Monday, August 29, 2005

ALWAYS FUN, Being A Malaysian



NATIONAL CONDOM: None. Most Malaysians still feel embarrassed buying condoms. So they rushed into a 7-11, hurriedly grab the nearest pack,any pack, pay and leave before the cashier can even blink an eye.


NATIONAL APHRODISIAC DRINK: Stout. Many swear by it. But after a few pints they start swearing at everything...



NATIONAL EXCUSES GIVEN BY WOMEN WHEN REFUSING SEX: Headache, kids not asleep, maid not asleep, mother-in-law around, early appointment, food not digested yet, aircond not cold enough, aircond too cold, nail polish not dry yet, forgot to take the pill, sleepy,stomach cramps, period, haven't remove make-up, haven't shower, no water supply, going to watch "Santa Barbara", depress, no mood, etc...

NATIONAL EXCUSES GIVEN BY MEN WHEN REFUSING SEX: None. Malaysian men never refuse sex. (oh ya??)

NATIONAL CURE FOR HEADACHES: Panadol. The "cure for all". If it fails we have another secret weapon; Tiger Balm.



NATIONAL INSTANT CURE FOR DIZZINESS (FOR YUPPIES): The sight of a police road block.

NATIONAL RUBBISH DUMP: Anywhere. As long as it is not your house.

NATIONAL MOST MIS-PRONOUNCED NAME: Carrefour. Sometimes even pronounced as Carry 4! On second thoughts, why bother pronouncing stupid French brands like Peugeot, Renault or Citroen correctly. I think it sounds better,when the local mechanics say "Pew Jeot".

When I was in school, Milo was always 'Mee Lo', now that I'm sophisticated, I say "My Lo". So don't be embarassed saying "Carry 4" when the Mat Sallehs shamelessly pronounce orang utan as "rangutan".

NATIONAL ROADSIDE DISTRACTION: The Bra-less Tourist. See how heads turn and traffic slows down when a bra-less Mat Salleh backpacker goes bouncing about on the streets.

haha...I like these facts!!!! So real yet so shy to admit it !!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


The past two days were hectic. First Mak was not well and then I have to drive down to Johor for a kenduri tahlil. Mak insisted that we go. It is her elder sister kenduri and we should not miss it. It must be day trip and we must be back home in Malacca that night.

She also insisted that we took the trunk road and not waste money on tolls. Agreed. God! It was a tiring journey.

It was a two and a half hour drive down to Benut, but time passed by quickly as I always enjoy driving on the trunk road. I do enjoy the view of the wooden rumah kampung and the winding road. At least it would prevent me from falling asleep while driving. Mak, as usual would ask for "ketap kuku" to cut her nails and when I say I did not kept one in the car, she just lentok her kepala. She was already heading to the dreamland when we left the Malacca's border. So, I drove enjoying the view and the loud rock music from my basket full of rock tapes. Yeah! Rock!

Mak's sleep was disturbed by Mael rambled loudly about not taking a bath. (Taken from the best of Mael and XPDC).

"Lagu apa ni? Bising je." She said. She shifted, getting more comfortable in confined seat.

Biasa aaa.... Rock kapak!

"Dah sampai mana ni?"

"Dah lepas Muar, hala ke Batu Pahat." Mael has not stop "melalak" yet. "Tidur la Mak, jauh lagi ni."

My youngest niece, Dib, was entertaining herself at the back seat. Talking and playing with my stuffed "lembu". Nice lembu. Wanna play, lembu? Look! I have lembu, do you have lembu? Dib was busy showing off the lembu to the driver behind me. Pity him.

"Tak boleh tidur dah. Matikan jer la radio tu," instruction was given. At this time Mael has stopped singing about stinking body odour.

"Tak pe, kang ngantuk plak nanti. Tak de orang nak layan borak." Me.

It was five minutes ago. Mael has been "sedated" and now singing about L.O.V.E. Mak's lentok not for layan rock but layan ngantuk. Off to dreamland again. Dib, still layan the driver at the back and me.. just layan the drive.

We reached Wo Sal's house around 2pm. We are very close with her family so it was straight to the kitchen. After hugging each other and updating the latest, we went straight to work. Then it was makan tengahari time and gossip time. Who is married who is divorced. Who is doing what or go where.

