Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Riverside luncheon

Finally it's done: the luncheon Prof Quayum and I were supposed to host for our Faculty/Kulliyyah.At first it was all screwed up: wrong date, bad venue.Thanks to Eda's cleverness, we changed the venue to the Riverside and despite so many people being away on all sorts of mission, we didn't waste any food.I am so grateful to Allah tiada pembaziran.

Satu majlis yang berlangsung ikhlas.Everyone said the food was superb (quote of the day went to Dr. Hafiz who said, "Even the buah limau is sedap." Hahaha, he's so genuine).

I have 3 more events to go: Sunday with the neighbours and family members, Jan 7 with the Dept and maybe with some friends at Mazidah's ice cream parlour at the Pavilion.Oh ada hutang dgn Dr. Shukran lagi. :))

Friday, December 24, 2010

Al fatihah Dr Marzuki

You were a friend who knew
no anger
no grudge
no malice

I see you laughing as Nik and I are lost in our hysteria
of our hatred of a shared enemy
you listen but do not join us
as we entertain our bad thoughts of this common other

you laugh when we laugh
we feel you are on our side
we love you for that

I can always confide in you stories of my anger, my frustration (with Nik in the background, encouraging with his two horns) whenever I bump into you at uni functions and dinners
again, you never add, you never subtract
you listen, you smile, you laugh

I feel you are on my side again

I have lost that kind soul
who is a friend to everyone
enemy to none

Farewell Dr Marzuki, may Allah bless you and give you jannah
(Al fatihah)

** Allahyarham Dr Marzuki was the Dean of Admission and Record at IIUM who passed away today after collapsing at work ..after a meeting with Deans and Dep Rector (heart attack) He was just touching 50, I think.May Allah grant him the best in jannah. Nik in this piece is a mutual friend, not Nik my husband. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Year end

Phuiyoo..we are coming to the end of a year.It does not feel like it cos' we have just started a new semester at the uni (I know this is odd).I'm still adjusting to teaching a new course (u/grad).This and other things.Fast lane again.what is new.

Yesterday I listened to a radio station and laughed mcm org gila at this advert on jangan membazir.It's about a group of friends eating out.One friend was taking all types of dishes: from chicken to beef to all sorts of fren said ini bukan makan..ini mengkedarah (dah lama tak dengar this word)..and this other fren told his friend he wanted to add fish dish pulak..His fren asked how many fish do you want? His fren said 20.

Fren A: 20???

B: that a lot??

A: You nuts or what?

B: is ikan selar...19 ekor lagi ...ikan bilis.

It's really nice to have jokes like this at the end of a long day.I laughed so much that I fear people who saw me might think I had gone mad...(ni masa driving home dalam hujan renyai2). I shared the joke with everyone in my family.Semua kantoi!

Send me funny jokes to end the year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fulbright Book Launch

It was yesterday and I didn't expect to see Tan Sri Ani Arope and Dato' Paduka Marina Mahathir at the same event! I had a nice long chat with Tan Sri on the history of the Achehnese and Rawas in Tanah Melayu (and other things). Sempat salam with Dato Paduka but didn't make any effort to engage in a chat with her. But I like her speech (mcm bapak dia juga..soft spoken but bisa when addressing American politics and invasion of Iraq, etc).

Had a good time meeting other fulbrighters.The current comm does well.Gayah does well as VP.So proud of her.

Malamnya emergency with my mom.Her vascular acting up again.I slept at the hospital.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Jose Munrinho

I am always slow in picking up hot news, OK?
Munrinho cheated on his wife (and his female fans) some 5 or 6 years ago (maybe still is) but oh could I have missed this news ?? The only football news I discuss with my husband is news on Munrinho.Haha.

Kelakar pun ada reading Munrinho punya love affair with his shop-gal mistress.I don't think I'd be interested in reading her book on their 2-year affair.It'd be too much to handle.Haha.

Anyway, happy new year (maal hijrah).I tried my best but it got spoilt by so many things today: the service boy returned my car late, Z pressuring me to drive her here and there, me forgetting this and that.I hope my puasa sunat diterima Allah.It's so hard to be good. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood

She's back in KL (from New York City) for the conference.Dato' Shahrizat was right to say Dr J look younger and radiant.Working for the United Nations must have given her much joy.

I just had to go up to her and shake hands with her after her inspiring talk. One lady mat salleh who moderated her talk said she'd attended so many women's conferences but Dr J's accounts of relief work gave a different perspective.One UN rep spoke earlier with much pride how she managed to get Afghan women to take off their burkas and partcipated in women's projects.But Dr J in her session related how she and team gave free scarves/headcovers to Afghan and Acheh women knowing they'd never go out to get their food ration, health kits without their shows how Dr J is respectful and mindful of local cultures and not imposing "UN values".

I'm glad she's in UN making noise for women.Made some important contacts at the conference and I am all set to combat the street kids' problem in KL.

I was so tired after Solo and Islamabad trips (mana ada rest) that I went for a quick spa after the conference at the hotel. Syoknya...I wish the lady went beyond the agreed 50 mins body massage.

Nik's away in Kuantan.It's a busy household.Wife's in, hubby's out.Daughter is also out.I need another child.Pls send one from the sky! (can I order via the net?)

Monday, November 29, 2010

NIEW Women's Conference: Displaced women

Was at Mandarin Oriental to attend NIEW conference on displaced women.Much of the discussion centred on refugees.There are 43 million displaced people around the world, 2/3 are women and children (subject to all sorts of abuse).An eye witness activist from Liberia related a story how a senior UN Peacekeeper paid for sex of some of these young women they were supposed to protect.Like in many war zones, UN peacekeepers are also rapists.I felt like throwing up hearing these stories.

The prob is it is not enough to educate women of their rights.Men need to be educated too and trained to be more gender-sensitized.I like the story of an Achehnese activist who related their approach working with the ulemas to work on their men (if it came from the women, the men would quickly dismiss them as agents of the West).That was a smart move.

There are 90 thousand refugees in Msia.The government does not recognise their existence (according to one activist, the government criminalises refugees...hmm..a bit exaggerated I think).Tapi I also think the street kids are also a great concern.Is anyone looking into this issue?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pakistan trip: Part 3

The flight from Islamabad to Karachi was delayed (apparently another plane exploded!).I had no bodyguards on this trip home (my CEO friend, the UMNO boys, semua takda to help carry my bags...).Anyway, Dr. Adnan was still around and dia pun tolong tunggu I when I had to leave my bags to go to the Ladies.Not a good idea to travel alone like this.

Karachi Airport was bigger tapi the shopkeepers suka tipu! Can you imagine nak beli pad pun kena bargain? From Rp880 to Rp500? I just walked away.I don't think I'd like Karachi (if the airport people were already that dubious).Airport security was really strict (the strictest of all 3 airports: Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi).

It was quite sad to leave friends made in Islamabad (even the foreign speakers were chummy).Did I tell you I was on Pak TV? :)) The news producer promised to send me the footage or put the interview on You Tube.Bahaya tu.

I'm glad to be home, though.There has been little rest since beginning of this year.I am amazed at how busy I was this year (more travels than before).Let's hope no more travels till the end of the year.But I have 2 more seminars/workshops this month.Yakult!

I will blog some of my conference findings esp on Maria's presentation on Chinese women's mosque and female imams in China.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pakistan trip: part 2

me and a pakistani artist at the Lok Virsa Culture Village, Islamabad

I survived the cold last night.They fixed me a big heater in my know how hospitable our Pak brothers and sisters are.When Dr Maria Jaschock (Oxford Uni..she's sharing the same apt as me) said she didn't have a wardrobe to hang her clothes, they brought a wardrobe in! (tengah malam).

Tapi pagi tadi I could not figure out the hot water system so mandi sejuk nak mampus...
My paper went early in the morning (sharing the session with Maria and Prof Anis, now a Rector of a new private uni in Islamabad). Lepas tu TV Pakistan interviewed me.Wah..tak tau la I provocative ke tak on issues on terrorism/extremism and women in parliament/cabinet.

Bestlah kat sini.The Malaysians I met on my flight pun sgt2 interesting (Zain, a CEO of an agri-biz was very articulate) Budak2 UMNO Sabah tu pun baik tolong carried my bags and took care of me sepanjang journey.I think Tuhan tolong temukan mereka! So grateful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Greetings from Lahore-Islamabad

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

My Lahore key room

I'm back in one of my favourite countries - Pakistan.

Flew to Lahore last nite, slept over at a beautiful transit hotel with some assistance from fellow Msians onboard ...

alamak..i finish nanti..guests.on borrowed pc.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Greetings from Kuching

Well, it's 45 mins to goodbye Kuching.Am at the Golden Lounge Business Centre trying to kill time after eating non-stop since yesterday.What a lovely weekend: suite room at Hilton facing the river, flying Business class, makan tak berhenti-henti...Z kat rumah tak tau buat apa dgn Bibik! :))

I have always loved this city.It's a crawling city...pleasantly so.It's modern and yet traditional.I bought a pair of nice shoes yesterday with Patrick (who took me around shopping for terubok, telor ikan, dried shrimps, this that...oh! he's such a gentleman and a truly kind person.He gave me a nice briefing of Kuching's history.Simply fantastic.).

I'm in Kuching playing wife to Nik for his office function (accompanying his CEO who is in town for the state's annual dinner).I am in awe of Tan Sri and his wife (pasangan secocok..Puan Sri is so elegant).You'll understand why EPF bagged all the top awards in the country for excellent services etc. if you study the man behind EPF (and hence, the people behind EPF..even at State level, they bagged top awards for excellent service and performance).Tan Sri in his speech said it was not him or his top 20 people in top management but it was the hard work and commitment of everyone at the organisation: from cleaners to drivers to janitors to everyone.Oh wow..but I think it has also something to do with monetary rewards (for performers they get up to 10 months' bonus..kalau tak silap 10 months).I wish we had this at IIUM.Hahaha.

