Sunday, December 30, 2007

Balik Kampong

As I was growing this is not going to be a GUIT-thingy thing, visits to my kampong were made at least once or twice a year for either Raya celebrations or weddings of kith and kins. Going back to my grandma's kampong house in Bota Kiri, Perak and seeing my relatives were something I really looked forward to. I couldn't wait to meet my cousins who'd take me and my brother into the depths of the rubber estate just behind my grandma's house on my uncle's old Raleigh to check out the squirrels and perhaps a wild boar if we're lucky?? Or visit a place I vaguely recall calling tali ayor (the Perak way of pronouncing it) where my grandma's little orchard was located and durians lay scattered on the ground for us to collect and bring home. For a girl who's lived in concrete jungles all her life, these simple pleasures were indeed a real treat.

A journey made recently to my kampong, this time with the whole clan was indeed an experience to remember. The wonderful sights along the way brought back memories of yesteryears. Days when there were no highways and it'd take us 2 days to reach our destination. How my kids marvelled at the idea of us surviving all that travelling in my dad's old Fiat without any AC!

The limestone hills and marble quarry (or what's left of them) just outside Ipoh

Yes kids.. the rice that you eat actually comes from these paddy fields

and not from the supermarket shelves

Grandma's house

Aunty Teh's house...just lovingggggg it

Aunty D...Hannan is pausing to reflect at the stairs

Did Atok really swim here ( Sg Perak) masa kecik-kecik dulu?

I'm glad we made the balik kampong journey as a family. In the 3 hour car ride, with many Geography and History lessons thrown in by both me and hubby, the kids got to see and learn much about a place that was an integral part of my life in the past. There's so much the kids need to know about their roots and the hometown where their late grandfather grew up. Nothing better than seeing and learning about it first hand.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I've been tagged

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night. My kids with their usual endearing antics
2. What were you doing at 0800? Struggling with housework and kids
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Just finished watching DVD with hubby - Premonition by Sandra Bullock...not bad
4. What happened to you in 2006? Fat and frumpy looking...I was pregnant with no 5 then
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Cepat kemassss...kita nak gi rumah Wan!!!! (a standing order that I dish out to my kids moments before leaving the house for my MILs)
6. How many beverages did you have today? I treated myself to Sprite...or was it Ice-cream soda?? Cant remember
7. What color is your hairbrush? It changes daily, coz the kids keep using and losing it
8. What was the last thing you paid for? The stuff needed to prepare Hari Raya Haji's feast...well actually I pay, but mom masak.
9. Where were you last night? Same place as this very moment .. on the bed
10. What color is your front door? Boring brown
11. Where do you keep your change? Anywhere possible; pockets, bags, drawers. bookshelves etc
12. What’s the weather like today?Not bad..managed to get my laundry done
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Used to be chocolate, then strawberry later choc chip
14. What excites you? Many things... I'm very excitable
15. Do you want to cut your hair? Desperate for one right now
16. Are you over the age of 25? I'm what my kaypoklub frens would describe as half past thirty
17. Do you talk a lot? A bit on the quiet side
18. Do you watch the O.C.? No
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? no
20. Do you make up your own words? Err I dont think so
21. Are you a jealous person? I think not... have no problems talking about hubby's ex girlfriends...or making fun of them. Hahaaa
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Alina
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Khadijah
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Mom
25. What does the last text message you received say? A long sms from an ex student wishing me Selamat Hari Raya Haji
26. Do you chew on your straw? Sometimes..unintentionally though
27. Do you have curly hair? no
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Tomorrow going beraya

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Every person that has a license but still cant drive properly on the road

30. What was the last thing you ate? These to die for doughnuts... hubby got them from the Curve. He had to queue for 30 mins to get them... called Big Apple something something

