Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Do

I miss Kamal, terribly.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cheese Chums

Ayue, Fique and I. Three variations of cheese cake. More cheese cakes to share in the future.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Album

My mental images.

In our pyjamas, with hot milk in hands, my mother and I were at our most comfortable in the main hall. It was 7:30 a.m. The neighbourhood was quiet. Perfect for the conversation topic, spiritual journey. I had tears welled up in my eyes listening to her wisdom.

My mother and I were having brunch, which I bought from a restaurant nearby. She had Soto Nasi and I had Asam Laksa. Once in a while, we dipped the spoon in each other's bowl, placed on a box, which functioned as a temporary dining table. We chatted in the midst of noises from the kitchen renovation. Most of the time, we laughed at our attempts to beat the noises. It was 11:00 a.m. when we started having brunch.

In the living room again. It was 12:30 p.m. The noises from the kitchen were gone as the workers rested. We talked about everything under the sky, like two inseparable best chums we used to be.

My mother and I with that box which functioned as a temporary dining table again. It was 4:30 p.m. She had a hunger pang and coaxed me into having Mi Kari, another favourite from the nearby restaurant. She shared her recipes. Mainly the ones that she thought suitable to be served during housewarming. She also shared tips on how to manage the household during hectic period. She is a superwoman.

Beautiful images, eh.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ten

Ten minutes to two, ten minutes to blog.

Ten things about yesterday and today:

1. I was looking forward to my parents' visit yesterday evening. They brought with them more household items for the new place. One of them was a stove for the wet kitchen.

2. I decided only to trim my eyebrow and not give my hair a cut after office yesterday. All because of the had limited time as Kamal was about to fetch me. Being driven around was as good as being made over.

3. The time I was supposed to spend for the hair cut, I spent shopping for floor mats. RM6 for a nice mat that matches the colour theme in our new place. I never really liked Carrefour until the moment I found those floor mats.

4. Yet, my mother found better floor mats which only cost RM4. Now, I can wash my floor mats as often as I like. Heh.

5. Ayah Soh, Ma Na, and their twin children were in the Klang Valley yesterday. After lunch, they came to our house, along with a number of family friends. Then, there were my parents and my brother. Ah, an impromptu gathering. My first time being a host.

6. My mother helped a lot though. Particularly, with the hot drinks. Kamal and I bought Nasi Goreng, Telur Mata Kerbau, Daging Masak Merah, and Sate for dinner.

7. My father ventured into the town to buy fruits, only to realise that business finished at 10:30 p.m. He had no sense of time. I would love to be like that.

8. The gathering only ended at 4:45 a.m. I went up to my room to catch a wink at 2:00 a.m. and went down again half an hour later. The others were still lively then.

9. Kamal and I are sleepy now, but I can't afford to sleep early tonight as there are more things to pack in our rented place. Our routine this week is to go back to the flat after work, pack, bring as many items the cars could accommodate, unpack, and sleep. We love our mattress.

10. There was a meeting this morning with the new head of division. The former head, recently back from umrah, came to bid farewell. When he arrived in the meeting room, he walked around to distribute a little gift from Mekah. He was sweet. What is sweeter is the fact that I am semi-officially going to be reassigned to a new department.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

1/4

1/4 of my personality, according to a quiz.

Moods: Easy Rider
Always taking life how it comes, and living in the moment. 
They are not fazed by life, they just breeze through.

My Say: Oh, yes.

You are a bit of a romantic, who like to get back to basics. The expanse of the wilderness is inspiring and you like landscapes that make you feel calm. When it comes to art, you are creative yourself, and you believe in self-expression. You can see the little masterpieces in everyday life. Oh, you can be a touch sentimental. As for music, you are a discerning listener, always passionate. You love the buzz you get from watching music live. Your choice of treat reveals your values. Family is top priority and there is never enough time to spend with them.

Fun: Thriller
They can make the best out of any situation, always a lot of fun to be around. 
They love to laugh. Indeed, they are a bit on a naughty side. 

My Say: In my case, the fun part is true only with those I am closest to.