Anyway, after the dinner, Andrew (one of the Board Directors) took us to his place for durian session.Am not much of a durian person but I learnt the different tastes of durian last nite and the petua how to wash your hands after eating durian so that your hands don't smell (turn over the kulit durian and run water through it and place your hand under the water). Ini petua isteri Andrew. :)

This morning Nik's officer took us to the pasar cos' I wanted to bring home some laksa Sarawak paste, nanas pound/sarikei, etc.Found them all.Oh heavens! Nikmat Allah mana nak kita kufurkan!

I must return to this lovely city for the Rainforest Jazz Festival next June.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Korban and sifat syukur

Actually we should have longer break over Raya Korban..this is the real raya ibadah (3 hari buat ibadah korban?). I'm disgusted that the government is not thinking over the past yes..we thought Raya Haji is just for orang naik Haji.But if we are truly progressive, we'd learn by now that Raya Haji is raya yang kita perlu tunjuk tanda kita bersyukur sebab kalau tidak, ada je anak kita yang akan kena sacrificed tiap raya...but no! Allah is merciful...Dia benarkan korban anak diganti dgn binatang ternakan.

Indeed this is a raya of gratitude.Let's show it! Lebihkan sedekah.

My mom is hospitalised again.Very2 cemas cos' she was bleeding non-stop on her fistula (not done well).We thought it was time...but alhamdullilah after today's blood transfusion, she seems stable.We'd spend our raya at the hospital tomorrow.I bought satay so that she and my sister can eat for breakfast tomorrow morning (we'd be going a bit later after solat raya so it's good we gave the satay tadi malam).My sister sleeps over tonite at the hospital.I gave her Z's sleeping bag.Kesian but I tak boleh nak sleep atas cold floor.Penat after 3 days running around.I also have a bad backache..was thinking of seeing Eric tapi lain pulak jadinya (pi Shah Alam with Sabariah cari ustazah for my mom)

It's malam raya. I wish everyone a blessed one. For those who can afford it, make it a habit to ber-korban every raya haji.The joy is different from raya puasa.

** nota kaki: pagi raya masa semayang Raya, Nik and I tertinggal songkoklah, kain we turned back to collect our prayer stuffs (terok punya nyanyuk!).Just in time for the prayer.The Imam said if people who could afford to offer their korban but didn't do, they had no right to celebrate Raya korban (from a hadith) Yikes! Nasib kita buat!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Obama in Jakarta

even with this face, he looks hensem

Oh man...we are all in love with the US President!
We didn't get to meet him (Melani did cos' he went to speak at her uni in Jakarta and Melani had to rush back from Solo for the occassion.I must ask her if she got to shake hands with Obama)

I heard part of his speech on Indonesian TV (at the airport lounge in Solo). Oh man...this guy does not pretend OK? Can one fake real joy returning to a childhood path? His radiance and happiness is real and that makes him more adorable.Hahaha.I want an Obama teddy bear! Hee hee.OKlah..and a Michelle female equivalent to place her side by side with Obama. What a loving couple.

Obama said this, "Saya balik kampong nih!" How the crowd cheered! He spoke in rural dialect! That makes him even more adorable.

Why do stupid Americans reject him as a leader? They cannot fault him for sins done by Bushes.I hope he will bounce back and will win another term.

My paper was well-received, alhamdulillah.Many interesting and apt questions.I enjoyed them all.We agreed to collaborate on bigger projects.Harriett (the other keynote speaker) was happy I raised the importance of liberal education again.She said I'd nominate you as the world's Emperor.Hahah.Dia memang funny.

I met many real nice people at the conference.Munir from India is another unforgettable character.He didn't sleep all night cos' of his Merapi anxiety.I said Munir, you are going to die out of fear not Merapi! Anyway, I hope they will all get their flights home, safe.

From Solo to Jakarta

Merapi hot clouds in Solo (where planes dare not fly)

" Saya balik kampong nih"
(Obama in Jakarta)

great friends on escape from Solo: Jay, Elizabeth and Susheela

I'm just tired, OK? (at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta, waiting to go home)

Beautiful Sari, my Solo friend

Munir and friends in his session

Harriett (from Florida)

Greetings from Jakarta where Obama just left (we missed him by a day!) More on him in Jakarta later.

My paper was rescheduled to the 2nd day cos' the other keynote speaker was not able to fly into Jakarta and I had been requested to speak in his slot. Not a problem with me cos' had I spoken on the first day with the other 2 keynotes, we would not have so much time for Q&A.

Then I found out from Air Asia website, my flight home on the 12th would be postponed to the 15th! I was really meant Merapi was getting worse (when perhaps, airlines were cancelling flights due to economic reasons and not safety but we don't really know)

Anyway, I was so grateful there were 3 other fellow Malaysians (on the same flight as I was from KL to Solo and we met at Solo airport and chatted..hi gals! They are Susheela, Jay and Elizabeth ~ all academics from 3 different unis)

I am grateful to all 3 cos' they were very smart and quick to fix the stranded problem.Soon after they sat in my 'keynote' session, they started looking for ways to get out of Solo! And I will remember this for the rest of my life: they included me in their 'escapade plan' and we managed to fly to Jakarta on Lyons Air yesterday (soon after lunch).While it was sad to leave our Solo friends (the nicest people on earth! very refined people), it was important to return home safely cos' Merapi was unpredictable.

We just flew to Jakarta and would think of getting another flight to KL from there.It was a right decision (Elizabeth was the smart one to not rush and buy tics from Solo..Airliners and agents were making 2-3 times more profit cos' they knew people were desperate to get out) At Jakarta Airport, we checked with Air Asia if they could re-route us ...yes they could! No charge. Alhamdullilah, we saved RM1000! Jay said we'd get up at 3 am to see if we could leave on the 6 am flight.We did, begged that they'd allow us on the flight but fully booked (we slept at the Airport Hotel..shared ramai2, 2 beds)

And now we are enjoying our foot reflexology at the airport while waiting for our flight home.I hope no more cancellation.The clouds do not look so good and MAS and other international airliners are still not running.

It's been like living in a war zone for spoilt KLians like us but hey, we made and met great people!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Syukur alhamdulillah!

Kepada Allah yang Maha Sempurna ku panjatkan syukur akan berita dari Gombak...kata Dr Haslina yang ku izinkan membuka surat dari MSD: permohonan jawatan Professorship diterima.Takbir! Semoga ini akan memudahkan usaha membantu yang memerlukan dan saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua yang memberi sokongan all my life as a teacher, academic/administrator at IIUM termasuk students, rakan2 kerja termasuk Bosses yang sentiasa memberi galakan walaupun kadangkala saya agak mendesak tentang sesuatu isu yang I'm passionate about. Bagi yang mendoakan, terima kasih.Hanya Allah yang membalas jasa anda.

Kpd keluarga esp. suami yang setiap detik solat tidak putus2 mendoakan, thank you Abam!

And now, my concern is for a safe return to KL! My paper is tomorrow morning.We had a good discussion with Melani and Harriett tadi pagi.Besok kita tambah lagi cilinya.Hahaha.Atas semangat diskusi, dong.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Greetings from Solo

Solo cuisine

with key guests at Goela Kelapa Restaurant


see my name on the bunting?


artistic looking ceiling of the conference hall

cantik betul

I flew in this morning direct from KL (Air Asia). If Tony Fernandes is reading this: hey man, do something about the Air Asia Airport.It stinks! (my first international flight with Air Asia).When you fly cheap (I just wanted to fly direct from KL to Solo which is only 2 hours away on Air Asia.If I took MAS..lama la pulak via Jakarta..change over Merapi..maybe..), expect cheap things to happen.

Anyway, it was an on and off thing with me and Solo.Yesterday and the days before, all airports to Indonesia via KL and Spore were closed.I thought I'd not be able to make it to Solo today.Merapi was still erupting wild.The family's concerned, friends thought I was crazy to go when people were trying to fly out.Obama postponed his trip, what (but now he's coming home again on a 24-hour visit. Oh Ba-Ma, please fly to Solo! Hahaha)

I was nervous all the 2-hour trip.I saw clouds..though not dark, were thick.I was very2 quiet although the 2 passengers next to me were chatty (one was trying to sell some direct selling products! Duh! I got suspicious when he said he had lived in KL for 12 years and often flew back to Indonesia..but later, I wonder why he asked me to fill his immigration form.At point of being asked, I thought he was illiterate and since my life was hanging on air..I thought I'd do some nice charitable things... just in I filled in not only his form but also the lady's next to him! She was genuinely illiterate..a returning maid...going home for the eid)

Sari and Yuyun met me at the airport and took me to lunch.Both of them were educated in Australia so we connected well. :)) Then met up with the other people.We went to visit a pasantren said to have initiated by Bashir (yup, the one accused of JW Marriott bombing). The students were involved in Merapi community work.I wanted to donate some money.Then we went to visit another NGO...the members were also doing shifts at Merapi (they helped bury some 64 dead bodies today).What is nice to know is Mercy Malaysia and Malaysian Global Peace are among the most active NGOs at Merapi.Mercy takes care of medical needs and Global Peace takes care of water supply (their engineers have their hands full here).One guy asked me if I wanted to join their next trip to Merapi (only 2 hours away).I looked at Sari, signalling "Do you want to?" Hahaha..she gave me a quick no.

I love Solo, folks (I love anywhere!) but honestly, this city has character, is very clean (there's this guy..the wali kota... who has changed this city within a short span of time..I'll get his name tomorrow) and very, very modern.It's a commercial centre with lots of foreign investors coming in to invest (no wonder Air Asia has faith in making Solo as one of its stops).It's livable with lots of culture and history.Lots of things to do and see.I have not stopped eating too.I just had dinner with guests from the US and India and met some old friends based in Indonesia (like Melani, based in Jakarta but who I often meet abroad in conferences..last was in Seoul).

