Friday, December 26, 2008

Almost a new year

Sometimes (may be all the times for some) things happened without any planning or asking.

Hari ni, Swee Hai (my old university mate) sms-ed me saying he and his family will visit me (dah lama tak jumpa).I quickly sms-ed my caterer tanya boleh cater kah? :)) I hope Shahril will say yes.Kalau tak, I terpaksa turun ke dapur lagi.Will be inviting some close friends for an end of year reunion. 3 couples had confirmed yes.I paksa each bring a dish (in case Plan A tak menjadi).

Good and sincere friendship is a rahmat from Allah.These friends had gone through thick and thin with me. I remember the day Azura cut Jai's hair sampai nampak urat hijau Jai kat tengkok.Hahahah. Or Azah jadi makcik tukang urut while we were students in the UK and sharing girlfriends' secrets while students in NZ.

Ruzy pulak tukang support apa sahaja teori karut marut I.

Yang lain2 belum balik from hajj trip depa. We'll wait for their air zam2 and organise another lunch date. :)

Happy new year/awal muharram everyone. Semoga hidup kita sentiasa dirahmati Allah.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Looks of innocence.I liked!

Aik? Makcik pi kenduri pun bergayut on ph?

Meja Raja Shukri

Shukri jadi Raja

No news actually.My maid is still with my mom who isn't well. Xmas nanti kita pi ambik dia balik.Both maid and mom.Susah takda maid ni.I pulak tersilap urut and cannot walk properly.On painkiller now.Torture betul.

Dengan kaki tempang sebelah I managed to attend Shukri's wedding in Temerloh with Dr Saodah. Nik drove (tapi masa tu I ber-high heel sebab on painkiller, kan?No one would have guessed!)The groom was so happy we came.I didn't see our other colleagues.Tak patut betullah if they didn't go.Kita kena sama2 hormatkan hari besar kawan2 sekerja kita (Shukri is our technician.Dia banyak tolong I buat computer work.Orang berbudi, kita berbahasa.)

We missed the Temerloh's Pekan Sari Ahad (I was hoping to buy ikan salai) but we woke up late.Nak pi pasar lagi.

So yes.I masak.I iron baju.I siram pokok2 bunga.I cuci kain.Z and Nik ada juga tolong2. :)

There's a short story screaming to be written.But I can't remember what it is.But definitely last Friday it wrote itself in my head.

Ah well, it'll come back.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brunei Adventures 2

at our hotel

traditional dish (ambuyak)

the family on vacation

boat ride

In search of crabs

Kampong Ayer (lebih 600 tahun usianya)

Kampong Ayer Speed Boat (no speed limit)

light of lights



Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Brunei Adventures

Intelligent Muslim women
Most of the gals work at Pejabat Peguam Negara(AG's)

The traditional dinner we had at Aminah Arif in Serusop.
Ustaz Hanafi (TV personality but a senior HR Manager is an alumna)

Z spotted that 'anak damit' signage.Indeed there were many anak damit
onboard.Very noisy!

It was a bumpy ride home.My husband said the pilot was speeding. :))

We had a nice time in Brunei, mostly meeting people and making new friends.I had dinner with some 25 IIUM alumni in Brunei.I must say everyone has a good job (mostly with Pejabat Peguam Negara or Ministry of this and that.At the Pejabat Peguam Negara, IIUM grads make the majority of most employed other than UK grads.Woohoo.Canggih) I am so proud of them.Like most IIUM grads all over the world, they are well-sought after by organisations and employers. Syukurlah and I am happy for them.Many still travel to KL on weekends/short vacation cos' they miss our cuisines, etc. :) Will post some pics soonest Z is available (dia pi bday party malam ni).

I met up with En Suip and his wonderful wife Pn Laily and two of their kids (my contact through Dewan Bahasa).The eldest won a trip to Makkah for memorising 20 juz Quran (he's a hafiz).My daughter won a trip to Istanbul for memorising a Turkish song.Ahh..ternyata aku tersilap programme!
Hidayat the hafiz gave me and mom some air zam2, kuih muih traditional Brunei.His parents took us shopping and gave Nik a jubah (this family is so nice..we just met them but when we realised that my mother's medicine bag went missing while disembarking in KL, they helped trace it in Brunei and made sure the bag would be sent back to KL by tomorrow.I guess some people are born nice!)

