe she wanted her pre-requisite morning kisses.
I especially emphatise with my husband just before he needs to leave. He would look at us and then ask me what are my plans today. I have to make it as much fun as possible for them but I think it hurts him.
But he is usually home by 4 o'clock. He would rest awhile then we will go out. Usually after dinner we look for cds, something that all of us could watch. However it is hard to please the princess. After awhile she would go to her room, switch on her telly and watch Barbies or Pokemon.... Ada aje si kecik tu.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A leaf out of my ayah's book

Yesterday as usual, Umar and Titi had a fight. Titi cried and would not stop until a punishment is meted out to her brother. I whispered to Umar that " Mummy tipu je okay, " and said loudly for Titi's benefit that I will pok Umar for daring to fight with Princess Titi. Then, I added
" Mummy nanti pok Umar dengan rotan. Rotan tu I will cut ( lengthways ) 4 times so that everytime Mummy pok Umar ada 4 bekas. And then I will put paku and duri so that nanti berdarah Umar. Lepas tu I will perah air limau so that it will sting......, "
I could have gone on and on but stopped when I heard my son whisper , " Mummy tipu je kan ? Sure kan ? " He he... Yup I got that from my childhood, from my very descriptive father.... Although we would always laugh it out, it was a nervous laugh until we hear his own laughter or saw him stuck out his tongue.
One of his favourite method to scare us into goodness is when he talked about Titian Siratul Mustaqim,
" Akhirat nanti kita kena lalu satu titi ni. It is thinner than hair, in fact, it is hair cut into seven and they took 1 strand out of that 7 as a titi. Bawah tu, haa.... are horrors of all horrors. Snakes and kala jengking and api and hantu and jembalang. Everybody has to lalu this titi. If you are good, like me and Mummy, senang aje lalu. *Jeng je jeng ! Jeng je jeng ( in a sing songy voice, dancing ) nari - nari pun boleh, sure tak jatuh punya. Ha... tapi kalau orang jahat, *Jeng je jeng ! Jeng je jeng ( in a horror song, sometimes lagu darth vader ) Heee takut..., takut.... ( fingers in mouth, body shaking to show extreme fear ) jalan 2 -3 langkah bomm..... jatuh. You ( to the org yang bersalah ) I suggest you just jump straight into the hole ..... ".
Takut tau.... All of us had that imagined and it is rather scary. Everytime he narrated that, all the scenes will be played in our heads on cue. The fear, us trembling before the big fiery hole and looking enviously at Mummy and Ayah who were dancing on the hair to Jannah.
Believe it or not, that picture is always on my head whenever I am concious that I am up to no good. I would say it worked. Of course there are times ( numerous ) when I am doing something bad, and the picture reel is somehow missing on that movie or I was not concious that I was doing something terrible. However, the point is, thank you Bapak for managing to save me from half of my dosas......
My father is also the reason why I would look for my family members when it rained. Here is his story,
" Nanti ayah dah tua, Mummy dah tua... duduk rumah buruk. Hampa semua dah besaq, tapi tak mau ingat dah orang tua ni. Sombong. Duduklah ayah dengan Mummy kat pondok buruk tang mana ntah. Satu hari hujan... Keboom ! Kilat sambung menyambung. Angin dah tak sepoi - sepoi bahasa dah. Kencang... ooooooooo ( suara angin ). Hujan pun masuk sebab bumbung pun dah bocoq. Basah.... Mummy nak ambik makan. Ayah lapaq ( Us : Ayah memang selalu lapaq .... Ayah : Ish... dengaq lah dulu... ) tapi tak boleh jalan dah. Sebab lantai licin, cung... Mummy jatuh, pengsan. Ayah pulak dok lapaq, pun pengsan sebab sejuk pulak tu, basah lagi...... Bila orang jumpa, tak tau dah apa jadi..... Bila org bagitau hampa, ( he will stand up ) Biar padan muka org tua tu... Pegi aku tak kenal dia org.... "
Some will cry, others yg older ( like me and my brother ) dah selalu dengar, buat muka boring, tapi sebek kat dalam. That is why, bila hujan je, I have to call my family to ensure their driness and awakeness. That is why I find rain distressing as really, the picture my Daddy painted, is true to some very unfortunate parents in this world.
That is why, I relate the same stories ( with my own up-graded version of course ) to my kids, as it served as a good reminder to me on my duty towards my family and hopefully will serve as a reminder to them too.
And Dan asked me why I must make my children crazy ? Because it is family tradition, that is why !!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Wayang in Kuching

I just returned this morning from Kuching after 4 days there. I went with my boss En Azman on rounds of meetings and dinners. However we found 2 slots during the 4 days that were empty and so what did we do ? We watched Casino Royale and De-javu.
Both movies were excellent. I am in love with Daniel Craig. Though he doesn't carry the normal epitome of Bond's suaveness and debonair attitude but boy is he dishy. He has this part good and part bad boy look that I found totally appealing. They have chosen the right person to play the part of Bond when he was just given his 00 and on his first assignment.
De-javu was mind boggling. It was interesting and exciting and the suspence was just the right amount. It had me and En Azman talking and discussing about it for hours. Of course I had always been a big fan of Mr Washington and seeing him on the big screen gave me the funny sense of familiarity. Why ?
I recommend going to the movies when you are in Kuching. The cinema was not full eventhough it was cuti sekolah. There were only 6 people watching De-javu and to me it was a novelty. Although the cinema is not as canggih as our cineplexes here but I welcome the ability to buy tickets without queueing up 2 minutes before the movie starts. Free sitting, at that !!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ambil report card

One thing we have to do as parents is to attend the Parents-Teachers-Day to collect our children's report card and listen to what the teacher has to say about our babies. You will either like it or you don't. I have mixed feelings. I really want to know how my son have progressed but am afraid to hear negative things, keep a straight face ( instead of crumbling to cry ) and find the right/appropriate response.
So there I was, with Dan, Umar and Titi in tow, to see Mrs Devi again. We bumped into Mrs Mala ( Umar's pre-1 teacher ) and she said she is hoping to see Umar's little sister in her class next year. Titi in response, hid behind Dan.
We waited for our turn. 1 girl went inside with her parents and Umar said, behind her retreating back, that that girl doesn't know anything. I asked what does he mean by that and he said she just doesn't know anything and she could not do anything. That is one thing I have to teach my son. Not to say anything bad about other people, especially in a judgmental tone. I wonder what other children has to say about my son. How can I protect him from these kind of things as he has entered into a bigger world, where people are different and hypercritical. We might be of the same race, but we built differently in our little own world called family. The gap is wider with people of different races. I really have to teach my son to accept people as who they are, to accept the things we find peculiar but normal to them, as what is more wonderful than the opposite of monotony ?
Anyway, Mrs Devi told me stuffs that I do not know about my son. She told me that Umar is the class clown and how he would eagerly raise his hand to answer questions, not caring if his answer is right or wrong. He will just bellow a laughter if he is wrong. He also is not shy of arguing if he thinks his answer is right.
His writings are big though, she said and Dan replied there is nothing anybody could do about that as that is how his momma's writings are.
My son is the class clown ? I know he is funny. I know he likes a good laugh and understand jokes. I love his roaring laughter when the telly tickled his funny bone. But a class clown ? Really baby ?
He once lead the class to sing 'Old Macdonald', a song he used to fondly call as Lagu Tok Mi because Tok Mi taught him that song. I do not know all this. Do I have to be his teacher to get another glimpse of my son ? In all truth, I am starting to envy all the people around him when I am not around. They get to be with this boy that means so much to me.
Then I will start to envy Titi's teachers and friends too. Ha ha.... what a life I am going to lead. It is just that, the 2 people that love them the most, get to spend such a small amount of time with them. But it is okay. But I have devised a plan. They have to hand me my grandchildren !! yelah, I won't be working at that time ( hopefully ) and now have time for my children's offspring !!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Favourite Book