I hope my stay will be safe and I'll fly back to KL without any 'adventure'.They are afraid that there'd be a huge flood cos' the rivers are clogged with muds and deposits from Merapi.

Please pray for me.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Al fatihah

Z is home for the Deepavali weekends and text-ed me earlier to say her college friend, Shazwan, who collapsed during their 7.5 km marathon and went into 2 weeks' coma (his kidneys failed and was on life support) finally passed away yesterday at 4 pm.

I don't know this boy.Nor do I know his parents but I felt saddened by the news.I wanted to visit and meet the family even while Syazwan was still in the hospital.Thought of doing that today.

But alas!

So we visited the jenazah at around 9 pm last nite (thanks to Badri who gave us directions on the phone).There were so many visitors (mainly his friends...they all took turns sleeping at the hospital when he was in coma).

Before I met the parents, I thought what kind of parents who would be so patient losing their first child who was bright and kind like this (he was a JPA scholar about to leave for the UK soon) and my prayers went for them (that God will give them strength to go on).

I finally met the parents.A picture of calm and patience.The father especially was all smiles as he received visitors and thanked them.Such iman! The mother too was calm although she broke into tears when Z said some nice things about Syazwan (why did she have to say more than necessary to a mourning mom?!)

Allah loves Syazwan more and we pray that he is placed in jannah.Al fatihah.To the family, may Allah give them internal peace and grant them patience.Amin.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Exciting weeks ahead

Hello folks!

The final exams have started. Nov will be a busy month : what's with the marking, thesis examining, travels, weddings, guests staying over! Somehow I'd miss meeting Carlotta who'd be in KL on Nov 23/24.I thought of meeting up with her in Spore but I'd still be away.Watch this space for news. If all goes well, I'd be able to report live from dangerous places.

Hilary Clinton is also visiting our university (ISTAC campus). I do not count this as part of my exciting news. :)) If Obama came, I'd be excited.Haha.

Meanwhile, enjoy what is left of the year. I can't believe how fast time went.For those celebrating Deepavali, have a good one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to prostitute your art

Sometimes I am disappointed with my writer friends. In their enthusiasm to be rich and famous in this country (you must be kidding, right? Is it even possible unless you are writing chic lit or porn materials), they'd stop at nothing.

This includes demanding a ridiculous amount of royalty (when it's just their first work or first international work). Or get politicians to launch their allergy! But I guess to each his/her own.

I would not even get someone famous to write my preface.It has to be a scholar or someone known for his/her thinking skills.Not for C4! :) (I get personal here but puhlease, have some respect for your art).

The situation in Malaysia is pretty bad actually.Who do we look up to as a role model when it comes to writing? I wish Anwar Ibrahim didn't have to stop writing.I don't care if he sodomised young idiots/not but he moved people.We need charismatic figures to keep us alive.What they do in their private lives (or private parts) should not be our concern.

I met or rather heard Anies Baswedan in my last trip to Jakarta.He's trained as an Economist, keturunan Arab dan sangat ganteng (muda orangnya, amat refined in speech and manner).Yah, Jakarta is lucky to have a new hero, a role model for their young ones.Kita ini ada apa? Haramjadddah semuanya. I love that word! say it again! :))

Anyway, Anies mengepalai pergerakan baru: Indonesia Mengajar (a scholar friend of mine in the US kata Indonesia Membelasah..jangan dong! Kita ini bukan terrrorists!) Anies dalam ucapannya ingin menjana pemikiran intellectual populasi yang cukup move as a nation yang bermaruah (bukan rakyatnya diekspot sebagai orang gaji). Jadi Indonesia mengajar is to educate rakyatnya.Bukan untuk membelasah Msia (Ganyang Msia is gone).

Kan berwawasan gitu? Anies bukan politikus.Dia itu Rektor sebuah universiti.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am ready

a rare moment: few crowds here (I got my moments during
both hajj and umrah, alhamdulillah! Just pray for them!)

Folks, it's the hajj season now.

I'm ready to return to Makkah.Not on hajj but on umrah.It's been way too long.Almost 10 years ago?

I first went on umrah (Golden Holidays with MAS..then they did many foreign cities including Makkah).Many of you were not there when we failed to do hajj a few months earlier that year or that hajj season (my father in law was running a travel agency business and had been taking people in and out Makkah after his retirement with the government) But that year was the year the Saudi government decided to restrict hajj visas.I wasn't ready.Nik was eager.I wanted to do my umrah first then hajj.But Nik was so so eager.So maybe it was me that everyone didn't get to go (except the judge who went as Tabung Haji's cook..last flight.He was so determined cos' it was on and off so many times.We even chartered a plane when all the flights were gone...Imagine that? Que sera sera).

But after that failed hajj season, I went on umra with my eldest sister and my niece (Nik didn't want to join us cos' he had gone a couple of months earlier).It was the best time of my life.We had no man with us.That's a no-no to go to Makkah.But we had a family who were willing to include us as part of their family members (a young lawyer and his dad and his young family).It was like going on a holiday.Our hotel was there right infront of Kaaba.Everything was nice and pleasant.

The following hajj season, Nik and I got an offer from Tabung Haji to perform hajj.I was ready this time.I had learnt what I would have to do while on hajj in my umrah trip.

It was still difficult, folks.Hajj is a physical test with spiritual reward.It was really really hard...I had to sleep on hard ground, walk miles (OK maybe I'm exaggerating but I had to walk a long way), carry heavy bags, collect peebles in the dark ~ I could have easily picked taik unta anytime yah?, etc.Worse..the crowds...and I hate crowds.My idea of worship is doing it in a complete silence and peace, with lots of space to move around.With no one pushing and rushing their rituals,

You won't find that in hajj. But if you ask for your peace, you'll get it.Kaabah is a place where all prayers are answered. :) But not without hard work. :)

But I did it.I came back (friends said looking younger and very radiant) and told my young friends to perform their hajj while they are still young and fit.It's a physical thing.A few friends took my advice including Dr Adris (a doctor friend upnorth) who recently emailed me that he does this every year now with his family (usually umrah). He agrees that hajj is not for old people.
Let's hope there's lambaian kaabah in March/April next year for me and family. Labbaikallah hummalabbaik! I really really wanna go and do my umrah once more.
For those on their way to the holy city, we wish you a mabrur hajj.Enjoy the closeness and the spirituality of the cities (I love Madinah...much more friendly than Makkah)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spanish Dreams


great mosque in cordoba

I was in Spain many years ago.I loved the country despite it not speaking English.It was brave of me to travel alone especially taking Ave (bullet train) from Madrid to Cordoba thinking oh well, it's only 2 hours.Yes, 2 hours on Ave but not on other public transports (9 hours!) And I didn't know (for lack of Spanish) that the Ave ticket I bought was a one-way ticket (I think the guy at the counter was trying to say he only had one-way ticket for the day)

In that kinda blissful ignorance, I toured Cordoba. Went shopping and visited the oldest mosque (now a museum). People were not friendly unless they were Muslim descendants (a few people with Arab looks said hi to me).

Then it was time to my! what flight would be early in the morning from Madrid and I had no transport to go back to the city.Luckily I had a contact in Cordoba (a very nice gal met at the conference in Vigo).I rang her up and she arranged for me to find a way back to Madrid (all done via phone...maybe she lived quite far from the city to meet up).I got on a coach.9 hours drive! Took a taxi in Madrid to go back to my hotel (and got cheated!)

But I caught my flight back to KL. Phew!

But I loved Spain.There's a certain something in it (other than good looking people to look at.Hahaha).Managed to catch a play ("Don Quixote") Simply fantastic!

Why do I get nostalgic now? Cos' I have a friend living in Granada who we'd like to visit.I missed Granada (another city of Islamic heritage) in my rush to visit Cordoba.InsyaAllah, when Z lives in London, we'd go. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New exploration

My new friend, S rang me up about a newly found health centre.So I drove all the way from Gombak to USJ Subang Jaya after work to check it out.It's run by a former engineer (lady).I'm easily sold, right? So S and I spoilt ourselves rotten for a good 2 hours.Wan (the lady owner) was saying she treats the body like a complete system.We cannot just address one must address the whole system.My, she looks like she's 18, OK? And so much vitality....give me back those years, Wan! :)

It's been so long since I was in this neighbourhood.I almost lost my way.S was hopeless.She doesn't drive (she can but won't).Her husband spoils her rotten.But after our time out at Wan's, we went to explore a new restaurant in our neighbourhood (S lives near my area...a pure coincidence, a convenient one...S will be my shopping partner, OK? And her kids are all grown up too.She spends her time watching Indonesian soapies..which I don't) S's choice was bad.I do not eat big meals anymore these days (tengoklah pinggang ku yang ramping, dada ku yang bidang...hahaha)and I ended up vomitting when I got home.It's not what the late Princess Diana had.It's just bad food/s.But S said I like it..I like it...I'm sooooo hungry.Duh.

Nik slept at his conference venue last nite so I ended up writing my paper for a conference coming up soon (travels again.Sigh).Was on the phone with Lina and G and Z in between writings.Funny people. :)) Z wants new food/s.She's not coming back this weekend or next (a group of boys and gals from a private college in the UK will be visiting her college and she's hosting them with 15 others).