I love kampung lifestyle. Just mention kenduri, all the neighbours would come and help. So, most of my aunt's neighbours were there helping cutting and washing the vegetables and chickens since morning. When we came, we are the second shift cooks. I helped fried the kuih like karipaps and Mak's "new product" samosa. Mak on the other hand busy cooking the dishes for the kenduri.

Here, the kenduri is held after Isya' prayer. And kenduri is specifically for tahlil or doa selamat. When its wedding reception, we dont call it kenduri, its undangan. And here we still hold on to the tradition of makan dalam talam or nasi ambeng. Rice piled up in big tray covered with a few dishes and eat at least four to five people. The tray would be covered with banana leaves to give more aroma to the rice.

Unfortunately, I left my camera at home and only realised it when we already reached Jasin. Darn!

Besides the rice and the normal ayam masak merah dish, ikan kering or dry salted fish is a must for nasi ambeng which is very popular among the Javanese community. Then there is the dish called sambal goreng. Fried anchovies, ground nuts and tempe cooked in chili paste. Some call it sambal lonteng. This sambal if stored properly, can last for days. Most importantly, the sambal must be hot AND sweet. Its like just mention sambal goreng and you immediately associate with Javanese. Another new dish that I learned that day is gareng asam.

This is the first time I heard Gareng Asam. It is actually long beans stir fried with curry powder and ginger, onions, garlic and tumeric. Of course it should be hot as well. Other dishes include the normal stir fried vegetables.

A nasi ambeng would not be completed without fried mee hoon. So, once completed, a nasi ambeng is a setalam nasi dengan mee hoon goreng, topped with several vegetable dishes including Gareng Asam and sprinkled with salted fishes. The treasure of Nasi Ambeng is the chicken chunks masak merah and sambal goreng. Fuh! Berpeluh makan tuh!

Nasi Ambeng is normally served to the men after the tahlil. While the men recited the tahlil and doas, the ladies would prepare the food in the kitchen. A few men normally relatives of the host would bring the trays laden with delicious food from the kitchen to the hall. In Javanese community, there is no direct interaction between the ladies of the house with their male guests. Their JD (job discription) during the kenduri were to cook and prepare the food on the trays. All the serving would be done by their male relatives be it brothers, sons or cousins.

Of course, the men were involved during the "rewang" or gotong-royong to prepare the food in the afternoon. The men were doing heavy stuff such as cooking the rice in big pot, plucking the coconuts and take the milk, slaughtering the chickens and do the cleaning as well. (I need to learn to slaughter chicken too *sigh*). Once the birds were cleaned, they would be handed over to the women to do the cooking.

The rewang here is also unique. The women would come armed with a knife each. Those who could not attend would give packets of flour or sugar to the host as an act of apology for not being able to attend the rewang and kenduri. Rewang was loud affair. They would joke, laugh and tease each other while their hands were busy peeling the onions or stiring the chilli paste in the big wok.

Besides the main dishes, it is important to have dessert or pemanis mulut to wash down all the spicy food. The normal kuih would be curry puff (another spicy food), agar-agar (jelly) and the traditional kuih bahulu. The drink, normally the cheap red sirap. (ada orang kata cicah baulu dengan sirap, sedap. Tapi aku tak minum sirap, camner?)

The Nasi Ambeng tradition is a spirit to bring people together. Everybody regardless position would sit together around the tray and use their fingers to eat the rice. It is a symbol of one. Unity. Togetherness. That we are all the same in the eyes of Allah.

Besides, it is the most practical tradition. You eat together in a tray. So, besides the best time to gossip (bercakap buruk mengenai orang lain itu berdosa), it taught us to be patience and respect one another. Although I want that chunky chicken for myself, I have to learn to share. Darn! Anyway, the host would also have less dirty dishes to wash because the rice were served in trays. At the same time it is environmental friendly as no paper plates were used during the kenduri. Only banana leaves.

But, kenduri for Javanese community would not be completed without berkat. A plastic bag full of rice and dishes along with some kuih or cakes to bring back home for the family. The portion - hm.. must be xtra large that sometimes enough to feed a battalion (Im exaggerating!)

