Friday, January 26, 2007

Feel-Good Friday

It is the Feel-Good Friday again. What makes the day better is our trip to Tanah Merah. We are going by train tonight.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Coldplay

I am supposed to bathe, but doing so at this hour could be quite an experience when the place my husband and I are renting has neither shower nor water heater.

Yes, we only have to pay RM350, which is a low rent in Bandar Baru Bangi, but the advantage stops there. Count one's blessings, eh. At least, the landlord painted the walls and installed ceiling fans in the bedrooms before we entered the place. Plus, we got extra exercise from ascending and descending the stairs.

Kamal and I are very simple persons. After a while, the cold bath is indeed refreshing. At times, I did purposely wake up earlier to warm up for bathing time by doing a little house chores. Nonetheless, both of us love the cold bath for the refreshing effect. As I have written before, "I only wake up after a cold shower."

Anyway, the water heater is still in my priority list once we move to a place we can call ours. We would have asked the landlord's permission to install a water heater if we were to stay here for years to come just in case the coldness becomes unbearable. We will be here for four more months though, so, we will enjoy the cold bath. It also reminds me of my village once upon a time.

Yes, I have boiled some water to be added into the plastic tub in the bathroom, but we honestly think that the cold shower is refreshing, not merely an expression used to soothe ourselves.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

;D

Watching Mother, I think of my writing. So far, the blog has been about my daily experiences. They are interesting, yet could have been more interesting had I have the flair.

I mean,

I had fun shopping for everything in my list within limited budget and time;
I had fun riding my father-in-law's new sleek Civic;
I had fun with The Exuberant Ketereh Clan;
I had fun sharing Akok with fellow 1/2005 chums during a surprise gathering;
I had fun being a Master of Ceremony again, which entitled me to two working weekdays in Kelantan;
I had fun losing in Scrabble to Kamal;
I had fun getting to know new bosses who are not bossy;

yet what I would like to say is, the experiences are beyond descriptive words.

Why doesn't he with flair blog?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Saw the Sign

I woke up only to sleep again at 3:00 a.m. Then, the pattern repeated.

4:00 a.m.
5:00 a.m.
6:00 a.m.

I was fully awake at 6:30 a.m.

Each time I opened my eyes, I looked at my watch and thought about sleeping again. Strangely though, I felt fresh each hour I woke up. Strangely at peace, too.

Sleepless nights, in my case, were usually associated with deadlines, wrinkled clothes, or anxiety of all sorts.

It is a sign. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oshin on TV9

Oshin! Channel-surfing has never been more surprising. Today, I found a favourite show during my childhood by chance.

When I was a child, my life revolved around the television guide. I hogged the television after school was over, watching endless cartoons like, in no particular order, My Little Ponies (with that song "my little ponies, my little ponies, my little ponies and friends"), Carebears (with that song "5, 4, 3, 2, 1"), Thundercats (with that song "thunder, thunder, Thundercaaaaats"), Smurfs (with that song "tra la la la la la, sing a happy song"), Transformers (with that song, sung in a robotic manner, "Transformers"), and He-Man (oh, no song, but I vividly remember She-Ra). Then, I was also into Sesame Street (where I learned to sing numbers, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12").

Orange
Memorable show.

Green
Memorable excerpt from the theme song.

Purple
Memorable excerpt from the show.

Chiaki was my first Japanese series, which was the crave back in my kindergarten years. I wanted to be a stewardess like her but minus the woman rival with black glove. Please, do not picture me pulling the gloves with my teeth.

During my primary school years, there were more Japanese series. This was the year Moero Attack captivated me with fancy yet impossible volleyball tricks, followed by Miss Comet with her magic wand. Of course, who can forget the legendary Oshin. I particularly remember this line, said in a memorable translation tone, "makanlah nasi lobaknya, Oshin."

One Saturday in 1993, while I was enjoying another Japanese series, Ultraman, the phone rang. My mother called from her office to scold me for not collecting my Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah result in school, and afterward, she congratulated me for the straight A's while simultaneously wondering how could my Ultraman fixation help my academic achievement. I even had a deck of Ultraman card. My favourite was the brawn Ultraman Taro. I was also into Kesatria Baja Hitam, who rode that funky motorbike. Sad, I know. Heh.