I liked Brunei.It's so quiet and clean. The boat trip to Kampong Ayer was superb.I'd do it again.
We also enjoyed the museums.Biasa I jarang suka museums save for a few.I guess they have money to buy interesting stuffs.Ours is so cheap looking.Setengah tu gambar poster je (nampak sangat low budget). :))

Brunei is environment friendly.The Sultan tak kasi potong2 balak ke hapa ke.This is great news indeed.

Things to do if you are visiting over the weekends:

1.textile shopping (very da tax so materials are really cheap) Go to Delima Complex and visit Nazmi Textile Mall.Don't buy everything there cos' as you go along, there may be cheaper shops next door.We made the mistake of buying everything at one go...macam giler. :))

2.Kg Ayer is a must.We took a package holiday so tours are included but we found out that it's the same tour for day and night (konon yang malam versi malam) We cancelled that ...sapa nak repeat the tour? Nik kata ini sebab dah takda apa nak tunjuk in Brunei.Hahaha.They could have been more creative, these tour operators.Byk they can think of.Buat la traditional show ke, traditional pasar malam ke, etc.

3.We went shopping at Gadong Mall on our own.Di Brunei taxi tak banyak.You have to book early (maklum semua org kaya and have an average of 3 cars per household).En Suip and family met up with us (I didn't want to bother them but they had offered to take us out.Malangnya kita dah booked taxi pergi dan balik).

4.Things are cheap cos' no tax so you may want to buy gems or crystals here.But my friend said if we convert balik, sama je mahalnya. :))

5.I'd like to visit the kampongs outside the city.How much is still preserved?

6.Masjid Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah is also a must.Such a beauty!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya Aidul Adha

This year's pretty low key.I'm still in KL.Z has things to do till 6 pm tmrw.Maybe we leave for Raub after that.Then off we go to Brunei for our family vacation.Everyone laughed when we told them we were going to Brunei.It's more expensive than going to Bali.People from Brunei travel to KL to shop, etc.I know.I know.But my mom had wanted to go to Kg Ayer for so many years now.I'm taking her there, actually.Well OK...she offered to pay full fare but I will think about it.Hee hee.It's expensive going to Brunei.Everything is more than double cos' their currency is bigger than ours. I'll keep you posted of what fun we have there.If at all.We are going over the weekend je.I'm grateful to Allah cos' I'd get to see some IIUM alumni on the first day (I hope nothing goes wrong).I'm sure something good will come out of this visit.We are flying Royal Brunei, bukan Air Asia OK? And just so people don't think I travel on university money all the time, this is a personal trip, OK? :)

Anyway, I was in and out private hospitals doing my annual medical check up routine the last few days and was shocked to experience bad and inefficient services offered by at least two well-known private hospitals in PJ.I waited 4 hours to be served at one (I told them the government hospital would not be so bad.Even with appointment, I waited close to 1 hour for the doctor to arrive).Doctors datang lambat, nurses not attentive, equipment tak cukup, etc.Gosh, what is going on in this country??? Probably the best practitioners have left for more expensive private hospitals in KL, Penang etc.We have 7 star hospital now, kan? I wonder what that is like.Must ask Dr H who is working there now.

I met up with the Dietician after meeting up with my Cardiologist (who said my ECG and stress test came clear, alhamdulillah).I liked this sesssion.But I left without a prescribed diet.She said she'd email it to me but dah 2 hari, no news.Yup, that's Msian private hospital, folks.My daughter who's still undecided whether to do medicine or law might be inspired to do medicine now.

But for now, let's just say our syukur that we are still healthy and not too dependent on our hospitals.