Nevertheless it is a normal practice to set aside the rice (yang agak memang tak abis makan) to be cooked as nasi goreng (fried rice) for next morning breakfast.

Am so tired...

Monday, August 22, 2005

will you marry me?

I asked Zurd to marry me.

It happened yesterday. A beautiful Sunday morning and we were on our way to a wedding kenduri in Kelemak, Alor Gajah. Sorry Zurd, it was not during a candle light dinner or a walk in the park. Sorry, that I pop up the question when you were driving. I purposely did that. I had to corner you. So you would have no place to run away.

And dear, have I told you that you look stunning in your red and white baju kurung with matching scarf? You do.

I think, this is the perfect solution for us. We have known each other for.. 17 YEARS. Im still single and so do you. I know you are "in love" with someone else, but hey! You are not officially attached. Its like the pact made by Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett in My Best Friends Wedding. Lets get married, dear.

We are made for each other. The perfect match. You could finish my sentence and I yours. You know all my secrets and I know only part of yours. You have that mysterious aura that made me attracted to you more. Remember that we would talked on the phone for hours? We tried separation. It doesn't work for us.

Remember the misery, the boring days when you left me in KL alone. You went to Pendang and everyday we would call and talk on the phone? I couldn't explain the joy when you were transferred back to KL. But then our happiness was shortlived. It was my turn to be transferred out from KL. I was in JB and that 13 months there tested our relationship. But, I am just happy that we made it through.

Dear, you are what I am not. You could cook.. ah the basic criteria. Just a suggestion honey, why don't you ease a bit on the salt.. and if you don't mind, sambal belachan is meant to be hot. And okay. I promise, I will not tinker with your pots and pans. But, if you need help in repairing loose screw at the cabinet, just holler. I'll come running arm with my Black & Decker power tool.

Honey, you have so much love in your heart that you generously give to those close to you. You are a gentle person, a person that I hope could change me from a temperamental to more calm person. I love that sultry voice of yours over the phone.Your barely there laugh, although sometimes I don't understand what you were saying because your voice is too soft. But not to offend you, I laugh too.

Dear, how would I live without you? Will you marry me?

"Piirah mabuk! Ko dah bengong ke apa?!"

Alaaa Zurd, jangan lah marah kat aku. Kalau aku lelaki, sure aku pinang ko. Mesti mak bapak ko terima aku dengan hati yang terbuka.. lalalala

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Born Salzburg, 27 January 1756; died Vienna, 5 December 1791.

Tak ada apa sebenarnya aku nak tulis pasal Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or christened as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, cuma aku terjumpa balik gambar yang aku ambil sambil berdiri di atas "walk of fame" di Vienna, a few months ago.

While standing on that star, I was thinking. What kind of man Mozart was. I know that he was a genius. Well he wrote sonate, symphonies, sonatas, operas and such. Needless to say he was one of the world well known geniuses. Tapikan... actually, I was never into classical music hehehe. Some people say classical music is soothing, yes. It makes me sleepy. I need beat, not too hard. Rhythm so I could tap my fingers along. No, don't give me Punk, it made my head hurts. Heavy metal just not my cup of tea. Rock is okay. Just Rock Me Amadeus!


Im in that kind of mood again. The mood which strikes once a year. That No Feel Mode time.

A colleague said that I hardly smiled these days. Why?

"I don't see you smile lately. In fact, not even angry. Okay, maybe except last week when you were told to go to Shah Alam, last minute. Why?" She asked me.

I looked at her. Raised my shoulder. I don't know laa..

Yep, lately I noticed my lips failed to make any curves - be it negative or positive - no Anjal Tidak Sempurna. It is perpetually Anjal Sempurna - a long horizontal line across my face.

For a person whose life is mostly ruled by her turbulent emotions, this no feel mood is like a sabbatical period. A time where I, as the rental of this imperfect human body do not feel any emotional feelings toward anything. No happiness, no anger, no curiousity, no sad feeling.. but only a feeling of contentment. I am so content, so relief that no other emotions merit any showcases up front.

I guess my picture of the Star Of Amadeus summed up my feelings today. Standing on top of a star. Alone. Not feeling exhilarated but just contentment.

She tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Smile la sikit, your face won't crack. I promise..." She smiled at me. Encouragement.