Read Nazmi's complaint over late announcement of Zaen's and Zakir's wins (I think it was this morning).In a way he's right.We don't fuss over literary wins.No celebration, nothing.But DBP has to observe rules as well.They could not announce before Bangkok OKs it (I wish I could go to Bangkok to witness the prize-giving ceremony ~ cos' I wanna see Thai regent and His consort!~ but dates clash.I'd be happy to pay my own just to experience the ceremony.Hopefully, one day I'd be da recipient.Am talking about the SEA Write Award, folks).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An object ( mean..'subject' then) to love

I am quite convinced that we might need to 'rent' a baby to love during our week days.We thought of adoption..but we are too busy to play mom and dad again.I also suspect Z will be a bit jealous if we had another child as an object of love... (right Z?).

But it gets to feel really like we have no sense of direction at times especially if either one of us is away...last nite Nik was kind enough to change his plans of sleeping over at his conference venue (he came back for sweet).I was at Sal's..with my mom and came back pretty late and went shopping after that. :)

So where do I go to rent babies? The closest we can get is to visit Naily (Nik's adorable niece) every opportunity we can.But she's not friendly with us.Sad, sad life! :)

Soon, there will be 2 boys coming over to stay with us.Budak2 hafiz.I'm looking fwd to this.But it's not easy to feed them...can't just take them to my fav. restaurants with no halal logo, can I? I have to be sensitive to their religious diet.

I wish I had more kids now.I like gals.I think they are adorable and it's fun dressing them up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Oldies

If you like me, grew up on the 60s-80s music, you'd love Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard (this post is about them)

Eeeee..I didn't know they had a r/ship! Look at the clips below.Cliff (who people thought was a gay for much of his life..which of cos' he denied..thank God..I love him!)so lovey dovey with Oli...but the last clip is so funny..after kissing her, he went no chemistry there.Gay, kot? :))

Oli ni pun liar juga.So many boyfriends (she was involved with one of the band boys of the Shadows..not Cliff then but Bruce Welch..uh huh..a married man)..banyak kali kawin (of cos'..she so sweet)but Cliff and Oli continue to be close friends even after her recent marriage in 2009 to the Founder of Alternative Medicine in Oz.Heh heh. I keep track of all these.Ingat apa? :))

My memory of ONJ is basically Grease and her Let's Get Physical song/video clip (we were doing our bridging course in Hamilton NZ, staying at YWCA hall..loads of crazy things going on then.Like an old woman, I am being nostalgic.Hahaha)

Anyway, let's play those songs again and re-energise (too much wedding food this weekend).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not too bad tofu

Er..Terri posted a counter-argument to her earlier post:

Thanks for your concern Terri, but unfortunately, you can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Dr Joseph Mercola appears to be a well-known sensationalist and peddlar of fake cures, who has received formal warnings from the FDA (the US Food and Drug Agency) about making illegal claims in his newsletter, detailed here:

My suspicion is that in the same way that the big tobacco companies employed a lot of scientists to cast doubt on the tobacco-cancer link, the big meat production companies are spending money on propaganda too. Mercola's piece has a clear anti-vegetarian subtext, e.g.: "Zinc deficiency can cause a "spacey" feeling that some vegetarians may mistake for the "high" of spiritual enlightenment." and the rather dubious claim that somehow the increased height of second-generation Japanese immigrants to the US means they are malnourished and "frequently suffer rickets, stunting and other growth problems" and that this is somehow connected to not eating enough meat -- is ludicrous! Firstly, a paragraph starting "Some investigators postulate that..." is the kind of vague appeal to authority I'd expect from a lazy journalist or one of my students writing an exam essay, not from a supposed expert and authority on nutrition. Secondly, any "growth problems" arising from a switch from a Japanese diet to an American one would happen despite (or perhaps because of) a huge increase in meat consumption. Americans consume more meat than any other nationality in the world, and many times more today than their own grandparents did. These are uncontrovertial statistics. It seems absurd to lay large-scale health problems at the door of soya.

I haven't time today to try and research or refute all of Mercola's claims and aspersions about soya, but I can assure you that I'm not going to stop eating tofu on the say so of a medical entrepreneur. My recommendation to you and your friends Terri is to carry on eating foods that are a substantial part of one of the healthiest diets in the world (Japanese) until a more authoritative body such as the FDA issues a warning.

Oh, and a parting shot: if you think you'll eat less soya by eating meat instead of tempeh, you'll be mistaken: the vast majority of all the soya bean grown is fed to livestock.

Best of luck with your dietary choices,


Bad bad tofu

Thanks Teri for posting me this.There goes my soya drink, tempe, soft tofu and all. To Lady: this is the post promised.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bila air lebih mahal dari minyak kereta...

We dined out at this place last night to celebrate Nik's birthday (10.10.10...he's kinda special, isn't he?).It was at the recommendation of an old girlfriend, Ainun Baba.

Yes, it was as recommended.Fine dining, food was fanstatic (cuba salad dia..outa this world sedapnya..and it's prepared right there infront of this huge salad bowl.Z and I had a good laugh at this.I told her my salad bowl was bigger)

Then came in the soup..also outa this world.I had pumpkin, Z french onion..ahhh..I remember my history class french revolution dinner where we all dressed up in french/victorian costumes and my foster mom prepared french onion soup to bring over to the party and how my classmates and I jumped into the spa pool/jacuzzi at my friend's home after dinner.

Anyway, the issue on my dining last night was we were served the most expensive still water (probably on earth..hahaha) ~ RM32 per bottle.Tapi a certain percentage tasted clorin so I could not help but wondered if they bought empty bottles and filled up with local water (or recycled the imported bottles).

I just don't like how they didn't warn you that water isn't cheap...they simply asked this, "would you like some water, ma'am? Still water yah?" Ingat mcm tempat

Lepas tu the second bottle, they didn't bother to ask, they saw our empty glasses and poured.Came the bill...for still water..2 bottles: RM64.Minyak kereta seminggu about RM50 je.

But the rest was so good except the seafood dishes (fish dia tak sedap...not for close to RM300 per dish!)

You want to know where, right?
Somewhere near KLCC...but the ambience was great.But I think I'd go to Chalet at Equatorial again next time.

Anyway, happy bday Abam! It was a great evening anyway.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kena saman

Sejak dua menjak ni saman system in Malaysia very efficient (tapi yang langgar lari kadang2 tak jumpa juga).Every month or so I'd get email alerts saying no more summons...(I find this bila ada saman je ler.Ini dah macam spam je ni).

Just the other day, ada courier service siap suruh I sign-mign.Ingatkan menang habib jewels..rupa2nya saman JPJ..ptui! Suruh bawak geran, road tax..mcm dah langgar mati orang.Walhal langgar traffic light merah kat UIA je (which is always long on red and kat kawasan kampong..kereta mana lalu kerap I langgar je the red light...takkan kita nak ikut pemikiran tiang traffik kan? Allah bagi otak..gunalah common sense...)

But aku dah kena saman dan dipanggil ke balai JPJ.Didn't even know where it was.Where got time to go some more.So counter productive akhirnya sistem macam ni.Bagi je la saman, kita bayar kat pejabat pos.Habis cerita.Nak lebih2, pi merayu kat balas NOT everyone goes to balai.

My staff dah cakap bawak surat rayuan siap2.So all pagi I mengarang surat...I kata I rushed nak kejar semayang maghriblah, takut traffic jam tak sempat semayang lah...biasalah kan ..all the sentiments...

I don't think they read pun.My staff kata dia tak bagi alasan pun, the discount tetap 30% which is RM210 (dari RM300).Aiyoo...kalau sedekah kat mesjid..banyakkkk pahalanya tu...ramai orang miskin boleh makan...

I think it's too much for traffic light offence.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Minggu akhir Syawal

Yang beraya sampai sebulan ni sebenarnya kita je di Malaysia (kadang2 tak cukup sebulan..terpaksa carry fwd to the first weekend of the following month).

Good and bad.Bad first:

Terlalu banyak makan.Not good for health.Better to puasa 6.Alternatively open house buat malam so sapa2 yang puasa 6 can berbuka free sambil beramah mesra dgn kawan2 and relatives.

Good: kalau niat sedekah, byk pahala.Also mengeratkan silrahturrahim (bukan mcm kawan I yang nakal kata: mengeratkan saloran rahim!)

Today I was at Uni of Liverpool's Raya Open House, held by a pool at Changkat Bukit Utama.Delesh sponsored meja/kerusi (baiknya dia ni..walhal hariraya orang melayu, kan?).I sponsored magician (I memang baik.Hahaha). Datin Noorkumalasari pun ada (her hubby alum Liverpool). Kita sempat le bergambar2 dgn dia.

Lepas tu I dah janji Epah nak pi open house dia.Nik dah tak larat so he balik tidur (memang...dia boleh jadi anti-social kadang2 esp. bila mengantuk).I ingat the NZ people (Hamilton's) would be there.Tengok2 punya la besar open house Epah/Malik ni.A garden party practically.A banquet to be exact.I dtg sorang pulak.Takda sapa I kenal except Malik and Epah.Buat tebal muka je..what to do..dah masuk compound rumah.Meja pulak dah penuh..duduk je dgn sapa2 dan buat muka tebal.Dua American ladies ni mula2 mcm sombong.I sat in the middle of the group's conversation.Buat je muka tebal menyampuk.From the conversation mcm orang putih tu dari LA. I pun buka cerita LA (walhal pi sana umur Z 4 tahun). Akhirnya I dapat kawan baru satu meja.Hahaha.One by one, depa kata I looked familiar..I kata I cikgu biasa...after so many dok kata yang sama..I kata ohh..I'm also a writer..maybe you guys saw me in newspapers/TV ke (dah mcm riak tu).Hahaha.