You like to take any opportunity to keep in shape as your health is really important to you. You are driven, with lots of energy and ambition. When it comes to holidays, you reckon they should always be indulgent. A very special treat and a chance to recharge your batteries in luxurious surroundings as well as spending quality time with family and friends. What grosses you out? You favour the natural look and can't stand a pumped and plumped, plastic appearance.

Habit: New Wave Puritan
They are strict, organised, and ever so neat. All because they practise the art of self-discipline. 
They like things done simply, but with an eye for detail.

My Say: It is most true when it comes to home and living, as well as art.

Even if you have a healty approach to life, you still have your little vices that keep you going. Your choice of drink shows that, on the whole, you care about your health. As for the home, you have very cool and contemporary taste. You have a simple approach to style, but you like things to have their respective places.

Love: Love Bug
They are the type to fall in love a thousand times a day. 
They are full of passion.

My Say: Only with Kamal, of course.

You are a real romantic. At times, a bit of a dreamer. For you, love is about devotion and tenderness. You try to show your feelings in simple ways every day. Your heart is right there on your sleeve. When you think of freedom, you think of love. The comfort of being loved makes you feel free with your thoughts and words. You are a love bug.

What Matters Most

Mika's Relax, Take It Easy is playing in my mind. To me, taking it easy should be taken seriously. Particularly, during crisis.

No matter what it is, I always refer my doubts to God. The answer to a doubt I had this morning was to never be bothered by others' allegations because bothering over the allegations, which might not be true, and in this case, are untrue at all, is a wasted energy.

Alhamdulillah, I am a calmer person nowadays. As compared to those days when my sensitivity loomed, when I did not realise that my reaction was my decision. Of course, I was tempted to stand up and shout the truth, but the allegations will continue, knowing the person’s ego.

Above all, The Almighty knows best and that matters most.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Home Sweet Home, Bangi

Home sweet home, eventually.

On May 12, 2007, Kamal and I officially became the owner of a house in Bandar Baru Bangi. This is a memento of our parents' love. Ayah and Mak foresaw the advantage of us buying a property then, recced places, saw the house under construction, and later, found that it was still available. They immediately booked it.

We fell in love with its practicality the moment we saw the plan. The rooms are spacious for a linked house, the vast playground opposite the house means better view, the patio is perfect for a scrabble session, and the location makes Putrajaya, where my office is, accessible within shorter period.

Above all, it is the idea of creating happy memories in a place we can call our own that appeals the most to Kamal and I.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mira Edora

Mira Edora is on TV1.

Mira Edora, I read the novel when I was in standard three, as a friend recommended it. I was engrossed with Mira's dilemma and Pipah's love story, when my mother returned from work. She appeared at the door before I managed to take an Enid Blyton. Upon seeing the romance novel, she immediately remarked, "Ali, you must see what your daughter is reading."

A chum once told me that she would like her daughter to explore the spirit of love whenever she feels so. Oh, she herself married her high school sweetheart. They have been an item since both were in third form. She actually knew her husband since kindergarten.

Then, I was more comfortable being friends with the boys. No other interest. However, I thought my chum's idea was cute. Think of Kady and Franklin from My Wife and Kids.

Even my niece had an idea of what love was, albeit it being judgmental. She was fond of Reza. When asked why she chose Reza over Razin, she said, "sebab Razin tak ada gigi."


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sabah, Bah

The PTD Assessment Centre in INTAN Sabah was initially a chaos, in my case. My name appeared in the first letter sent to me by Public Service Department of Malaysia, yet it was missing in the facilitator list. Making my trip more adventurous was the fact that I only knew about it after I have arrived in Kota Kinabalu, or else, I would gladly spend the weekend with Kamal.

I communicated with a fellow colleague, Khai, who is with INTAN, and he shocked me with another fact. INTAN Sabah does not have a hostel yet. I had cash and credit card, but would there be a room for me for the weekend?

Khai, as one of the secretariats, tried to book a room for me in Le Meridien, where the rest of facilitators and assessors from Peninsular Malaysia were staying, to no avail. Another colleague, Nisha was very kind to let me crash her room. I kept my luggage there and took a cab to Kampung Nelayan Seafood Restaurant where the rest of the colleagues were.

