Monday, December 31, 2007

Movie Review : Shoot ‘Em Up

This is a funny movie. It was made to be cheesy and over the top and it delivered. Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Beluci was excellent. Don’t know how to describe it, really other than it is excellent and was meant to be stupid.

Watch it !!

PS: X-rated sikit so don’t watch with your kids. Nasib baik we screened it first because Abang so wanted to watch it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cuti ku

During my lovely cuti ( tak kemana pun. Sibuk prepare budak-budak nak sekolah ) I keep imagining the things that I want to write about on my blog. This and that. But when I am finally here, nothing comes to my head. Apa sebenarnya aku nak tulis ?

Anyway, we stayed at Shang-Ri La on Saturday with my brother. Watched Alvin and The Chipmunks ( Movie Review : Alvin and The Chipmunks – If you concentrate on the 3 chipmunks, the movie is good. If you watched it as a whole, you will find the story very cheesy and the actors bad. That guy from ‘My Name is Earl’ brought Earl into the movie. Alvin, Simon and Theodore very cute… Comel sangat…! ) and then my sister in-law caught a pick pocket. Kesudahannya they were stuck at the balai until 10 pm and we trudged back to the hotel without them. (PS :- Shera chased the pencuri with my niece Alisya in tow. Batwoman and Batgirl to the rescue ). On that note, please be careful friends when you shop. The girl Shera caught was either Vietnamese or Burmese and she was in a group of five. They used knives to cut a hole in your bag to get your goodies. In the girls’s purse there were like 8 handphones and a few purses… So beware.

Okay, allow me to moan about the foreigners who came here to steal. Please do it in your own country as we have our own baddies to deal with. Get out of my country !!

Went to Awana Genting with my in-laws on Tuesday. The weather was nice and because Abah used the Batang Kali Rawang route, we arrived there fresh with our wits intact. The food was good too and since it was Christmas the buffet had turkey with its trimmings. Nice. Nobody wanted to go up since Hakeem whose Mom followed the normal route vomited 3 times and therefore spooked all the other kiddies, so we went down to the flatlands again.

Dah cuti dari Sabtu sampai Selasa, both of us shed tears on Wednesday morning because work beckoned. Tak pa… nanti nak hantar Adik pegi sekolah, 3 hari aku ambik…. Ha ha….

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Gosh, I really do need to be inspired. Am really bored with the books that I purchased lately and have resorted to those that I know is good and could entertain me. So am reading the Chronicles of Narnia by the ever-brilliant C.S Lewis and will start on Tolkien next. Maybe my Austens would save me or even a Dickens. Maybe I will just read Lady in White again.

I love Lady in White, for some reason.

I don’t know what went wrong but I was even bored with the new Nicholas Sparks. I was even rather uninspired with Julia Quinn’s new book. Maybe Ms Fiona Walker need to get her new book out as soon as possible, to save me from my literary meltdown.

Have I turned into a cynic then ? I used to squeal whenever I read romantic scenes in books. Now I just read and went hmmmppph. Apa itu ?

However I was not disappointed at the cinemas though. Enchanted was enchanting ( for want of better word ) and The Golden Compass was intriguing and leaving me waiting for the sequel. Just like Eragon…when is the sequel coming ? Very interested to watch Mr Mongariums Wonder Emporium but that has to be at the weekend… so watched telly to make up for my book-less day.

However, the telly managed to fail me too, yesterday. Watched Monk. It was rather predictable though as I could guess the clue that will make him deduce that it was actually a murder and not an overdose. So, yeah… the genius Monk failed to entertain me. Rather insipid, I should say. Should have watched House instead but since I have seen the whole season 3, I decided on Monk instead. Last night was the only time he failed me though, that Adrian.

I do really need an aspiring book from new authors. My classical authors are well and good and I can’t keep re-reading them. I am up for suggestions.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Book Review : The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

I haven’t done book reviews for some time. It is just that I have been reading books that were not worth a mention. There were about 3 boring books before I stumbled a new one by Ms Quinn.

Oh I do love Miss Quinn that I quickly finished the third blah book I was reading ( hell, I couldn’t remember the head and tails of it right now ) so that I can be literally entertained by my darling Julia.

Hmm…. It was okay, I suppose. Is it because it is not about the Bridgertons ( there are 8 of them and she has written about 7, so I am waiting for her book about Gareth ) that I feel … well lacking. It was fun but I feel bored all the same. I hunted for all my other books by her and could confirm that I only really enjoyed her writings on the Bridgertons. Don’t know why…

Anyway re-reading Splendid now ( not about the Bridgertons at all ) to further test the theory….he he

Monday, December 03, 2007


Two days ago on the way to work, me and my colleague, Jit, talked about cats. I told her about the numerous ones we had and about the ones that I love. Today, I read the entry of a blog buddy about her and her cat and I think, well I wanna share about my cats too. I was called to write about my Pit.

It all started with Nicky. Nicky was a lovely gray tinged with white. I dunno where he came from. Probably a stray, but he was attractive nonetheless. Ayah brought home 2 stuffed monkeys from one of his trips abroad, 1 pink and 1 orange and Nicky somehow liked the pink one. When he feels sleepy ( which was 70% of the time ), he would find the pink monkey, carry it via his mouth and would hug the toy while he sleeps under the organ.

Another quirky Nicky thing was he would wait for my return from school. Bukannya apa, he would wait for me to take off my uniform, I would then lay it nicely on the bed ( him waiting for me to do so on the bed, watching the ritual ) and when I am done, rolled all over the outfit, especially at the armpit area. We always laughed about how Nicky likes the smelly, salty odour… ha ha.

We do not know what happened to him though. One day he just went missing. I miss him still.

Then came Pit. If Nicky was the family cat, Pit was mine ( because boipren ku my husband yang bagi, we were in form 5 at that time ). Oh… what a mighty specimen he was. Pure white with yellow eyes, so handsome, my boy ( dah nak menangis ni.. dok teringat…. Alahai Pit….)

He was really clever. He never tried to leave the house at all when he first came. When Husband came holding a white fur ball in his hands, we grabbed him, hugged him and went head over heels in love due to his ultimate cuteness. He didn’t even try to run away as that afternoon he lepak’ed at our front porch. My father commented how nice he looked sitting there, with his white coat gleaming in the sun. “ Elok ja dia dok tang tu…” said he.

There were no other cats in the house, and he was a playful and energatic cat. So he decided to play with us and began chasing us around the house. We would run riot to try and escape him, screaming wildly. If we ever heard a piercing scream, we would join in the fun. Sometimes we would entice him too, stomping our feet in front of him or waving it madly at his direction and he never failed to take the bait. One night we woke our parents up because he has started chasing us and to escape him we had to climb up our parents’ bathroom table. On the occasion where he did manage to get us, he would just pounce on us with his un-clawed paws. Brilliant boy. I do have to admit sometimes he used his teeth too but it never hurt us. It was lovely. What fun...

A few months after his arrival though, Abu came to the picture. A scrawny Siamese like kitten given to us by my friend Isa. He was much loved too, not just by us but also by Pit. Pit stopped chasing us and started to chase Abu around instead. We were rather bereaved when he chose his own kind to play with but he was still around to hug and love.

Pit grew up to be so handsome and hunky, very much a male and that was part of the problem. He was a hot blooded chap, a warrior.. well actually more like pailang seksyen 8 than anything else. When he came of age, he felt that Seksyen 8 is his and terrorized any other male cats that dared to come near. Due to his many, many fights, he started to get dirty and would come home gloriously ( to him le ) adorned with battle scars. Then one day he came back with a wound the size of my palm.

How I wept and wept for him, knowing it was painful. I begged him to stay home, but then my inability to speak cat made it fell to deaf ears. He couldn’t understand my sobbing and begging and went out to stage wars every single day.

I would anxiously await for his return to inspect his wound and feed him ( because you know soldiers need sustenance to win and this guy was the general ) and when I can’t stand it anymore, locked him in my mother’s balcony. He was a huge guy and I just can’t put him in a cage and so my mother offered him the verandah.

Then our love affair with him really began. We loved him so much. His drinking bowl was always full and he gets visitors all the time. I would study for my SPM on that very verandah, keeping my darling Pit company. But how long could you keep him there ? After about a few months, we decided to just let him go and roam the country…you know … do his things ( I couldn’t deny him his conjugal rights too, I suppose ).

He became dirty again and the healed wound re-appeared. Since from the very beginning he joined our family, Pit slept with my parents. My father loved having him sleep on his feet because he loved the weight. When he got dirty, my mother banned him from the room. Oh, what agony that was for him. Every passing chance he got he would jump on my parents’ bed and watched telly or slept. But whenever my mother found him there, he would be chased out. The saddest thing he did was if the door was closed, he would just put his paws under the door, and sat there for hours at end. When we first saw him like that, we wept and wept for him.

One day though, my mother went away, I don’t remember why. My father… he he…. He was so sweet. He laid out his kain pelikat on the bed and called for Pit. Pit jumped at the chance and they slept together that night, man and beast.

After that apa lagi, whenever my mother was not home, we would make Pit his bed on the bed….. he he… Of course things you do behind your mother’s back would be found out and the inevitable happened. Mummy felt the reason why Pit liked to sleep in her room so much was because of the air-cond, so she persuaded my father to install a unit in our family room upstairs. But nope, none doing, Pit still loves to go in her room ( actually until now, the best place in the world to sleep is her room, I can vouch for that ).

After maybe 5 years with us, one day, he staggered home. He slept in long intervals and seemed to loose his energy and gait after that. He looked sick. The vet told us he had kidney problem. Our world dimmed, especially mine since he was mine and I think I loved him the most. My baby…..