I am an avid reader. I could go to a bookstore ( decent or otherwise ) and snap like 5 books in 1 go. My darling hubby is more scared of accompanying me to a bookstore than to a shoe store. I would say that my priorities are books, because I could ho and hum over shoes, clothes and bags for days, but I could never with books.
I went through books like water when I was a public transport user. I read on the KTM train, then on the Monorail then repeat prodecure after 6 pm. Therefore, a book could only last 1 week. A very good book would take 3 days. Last time, I had a commuter book and an on-the-john book.
Now, I only have the on-the-john book. I could not read in bed nowadays as I am only allowed thin books with very large letterings. We are currenlty reading ' Naughty Amelia Jane ' in bed and I am re-reading an okay piece by..... I can't remember the name of the writer at this moment... Anyway....
I find that I read books differently now. I think I read them more carefully and books that I don't get last time, I will comprehend now. Books that I raved and raved about its beauty, I find rather bland now and books that I hated, turned out to be okay after all.
My favourite book has always been " To Kill A Mockingbird " by Harper Lee. I loved it when I first read it and now, I think it is the most brilliant thing ever. I understood the plot better and could fantasize and appreciate their situation more. I suppose I was vaguely aware of the troubles in the US during the slave era, but now since I am better informed of that period, that is why I fell in love all over again, but in a bigger capacity this time.
Eva Ibbotson is another wonderful writer. I read " The Song For Summer " and " Madensky Square " and got the message first time. Cleverly written but with a simple plot, I rue the day when I stopped myself from buying her " Dutchess Under The Stairs " for another book. I was in London and was at Waterstones, just off Oxford Street. I figured I could always buy her books in Malaysia. It turned out I can't. Kinokuniya only carries her children books. Those I read with relish and found that a certain warlock was loosely based on her " Which Witch ? " and " Platform 3 and 3/4 ".
But I find, one thing that doesn't change is my need to cool down from a book. I have resting time for certain books, when the plots are too unbearable for me to take. 1 good example was " Dawn ", by Virginia Andrews, the author that so favours incestuous relationship storylines. I had to put that one away for awhile, due to that very reason and didn't pick it up again....
I have grown out of Virginia Andrews, Sidney Sheldon and most Avon Romance books.... emmm... except for Julia Quinn. I am impatiently waiting for her next book on the Bridgeton family...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Slipped Disc ?

Since first Raya, I have been plagued with back pain. Come third Raya, it was rather bad. Then it went away. Then it came again. It was Wednesday. Coincidently, during our lunch trip on Thursday, Kak Maz wanted to see our doctor. So off we went after lunch. Kak Maz told me that since we were at the doctor's office, why don't I go in as well ? I was reluctant as I have no cash on my person. En Azman said he has some and Kak Maz said she has some left, so after Kak Maz went in, I pun masuk.
She asked me to rukuk, I can only manage about 30 degrees. It was about 10 degrees yesterday, I told Dr Zalina. She asked me to lie down and lift up my leg. Left leg no problem, right leg upright caused some pain.
Early symptoms of slipped disc, she told me. Really ? I don't remember ever falling, I protested. Did you lift anything heavy recently ? No, the heaviest thing I ever carry is my very small and very thin daughter ( the paying up scene was rather humiliating. As I mentioned before, I haven't any money at that time and the bill was RM 65. None of us went to the bank and En Azman and Kak Maz had to pool money between them to pay and only managed to raise RM 60 !! Nasib baik dah biasa dengan Dr Zalina tu..... Tapi ada banyak orang keliling.....)
I was dissatisfied and contacted Dan's uncle, Pakcik Basir, an orthopaedic surgeon in Kuching. Alhamdullilah, he is actualy flying down ( or up ) to KL that very night with Mak Nina ( she is a GP by the way. They are so clever, both of them, they skipped one year of medical school ).
Friday, met my boss at KLCC for a very early meeting. He saw me with my heavy lap top and took it from me. He luggged it around during our meeting. I was mortified as he is my CEO. I can't imagine working like this.
Saturday, Pakci Basir came and we discussed and he said well yes, 80% sure I have slipped disc. So he advised me that I have to manage this well. Banyakkan berehat sementara tengah sakit ni. Only 10% of slipped disc sufferer required surgery. He also showed me how to lift things, blah, blah, blah... " Ummm pakcik... " I said, " Boleh ke mandikan anak and kemas katil ? " Pakcik said no lah. Not for awhile at least.
Ha ha..... Smugly, I told Dan, " Sayang ku, I was advised by the good doctor, which happens to be your uncle, to refrain myself from making the bed and bathing the children," Dan said it's okay, we will adjust. So Saturday and Sunday, Babah bathed them alone. It has always been a team effort by us. This Monday morning, Umar was ready for school at 7 am. Kesiannya dia. Frankly, I missed washing his cute tooshie. And seriously, boys really don't know how to make the bed nicely.....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kebun Bunga

I have always loved Kebun Bunga a.k.a Botanical Garden in Penang. The monkeys were a real treat. Were because where I live now, monkeys are aplenty and bountiful and they have become quite a menace actually.

Anyway, since it is a must when we were little, I want to pass on the tradition to my children. So, off we went. It was a treat because we saw other animals apart from monkeys.


The usual monkeys. They are the brown ones okay.


Biawak. For the love of me, I can't think of biawak in English. Lizard ? Ye ke ?

Lepas tu,

Butterflies. I took their pictures because I am amazed by their size. They are huge. Bigger than the normal all white or all yellow I selalu nampak.

And finally

This very cute squirrel. Again, we were struck by the size and the colour. My colleague said maybe he is the result of an unhealthy liason between a squirrel and a monkey. I cannot le fitnah mak bapak squirrel ni kan.... But I love the colour. It is rater docile as we stared and stared and pointed at it for quite some time but he kept on nibbling on the tree bark, ignoring us.

I haven't been to Kebun Bunga for a long time. I couldn't even remember the last time I was there with my family. But Mail, he he ... he hated it when we go. The story is like this,

I was maybe 13 or 14. We went to Kebun Bunga as usual, this time with arwah Tok Cik in tow. Had a great time, blah , blah, blah and went back into the van to go to the jetty and naik ferry balik Bagan. You have to understand the sheer number of us and I take it as my responsibility to make sure that no one is left behind. Nobody ever told me to do this. I just appointed myself as the Offical Head Counter. I counted and counted and the numbers don't add up. We were missing one. But still I was quiet as I paling malas create panic. I started to call names in the order of age, when I couldn't see my chubby little brother. I remember shouting " Mana Mail ? " and I saw my parents head snapped back to look behind. Sure enough, Mail was not with us. My grandmother frantically looked around ( Mail is her favourite because he is named after my Tok Wan ) and Syafiq was already pushing us around, to make sure Mail is not beneath anybody I suppose. Confirm ! We have left Mail, our 7 of 8, our 5 - 6 year old family member behind.

Ayah made an illegal U-turn and we raced back to Kebun Bunga. Everybody was quiet. We could hear Tok's sobs but all of us had our eyes on the road. Syafiq jumped out of the van before it even stopped. We saw a crowd was already formed at the entrance and my dad were stuck at his seat, unable to move. All of us finally breathed again when we saw Syafiq carrying the very fat, chubby Mail while kissing him and hugging him at the same time.

Nobody remembered this hero ( aku le tuh ). Whenever I recounted the story to my family, they always asked " Hang ka ? " Cess......