Selamat Hari Raya buat semua.Semoga amal korban diterima Allah.Ingat pada yang tiada.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Interesting thought

The conference organised by my Dept went smoothly(handled by colleagues in the Linguistics wing.The Lit wing will hold ours next Nov, InsyaAllah) given the fact that we are in hard times (difficult to get sponsorships etc).There were papers which I had time for which I enjoyed (I was going in and out in between other commitments of the other office...was at Tan Sri Zeti's HSBC Amanah's launch..then rushed to listen to Tun Mahathir's keynote...what he said had inspired a few including our guest Prof from the USA who spoke along the same line the following day: just because you speak another language, it doesn't mean you are a different person)

I didn't want to pick a fight with Tun.He probably heard them all, anyway, on this language issue esp. on using English for Maths and Sci (which I don't agree with). But I will raise the issue on "we are still the same person" thingy with Prof Y (who will be at the Dept for another month).The whole discussion took me back to a lecture I once heard from Prof Naguib Alatas who said whatever changes one has (even other creations of Allah) would make one a different person.I asked his 'disciple', Prof Wan, what theoretical f/work is this.Prof Wan text-ed me back:

His framework rests on God's continuos creation of similar but not the same creation. Every instant new creation is being created, annihilated and recreated, it is not the same but similar object.

The question is: are we the same people when we know of another tongue (which sometimes is spoken more often than our own mother tongue).Tun and our Prof said we are.I argue we are not.Even the Quran says "Adakah sama orang yang berilmu dan tidak?" Language is ilmu (and this is Tun's argument but he seems to think ilmu comes ONLY in English which is the point of contention for most nationalists and intellectuals). For most post-colonial critics, we are concerned with the argument raised by Philipson who had for so long argued in his book Linguistic Imperialism on how English is packaged as a language of modernity, language of knowledge especially language of science and technology, etc.Most third world countries bite this bait and English teaching/learning becomes an industry.I'm not saying stop learning and teaching English (it's also my periuk nasi).What I don't like is we are marginalising or limiting our opportunities learning new languages (which include Mandarin, German, French, Turkish and ESPECIALLY Arabic).It's our loss if we are so besotted with just one global language.

If, according to Prof Wan, argument is made based on cultural-pragmatic lines and done in a narrow econ-political sense and that it's all made on a platform of power...huff and puff..intellectuals of this country still have a long way to go.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Time management

Soon I'll need a personal assistant 24/7 to manage my life! (without upsetting relatives) I think some cousin just slammed the phone on me today.Reason could be because I sounded so unwelcoming on the phone.They wanted to visit but Nik and I had been running around like zombies the last few weeks.We got home at 1 am last nite.Wedding then after the wedding ended at 10.30 pm, we rushed to Subang Jaya to attend a kenduri of Nik's close friend nak pi haji.I thought by 11 pm..the family would be tidur dah but no..people were still pouring in.Late comers like us!I told Nik's friend's wife: gimme pillow and sleeping bag..I'll sleep first cos' tak tau pukul berapa depa will masuk tidur..she laughed but understood the bond her husband had with the rest of the gang too.One wife decided not to attend cos' tau tak tau pukul berapa they would go home bila dah berkumpul gitu.As long as they are not gays..I tak kisah. :)) But Nik was thoughtful.We went home at 12.30 am (sampai rumah 1 am).Kawan2 dia yang lain mungkin lepak sampai Subuh! Hahaha.

The wedding was good too.Kak Siti (Datin Siti..I haven't gotten used to this) would never forget to put us on her invite list despite jarang berjumpa.When Dr. (Datuk) Yusoff Nook gave his speech on marriage/parenting/life in general (siap dgn poem from the movie Splendor in the Grass), it was quite touching, actually.If Z got married, I don't think I can say anything..dok sibuk nangis belakang pintu! (Nik pun sama, I think).Sungguh mengerikan.

This morning, Z who had started to be bored by idleness cos' it's sch hols..pressured me to teman her pi tengok High Sch Musical (Disney movie) Adoiii....I had planned to attend PENA's AGM...but knew that time with family pun impt juga...dah le semalam meeting NGO sampai pukul 5 pm.

On Friday my Liverpudlian 'groupie' worked on having a tea party just after Xmas.The meeting went very well too.We got ourselves organised.Finally!

Meanwhile, Dr. Jee prescribed me new drugs.Ouch!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Brother Mikaeel Jackson

Am no fan although as a teenager, me and friends used to dance to his music (Beat It! Beat It!) Zaman sesat. :))

But Michael's conversion to Islam has long been speculated.If the latest news is true, maka bertakbirlah kita. Sometimes when you read about other people's pain, you can't help but pray that they'd find peace through religion.If through Islam, lagi bagus. And strangely enough, those talented lot are the ones who suffer most. I like Leonard Cohen (Prince Charles pun suka dia) but he's one screwed up artist I ever know.Yahudi ni pandai buat lirik lagu, very poetic.Music dia pun selamba (suara malas: antara nak nyanyi and tak nak..itulah kelebihan dia) but sayang..hidupnya terumbang ambing.I hope he will find peace one day.And better music?
This is my fav.

