Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet memories, Asiapac2009

Bernard moderating Kirpal

Ben and Prof Muhd Haji Salleh at NZ High Comm dinner

Dennis at the NZ HC dinner

His Excellency David Kersey talking to James and Otto

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Aidul Adha

Selamat Hari Raya Aidul Adha.

We drove back to Raub after Isyak the eve of Aidul Adha, thinking the traffic jam would have eased up a little but 1 million people thought the same! We ended up spending 5 hours on the road (vs 2 hours).It was hard getting someone to open the door at 2 am! And I was all ready to surprise everyone with my Erra Fazira look (new wig).Everyone dah tidur mati.Luckily my mom was still awake (doing her solat at 2 am).I showed her my new hair-do and she went, "huh? why you look so different? what have you done to your hair?"

That was a good laugh at 2 am! :))

The following day ~ more responses.I just love doing stunts like this.My sis thought it was real.Others thought I look like Erra in Cinta Kolestrol (the fat version.Chis!!!!).Yang kelakar we had no maids this Raya (mine was with Zafirah) so I ended up cooking lunch.A sister who arrived late asked who's this long haired woman, cooking.Someone said Faridah's new maid and she saw me and imagine the uproar! (I used to wear ape mask to scare people!)

Anyway, back in KL I was pretty upset no one fed my daughter...
Luckily I had prepared some Brahim's meals for her.But Z has orang putih taste and rang me to ask if she could order O'Briens sandwiches...itu pun satu hal. Nasib we were away for a day only.

Sabar jelah!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's over!

Dewangga Sakti, playing traditional music at Islamic Arts Museum

The kids catching eels in the mud pool

the eels caught

agnes, posing at the paddy field

didgeridoo by local boys

Haji Burhanuddin on Upin and Ipin.In the panel were Amir Zekrgoo (Iran) and Zunar

Isabella (Manila), Carlotta (Arizona) and Tanja as their moderator

David (Kobe), Kit (Australian, living in Macau)
and Agnes (Hong Kong)

Carlotta, Isabella and Mark (Canadian, living in Hong Kong)
left: dennis (Perth), ben (New York), someone from aussie high comm

left: quayum, sudesh (Fijian, living in Melbourne), david (american, living in Kobe)

left: bruce (Sydney), kirpal (Singapore), lily (Manila)
and trish (bruce's wife)
ben in sabak bernam talking to some wak

batik painting with brad pitt.. er..mark

oh wow..what can I say except alhamdulillah that the symposium went well and it's over now?
Every day was a new adventure, new experience filled with thrills and uncertainties but the team's such a great team (from colleagues to students)

And our speakers and participants..looks like my prayer was answered.Ben said it was a great 4-day experience for him (he came with us to Sabak Bernam..bangun pagi and we didn't get back till almost midnite and he's got bad knees, bad ankles..such a lovely soul)

Carlotta who shared a room with me would not stop laughing at every new discovery we encountered and analysed...such a joy to have her as a roommate.She wrote a poem for me at the High Commisioner's dinner (so sweet).

Mark yang hensem macam Brad Pitt (the gals went goo goo gaa gaa) caught 15 ikan keli in the mud pool.I asked how come you are so good...he said he was so used to catching sweet.His beautiful wife from Hong Kong gave him a surprise visit, not knowing he would spend all day/nite at Sabak Bernam.

The homestay at Dorani was such a treat (the landscape was so relaxing..a real holiday for all.Agnes said she never had a real break like that for so long.I felt the same!) During the kuda kepang performance, 3 performers kena rasuk (in trance).It was quite a scary experience. We also had a hand at batik painting.My piece cantik.Ahem.

We were told later that kuda kepang, like Mak Yong and Wayang Kulit, is banned in Msia.Mana kami tau! Agnes and I masuk berlumpur (she fell in the lumpur..very funny) I taught some how to bersalam. It was so hilarious! Agnes was hopeless! But got it right in the end (and would not stop bersalam with everyone she met.Hahaha)

The performances (Zul was simply fantastic doing the poetic movement on the 2004 Tak Bai massacre), poetry readings at the Islamic Arts Museum, NZ High Comm dinner, CAC and lunch hosted by Malaysia-Australia Institute were all great.Amir Zekrgoo was so Rumi.