I remember when he was enconsed again in my Mum's embrace, Mummy asked Ayah what would he have done if we were already on the ferry. Ayah said he would swim back to Penang. I pulak keep on imagining the van in the water.

That is why Mail paling menyampah pi situ. My dad would always attempt to leave him behind again.. ha ha....

Monday, October 30, 2006

Selamat Hari Raya

Selamat Hari Raya people !! This is my first day back from Raya holiday and feels sooo... lazy ? Did I really take 1 week off work ? Didn't feel like it. Raya was good.. actually it is still Raya kan ? Tapi inilah duduk kat bandar. Raya rasa macam dah habis... ( hehe tak pernah pun duduk kat kampung, so I can't really vouch if my statement is correct ).
Pagi Raya with Dan's family, after that straight to the next section to my parents' house ( Umar and Elsa, please take this leaf out of your parents book. Carilah pasangan orang Shah Alam so tak de gaduhnya mana nak balik kampung... takde sedih - sedih tak dapat raya pertama dengan mak bapak. Paling jauh pun PJ.... ). Tengahari went back to Kuala Selangor to Dan's kampung. Usually after Kuala Selangor we will go straight to Perak but this year my Uwan is with us so tak yah balik. Next week when we send her back then we will beraya with our family there pulak. Malam tu beraya dengan Bab, my father's eldest brother and the next day to Angah's ( Dan's aunt ) house and my Tok Chu's ( my Uwan's youngest brother ).
Esoknya, balik Penang !! But I have to say Penang is a sad affair. My Tok died last year and most of my cousins are in KL. Tinggal Mak Ngah still in Bukit Minyak and Pak Mat in Jitra. We stayed in Batu Feringghi and it became more of a holiday then a trip balik kampung. But I love Penang. So I have to go. Although it took only a few hours for family visits, but still we went, right ?
Food was glorious. The laksa, the rendang ( I have to say I prefer Perak's rendang tok ) and the ever wonderful ketupat palas. I have to say I was rather ignorant of how other people in Malaysia eat. As far as I know raya is ketupat and ketupat palas, with kacang putih. But when I started working, then I know orang Johor ketupat nasi sahaja. Orang Selangor ketupat nasi and lontong. Orang Melaka ketupat nasi and some do eat lemang. Orang Perak ketupat nasi and lemang. I think orang Negeri Sembilan lemang je kot. Then go up north baru ada ketupat palas. I have been served ketupat palas with jagung instead of kacang putih. Orang Terengganu pun ada ketupat palas. Funny huh ?

Monday, October 16, 2006


Imagine this scene,

A lady with her daughter in a car stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green, the car decided to be dead. Other drivers were honking madly from behind, but try as she might, the car wouldn't start. Suddenly, there was a soft knock on her window. She turned and saw 3 boys, all in punk gears. She quickly checked to see if her doors are locked before reluctantly scrolled down the window. That was when she had a good look at them. Spiky punk hairs, accessories that include spikes and such, like those favoured by Chun Li ( alah.. you know, the chick with powerful legs from Street Fighter ). She was expecting the worse, when one spoke politely , " Makcik kereta rosak ke ? Tak boleh start ke ? " She answered yes and the boy said, " Okay, boleh tak kita orang tolak kereta makcik ke tepi lepas tu kita tengok boleh tak buat apa - apa, ". She agreed and the 3 boys, a Malay, a Chinese and an Indian, pushed to car the roadside.
The Chinese one again went up to the Makcik and asked her permission to look at her engine. She assented and they tinkered until the car could start again. The Makcik thanked the boys profusely, the daughter looked on shyly and they waved her goodbye.
Iklan PETRONAS ke ? TNB ? Or maybe iklan Proton ( beli lah Proton, kete anda sure tak mati tengah jalan punya... ha ha ). Nope. The Makcik was my mom. And it happened at 1Utama. Sejuk hati when I heard this story. Kindness and racial harmony all in one. Hopefully, this blessed country will strengthen herself in that aspect for our children to enjoy.
Anak sapalah tu ye ?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cry me a river

I was crying buckets while I was driving to work this morning. It started with Ahmad Jais singing "Selamat Hari Raya" then it lingered on to Hotlink advert on a student in London calling his mom and escalated during lagu Heart.
Nak raya kan, biasalah. This will be the first raya without my Tok Cik and my Nyang. Nyang took care of me when I was small. Dulu when we live at sek 6, I went to kindergarten at sek 3. When she is around, she will put me on a bike and push me to school. I will not take the bus to school when she is around. She taught me to pray and tried to teach me to knit.
Balik Penang tahun ni. Tapi raya ke-3 and ke-4 because my Wan is here in Shah Alam with us and of course kena balik kampung Dan in Kuala Selangor.
Shazmi once asked why all Hari Raya dramas on tv are tear-jerker ones. Why aren't there happy ones when Hari Raya should be a joyous occasion ? Good question actually. Maybe it is a reminder for us to think of our parents ( since banyak mak pabak yang dok melangut kat rumah kebajikan ) and maybe it is a reminder to us to always be forgiving ( since banyak anak - anak yang merajuk tak nak balik or menantu yang tak bagi balik ) since what is Raya without seeking for forgiveness ?
Entahlah. I don't have the answer. Hmm.....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Berbuka with friends

Yesterday went for our annual ( well Ramadhan is an annual thing ) berbuka puasa with our good friends. Anu ( brought his lovely wife Sheena and daughter Henna along ), Shazmi, Shah, Amelia, myself and hubby. It was nice as usual, rowdy as always and filled with stories of yesteryears antics as predicted.
I at the end of the meeting forgot to ask the pre-requisite question " Ko bila nak kawin ? " to the 2 unmarried ones, hurriedly did so. I had to ask or the night will be incomplete. We teased and confronted each other as close friends are wont to do and went home happy.
I am glad and thankful for my friends. I have known Anu and Shah since I was five and we were in the same class in Darjah 1 ( 1 Jingga by the way ). Shazmi although never in the same class with me, was always in the same school. Amelia and I became bestfriends in Form 1 when our similar height fated us to sit next to eachother and thus sealed our friendship. Dan also came into the picture in Form 1 and became close to Anu, Shazmi and Shah in their own right.
I once asked them if they formed a band, what will they call themselves ? Anu, after a few minutes, said 3B. 3B ? Yup, 2 Benggalis and 1 Banjar... although that Banjar is also a Benggali.... haha... Shah was absent at that time. He went AWOL for years, fleeting in now and then when he was on Malaysia soil befure returning for good a few years ago. DO we have to add and another letter to include him in ? No, they are known as the 4B now... well I think you know why.
You have no idea how our lives were entertwined. We survived laughters, fights, marriages, births and deaths. May Allah SWT redhakan the friendship of 4B and ummm...... 2G ? Maybe Amelia and I should pick something that has got to do with B too so that we can become 6 B ? Ohhhhh..... I know ... !!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mail balik uni