31. Will you get married in the future? Already married
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? Guilty of not seeing any movie at all. I pass out after isyak... too tired/sleepy for anything
33. Is there anyone you like right now? Many
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? 2 hours ago
35. Are you currently depressed? Only when I have to fold my laundry...menggunung tinggi!!
36. Did you cry today? Well I did have tears in my eyes...but of a different sort...I was "crying" when I heard my two older kids fight. Their reasons for fighting was sooooo hilarious, absurd and totally ridiculous
37. Why did you answer and post this? I had time to kill
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey:
madam blossom
minah celoteh
the guarding light
manjady from sharing is caring

Monday, December 17, 2007

When hubby came home a couple of weeks ago and declared that he was going to the Federer VS Sampras match at Malawati Stadium.... I was esctatic. Ecstatic because I would get this once in a lifetime chance to see my main man Mr FedEx himself in action. Yeayyyy! Being a tennis fanatic ( a passion which only came about the past 5 years), I couldn't believe my luck or husband's luck that he should land himself with tickets to which I'm sure thousands of Malaysians are dying to get their hands on.

Then came the SHOCKER. No.. I was not going with him coz he was going with his friend Mr Beh instead. Apparently it was Mr Beh who had landed the tickets and he wanted to bring hubby along for company.

LOOONNGGGG silence on my part.

Days went by with me imagining what an experience it would be for hubby to be at the stadium watching his hero Sampras get thrashed by my hero Federer. It was all I could talk about for days on end.

Anyway to cut the story short, hubby came home from work a few days before the match and announced that I would be going after all. Somehow rather he had managed to convince dear Mr Beh to depart with his ticket so that he(hubby) could take me instead.


So there we were at Malawati stadium on Nov 22, amongst the 12 000 strong crowd cheering for his Sampras and my Federer. Honestly from way up where I was seated the two of them could have been 2 little matchsticks playing tennis. Nevertheless, it was wonderful. I know that a chance to go to any of the Grand Slams is pretty remote, so you can just imagine how fantastic it was for me to be there. Anyway at 10 plus when we left the stadium, I realised that my hero was not the guy with the bandana holding the racket, it was the guy who sat next to me throughout the match. The one who had to arm-wrestle the tickets from his good friend Mr Beh or pay him 4x the price...whichever!

Wanna remove a mole? Cheap..Cheap!

I just had to share this with everyone. Came across this during one of my many JJ outings. I wonder if anyone had enquired about the service from the girl behind the counter. I know I wouldn't.

Keeping Them Occupied

I've always loved watching Neil Buchanan and his Art Attack shows on TV. The sheer simplicity of the art works, the colour and creativity are enough to make me want to pick up my paint brushes and get all artsy!

My kids too love his shows. Infact Hannan the slightly art inclined has a couple of Art Attack books in her posession. She's been pestering me for a loooonnng time to get her the art stuff so that this holiday... she and her brothers could have a go at one of the easy projects.

Dining table sacrificed for future art prodigies

don't we just love slapping lots of PVA glue

birthday cake for Ateh - blueberry and strawberry pandan cheesecake

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A tale of the Korean Silk

Hubby came home from Korea the other day after spending the weekend there. He was invited to attend a conference and since everything was paid for...lucky man..he decided to go. The trip was meant to be his last overseas trip for the year.

Anyway, my kids made a point to be at home at the time of his arrival. They were excited when ayah finally arrived and immediately made a beeline for his...what else BAGS! Like many of hubby's previous trips, he would try and get something special for each child and not forgetting mama of course.

The kids were thrilled to bits when they received their little pressies which as you might have guessed...consisted of apa! And to my surprise hubby even managed to find time to get me some nice Korean silk ( he was paying attention to my many not-so-subtle hints about getting silk in Korea).

Well as I held the materials in my hands..I had a funny feeling that they were rather short in length. So I had to ask. Were the materials already cut when he bought them. To this he replied.."Oh No! I had them cut specially for you...3 meters each piece".

Aiyaa! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Did he say 3 meters????? Since when did I use only 3 meters for my baju kurung? Well perhaps a zillion years ago when I was a wee child of 12!

