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.

Hannan's Pahang Adventure