My fav of Michael is this:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seremban retreat

Kelakarnya.I packed my bag for 3 days but we came back today.Was too busy to even know how many days I was going!

It was a nice retreat.We learned more about our organisation in the last 2 days.I loved my room, my bathtub, my shower.The welcoming basket of fruits and chocolate cookies were cool.I ingat I tersilap bilik...(tak biasa...terlalu lama jadi kuli batak)...I thought gal at counter tersilap bagi I Rector's room kaa apa kaa.Teringat nak rush downstairs pulangkan balik kunci bilik.Hahaha.Real kalut.

But yes, we had real good discussions going.I hope we can work our way around some of the concerns raised.Dato' Zaleha is one funny lady.We were talking about Prof Mawi calling me pseudo-IIUM alumnus. :))) Kelakar, but his work on disability (with Prof Asiah I guess) should boost up IIUM's intention to be all inclusive (part of the diversity culture I'd like to see happen at IIUM).

Yang kelakar Dato Z's account on terrestial vs territorial mindset. I nak tergelak besar betul on this.It's like ET vs Bush!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday lunch

Swabry text-ed me tanya khabar just before I left for Seoul. I told him I was so busy to catch up with the boyz after last balik raya trip but promised that soonest I could, we'd arrange for lunch at my place or something.

Yesterday Nik and I decided today would be a good day to get together so I sms-ed the 4 boyz and asked boleh datang ke tak.Except for Adnan who could only come after 2 pm, the rest said 1 pm was fine for lunch.

I googled for recipes last nite.Decided to cook Kenyan rice, Central African Republic's chicken stew, Palestinian's salad and Bosnian's dessert with ice cream. I didn't even know how some of these items looked like but I was willing to go on an adventure.My mom thought I was really 'rajin' to do all this. The truth is also Shahrir told me he couldn't cater for me this Saturday.Sat. ni dia cuti, Sunday OK.

When the 4 boys came, I asked if they recognised any of the dishes.Swabry knew right away (I was very happy with this..maknanya menjadilah tu).Yang lain tu blur2 sikit...Ali took some time before saying yes! African stew! Mahmoud pointed to the salad cos' he saw the olives (it was a wild guess...tomato pun silap potong.Mahmoud said it should be chopped smaller BUKAN potong seketul besar macam tu). Adnan buat2 lupa when he saw my Bosnian dessert.He said he knew looked right but he could not remember its name (mana tak..I gulung macam kuih ketayap!)

But you know what? Everyone loved their lunch! Sampai nak bungkus bawak balik (tapi dah habis).Berbaloi! (I love cooking but in a year, boleh bilang berapa kali setahun dapat masak untuk family and guests.No timelah).

Will post some pics soonest Z uploads them (me too malas to do this.Z dah start cuti)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kesian Obama!

his celebrity image

rupa mcm baik

Dia tak buat apa2 lagi, baru lantik si Emanuel tu (Rahim Iman Nur El).My american friend pun protested.He didn't vote for Obama, he said.Tengok je cara dia layan 2 orang Muslim women yang berdiri belakang dia tu dulu, he reminded (my fren ni bukan Muslim tapi semangat kuat!).

Kita tak faham cita2 Obama.His desire to be the first black American Prez is stronger than anything else.Kita rasa penaja dia puak2 tu le...dealnya..Rahim Iman Nur El.I told my American friends yang agak ragu2 dgn perlantikan Chief of Staff mereka ni, "I am not afraid cos' I know you guys will take care of America.Or the world will." The world will tu bukanlah berniat nak gertak.The world just will.Kita ramai, apa.Obama tu sorang.Habeh2 berdua dgn si Iman Nur El.

So kita tengok percaturan berikutnya.Relax, bro/sis.Yang penting you have two hensem men in White House now.Tak lama jatuh la tuh. Yang hudoh pun jatuh. :))

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Al fatihah

I must record this of a mentor, also a friend who passed away last week. We met online through Sang Kancil Forum way back in the mid 90s. Our political discussions were always fun and a learning session for me (cos' he had served 3 PMs and had a lot to share) and although we did not subscribe to the same political persuasion, we shared similar concerns about arah tuju bangsa Melayu.

