Thursday, November 29, 2007

Old and New

I woke up with a worse flu as compared to yesterday. Kamal would say, "what a way to start an entry after days of silence." Nevertheless, worse is the word for the flu. I must be thankful though as my coughing has been reduced to a mere sore throat. Thanks to the medications that confined me to the bed. I am back in the office, but not for long.

Throughout my absence here, changes took place elsewhere. Must be the hormones. Let's see what has changed since Little C appeared:
  • I never had any issue with Roti Canai dipped in sugared dhal whenever I was in Kelantan. To me, just do as the Romans, or in this case, the Kelantanese, do. However, now, I would struggle to finish Nasi Lemak with rather sweet Sambal Tumis. Just do not put sugar in food that is not supposed to be sweet. Surprisingly, I am no longer tempted to have a piece of yogurt cheese cake whenever I pass by Secret Recipe.
  • Nowadays, I am picky about food and beverage. Yes. It is so not me.
  • I used to go to bed at midnight, the earliest. Retiring at 3:00 a.m. was never a problem, either. As long as I was doing my favourite activities like surfing the Internet while watching television or watching television while surfing the Internet. Now, if Kamal needs a company while doing his work, he would need to put the WiFi modem upstairs. I demand to be in bed by 9:30 p.m. except on days that Grey's Anatomy and Boston Legal are on air.
  • Only to fidget in the bed, wide awake, while Kamal sleeps like a log.
  • Speaking about fidgeting, I blame it on the hot, hot night. It is not the weather. It is just me. My skin is not friendly to air-conditioner, yet, back in my parents' place, I would set the air conditioner temperature at 16 degrees Celcius, which is extremely cold for someone who used to prefer the fan in the bedroom.
Those changes apart, I am still the Chech most of you know. I still love to write. I still love to read. I still love travelling. I still love photography. I still love art. I still doodle. I still this and I still that.

To Kamal, I still love to talk and most importantly, I still do the laundry. Heh.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Jungle Train Extravaganza

It was October 1, 2005. The jungle train that Kamal and I boarded was nearing Tanah Merah.

After I woke up, I crawled into Kamal's bunk. We chatted. Realising that I was only half-awake despite the lip gloss, Kamal brought out his camera and started to snap away ala magazine shoot. Yes, he was mocking me.

I managed to snatch the camera from his hands. His turn to be mocked. Of course, he was just humouring me.

Note to ourselves: we must, must board the jungle train again.

Once Upon a Fantastic Time

Kamal's old, old notebook crashed yonks ago. The files there were successfully transfered to a new hard disk. Nevertheless, due to a technical problem, the files could not be opened.

Then, miracle took place. Eventually, Kamal and I had access to the files in the hard disk. We found photos from a barbecue session that Noreez and Nurul co-organised in 2005.

Also present were Cikun & Hasnul, Moqq & Milla, Zin, and upon request by his fans, Tukangtaip. Others from the MCKK8286 forum could not make it. My first time meeting them, but they have surely made the experience seemed like a decade a friendship.

CK & F, Rose & Jalud, and Noreez were very thoughtful. They got a sumptuous cake and a golf t-shirt for Kamal's birthday. CK and Noreez also gave me a lovely bracelet with my name on it as a memento from Singapore.

Then, there was the pretty beaded bracelet for me from Raudz, Noreez's sister, who owned an online jewelery business. Back at home, Kamal and I enjoyed the posh Royce chocolates, courtesy of CK & F. We surely can't thank these incredible people enough.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Vintage Kebaya Pendek

Vintage kebaya pendek with chain brooches. Kamariah Baharin's collection. I love those.

First and foremost, Kamal and I would like to thank our friends, relatives, and even strangers, who spent their precious time to drop congratulatory messages for Little C, either on our online social spaces or over the telephone. I told Little C about the well wishes and he, which is a general pronoun, responsed by advising me to eat this and that in the name of celebration. Thus the vintage kebaya pendek which offers flexible size accordingly because it does not have any buttons and the front flaps could be folded to suit one's figure. Chain vintage brooches add the chic factor, so I love to think. Oh, I feel very pregnant.

I feel so pregnant that I had to cancel being a master of ceremonies for my colleagues' wedding at the very last minute. Dear bride and groom, I am exceedingly sorry. I feel nauseous, but Alhamdulillah, there is, so far, zero need to vomit. Such predicament, however, has confined me to the chair and forced me to replace high heels with flat. Aye, I am that dizzy.