Waaa.... semalam sedih lagi. My baby brother pulak went back to his uni. Takpelah, at least dapat puasa and terawikh with him. Mail was a special baby. I remember it like it was yesterday. Mummy gave birth to him on the 11th of January 1986 and it was a Thursday. Ayah and I waited at the hospital for his arrival when the doctor came to see us. There are complications he said. If things go wrong, we have to choose between the baby or the mother. I cried there and then. My father looked stunned. We were then ushered to see Mummy before they do a C-section on her.
When we get to her, she was already drugged, well I could tell from the head lolling side to side .When she saw us, the only thing she said was " Save my baby, " over and over again. Ayah comforted her as best he could before we were asked to leave. It was a harrowing wait for us. The doctor ( Datuk Dr Menon helped deliver all my siblings except for Pek and myself ) finally came out again and said Ayah could go and see Mummy and their new son. I waited anxiously outside, my mind playing out multiple scenes inside the room ( each one more tragic then the last ). Ayah then came out and invited me in and I saw my baby Mail for the first time. But in all seriousness, I was not that eager on meeting him. I wanted to see if my Mummy was okay. She was there, her eyes closed. I touched her nose, praying for the feel of carbon dioxide when she opened her eyes briefly before it closed again. I was 1o at that time.
Mail, I decided, have to take an extra effort to make Mummy happy. She was willing to sacrifice her life for him. I have never let Mail forget that and by doing so, he had always said I am hard on him. True, but I see no other way.
However I suppose Mail, you have reached at least 60% of understanding why I do it. My little baby brother you do bring so much joy to her, with your violin and your singing and your antics. The house is considerably quiet without your presence. You brought joy to all of us... Belajar baik - baik dik. Sayang Ala...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My day with my mom

Had a splitting headache yesterday. I had always tried to endure for as long as I could ( just in case it would go away on its own. Sometimes it did) before mengagau cari pain killer. But since it is the fasting month, decided to seek remedy from my mom who could work wonders with her hands. It was really relaxing that I fell asleep and woke up just before adzan. Turun bawah, there was pengat pisang ( please remind me to get some from home ) and agar - agar merah, fishball soup, kari teloq, ayam goreng berempah and sayoq kobeh goreng. Yum......
But it was a small party yesterday, just my mom, my little brother, our help and myself. We ate and talked until Atik told us it is nearly 8. Kelam kabut Mummy and I naik atas to prepare for Maghrib. I went straight to clean myself a bit and took my wuduq. When I stepped out of the shower, I noticed Mummy had left a pair of slippers for me. And when I got out of the bathroom, Mummy had had everything prepared. There were two prayer mats side by side complete with a neatly folded telekung on each. We prayed together and later we jumped ( I did the jumping, she gracefully sat down ) on the bed with our telekungs attached, switched on the telly and talked. She rubbed my arms a few times and massaged my head a little and just be my mom. I needed that. I really needed that. We prayed at 9pm when my siblings returned and she had to become Mummy to everybody again.
Why are mothers so efficient ? Will I ever be that accomodating, that lovable ? Am I, right now ? When I saw those prayer mats arranged like that, it took me back when I was little. That is how we will pray. Ayah and Mummy will arrange the mats as an invitation for the rest of us to join them. Usually, after Maghrib while waiting for Isyak, ayah will take out a book about our prophets and read to us. And then he will lecture.... hehe... my dad is quite a nag actually.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Welcome Ramadhan

My apologies. My welcome for Ramadhan is late, but officially dengan Allah SWT I have embraced my welcome of Ramadhan since Saturday. I once read that there are people who actually cried at the end of Ramadhan, sad because it will be a long wait before the next Ramadhan. I have always thought that is utterly rubbish as what is better than Ramadhan but Hari Raya ? I have to remind my friends though, that thought was a long ago kind of thinking.. he he... Then I slowly slipped into the joy of Ramadhan, but I had never felt sorrow when Ramadhan is over, again I suppose with the thought of Raya and balik kampung and I have to say, me itching to ask for forgiveness ( especially from my husband ) and then feeling relieved that another year, I am somewhat released from guilt.
This year though, I cried during my first day of Terawikh. I felt so sad... no.... sad is not the right word, sayu... yup that is the best word to describe it. Rasa sayu sangat and grateful. Grateful that Allah chose me to be get His light. You know what I mean ? I am glad I was born a Muslim, glad that I am not a kafir that might or might not be chosen to embrace Islam. I think of Cat Steven, I think of this one Lord in England and I think of those other converts who got so lucky to accept the 'khabar gembira' of our Muhammad SAW. I felt grateful because I did not have to look but it was served to me when the adzan was first recited to my ear by my daddy. But I also feel that I have wasted the gift from Allah by not being a proper Muslim. Being a Muslim is not just prayers and puasa, but it is also every minute of our life, our thoughts, our feelings and our movements.
I am trying very hard. I dont know if I will cry when it is time to say goodbye to Ramadhan ( I suspect I will still feel giddy this year at the prospect of celebrating Eid ) but I feel now I know what it means to hope for His redha.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Memories of Ramadhan part 2

Today, I will reminisce about my Ramadhans with my dear friend Shazleen.
During our form 4 and 5, Leen and I diligently went for Terawikh. As fas as I could remember, there was not a day that we missed at all. But we had a mission. We must try all the suraus in Shah Alam that is within our reach. I remember we started with surau seksyen 6, then seksyen 4 ( ini best, by 9.30 dah selesai 8 rakaat. Tapi itu mentaliti dulu.. sekarang lagi lama lagi bagus.... hahaha... ye ke ? ), surau seksyen 3 ( I don't really like this surau because the carpet was red and yellow.... penin.... ) then our masjid ( this was quite nice as we saw a lot of our friends there ).
I also remember that we didn't know the last day of puasa, there is no terawikh. So there we were, meeting up at surau Seksyen 6. We went in in our telekungs but this time we got loads of stares from the men lounging at the surau's porch. We grinned at them ( what else to do ? ) and walked up the stairs to the ladies section, which we noticed from the start was strangely dark, and sans other ladies. Are we the first to be there ? We switched on the lights and waited, and waited, and waited. Then we heard takbir raya. Alamak... takbir ? And it slowly dawned to us that since first terawikh is the night before first puasa, then the last terawikh was the night before last puasa !! Wargghhh..... malunya.
SO what did we do ? We hid there until we were sure there were not many people around anymore. We slowly crept down the stairs, looked around and legged it !!
This year I will be going with my husband and since Shah Alam ada banyak surau sekarang and we have vehicles, our perimeter would be bigger. Hopefully I will bump into you guys in the surau and we can terawikh ( and giggle - giggling are mandatory for girls... there is nothing anybody can do about it. Anu, Shazmi, Shah, Dan and Sib have tried separating Amelia and I when we meet [ we are not allowed to sit next to eachother ], but we still managed to giggle sitting apart ) and beribadat together. I feel nothing will make us closer than that.
After re-reading this, I feel good. At least I have some sort of a memory box that I can visit from time to time, to remind me of my friends and my own self. Sometimes, when we feel empty, for whatever reason - humans do that all the time, or feel that our past is not rich with love, experience or whatever, we can always go back to see if it really was.
Right now, I feel loved, and humbled by friendships that I have from all my friends. I also feel glad that I have good, ke jalan Allah type of stories to tell my kids and my grandkids. " Dulu, masa Tok muda-muda, Tok pi ngan kawan Tok semayang terawikh, tak pernah miss...... blah, blah, blah " Hmmm...........
Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan al-Mubarak to all my friends, especially you my dimpled friend...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Memories of Ramadhan