One day, bored with writing my PhD thesis (I was finishing the last couple of chapters from home), I asked Dato' B if he had any part time job for me.I needed the distraction to keep me sane.He was then the President of an NGO.They were looking for someone to head a project and he asked if I were keen on joining.It was of cos' voluntary work.No money involved.I didn't mind.I just wanted something new other than writing a big fat thesis. Naturally, I said yes!

So began a r/ship with a community.When I left the organisation (I had to return to REAL work upon finishing my PhD), I would still occasionally write to Dato' (who also left the NGO the following term due to health prob) either for poltical comments or ucap selamat hari raya. The last time I wrote to him was last year when I asked if he had any friend/relative in the US who would be able to advise me about living in the USA as I prepared myself for my Fulbright stint at Cornell. Dato' B introduced me to Haji Zaidon, his close friend (who was with him during their PTD stint but had migrated to the US). It was Haji Zaidon who told me of Dato' B's demise last week.The funny thing is, even the NGO he once headed didn't know that he had passed away.But Haji Zaidon told me there were a lot of people who visited.He was well-liked by everyone, across age.Memang aruah tak byk cakap dan tak suka mengata orang.Kalau menegur, tak sampai orang berasa hati (I know cos' kita selalu bercanggah pendapat! He would be so diplomatic when he put forth his opinions.Ini cara orang lama.A true gentleman.I would always remember his gentle ways in dealing with people, his humility).

Dato' B (or 'Enda' as he preferred to be called), you will be sadly missed.Al fatihah.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Global HR Forum 2008

Electrifying! Jack Welch was superb in his teleconferencing with us! This man is amazing! And so humble and so sharp too (for his age!) He was so sure Obama would win and shared with us his latest article on Obama on how he won (results belum keluar, pakcik ni dah confident!).Obama has the 4 Es, he, energising others, edge and execute.He said Obama pandai cari new markets during his campaigns.While Clinton went to big cities (maybe thinking the rich middle class would make great supporters), Obama went to small places..Montana, etc.Itulah kelebihan dia...and he knows how to woo the media.McCain benggung tu buat kejutan and something media tak suka is kejutan (by choosing Palin).Kelakar gila orang tua ni.But it was a joy listening to him.He's so witty and funny.Someone asked who was his greatest influence.He said his mom cos' when he was young, he had speech impairment (gagap gamaknya but I thot suara dia macam kartun..I thot cos' of his age) but his mom would always say, takpa Jack, it's just your brain is too fast for your tongue.And for that he gained a strong sense of self confidence and he was comfortable with older people (sebab he's a single child to a mom who gave birth at 40..manja habislah and of cos' he'd grow up with old people!) Becos' of that he was always in his teachers', bosses' good books.

I was reminded how to treat young minds like this...mesti boost their self esteem, etc.

The session on East Asian (Korean, China and Japan) changing working culture was good too.And another on the need for organisations to have career development and talent management progs for their staff (which are lacking in the Asian setting even in countries like Japan and South Korea).Nanti kita tau nak advise budak2 bila cari kerja tu, carilah yang ada sound prog on career dev and talent management (so far SHELL je yang beria-iya).

Then the discussion on the millenia generation's attitude towards work.Depa ni no longer prioritise monetary gains but internal rewards lagi penting (engagement with work, work must be fun and challenging, etc).I thot eleh..dalam keadaan ekonomi sekarang, teori mcm ni tak leh pakai punya.If the economy is stable, maybe boleh tarik harga.

What I liked about today's findings is the fact that the world will need more social scientists and people from Humanities to bring us out of our rut (creative talents who have humane values are needed as human relations becomes more impt than money that pours in.One speaker said do not mistake someone who can bring in a lot of money as someone who has good leadership).

We also confirmed our observation of Korean civil society: orang2 dia memang baik (jenis stop and tanya apa masalah kita if we look lost with map in the hand.Unbelievable).Also tadi this organiser bawak kita masuk seat bagus w/hal we were not invited to the special keynote addresses (full house, some 800 people from all over the world) He susah payah cari kita 2 seats kosong.Baik hati sungguh!