Khai, Nisha, Cik Fazni, Encik Azlan and Encik David welcomed me with lots of seafood. Fresh fish, tiger prawns, soft-shell crabs, and strombus shells galore definitely. There was a cultural show as well. I have marked the restaurant for another visit. Oh, I felt warm immediately. Nonetheless, I still debated whether or not to catch the next flight to Kuala Lumpur. They advised me to wait for the decision of the head secretariat.

Therefore, I returned to the hotel, weighing various decisions. First things first. While the others went to the night market, I tried my luck, requesting a room. Hey, I was lucky. There was a sudden availability. I texted K-Lynn, whom I talked to earlier about the whole situation, to convey the great news. Both she and Kamal agreed that I must spend the weekend in Kota Kinabalu even if the chaos continued. As a tourist. Heh, I could not agree more.

The next day, after a good breakfast, I tagged Khai and Nisha along, helping them with registration while waiting for my status as facilitator. The head secretariat was informed of my predicament. He looked at the letter addressed to me and said, "it is clear; you stay."

Which meant work until Saturday midnight. Second by second, I started to enjoy myself more and more. The company was great. The candidates were full of personalities. The secretariat was hospitable. There were new colleagues. I could even play online Sudoku between activities.

The hotel was superb, too. Except for two incidences. Firstly, I was charged for a bottle of alcoholic beverage that I did not consume. Secondly, my favourite magazine, United Kingdom edition, was stolen. I am cool nevertheless. May God bless the person who stole the liquor from the minibar with a warmer body and may he or she be more proficient in English as well as women issues after reading that magazine.

The activities for the selection process started at 0800 and finished at 2130, thus no sightseeing for the facilitators and the secretariat. Encik Azlan, an officer based in INTAN Sabah, helped to pack frozen tiger prawns for those who ordered. Somehow, I was not interested to order the famous prawns. Perhaps, it was because I knew I would return. Just a question of when.

The opportunity to catch a glimpse of Kota Kinabalu came on the final evening. Right after post mortem, around 2300, Khai, Nisha, and I changed into our casual apparels and walked along the waterfront, which was only a crossing away from Le Meridien. It was exuberant with live bands, beauty parlors, and eateries, most with sea view. Later, Tuan Ruzainur & wife, Encik David, and Tuan Masri joined us. We wanted to go to the Philippine Market but there were only a few stalls opened. Instead, we roamed the city, but not for long as most of us would like to rest.

I greeted Sunday gleefully. My flight was at 1035, which meant I would arrive in time for a lunch date with Kamal. I was also looking forward to our gym date.

All in all, the chaotic first day led to many happy moments in Kota Kinabalu. I love the place that I promised myself to go there again. Not for work, please. I would not resist if I were instructed to be there though.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I Missed You, Too

Anis was in Rembau this evening. She asked her grandmother about the aunt's whereabout. She missed me, the Mak Lang.

Looking at my pictures in the grandparent's room, she told them how she missed me. She went outside, saw my framed pictures, and told everyone that she missed me. She asked each of them to call, but I was at the gym then. When I called her just now, she told me "Sha rindu Maklang."




For You

Kamal is now in Bangsar, completing a tender due on Tuesday. When I was working in Kota Kinabalu, I would indulge in a telephone conversation under the duvet, received after midnight. From his office number. Hopefully, our anniversary would be a retreat.

I arrived at KLIA at 1:15 p.m. Kamal welcomed me with a pasta and tiramisu lunch. Lovely afternoon, we concluded.

It was miraculous, the experience of falling deeper into love; albeit the limitations of time and distance. I know why you love me, Kamal. Mushy.

Never mind, that. This entry is for Kamal anyway. For breakfast, tea breaks, lunch, dinner, and supper. For the moment his boss looks away. For the breaking point. For whenever he misses me as terribly as I miss him. Until Tuesday. And then again, until Thursday.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Beyond Words

That, was truly orgasmic.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Little Something From Kota Kinabalu

I will definitely come here again. With Kamal.