Anyway it was apparent that hubby had somehow rather forgotten that I required 4 meters for my baju kurung. When told about this, suffice to say he was very annoyed with himself for making such a silly mistake. On my part..though I was disappointed that my baju kurung would now turn into a baju kedah...I was also in a way pleased that in a moment of madness my dear hubby thot that after 10 years of marriage and 5 kids to boot.. I was le petite in size! And for that, I forgive him.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Okay, hubby has been constantly reminding me to update my blog for the past couple of weeks. I've been promising him to do so but as usual procrastination is my middle name...

It's kinda hard these days since I come home from work later than usual and am usually dead tired by then, to even reach for my laptop...let alone compose something for my blog.

But since hubby is away in Korea this weekend and I'm usually home-based every time he is away..I have a bit of time to spare. So what do I write about...

Now, since my nephews and nieces have been stationed at my mom-in-law's house (their parents are currently away performing the Haj) older kids have been begging me to let them go to their Wan's house as well for sleepovers. I was just happy to oblige since I wasn't able to entertain them as I had to work during their school hols. So that's one less headache.

Atuk and Wan who relish the idea of having 11 grandchildren running around in their house for the entire school hols have taken the initiative of having the house equipped with games to keep their grandchildren entertained. Ranging from a basketball hoop to carrom board to pool table to ping-pong table to an X-box to a PS2game etc etc . As hubby would say it... the house has turned into a real Kid's Club!! and how he wished he had the time to have a go at all of the games.

But more interestingly though is that they have taken it upon themselves to teach the kids mengaji Al Quran everyday and among other things how to perform sembahyang jenazah. And like sponges these kids absorb everything that is taught to them. Atuk was happy to observe that all of his schoolgoing grandchildren were progressing well and would be able to recite the doa for sembahyang jenazah soon...

Atuk goes high-tech during the mengaji session after maghrib prayers

On the weekends when I'm free, I'd try and take the kids out for an outing to the nearby mall. Usually it'd be one day for girls and another day for the boys. This was the only arrangement possible as it would be humanly impossible to squeeze 9 schoolgoing kids into my Estima without being stopped by the police! I'd try to be fair and make sure that the outings are as similar as possible for both groups... a spree at the bookstore followed by makan-makan at Pizza Hut or KFC...just in case they compared notes!

my bodyguards

choc chip ice-cream anyone??

the girls at Baskin Robbins

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Still Here...

Gosh! It's been about a month plus since I wrote my last entry. I had a million things I wanted to write about in the past month, but never got around to writing them down. I never seemed to have the time. The Raya month was in itself a busy time for me and others too I'm sure. With balik kampung and visiting relatives and friends as the main agenda.

I was pretty much occupied with all these but more so with a certain incident which happened on the 5th day of Raya. My son who was at my mom-in-law's house with his cousins decided to do what could only be described as a triple somersault which saw him landing or to be more precise slamming his face onto the leather sofa. Apparently he was running around the hall and had somehow rather tripped over his cousin's leg, thus resulting in the fall.

When I saw him after the fall, I nearly fainted from shock. The bruising and swelling was unbelievable. His nose had doubled instantly and lucky for him there was no bleeding nor fracture. Over the days, the bruise turned green, then blue, then purple, then green again and later became yellow...just like a true chameleon!
Anyway, it took about 2 weeks before his nose turned back to normal.. i.e to its orignal size and colour. present when many of my colleagues are enjoying their break, I on the other hand have had to work. It's that time of the year when students have to sit for their exams and yours truly have to be on duty. And this will go on for another 2 weeks. I leave home as early as 6.10am and most times come home a good 12 hours later. By the time I reach home, I'm like a zombie just wanting to curl up in bed and sleeeeeppppp till next year!

When husband comes home after his night shifts, he doesn't bother to wake me up anymore...knowing that only a nuclear explosion would be able to wake me up from my deep and dead-tired slumber! And since I leave early the next day, there have been many days when I've hardly had a decent conversation with him. Perhaps the longest sentence I've managed to utter to him when he returned from work late one night was "Baju kat situ" (directing him to his pyjamas)...and that was it.