You'd think orang2 kita tak kenal ni (dan kaya raya) sombong but actually, mereka normal je.Tapi topik perbualan mereka tidak la begitu normal : my Porche...we don't keep our cars more than 5 years, I'm a Bimmer, I'm holidaying in LA with the family in Dec, anak2 I kat Kolej Tunku Jaafar, etc etc.Malas la I nak kata I pi Hong Kong je kan for my holiday and anak I kat Kolej UEM je ..itupun on scholarship, kan? But I'm happy there are so many Malays who are doing well.Kita tompang gembiralah.Dan mereka bercakap topik2 ni sebab inilah dunia mereka.Bukan nak eksyen.
Yang sorang tu cerita dia sempat habiskan puasa 6 dia (I still have 3 days to go).Yang sorang tu walaupun merokok (dan anaknya tidak) was very pleasant to chat with.
Yang nyata, I suka kuay teow Epah and kangkong sotong dia.Sedap giler.Lupa nak tanya caterer mana.Shangri-la ke, Hilton ke.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Pasaraya Blok M

Kalau nak shopping selesa di Jakarta, antara malls yang OK ialah Pasaraya Blok M di Jakarta Selatan.You go to Tanah Abang, Cempaka Mas, ITC ke Ambassador ke to buy cheap souvenirs and kain telekong yang cantik2 (chances are apa yang dijual di tempat2 ini akan dijual 3X mahal di mall2 mcm Blok M)

But I like Blok M sebab quality barangannya ( a bit like Sarinah but Sarinah tu bangunannya burok..dalamnya je cantik).

I've got practically what I wanted (lots of buku2 penulis Indonesia and SEAsian writers) and I'm ready to go home.

Tadi ada suicide bombing (kat tempat kita org pi semalam.Allah telah lindungi kami).Malam tadi got earthquake in some parts of Indonesia.Haiyo...very active energy kat sini.

The closing of our event was so-so.Tahun ni everyone looked tired and rushed.I pun tak larat sebab kena cirit birit since last nite (jgn makan salad tempat orang.Eat cooked meals).

See you guys in KL.I kena pi mengadap JPJ sebab langgar traffic light kat UIA tu.Siap suruh bawak geran kereta.Sigh.Malaysia negara ku...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not Jakarta Jam

I'm beginning to have second thoughts on Jakarta as an exciting cultural city.The jam is baaadddd here.

We worked late so there was no time to shop at nice places cos' you'd get trapped in Jakarta's traffic jam anyway.What would have taken 20 mins became close to 2 hours.The people at the Embassy told us to do our shopping at the Ambassador, a mall not that far from our hotel.But try doing that after office hours.It's crazy!

So we went to ITC next to the Ambassador.Barang2 mcm kat Rantau Panjang.By the time we went over to Ambassador (sebelah tu je) the stores were closing.KL is betterlah kalau nak shop2 ni. :)

Ibu Yayok and Pak Hassan came all the way from Bogor to take us around (this is what the couple does everytime kita datang) Yesterday also they came.Sweet, kan? But we also bought things from Ibu Yayok.She's so good at selling health products (she's with an O&G company or used to be).Sekali jual RM500, you.But it's Japanese nanotech.We were all sold! Habis duit allowance aku yang juta2 rupiah tu. :)

Besok last day meeting.I tak sabar nak balik dah.I got my telekong sulam (3 times cheaper than it is in KL!) That's a comfort.

Kamilah pembawa obor keamanan

Last day of my conference.My paper was after lunch.I thought it went well.Got a few nice questions from sidang hadirin and was sharing a panel (I was in the plenary session) with someone from KOMPAS dan someone from the publishing industry (wough...depa so novels mcm buat filem!)

Malamnya I was invited by Dato KP to join his team to a dinner hosted by one Deputy Minister (the Kedutaan Malaysia people also came).Nama restoran tu Nona Bola..Malaysian and Indian cuisine with an Indonesian touch.We had a nice time.I sat to this very strong lady who works at the Msian Embassy in Jakarta who's just lost her eldest son in a motor accident malam 27 Ramadan yang baru ni...he's a student at tough...may Allah grant her greater iman and may her son be placed in jannah.

Anyway, it was a business dinner.Kami bincang how to eratkan hubungan erat dua-hala Msia-Indonesia through budaya dan sastera.Nov. ini mungkin sesuatu besar akan dianjurkan bersama antara group Riau dan DBP.I harap UIA akan tompang semangkok. I dah offered IIUM hospitality. Kami ingin bersama membawa obor keamanan! :)

While I say nice things about the literary scene in Indonesia, our counterparts think we are so much better than them.

I enjoyed the sessions presented by non-native speakers from France, Holland and China today.Yang sorang tu presented a paper on ideologi sastra bugis.Katanya, orang bugis ini ada 3 teras falsafah dalam budayanya demi untuk meraih kemenangan (see how C4 fits in here)

ujung pisau (guna kekerasan)
ujung lidah (if kekerasan fails, guna diplomasi)
ujung penis (if all fails, guna perkahwinan untuk meraih cita-cita)

Satu bentuk sastera Bugis ialah elong.Bunyinya begini:

Lebbae paleq pawawa
patiwiq temmassengeq
mau ni sagala


sebab kecewa
aku tak rindu
sekalipun ia cantik

(elong ada 3 baris dgn sukukata 8-7-6...a bit like haiku, dak? cuma haiku ada bunyi alam)

Oh malam tadi we had another dinner (hosted by Pusat Bahasa).Semua pekerja mereka pandai nyanyi..jazz you..ada juga lagu2 rakyat/local.Group Malaysia ni buta music.Puan Salmiah malu2...walhal she can sing very well (I was willing to be backup gal with the others kalau dia nak nyanyi lagu raya.Hahaha).

I dah homesick ni (sebab sehingga ini, belum ada kesempatan nak keluar membeli telekong bersulam).Besok bermula pulak mesyuarat kami (another event yang berbeza from the conference).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Greetings from Jakarta

at Santika Hotel, Jakarta

Bulan ni byk pulak I kena travel.Anyway salam dari Jakarta yang lebih bertenaga dan berbudaya dari KL.Dari atas plane, nampak seperti Indonesia jauh lebih mewah dari KL...ekonomi mereka lebih mantap.Ini kelihatan dari udara lagi!

Hotel saya sangat nyaman walaupun budak kaunter itu agak lembab (tak jumpa nama saya dan SM Zakir dan kami tunggu lama...dia tak nampak kunci dah di depan matanya.Hissh!) Lain-lain saya puas hati.Hotel ini very quiet and nice.Nak pi swim tapi Zakir's room next to mine (menghadap swimming pool..takut pulak Zakir mati terkejut tengok I in swimsuit walaupun Muslim swimsuit)

The gals and I walked to this Padang restaurant.Enak.Tunggu Francis call.Besok dia dah balik Spore.Mungkin tak sempat cos' the gals nak keluar pi kedai buku kejap lagi.

I am very sleepy.Semalam punya marathon gila betul.But we enjoyed foods at Rector's and time at Azura's was really riang.Had a great fun teasing OLD friends.Makanan pun sedap.We visited her mom.Dah byk improvementnya.

Malam punya open house at Rawang was really crazy.Jam kat Rawang mcm nak gila.Got home late.I main campak je my clothes into the suitcase.Pagi jam 5.30 am dah bangun.The meeting and conference better be good!

If Abam! is reading this: thank you for waking up so early on Sunday to see me off at Sentral.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

IIUM Pagoh?

The DPM had just announced that an IIUM Pagoh should be set up soonest possible.I guess we should feel grateful but Engineering and Modern Languages Kulliyyah there? Maybe Engineering is befitting but Languages? In the middle of nowhere? I hope DELL would not be affected.I think I'd quit if we have to move.Jauh sangat meh.Many of my colleagues are saying the same thing.Well, it had happened before I'm sure (masa Kuantan campus was set up).IIUM will survive (in fact will be better).New people would always be better.More energy.More creativity.

While we are here, we gotta give our best and groom the young ones to take over.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Puasa 6

My HK friend, Agnes, with the family at dinner

Tahun ini Allah dorongkan hati saya untuk melakukan ibadah puasa sunat.Mungkin semakin kita tua, semakin kita merasa segala nikmat dunia ini amat sedikit dan sementara dan kita tidak apa-apa untuk menolak juadah dan santapan di sekeliling kita.

Tetapi ini tidak bermakna keimanan saya tidak dicabar.

Pagi2 lagi suami ajak teman pergi breakfast.Dia cakap hari ni ada jiran buat kenduri kawin, mungkin saya patut tangguhkan puasa sunat saya.Masa dia usulkan cadangan itu, dia sedang makan nasi lemak dengan sambal sotong dan sedang meng-order roti canai untuk dibungkus pulang.Wough! Tough! 50-50 nak berbuka. Naik 80-20.Diconggak2 kalau berbuka hari ni, week days lagi susah nak puasa...

Akhirnya saya ambik keputusan meneruskan puasa saya kerana berfikir, sedap makanan hanya sementara tapi pahala puasa kekal ke akhirat. :)

Dan semasa suami siap sedia nak ke majlis kawin anak jiran (dibuat di Taman Tun), dia checked kad kawin.Bukan hari ni..but 2 weeks lagi.Nasib baik tak berbuka!

Fadilat puasa 6:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm home

Z said the lady behind me looks like me
(topi ni bagussss..dia tutup aurat)


Flight kami sampai around 6.30 pm tadi. Lepas sembahyang jamak, kita balik terus ke rumah.Taxi driver masih bercerita pasal kes pembunuhan Sosilawati dan 3 yang lain.I think pembunuh mereka ni ada mental problem.Mungkin masa kecik kena abused...kena baling kat dinding dan pecah kepala gamaknya.How can any heart have so much hatred or greed?