Anyway, a Korean journalist came and bagi salam.She spoke Arabic (although not a Muslim).Like China, Korea is picking up Arabic more than us in Msia! (cos' of the trade demand with the Middle East).I am determined to go back to my Arabic lessons now (dulu berhenti sekerat jalan sebab tutor tu dok ngajar bilang satu sampai sepuluh for almost 2 months.I bosan!Tak kan I was so benggap??)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Greetings from Seoul

at Itaewon, mcm pinang dibelah dua
(I bought the hat from the Korean lady)

Seoul Philharmonic Orchaestra

Pink Restaurant for Ewha students (Ewha is the
largest woman's uni
in the world.It is 122 years old)

Autumn, on our way to Seoul Arts Centre

optical changes colour depending
on where you stand

It's the same painting as above.Magic!

Mackcik dengar lagu budak2 ni main...beg mengkuang tu buatan Msia.
I gave it away as a gift to my Korean friend (Soonja)

Sapa pulak buat khianat ni? I wanna update, everything is in Arabic! Me no read or speak Arabic...yet.

Anyway, alhamdullilah the jinxed South Korean trip seems to be fine as Aldila and I arrived safely yesterday.This was what happened:

1.It started with Dr. June.This was supposed to be her trip.Her conference since she's in Career Services. She wanted me to accompany her.I was a bit too lazy to travel again so soon.So Dr A got nominated.Halfway, J pulled out due to some circumstances(by then I had agreed to join after learning about Sachs and Jack Welch coming etc.Nak juga belajar dari big corporates ni.After all, all 3 of us will be dealing dgn issues concerning grad. employability, industrial links etc).Then we got busy with the raya and iftar progs and the chapter launch in China.A day before we flew to Seoul (as I was busy teaching my last class and discussions with my PhD students, terlintas di kepala pasal registration).

2.Found out that no one had registered us for the conference! The deadline's over for about a week now.After class, I quickly emailed the organiser.Koreans being Koreans, so efficient and civil,I managed to convince the organiser to send the registration forms and emailed them back after office hours.There was no confirmation of acceptance yet.The organiser kata nak check dgn boss dia dulu.We took the risk and flew anyway (luckily I had arranged to meet the Director of Global Affairs of a women's uni and another research meeting with my Korean friends prior to the conference.I thought if I missed the conference, at least I had two equally important meetings.But I was determined to fight my way through the conference upon arrival.I told the organiser I'd go to their office and pay up the special lecture fee upon arrival).

3.The other jinx was: Aldila rang me on day of departure to say that she may not be able to join me on the trip sebab she sprained her ankle and her toe got really swollen! I just went whaaat?? I'm not going alone on this trip.I was not even in the pic. in the first place. I was trying to make the trip worth more than it is..with the two meetings I arranged.Haiya...Anyway I told her pi check with the doc and ask the fitness to travel.If you need to be on a wheel chair, be on it but I want you with me (polite tone). Thank God, she sms-ed me after her visit with her doc that it's OK to travel and that a wheel chair was not needed. Smile.

So here we are...plodding along with our plans.We met the conference secretariat yesterday (the conference venue is just across our hotel..initially we were told our hotel was some 10 km away.Itupun satu jinx!) and they were impressed with our determination! Hahaha.Syukur alhamdulillah we'll get to attend our sessions and I pray that we'll come back, inspired.

We were in Itaewon looking for halal restaurant/s last nite.Took the subway across the river.Itaewon is on the other side of Seoul.Very happening place.Very lively and so global.So many Africans too.I'm curious why they are in Seoul.What business? Got to eat bryani at a Pakistani restaurant near the mosque.The Africans have their African restaurant too.Music was good.Almost like in the Carribean.Will find out from Soh Hee (who I will meeting today to discuss my woman's research cluster project) about the African link.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Last to leave