At night, I would let the bathroom light switched on because of the frequent needs to make local calls. Another reason for doing so was the coughing that would wake me up every hour through the night, which eventually inspired me to read magazines on the bedside table with the light available, trying not to wake Kamal up. I know that God was actually granting me more exclusive hours for even more exclusive experiences with Little C.

I did not get to enjoy such unique moments during the previous, very brief pregnancy. But then again, God is The Greatest. He perfectly knows what is best for us.

During one of the nights that I was awake, my mother's words, upon hearing that I am healthily pregnant, rang in my mind. "You know that with age comes the luxury of being able to stay up at night all by yourself. Such time is always spent praying for my children. For you and Kamal, I never failed to pray that both of you will be granted the joy of parenthood." I cried, partly because of the hormones, but mostly because I realised it was my mother's ceaseless prayers that contributed to this priceless rizqi.

I remember how my maternal grandmother once asked me,"do you still love me despite my sickness and the troubles you have to endure because of it?" I kept on kneading my fingers on her forehead, massaging away the headache. I admit I was mentally haggard. "Of course I love you no matter what." I said, after looking into her somehow longing eyes, that sparkled as she absorbed my assurance. Two days later, she passed away. What is left are a number of lovely vintage kebaya pendek, of which she said would fit me most perfectly.

And then, there is the bequeathed value that one should celebrate life to the fullest. Cherish each second, be it the discovery of a new life or a restless sleepless night. Write a note of appreciation for all the inspirations and prayers. Keep opening doors of moments with the key of happiness, as though one is living for another 1001 years. Pray for the best in life, not only for oneself, but also for others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Little C in a Sac

Little C finally made a grand appearance after more than two years. Two years which seemed just like yesterday. It has been five and a half weeks now. In two weeks, we shall hear tiny heart beats.

Another 31 weeks, we will be greeting the fella to this world. So much excitement going on. So many little things to look forward to. Hopefully, we would be able to chronicle every precious moment here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kemaman

To be a traveller, one must try the local delicacies. Being in Kemaman for an assignment in merely three days, my friends and I tweaked our way through the hectic schedule to at least visit one of the famous eateries in the district.

We ended up with more than one visit. Among my friends and I, we had Sotong Celup Tepung, Satar, Keropok Lekor, Otak-otak, Nasi Berlauk dalam Boko, Air Kelapa Laut, and Air Batu Campur with infinity of buah kabung at Warung Aziz Satar; Roti Canai with Kuah Kari as well as Kuah Dhal at a no-name stall by a junction; Nasi Air, Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng, Pulut Kuning, and Milo Ais Tabur at a stall by the river; as well as Kopi O Ais, Roti Bakar, and Nasi Dagang at Hai Peng.

Yes, I am no longer a Hai Peng virgin. Special thanks to my friends for turning what would be just another working weekend to something syok. Vocabulary of the week, by the way, is 'boko'.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ole-Ole Bali

My colleagues and I shared a cake from Indonesia after lunch, thanks to a boss' recent visit to Jakarta. The unique taste of the cake reminded me of an exotic dinner date with Kamal early November. We recommend Ole-Ole Bali to you.

Being in the cosy ambience was a welcoming scene to our then haggard minds. Experiencing the delicate cuisine was something indescribable though. The only thing that was as sumptuous was my mother-in-law's nasi kerabu, which I had the opportunity to savour during my parents-in-law's recent Klang Valley visit.

Later, I shall blog about the food and beverage in Kemaman. Oh, I love every thing about the district. Ole.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Clarisse

I saw John Lennon's CD on Starbucks counter. How wrong was I to think that a dose of chocolate banana pie would ease the longing for his songs. Clarisse arranged a quick date with me before we went back to our respective offices and I pestered her to buy the CD for me as an advanced Christmas gift.

She bought me a tall mocha praline frappucino instead, assuring that the caffeine would sober up my longing . Little did she know that caffeine, to me, intensifies desires. Or, did she actually know?

I particularly love Imagine. Yes, you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. Speaking of which, I have not given up hope of being forgiven. For all my wrong doings, which I thought were right but were deemed wrong by others. For the series of blunt confessions, particularly in this blog. For being ignorant. For other reasons.

A Muslim is encouraged to ask for forgiveness and forgive others each day of his life. I believe that such acts of humbleness are practised in other religions, too. Simply because we would benefit in many ways by asking for forgiveness and by forgiving.

Ego melts, true-self emerges. A reminder to myself. Clarisse definitely knows that caffeine does wonder to my senses.