My mother has also moved out from my house to my sister's.Bukan pasal isu I tak balik raya (thank God not!). Dialysis centre dia tak da machine for her cos' she has Hep C now (from one of her blood transfusions..either the ones done at HUKM or the last one done at Tropicana Hosp. which is a private uni) How could they be so careless tak screen betul2? I pity her...just how much more she needs to suffer.Besok I'll visit her (I called her on the phone tadi..she seems to be so strong and coping well). Her new dialysis centre lebih Islamic..tiap2 Friday ada baca Yassin and ada kuliah agama.Maybe Allah knows better what is good for her.On days she takda dialysis, I'll bring her back to my home.Kenalah bergilir2 jaga.

Anyway, for those who wish to go for a short holiday, Hong Kong and Seoul would make a good choice atas sebab2 di bawah ni:

1.journey not too long : about 3.5 to 4 hours.Compare this to going to the US/Europe. is good in these two cities.I didn't want to go to Seoul sebab I dah 3x pi situ. :)

3. a lot of things to do and see in HK.If you have young kids, ada Disney World, Ocean Park etc.Memang seronoklah budak2.We didn't go sebab Z dah besar dan dah pergi tempat2 mcm tu kat US/Australia/NZ.Kat KL pun best juga aqua world kita tu.

4.Makanan halal no prob. kat HK.Kat airport pun ada ..Popeye tu halal (dia mcm KFC lah)

5.Lawatan ke HK tak sah kalau tak pi Victoria Harbour tengok HK skyline.Org HK kalau nak berpacaran dan propose nak kawin, kat sinilah.Agak romantik tempatnya. :) Kalau nak go across ke HK Island from Kowloon, boleh juga naik feri (which kami tak sempat nak buat)

6.Lady of Leisure tanya pasal hotels in HK: mahal ke tak.Mahal memang mahal tapi book online via web yang buat offer (I think iklan dia ada dalam the Star...list hotels yang reasonable kat Kowloon...khas utk pi shopping bukan nak tidur sedap.Yang the first 2 days tu kita sengaja pilih yang selesa sebab nak rehat..masa tu memang no shopping on our list.Hotel tu kat New Territories, a resort tepi pantai. Memang jauh dari Kowloon or Hong Kong (1 hour from both.Naik taxi lebih HK200. The last 2 days tu yang kita masuk gear 5 pulun habis sebab nak qada shopping so it does not matter what hotel we stay in.Janji dekat dengan MTR dan senang nak pi Tsim Sha Tsui, Admiralty, Harbour City dan street markets.Hahaha).

Kesimpulanya: we have to respect our body and mind.Jgn kerja sampai badan dan otak penat.Not good.Kumpul duit and pi lah holiday with your family.If not luar negara, dalam negara pun OK.Next trip insyaAllah I nak pi Tioman or Redang or Kapaslah.Tak pernah pergi! I think pantai and pulau kita jauh lagi cantik.Cuma...takda tempat nak shopping! (for this reason, Langkawi remains my best island in Malaysia).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hong Kong as we know it

Agnes and me by the harbour

Kat HK,makcik2 tua suka pakai topi.Here's one at Wan Chai's mosque
(kat Level 2 ada canteen halal)
Look at the cloud! Me at Stanley

HK skyline.Z melaram depan Vic Harbour

Z by the harbour where they put up giant lanterns

Jumbo, floating restaurant at Tai Pak or
Aberdeen Fishing Village

The harbour, from our vegetarian restaurant
boatview of Aberdeen Fishing Village

OK folks, I'm gonna share you my impressions of Hong Kong as I know it through my day activities today.Quite full and very exciting actually.

Lepas buat mee kari in the hotel room for breakfast(mee maggie direndam dgn air panas dan
dicampurkan rendang kari ayam Brahim), kita bersiap2 nak pi Aberdeen Fishing Village.If we took the tour, it would cost us HKD490 per head.6 jam pulak.We would not have time to shop.So kita naik MTR dan bas ke Aberdeen (kat Hong Kong Island across the harbour.Kita duduk kat Kowloon seberang HK Island.Train that went across sebenarnya lalu tunnel bawah laut, constructed in the 70s).We found out org2 HK very helpful kalau kita sesat.Kalau dia tak boleh cakap English, dia akan call anak dia dan suruh dia tunjuk jalan.Baik, kan? Kalau tak tau jalan, dia akan google map kat ipod.Lain benar dgn penduduk Kowloon yang lebih kasar dan tak da masa nak layan sapa2.

We found the fishing village.Nama Cinanya ialah Tai Pak.Jgn tanya the locals where Aberdeen Fishing Village is.Memang mereka tak tau.Itu commercial name dia.

Kat situ you can sewa sampan.Org tu akan minta HK60 per head tapi you mesti berani tawar.We got HK100 for half an hour.Seronok naik sampan tengok boathouses and floating restaurant terbesar di Asia dan marina boat org kaya2.

From there we went to Wan Chai kawasan Muslim.Nak cari Muslim Centre.Punya susah nak cari and when we found it, tutup pulak.Nasib the masjid wasn't far from there so we walked again (about 5 mins).Kat situ ada canteen jual makanan Chinese Muslim yang halal.Haiyooo...very2 nice.Next time you nak senang, just stay at Charter House which is berdepan dgn masjid ni/canteen halal.We had dim sum, and segala chinese food/s you can think of.Syukur alhamdulillah.Kat sini byk maid from Indonesia having their day off (once a week and they will kumpul kat masjid).

From Wan Chai, kita naik taxi pi Stanley Market yang famous tu.Stanley Market terletak di kawasan mahal di atas bukit.Tambang taxi dekat HKD100.Ingat taxi driver tu ikut jalan jauh tapi I asked around, memang harganya begitu..sometimes up to HKD150! Tak jauh dari Stanley Plaza yang canggih tu (byk bungalows and apartments mewah up the hills).Along the beach byk pubs and ramai mat salleh minum2 kat sini.Stanley Market ni jauh lebih mahal dari Ladies Market (payung HK 30 jadi HK 130 di sini) Berhati2.Walaupun kedai2nya jauh lebih sophisticated, org2 sini suka kerat kepala dari Ladies Market.

From Stanley, we took a bus to Causeway Bay to catch a train to Admiralty to catch another train to Tsim Sha Tsui to meet my good friend Agnes (academic and writer friend).Kami 15 mins lebih awal but she was already there.She has such a generous heart.Dia bawak kita dine kat a vegetarian restaurant yang mahal , overlooking the harbour.Wahhh...very da cantik.

Lepas tu kita walked to the harbour and walked past malls yang canggih manggih.Semua designers.

Balik hotel naik MTR rasa macam nak tercabut kaki penatnya. But we experienced Hong Kong/Kowloon at a cheaper rate than what we would have paid a tour agent (and would not see as much as we did today)

Sekian wassalam. :))

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Makanan halal di Hong Kong

Halal Chinese cuisine kat restaurant masjid Wan Chai

Z with Dad at a vegetarian restaurant near
Victoria Harbour (what's supposed to be fake chicken, fake eel, sayor tu betul)

bryani and kebab (halal)

Tidak susah mencari makanan halal di Hong Kong kerana penduduk Muslimnya pelbagai: dari Cina Muslim ke India Muslim ke Mesir Muslim ke Turki Muslim dan sebagainya.Ada satu rangkaian makanan Muslim yang begitu mudah didapati (jika anda tau website makanan halal di HK..hahaha..bagi saya, kawan saya Mark yang berasal dari Canada tapi kawin dgn org sini dan menetap di sini..dialah yang bagi saya tau hal2 begini.Begitu juga kawan saya sini..dia juga beritau mana nak shopping, mana nak makan...).

Anyway, check out rangkaian makanan halal Ebeneezer.Tadi kita pi kat Knutsford Terrace (turun MTR di station Tsim Sha Tsui dan jalan keluar Exit 2B dan jalan cari Knutsford Terrace along Jalan Kimberley) di mana ada satu restoran fusion Malaysia, Thai dan India.Namanya Spice.Yo..mahal giler dan eja rendang kambing pun salah dalam menu: randang kambling. Tapi sebab restoran tu halal dan kita pun sgt lapar, kita order sahaja.Pengaruh India sgt kuat sebab b/ground music dia pun music India.Jadi kita nak create suasana Malaysia, kita pasang lagu dari phone kita lagu Ungu, Iklim dan lagu koleksi raya.Nasib towkay kedai tu tak halau kita keluar.Tapi kat HK semua org cakap kuat2. Nak makan pun terganggu.Cakap kuat dan jerit2 ni dah budaya mereka I guess.Kat Macau sampai ada poster peringatan supaya cakap perlahan2 dan sila bungkus kahak anda dalam tisu dan jgn berludah merata2.Yewl! Getik!

Tadi kita pi Ladies' Market.Penatlah nak bargain harga.I usually tawar sampai 50% w/pun my HK friend kata tawar about 20% je tapi I'm good..byk kali dapat harga yang diturunkan lebih dari 50% (buat2 je nak blah..nanti dia panggil balik). Tapi ada juga penjual mcm nak katuk I sebab mintak tawar byk sgt (dan mereka tak mau layan).

Lusa dah nak balik KL...waaaa...belum puas ku membeli belah di sini...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Greetings from Hong Kong

also from our hotel window

Z spotted a siput babi in Hong Kong

(at our resort)

Vela Latina, Portuguese Restaurant in Macau

you wake up to this view every morning

from our hotel window.Look at that hanging cloud over the mountain/hill

We touched down HKIA yesterday petang.As we were approaching the island, the flight got to be really bumpy.Takut oh.But alhamdulillah selamat sampai.

Thanks to the advice and info given by a friend, Mark Malby (who had to attend his brother's wedding in California and could not meet us in this trip), we decided to be as far away from the busy city as possible so took up a room in the Gold Coast (where HKies run away for retreats).Everywhere is view of the sea.Very da pretty.I fell in love with the place so fast.Then a posh2 mall was just within a walk.We wanted to go for something safe (like Thai cuisine where there's fish/seafood dishes) but dgn izin Allah, there's a halal middle eastern bistro and we had lamb bryani, tandoori and whatever eastern and halal you could think of.And a decent supermarket was also there.Beli fruits and drinks.Kat hotel mahal giler.