I looked back at her. A quirk of lips. Small.. and getting bigger. Yes, I feel my muscle stretch. More. The miracle of muscle. It did not crack. Yeay!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

sebeban duit syilingku..

Aku off today.

Aku bawa sebeban duit syiling dalam beg plastik. Semua duit 50sen yang aku simpan dari tahun lepas. Aku tak nak lah bawak dalam tabung tong surat merah aku tu, nanti malu pulak nak letak kat atas kaunter.

Mula-mula aku pergi ke BC kat Setiawangsa.

"Bang, boleh masukkan duit syiling kat sini tak?"

"Boleh, nanti cek kat kaunter." Abang security guard pun tolong tanyakan kat cik adik di kaunter. Bisik-bisik, datang balik kat aku.

"Sorrylah kak.." (aku panggil dia abang, dia panggil aku kakak - ralat: kami bukan adik beradik)

"Mesin mengira kat sini rosak. Paling dekat akak pergi kat Melawati ataupun Ampang Point," kata security guard tu lagi. Aku tengok dia.. hm layak jadi pak aku plak.

Aku senyum jer kat dia dan tolak pintu kaca keluar. Bahu aku dah rasa berat sebabkan bungkusan duit syiling dalam beg.

Aku menapak pula ke bank yang ada ATM yang mengaku Kawan Aku yang sebenarnya sahabat kala ada duit dan sombong sungguh kalau balance cuma RM4.50.

Aku terus pergi kaunter, tanya cik yang comel pakai tudung dan baju kaler pink sedondon.

"Dik, boleh terima duit syiling tak?"

"Maaf kak, kami tak terima duit syiling hari ni," dia senyum kat aku. Bertambah manis.

Aku ucap terima kasih dan tolak lagi pintu kaca. Kat luar panas, tapi aku tak rasa panas sebab hati aku lebih terbakar dari kepanasan di luar yang bagi aku cuma suam-suam kuku.
Last bet aku ke KLCC. Aku dok pikir nak bawa keta ke nak naik LRT. Dok fikir orang tengah kerja mesti LRT kosong. Aku biar keta kat Setiawangsa dan terus menapak ke LRT station. Bahu aku rasa nak rebeh dek duit syiling aku nih.

Dalam LRT aku dok fikir sebab apalah aku collect duit syiling 50sen ini. Orang lain simpan duit singgit, aku simpan syiling 50sen je. Tapi bangga jugak lah sebab aku berjaya simpan duit syiling ni. Adalah RM200 lebih setahun aku simpan. Lagipun arwah Tok Ripin Felda Bershia yang buatkan ibu duit aku dari seketul duit syiling 50sen.

Aku terus ke BC. Aku approach lagi satu pakcik security guard. Aku tanya baik-baik..

"Encik, boleh simpan duit syiling kat sini?"

Senyum pakcik tu kat aku. "Boleh. Boleh. Adik ambik nombor ni, tunggu dia panggil ye." Lembut suara dia. Aku angguk. Terus duduk mengadap mesin yang display nombor kat atas.

Nombor aku dipanggil. Aku bangun. Aku angkat beg plastik. Bergerincing duit syiling aku bertabur atas lantai. Alahai! Beg plastik aku koyak. Aku nampak ada orang pandang aku sambil senyum. Kesian kot tengok aku yang terbongkok bongkok kutip duit syiling tu. Muka aku panas, tapi aku dari kelompok coloured people. Jadi hue tu tak lah menyerlang sangat ronanya (waduh! Bahasa apa yang aku pakai ni?)

Ada budak nak tolong. Aku cakap tak apa. Aku dah kutip semuanya masuk dalam beg plastik yang koyak pemegangnya. Aku hantar ke kaunter. Aku tengok adik kaunter tu berubah muka. Masam. Sebab kena kira duit syiling agaknya. Dia suruh aku duduk balik.

Sepuluh minit berlalu, dia panggil. Bagi slip customer kat aku. Dan aku ucap terima kasih.

Aku berlenggang keluar. Bahu aku tak rebeh lagi. Aku jeling kat slip. Tertera RM310.00.

Banyak juga duit aku ek?

Anyway for Along - Happy Birthday to you. Aku dah pokai. Kita kira lain kali lah ye?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

run run run...