He died after a few weeks being sluggish. He stayed at home, venturing out sparingly. His final days was terrible as he kept peeing and at times it seemed the urine river was non-stop. I couldn’t bear to look at his dead body. I dug out his grave and my sisters took his body to its final resting place. I never looked.

My heart still skipped a beat whenever I see a white cat. I would try my darnest to see what colour of eyes it got. If they were ever yellow, my heart would soar, filling in the gap a bit. I felt like I was looking at my lovely Pit.

I do not want a cat after that. Still don’t want one. They break your heart, they do and I do not want to experience that kind of agony anymore. So there….

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Babah bagi kucing makan

I love my husband for crying while watching Bersama Mu. I love him for never failing to give money to those blind people who approached us while we ate. I love him for being compassionate to other beings.

A stray momma cat with her 3 kittens just took in residence at the area. Last week, the momma came to our kitchen looking for food. I love cats but dare not feed it because it is not my house and I know my in-laws do not like cats. Therefore if I feed it, it will move in with it's family and it will be my entire fault.

But if they decided to move in due to Babah’s actions, it’s okay because it is his family’s house. Anyway, Babah took pity on the starving momma and looked around for food.

Mula – mula he gave her biskut cream crackers. Of course le dia tak nak. Pastu came kerepek kacang hijau. She turned her nose to that one too. Then Twisties which she sniffed and decided not her thing as well. Then he gave her something else. She didn’t like it either because I heard him berating her.

“ Itu pun tak nak ke ? ”

“ Makan lah !! ” and things along that line. I went to have a look.

“ You bagi apa ? ”

“ Tu.. ” he said and I saw a few fish shaped biscuits. Budak – budak punya.

“ Itu pun tak nak makan ke ? Kan ikan tu ? ”

I laughed. I was so tickled pink by my husband’s errmm… ingenuity. I can’t stop.

“ Oi….” Said I between laughs. “ Itu biskut bentuk ikan …… warghh ha ha ha… Bukannya ikan !! ”

“ Yelah… okay lah tu…” He said. Punya tak nak mengalah. Tapi muka dah merah padam.

After I ceased my laughter, I gently suggested him opening a can of tuna or sardines to offer the poor cat.

Wa ha ha ha.
Which she accepted with gusto.
Wa ha ha ha.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My lovely salad

I made a lovely dinner last Friday. I had warm crusty garlic baguette, pasta with mushroom neopolitan and crunchy ceaser’s salad with lovely ceaser dressing. As we sat down to eat, Abang failed to appear and when called he asked us to proceed because he was watching a movie. He promised that the movie is coming to it’s end and will join us soon.

We started to eat but it was rather boring because Abang was not around and Babah kept calling for his son. After awhile, Babah who apparently couldn’t eat without his boy, left the table to get him. Adik and I stopped eating.

After awhile we heard them talking and laughing and surmised that Babah waited for Abang to watch his movie. Adik kept calling his father. “ Bah, hurry up Bah !! We are eating…! “ When Babah didn’t appear she became restless and wanted to be excused to join them.

I forbade her from doing so and told her she can only leave the table when her plate is clean. So she wolfed down her food, announced “ Dah !! “ and ran to be with her father and brother.

So I was left alone at the table, devoid of my family members and my lovely salad limping at every passing second. I sat there, a solitary figure, waiting. Just as I was contemplating to go and haul them back to the table, they came back. Babah picked up his fork again and resumed eating. I filled a plate for Abang and Babah passed him the garlic bread. Adik demanded for beverage and nibbled on a piece of bread.

So apa masalahnya ? Entah.....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A very emo day for me

This is my Yana, my niece. She is the loveliest thing on earth. I love her to no end because apart from her loveliness, she looks like me !!

See ? He he.....

This is my Isya, Yana's elder sister. She doesn't look like me but I love her to oblivion, too. Just because I do.

I love this photo, the love of my life and my baby girl, my future bestfriend.

And this is me with my boy, my son, the first one that made me went crazy with love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Duit dalam Quran

Not long ago I chanced on a very interesting question in a Soal Jawab Agama column in one of our dailies. The question went about something like this,

Bolehkan saya menyimpan wang di dalam al-Quran untuk mengelakkannya dari dicuri oleh toyol ? Bagaimanakah caranya untuk mengelakkan duit dari di curi oleh makhluk tersebut ?

And the brilliant answer was something like below,

Al-Quran adalah sebagai penunjuk dan menjadi pegangan hidup umat Islam, oleh itu ia lebih wajar di baca dari dijadikan tempat menyimpan wang. Untuk mengelakkan dari wang di curi oleh toyol adalah lebih baik ianya disimpan di dalam bank atau Tabung Haji kerana belum pernah ada cerita wang di tempat – tempat tersebut berjaya dicuri oleh makhluk terbabit.

I am so sorry but I find this immensely amusing. I do not know which part is funny, the question or the selamba answer. Wargh ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Restaurant Review : Café Naluri Seksyen 9

This is a new café, next to Khalifah rasanya. It is Kopitiam concept with food like mee kari and roti bakar and nasi ayam.

The food is quite nice actually. I had the mee kari and it was okay. Babah loved the nasi lemak. I tasted my kids’ nasi ayam and it had my approval.

The limau suam was kinda weird, though. Macam ada honey. But all and all, we would definitely singgah again when we are stumped for food.

We went again last week and Babah again ordered nasi lemak. Tak sedap pulak katanya. I had mee hailam which I hardly touched because I actually ordered meehoon. Not a big fan of mee, myself. Didn’t notice the kuah though. My children had meehoon soup which was rather good.

Oh, Babah also ordered ubi kayu rebus which was kinda yummy. One problem though apart from the not so nice nasi lemak, the meat was a bit off when I ate it. Macam dah masam which is rather off putting.

One thing I like about the place is that they offer magazines dated from the 90s for us to read while waiting for the food. I really appreciate that effort because my children busied themselves with the reading materials and were quiet for a change.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Movie Review : Beowulf

I read Beowulf during my teenage years, at that time very much intrigued by all the classics after my father went to Australia and brought us books by Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and Hugo Bauchamp. And Dickens too, of course.

Sadly, Beowulf was hard to read as it was a poem, and a long one at that and was so hard to understand. Therefore I was very much curious to see what the story is really like and went to see the movie with my husband.

It is a nice enough story, very much a classical one filled with dragons and battles and witchcraft. Sadly though, it is an animation and I suppose only Disney could do animation ( although they have never attempted to really draw all actors that lent their voices ) as it was rather dreadful. Although Anthony Hopkins is easily recognizable ( and Angeline Jolie too… It was rather obvious that they spent more time drawing her than the rest of the casts ) but until today I do not know whop played Beowulf. I recognized Robin Wright Penn ( whom I especially love after watching her in The Princess Bride ) only because I knew she was in it.

Their faces was so badly drawn, John Malkovich looked like a sniveling drug addict instead of a warrior. All of them, and I mean all of them looked like they indulged in a tad too much Botox injections that rendered them totally expressionless. So sad when something as epic as Beowulf is destroyed by…. bad illustration ?

I just hope that it is a true and direct interpretation of the poem, of which author remained unknown till today, as I have no intention of attempting to read the very lengthy poem again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mind what you do in the car

I had a lot of fun with my Rihanna CD. I especially love the song she sang with Ne-Yo. So sexy and lively with beautiful melody and gorgeous lyrics.

I was driving and listening to it and of course when a song really fills your soul and a lively song at that, you just have to groove, baby. I was busy shaking it all up at the red light ( not red light district ) in Bangsar for god knows how long when I turned to look at the car beside me. And there he was, a bloke driving a silver BMW looking at me mischievously and was dancing. He was shaking his shoulder, copying my moves as my eyes widen and keep on widening. Luckily the light turned green and I gave him a happy wave and drove on, all coloured up.

How long has he been waiting for me to look at him ( as enquired by my colleague ) ?

Somehow, I did not learn my lesson as after awhile, the music’s allure was too great to resist and soon I started to get jiggy with it again. After awhile though I noticed a white car was cruising next to me and I began to realize that it had done so for quite some time. I turned to look and was greeted with an elderly gentleman who smiled at me. He beamed and raised his brows, sort of saying “ My, my what a fun time you are having… ”. Ha ha…. I smiled and waved and again accelerated.

I don’t know why it is unexpected as I have done that quite a few times to my fellow drivers. Well, not boogieing with them in a separate car but looking out at other drivers, snooping what they were doing.

Anu and I delighted in dramas that unfold in the cars. Couples fighting, some hot love action and of course our favourite, people making a fool of themselves, listening to the radio and singing heartily, pretending they were on stage entertaining millions. Well, sort of what I was doing yesterday….

Oh, malunya !!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apa ada dengan baju kurung

Aku buat baju kurung lagi !! Ya Allah, help me !! I have to stop buying/making/ordering baju kurung !!

Yesterday I had to do some errands at Ampang Park and because malas nak biar my colleagues wait for me, went alone. I went with trepidation because Ampang Park has so many delicious stuffs on sale.

As I waited for my thing to be ready, I had a walk around and that was my biggest mistake. I should have stayed put. Because when my feet wanders, it wandered into SML, a boutique selling kain and baju kurung. And I of course picked up a kain and ask them to turn into baju kurung for me. Hai.....

I tell you, it is a gorgeous blue batik number and I so love batik. But why did I buy it since I have so many ? I still have loads of kain yet to be turned into baju kurung and there I went and bought another one.

Apa aku nak buat dengan baju kurung banyak - banyak ? In fact I have one kebaya waiting for me at another tailor in Kelana Jaya. What is wrong with me ? Since I started working, I sort of went crazy with baju kurung. I love them really. The play of colours, the design... well sebenarnya I love the kain lah and what else can I turn them into selain dari baju kurung ?