Oh by the way, if you ever get to HK, kat Airport tu ada tempat sembahyang (siap dengan tempat berwuduk) Tingkat 7 of the Airport building OK?

This morning we took a walk by the beach (Z forgot to bring our Muslim swimwear so there went our opportunity for a swim)...when we get connected with the earth (walking bare foot on the sand), memang rasa lain macam.Stress hilang.

Lepas tu we decided to go to Macau (1 hour by ferry). Pi shopping cos' nak buat apa lagi? Sightseeing semua nengok sisa2 penjajah (churches, museums). The casinos macam huge shopping malls (sometimes you can't tell the difference!)

We had lunch at this very nice restaurant (Vela Latina).It's a fusion of Portuguese and Macau cuisine.We went for seafood and veges. And ice creams. :)

I think I can live in HK.Shopping bagussss.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Raya drama

the only raya pic left (yang lain my niece, Tasniem, dah deleted.
She's 4 years old).This with my in laws

OK this year, the raya drama award goes to me and my mom.

Thursday mak I found that my family and I would not balik Raub to spend raya there.Dia naik angin.The rendang, satay goreng, baju raya I gave, semua dia tak mau (walhal before she found out, sikit punya excited nak bawak balik.Nasi impit pun dah packed siap2).The reason why we decided we'd stay put in KL was because she balik Raub Thursday ptg after her dialysis.Raya belah malam (besoknya on Friday) she has to travel back to KL for Saturday dialysis.We didn't want to tire ourselves running up and down Karak highway (balik ari) cos' Nik would want to spend raya in KL with his mom too.Nak travel Thursday evening too early for us...paip air nak kena ganti, pump kolam rosak..everything nak buat Thursday tu.Habis kalau balik Friday? Kena rush juga nak raya with Nik's family kan? It's her first raya without my father in law.

So...high drama.
I was very hurt but Nik said let my mom cool first.Nanti balik dari holiday, we'd see her and raya and minta maaf.

Friday my sis was supposed to drive her to KL.I knew they would not stop at my place.Saturday tu she had her dialysis (the centre is near my place).I thought I should drop by and salam raya.But my mom can be very difficult bila dia merajuk.Nik kata biar dia cool off dulu.

I dah janji nak invite Swabri (from Kenya) and Ali (Central Africa) to lunch so I masak bryani and prepared salad and all.Chicken I bought at Rasa Mas (Ayam Kasturi dia sedap).Meanwhile Sal and I were text-ing about masalah semasa ni. She said go and see our mom at the Centre since my house was so close-by.We are flying off for our hols besok..she said tak baik if I didn't see her first.I thought so too.Tak nak la nanti kena telan dek bumi.We went to the Centre.They had just left.So we went to pick up Swabri at the LRT station.Ali takda.Dalam perjalanan, my sis kata kalau nak jumpa juga mom, go to Pizza Hut.So another chase.By now Swabri was with us.I pakat dgn Swabri..can you enter Pizza Hut tu dulu...sweet talk my mom (my mom suka dia) and get her mood right..then I'd come and salam her while she's still smiling at him.Swabri thought oh this is so funny but he agreed.Kita gelak2 juga sambil tu.Memang funny.Dramalah kata kan.

It worked (I owe Swabri my lifetime gratitude) Haha.So I kissed my mom's hand and said sorry.Although she was not terribly excited, she took my salam.

You think it's easy huh? Both of us (like mother, like daughter/s) are all strong-headed, ego maniacs.But I knew my place...

During my 2 days plus ordeal (Thursday and Friday and part of Sat) I had online and sms support from friends and students (they didn't know I was upset but their kindness and love cheered me up) Francis esp. was a big comfort.He and his family are also going through a tough time.We kinda connect on this.He says I'm his spiritual teacher.I think it's the other way round.He has more patience and generosity than I have.

Anyway, nasi bryani I buat memang sedap (pastenya paste Brahim..tapi kalau tak betul ikut instructions..tak sedap juga kan?) My in laws and good neighbours (Tim and family) pun datang.Mini open house.

Need to pack now.Flight kita besok noon.Pray that it goes well.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Hariraya yang sederhana

I'm still at the office, trying to finish up a conference paper.Everyone has gone on leave.Initially I wanted to stay another day to finish up the paper tomorrow but it's so quiet here.I don't feel safe. :))
Sharifah and kids came to iftar last night.It's been a while since I last saw them. They live in Makkah. Sharifah told me she went to Rosmah's place the evening before, witnessing her khatam Quran. Something you cannot reconcile with, kan? But it kinda puts her in a different perspective. Nak juga dia khatam Quran. :)

This year's raya betul-betul low key.Is it age or just circumstances?
My only consolation is biskut raya yang I beli online tu ternyata tersangat sedap. Aku tidak tertipu seperti selalu.

Z is at home marinating satay meat.Besok kita start buat rendang.I'll check Cold Storage for another round to see if Rendang Brahim is available (short cut to rendang just throw in your rendang meat with pati rendang Brahim and there you go, sedap macam buat sendiri! Sayangnya, hypermarkets tak support Brahim.Limited stock, susah nak dapat).
Langsir I pun siap lepas Raya (sebab lambat time).

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Malam-malam terakhir Ramadan

Mak I bilang I lagi banyak tak puasa dari dia! (she will not puasa on days she does her dialysis which is 3 kali seminggu). Sudah tentu nyata dia exaggerates, kan? :))

Anyway, Z pun tak puasa lagi hari ni.Ahhh...we will miss our lailatulqada but hopefully jumpa dalam kami berbuat baik dgn orang2 yang berpuasa.We should start puasa balik besok. :))

Hari ni we went to dine with my friend's daughter from New Zealand.She brought another friend (also from NZ but they are both migrating to Australia).Kita makan Japanese at Shangri-la.Mula2 depa ajak I pi makan kat KL Tower...malas..tak sedap dan mahal although Nik kata Shang lagi mahal.Anyway tak kisah..we have money to spend (Najib bagi RM500 extra, remember? Haha)

Budak2 ni cerita how depa balik kampong mak dia kat Belawai, 3 jam naik bot dari Kuching.Betul2 kampong...kata Natalie yang first time pi tempat2 gitu..ayam berkokok all hours..dia tak leh nak tidur.Pelik pulak ayam Belawai ni..biasanya ayam cuma berkokok bila dah malam2 pun dia berkokok.Apa kena??

Sarinah ni maknya org Sarawak, bapak org putih NZ so dia tak tau cakap apa2 local pun kecuali "makan" dan "panas" tapi sejak akhir2 ni kerap juga dia balik ke kampong maknya.Very decent personality.

I ni rasa loya lepas makan pregnant fish kat restaurant Jepun ni.My daughterlah kata sedap (kawan dia recommended).Ikan kecik yang bunting dgn telor.Hiss...

Semoga hari-hari terakhir Ramadan membawa bahagia.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Merdeka Blues

This year apa pasal tak rasa merdeka pun? What is going on??

Pagi-pagi I got an email saying well-written.Aku dah agak..mesti ada issue race.Kawan-kawan Cina aku ramai macam ni (yang betul-betul luhur pun ramai). Yang segelintir ni suka sangat hantar emails yang berbau perkauman.Aku benci! Dah berapa puluh tahun merdeka, still harping on kami rakyat kelas kedua? rakyat anak tiri? orang melayu ada hak istimewa.Kalau tak bulan ramadan..dah lama nak kena hamput ni!

Macamana pun I voiced my 'resistance'.Pi check kat Penang tu..PKR rule kaa DAP rule.My friend (we are still friends..hahaha) kata check dulu la kau punya tender ada pun, Melayu juga dapat projek.He said pi talk to the people.Masalahnya I spoke to orang-orang miskin Penanglah aku berani cakap mcm tu! (unless taxi drivers tu orang2 UMNO??) I habag kat my fren, nak tanya Melayu mana? Semua dah tak mampu nak duduk kat island..habeh lari ke mainland.

Tak habis dok kalut with this email, tiba lagi satu kawan bagi email on merdeka (tajuk well-written).Dok cerita pasal Cina-Melayu lagi..haiya..this is not how I want to spend the rest of my life as a Malaysian (dok cerita ungkit melayu dapat ni..Cina terpinggir) Come on! anak aku pun tak dapat government scholarship OK? Kita pun duduk rumah teres lagi OK? Privilege apa, cuba habag maii!

I told my friends (supposedly to be educated people) tukarlah skrip..jangan dok main the same song.Aku bosan! Tukarlah skrip kepada yang ini (dan ajar anak-anak dan cucu-cucu sekali):

We do not care how others make us feel.We are Malaysians.Let's build this country together and assist each with the rich to help the poor.

See? Takda ill-feelings against any group based on race, class, religion.Take the venoms out.Be happy!

Happy merdeka day, anyway.You may not like your politicians but they don't own this country.It is ours to keep and take care of.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Busy days ahead

It's almost raya now ha? I have a series of conferences to attend between now and Nov.Tensi, dong! Konon nak unwind kat tempat buat facial and urut kaki..sakit bahu pulak jadinya..muka naik gerutu! (ini akibat coupon murah la ni..patut harga RM380 jadi RM98..inilah padahnya!)

Anyway, I thought of flying to Brunei to collect my data for the conference in Jakarta..suntuklah masa! Mana nak raya..mana nak pi holiday raya...and my writers from Indonesia semua I call je on the phone.Mana I faks, I faks, mana ada emel I emel.Kerja gila mcm ni! There's this Kiai on my list ..susah nak connect.I hope he'll respond.Nampak mcm interesting je orangnya.