To be honest, I can't wait for my duty to end and I'll be able to enjoy the hols with the kids. For the time being, whilst this harried mama is busy at work, the kid's grandma has taken over. Thank God for Mak Tok who comes to the house everyday to make sure the kids eat, read and get their correct daily dose of TV-time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

YUSUF turns 8

My son turned 8 on 10th October. For weeks and weeks...well actually months and months he has been asking both me and husband to get him something unique for his birthday present. Normal stuff that we usually give was not good enough... he wanted something extra special. Lucky for us, he revealed what he wanted exactly.

Nothing super extravagant, just a science kit. Something that would allow him to do a bit of experimenting with this and that. I guess all those times spent infront of the TV, watching Dexter's laboratory had in a way influenced his choice of present this year. So hubby and I had to go present-hunting at the shops for this so-called science kit. Husband said there was a specialist shop at Bangsar Village which sold something of the sort, but it has since closed down. Not making business I guess. Perhaps it couldn't compete with the attraction most toy shops would have when it comes to wooing childrens' interest.

I was getting a bit worried last Sunday because up to that day we still hadn't found anything for him yet. As we were driving around town looking for "lampu kelip-kelip" for our house, we passed by an old shop that my husband used to frequent when he was a child. It was one of those shops that sold electronic parts. Much of my husband's childhood was spent making transformers, model aeroplanes and fixing TVs/radios. It was his passion. And that particular shop supplied him with all the necessary parts and gadgets.

I quickly instructed husband to pull over and we soon found ourselves in the shop. There were so many stuff there, stocked from floor to ceiling. Browsing through, he soon found something which would interest my son. It was an electronic hobby kit. Something that would enable him to build a 4 digit Up Counter. I know it's not a science kit, but it was close we were running out of time.

We also purchased other paraphernalia which were needed in getting the little science project running. Namely a soldering iron with solder coil, a flux vacuum and a few other stuff. To be honest, I was at loss looking at all these things. The names and functions of the objects were as foreign to me as coffee from Colombia.

Anyway, my son is looking forward to this long Raya holiday as ayah has promised to assist him in getting the counter up and running. And I look forward to him using it to count my palpitations everytime I discover he has forgotten do his homework again!

The electric shop at Jln Kapar, Klang

The present

Yusuf's little birthday do

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Where Art Thou?

Of late I've been quite the busy bee with a new mission that I've put myself to. Eversince finding out that d's husband is ill, I've been trying hard to locate as many friends / acquaintances who presently know or knew them from the past.

It was very easy in cases where I was still in contact with friends from the past. I had their handphones and we were also in frequent correspondence via emails. It was a lot harder with those whom I've lost touch with over the years...this could go as far as 2-3 years to 11 or 15 years.

A lot of phoning was involved, trying to locate this person and that person through a friend's friend or through somebody's new wife or simply calling up the last known workplace and enquiring if he/she is still there. In most instances I've been quite lucky but sometimes I'm not so lucky and come to a dead end.

This is where googling comes to the rescue. Hours spent surfin the Net has brought many successful leads. This was especially true if the person is attached to a university. I was able to locate the exact department and name too. I must confess...much to my dismay full names of past friends / acquaintances have been lost in memory due to my multiparous activities over the last decade! Hahaa!

Using the new found leads, I managed to get in touch directly with quite a few people. While with others I wrote emails...often long ones I've had to explain who I was, giving some background information of myself lest they forget. This in itself would take a paragraph or two.

To date I'm still waiting for replies from 2 important people who were very close to us back in the early 90s when we first arrived in Edinburgh as undergraduates. These 2 postgraduates who were doing their PhD's were there with their families, and they often invited us to their homes over the weekends. They not only nourished us with their home-cooked meals but our well-beings too with their weekly usrahs which we attended.