I remember attending a meeting in Singapore. I was to meet Mike Smith ( a lovely bloke from Scotland ) for the first time after talking on the phone and e-mailing each other for months. He knew it was me somehow when we first clapped eyes on each other ( chewah ) and the second thing he said to me was ( after the customary hello, you must be Myra ), " You should be standing next to the flower pot. What a beautiful and colourful outfit !! ". I beamed happily because I was wearing my lovely yellow baju kurung with the most delicious blue flowers with pink middles. What an ice-breaker. My baju sealed our friendship after months of being boring engineers ( he hates me now because whenever he comes over I will take him shopping and well because ... I managed to persuade him to part from his money to buy a gorgeous diamond ring for his lovely Julie at Habib, a new camcorder, shirts, ties and what-nots. So he swore never to go shopping with me again.... he he ).

So... maybe that is why I keep on kitting myself with baju kurung because it will make good ice-breakers ? Really ? Or aku sememangnya kuat belanja....

Nope... I have to put some blame on Amelia because I owned two pieces that she bought for me... Or maybe I should point my fingers to my colleagues who mostly wear baju kurung and making me felt oddly masculine in my shirts and trousers ? Is that it ?

What ever you do, don't put the blame on you, blame it on the rain... yeah yeah.....
He he....

Restaurant Review : Paddington Pancake House, The Curve & One Utama

For pancake lovers, this place is heaven !! I first stumbled upon it while out with my sisters, trying to locate a Thai restaurant in One Utama. It was next door to it actually. Since we were already salivating at the thoughts of Pad Thai, we had no choice but to have Thai main course and then went straight across for dessert. Oh, malunya !!

We didn’t know what to choose because the menu was so extensive. They have different kind of pancakes and each type has sweet and savoury menus. We liked what they featured on their banners though and ordered that.

Oh wow !! It was coin pancakes ( normal pancakes only bite size ) with loads of bananas, strawberries, peaches, plums and variety of nuts. Topped with ice-cream, of course !! Plus a small pitcher of delicious maple syrup. Ohh……

The pancakes are fluffy and gorgeous. And when you add a fruit, some nuts, a little ice-cream that has touched a little syrup… well no words can describe it.

Yesterday took my family there for dinner. The kids each had pancakes with bananas and ice-cream and babah and mummy ? Well we shared the same sweet pancakes I mentioned above and one savoury one. The savoury one includes pancakes that have been baked pizza like with beef bacon and cheese. Golden fried egg on top and mashed potato on the side.

Can’t finish them though as the serving was kinda huge. Furthermore the sweet one arrived first and we found out ice-cream and eggs go disastrously together. So next time will just share one plate….kay, Bah ?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Restaurant review

Nachos Nachos, SACC Mall

We love this place !! It is really good. The nachos are lovely ( if you like nachos, of course ). I love the fish and chips because they tasted like the frozen ones Dan and I used to bake for our dinners in England.

The tortilla sandwich is also rather good. We had loaded potato skins ( quite heavy though ) and chicken wings too. The only problem is that the chilli for the nachos was not coarse, pureed instead which is kinda funny. I like my chillie to be coarse really for easy scooping with the nachos but they are tasty nonetheless.

Haven’t tried the desserts though. Don’t be disappointed with the very small menu because what little choice of food they offer is good.

So go and give it a try. Support them because kalau tak ramai orang nanti tutup !!!! Jauh ooo nak makan nachos kat KLCC….. Lagipun it is a Muslim’s establishment. So give your support.
Next to it is Only Mee restaurant. Yuck !! That is all I can say. I only had soup because I was unsure of its halalness as when I asked the waiter told me their application is still under process. O-kay. Kat depan kedai ada gambaq perempuan pakai tudung ajak masuk....
I had wanted to get up and leave but then Elsa suddenly showed interest in food after a few days of traumatised meal times due to her ulcers. I had to stay. Fine. I had only soup and I could actually feel the ajinomoto rolling on my tongue. I tasted Umar's mee and yikes !! I tasted Elsa's and I felt like they murdered my senses.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Book Review : 2 books

Buku 1 : Pleasure Trap by Elizabeth Thornton

Not pleasurable. Mediocre book. Boring !! Menyesal beli. Will have to stop attempting to read Avon romances for awhile as they could be very similar.

Buku 2 : French Relations by Fiona Walker

Best !! I love Ms Walker. The book is so thick but it was worth it. It is actually a re-run. I’ve had it for years but it so lovely. This is actually a sequel to… well I have forgotten the title but it still lovely.

I started reading Ms Walker’s Snap Happy and was hooked. I have read them all and enjoyed all immensely even though their thickness rivaled my Engineering books. The other thing I love about her books is that they are all connected. At least one character from other books will make an appearance.

Re-reading Lisa Jewell’s Ralph Party now and enjoying it. Will re-read the pre-quel to French Relations after finishing this.

PS : Note that all are re-reads. Lepas raya.. no money. Nasib baik collection banyak and boleh baca mana yang dah lupa… Hmmm if only I was this studious and interested when I was studying….

Monday, November 05, 2007

Beraya di rumah Amelia

Amelia invited me to her house yesterday so as soon as Dan arrived home from work, we went straight to her house ( Dan wanted to go quickly as he hadn’t eaten yet ). Belasah kuih kaw-kaw sementara tunggu and we were invited to eat first. As soon as we were done and I brought our bowls ( Sib makan sate like me. Dalam mangkuk with sudu so that we can get maximum amount of kuah kacang with every bite… yummm ) back to the kitchen, Kamalia and hubby arrived with their little Ayesha.

The kids were left shrieking and caterwauling upstairs while the parents sat down for much needed adult conversation ( which also means conversation with few amounts of “ kan….” ).

Things that I learnt from our very intelligent conversation

1. Kelantanese eats sate during pagi Raya. The might have the odd ketupat palas manis too.
2. Tambun Waterpark is rather nice but smaller than Sunway Waterpark. Can’t compare or imagine as never been to either.
3. There is a guy called Alwi who lives near the zoo, a colleague of Sheik.
4. Sheik also has a colleague that commutes from Tanjung Malim to Shah Alam every single day…. Amazing.
5. Dan witnessed a jemaah got hit by a motorcyclist before sembahyang Jumaat. He also said the mob were angry with the injured mkotorcyclist and was more interested in pummeling him ( but they didn’t, thank Allah ) than giving him some much needed aid.
6. Ayesha eats sate perut… Bravo !! Now, if only my children are not as fussy. Umar only ate 1 and a half sate….
7. Ada orang jual Char Keaw Tiaw Penang sedap giler kat seksyen 7. Rasa sedap macam juai kat Penang. Tukang masak memang mai dari Penang and most of the sauces he bought from there.

Have I forgotten anything ? Anyway, when I got home, I got an sms from Amelia who found her son’s room clean and tidy. According to Amir, his friends helped him clean up before they left.

Good children…. We are proud.

Oh yeah.. Kamalia asked the most sensitive question to Elsa… “ Elsa bila nak pergi sekolah ? ”. Dan and I discreetly shook our heads and held our breath for her response. “ Belum lagi…, ” she said. “ Nanti… ”. We were relieved. Glad to know that she finally understands. Thank you Kamalia for the test… he he….

Monday, October 29, 2007

Penang food, my roots

Bestnya balik Penang ! This year we didn't celebrate Raya in Penang because since my grandma's demise, there is nobody there except for Mak Ngah, Pak Mat in Jitra and a handful of my dad's cousins and aunts.

For awhile now we have been doing our raya sakan-ing in Perak. My mom and my Maksu are the only ones who are not in Perak. My grandma, Uncle Kamal ( Ayah Alang ), Uncle E ( Ayah Uda ), Uncle Mat and Mak Nyah plus my mom's cousins and aunts are still there. Therefore Raya in Perak equals sheer exhaustion and near exploding tummy.

But going back to Penang has always been a pleasure. I love Penang because Penang is my childhood and my roots. It is hard being kids this age. I say I am a Penangite, but I have never lived there. But there was where I go for Raya and where my relatives are and hailed from. Also, I speak with most of my words ends with a q and rather bahasa baku like pronunciation. So I am a Penangite. But no, some said. You are a Selangorian because you live in Shah Alam ( some even dared to say I am a Terenganuian because of the 11 in the middle of my IC number ).

Eii ? I said ayaq ( sometimes even ayor ) most of times. Besides, what do the Selangorians eat ? The best food seems to come from Penang. Laksa, rojak ( even rojak buah is best eaten in Penang ), sotong bakaq, keaw tiaw goreng, cucuk udang.... Heck even the best keropok udang is sold at Padang Kota Baru.

Let me tell you. Penang is mamak country and you can only get the best mamak food in Penang. Don't believe me ? You try Kayu Nasi Kandar in Damansara and then try the one in Bukit Jambul. The food in Bukit Jambul would make you roll in gastronomical delight.

If you head up north a bit to Kedah, you would not be dissapointed too. Laksa Kedah and Kedah mihun sup are simply devine. Emm... the mihun sup daging with kacang... hmmm.... Lovely. The best kuah kacangs are usually prepared by the northern people too. Dodol ? Try the ones sold at Pekan Rabu... gorgeous. And let is not forget kuih peneram. Still hot from the wok, melt in your mouth heaven... Emmm

Jom pi Penang ( and Kedah pas tu na.... ).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya

Selamat Hari Raya !!

So sorry that I only offer my greetings on the 11th day of Raya but I was busy. Busy celebrating and being with my family.