Lagi beberapa hari saja lagi nak start puasa. Ramadhan has always been a nostalgic month for me and I believe for a lot of people. The memories of tuang posa, memories of family gatherings and memories of fabricating stories so that I could berbuka posa with my boyfriend. Also, bila start posa aje, I would think of Shazleen, one of my closest friend during my high school year. I will talk about Leen later as now I want to talk about my family.
Since I got married and parked our butt permanently in Malaya, I could count the number of times I actually berbuka with my family. My parents, in a way, has a very westernised attitude with their married children, that is jangan masuk campur langsung - langsung. They do not want to impose on our life and being the cause of fights between anak and menantu.
Every start of Ramadhan, Mummy akan berpesan, "Hang toksah dok susah sangat nak buka posa kat sini. Jangan jadikan tempat nak berbuka tu satu pergaduhan, hilang pahala. Penat aje posa. Ikut saja mana dia nak pi. Kalau mau sangat buka kat sini, request baik - baik. Kalau dia mau, hampa mai. Kalau dia tak mau, toksah paksa. Lagi satu jangan niat nak buka ngan Mummy sebab kesian kat Mummy. Takdak kesian - kesian aih... Okay aje. Mummy bukak posa sorang pun tak pa. Yang pentingnya posa tu, bukan berbuka,"
As a result, I only berbuka with my mom once last year and so did my brother. I didn't even ask Dan if we could break bread with mom until the last day of puasa. I suppose what is important for my mom is a peaceful Ramadhan. Pengorbanan for the sake of peace is pahala.... He he... But mom, not this year as this year I want to alternate berbuka with you and Dan's mom. So expect us a lot this year and that means, every other day, please serve cok udang with kuah kacang, Penang style.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

To all warga Shah Alam, Subang and Kelang

Today is our AGM and I had to pick Sue at KLCC before I go to KLGCC. After the Batu 3 toll, my car moved for about 1 m before it was stuck in this massive jam. Decided to use the NPE, turned left and drove quite fast before I had to stop because of another jam. It was much worse at NPE as my car moved an inch every 3 minutes. Turned left again and entered Glenmarie to use the NKVE. After the Damansara toll ( at Tropicana ) I had to stop again because of another jam !!! Warghhhhhh...... Called my boss and he advised me to turn back and go straight and come out at Jalan Duta.... lega.......
Radio Era awal - awal tak nak cakap. While I was stuck at Damansara, they eloquently announced " Penduduk Shah Alam, Subang dan Kelang yang ingin ke Kuala Lumpur, dinasihatkan supaya membatalkan hasrat anda kerana semua laluan sangat sesak " or something in that manner.
After the AGM, I went to have dim sum at Bukit Jalil Golf Club with Dan and his colleague Guna. It was a lovely lunch as Guna was hilarious. He also gave us a lot of advise on marriage, which I found very useful. One of the key thing he said to Dan when Dan said that if he doesn't do something, I would say he doesn't care and when he does it, I would be very suspicious and accused him of doing it out of guilt. Guna said, " Dan, women are born like that. It is in their genes and the way they are programmed. There is nothing you could do about it. Just be happy together and enjoy life... " He he....
I remember last year when a bouquet arrived at my office. It was a gorgoues bouquet and I totally loved it. But, 10 minutes after the arrival I called Anu, Shazmi and Shah to ask them what the bouquet meant. Hmmm.............
I really hope I am not crazy alone...... Hmmmmm....
Oh yeah, Happy 55th Birthday Guna.
* L to R : Kak Maz ( Secretary to CEO ), Sue ( Secretary to Chairman ), Me

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The incident that happened very early in the morning

Decided to park outside the office compound today so that it will be easier for me to go for my meeting. The grass was wet as usual, due to dawn rainfall or just morning dew. Anyway, when I was about to open the door, I detected the unholy smell of crap. Ish.... Looked around but saw nothing.
Went to me desk and as I crossed my leg, I had another whiff of the smell again. Yikes, there are brown stains on my shoe. Literal crap !! Went to samak my feet, my hands, my kain and my shoes. But the smell lingered and I felt dirty. 12.30, my CEO, En Azman signalled to me it is time for our meeting at KLCC. Gosh, couldn't feel more unsophisticated in my meeting life !!
As I got out his car I enquired if he has other meetings to attend after this one and he replied yes, at 2.30 in Setiawangsa. Why ? Oh, I stepped on some crap and since I will be praying later on, I am wondering if you would mind me buying a new outfit ? Sure, he said if we finish before 2.
Okay, went to meeting, blah, blah, blah, finished at 2pm. Left the meeting place and he went straight to Isetan. It is 2pm now. I reminded him that he has a meeting at 2.30. No it is fine, he said as I will have to pray later on. Okay boss. So I went to Isetan and shopped for an outfit at record time. 2.30 pm as I was paying, he said he is already late, so why don't I just follow him to his next meeting. I apologised again and again and he said it is fine. No problem.
What an understanding boss. Not just any boss but a CEO that is mentioned in CEO magazine, as one of the top CEOs in Malaysia. A very down-to-earth guy. I believe everybody at the top should be as humble as my boss, then we would truly have a good working life. Next week is his birthday, and I have bought him his present. Semoga panjang umur and murah rezeki EN AZMAN.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bersahur bersama Titi lagi

I don't know why Minah Kecik ni is always around when I want to soq. Lepas tu pegi tibainya my very limited food. Yang parahnya hari ni sure tak puasa punya.... Boring.
Semalam was Umar's school concert. It was cute tapi for RM 70 for the clothes and RM 110 for black shoes that he has to wear for his dance, I expected him to be prancing around the stage for at least 3 minutes !! His class did the flower dance. The girls danced first for about 3 minutes, then the boys came in. It was over in 1 minute after the arrival of the boys. Adil ke ? Dan didn't go as he had to work but I filmed it all with my trusted video cam. Dan too was shocked.
Seriously, I wanted to take the teacher to task ( come on !! RM 70 for the outfit ? The RM 110 tu was by choice kan, so tak boleh cakap banyak. Furthermore, jadi kasut untuk beraya terus ) tetapi mengenangkan yang the headmistress is an ex-army, and from her demeanour nampaknya she left with a drill sargeant rank, malas lah nak cakap banyak...... He he.
My brother Mail is home for the holidays. As I have mentioned before, Mail is a wonderful singer. Also a an accomplised violinist and pianist. Yesterday after the concert, Titi, Mail and I were talking on the bed, when I asked him to sing Dealova for me. He have never even heard of that song, so I sang it for him. Alih - alih, I realised him and Titi had gone to dreamworld. Wah, not bad my lullaby !!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Muka orang kat pokok

Semalam mengaji ngan ustaz Osman. Memandangkan nak puasa ni and sekarang tengah rajin membaca Yassin every day, so semalam I asked him to listen to my bacaan Yassin ( so Melia, we did not advance a page yesterday ).

Seperti biasa, after mengaji Ustaz buat tazkirah, while eating Mummy's mee goreng yesterday. Before he started, I asked him about the face on the pokok pinang in Pulau Pinang ( he he macam ryhme ). Malangnya ustaz tak tengok lagi and I have the task of cutting the newspaper article for him pulak.... Nasib baik jumpa.

Anyway, people had always been fascinated by macabre things. Especially nowadays when the genre of choice of movie producers are the spine-chilling tales of ghouls and spirits. After Dan described the scene in Ju-on where the Ju-on crawled down the stairs while still wrapped in plastic ( Dan described because all the while I had my eyes covered ), neither one of us really dared to watch a scary movie anymore. Case paling teruk was when theis Korean/Japanese movie about two sisters or something was shown on tv. Umar insisted to watch it tapi mummy and babah tak berani. So you know what happened. Umar tengok tv while Mummy and Babah read magazine/book facing him. Malunya......
Terasa jugak nak balik Penang semata - mata nak tengok benda tu, tapi kang kita dok ralit tengok dia, dia lompat keluaq dari pokok. Warrgghhhhh..... I have always liked a good scrae, but what I don't like is when the scary parts are etched in my head. Nak mandi pun susah, nak pi toilet pun susah. I lepas tengok Ju-on ( or half tengok ), nak pi mandi pun ajak Umar teman..... Hmmmmm.......
Apasal takut sangat nak tengok hah ? Pernah ada a few things yang menakutkan happened to me before, tapi tak delah sampai teringat - ingat sampai berpeluh. Takpe, next installament, I will tell you of my experience.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tengah feeling hari ni

TANPAMU - Farawahida

Terasa indah
bila cinta telah bertamu
terasa syahdu
bila hati telah bersatu
tak dapat ku mungkiri
apa yang ku rasakan
di saat-saat kita bersama
kau damaikan diri ini
sejukkan dasar jiwaku
tenangkan resah hatiku
tanpamu ku rasa suramnya
tanpa cinta
tanpamu ku rasa
resah dan gelisah
terasa bosan bila ku harus sendiri
terasa bosan jika ku terus begini
tak dapat ku mungkiri
sepi tanpamu kasih
resahnya tanpa cintamu kasih
kau damaikan diri ini
sejukkan dasar jiwaku
tenangkan resah hatiku
tanpamu ku rasa suramnya
tanpa cinta
tanpamu ku rasa
resah dan gelisah

I love this song. Sweet sangat...