On the topic of googling, I also managed to discover an old friend who I presume is currently in the UK with his wife. I came across in the Net one of those pre-raya pics that Malaysians overseas would usually send to our local dailies. The info that accompanied the pic said Dr J was attached to Nuneaton Hospital Coventry while his wife Dr N was with Limerick County Hospital Ireland. You can imagine how surprised I was with this latest bit of info. D was also surprised as his hospital is quite close to where she is and told me that she would see if she could get in touch with him...this after 11 years of no communication.

The world has indeed become smaller with the aid of modern technology and how wonderful it is to be able to renew personal acquaintances and get in touch with long lost friends. And I look forward to hearing from all of them if not some.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Prayer For A Friend

A couple of weeks ago, I was informed by a close friend of 17 years, that her husband (Mr d)was unwell.`Apparently he has been in that condition for the past few months. Visits to the doctors revealed nothing until last week when he was diagnosed with cancer.

This bit of information came as a shock to me and my husband. I have shed tears many times in private, eversince receiving the news. My kids who noticed my watery eyes would ask me why my eyes were red. This was often replied with "I'm sleepy...I haven't been getting enough sleep".

The whole thing seems so surreal. At times I find it hard to accept. I've known d and her husband for a very very long time. Both d and I were roomates for the most part of our university life. Her children are about my kids' age and in the past, we have not only been to each others wedding but also to each other's homes for birthday parties, kenduris and whatnots. She is not just a friend. She is like a sister to me.

For the past one week, I've been trying hard to get in touch with as many old friends who know d and her husband by calling them on their handphones or through emails. I'm doing this with the hope that they can give du'a and words of comfort to d and her husband during this very trying times indeed.

Perhaps in this special month of Ramadhan, God will grant our prayers and lessen the pain and sufferings of Mr d and his family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A couple of days ago, sometime after dinner, I was alerted by a call ( well..a shout actually) from my partner. Sensing something's not right, I rushed to the living room to find him sitting on the sofa staring at his hand.

From where I was standing, about 3 meters away I could see a small black plastic device in his hand. Coming closer I soon realised that he wasn't actually holding it. It's more of his finger being stuck in it! This of course resulted in me laughing my head off. And my reaction certainly didn't go down very well with the victim as he chided me for not taking the situation seriously.

Really... how could I ever be serious in a situation such as that? There I was standing infront of a 40 year old man who somehow rather had managed to get his finger stuck in what was apparently a mini weapon contraption that was part of the ensemble for my son's toy action figure! He then revealed that he had slided it onto his finger when my little girl had handed it to him. Out of curiosity he wanted to see if the thing would fit in his finger. And fit it did!

After much pulling and tugging (with a swell slowly but surely forming) we soon discovered that the little contraption would not budge.

At this point, all sorts of things went through my mind . I wasn't sure if I was to continue tugging at it or to drive him to the A&E instead. Mentioning the word A&E brought an instant reaction from husband who insisted there was no way he was going there. And I can imagine why. The thot of seeing his colleague's reaction with regards to his predicament was enough to put him off the idea altogether.

After much deliberation, he agreed that I should simply yank the thing off his finger. So mustering all the energy that I had, I then yanked it off with all my might. This was of course accompanied by a scream that must have echoed around the neighbourhood. And at the end of it all, dear hubby was left with a swollen finger and a slightly bruised ego.

Note to all children and...adults too...Do Not Try This At Home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

She came, she performed..and almost conquered

When I was in primary school, taking part in competitions was often limited to the academia. Simply because I'm hopeless in everything else! It would mostly be an English quiz or a storytelling competition or the occasional pantun competition. I won some of them but lost many too! It was fun taking part, especially those with friends. The adrenaline rush as we fought tooth and nail to win every point and the feeling of group camaraderie were some of the things that I find hard to forget till this day.

So when my daughter came home from school one day and declared that she had been selected to represent her school in an action song competition, I was thrilled to bits. We’ve all heard of storytelling and choral speaking but Action song?? Ditto…that was my reaction too.Well apparently it’s singing a medley of English songs accompanied by actions and movements. Hence, the name.

