Sunday, August 31, 2008

On My Anniversary

What did I do on my wedding anniversary?? Well... a drive to Concorde Shah Alam for a much deserved high-tea (minus the kids of course).

Bread pudding. Yummy!

...and what did hubby do on the eve of our anniversary??

1. Went for his 2-5am night patrol of our housing area

2. Came back after his rounds with stories of how a suspicious looking car (possibly robbers') rammed into the palang placed at one of the exit points at our housing area after being in hot pursuit by a radio car on patrol. In an attempt to escape, robbers rammed pole at full speed causing windscreen to be broken to smithereens... hopefully sustaining serious facial/brain damage along the way.

Though robbers were seen leaving the housing area with what's-left-of-the-car... they did leave however their road tax lying on the be picked up by our night patrol on duty...which was of course handed to the police. Hurrah!

El Stupidos getaway route which backfired BIG time!!!

A big chunk of the windscreen left by the roadside

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Keeping A Promise - Stories from the Holy Land Part 2

I promised I'd do this. At a family gathering about a month ago, my uncle Famy who had read my earlier entry on Stories From The Holy Land, pointed out that I had missed out two important scenes/incidents that happened during our umrah trip in May. Both were equal in hilarity and will forever be etched in our minds.

A Fetish For Chicken Mandi
When we were in Mecca, most of our meals were taken at the hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were simple meals eaten within the confines of our small dining area, in the company of other umrah performers.

In was not until the third day in Mecca, that we ventured out to the more modern, swanky and upscale area of... Hilton Hotel. We had completed our second umrah just slightly after noon and instead of returning to our hotel we decided to stay close to the vicinity of Masjidil Haram and wait for Asr. Since we had not eaten lunch yet, we walked across to Hilton in search of some grub and soon found ourselves at Al Tazaj - a takeaway restaurant that specialised in Arab cuisine.

Hubby and uncle soon placed our order, guided by the colourful menu displayed behind the counter. Feeling slightly adventurous, they bought an array of delectable dishes which included pitta bread , salads and savoury rice. Since it was a takeaway restaurant, we discovered there were no tables and chairs to be seen anywhere at the establishment. What we did notice though, were several small Arab families sitting on the floor enjoying their own Al Tazaj takeaway meals...and they looked quite comfortable doing it too!

So throwing caution to the wind, we too found ourselves sitting cross-legged on the floor. Me and an aunt still garbed in our telekung whilst hubby and uncles in their ihram- oblivious to our surrounding as we dug into the delicious Chicken Mandi and Chicken Kabsa. None of the Arabs gave us a second look. But we did see some eyebrows raised from fellow Malaysians, who must have thought we were bonkers for doing so. Very unMalaysian we were I'm sure, but as the saying goes "When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do".
Chicken Mandi - my favourite!

The Golden Lounge
Another memorable incident was at Jeddah just hours before we flew home. We were at the airport and discovered that there weren't that many seats available for us while we waited for our flight. The only place vacant was the curb which eventually became the parking area for several families. Hence dubbed our Golden Lounge. And like many other Golden Lounges, it would be incomplete if it didn't have the prerequisite beverages and snacks for weary travellers like us. And ours came in the form of a very friendly Indian man who pushed a trolley laden with the necessary cold fizzy drinks, hot coffee/tea and confectionary galore. Though we didn't get our teh-tarik... there was still enough supply of drinks and tidbits to kick-off Uncle Famy's 4?th birthday at midnite.

A novel way of getting the tea to be frothy minus the "tarik"

So we may have not had the luxury of Hilton, nor received the Golden Lounge treatment, but in the company of those we love and enjoy, the experience and moments shared (even if they involved sitting on hard floors) are without a doubt priceless and meaningful to us in more ways than one. This simply justifies the old adage that It is not where you are that's important, but who you're with.... or something like that ;)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our Petrosains Outing

Here's what we did over the celebrate the joint birthdays of hubby and no 4 - Safia

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday Gone Awry

I can think of better ways to spend my Saturday mornings. Like sleeping-in, something I've not done for years since having children. Or taking the kids out to the mall as soon as the doors to the entrance open at 10.30a.m (am allergic to crowds...and usually avoid them by going early and leaving just as the midday visitors start trailing in).

Anyway, just as I thought I'd finally have a Saturday off, after having to work every Saturday for the past 2 months...word has it that me and colleagues have all got to come in...urgh!!..for an in-house training.

So there I was, yesterday... physically there but mentally and spiritually at home..all curled up in bed. I sat in the room with pen and paper (handout) and soon found myself doodling away, as I often do when bored. The talk was on ... something like..ways to make teaching and learning effective. Pretty impressive topic...very useful for the likes of me...those invloved in education. But unfortunately though, the man in my personal opinion, failed to deliver in an effective way. We (yes the victims - colleagues and I) spent endless hours listening to him go over nearly every line in the handout and oh...did I mention he had us read out the passages loudly.... only to come up with this in the end "OK...what's her/his problem?" "Yes, pronunciation, modulation, pitch" bla bla bla. Hey! we already know some of us have problems with our pronunciation, modulation, intonation you've clearly pointed out earlier at the beginning of the session. So why is there the need to tell us over and over again?

It didn't help that some of his remarks toward us were quite condenscending at times. Something like we can be at a better place than this, bla bla bla. Look Mr Consultant-Anglophile-Know-It-All...I'm proud of what I do...and my being here and not in some institution or college or university, does not make me any less of a person or educator for that matter. If there are a few things that I'm proud of... it'd be my family and the work that I do. And my being here is a conscious decision and not some last choice I can't get any other job thing.

So, this Ms No-I-Will-Not-Let-People-Talk-Down-To-Me just had to stand up and defend her vocation which she feels passionately about. And she did. Annnddd Mr Consultant-Anglophile-Know-It-All went on a tirade about him being a busy man globe-trekking and all and having to come down to our(?) level.. hah?.. gosh I can't even remember what he said and all...only that at the end he said I should go to Oxford University like him. Hah??? Go to Oxford University and turn out like him?? No thank you!! Well Ms No-I-Will-Not-Let-People-Talk-Down-To-Me could have continued with the repartee and lashed out at Mr Consultant-Anglophile-Know-It-All, but she is reminded to hold her tongue and not stoop to the level of the pompous #$#%@!*. Since earlier that morning at 4 plus she had woken up early to perform her Tahajjud prayer... and had among other things asked God for the virtue of patience, something which she feels she clearly lacks. And in that room at that time, Ms No-I-Will-Not-Let-People-Talk-Down-To-Me told herself that God wanted to test her patience. Therefore He sent her Mr Consultant-Anglophile-Know-It-All.

Yes, that's my Saturday gone awry.

Hannan's Pahang Adventure