Had a good raya, albeit a rather sad one. But good nonetheless because really I have so many blessings given by Allah that I need to concentrate on, rather picking on all the bad things that happens to me.

Raya is special because it is the time to remember family. Either down under or still well and firmly on the ground. You could not help but cry during raya, thinking about the dearly departed.

Raya is also the time to mend fences and seriously to seek forgiveness without any explaination. A coward's way of getting forgiveness ( a non-muslim local dee-jay remarked that what he likes about Raya is that it is the only religious festival that has the tradition of seeking and bestowing forgiveness.... hmmm... )

Selamat Hari Raya, dear friends. Mintak ampun mintak maaf dari hujung rambut ke hujung kaki. Sorry yek ? Yek ? Yek ?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Book Review : When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

I read this book years ago when I still resided in England. I was intrigued by Ishiguro-San’s The Remains of The Day and wanted to experience his other works. I liked it, as it was haunting, just like his Never Let Me Go.

I re-read it again about a month ago and just finished it. I don’t remember how I felt when I read it then as but now it has renewed my vigor for his books. I will endeavor to read all his writings.

Anyway, this book is about Christopher who lived in Shanghai in the 1920s with his parents. His father worked for a British company that surreptitiously sells opium to the Chinese. His mother hated the fact that they are doing it and is a strong advocate for the practice to stop. His mother held meetings in their house, fighting for the cause while pressuring his father to try and put a stop to it all.

One day his father disappeared. Sometime later, his mother too vanished. Christopher had to return to England to live with an aunt, leaving behind his still missing parents and best friend and neighbour, Akira, a Japanese boy.

After his parents’ disappearance and through out school, he developed investigative tendencies and to no-one’s surprise became the most celebrated private investigator in England. But of course, his biggest case would be to find out what happened to his parents.

This is a good book. I like the way the daily happenings in his life reminded him of occurrences and incidents in Shanghai, some leading to the fateful day his parents vanished, somewhat giving him more clues to investigate. I also, rather bizarrely I might add, like the silly way Christopher and the British government was portrayed during his investigation. His parents had been missing for a good 20 years, in suspicious circumstances due to opium trading and I think at that point, he had just returned to Shanghai to start his investigations. Imagine my surprise when upon his arrival, they were planning a party of Mr and Mrs Bank’s return. A notion that he did nothing to dispel. Even I was skeptical that he might ever find his parents alive. At that point, the only smart cookie who grasped the absurdity of it all was the wounded Japanese soldier that Christopher thought to be that of his friend Akira. Before they were found by the Japanese army, he tried telling Christopher that they could have been dead !!

But at the end, one guy held the answer. A person whom he looked up to, so much so that when his father went missing he thought things will be all right because uncle Philips is around. It turned out the Banks' disappearance was not sinister at all. Well, at least on his father’s side that is. His mom’s circumstances were pitiful and sad and he did find her in the end. 1 month before her death, he found his beautiful mother but sadly, she couldn’t recognise him. She was suffering from dementia and living in a care home. She couldn’t identify his name either, only when he mentioned his pet name, Puffin, did her eyes lit up and she was so happy, thinking about the little boy she had to leave behind, never realizing her beloved Puffin was in front of her.

Sad and haunting.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Book Review : Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows by J.K Rowlings

Haa……. Closure at last. I finally got the answers to the questions that built up since I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Let me tell you this, although Ms Rowling definitely was inspired by works of J.R.R Tolkien, Eva Ibbotson and others, enough for some critics to accuse her of plagiarism, her books was a well thought one, and I am sure it was all done by her. As if, when she wrote the first one, she had already known what is the ending and all the small details in between and cleverly divided the concept into 7 installments and ingeniously add and embellish to make the books whole and the stories longer and linked. So that must be her own ingenuity then, yeah ? Just like Tolkien. Just like C.S Lewis.

What I like about her style is that her books are easy to read. I also love how she made her characters constant that we could predict how each and everyone would re-act. She had also cleverly developed the characters, not making them stuck to their childish behaviour, allowing them to grow and mature. She had skillfully maintained the essence of the books. Wonderful woman.

Of course there are aspects of this final book that I don’t like. Well one, is the body count. I have learnt to love the characters so much that I shed sad tears whenever one died ( especially since I already know what they are supposed to look like from the movies ). And I hate the ending… 14 years later what happened to Harry Potter. She allowed us a glimpse of his future, but it was so scant, that I thought, surely, there should be an 8th one ? I just want to know how Harry proposed to Ginny, their wedding and all and of course how did Hermione and Ron got hitched ? Also, who is the new Minister of Magic ? Where are they working now ? I mean what are they doing ? Is Harry an Auror ? A Quidditch player ? How is George keeping up with Fred’s death ?

I am not satisfied with the book because I want to know more. Damn !! ( what an oxymoron, closure at the beginning and its very opposite at the end…).
Oh... dear, dear Severus Snape.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Abang Ramlee

If you ask me whom do I really want to meet, I would say P.Ramlee. And if you ask me what questions would I ask him, I would say I am going to ask him if he heard beautiful music in his sleep, if when he bled did music flow with it and if his heart is filled with joy or sorrow. Then I would ask him to sing.

“ Sing for me abang Ramlee… “ he he…..

I was on the way to work when I heard the beautiful entry of Geteran Jiwa. P. Ramlee’s voice when it came stirred my heart and twisted my feelings. That voice….Oh man… menusuk kalbu ( if kalbu means what I think it means ). Suddenly the voice altered and I thought there was something wrong with the radio, brutally forcing me out of my reverie. Rosak ke radio aku ni ? Eh, bukan… radio ku okay. Suara KRU yang tak okay, destroying abang Ramlee’s soulful serenade.

Apa raaa…. Potong stim gila…… But when abang Ramlee sang again, it was simply marvelous. Lovely. The deep voice, unmarred by any glitches was just so divine. So smooth, a treat to the ears. And I of course wept, because it just touched my soul. Can you imagine him reading the Quran or even reciting Adzan….. ?

But lets concentrate on his talents, especially his song writing. Exquisitely composed songs. Calming but can jump-start your feelings at the same time. They are mostly romantic, making you ache for your lover. Tunggu Sekejap and Malam Ku Bermimpi were some of my favorites. How can he write such beautiful melodies and have the voice to sing them ?

Malam Ku Bermimpi

Malam ku bermimpi
Hai dengan satu bintang
Berkata-kata ku di jendela
Ku lihat kanda tersenyum memandang
Asmara bergelora
Meresap ke dada

Malam ku terlihat
Oh sekuntumlah bunga
Baunya harum menarik hati
Tak sanggup menahan rasa asmara
Meresap mendalam
Mengusik di jiwa

Sayang jauh di balik awan
Wajahmu tetap berseri-seri
Laksana bulan sedang mengambang
Menawan dan menggoncang dalam kalbu

Oh angin meniup
Bawa daku ke sana
Hasratku ingin bersama-sama
Tak tahan rasa hati menderita
Gelora asmara
Selalu menggoda

He actually sang this song with Saloma. I really love this one. It is so romantic. The yearning, the missing, the love… you can almost feel it. The melody is the best of all………. Beats Kenny G any time….. he he…. ( However I amnot sure about the lyrics. He did pen some lyrics but mostly they were penned by S. Sudarmaji ).

His movies are precious too. They engulfed our lives and shape the way we talked sometimes. Me, I love to use his “ Banyakk…., jarang – jarang and kadang – kadang “ as per Nujum Pak Belalang. What about his “ Oii orang sebelah !! “ scene in Masam – Masam Manis that became a sort of joke between a lot of married couples when they fight. Or his kutu babi stint in Bujang Lapok. There are too many to mention.

One of my colleagues doesn’t like his movies because she said they were filled with expletives, from bahlol to haram jadah. True, but well… that is P. Ramlee for you, I suppose. Level of censorship back then was not the same as now and to me it is just a reflection of society back then.

I love the way he looked in Sarjan Hassan and when he spoke in English, I almost swoon with pride at his intelligence. Come on, he didn’t sound awkward at all speaking English.

I remember reading the papers about one of the veterans lashing out at the reporter when they tried to interview him. He was angry because all the while all people would talk about was P.Ramlee and he felt left out. He said he is not doing any interviews as he felt it was too late. He asked the reporter to do another piece on P. Ramlee instead. Whoa !! Relax brother…

When I was working in Klang as a Trainee Engineer, a colleague of mine told us of a story that happened to her cousin. Her grandma lives in Keramat or Kampung Baru, I am not sure. One day her cousin was sitting outside their grandma’s house and she saw a guy walking by. He was clad in white suit and wore white shoes. It was P.Ramlee. She was frozen when P.Ramlee approached her and left a message to not watch his movies anymore because it hurts him every time his movies were being watched.

I told that story to my family and I remember saying that whatever it is we have to take that story with a pinch of salt. Ye ke tidak. But my mom and some of my sisters were really cute. If they happened to chance on a P.Ramlee movie on the telly, they would squeeze their eyes shut while attempting to change the channel. He he….

Nevertheless, the story is good for my Abang Ramlee. After that, my family and I would always mention him in our prayers. Praying for him to be saved from seksa kubur and api neraka. He died too young but I believe because Allah loves him. His generosity and kindness is wildly known.


PS : It is worth noting that P. Ramlee died on the 27th of May, 1973 in Kuala Lumpur and my abang was born on the 28th of May, 1973 in Ohio, U.S.A. He does look like him a bit.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Book Review : Nobody’s Baby But Mine By Susan Elizabeth Philips

This is quite a good book. It is definitely a romance, just like those Avon romances but set in current America. Sadly the plot is rather familiar, as I think I might have read something like it in one of those Avon romances. However the book is still enjoyable, even though it is rather simple.