Hannan's Action Song journey began way back a couple of months ago. She went for her first competition with her team sometime in March and slowly made it through the succeeding rounds securing the district and state level competitions. The whole family was ecstatic when she announced that she’d be representing Selangor in the national level competition in September. Both hubby and I were terribly proud of her. Especially since none of us has ever made it further than class level in any of the competitions we entered during our school years. I think secretly we were living our childhood dreams through our daughter's achievements!

Anyway, the finals was held at Kuantan, Pahang and the whole family was there to watch history in the making!The first in the family to have made it to the Nationals. Hoorayyyy!

They came, they performed and they did their very best. Though it would have been super fantastic to win, it was not meant to be. The top three spots went to the other states. Sure there was some disappointment from the Selangor camp but that is part of life. You win some, you lose some. I was close to tears when I saw Hannan and her mates crowding their teacher and asking her why they didn't win. I have to say I was most impressed by the teacher's response. One that had a bit of psychology, pedagogy and analogy in it. A complete answer that left the 9 year old girls feeling slightly better and in a happier mood after that. Thank you Pn Shazrah.

And words of consolation come in many forms. My husband on the other hand, overheard a different gogy-approach adopted by a teacher from the northern region. It went something like this...(to be read with a thick northern accent of course!):

"Hang ingat hang sorang aje yang nak menang? Hang ingat balik-balik hang soghang sahaja yang nak menang. Kasi chan lah kat depa, depa pun nak menang jugak!" (rather unconventional I admit, but it worked too, coz his student broke into a laughter after that)

Anyway, as we left Kuantan and made our way home, I relayed the news to our family members via sms. One sms was read out loud to my daughter later as I felt it conveyed the true meaning of taking part in competitions.

It came from her dear Mak Lang which read "Don't worry, we celebrate effort, ALLAH determines results!"
And that is what we call TAKDIR.

Hannan and her team before boarding the bus to Kuantan

the highlight of the trip - a 30 min splash time at the swimming pool

my daughter, the flower in the middle.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've always loved the month of Ramadhan. The very thought of millions of muslims around the world fasting and performing the Tarawih prayers during this special month has always been fascinating.

When I was just a child, fasting was a very big deal for me. I remember vividly during my early years, my mom would allow me to fast for only half of the day - up till noon time. I often argued with her that I was BIG enough to fast the whole day, but mom insisted that I practice fasting bit by bit and assured me that I would be able to fast the whole day some day soon. She would wake my elder brother and I for sahur and watch us with our eyes half closed slowly struggle to swallow the rice on our plates. How proud was I when I was able to complete a whole day of fasting. I was happy that I was able to get up for sahur before imsak just like the adults and fast a whole day just like the adults. And so I thought. During a conversation with mom a couple of years back I discovered that my mom had all the while woken us up for sahur at 7a.m. and whenever my elder brother asked if it was imsak time, she would insist that there was still plenty of time and we can eat for a little while longer (we were of course oblivious to the fact that the sun was already up at the time) .

When I was a student back in the 90s, I stayed with a Scottish family. My roomate D and I would have our sahur in the confines of our room. We both had a rice-cooker each. And during the fasting month we would have a simple sahur. One rice-cooker would contain rice, while the other a simple dish. We would take turns to wake up to reheat the cookers. Then we would set our alarm clocks for a 10 minute snooze before waking up again to eat our sahur. I remember once it was my turn to reheat our food. I got up. Pressed the reheat button and crawled back under the warmth of my duvet. I got up again after that and woke D up for sahur. We both sat around the cookers and were ready to eat our simple sahur. Just before eating, a quick glance at the clock revealed that I had not taken a 10 minute shuteye. Infact it was more than that. Through my blurry sleepy eyes I saw that it was exactly an hour later! So there we were, two souls cross-legged infront of two rice-cookers looking forlornly at our steaming hot rice and daging masak kicap (I think) and realising that we would have to go without sahur for that day.
To all I wish you a Happy Ramadhan!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


31st August has always been a special day for my husband and I . This year is more significant namely because it's a public holiday to commemorate the country's 50th year of Independence. It's also a day when the whole world remembers the sudden and unexpected death of Lady Diana who was killed in a car crash 10 years ago. But more importantly on 31st August this year, it's my 10th wedding anniversary.