Lari! Lari! Langit dah nak runtuh!

Keadaan yang gelap kat luar mengingatkan aku tentang cerita kanak-kanak. Tadi baru aje borak dgn Sel and Shren pasal buku kanak-kanak. aku suka karya Enid Blyton tak kisahlah dalam bahasa inggeris ataupun dah diterjemahkan - Lima Sekawan - Si Gemuk dan kawan-kawan. Lepas khatam buku-buku adventure ni, aku mesti berangan. Nak jadi mata-mata gelap. Jadi private investigator, tapi sebab aku rabun dan kena pakai alat bantuan melihat, aku tak dapat jadi mata-mata gelap sebab mata aku cuma kelabu tak nampak (bukan kelabu warna - tak pakai contact lens berwarna pun).

Bila aku tengok anak-anak buah aku sekarang, diaorang ni semua macam tak ada sense of adventure. Asyik-asyik mengadap idiot box atau pun main games. Diaorang lebih kenal AF dan Malaysian Idol dari Enid Blyton Famous Five, Secret Seven, Hardy Boys ataupun Nancy Drew. Yang ajaibnya buku-buku ni ditulis berpuluh-puluh tahun dulu dan tetap menjadi favourite sepanjang zaman.

Mcm Enid Mary Blyton. Bagi aku dia penulis buku kanak-kanak yang paling prolifik sekali. Terima kasih lah pada emak dan abah yang memperkenalkan buku-buku dia pada aku. Dulu aku ada satu rak bersusun dengan buku ni. Seronok sangat bila abah beli the next book. Satu hari suntuk aku akan duduk baca. Kalau tak duduk baring, meniarap, bergolek atas katil. Akhir kata aku membaca gaya bebas.

Kalau habis baca aje, aku mesti berangan yang aku akan solve satu misteri. Ke mana hilangnya Toyol abah. (Toyol adalah nama yang abah beri pada ayam-ayamnya). Satu hari salah satu dari Toyol abah hilang. Dari sedozen tinggal 5. Masa makan tengahari, aku cerita dengan mak pasal kehilangan Toyol dan aku akan menyiasat kehilangan ayam itu. Mak angguk-angguk (dia tak geleng-geleng macam lagu tuh) sambil hulurkan aku seketul ayam goreng. Aku sambar aje dan antara kunyahan daging ayam tu, aku janji dengan mak misteri itu akan aku leraikan. Malangnya aku ada kakak yang jahat. Misteri Ayam Hilang diselesaikan di meja makan itu juga. Cis!

Bila era membaca buku misteri tenggelam, timbul pula buku cintan cintun Sweet Dream dan Sweet Valley High. Habis duit elaun aku untuk buku-buku ni. Sekarang masih ada lagi aku simpan, siap balut ngan plastik. Sayang pula nak buang. Buat wariskan pada nieces aku. Bila habis era sekolah aku naik selangkah lagi, Romance Books. Fuh! Thats where my real education begins hahaha. (Sekarang pun masih lagi di educate kan hehehe). Dari takat yang nipis-nipis terus ke tebal 400 muka. Tak tidur malam pun tak apa, pergi sekolah mengong-mengong pun tak apa. Yang penting aku habiskan malam tu juga sebab esok boleh pergi tukar dengan buku lain. Dekat tempat aku pergi tusyen, ada satu uncle jual buku terpakai. Aku rasa kalau tak ada uncle tu mesti aku tuang tusyen gak. Sebab cuma dia aje yang jadi pendorong aku pergi tusyen Tingkatan 3.

Sekarang aku dah luaskan pembacaan aku. Aku minat buku-buku travel plak. Bukan apa, kaki dah kemaruk nak berjalan. Aku asyik tenung paspot aku aje. Lagi tiga tahun nak expire. Cop baru tak de. Last destination aku Budapest. Orang sana pun dah nak mari sini, dan aku tak ke mana-mana lagi. Tak moh pergi Singapore sebab dah penuh dengan cap hijau republic tu. Boring tengok. Nak pergi Thai plak tak boleh, jerebu dah ditiupkan ke sana.