Prof Ibrahim Zein and Ben got into a heated discussion...the audience were amazed at the sharpness both had and their civility and restraint despite the seemingly brutal clash of civilisations.
Oh..the opening and intro by Prof Kamal Hassan was excellently delivered.We all had fun despite our multimedia presentation ada sikit minor error (Uni of Philippines became Uni of Manila but poor Fatehah and her friend had worked so hard..people loved the little video they prepared for the launching)

Day 4 yang paling best for me: sebab Marion and Zunar telah menunjukkan keberanian mereka sampai I felt my heart would drop every time they spoke! The real joy was when we could overcome fear (the imagined fear/the real fear).Zunar shared the session with Haji Burhanuddin towkay Upin and Ipin (who first started his career in O&G as Petronas engineer.It's amazing how he became so rich within a short span of time thru Upin and Ipin.He said no magic..if your product is good, people will buy.Also one must know one's market.Haiyo..I rasa product I no good sebab buku puisi I ada lagi 300 copies out of 1000.In 2 years.Promotion takda langsung.Must do more readings in public gamaknya)

Oh well...

Segala pujian yang kami terima kami pulangkan kepada Allah cos' without His izin, the symposium would not be so well received.Takbir!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Arrival

Bruce with Shahrul after his talk at DELL

Yes, it has started to get busier than usual as our delegates from abroad start to arrive.Last night, Bruce arrived (spoke to him this morning to arrange for his talk at IIUM.Quayum had to collect him cos' I had to go to the airport to collect Ben)

And it poured cats and dogs.Ben's flight was delayed (which made me nervous.I was afraid he missed the flight ke hapa ke..checked with MAS counter...the lady said he was onboard)

Rupa2nya delay in Bangkok (one old lady went missing..semua org dah masuk but she went missing while waiting for her wheel chair).Then at KLIA, Ben pulak didn't get his wheel chair (he's recovering from a broken leg).

David from Tokyo went missing cos' Shahrul arrived late (jam and hujan).Hadoi...the event BELUM lagi bermula...but David was nice.Dia tak mengamuk and apologised for not waiting.

Kemudian, sekitar 12 malam I got a missed call (I was praying masa tu).A lady was saying she's at the airport.We were not expecting any more arrivals.Pening kepala I fikir.Tanya Shahrul (who was on his way back from picking up Dennis at the airport) dia kata tak tau. Then I rang Mei, Mei said So Hee Lee from Seoul rang her.Ayo....I baru emailed dia for her arrival time.

Checked punya checked, rupa2nya her email about her arrival sent a few days ago was read by one of the comm members and somehow the transport comm missed the info.I too missed it.Luckily So Hee Lee had booked her room already so by the time I rang to apologise, she was laughing away and so forgiving.She was enjoying her tea. :))

Syukurlah but if it goes on like this the next couple of days, bukan je my jantung gugur but bak kata Mei, usus, hempedu, ginjal semua gugur.Besok lagi ramai.Ada yang sampai pukul 1 pagi!

Z started her SPM.Kesian dia.I should be holding her hand tapi apa kan daya...masa rancang symposium ni 2 years ago, tak ingat pun Z akan ambik SPM...may Allah forgive me for not being a good Mom.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meeting of friends

Well folks, my Nov. event is coming up (about a week to go).I should not be so nervous.After all it is a meeting of friends.Kita pun tak panggil VVIPs, only Deputy Rector (Rector's away).It should be fun.Less pressure cos' less protocol.

I think over the months especially as it gets closer, macam2 speakers have to withdraw.Ada yang sakit, ada yang spouse dia sakit, ada yang exam (fee dah bayar, flight dah booked), yang meninggal tu yang paling sedih (aruah Yasmin Ahmad).Thank God, we have very little difficulty replacing the best with another.Ini rahmat Allah.An excellent conference relies much on quality speakers.We try to observe that.

But as with many other events, we are also mentally prepared for hiccups, shortcomings.What is important is that there will be SOMETHING for participants to learn from/be inspired if not getting new friends.