I still remember on that day, the conversation amongst the guests centred around Lady Di's accident and later confirmed death. Infact many of the guests who made their way to our reception (which happened to be at my house) would briefly congratulate us before making a compulsory 10 minute stop or more, at our TV room to get an update on Lady Di. It was obvious the buzz of the day was definitely her death and our wedding reception took second spot. Oh well!

Anyway, 10 years down the road and 5 offsprings later... this year's anniversary celebration was marked by our mandatory dinner for two, minus the candles of course. Mind you it nearly turned out into a dinner for 7 (kids included!). But we managed to take the kids out to the park earlier, just so that mama and ayah can have a romantic??? dinner surrounded by at least 30 strangers at some nice restaurant later on.

Our delicious tiramisu. Yum yum.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Today was a special day at work. Why special? Simply because a celebration was held at my workplace to commemorate Malaysia’s Independence Day.

Being in a secondary school allows me to experience the Merdeka celebration with the younger generation i.e my students. It’s wonderful to see how everyone came together to make this occasion a memorable one…and why shouldn’t it be memorable…it is after all our 50th year of Independence. Kudos to all (the administrators, teachers and students) who’ve worked hard in ensuring today’s celebration was a success. And indeed a success it was.

The early morning showers did little to dampen our spirits this morning. We waited anxiously and prayed the sky would lift up soon. God must have heard our prayers coz just little after 8am the light drizzle stopped and we were able to congregate at the assembly ground to begin our celebration.

I’ve never been much of a cameraman/woman. But this time around, with my husband's camera in hand, I made a point to go all out and took as many photos as possible. I have to admit, it wasn't easy running around the school taking shots of the celebration in my formal batik baju kurung. It didn't help either that my inappropriate footwear i.e my high heels got stuck in the earth when I ventured into the water-bogged field, all for the sake of capturing that one in a million shot. Ha! Ha!( Mental note.. high heels and school field certainly don't go together!).

Anyway, they say a picure is worth a thousand words and I can't agree more. I don't think I'll go into much detail as I feel the photos I've taken speak for themselves. So enjoy viewing.

Raising the Jalur Gemilang

Colourful Malaysia

Guess who? Yes none other than Dato Jamali Shahadat, our guest of honour

"Atan" in a light banter with one of the students

The cast of our school's Merdeka sketch

Er..recognise our human Tugu Negara at the back?


A special needs student belting out " ..Inilah Barisan Kita.."

Oh yes! During the sketch our "Tunku Abdul Rahman" had a monologue, as he stood infront of the Tugu Negara.

It was pretty moving and I thought I'd share it with you here;









































Thursday, August 23, 2007


Yesterday 22nd August, was my husband’s birthday and every birthday since we've been married, I'd notice how he would become very reflective indeed. Being the curious me or for want of a more accurate word…“kaypo”… I'd discover the same thing year in year out. Without fail on his birthday, dear husband would be asking himself “What have I achieved so far to date?"

I think it’s great that he does this. A self-check is always good as it helps us to keep tabs on what we have done, what we’re doing now and where we are heading. It reminds us of the things that we need to improve on or perhaps consider doing in life. Without these self-checks, our birthdays would just be another day…another day of an added number to our age.