Brainy Jane is broody but needs to find a partner that is stupid, to offset the intelligence her son/daughter would definitely inherit. Jodie conveniently knocked on her door while she was crying, who just so happened to be a groupie for the state’s football team, who happened to be looking for a woman for their star quarterback or something. Such luck.

Anyhoo, Jane was presented as a birthday present to Cal and did the deed and got pregnant and Cal found out and they had to get married because Cal doesn’t want his child to be born out of wedlock. That is the Avon romance bit. So of course they fell in love blah, blah, blah.

It is quite a good book because the reading was smooth and there were romantic parts that will make you go aaaahhhh………. The only problem is that it was kind of familiar. I said it is quite a good book but am not really singing its praises huh ? Well trust me, it was just the plot.
Dn't worry, I bought an interesting book already by Mike Haddon who wrote the lovely and smashing Incident That Happened In The Night. I am however reading Harry Potter, so the next review would be about that, I suppose. Where am I with Harry Potter now ? He just got captured... Wargghhhhhhhhhh.....
Okay, back to Ms Philips' book, since the cover girl was very pretty, si I magined her to be Dr. Jane. I couldn’t think of any huge football players so I imagined Brendan Fraser as Cal. It might work…

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Book Review : My Best Friend’s Girl By Dorothy Koomson

This book is about Kamryn who left her fiancée and best friend when she found out they had slept together. For 2 years she had no contact with them what-so-ever when one day on her birthday she received a card from Adele to say that she is dying.

She had to return to London to see Adele, who was already in hospital, ravaged by leukemia. Adele asked Kamryn for a big favour, to adopt her daughter, the result of her one night stand with Nigel, Kamryn’s ex-fiancée.

It is a beautiful book. How can Kamryn adopt the product of a betrayal ? But under the circumstances she did and the story of their journey is wonderful and sad. Luke, her boss, entered their life and Nigel, who never stopped loving Kamryn also came knocking.

What a girl to do ? New daughter and 2 wonderful men to choose from ?

The book is wonderful, so much so, I wonder if Ms Koomson would mind writing a sequel. I want to know more. Did she have more children with the man she chose ?
As I read, I would try to put a face on the characters. And since I met Amelia and we had a session of trying to match the characters in Flowers in The Attic with the current movie stars when we were 14, I have been doing that on my own too.

I imagined Luke to be that handsome lawyer on The Practise. Adele I imagined her to be Dr Meredith Gray from Gray’s Anatomy ( maybe because of the hospital connection ) and he he…. initially Oprah as Kamryn… but I changed it that lady in Waiting To Exhale. The one her husband cheated on. Soft but feisty. Not easy to penetrate. And she looks better sitting next to my imagined Luke than Oprah. Nigel… well…. Ms Koomson’s description of him is rather vague, but I think the best candidate is a serious Ben Stiller. Take all his funny bones out, and make him a more serious actor.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Book Review : Be Careful What You Wish For by Alexandra Potter

I first read Ms Potter’s Me And Mr. Darcy. It was good and I enjoyed it immensely. I of course started to get desperate for her other books. I called MPH but they only carried that one title and then tried Kinokuniya. They have one other title called Be Careful What You Wish For. I asked them to keep it aside for me. Funny really because she has like 5 books under her name and they only carry 2 titles ?

Moving on. I like this one too. It is about Heather who likes to wish for things. Like a seat on the tube, or for her car keys which she misplaced… you know normal everyday things like that. But she also loves wishing for a thoughtful and romantic boyfriend and a job at one of England’s major newspaper, instead of just being an assistant wedding photographer.

On one rather yet unlucky day for her ( she was caught in the rain while her gorgeous neighbour was dry, sharing an umbrella with an equally gorgeous girlfriend ), a gypsy lady approached her and offered her lucky heather. Now if you have been to Europe ( and especially London ), these people are everywhere. Either they beg for money or try to sell heather bunches for a quid. She of course refused to buy them but the lady insisted and told her that she needs a bit of luck in her life. Entranced, she took it.

Almost immediately, her life started for the better. She got a new housemate, the gorgeous neighbour actually fancied her like forever and just got the nerve to approach her, she got a job interview with a big newspaper and bought a winning lottery ticket. Perfect ? So it seems…..

Her brother warned her that she should be careful with what she wish for… and did she listen ? Well…..

I like her style of writing and I like her ideas. However, the ending was rather predictable and she really should explore more on her relationship with the neighbour. It ended too quickly without delving deeper about her own feelings.

It is still a rather enjoyable experience.

Read, if you want.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trip to Bandung 2

The next morning we wondered how we were going to fill our day. We have finished our shopping and I was too tired to go anywhere else. We then decided to go to Rich and Famous again, hoping that I am well enough to get more clothes. Heavily drugged with Panadol ( ha ha ), I found an Esprit shirt and 1 Mexx shirt and more baju for our kids. Since Bandung has a cool climate Dan asked me if I was okay for a walk. Sure, why not. I actually feel better when I am walking than when I was being coped up in the room. I was also feeling rather uneasy because usually I left the kids with my husband and since both of us are together, who is taking care of them ?

We walked and had a lovely time. We ate at Pizza Hut ( no surprises there ) which turned out to be so much better than the Pizza Hut at home. Why ? More extensive menu. We tried the food that is not sold in Malaysia. They were superb. I drank a chilled melon juice and Dan drank something called Strawberry Surprise. Yum…..

I felt terrible after lunch and Dan readily took me back to the hotel where I slept fitfully again and barfed and barfed and barfed. Penat….. I was too tired to go out and we ordered room service. The food was good but I couldn’t keep anything in and barfed again. It was the longest night.

I woke up dizzy and disorientated. I was so dreading the flight back home. When I opened my eyes, all I could say was “ Panadol Indon ni tipu. Tak jadi pun … “. I was popping the pills like nobody’s business but I was never relieved, not even slightly relieved from my pain.

In the cab to the Bandara, I begged Allah SWT to spare the agony of flying. I am never a good flyer to start with. I need to take anti-motion sickness pills every time I fly. I recited Al-Fatihah and Surah Kursi many, many times while begging Allah to give me a good 2 hours. Luckily, the airport had upgraded its services and offered a First Class lounge for passengers for a mere RM 15. Dan took it without much thought.

I was so relieved to see the room very comfortable and that the service included breakfast. I couldn’t eat anything but was grateful for a cup of piping hot tea. I barfed again and steeled myself for the plane ride. Allah is great. He listened to my prayers, as I was okay on the flight. I was chatty and happy and was just okay. Dan and I talked non-stop and was having a wonderful time.

But as soon as we landed and got out of the plane, I was feeling my bad health again. My 2 hours was up. Dan chastised me for not begging for my wellbeing instead of just a 2 hour respite… aduhai…. How would I know ?

Dan’s parents picked us with Titi in tow. She ran to hug me and kept asking what business do I have at the airport. In the car, Dan’s mom regaled us with the stories of our kids while we were away.

The first night Dan’s parents took my children to sleep in their room. However in the middle of the night, Umar woke his sister up and led his sleepy sister to sleep in our room. He switched on the fan and the bathroom light and went to sleep. Dan’s mom found them curled up to each other on our bed.

The next night, Aida came to play and invited Umar and Elsa to sleep over at her house. Umar refused but Titi wanted to go. Umar was at the top of the stairs, Elsa was on the landing on the middle of the stairway and Aida was at the bottom. Umar told Aida to bring his sister home by 9 pm. He said he wants to sleep at 10. Aida then spoiled everything by asking if it is okay to be slightly late ? Umar upon hearing that started crying. No, he said. Elsa has to be home on the dot at 9 pm. Elsa by then had quietly went up to her brother, took his hand and led him to our room. There they stayed together watching the telly and fell asleep. She didn’t even say goodbye to Aida.

This brought back memories when Dan followed me to Singapore for work. We left Umar with my parents. Umar apparently held on to his overnight bag for dear life, refusing to let go. He took the bag with him everywhere. After every bath, he would collect all his dirty laundry and stuffed it in his bag, ready to leave at a moment’s notice, waiting for his parents to return and collect him. He was less than 3 at that time.

Hai nampaknya susahlah Mummy and Babah nak pegi Umrah berdua ni…

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bandung Day 1

I had a romantic getaway two Wednesdays ago with my husband to Bandung. Romantic ? Wa ha ha ha ha…. It was as romantic as watching paint dry because a day before we left, I was plagued with sickness. I started coughing and had a fever.

The plane ride was okay as I was not that sick at the time. When we arrived, we went straight to the hotel and were allowed to check in. When I laid down, I found it hard to get back up again. Dan was concerned but I dismissed it away as we were already there and I promised to take Dan around.

I forced myself to get up and took a cab to Pasar Baru. Dan hated the pasar. At that time I was already quite under the weather and didn’t know where to go. I remembered that I wanted a new telekung so I took Dan to the shop where Amelia and I bought ours last time. I was sick and disorientated. The pasar looked more crowded than it did last time. We went around and around, trying to find that particular shop when I spotted it by chance. What a bummer. There were not many telekungs around and the style was out-dated. All that for nothing.

I insisted for a new telekung and therefore visited about 3 shops before Dan pointed out that all the shops carried the same telekung. He was pressuring me to just pick one. O-kay….. Right then I was thinking Amelia was nicer to walk around the pasar with. I hastily picked one. I hate doing that because I know I will feel discontent ( and how right I was ) with my purchase.

It was already 12 and I suggested we sit down for lunch. I needed to take my medication anyway. Up we went to the 6th floor to the food court. I was raving to Dan about the food Amelia and I had there. However Amelia was the one who bought the food. I sat at the table and waited for her. So when I got there I was confused. Nothing looked like the food Amelia had cleverly bought. Aiseh. I was getting dizzier by the minute and Dan had a look of consternation on his face. I hate being a tour guide.