English language series were equally enchanting:

Little House on the Prairie. I was longing for a sisterhood, I guess.
Brady Bunch. With five brothers around, I could relate to the girl-boy fight.
I Dream of Jeannie. Another fantasy.
Knight Rider. The reactive car could be of great help for side parking.
Airwolf. The show was so addictive, I requested a toy helicopter from my parents.
MacGyver. My first television crush, enough said.
The Girl from Tomorrow. Back in school, every girl wanted to be Alana.

My essential reading for today will have to be the television guide. I do not want to miss Oshin.


Edited version.

In my haste to be on time for an appointment with my doctor this morning, I have in fact left out more favourite series.

Jem
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heathcliff
Ghostbusters
The Elephant Show
Gaban
Rin Hani Koma
Bionic Woman
The Six Million Dollar Man
Full House
Out of this World
Doogie Howser M.D. 
Growing Pains
Life Goes On
The Wonder Years
Ewoks
And, many more.

Now, who said I do not like the 80's?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Faith


He held my hand in his and we sauntered by the river, grateful. 
Ulu Bendul, November 2006.
It is my faith that the fundamental to the whole life is one's faith.
Faith in God.
Faith in Love.
All within me.
No matter what happens.

My Kamal, for the faith we share, I love you.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Celebrate!

Kamal has recovered from the fever, flu, and cough. Thanks to the refreshing trip to Pasar Malam Seksyen 1 as well as The Devil Wears Prada.

I celebrated the beautiful weekend with Kamal at this cosy cafe we chanced upon while searching for a new eatery near our place. People, do serenade your date at Nim's Little Island.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cinta Sup Tulang Rawan

I am touched. He came when I most needed him despite the fever he was experiencing. Just because he wanted to show me the way to Hotel UiTM Shah Alam as I was eager to learn.

Then, he became the charming companion during dinner. He was his pleasant self even though the meeting only finished at 12:30 a.m. Yes, he waited for me so that I would not have to go back alone.

I owe you Sup Tulang Rawan and Lychee Kang. Homemade.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Quilt

My mother told me that my elder brother and his family dropped by Rembau on their way to Port Dickson yesterday. His mother-in-law was in Kelantan, thus the break from their F&B business. I invited them to come here yet I can't afford the five-star hotel Angah demanded. Heh.

Kamal is recovering from fever, flu, and cough, yet I have to work until 11:30 p.m. again today. I will need to allocate a number of hours for work during the weekends, too. How I would love to take sewing and cooking classes to prepare for my tenure as a Domestic Manager instead. Those, in between French and Mandarin courses.

By the way, I am wearing a pair of white silk kurung. The fabric was my mother's gift for accompanying her to Nagoya and every fabric store in Tampin once upon a time. This morning, when my mother and I could not sleep, we talked about curtain for the new place. She suggested Salem Aziz in Wakaf Che Yeh. I never thought that I would actually miss shopping with you. We might have contrastive views, but you paid for everything. Kidding. Heh. I really miss you.

Kamal has been a great companion when it came to choosing furniture. Hmm, let's see how he fares with curtain fabrics.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kisah Pasar Malam

A perfect escapade from any restaurant is, definitely, the night market.

Kamal and I needed to pick up the fresh laundry, so Section 7 it was. We also planned to have dinner there albeit the yearn to have something different. Oh, we have been frequenting the restaurants within the section the past few weeks save last evening when I had a meeting in Hotel UiTM Shah Alam. Nonetheless, Kamal was feeling under the weather, so we decided to stick to Section 7.

Approaching the junction that leads to the shophouses, we saw colourful umbrellas near the Community Center. We whispered, in disbelief at our luck, "pasar malam."