Z left this morning for her national English Debate Competition in Newcastle (Kota Bahru).Funny how she returns to her dad's kampong and not knowing anyone there! I nak call sapa2 suruh tolong tengokkan pun I know no one! (or they are all too old and not mobile). Nik is in Spore.He left yesterday. By 4 pm, he was already at Arab Street, buying me Italian silk.Hahaha. He's so sweet.Tak suruh pun!
I am, the last to leave home (my flight is at 8 pm).Ini pun satu jinxed trip.Will write about it once things are in order upon arrival.
I pray that my girl will do well in what she enjoys doing.I hope she gets to speak! (she helped the team win 4 rounds at the state level).The current arrangement pelik sikit.One of the coaches is so set on getting back the Wira Cup (she has a good track record too so I guess Z is right, just trust her teacher's judgement) that it is decided that if the first chosen 3 perform well, the rest will not get to debate (there are 7 in the team). Sometimes we get carried away with the desire to win that we forget the whole process of nurturing (if I were the teacher, I'd give everyone a fair chance to compete cos' it's part of nurturing, giving all 7 young minds the platform to be confident, experience new things, be part of the real thing etc). What I find remarkable in my gal is her teamwork spirit.
I'd like to think that she learnt that from me. Hahaha.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Raya katak 2

What a kelakar day.

I observed my appointment time with my eye surgeon today.He came almost an hour late.Those who know me will know how fanatic I can be with time. I lewat tak pa.Orang tak boleh. :)) I lewat pun tak la sampai dekat sejam!

I was about to walk out and go to another eye specialist sebab dah bosan dgn excuse, "He's on his way", when Mr. Late Guy came in. Iya ke dia ni UK trained , I terfikir2. Tak pernah I jumpa British grad mcm ni.Usually they would arrive like 10 mins early or earlier than that.Tapi I saw the paper cuttings on the wall.He's well-known. I saw the certs he hung up his wall.Uh huh..genuine looking. The clinic also very posh-posh..semua carpeted.Nice decor. Kat second floor jual designer glasses.

He apologised but I had to express my disgust, kan? I kata let me calm down dulu before I can speak civilly.I counted to 10, breathed in and out.Lepas tu basuh dia betul2.Macamana buat biz if he has no respect for his client's time, how could any patient trust him kalau lambat mcm ni teruk bla bla bla. He said have an accent..were you trained abroad? (nak ambik hati la konon)...I kata that is not important (wah...garang!) and went on about observing time and having respect for other's.

After we reached our stabling point, we went on with biz.He was smart he did not 'menjawab' balik.Ketidak, memang I walk out! Anyway, memang he's good.Smile.So there's nothing wrong with my eyes..perfect eyeballs, syukur.Retina masih bagus.Pressure OK. alhamdullilah.Reading glass tu mesti sebab faktor tua. So I pun buat la yang baru punya.Cari yang murah sebab I know setahun dua dah kena ganti lain. Frames lama pun menimbun2.

Then I went to my fav. restaurant.Ate more veges, less rice.Lepas tu clinic rang to say depa terlupa nak bagi eye drop gel (dalam hati I ..apa punya kalut la clinic ni) Nasib I was still in the neighbourhood.

So lepas lunch, I went back.Ingat kena tambah lagi duit.Guess what? Not only was the eye drop cheap, they also refunded my consultation fee (some RM80) sebab Dr. datang lambat for me.Sungguh tak sangka! I told the attendant, "Tell Dr. C, he can be late again for my appointment next time!"

So I went shopping with the extra money.Came back and cleaned the house a bit.Picked Z from school. This is indeed a luxury.Usually I have no time to pick her up from sch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Raya katak

Finally I get to take my annual leave (2 hari je.Today and besok) Waaahh..sakan.

Bangun je terus pergi treadmill.Chinese guilt conscious. Lepas tu pi jumpa Dr Jee buat cholestrol test (next week baru tau). I am very determined to watch my diet. Nik's friend died just like that at 49 a few days ago.We suspect heart problem.

After that, pi checked mata (aging is bad on me at 45).Definitely going for multifocal now.Besok I jumpa eye surgeon tu to confirm.

Lepas tu singgah at my fav restaurant.I didn't submit to nasi dagang, nasi lemak, ayam goreng but went for meehoon goreng.No meat.Just taufu.Cina depan I tu satu keluarga ordered nasi dagang.Sigh.

Lepas tu pi tukar cermin my Chinese wall paintings.I decided to walk instead of driving to the doorstep.

So far so good.

Lepas tu pi spa.Ginger scrub, sauna and massage satu jam.Fulamak...hanyutttt.

Berita kurang menggembirakan: am attending a raya open house and I know there's going to be a lotttttttttt of food.Finger tapping.What do I do? Tak pergi, tak sopan.

