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).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Greetings from Beijing

halal restaurant in Beijing

magnificent view!

autumn up the Great Wall of China

We arrived yesterday but our schedule is very2 tight.I received an email from someone saying kurang tidur boleh sebabkan kematian.Tak sempat baca pun! (was watching a very interesting interview on Hardtalk on Obama.Former Adviser of National Security tu memang smart orangnya.I must google up more about him.Zbigniew Brzezinski .Very2 sensible man).

Beijing? Toilet dia kotor. We saw glimpses of what China is famous for.Great Wall..yes, we went up (without the cable wish!Hahaha).Would you believe me if I say I only get my break during trips like this? Up the mountains, I had my moments of peace and tranquility.

We went to Tiannanmen Square.The walk was lovely. Saw briefly the Olympics stadium.Makan mewah kat sini (our guide is a Muslim Prof).Whoever the Nabi sent to this race in the past had his doa answered.Negara ini banyak punca rezeki.Pokok2 buah bermacam2 dan sedap.

Work begins today.Flying off to Xian pagi2 buta lagi.

Catcha later.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Single Mothers

Yesterday I chaired a forum on single mothers. There were many reps from various women's groups: from researchers, NGOs, Ministry's.Bagus meeting ni.At least the women now know where to get assistance when it comes to training to empower themselves/to be financially independent.

I sat with a lady from flat sentul.Very young single mom (tapi anaknya 4 atau mungkin 5). She told me of another old couple (in their 70s) who live on ihsan orang.No kids, no source of income and when the wife went to Baitulmal for financial assistance, she was told she could not get it cos' she had a husband.But my husband is bedridden, she said.No, said the person at the counter, you must bring him over (cakap pulak dgn suara tinggi).

I thought shucks! Budak2 yang deal dgn hal2 macam ni should be trained how to communicate kindly! So sampai sekarang the couple takda apa2 assistance.I tanya how do they eat, etc.Lady ni kata jiran India dia tolong.Nak pengsan I dengar.Jiran2 Muslim? She just shrugged.I find this so sad.

Time mcm ni I rasa I should have followed my heart when I wanted to be a journalist after SPM.Kalau I jadi journalist, I would tulis pasal ni sampai I see change! But as an academic, I can still do that, I guess. Zubin, Dr Bubbles, if you are reading this, moh kita buat something.I invite others as well esp. IIUM alumni. Duit zakat yang depa bagi tu (RM200) mana cukup.I think cases macam ni byk kat poor urban areas.Dulu masa my NGO pi ziarah flats kat Jelatek, macam ni juga.

Zubin, kekadang I rasa benda2 arty crafty ni on its own is a luxury.It has to be for a cause.I think I have come to a point in my life when I feel I have not lived/given enough.

Single mom issue ni bukan hal orang perempuan je.The guys/boys have to be educated juga (that they don't treat women badly esp. in their marriage/after divorce).Tapi semalam tu I tengok audiencenya semua perempuan..preaching to the already converted.

I wonder if we should criminalise irresponsible men yang tak bayar nafkah and just leave their kids to the women after divorce (enforcement takda).Kat Spore I'm told, lelaki jenis ni kena tangkap and dipenjarakan (kalu tak bayar nafkah).

I also wonder if the reason why the government is not serious about isu ini kerana law makers/policy makers are mostly men and possible offenders (jenis suka kawin 2-3 orang tapi tak bertanggungjawab).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yesterday's news

Today's newspapers would always carry yesterday's news, betul tak?

Anyway, I have to record this down in case I forget.

I sat on an interview panel yesterday (15/10/08) for a prestigious international Fellowship (dengan orang putih 2 orang).Wahhh..applicants very impressip (one phone interview with a candidate in Japan).I had a nice time in the Q&A.Tiba2 I macam pandai pasal International Trade Law and FTAs and AEC matters. For 6 applicants, it lasted 4 hours. Masa I interview applicants tu, I pun imagined myself sitting in API Fellowship panel.Kalau ada interviewer tak banyak tanya, maknanya applicant sah tak dapat.Kalau ada juga interviewers byk tanya, itu semua courtesy nak cover line. Hahaha.So it's hard to guess I dapat ke tak API tu lah.I rasa tak dapat! Waaa... (results keluar Feb. next year).

Balik rumah close to 10 pm cos' I got stucked in the jam (hujan).Maghrib pun at Nik's cousin's place (nak balik tak sempat). Sambil2 visit hariraya. Had not seen Noni for ages (walhal we live not too far away from one another).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hall of Fame: Congrats IIUM!!!!

Wah..I just got to know! IIUM is the first university in Asia Pacific and the first organisation in Malaysia to be inducted into the Hall of Fame for our BSC achievements. Read here

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pulau Pinang

The conference was good.A lot of new tricks for my alumni work and I made many new friends. Met up with a few old ones (yup..I made Sharifah's mom cook...banyak, sampai tak termakan2!). Zairi and Hamimah pun ada.Tak sangka pulak Hamimah ni kuat menyanyi.She mc-ed the event.There would be a tune from her with every intro. :))

I accidentally took home Parkroyal's hotel directory (a thick leathered file).
I hope they won't charge me/organiser.Dah cakap dgn Zairi I will return it to the KL branch.Patut bag I berat! I was wondering apalah USM ni bagi file berat sgt ni.Balik rumah tengok hotel punya directory..siap dgn postcards, writing pads, visit penang brochures, etc.Hahaha.I had a pile of documents/papers on top of the directory.During the check-out rush, I bungkus EVERYTHING.Satu kerja la pulak nak pi KL branch tu.

The conference: small and comfy.We had a nice time discussing how to engage our students/alumni in our events/activities.Dato Farid of MAKNA pun ada.We decided to have him run a workshop for us pasai fundraising ni as a follow-up act. Consultant dari Canada tu punya fee katanya USD50K.Clients dia everywhere in the world.Nak ke Msian uni. spend that much?
But we all agreed that Alumni Relations is not about money.It's about building human ties.Selebihnya adalah 'by the way'.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Back at work

Everyone is invited to our event on 8th Oct at 8 pm, CAC, IIUM.Admission is free (tickets by donation) and the prog. book will be sold at RM3.Almost like free, kan? Sedekah sebab kita tau students bukan golongan berada.Some.

Lepas tu I'm off to Penang.Work, work, work. I should be grateful there's employment for me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Raya pics

Day 1: raya breakfast at my mother's with the boyz

Day 1: Z with Benny at my 3rd sister's home

Day 2 at my eldest sister's (with some of the clan)
river boyz

saying the doa at my sister's grave

rumah kampong (my aunt's)

eating jambu air

Adnan melemang

Ali pun nak cuba

Swabry pun

Mahmud paling suka makan lemang

Some Raya pics.

We had a joyous one.Partly because the 4 boyz we took home balik kampong were talented lot.Ali (Central Africa) could recite the Quran, read beautiful and touching doas as well as dance African dance (while barbecuing...hahaha), Adnan (Bosnia) boleh baca Quran in such a melodious voice, Swabri (Kenya) does martial arts, Mahmud (Palestine) pandai cakap Melayu.We took them melemang, baca takbir in surau and visit ailing aunts and uncles in the kampong.

Ali kata kampong kita macam kampong dia but kampong dia masih ada singa, binatang macam kat safari tu lagi.Mak I suka dia sebab dia hormat orang tua.Yang lain2 tu pun my mak suka sebab pandai baca Quran.