Yes, we do not know when and where the night markets in Bandar Baru Bangi would be, except for the one I went to with two friends a while ago. This time around, the great finds at the short stretch were Satar and children who were very confident to become co-entrepreneurs in their family business. What impressed us was their active involvement in the whole process, from promoting the product to doing the mathematics. Effortlessly. I ended up buying Char Kway Teow from a child's stall because she manned the stall alone, like a pro. Oh, we did find out later that her father were running some errands. Oh, the Char Kway Teow was perfect.



When I was ten-year old, I had the experience of being behind the counter at a night market as my mother's eldest brother gave our family a lot of ripe jackfruits, and my mother thought the only way we could finish the fruits was by selling them. Therefore, she arranged a temporary stall at Pasar Malam Jalan Mulia, Bandar Tun Razak, which was near our place then, and those fruits were selling like hot cakes. Nevertheless, my experience was limited to accompanying her. Neither promoting nor mathematics. Heh.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Poie Pagi, Balik Ontah Bilo


"Bokojolah kito sokueknyo. Poie pagi, balik sonjo."
Quoted from a song.

With a face-lift for the cubicle, I am more motivated to work. Gone is the organised chaos. In its place is an almost zen look. I need wireless tabletop to achieve a total zen. Heh.

Anyway, I prefer to be a Domestic Engineer, with creative hobbies that keep me occupied while simultaneously contribute to the household fund. But then again, I might end up being a pensioner who jogs around Taman Tasik Cempaka in the morning, envied by motorists stuck in a bad traffic thinking of the red mark on their punch cards.

Next project, Kamal's cubicle. That needs at least three large garbage bags. I will heed your advice to not ask,"ini pakai lagi?"

I work until 11:30 p.m. today, talking about motivation. ;)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Raub Open

Weekend in Raub.
6 and 7 January 2007.

By the time the husband completed his work, it was already 11:00 a.m. Just in time for me to complete packing. My, Kamal and I would love to have lunch with The Ketereh Clan in Raub. Nonetheless, we did not want them to wait for us. They insisted to eat with us though. Pressed for time, I fed Kamal's alter ego, Kamalonso, a packed breakfast as he sped along the highway.

Hey! We arrived in Jalan Cheroh at 1:30 p.m. My mother-in-law, with the help of her grandchildren, prepared Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak, Gulai Terung, and Ikan Sepat Masin. At lunch, we were joined by my brother-in-law's family. I had my hands full humouring his daughter. The other nieces and I also played Uno.

Came tea time, one of my nephews challenged me to a chess match. I was actively involved in competitive chess back in school, but that was it. Our game attracted quite an audience with my father-in-law rooting for the nephew and the nieces rooting for me. Kamal was the commentator. I won the game in the end. The nephew must have actually given in as he was pressured by his sisters, who would like to play something more interesting like table tennis and badminton.

The table and court were at Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan, Raub, where the children's father works. The eldest niece cycled while I walked with the other nieces. Kamal and the nephews joined the fun minutes later. For the first table tennis game, the younger nephew teamed up with Kamal while I paired up with the younger niece. The nephew and I swapped partners for the second game. We exercised enough just by laughing. Finally, we took turns playing badminton. While waiting for my turn, I walked to a nearby shop to buy Ais Krim Potong for everybody.

I also walked down the memory lanes. Firstly, Ais Krim Potong during my childhood only cost 20 cents. Now, such a cheap variety can only be found in Kelantan. Secondly, the table tennis games reminded me of my first and last visit to a friend's place in Perak. Another friend and I had so much fun with her siblings that the youngest one shed a tear when we went back to Johor.

Back at home, all of us savoured Pulut Kukus with a separate spread of Santan Kelapa, Gula Melaka, and Durian Segar. My first time. Except for the pulut, my family cooks those items together. Either ways, they always taste heavenly.

That evening, the nephew, the nieces, and I played Uno again, this time with Kamal joining us. After my brother-in-law's family departed to Kuala Lumpur to prepare for the youngest son's enrolment into Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor, my father-in-law invited me to play chess. He claimed to be interested in chess after playing with friends during tea times. Nothing fancy, he added. Right. He played aggressively that I trailed behind by a pawn during the middle game. During the match, Kamal and the nieces extended an invitation to watch Just My Luck with them. They proceeded without me though, seeing how engrossed my father-in-law and I were. We decided to call it a stalemate eventually as we had similar pieces and both were in need of lighter entertainment.