Bulan lepas time aku tak de kereta, aku naik LRT. Aku bawa buku nak hilangkan boring, tapi orang pulak dok jeling-jeling kat aku. Pasai apa? Sebab aku tak baca buku Dan Brown ke? Atau pun buku-buku yang gambar daring menghiasi cover depan? Salah ke aku baca buku War in Iraq? Aku muslim. Yes. Aku perempuan berhijab. Yes. Tapi aku bukan terrorist la.. Noooo...

p/s. Aku nak balik sekarang, tapi takut sangkut dalam jem. Dah la semalam kantoi satu solat... hish!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Biarlah kali ini entry di dalam bahasa ibundaku...

Sudahlah tak ada kerja diberi, buat-buat telefon pun, orang yang dicari tak ada. Bosan sungguh. Akhirnya aku dok melawat blog orang lain. Entah apa kebetulannya hari ini, hampir semua blog yang aku singgah, diaorang cerita pasal berhenti kerja. Is it a sign?

Tapi, aku memang dah berhenti kerja, cuma aku di tempat kerja untuk menghabiskan hari-hari sebelum aku go on leave. Yang tinggal 10 hari cuti. Bosan lagi. Hati memang dah tak sabar-sabar nak berhenti. Tapi macam biasalah tak de plan yang sungguh-sungguh. Gila aku nih.

Aku check balance account, ada RM10 ribu lebih. Alhamdulillah. Tapi aku rasa tahan beberapa minggu je kot. Ya lah, mana nak bayar hutang kredit kad, hutang rumah yang bertepek-tepek kat bank. Jangan bank ambik tindakan undang-undang kat aku sudahlah. Duit lagi tuh!

Tang kereta aku tak risau sangat, sebab kakak aku kata hubby dia maybe boleh sambung bayar. Yang lain tu lantaklah. Pandai-pandailah diaorang nak hidup. Aku? Pandai-pandailah aku nak hidup juga.


Jerebu dah kurang. Alhamdulillah.

Hari tu member aku ada cerita, bekas big big bos aku pernah ditanya untuk buat ramalan bila pilihanraya (2004). Dengan bangganya big big bos aku cakap..

"Well, its difficult to say. It can be any time. Depends on PM. Maybe next fall or winter."

Aku gelak besar bila dia cerita. Dia pun gelak besar sama. Tak sangka kat negara garisan Khatulistiwa ini ada musim luruh dengan musim sejuk. Kenapa aku tak pernah rasa musim sejuk?

"Susah apa Ny, kau nak rasa, kau duduk dalam freezer."

Aku gelak besar lagi.

La ni, bila aku tengok cuaca mungkin betul jugak kata bekas big big bos aku dulu, kita duduk dalam negara yang bermusim. Cuma satu musim dia tak sebut- Musim Jerebu.

Kita salahkan Indon sebab bakar hutan untuk pertanian, tapi kita tak tahu entah-entah mereka gelakkan kita juga. Sebab? Dengar khabar, tanah-tanah itu semua kepunyaan syarikat-syarikat dari Malaysia. Jadinya kita bakar dan kitalah yang tanggung asapnya. Iya ke?

Tapi, memang sesak gak nafas aku minggu lepas. Tiga kali pergi Shah Alam, akhirnya jumaat lepas aku surrender bila balik dari PJ. Aku semput. Nafas aku pendek-pendek dan kepala aku yang selalu tak cukup oksigen bertambah lapar dengan O2. Akhirnya aku rasa macam hallucinating? Takut aku plak jadi the next casualty dari opis aku nih.

Seronok aku bila Allah anugerahkan hujan yang sangat lebat hari Ahad lepas. Habis bilik aku basah sebab aku lupa tutup tingkap, tapi tak apa. Yang basah boleh di mop, macam Allah mopkan udara yang penuh dengan habuk dan partikel-partikel yang dibawa terbang angin dari tanah yang terbakar di Sumatera. Aku memang suka hujan, dulu kini dan selamanya. Lagi lebat hujan lagi aku suka. Memang aku rasa aku dah tak berapa nak betul.

Walaupun hujan sangat lebat, aku teruskan gak plan keluar ngan Zurd. Dia datang rumah naik kereta, parkir kat tempat aku pas tu naik kereta aku plak. Kami ke Taman TUN. Sebab? Aku nak bayar hutang kredit kad. Nampak pulak Pizza Hut. Hmm.. nampaknya disitulah lunch dan dinner aku. Keluar dari Taman TUN, cuaca aku tengok segar sangat. Akhirnya aku gantung dust mask aku kat rear view mirror. Jadi hiasan. Jadi peringatan. Jerebu mungkin datang balik.