Can I resort to mushroom soup je and June's fabulous buns? (masak sendiri, usually served hot and fresh from the oven).Sanggup I makan buah2an sahaja? Finger tapping again.

To live.Or to die.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Deepavali!

As always, our Deepavali lunch was at Datuk M's choice restaurant (tiap2 tahun berubah).Some politicians were sighted.In fact we sat with one.Arrogant macam some UMNO politican jugak! Raja Petra was right when he said nak cari politician baik samalah macam nak cari a virgin prostitute! But those who sat at the table tibai habis this new MP. They reminded him the rakyat put him there to see change. Teresa Kok pun ada.Dulu sebelum jadi MP, she went to see my husband at his office.Sekarang dah tak kenal. :))

Anyway, life goes on and the rakyat will continue to monitor gerak geri those who are chosen to make this country a better place. Bak kata Raja Petra, we do not want to wipe out BN totally.What the country needs is a strong opposition.

Happy Deepavali, all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Of Chinese foods, cultures and landscapes

Dr. Norizah in the precinct of a 14th century Xi'an mosque

fan heater
VIP Building's garden
Look at the size of the uni's library!

alumni launching dinner in Xi'an

snow-capped mountain, early autumn

a mosque in the middle of nowhere

another mosque. somewhere
(signboards were all in Chinese)

halal pigeon

pancakes came from China, not the USA/UK/Europe!

this is how you eat your Chinese popia

er...the forbidden tuna sandwich

another big lunch, overlooking the Yellow River (magnificent view)

dinner show

a bit of mayang diulek

more of it

cantik and colourful

Cerita Cina I belum selesai. :))

Too many pics to be uploaded.What you see here is all you get to view.Sorry, but gue sibuk with so many things.

Dr. Musa took us to a classical Chinese musical/dance performance (dalam alim2 dia tu, he remains a man of culture). It was a dinner show but yup, no dinner for us (under strict supervision by Dr. Musa.We had another huge halal dinner before the performance, elsewhere).It was a fantastic evening.Some pics. Also some of the meals we had throughout our stay in China (from Beijing to Xi'an to Lanzhou).Terracota pics and pics of Xi'an beautiful mosque are not with me (cos' my battery died on me in Xi'an and I suspect I left my charger at Parkroyal Penang.Dr Yusuf had kindly bought me a new charger in Lanzhou).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Faces of China

2 hours away from Tibet (round sunglasses are fashionable here)

natural beauty

a look of faith

hard work but happy

single child

You will have to be patient as I try to find time to upload pics from my various travels (and adventures) in China. This includes going across a small river in a rural area in an Audi! (my other colleagues were in a BMW and a jeep!) I love Chinese countrysides.At one point we were only 2 hours away from Tibet! The mountains had traces of snow.

The friends we made and met..fulamak...simply inspiring.Aldila and Norizah and I had fun, learning new things.The guys took care of us (esp. our bags!).Dr. Musa (they had nama2 nabi: Ishak, Isa, Daud, Musa, Yusuf, etc) is very religious.Sandwich tuna pun dia tak kasi I makan!(I was very hungry masa tu). Once he was out of my sight, I bought it and shared it with Aldila (who was also very hungry). Hahaha. Tapi malu dgn saudara mara seIslam kita ni ..they speak fluent Arabic and observe the 5 prayers. Hadis2 cair kalau berbual dgn mereka.China is a bit relaxed now with diversities and the Muslims in China are free to practise their beliefs.You'd be surprised to know how rich the country is.Their cities sprawl (some bigger than NYC or cities in affluent Western countries).I don't see people starving (in fact they have too much to eat!) It's becos' they live off the land. They grow their own fruits, vegetables, rice, wheat, etc.They rear their own livestock.The people we moved with were great meat eaters. I dread waktu makan cos' I could not eat so much (there would be close to 40 dishes at one go).

Met our alumni.They are all doing very well.Ada yang control makanan halal for the whole of China.Anyone who wishes to be linked to Chinese biz community, pls beep the IIUM alumni office.We'd be happy to assist you.On the plane pun a rep. from Sime Darby dah minta kita put them in touch with our Chinese link (towkay lombong arang batu pun member kita...Dr. Aldila will be happy to assist you on this).