Thursday, February 22, 2007

I just found a great book and… it’s great sequel. It is called “ Size 12 Is Not Fat “ by Meg Cabot, the author of the Princess Diaries series. Dear friends, the book is hilarious. Now, I am not a big fan of the Princess Diaries movies, as it was too peachy. Too feel good.

But I liked the title of Ms. Cabot’s adult book and I have been looking at it for months… well maybe even years as after awhile the sequel “ Size 14 Is Still Not Fat “ came out. I wanted to buy but didn’t want to invest in a book that is so-so because seriously, I have been doing that lately. I have 3 books that I bought this year that I regretted buying. I was fingering the book and 1 by Peter Mayle ( which I am sure would be good as I have 3 of his and they were all very enjoyable ) when I decided, what the heck, let’s just try a Ms Cabot piece as 2 of her books were made into a movie. It shouldn’t be that bad, right ?

I loved it. I finished it in 1 day. The morning after I finished the book, I told Dan that we have to go to MPH again as I want to get the sequel. Just my luck when we went to get our mail from our old house, I received a voucher from MPH. Yippee…. !! That very night I went to SACC and bought the sequel at a cheaper price.

This time, I went slow. I do not want to finish it too soon. I want to savour every moment and every word. I want to imagine it properly so that when I see the movie ( of course it will be turned into a movie ), I can comment with good authority.

Okay, who hasn’t had a favourite book ruined by the movies ? Me ? A lot. First was the Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The movie was different from the book. Especially the ending. Then Emma by Jane Austen. Then they spoilt Lord Of The Rings by taking out my favourite characters from the first book. In fact, why haven’t they done the prequel the Hobbit yet ? The Harry Potter series was followed religiously though and funnily, I somehow feel that they should divert a bit as it became too predictable… pulak… he he….

Friday, February 16, 2007

V-Day in Kuching

I returned to Kuching yet again last Tuesday. It looked different though, the Cat City. The air has a lingering scent of roses. The landscape has additional hues of white, pink and red instead the usual brown, blue and green. This time the streets were lined up with street vendors selling flowers and heart shaped balloons and teddy bears sitting prettily on top of baskets. Oooh….. Valentine’s Day.

I would say Valentine’s Day is really celebrated in Kuching. Everywhere you go, all the streets are filled with these vendors. Are they ad-hoc florists or there are that many flower merchants in Kuching.

As we were leaving a meeting on that particular lovey day, the sellers were getting quite desperate. One approached our van and offered me a rose complete with heart shape decorations. Being the only female in a party of 5 men, I was desperate too. Desperately embarrassed.

“ Husband kat KL, “ said I and everybody laughed.

Back at the hotel, we decided to have a brainstorming session and went straight to the coffee house. We were shocked to see the place we had breakfast that very morning has been transformed to a very heart shaped, pinky and rosey affair. Sorry we are full, said the waitress and we trudged to the lounge instead.

Since we were scheduled to have another meeting that night at the same coffee house, I suggested for my boss to delay the meeting a bit. We went to have dinner at a local sea food joint and boy, the night was super-charged with lurvvvveee…..

People were walking and holding hands. Ladies had their hands filled with bouquets and bouquets of flowers and the men smelled nice for a change…. He he.

At 10 pm, we went back to the coffee house and luckily the night was over for some of the Valentiners ( over with eating le… if they took their date further kat mana tu tak tahu le…. ). We managed to get a table and had our discussion.

Me, well my boss had complained before about what I do during meetings when I am not talking. I observed the people in our meeting. After meetings, I would tell my boss whose dressing is nice and who needs a stylist. If our meeting is at a public area, lagi teruk. I will tell him about the couple next to me quarrelling or making out. I will basically not pay attention. He he… sorry. Short attention span probably.

Anyhoo, during our friendly discussion at the Crowne Plaza, Kuching I noticed that people in Kuching do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in twos, as a couple. They do it in droves. I only saw 1 couple that was actually a couple. The rest brought their gang. I saw a table of fours, sixes and 1 table of eight. And some do not even care to dress up. One lady was in short denim skirt and tight t-shirt, that is all. Of course there were some who really dressed to the nines ( but cannot lawan this one couple Dan and I once saw, who were celebrating the girls birthday. The guy was wearing a sports jacket and his sweetheart wore an off the shoulder dress, emerald colour with Cinderella skirt. Eating venue ? Starwberry Field, Subang Parade…. Wee haa ).