Songs can take me places, usually the past. Kalau kena dengan lagu, it will intensify my current mood.

That is why if I have any problems, I will refrain from switching the radio on as sad songs will keep me in my malancholy disposition. But songs can also invoke feelings, like the song above. When I hear this song, all I can think about is my hubby. You know, normal mushy stuffs like what a good husband he really is ( if I pejam sebelah mata lah... haha ) and how much I really love him ( that I don't really mind memejamkan sebelah mata tu actually ).

Seriously Dan, I wonder if you know how much you mean to me. And that brings me to this next song...

Dealove - ONCE

aku ingin menjadi mimpi indah dalam tidurmu
aku ingin menjadi sesuatu yang mungkin bisa kau rindu
karena langkah merapuh tanpa dirimu
oh karena hati tlah letih
aku ingin menjadi sesuatu yang selalu bisa kau sentuh
aku ingin kau tahu bahwa ku selalu memujamu
tanpamu sepinya waktu merantai hati
oh bayangmu seakan-akan
kau seperti nyanyian dalam hatiku
yang memanggil rinduku padamu
seperti udara yang ku hela kau selalu ada
hanya dirimu yang bisa membuatku tenang
tanpa dirimu aku merasa hilang
dan sepi dan sepi
selalu ada, kau selalu ada
selalu ada, kau selalu ada

Enough said

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bersahur bersama Titi and the places it took me to

Decided to puasa today, so yesterday went to Mummy's house to get lauk for soq. Dan suggested to soq at mid-nite, knowing that I will have difficulties the whole day due to lack of sleep. I was still quite full at that time but by mid-nite decided to follow Dan's advise. Went down to get nasi and when I went back to the room, Titi emerged from the folds of her blanket. I think she could smell the lovely aroma of daging masak kicap.
It was really good, my mum's cooking. It was just a simple fare, just nasik and 1 lauk, but the ecstacy of eating food that was prepared by my mother, knows no bounds. Each bite ( or more appropriately suapan ) brought in the familiarity of the taste and memories of eating with my family. The laughter, the jokes, the teasings.. all are vivid and vague at the same time.
I remember our old, round table made of wood, with its lazy suzanne, laden with the night's fare. Mum will usually team up her curries with sayur goreng and sambal with sayur lemak. Then there will be my daddy, before the first bite, will make this one particular sound that came from his throat to his tummy and back to his throat all the while moving his head forward and back to it's normal position. Then he will start eating and talking. My daddy is a joker. He will tease and he will laugh but of course he is not without anger. Lo and behold if any of us ada buat salah hari tu, walau macam mana sedap pun mummy masak, our churning tummy would not accept it. But when mum is angry, ayah's face will hide a little smile and if you check his hands closely, you will see his thumb up, a sign that is saying "sheee gooood" ( padan muka ). That will usually made us feel so much better and seriously will forget what mummy is angry about, so esoknya buat lagi... hahahaha...
Is it my age that is making me more nostalgic of my past ? Or maybe my hormones that is making me malancholy for no reason at all ? Last night itself, as we were driving, I told my son " Later on, when you are grown, you will take a drive at night, very much like this, either alone or with your loved ones, and you will see the lighting and you will hear some music, you will remember this excursion we have, or any other drives that we had taken as a family. You will think of Mummy and Babah and Titi, and how good it all felt at that time, how safe we made you feel. Hopefully, we will still be around at that time and all of us are still in talking terms with eachother so that it will be easier for you to reach out for us. That is why it very important that we do not fight because whatever it is we are family and walau macamanapun bergaduh, kadang - kadang rindu. Kalau dah gaduh, masam muka, macam mana nak peluk when you miss us ?"
My son was quiet for awhile but knowing him, I know he will start to cry. Right on cue, I could feel his little chubby hands reaching for my neck before I could feel his face , wet with tears, on my shoulder. "I will love you forever Mummy,"... he he he....
I suppose only my parents would make me feel really safe. Sometimes when I have problems or troubles are brewing and waiting to explode, I just want to go home and hide under my mom's duvet. I will relish my mom's word of wisdom and ayah's reassuring hugs.
So what is my point actually ? We will need our family even when we are 50 ? At 30 you will miss your family even if they are just 5 minutes away ? Entah lah....
So there I was, with my daughter, soq sama - sama, wondering if she will love me as much as I love my mom, my dad and my siblings. Titi I really hope you tengah puasa la ni, because you bantai 1/2 of my soq dinner !!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Malam Nisfu Syaaban - Part 2

So yesterday tried to do the recommended ibadah for Nisfu Syaaban. I read Yassin 3 times and berdoa and berdoa and berdoa. Wah... my lutut couldn't take it. Tapi tak pe. Sabar. But what I like is as I passed the surau at IPK, it was full to the brim. Cars are parked left and right and the road was congested.
I am glad. Glad that during this semi-dark age ( I couldn't imagine the dark and fully dark ages ), there are still people that love Allah and Rasul. I didn't only saw the old set, but I saw young ones too, gathering to pray. Maybe we can still be saved. Maybe there is still the light.
For me, I just want my keturunan terpelihara dari kemiskinan dan kerosakan akidah. I received some disturbing pictures baru - baru ni. Adik of a celebrity in clothes yang tak macam clothes, berpeluk - pelukan and alcohol in hand. I don't want my children to be like that. Macam mana can I shield my babies dari anasir - anasir yang begitu ?
I heard from somebody yang jauh terpesong baru - baru ni, saying that dari dulu mak bapak always cakap nanti Allah murka, nanti Allah marah. So he got bored as everything is restricted. So now, I tell Umar Allah loves him. Tapi when he is extra naughty, I will tell him that right now Allah has reserved a nice place for him in Jannah, so why nak pindah masuk Neraka ? Sama je ke ? Hmmm.......

Thursday, September 07, 2006

7 September - Malam Nisfu Syaaban

Hari nisfu sya'aban adalah hari dimana buku catatan amalan kita selama setahun diangkat ke langit dan diganti dengan buku catatan yang baru.

Berikut adalah antara amal ibadah di hari Nisfu Sya'aban:
1. Selepas solat maghrib Solat sunat nisfu sya'aban, 2 rakaat Rakaat 1 : baca Al-Fatihah & surah Al-Qadar 1x Rakaat 2 : baca Al-Fatihah & surah Al-Ikhlas 3x
2. Membaca Yasin 3x
i) Selepas Yasin pertama : mohon dipanjangkan umur untuk beribadat kepada Allah
ii) Selepas Yasin kedua : mohon rezeki yang halal untuk beribadat kepada Allah
iii) Selepas Yasin ketiga : mohon ditetapkan iman dan Islam & mati di dalam iman pohonlah segala yang baik....
Kemudian baca Istighfar 11x & selawat 11x Baca doa nisfu Sya'aban (ada didalam Yasin Majmuk)
3. Baca surah ikhlas 1000x
4. Berpuasa pada siangnya (isnin)

Kalau termampulah.