So when my husband turned 40 yesterday…yes the B.I.G 40.. I felt compelled to remind him what he has achieved so far to this day and to consider the many blessings that ALLAH has bestowed on him and the family. This of course brought a smile to his face. It also brought a cheeky response from him… an impromptu - off the cuff- amateur attempt at a rhyming couplet which sounded something like this ;

“You are my strength, You are my pillar,
If I go astray, you are my KILLER”

And this of course brought a smile to MY face.
So to dear husband….H.A.P.P.Y B.I.R.T.H.D.A.Y

and may you have many more ahead.

the towering inferno we had for lunch

the aftermath...a meal feat for Mr Tompang

a spidey inspired birthday cake

little V.I.Ps graced our small birthday party

Hannan and her compulsory birthday card for ayah

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Come 31st August, Malaysia will be celebrating her 50th year of independence. So much has been achieved since 1957 when the late Tunku Abdul Rahman led thousands of other Malaysians to the 7 cheers of MERDEKA! The famous Merdeka cheers signalled the end of the colonialist British rule and a new beginning for the people of this country.

Going around the Klang valley these days, one can’t help but notice the many flags that have been put up. Schools, government buildings, shopping malls have all gone to great lengths to get the Malaysian people into the Merdeka spirit. Heck! Even I have not been spared. My daughter came home one day from school and asked if she could buy this really fancy merdeka visor/cap. She said it was a-must-have as it had a mini flag attached at the side and sunglasses that can come down or go up whichever way you want it to be. She has a lot of hats and I wasn’t very keen on her buying another one. But I had to make an exception to this one, after all it is the Merdeka month.

Anyway, I’m glad my daughter managed to coax me into departing with my Rm24...coz the colourful visors/caps were indeed supercool. Perhaps my young kids may not know the real historical significance of celebrating Independence day but that’s okay. They will learn in time I hope. At least for the moment, the spirit is there and that’s important I think.

Gearing up for 31st August

Moving along on the topic of Merdeka spirit, I have to admit feeling puzzled by the recent act of a Malaysian who came up with an infamous 6 minute video clip called Negarakuku.

He wrote the song in conjunction with the country’s 50th anniversary of independence and it was his gift to the country. He also claimed that he did not mean to offend anyone by producing such a video clip. How can that be? I find it puzzling because the content of the video clip did not reflect his good intentions. Infact, I was very much offended by the lyrics which I felt mocked my religion.

I find it hard to accept that even after many, many years of co-existing with one another, there is still lack of understanding among the races. Living in a multiracial country we have to learn and respect each other’s customs and religions. That goes without saying. We are special in the eyes of the world not only because of the many similarities that we share but also because of our many differences. That is why Malaysia is so unique.

So in view of the coming Independence Day, let's be more understanding and tolerant of each other…only then can we truly embrace the spirit of MERDEKA!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Err...sorry, this space is not for you!

When you go out to shopping malls, finding parking spaces at the carpark can sometimes be a headache, if not most of the times. This is especially true if it’s the weekend or a public holiday. Some may decide to leave their houses early just so they can secure a parking space, often times reaching the malls 15 – 30 mins before they are open ( I admit having done this on several of my Ikea outings). Others on the other hand, decide to leave it to God and simply cruise the parking lot until they find a spot somewhere...hopefully before their petrol runs out!

On some of the occasions when hubby and I chose the latter, he would jokingly ask me if I would mind pretending to be an OKU or a handicapped. We could then easily zero in on the designated parking spaces for the handicapped which are often near to the entrances. This would of course be met with a death stare from yours truly.

I’ve often observed how many Malaysians ignore the signs reserved for the handicapped, and simply park their cars at spaces which are not meant for them. When reminded of this, some choose to feign ignorance whilst others claim that they’re just parking for a few minutes only. Whichever way, their actions are denying others who have the rightful claim to these limited spots.

So when I saw 2 cars being clamped this afternoon at a mall, for parking at spaces reserved for the handicapped, I have to admit feeling…how do I describe it ... somewhat pleased?? Finally…somebody is doing something. We need to be sensitive of others and not just think of ourselves. We need to be less selfish and more civic conscious. Lets champion the rights of the handicapped and be morally upright and caring citizens of Malaysia. It’s time we walk the walk and not just talk the talk!

Hannan's Pahang Adventure