I joined Kamal and the nieces later. The girls thought the movie was nice that they rewinded the DVD so I could catch up with the earlier scenes. Very relaxing, although the younger niece and I wished there were popcorns for a more divine viewing experience.

It was time for homework the next day. Kamal with tasks for an affiliation, moi with my minutes of meeting, the twins with their Penilaian Menengah Rendah revision, and the eldest with his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia revision. I told my mother-in-law that I would take the dish shift after lunch. Heh. Every single thing served on the table was so delicious that my father-in-law had three plates of rice. Me, I had Nasi Manis that my mother-in-law prepared for dessert in mind.

At first, Kamal would like to drive back to Kuala Lumpur after Asar, but there was Ibu Mertuaku on air. Then, my mother-in-law further enticed us with her superb Nasi Goreng Kerabu. Therefore, we only started our journey after Maghrib. On the way, we stopped by a family friend's place to visit their new granddaughter, Firdaus Idrina. We got to meet her new cousin, too. Next week, we are going back to Rembau.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Kamal Leisurely at Work: A Sketch


Again, an extended limb :)

A Move

First and foremost, my condolence to a dear friend, Ayue, who has just lost her aunt. A colleague is right. The aunt has moved to a more peaceful place. Our prayers for her.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Missing Kamal

I suddenly woke up at 2:00 a.m. It must be Kamal's absence. Earlier, he invited me to a supper with Zam, who has been very kind to send my car, which was parked at his house while we were in Kelantan, from Taman Medan to Bandar Baru Bangi. I was so tired though that I decided to stay at home. Now, I am missing Kamal.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Aidiladha

Aidiladha fell on the final day of 2006. The long break was spent with loved ones both in Ketereh and Bukit Mas. What a great way to end a great year.

On Friday, Kamal and I departed to Kelantan at 4:30 p.m. Right before I stepped out of our place, I snacked on the crystal pudding my mother made. Crispy on the outside and velvety in the inside. A traditional delicacy bequeathed by my late maternal grandmother to her. Somehow, it heightened the spirit to travel back to our loved ones.

Innumerable cars lined the road. Fortunately, the expressway was not as congested. Had we pushed off later, we would arrive in Kelantan at 8:00 a.m. the next day, not earlier.

Morning in Ketereh is synonym to Nasi Itik Serati. After breakfast, my father-in-law went to a community center in Bukit Mas to attend to qurban. When Kamal, my mother-in-law, and I reached the place, the women were already preparing Gulai Kawah, Rendang Daging, and Sup Tulang. Having nothing to do as the kitchen was occupied by the professional chefs, I tagged along my brothers to Rantau Panjang.

Back in Bukit Mas, more of our family friends had arrived. Kamal and I first met Zamri and family. His wife has given birth to their first daughter. Irnisya is not the only newborn in our big family. There are too many new babies that I forgot their names. Oh, I will snap their photos during our next gathering.

December 31, 2006, Bukit Mas. Came Aidiladha. Kamal and I woke up early to perform congregational Subuh and zikir, led by Pok Pa. Simply serene. After Solat Sunat Aidiladha, the father figure in the community, Ayah Soh, delivered an inspiring khutbah. One day, I would like to be able to deliver a good spontaneous speech in public. Kamal has the latent talent but he needs more persuasion.

Our friends from Melaka had to board the train back to their hometown that afternoon. Kamal and I spent the afternoon playing with the niece and the nephew. We just wished my eldest brother and his wife were there. Nonetheless, they are in the third trimester of their pregnancy, not a time to travel long-distance.

As everybody else bade farewell that evening, I shared with Kamal how I missed my family tremendously. The visit to my sister-in-law's place soothed me though. There, I experienced the heavenly taste of Ketupat Daun Palas with Gula Melaka. All this while, my father's family just made Ketupat Manis.

All in all, Kamal and I were thankful to be with our family members. What a great way to end a great year. Alhamdulillah.