To the team: best wishes!

Monday, November 09, 2009

In search of Mak Jah

Please congratulate me for driving back and forth Bagan Lalang for my office's IEEP (Kaossar read the map for me). Nik's outstation and could not drive me over on this long trip.

Theme kali ni health and fitness (in addition to monitoring our BSC and KPIs).Dr Anuar Suun and his team were loads of fun.We did aerobics, talks on healthcare etc.Wei, all staff should be educated on this.We did a session on CPR.The correct ways are:

1.identify dulu any hazard/harm before you touch mangsa.
2.Tepok2 bahu mangsa yang tengah pengsan
3.Panggil ambulance 999 and say where, who and how many need immediate medical attention.
4. Then start doing the rescuing bit (

We also did some team building activities and one of them was a treasure hunt.We walked some 5 km looking for clues and answers which included cooking and selling burgers by the Bagan Lalang beach.Ada juga cubaan nak menipu along the way. :))

My team lost (sebab puzzle kita susah) but we lost gracefully (akhirnya).Yang kelakar one clue that said "Mak Jah sedang menunggu anda." Woit, susah.Like zombies we went from one stall to another looking for Mak Jah.One chap said she's at so and so place (I was the first to be given the clue) so melompat2 pi lari mcm Asia Race kejar stall Mak Jah...only to be told she was not Mak Jah.Dr Wan was told this (at another stall), "Mak Jah dah 2 tahun meninggal...." and this (yet at another stall), "Mak Jah yang hitam atau Mak Jah yang putih?"

But we finally found her (her kedai was on the other side of the road).
Dr Anuar was so kelakar.We'll have him and team again to speak on managing back pain some time soon.

Seafood at Bagan Lalang sedap.Had sambal lala, ikan siakap and sotong bakar and drinks.Less than RM50 for 4 people! Mari bercuti ke Bagan Lalang!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cuci the Musical

We took our MASTERA friends out to Skybridge at KLCC (my first, too) and Aquaria.Then I rushed to talk to my PhD students and returned their essays.Then rushed back to Seri Pac to witness the signing of some docos by the 3 Country Heads.I was not in my working clothes.Malu...everyone was in their baju kerja.The guys were all in their suits.What to do, no time to change.Lodged a complaint against a staff of Triways who issued Ben's tic very2 late.Walhal I gave Eda the particulars MONTHS ago.I hate last min sloppy job like this.

Malamnya the group went to see Hans Isaac's Cuci the Musical.Initialy I didn't want to go (too tired too angry too pissed off with what took place at IIUM.I just wished people take their job seriously and IKHLAS!) Anyway Zaidah said tic had been bought for dgn baju pagi tadi, I went.Malu betul but no time to change.Pulak mlm ni the kerabat Perlis and other VVIPs dtg tengok so the crowd was huge juga.

It's fun, folks.I missed the movie but the play menghiburkan.AC Mizal, Adlin Shauki, Hans and Awie semua kelakar.Awie yang paling cute.AC over macam biasa but still funny.The songs are great too but lama sangat.Keluar after 4 hours.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Nusantara news

I'm at Seri Pacific to attend a long stretch of meetings on sastera Asia Tenggara.The Brunei team arrived today.Besok team dari Jakarta akan tiba.Sidang kali ini dijangka akan panas memandangkan keadaan yang agak tegang antara Jakarta-KL (atas isu2 budaya).

A teman from Brunei who just got back from Jakarta said he saw a banner that said," Ganyang Malaysia tetapi selamatkan Siti Nurhaliza."

Hahahaha, lucu banget tu!
Pasukan Majlis Sastera Asia Tenggara (of which I'm a council member) akan cuba memulihkan jambatan goyah ini melalui prog2 budaya nusantara.But harap2 gomen faham how sastera berperanan besar.Bak kata Dr Lim Swee Tin: jatuhnya Thaksin kerana kelompok sasterawan.Di Jakarta juga, sasterawan berpengaruh yang digunakan utk sentimen anti-Malaysia ini.

Harus respect sama sasterawan, dong! Mereka ini war makers atau peacebuilders.