My Ustaz Osman kata banyakkan mohon keampunan, baca Quran dan solat sunat.


However, bukan dulu ada orang-orangan yang menyatakan bahawa sesungguhnya Malam Nisbu Syaaban ni bukan malam yang istimewa sebenarnya. Ye ke ?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday was our 7th year wedding anniversary. Since it was a Monday, therefore no candlelight dinners ( have never been really fond of candlelight dinners as you can't really see your food). We have plans today to go and catch a movie, sans the kids, tapi kesian pulak since the Monster House is in the cinemas right now. However, have to scrape the plan due to work commitments. So maybe later yeah ? End of the week probably ?
How do you celebrate an anniversary ? One friend asked ( rather cynically I should add ) if to celebrate it with a dinner, how can you make the dinner special since it involves the thing that you do 3-4 times a day, every day. Make love ? How special can you make the love making on that particular day ? Do you save this one position that you really like and only practise it on your wedding anniversary ( I suppose like not eating ketupat palas and rendang and kuah kacang on any other day except Hari Raya ) ? Is it the gifts ? How do we classify gifts that is for birthday or anniversary ?
If you ask me on the spot, what gifts we exchanged last year, I wouldn't know the answer unless the said gift happens to be on my person. So are anniversaries that forgettable ? If they are, why do we celebrate it ? And how do we celebrate it ?
I suppose, although I don't remember what present I gave to my husband last year as a token of my love for him 6 years in a row, but maybe I was tenderer and more lovable to him on the days leading to our anniversary. Do you get what I mean ? Like this year for example ( I swear I couldn't remember last year ), it was him who remembered that we will be celebrating our anniversary in 8 days time. So from that moment on, the number of phone calls during working hours doubled ( or tripled ) just to say "Baby I miss you" or whatever, but our yearning for eachother is more. We would drift to sleep while reminiscing on the good old days, when the was just the 2 of us. Him with his moustache ( not as thick as Dato K ye.... ) and me with my jerawat of every point of maturity and sizes, how we have changed, blah, blah, blah.....
Maybe what an anniversary does is reminding us of why we actually love our spouse and probably bring back the old feelings that lay buried ( not lost ) because of everyday humdrum or activities. Maybe in that month ( give and take 2 weeks prior and after the anniversary ) we would find eachother again, basking in the glory of being the chosen one and confident that we are actually loved by at least this one person. Then maybe slowly it will lay buried again, and then the spark will come back once in awhile throughout the year ( birthdays, hari raya, bulan puasa, merdeka even if the mood is right ) before it returned full blast again come the next anniversary.I don't know. It is just a thought heavily influenced by my above-mentioned friend.
I love my husband with my heart and soul. But sometimes we forget because of daily commitments, that's all. But I am really amazed that everyday at 6 Dan will call to make sure that I am already on the way home, a sure sign that after 13 years, he is still not tired of seeing me. That he still fully expects me to open the bedroom door and say "Hai honey...," every single day.
Happy Anniversary, darling.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Apa nak jadi dengan Shah Alam

I was woken up in the wee hours of Sunday morning by the ringing of my handphone. I hate early morning phone calls as usually only bad news can't wait. Unfortunately my phone was not next to me as usual and it sounded so muted and far away. I jumped to my big, large handbag ( En Azman, now do I really appreciate why you hate my big, large handbags ) and the phone stopped ringing mid-rummaged. When I finally located the phone it was my best friend listed as missed call and it was 3.30 am. Oh boy. I called her back, no answer.
At that time Dan was already awake and I was already sweating, anticipating doom. I sat down, cradling my precious phone when it rang again. Intruders in the house. Please call the police. Aaa..... meremang bulu roma and I jumped and did the chicken dance. I called the police while performing the century old ritual for my husband to admire. I barked my plea for help to them and danced some more. I wanted to call her but too afraid of her current situation to do so. Is she hiding and if she is, then my call would actually alert the intruders of her location. Is she fighting with them ( she has a black belt that one ) and if it is so she wouldn't have the extra hand to answer my call and she might get distracted. So I called the police again to ask if they have been saved. I told the police that I simply do not know if the 'orang jahat' are still in her house. I took off my jammies and while I was putting on my jeans, Dan asked me what the hell do I think I am doing. I said to go and make sure she is okay of course and he said, " Sapa nak teman anak2 kita ?"
Right, there were actually only 4 of us in the house and we really do not know if the house has been surrounded and if there is actually a police stand-off ( is that the right word ? Yeah yeah, too much telly ). So I called the police once more and they answered with "Ini kejadian baru ke atau yang tadi tuh?" Okay..... I called her but her phone was engaged and I sms'ed her asking if she was okay. She replied that the culprits had left and they are talking to the police.
So I couldn't sleep. Dan too couldn't sleep but it is much worse for him since he has to go to work. I went to dreamworld around 6'ish and woke up at 10. I gathered my children, put them right and went to her house. I hugged her and was so glad that she is still in 1 piece. Her son very eloquently told me of his experience, that brave boy. Apart from 2 broken doors and a few stolen items, everything seems to be okay.
About 3 weeks before the break-in, my best friend's husband actually told Dan that there has been a spate of robbery in that area. 3 houses I think. Last week another mutual friend of ours, had their house burglarised ( hmm... the way I put it, sounds like they asked for the house to be burglarised ) but this time it involved some tying up the victims action. This is really scary. My own house has been broken into 5 times !! Well, they actually successfully entered the house twice but the rest they tried to but was not successful.
The felons apparently were Indonesians, all 5 of them and it fits the description of the crooks that entered their neighbour's house last time. So what is Malaysia going to do ? This is not a new story. Apart from our own Malaysia bred criminals, we have to deal with foreign villains too ? Malaysians are so lazy, we have to find people from abroad to come and do work for us. While the blessed Malaysian are gallivanting, lepaking and doing nothing, we have to rely on these foreigners to make sure our economy is moving. And therefore, when these foreigners create havoc in our country, the lazies just keep on gallivanting, lepaking and doing nothing. And much worse, if they too participate in these nefarious activities.
What are the police doing ? Why does it take them 20 minutes to get there when they could run to her house and made it in 10. There has been a few robberies in that particular area so what is their preventative action ? Are they policing there more ? I mean what is the plan here ? When I called the police last time, the first time they made in 10 which is okay and the next he ( there was only 1 plain clothed officer ) made in 5 and did some leaping that really impressed Dan and myself. To give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe it was a busy night for them and their manpower was strecthed thinly. Hmmm...........