I finally decided to eat the safest thing that was offered there, Soto. At least there will be no surprises there and I do feel like having soup. We sat down and ordered 2 sotos. The alarm should have been raised when after 10 minutes of ordering the food failed to appear. It is just soto and in good ol’ Malaysia, it usually takes less than 5 minutes to put everything together. I was sick and was just relishing the comforts of the chair and was not thinking much.

The first to appear were 2 plates of rice. Aiik ? Nasi ? I thought we ordered soto ? Then came 2 steaming pots ( yup, pots ) and when we opened the lids, it revealed burbling beef soup ( or more appropriately broth ). Dan looked at me but hey, I gave a him a look that said don’t-look-at-me-mister-I-am-as-confused-as-you-are !

We dug in. It was nice enough but Dan hated it because it was littered with timun air. I had no appetite and Dan didn’t like his food ( he is fussy, that one ). The waiter raised his eyebrow when he saw the uneaten fare.

I took my husband to Rich and Famous next. Luckily he was happy there. Since I only have the clothes on my back and a pair of pyjamas in my bag, I had to choose an outfit. I was rather ill by then and couldn’t choose anything. Dan had to do my shopping for me and chose a long-sleeved t-shirt that is too short for me. The next day I had to walk around with my tudung covering my chests ( as it was just not too short, it was one size too small too ) while looking for a more appropriately sized baju ( thank you honey for thinking that I was that thin ).

We then went to Rumah Moda. Dan luckily loved it there too as the ambiance was calming and the décor was superb. He quickly found clothes for himself and we bought loads for our kids. None for me though. No baju ( semua long sleeves t-shirt yang Britney Spears nak lah pakai or short sleeves ) and not even bags. It was so much different from when Amelia and I went.

Then of course I went to got my feet reflexologied… he he… That is the best reason to go to Rumah Moda actually. I practically ran there as my was body aching and my head was throbbing. There was only 1 chair left and I quickly took it. Dan refused to be massaged and sat next to me. Boy was that a killjoy. I found out that day that it is very disconcerting and very unnerving being massaged while somebody watched in boredom.

We then trudged back to the hotel. Well, not exactly trudged as we did take a cab. Despite the massage, my body was killing me and I had a fever. I was alternating from being hot to cold at very regular intervals. Luckily I had my supply of ponstant with me and Dan thoughtfully packed some Panadol Actifast. Come 7 o’clock we were hungry again ( I barfed twice ) and decided to head to the shopping complex just down the road from our hotel.

We were debating whether to go on foot or take a cab. I felt we should walk as it is so near but Dan said he doesn’t want us to walk where the pavements are housing various stalls and had to walk on the road instead. He apparently mistrusted Bandung drivers. As we were discussing ( more like bickering ) the hotel’s pak guard approached us. He advised us to take the Angkutan instead. We apologetically told him the smallest denomination we have on our person was Rp 100,000 and therefore will pose a problem when paying the Rp 1000 fare each. He then whipped out his wallet ad gave us Rp 2000. We were horrified and horribly embarrassed. He kept pushing the money to us and we kept pushing it back to him. I finally took the money when I saw how adamant he was and frankly I did not have the energy to play Rp. 2000 tug-of-war with him. He was so proud I felt guilty for refusing in the first place.

Where did we go ? First to find a Wartel. Dan was so homesick ( read missing Umar and Elsa ) his eyes went watery as he talked fondly of his children ( their monkey-like perangai mysteriously vanished from their father’s memory ). We found one but it couldn’t make calls to Malaysia. We tried at the hotel before we left and the receptionist said “ Belum biasa buat panggilan ka Malai-sia pak ”. O-kay.

We went inside the mall to look for a pharmacy. I bought a packet of Panadol for flu and fever and bought some cough drops. Then we went to search for food. My husband took me to McDonald’s. He said he doesn’t trust Indonesian food anymore. Yelah tu Rashdan. Just admit that you are a junk-food junkie.

Admittedly, my mouth watered looking at the Indonesians eating friend chicken with rice but luckily I remembered the frogs in my throat. I ordered Fillet-o-fish and some fries ( which oddly was okay for the frogs… he he ). The chilli sauce was hot I tell you. It was super hot but yummy….

Anyway, went to their supermarket and Dan bought more junks for his tummy. Then off we went back to the hotel. I slept fitfully amidst Dan’s channel search for something that he could understand. Finally he shut his mouth when an English movie appeared on the screen at 9pm, but with as much iklan as before ( there were so many iklans on their telly, we watched more iklan than real shows. All about keputihan baju and kulit muka, menghilangkan ketumbir and entah apa – apa entah ).

Bersambung esok kay sebab karangan ni dah melepasi 3 muka surat...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Where iklan Petronas took me

Haiii Petronas… menyusah kan aku aje. I fill my petrol at Petronas and because of that I have like 10 pieces of entry forms for the Saya Anak Malaysia contest. I am very much not into entering competitions especially those that require me to write slogans, but since I got loads of them ( not counting those that I have actually scrunched up and thrown ), I think well … why not.

Before I have to think up some witty words that will get me one of those cars, I have to match the messages written to the correct Petronas commercials. So I went to their website and watched all 5 iklans and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

I love my country. Each iklan stabbed my heart because it reminded me how much I really love my country. I mean that is the reason why I buy only Petronas, bank at CIMB Bank and RHB Bank and try to buy Malaysian first whenever and wherever possible.

Those close to me also know how much I love my people. Amelia and I, we share the same values and that is why it is so easy with her because with her, I do not have to explain. She is with me all the way.

But those Petronas iklans taught me a few new things too. First, I have to value being anak merdeka. Hari Merdeka should not be just another holiday, another reason for me to have an extra work free day, but a day to really thank Allah SWT that I am living in a wonderful and free and safe ( to some extent ) country. Sadly, the current government failed to see that and I see them failing to keep us free, safe and wonderful. And I foresee that soon, we will again be colonised.

The second thing it taught me is that, I have to love my fellow Malaysians. I have to love and cherish my friends more than I currently do. We are too caught up with our work and family that we forget the community. Sadly, it is something that the current government has failed to notice too. Poverty is everywhere. It is not focus on any particular race, but a problem that is faced by every type of ethnicity in Malaysia. What they are interested to do is just fattening their pockets. I can show you the house of a local politician who if I am not mistaken, was just a government engineer before. It is so huge and that is the second wife's house. The first wife ? Fooo.... words cannot describe it. How can you steal rakyat's money for your family's extravagance ? If your family were living on the street, I would've understand it but they were not. Sure you were not living on a sprawling estate but you you do have a roof over your head. How can you let some poor people starve so that your kids could be kitted in Rolexes.... ?Neraka jahanam for you...

What I am most saddened by is that no matter what we do, no matter what we try, we only have small hope for all Malaysians to unite and stand together because we were never united in the first place. Simply because of our failure to speak in one language. We failed to be educated by the same school system. How can we unite when we each have our loyalties elsewhere ?

Indonesia had done and is doing the right thing.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Article Review : Hidden Dangers in Your Car

Very eye opening article featured in this month’s Reader’s Digest. It discussed about the importance of securing every item and person in your car when you travel. This is because when you are involved in an accident and your car brakes suddenly, every unsecured objects ( including humans ) would become projectile, fly at a high speed and could be deadly to you.

What Malaysians are practising is only passengers sitting in the front seat would be safely belted. Even that is a hit and miss. We never consider unbelted passengers behind and stuffs on the backseat floor that can fly if not restrained. All these are hidden dangers.

One guy put his credit card on his dashboard. When his car stopped on impact it flew and cut his throat. A measly credit card, kay ? Luckily the cut was not deep enough to be fatal. Another guy although survived when his car collided with another car, was killed by his tool box when it flew and hit him on the head, hard.

A team analyzing car crashes concluded that risk of death for belted front passengers rose 20% higher when there are unrestrained passengers behind. Whereas you have 120% higher chances of surviving the crash when your passengers put on their seat belts. Logic really, the front passengers became the back passengers’ airbags. You actually have to brace yourself from impacts internally when you’re involved in an accident.

MPV owners are more at risk because their cargo area is not separated from the main body of the car. Prams and whatnots that you stow there can potentially hit you or your children when accidents happen. Therefore they suggest getting a cargo divider, a gate that separates the cargo area from the passengers.

One lady luckily heeded that particular advise. Her car hit a curb and was forcefully stopped but when she looked behind, her son was not even bruised because the stuffs she had in her cargo; prams, first aid kit, can of food and auto supplies slammed on the cargo divider instead of her son.
Be aware. Be safe.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Book Review : Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter

Ms Potter is an unknown author to me. I chose the book because I like Mr Darcy and there were promises of special appearances by the enigmatic man himself !!

To those who had read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen would have known and loved Mr Darcy, the fictional hero. He is the perfect gentleman, the tall and silent type, handsome and brooding. His problem is that he could be quite arrogant though, thinking that he is vastly superior to anybody else. But did I mention that he is handsome ?

He he… however his cold, arrogant attitude actually masked his loving, compassionate and kind nature. There is where the pride and prejudice comes from, by both Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Proud of their own heritage and family and then prejudiced against one another. Aiseh.. please read this marvelous book if you haven’t because it is such a total loss if you didn't.

Pride and Prejudice has been adapted into the big screen many times but the most popular ones are the BBC drama featuring Colin Firth ( say aaahhhhh…………… ladies ) as the dashing Mr Darcy and one actress I have forgotten her name and most recently on the big screen with Keira Knightly and the delicious Matthew Macfadyen ( you can catch him on Hallmark and Channel 26 in the tv series Spooks where his smoldering good looks and somewhat Mr Darcy attitude makes me forget what the day’s story is all about ).