The thing that made me went furry ( berbulu le tu ) however happened at 4 am, as I was woken up by some drunkards who was trying to get their room. It seems that to open one’s hotel door this day, one has to laugh hysterically and bang other people’s door before you can even think ofunlocking your door.

Hmmm…………….. Kids this age….

Monday, February 12, 2007

I will remember his face

Last night as I was about to enter Shah Alam Mall at Sek 9, a boy holding boxes of raisins approached me. I quickly looked away not because I do not want to contribute but because I do not want to remember. He softly called me and common decency forced me to look at him. Big mistake.

He said his mother is poor and really needed the money. How much is it for a box of raisins and he said it is up to me. I gave him RM 5 and he asked me is it sedekah or do I actually want the raisins. I got upset. Very upset. I shook my head and he thanked me and I quickly left. I do not want to remember his face nor his voice as it will plague my nights.

Is it wrong if I get upset seeing children begging and selling items on the street ? Where are his parents or at least his mummy ? It was Sunday night and he is suppose to go to school the next day. What is he still doing there ?

I can’t forget the pitiful face as he begs for my pity. Where has his dignity gone ? How long ago had it disappeared ? What happened if his friends saw him ? What happens if his teacher saw him ? What do his parents feel when they see him and his brother ?

As we were leaving his little brother approached me with a very pitiful “ Kak…...,” I told him politely that I have given some money to his borther. The said brother again approached me but when I was recognized, he nodded his head and gave me a little smile. My heart gave a little sob instead.

“ Rumah kat mana yang ? “ I asked. Although he was still smiling, the smile stopped reaching his eyes.

“Takpe, “ he said over and over again and I gave up.

Can I call the police to report ? What will the police do then ? Send them home and then what ? Will they be really out of food if they were no longer allowed on the streets ? What happened to his parents ? And seriously what happened to duit zakat ? If he is really poor, why hasn’t my zakat and my taxes reached him ?

Is it another one of the harebrain schemes by those Sekolah Agama ?

What can I do to help ? I want him to go to school so that he can get out of this. If he is not interested in school, fine, learn a skill. I want him to play and watch the telly. I want him to be a kid.

Maybe I am not really in tune to this world yet. Maybe I haven’t seen enough.

Look, I just want this kid, his little brother and all the children like him to be sheltered. Is that wrong ? Maybe not wrong, but I know it is too much to ask.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Awesomely Bad Love Songs

Yesterday we watched 'Awesomely bad love songs' on VH-1. They showed top 50 of a poll conducted on their website. It was really hilarious as they have very witty people to comment on it and why they think the song is awesomely bad. Comedians, wrestlers, actors, and writers all contributed their comments.

It was hilarious. However, most of the songs are our all-time favourites. Like Color Me Badd's I Adore Mi Amore that came fifth. And The Jets, Oleta Adams, Air Supply ( I don't really like Air Supply so no surprises there. They came in second with Even The Nights Are Better ).

Up to no 10, I told Dan, my Lionel Ritchie is not featured at all. I was proud and relieved as really most of the songs I like made into the list and was glad that Lionel was spared. Howver it was not meant to be. He made it to No 1 with Truly. Truly ? I have Truly in my mp3 and listen to it almost everyday.

I was crushed. Dan was laughing hysterically. Okay, I told Dan at least Rick Astley was not in the poll but the damage was done. He kept smirking all night.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My sweet Rashdan

A typical dining ritual with the family I was born to would involve setting up the table. Tablemats would be laid first followed by the plates. Then the glasses and beverage. Out came the rice next with the day’s fare. After that the spoons ( or cutleries ) and the usual announcement that dinner is served. Sit down, makan, lecture…….

So of course with the family that I made, we have the same custom. Umar will usually set the table and helped with the spoons. I love eating like that. However when we moved in with Dan’s family they have no such habit and I was too embarrassed to observe what I am accustomed to. Don’t want to look like a show off I suppose, after all it is not my house. Different families different habits. So we did without. It doesn’t matter, it is not important as our bellies are still filled up even without all the pom-poms.

Once we dined at a friend’s house. The table was lovingly set like we used to. Umar exclaimed happily that it looked like Tok Mi’s house. He he…

Anyway, yesterday Dan’s parents went to Australia. I prepared dinner as usual and as I got to the table with our steaming hot food, I saw my tablemats were out from their drawers and were arranged nicely on the table. Forks and spoons sat next to each other alongside the bowls.

I looked at my husband who was beaming at me. Umar and Elsa were already reaching out for their cutleries for imaginary sword fight.

“ Thank you… “ I said to my husband and we sat down to eat.