More to share once I am back in Bandar Baru Bangi.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Away

I will be away again. Until Sunday.

Kamal and I sauntered along the walkway by the lake in Putrajaya yesterday evening. Within a month, it will be our two-year anniversary.

Being away is tough.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The New Camus and Chech

Kamal and I were craving for instant noodle yesterday evening. Fortunately, we were too tired to go through the hassle of going out, driving, parking the car, searching for the favoured brand, risking not finding it in 7-Eleven, and having to prepare the noodle.

The craving started when we decided to watch our diet, which we only decided for after going to a fitness center. Yesterday, we woke up, drove there, ignored the food challenge along the way, and signed up to be members. We did not sign up for personal training. However, there are numerous classes. Kamal participated in the Yoga class. I opted to utilise the equipments. Today, we might swim. I would love to join the Energy Aerobic class while Kamal uses the equipments.

After an hour and a half there, both felt that having just anything to eat would put our effort down the drain. We wished there was JJ Super Sandwiches nearby. We love the set that comprises a selection of white bread or wholemeal bread sandwiches, which you could choose whether or not to toast, or jacket potato with a selection of filling, fresh cut fruits, and watermelon juice with no sugar and minimal ice. Reasonably priced the set is. Oh, we are excited about moving to our new place and have a proper kitchen where we could occasionally prepare our own meals.

The thought reminded me of my weight issues. I have always been tall and big, though not fat, in primary school. In form three, I started to gain unnecessary weights. No thanks to sumptuous food in hostel. Ice cream twice a week, heavy supper of pizza or sweet savouries, as well as chocolate while burning the midnight oil for revision. Then, monthly birthday celebration was a feast. Black Forest in the middle of each table, ten sticks of Chicken and Beef Satay for each student, Fried Rice with every imaginable condiment, and Cornetto to end the meal. I ended up being a flabby girl, albeit a happy one.

Being in the high school was one of the best things for me. For the camaraderie and the fun we shared. Nonetheless, if I were given a second chance to return to the past, I would be more selective when it comes to the food I consume and be more active in co-curriculum activities. Being a chess player did not help. Heh.

While waiting for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia result, I looked back at photos taken during our vacation in Sarawak when I was a fourth former. I realised how fat I looked. That was it. For three months, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and skipped rope. My Seri Puteri chums were surprised to see the new slimmer me when we met to collect the result.

Only to gain weight once in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Again, the Seri Puteri chums were surprised, to see the extra kilograms. Entering my third year, I moved out of campus with two coursemates. We walked more as Taman Universiti was only minutes away. Not to mention having to wait for the bus in front of Melawi, which was ten minutes away from our flat. Then, there were the stairs to our pad on the fourth floor. No elevator. I thought that was not enough. Therefore, I became the girl who walked from the residential area to the university for morning classes. A 45-minute walk. I would walk back to the residential area if the classes ended in the evening. Yet, that was still not enough. I sought my parents' consent to buy a treadmill. Many saw the results.

After graduation, entering working world, I gained weight again. I felt like a million dollar when I quit from work. I felt so because I could walk around my village every morning and evening. In addition, I  burned more calories doing house chores. With the time I had, I could also afford aerobic sessions after walking. My mother helped me by preparing healthy dishes like my favourite Beancurd Soup.

I was my fittest during the Public Management Diploma course. Thanks to the outdoor modules, the 2.4-kilometer run, and the endless flight of stairs in INTAN Bukit Kiara.

Working day and night has taken its toll on me though. I became lethargic. Taking clomid, a fertility pill, made the fatigue worse. One day, I just knew that the sudden weight gain after the diploma course was not caused by working or clomid, but because I let myself being affected by them. I could make time for exercising, like some of my colleagues who made time to learn foreign languages. As for clomid, it does make a woman to be more emotional and in my case, hungry, due to hormonal changes. Nevertheless, the choice is in my hand and mind.

Kamal, he felt the urge to live a healthier lifestyle, too. I will let him blog about it himself. There will be an update of our new looks when the results show, unless, of course, if I am pregnant. :)