Friday, September 01, 2006


This Merdeka we celebrated like we always did, shacking up at the Concorde Hotel, in a room with KLCC view so that we can treat the kids with the fireworks without having to bersesak-sesak with the crowds.
We walked to KLCC this year and had dinner at Shrooms. Everything was okay until the time we decided to walk back to the hotel. People were going to KLCC in droves but we were going the opposite way. Because of that, Dan and I could see, apa sebenarnya erti merdeka in the hearts of I would say 70% of the crowd that gathered in KLCC. Merdeka means their freedom to decide not to fully clothe themselves, but just with bits and pieces of kain strung together to cover some parts of their body. Merdeka also means that they can engulf themselves with the putrid smell of alcohol that other people within 2m radius can smell. Merdeka also means that they go out in our blessed country's tropical climate in long leather jacket complete with a necktie. But to me, this merdeka showed, in a way, kita masih dijajah. I am not saying that women should be clad in baju kurung 24/7 and men go to work wearing capal to be truly merdeka... but come on !! Be realistic. Trenchcoats will be un-Malaysian until the day snow started to make its way here. Everything the mat sallehs do is good even if it means we have to sweat like there's no tomorrow in the jacket. That includes being so intoxicated you can't even recognise your mom or blatantly being too affectionate with your partner in public. Holding hands is sweet but hand in the pocket ? Urgghhh......
I usually am not crtical of others, especially of how they dress, of how they talk etc, as siapalah aku ni nak comment2 kan. Lagi pun kita selalu harus bersangka baik ... but oh anak bangsaku... Bangunlah, bangunlah, bangunlah. I am not really asking people to be more Melayu ( except maybe the delusional ones in leather jackets ), but to be more Muslims. I read somewhere that the problem with the Malays is that they use the Quran for the purpose of exorcism only, but not as a guidebook, a guidebook that could shows us the way to succeed and really to merdeka.
For myself, sebagai orang yang lahir merdeka, I couldn't really fathom the concept of merdeka that is being felt by our older generations. You know, the normal story of makan ubi kayu, kowtowing to the Japs and then enduring the discriminations by the Brits. But my meaning of merdeka is..... hmmm.... I don't know really..... Wow... what a let down. Maybe you can tell me your meaning of merdeka ?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cringe-worthy tv

Yesterday was a terrible day for Malaysia tv viewers. 3 separate channels showed programmes that I would categorise under 'entah apa-apa'.
Nicole Kidman's wedding to Keith Urban ( whom I have to say are known worldwide ) were much low key than these 2 people who are only known around the Malay Achipelago ( well actually one of them was virtually unknown until about a few months ago ). I was so embarrased with all the hoopla surrounding that marriage.
To rub the salt to my wound, 2 channels decided to team up and try to snatch viewers from watching the so called weedding of the year by airing 'luahan hati' a disengaged ( ada ke perkataan tuh ? ) couple. I don't think we need education to be smart enough to say a big fat 'NO' from being some big corporation pawns. One was even a government channel !! How could you stoop so low in the name of ratings !!
Yang kesiannya, that girl... She really put her heart out on her sleeves as satu Malaya can see that she still has the hots for him... Malunya.....

Monday, August 28, 2006

Rombongan to Seremban

Last Saturday, we sent Ita to her in-laws in Seremban. It was okay, the reception was good and our mood was happy too. But when we get home, when all the relatives had gone home, my Mom and Dad have started to feel the emptiness. They have 8 kids and still they are lonely. I have 2, am I to expect the worse then ?
So this morning, I decided to have breakfast with my parents. Both Umar and I. Mummy made yummy toasts ( kenapa bila my mom tuang air kosong for me pun sedap ? ) and we had a nice, lively breakfast listening to Umar's chatters. I suppose we have to make this a habit then to keep them sane.
I really have to start scanning some pictures or get a digicam. My blog seems empty without pics !!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Raja Bahrin

Hari ni keluar lagi cerita pasal Raja Bahrin, kerabat Terengganu yang dengan daringnya pergi menyelamatkan anak2 dari terkeluar dari Islam. If I dengar his name mentioned, I will always imagine him standing ramrod straight on a sampan, looking out to Australia, looking every inch the debonair heroic prince that we Cinderella readers always imagine it to be. Why sampan I don't know sebab kemungkinan besar dia naik speed boat ke or even a luxury yacht, but the more daring it is, the more romantic it became kan ? He he.
Now, I can imagine his desperation and his determination to act. It was a very brave thing to do, something that we usually see in the movies, a covert and dangerous operation, in the name of Allah and his babies. Salute to Raja Bahrin.
Would I do the same for my children ? Absolutely. But then I would need my dear friends' help because I think I don't have sea-legs !!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Marlin nak balik

Yesterday joined my mom and 2 siblings at KLCC and went for dinner at Chili's. Sekarang ni memang perut Melayu as I couldn't even finished half of the plate. Kalau nasi goreng tu licin kot... he he. My sister Marlin was there. She is home for the summer holidays and Jumaat ni she is going back to Russia to start her fourth year. Marlin and I, we somehow missed eachother. Not even 6 months after I returned to Malaysia for good after my 7 years stay in England, she went to Russia to study medicine.
I looked at her and I missed her already. It will be next summer before I see her again and this is going to be repeated until 2009 before she comes home as Dr Marlin MD. Some people said after you get married, adik-beradik dah tak berat sangat. I don't think that is true as I still value my siblings.
This summer she had to go to Hospital TAR in Kelang to be introduced to all the different wards there. One morning I volunteered to send her. In her bag I saw her stethoscope ( betul ke ejaan ni ? ) and her white lab coat. My eyes went misty with pride. When we get there ( she was already late ) the other students were already there at the hospital's porch and I asked her to put on her coat and stethoscope for me. She looked wonderful. I kissed her again and again and again in front of her peers amid her protests ( I know how she felt. My dad used to do that to me when he sent me to school. There I was at 17, a pengawas pulak tu, being kissed by my daddy in front of everybody to see. It is hard to be cool after that ). Hmm....
Mail is not coming home this holiday. He called up during Ita's akad nikah and had a good cry. He is also doing Medicine but in Manipal India. I miss him so much. I am yet to embarass him in front of his friends but he is wise to expect it. After Ita's reception, when all our guests had left, our family had a good karaoke session. Mail is wonderful singer. I kept expecting him to grab the mike and serenade us with his lovely voice. Waaa..... Mail !!
Ita pulak dah kawin. This morning I went home for awhile and as I jumped on the bed, only Ima and Marlin screamed. I forgot she's not supposed to be there. Pun sedih jugak....
The rest of my siblings are in Shah Alam, but they are here for me not to miss. Alhamdullillah.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Waiting for Dan

Dah pukul 6.30 ni tapi belum balik lagi as today Dan and I car-pooled and he is still in the office. So takde benda nak buat, blog le ( ada sebenarnya tapi maleh.... ). Harga minyak is so darn expensive and my little Gen-2 can consume about RM 800 a month. At least I have done my national duty by buying a Malaysian car. After this, sorry le. Although Satria Neo tu kiut le. I have always liked Satria but it having only 2 doors poses a problem for me.
I miss my babies at home. I really wish I don't have to work and just duduk mengadap depa tapi apakan daya. I really hate leaving them with the Indonesians, especially after what happened with the one before this, tapi again apakan daya. Nak hantar nursery takut ramai sangat and takut they are neglected.
Although I am trying to do my part as a Muslim to aid the Palestinians, I could never look at the pictures of all those lids being slaughtered because all the faces looked familiar and looked like my children. Tang matalah, tang rambutlah, tang mulut terngangalah.
Aiseh, Dan dah nak sampai. Bye.

Hello Friends

Hello Friends,
He he.. excited and seronok tengok blog kawan-kawan ( especially Sheik punya yang I think very hilarious ), so kita ni pun teringin le. Just let's see how disciplined I am to write and how long really I will keep this up !!
Why do I name my blog Hai Mum ? Well, that is usually the first thing I will hear from my son everytime I come home before engulfing me in his hugs. My daughter will just yell "Mummmmeeeeee....!" before she starts to complain about everybody in the house. I know however, that soon she too will greet me like her brother does. Everyday I would eagerly wait for it ( and after that kalau ada yang bergaduh, dah lupa dah how sweet Hai Mum tu ) because it signifies the start of my day with them although the saddest thing is it is usually at the end of the day...hmmmm. Ohh... I eagerly wait for my hubby's "Hai baby" of course. Ha ha...
I have so many things to say actually, tapi since I have to keep this blog up, I will save them for later... shell them out bit by bit huh ?