Bagi yang tak berpuasa, how do you cope? Makan sorok2 ke?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nur Ramadan Talk Series

We'd like to announce our series of talk this Ramadan.For those keen on life-long learning, this is the time.

Tomorrow Aug 20, 2010 (11 am -12.30 pm) at CERDAS room

1.Dr Meriam (clinical psychologist with years of experience) talking on Memahami Keperluan Warga Emas (we'll get there sooner or later!)

Fee RM30; students RM10

2.Puan Nina Abdullah (certified marriage counselor who ran a practice in USA before moving to Malaysia) speaking on Menyuburkan kasihsayang di dalam rumahtangga

CERDAS room August 26, 2010 (same time, same fee)

3. Prof Dr. Alini (Board Trustee Member of Khalifah Institute, Prof of Pharmacy, UKM) speaking on Memahami Keperluan Remaja

CERDAS room Sept 3, 2010 (same time, same fee)

Make time for knowledge.RM30 is sooooo cheap cos' the professional rate is RM250 an hour with the psychologists.

See you tmrw!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dari Golden Lounge

Greetings from Penang.I'm writing from the airport's golden lounge..hai..seronok betul travel business class nih...rasa relaxed and unrushed sikit..surau kat sini, toilet bersih dan tak berbau...rahmah Allah sangat besar bagi yang berpuasa...hahaha (cuma tak leh makan)

I was at USM to examine a thesis (viva).Sempat jumpa beberapa rakan seperjuangan.Mcm2 idea dapat bila dah berbual2.

I suka Penang.Green, clean, accessible.Dulu tak mcm ni.Dulu byk motosikal dan agak tak teratur.Kalau tak jadi cuti ke Seoul or Hong Kong or Australia, nak suruh Nik datang sinilah cuti Raya nanti.Duduk tepi pantai macam orang putih...

Saturday baru ni we had a family event (buka puasa plus kenduri doa selamat : for Z and for Nik..long overdue.Also for my mother: for coming through her toughest ordeal last Feb). I catered but caterer baru ni not so goodlah.But anak2 angkat yang kita ambik last 2 rayas came.My mom was so happy (Ali led the prayers/doa..dia punya doa boleh buat org masjid Madinah where he studied for his undergrad days).Makram pun I invited (maklum he just came from Jordan/Saudi.A pelarian Palestine.A bit lost takda kawan but with the 4 boys, ada la kawan dia nak cakap Arab..Ala budak Palestin tu pun ada..from Engineering Sch.Dia ni tertib.Mak bapak duduk Dubai.Nampak mcm kaya but humble je).Nik ajak budak2 ni makan durian (my nephew bawak dari Raub).Ya Allah...macam pesta! ( I don't like durian..busuk..hahaha..gue mcm oreng putih kulit hitam)

But it's nice kasi makan students.Ali was saying semayang kat masjid UIA tu mcm kat Makkah musim puasa ni.Orang luar pun will come to pray there.One of these days I pun nak pi lah.Dah teringat kat Masjidil Haram...harap2 ada lambaian pi umrah soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Unnecessary fear that impedes...

I hate it when it happens.Unfortunately in this country, it happens a lot.

2 years ago I got some small research grant.In my busy-ness and excitement that I completed the project, I submitted whatever I got and moved on to other reserach projects (and completed..some with slight delay).

Now that the whole uni is or will be audited, many offices are over-cautious about their spendings to the extent of impeding other people's progress.Arghhhs!!! Benci betul. I could not trace RM400 RA money spent (budak tu dah balik Nigeria I think).I wrote a letter saying my work was submitted and published the same year (2008).How come the file isn't close yet.Selagi tak close tak leh apply another project (although between 2008 and 2010 I got other grants..cuma now in their spring-cleaning, they just discovered ada doco I tak cukup). Truly leceh.If it's RM4 million I can faham the kecoh (and esp if work is not done).

Oh well.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Happy Ramadan

My fav month is almost here. I wish to wish everyone selamat menyambut bulan yang penuh berkat ini.

We shopped early for Ramadan sebab Sat afternoon I had IEEP at Genting till Sunday.Malam tu pulak nak pi tengok Z punya Culture Show (dia jadi pompuan mengandung...good acting but I asked apa pasal tak pilih langsung watak lakonan tu.She said it was given.But the kids pandai...they did everything within a week : from writing the play to setting up props, belajar tarian, etc.We were impressed but masa 20 mins intermission, we all cabut.Z's scene pun dah lepas.Had to pick up my mom from Sal's.Dia baru keluar Tropicana, masuk balik HUKM besoknya.Sigh..but now stable and discharged).

I feel that I need a holiday.The mind, body and spiritual a bit battered.May Ramadan energise me.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

paling maksima

Hari ini ujian cukup besar.Paling Maksima.Macam nak buat cerpen pulak.

I had to uruskan my mom keluar hospital seorang diri. Can you imagine I mengangkat kerusi roda besi tu sorang2? Ya right..tak terbayangkan yah? Memang tak terangkatkan! Hari ni I tak pi valet parking sebab nak save duit.So I kena hangkut besi tu from carpark kat bawah tu..bukanlah hangkut sampai atas but from my car boot to keluar.It was impossible.Then I just doa: Ya Allah permudahkanlah...and like magic, benda tu jadi ringan and MUDAH keluar.I have seen byk magic since I take care of my mom, folks.Truly!

But I got tired. I bukan malaikat yang tak tidur, tak lapar, tak marah.By the time I got to work (separuh hari nak settle mcm2 kat hospital tu > it's not a one-stop centre nak mengeluarkan pesakit ni.I wish you can just do it at the ward's counter) I rasa mcm nak pengsan.I sms-ed all my siblings, reminding them hey look, we gotta share this responsibility.Yang sorang tu byk ckp pulak..reminding betapa byk pahala kalau buat kerja dgn ikhlas (my eyes roll up here)...and that it's all destiny that I should do more and even quoted the story of anak mithali yang pikul mak dia kat bahu ...haiyo...never quote anything to a tired caregiver...I told her jgn guna destiny as an excuse but ask how much extra mileage are we willing to do for an aged parent.

Anyway, we sorted out some kinda arrangement: kena bergilir2.There are times my work would not permit me to be this flexible with my they better be prepared.

And kesian the aged patient next to my mom's bed.Dia mcm dah nyanyuk.Only her sons rajin tunggu but they are easily chased away by the nurses sebab tu ward pompuan.Tadi pagi nenek tu duduk tak bergerak2.Anak2 jantan dia tak datang lagi. My mom kata dia pengsan (sebenarnya tidak).I asked her upon seeing her meal tak dimakan."Makcik tak lapar ke?"

She mouthed me : "lapar."

"Makcik nak makan ke?" I asked trying to be civil.Idak I tau makcik tu nak kata iya.

"Iya." she said and looked at me with this pleading look.Plez O plez.

Halamak! Terpaksa la I jadi misi dia kejap.Kasi makan...(betul2 macam baby.. lap2 mulut dia when makanan tu jatuh atas bib dia).Nak ketawa pun ada, nak menangis pun ada (I felt kiri kanan I had to serve)

Tapi di sinilah agama amat penting.Sedang setan dok kipas I, I teringat hadis Rasulullah "tidak dari golonganku jika dia tidak mengasihi yang kecil dan menyayangi yang tua" or something like that lah.And you actually feel good helping others....

And balasan serta merta Allah hari ni buat I?
Diana Wong sent me an email and gave me her tel no!!!!!

This is the friend I have been looking for for over 10 years!! (dia pun cari I) Hatinya sangat mulia walaupun dia bukan orang Islam.Masa I susah sebatang kara in Adelaide, sapa yang cheered me up (tolong share sewa rumah..tolong jaga anak I..tolong kasi I moral support when Z had to go back to Malaysia cos' I could not afford childcare expenses and could not cope between writing a thesis and caring for an infant...) Memang kalau Diana Wong takda, I dah lama biul.

Itulah balasan Allah utk mengangkat besi berat hari ini.Syukur alhamdulillah!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Events of the month

Men in uniform (Doc Zul and friends)

Role playing

Dr Ng and Delesh at UoL dinner

Stuart at UoL cocktails

Stuart and Malaysian Mona Lisa
(kah kah kah)

guests at the registration counter

The gala dinner with Uni of Liverpool at KL Sentral's Hilton went well.Met a few interesting people: Dr Khan who flew all the way from Dhaka for the dinner (trained as a doctor at the Uni of Liverpool) and ada Mat Salleh berumur (was a lawyer) yang I suka berbual.The group who came (the VC and wife included) were not your typical English yang sombong.They also thought we were a bunch of friendly people. :)) And I met Datuk Zakaria (ingatkan dia ni Chinese convert..dok cerita dgn dia pasal budak2 Melayu cerdik yang tak dapat scholarship..aleh2 bila nak pi cari nama dia kat VVIP table, wife dia kata look for his name: Paul Chan..halamak! But I think he was representing someone else..these days tak tau who is who..muka semua sama! I remember meeting with Datuk Z when HELP gave Z an award and scholarship for High Achievers..dia la yang gave away the award.Baik sgt mereka suami isteri)

I had a great evening sitting with Dr Kassim and wife, Kwan and wife, Delesh (bujang) and Dr Ng.

On Sunday kita tukar hospital mak kita dari private ke uni hospital.The meter stopped at close to RM12K (2 days je).But mak kita dah stabil so alhamdulillah.

Monday ada closing ceremony for our peacekeepers.Syok oh talking and mingling with uniformed men/women. :)) Kita tak pernah tau dunia mereka.Mereka pun tak pernah tau dunia uni.kami.We all hope there would be other opportunities to work together again.And I hope our newly found friends will email us pics from wherever they are (takleh beritau lokasi mission mereka but they go as peacekeepers)

And now, back to examining theses.