Anyway, when I read this book, I alternately pictured Mr Darcy as Colin Firth ( who is just wonderful ) and Matthew Macfadyen. This book is somewhat like Kate and Leopold where two different eras somehow merged, and in this case a fictional character became real.

Emily has sworn off men. She had always fancied Mr Darcy and decided that the man in her life from then on would only be him, in her head. Magically ( and due to her best friend who wanted her to go to Mexico for some serious partying which is totally not her scene at all. She is after all a bookworm ) she joined the Jane Austen tour to England ( did I mention she is American ? ). All the participants were old biddies, except for one Spike Hargreaves, a journalist researching why women would like to date Mr Darcy or even be Mrs Darcy. Emily then actually met Mr Darcy in bizarre circumstances, dated him and well… read.

The book is well written and I enjoyed her style. I also love her ideas as again I always look for something that hadn’t been written about. I also love the idea of resurrecting Mr Darcy as well… sigh… I wanted to know more about him.

Apart from that, the book I have to say is rather predictable. Spike from the very start showed his Darcy like tendencies. And the way they met and the prejudices they harboured on each other from the very beginning.. well… gave the ending away.

But, it is still a very good read. So much so that I am buying another one of her books today for me to decide if Ms Potter is a keeper !!

PS : Can I say that although I love the brooding Mr Darcy, why I feel like strangling brooding Mr Dan ?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Halal Food

Last week I read in disgust on JAIS’ claim that only 3 hotels in Selangor have Halal certification. Halal food in my Muslim country has been a real sore point in my life. Malaysia is an Islamic country. I don’t care if is Islam is just the official religion ( which I have been reminded of many, many times ) but being an official religion has to mean something doesn’t it ? Then why bother putting Islam as the official religion ( whatever that means ) ? The majority here are Muslims. We have mosques and suraus littered everywhere, but when it comes to food the halalness is not a sure thing. As JAIS put it, halal certification is a voluntary thing. Ada ka ?

This means all this while, all the food I have consumed is not guaranteed its halalness ? When I was living in the UK, I had to scan and check every food item I intended to buy to ensure its halalness ( read vegetarian ). I memorise all non-halal ingredients like gelatine, whey, E315 or more obviously animal fat to ensure that the food I eat and feed my family with falls within the requirements of Allah SWT. It was tiring.

In Malaysia, I took for granted that everything is halal. Either the displayed food items in the supermarket, or restaurants ( except those clearly non-halal ones lah ) or hotels, any place that sells food. I thought being in a Muslim country, I am safe. Apparently I am not. I felt cheated somehow.

I was in a mall in KL the other day and was at the food court. I saw a stall that said Nasi Padang manned by 2 female employees clad in tudung. I was in a hurry and although tudung wearing Indonesians are not a sure guarantee that the place is 100% halal, but the name of the stall was Nasi Padang. Surely…. Right ?

Anyway, I went there, asked for nasi tapau and as to my customs chose vegetables only. When I waited for the kitchen help to calculate the price of my food, I took a good look around. Then I noticed quite a few items that were noticeably not Padang people’s food. Fine. Sometimes you know, to attract wider customers, you have to offer food that suits everybody’s palate. Then as 1 policeman asked for nasi bungkus, I blurted out the question that had been plaguing my mind. Is the food is halal ? Yes, was the answer.

Who is the owner ? I asked. One looked nervous and the other one said campur – campur. She then added that the cook is a Javanese. I then asked again who is the owner ? She reluctantly said it is not a Muslim. But then she quickly added that everything is halal. Yeah, I said, who buys the fresh produce ? I looked at the policemen and he appeared nervous too. He smiled at me. I smiled back and left.

Sure the cook is a Muslim but where did the owner buy the meat ? I know for a fact that non-halal chickens are 50 sen cheaper. For unscrupulous people who just don’t care, they want to save that 50 sen, correctly thinking that the unsuspecting public wouldn’t know. I am not saying that every restaurateur in Malaysia is unscrupulous, but not all in the rose bush are flowers. There are thorns. Can I just remind my friends on the sausage debacle last year ( or was it this year ? ). I am not so trusting anymore after that.

I once saw a nasi ayam restaurant receiving its stock of chicken for the day wheeled in by non-Muslims deliverymen. I went red in the face and asked the cashier. She assured me the chicken is halal but when I pointed to the 2 deliverymen, she coloured a bit and she said campur – campur. What do you mean by that ? She explained half of the chicken from a Malay and the other half from a non Muslim, but she said even from the non-Muslim they are halal. Really ?

When I asked for halal certification, they have none. I left. When I called JAIS he advised me that as Muslims I should go to restaurants with halal certificates only. But, I stammered, I am in a Muslim country. How can that be ? What about those Arabs who come here and eat anything they want thinking that all the food in Malaysia is halal ?

From then on, whenever I am unsure if I will be served halal food, I will only take the safest option, go vegetarian. Therefore I eat laksa assam a lot and no more curry laksa. Please do not add more headaches to me by asking about plates and cutleries. As long as it is not pork… he he… boleh ke ? Hmm… one step at a time…
Masterfood announced their infamous confection Mars is no longer halal. They will start using rennet, an animal based product. Will Mars bars have a non-halal stamped on it from now on ? Or at least a sticker, to warn us that it is not suci for us anymore ?

Please, make halal certification a must. If not, produce a non-halal one. Employ more people to ensure that fresh produce is bought at halal certified abattoirs and manufacturers. I wouldn’t know the identity of the owners until I take the liberty to ask. Seriously, I don’t want to do that. Apart from that, please create a system that can clearly indicate where these halal certified restaurants get their meat from. Sure it is a lot of work and requires real enforcement work but isn’t Jabatan Agama Islam’s job to ensure ( at some point ) that we live the Muslim way ?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Movie Review : Transformers

I don’t know what to say. Dan and I when we heard they made a Transformers movie jumped up and down with joy. When it’s date of arrival was announced, we bought the tickets 2 weeks early.

Come Saturday, I leapt from my sejadah when I heard my husband came into the room. We almost collided. Dan was jumping up and down. “ Transformers !! “ We shouted at the same time, giddy with excitement.

Dan and I are big fans of Transformers. One of our special moments was when we realized that both of us watched the sad Transformers movie where Optimus Prime died. We cried ( I was at Seksyen 8 and he was at Seksyen 7, oblivious to each other’s existence then ). I cried for days whenever that scene re-played in my head. Him, lying there on the hill ( I said hill Dan said no hill ) alone, while the rest of the Autobots stood and watch. I forgot what his last words were but the leadership was passed to Ultra Magnus ( although he didn’t want it ), then Decepticon’s Galvatron got the Matrix before Hot Rod recovered it from Galvatron and became Rodimus Prime. But none matches my Prime. None. He was kind and compassionate, such a gentle giant.

We both looked at each other in wonder when we found out how we both felt about that scene. I was thinking if he could feel the way I feel that day, then he is definitely the one for me. I looked at him with renewed respect starting from that day. We were glad that we had something special to share. I would say, Transformers made us closer… he he.

Anyway, wow ! The cinema was full. When it started, people started clapping their hands. Then I know I was in the cinemas with people my age, people who grew up watching them. Dan kept showing me his hands, where all hairs stood on its end. Me too babe, me too.

The US in Qatar was attacked first by Decepticon Blackout and the survivors was then attacked by Scorponok. Bumblebee by then had weaseled his way to be Sam’s car when Barricade assaulted them. Bumblebee annihilated him.

When the rest of the Autobots came in a meteor of some sort after Bumblebee called them, I knew one of the 4 was my heroic Optimus Prime. “ There ! Optimus is coming !! “ I shouted. When he stood, and emulated the famous blue and red truck, I thought I could burst.

When they converged, re-uniting with Bumblebee and revealing themselves to Sam, and they transformed with the sound that I knew and remember so much, I wept. I wept when I saw Optimus Prime for the first time. He is so handsome. Man. His light blue eyes were familiar and his voice was the same. It was still Peter Cullen.

Watch it people. It was wonderful with serious military action. It was high octane. It was funny too. It will make your goose bumps have goose bumps.

Megatron is so huge. Damn him.
Anyway, Dan and I agreed, this movie was so excellent, it surpassed all other movies. Not Fantastic Four, not Spiderman, not Pirates of The Carribean... nothing. I do not think Harry Potter's new movie is going to standout. No way... no way....
However, if you are not a fan, then you will be confused when the action starts. You will be thinking which are the Autobots and which are the Decepticons. That complaint came from my boss anyway....

Transformers ! More than meets the eyes…

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why I hardly ever walk up the stairs

2 –3 days ago, I ran upstairs to our surau. My colleagues were already in the surau and as I opened the door, one remarked “ Naik macam apa entah. Macam kena kejar.. “ or something like that.

I replied, “ Sorry, none of my siblings berjalan naik tangga. Semua orang berlari sebab kalau jalan ada yang tangkap bontot… “.

It is true. Dan’s father once made a remark somewhat like my colleague’s when he heard my sister ascending the stairs when we were in Nottingham.

Can’t be helped. Because if my father was home, as we unsuspectingly took the stairs, there will be somebody creeping from behind and grabbed our butts. After that we learnt to run as that is the safest. Running and looking behind, just in case. If you walk, you are an easy target, my friend. Believe me.

“ Waarrgghhh ! “ Grab !!

“ Wargghh !! Janganlah !! Ayah jahat !! “

That is the usual exchange of words at our stairs at home.

I do not like walking in front of anybody when I ascend the stairs. But now… well… we never learn do we. My children would also run when they use the stairs. Because.. well there is me to grab their cute behinds now.

Ohh… well Dan, somehow knew that I miss the tooshie grabbing routine and would sometime grab mine whenever we were on the stairs. Aaahh…. Bring back fond memories of childhood.

But… no matter if it was us or my children, we would dissolved in laughter whenever ayah ( or me ) did that. It is rather exhilarating, somehow…

I have to say, sometimes we were disappointed when ayah didn’t do it. That is a secret. Don’t tell my daddy…

Monday, June 25, 2007


Last week an interesting article on maid abuse surfaced in the papers. This article was of course spawned by the week before’s 15th floor maid incident. NSTP interviewed some abused maids who are currently seeking shelter at the Indonesian Embassy. There were many horrifying stories. But what is more appalling is that one abused maid’s employer was let go after paying a fine. Only fined ?

What a load of crap. Abuse is abuse no matter to whom it was done to. The last time I checked, Malaysia is not an apartheid country. Foreign workers although do not have full rights as we Malaysian do ( like voting or free education or whatever ), still have the right to be safe and to be paid for the services they have provided, among other things. They still deserved to be respected, to be pitied and most importantly to be treated as human. Basic human rights that is given to all people no matter if there are on their own soil or not.

I condemn the authority that let abusive employer’s go with a mere fine. Just a stupid slap at the wrist. These things can put a permanent label to us. I mean we Malaysians endure labelling our whole lives. You know, every Malay is lazy, or this race are liars and people of that ethnic group are thieves. I mean come on, we do not even have to look at other races, we Malays even dissect our own people by the state they come from. How Kelantanese is like this and Kedahan is like that etc. Do we want to be known as a country of abusers ? It will stick to you, you know. Especially when stories of fined abuser leak out to the whole world. It shows that abusing maids are the norm of our countrymen. “ Oh everybody does that here. Just yesterday, I poured hot oil over my maids body because she didn’t wish me good morning !! “ The acts of a minority can effect the whole nation.

Having a live-in maid is part of our culture. When I was small, all our maids came from Johor. I don’t know why but they just did. One stayed for 6 years until she got married and after that we had a succession of Johorian maids with 1 to 2 years stint each. We usually lose them to their boyfriends and after that we got ours from Indonesia.

So when I moved to my own abode 4 years ago, there was no question of whether I am getting a maid or not.

Our maid was good to us initially. The house was clean but most importantly my children were happy. We have two tellies and which ever one we used, she would use the spare one. I once cooked alone because she wanted to watch a Hindustan movie upstairs. I let her be as to me there is no issue there. She was at home the whole day and as far as I am concerned, if I get to go home and relax, she can too. Her condition is worst than mine as I can leave my office. She can’t. She sleeps and breathes her workplace.

Everyday I will leave her some money just in case she wants to do a little bit of shopping at the nearest shop or too lazy to cook. When I found out that she liked to read, I bought her new Malay novels every month. Sometimes I even furnished her with Malay magazines ! All in the name of compassion and pity.

When we went out, the kids didn’t want her to assist them at all. Dan and I still had to feed and mind them. She is left with carrying our things. I didn’t like that. My mom didn’t like that either. I remember us taking the maid out only once because mummy didn’t like Kakak trying to make herself useful by carrying whoever is youngest at that time or our things and then walked 2 – 3 paces behind us like she didn’t deserve to be with us. Therefore Dan and I always asked if she wanted to come along. She usually didn't. So we stopped asking knowing that if she wanted to come, she could just say so. She was relieved because she said she preferred to stay home to relax and watch the telly anyway. Why not ?

Whenever we were home, the kids were our responsibility. She never bathed or fed them whenever we are around. They are our kids and therefore our duty. I do not have the stomach to let somebody else be with my kids, nurturing and loving them whenever I am around. Therefore whenever we were home, the kids were completely ours.

So you could imagine her life. We respected her, we called her Kakak and she just called us by our names. I learnt to buy Malay DVDs to keep her entertained and watched them with her so that she had somebody to watch them with. I bought her RM 100 shoes, real leather ones because none at Bata fits. I bought her a set of pots, the ones that she had been dreaming of. I even paid for her intelligent son’s monthly school fees and promised that I would give her the money to buy her own cooking gas tank.

Then I found out that she had been abusing my kids. Not just physically but she had been yelling and cursing them too. She even spread lies about us to our neighbours, lies so outlandish that luckily none wanted to believe. Our neighbours saved us by ratting on her. Apart from that, before we found out that she was doing those things, she was offensive to us. About 5 months after she entered our homes, she started to be cynical and rude but since we needed her service and didn’t want her to hurt our precious ones ( which she did anyway ), we just closed one eye.

What did I do ? I did nothing. I sent her to my in-laws’ house without so much as a harsh word and soon after that showed them her true colours to them and were sent back to Indonesia, pronto.

Did I want to kick her sorry arse ? Yup. Did I want to slap her face ? Badly. Did I want to rant and rave until I get hoarse ? Until now the feeling is there. But I didn’t want to because I still have empathy. But most importantly because I am a Muslim, I got more class than that. I would not stoop that low.

Errmm… I think my entry today veered from my original plan. I got sidetracked because of course this issue reminded me of HER. So… well.. I have lost my original train of thoughts. I basically wanted to voice my displeasure of all these monsters who abused their maids because my maid abused my family mentally and physically and I didn't lay a finger on her.
Maybe I will get them back… My thoughts that is...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Book Review : For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Waaahhh….. What a touching book. Sedihnya. This book will teach you stuffs, my friends. It will teach you about forgiveness, parental love and especially teach you about the sacrifices they make. It will make you want to reach for your mammy or your daddy or even better both of them.

It will make you reflect on your relationship with your parents and this book will make you weep for the wrong things you have done to them. When I read this book, I imagined myself as the narrator. After every anecdote, I will remember almost similar incident that happened to me and then I will be overwhelmed with regret. Children will always hurt their parents because they don’t understand. There is no maturity. It is quite okay if you don’t mean to hurt but if you do it with intent… well, then….

This book is about Chick who totally lost it when his mom died. He lost it because the last time he spoke to his mom the conversation was full of deceit and he couldn’t wait to leave her. All his life since his father left, he had been angry with her and the last time they spoke to each other was no exception. When she died he drank his sorrows away and became a person that his wife and daughter could not live with. The failure of his marriage made him turned to alcohol further more and he lived in the shadows.

Until one day when he received a letter from his daughter announcing her marriage. He was not even invited. He didn’t even know his new son-in-law. He was overcome with grief so momentous that he decided to take his own life. But before that he wanted to visit his childhood home for the last time.

He was involved in an accident on the way there and escaped unhurt. Since the accident happened near his home, he decided to resume the journey on foot, still fresh from the disaster. Imagine his surprise when he opened his door, his momma was there to greet him.

Then, like all moms are wont to do, she consoled, supported, and guided him.

His dad once told him “ You can either be a momma’s boy or your daddy’s boy. You could never be both. So choose, “. Chick said, he chose his father because unknowingly, you will cling to the person that was most likely to leave. And he was right. His daddy left. I felt so sad because to me his father leaving changed him. If his father had stayed, he wouldn’t be a drunken man, living his regrets.

Books like these are important. It could either teach or make you realise about certain aspects of the life you lead, or better still both. To me, kesedaran itu penting. It is good if the kesedaran is long lasting but even it if it lasted for a short while, giving you enough time to make a difference even a smidgeon, that is good enough for me. This book reminded me again that I do not know every little thing that effects my parents’ decisions. That even at the times when I hate them, even if at that time their decision seemed cruel or stupid to me, they did it out of love and for my best interest.

We do not exactly have a clear guidebook on how to be good parents. All of them are usually vague and very macro at best. We make mistakes. Parents make mistakes. Therefore it is crucial for children to understand whatever mistakes parents did, it was out of love.

This is my third book by good old Mitch. My first was Five People You Meet In Heaven followed by Tuesdays With Morrie. Both books were out of the normal topics that people usually write about. Although love was still the main staple, but it was presented to us in unique plots.

Read it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Book Review : Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

I grabbed this book as soon as I saw it. Firstly because it was a Meg Cabot masterpiece and second because it was the lone copy there. I didn’t even want to think about it. Grab, pay and oh shucks, my kids are running to me with their own books, rummaged for more money. Oh well..

The book is about Lizzie who went to England to meet her English boyfriend only things didn’t turn out well. Well it was a disaster in fact. Luckily for her, her bestfriend is holed up somewhere in France in a castle helping her boyfriend’s bestfriend Luke, to organize a wedding for Luke’s cousin. Phew.. !!

Lizzie and Luke of course fell in love in the midst of Luke’s parent’s coming divorce, Luke’s scheming girlfriend and the wedding planning headaches coupled with a spoilt bride and a few other wedding disasters. But Lizzie and her big mouth ( she doesn’t think when she speaks and regrets her words as soon as they came out. Happens to the best of people many, many times – aku le tu ) saved the day. Hmmm…….

The book is funny. I like funny stuffs so I like the book. I mean I have recommended Size 12 is not Fat and Size 14 Is not Fat Either and I was not disappointed with the book… well at the end of it anyway.

Seriously, the first few chapters weren’t good. It was not the story line, I have no problem with that but the way she wrote it. The words she used and the style of writing was so cliché that I was hugely disappointed. She wrote like any other chick lit writers out there. It was cliché… unoriginal. But then she began to pick up pace, she might have worn her usual hat when she wrote the rest of the book as it sounded more like her. All in all, I gave a huge, satisfied smile at the end.

Read it.