Bosan sungguh...

ingat, ni.. maybe kena pakai balik

Thursday, August 11, 2005

hazy triumph

I can't claim victory yet, but my attempt to change this blog template and put banner by my own has shown glimmer of success. Not bad for first attempt. Telling myself a bit more.. just a bit more..

My eyes started to water when I finished putting up the banner. I don't know whether it is because I stared too long on the windows or because of the haze outside. It is getting worse by the seconds. We can't see the nearby TNB building from our office on the fourth floor. A friend said that it looks like snow season. True in visual sense but the thermometer level did not go down instead continue to climb up. It may be hazy but it is stifling.

A friend came and handed me dust mask. Thank you Hal! It was bearable to sit here inside the office building. The aircondition is working finely, not like a few months ago when we only rasa hujung-hujung saja kesejukan penghawa dingin di opis ni. This time, the temperature is constant, but why ya.. my plant seems to be layu-ing?

We had our first haze casualty today. Ritz who was in Shah Alam felt dizzy while in the line of duty. Kesian dia. It was worse in Klang compared to KL. I know. I was there yesterday and again today. Got a call informing me on sudden conference in SUK Shah Alam. After I had my dose of profanities (uh uh.. have to stop the bad habit!), I shot all the way to Shah Alam. Lucky the traffic was not so bad but the haze was getting thicker and thicker when approaching Shah Alam. I was thinking that if Shah Alam is this bad, what about Klang?

True enough, Klang reached the Emergency level yesterday. API (Air Pollution Index) has reached more than 500. Emergency Order would definitely be declared. (Yes, Pak Lah has already issued the Emergency declaration just now).

Aiseymen, tak bawa kamera to capture the hazy scenery...

Monday, August 08, 2005

of Malay and arts

Malay architechture always fascinated me. At the Artist Village, the concept of Rumah Melayu was really a feast to the eyes. I like the intricate designs at the rooftops and I wish I have very good camera to take its picture. Well, I have just to be content with my digital and more creative in taking the pictures I wanted.

We cannot find these kind of carvings and intricate design at modern Malay house. In fact even my grandma's house in Johor was no longer adorned with these beautiful arts. The only ones lefts are maybe a few in Malacca. Nowadays no houseowners wanted to retain this old seni, they are more into modern looks. Oh! How I missed these beautiful artistic carvings. I forget though, what its call.


We met Ajis Mohamad at his stall in the Artist Village. He was finishing a big underwater scenery for a client from Miri, Sarawak. He was excited to see us. Mona and Nab known him as they have interviewed him before. This was my first time meeting Ajis who is one of the three world underwater artists. His works are well known internationally. In fact he is so famous that even his reprint cost around RM100. So when we asked how much he got for the underwater painting, he just smiled modestly. Of course it could go up to staggering RM300,000.

The watercolour and arcylic painting is 30% completed. But what awed us that the painting is 90 % from his imagination. All the reefs are painted from his imagination and observation while diving in many diving spots in the country. He only use reference to paint the fishes. He said he had another two months to complete the painting. Ajis felt he is one of the lucky few to get to do what he like and earn a living. Nowadays painters could make a good living from paintings. I guess people appreciate arts more like they used to do. But, whatever the reason, I really like Ajis's painting. It was .. alive.

One of these days, I would love to bring dad to Karyaneka and just walk along the footpaths at the Artist Village and watching them at work or looking at their paintings. Or just simply sit back at one of the wakaf enjoying the Keronchong songs.

KL eh KL

Kuala Lumpur on the weekend can be stifling. Streets are filled with cars, people flocking the shopping complexes like there are no other places to go. If not because of Zain's wedding reception, I would not have stepped out from the house. But, I promised Mona to go with her and Nab. She also promised to drive, so it would not be so bad.

Anyway the reception is held at a community hall in Taman Melati, just about 15 minutes away drive from my house and I have no other excuses not to go because Zain himself called to invite me for the reception and he was my colleague during my brief stint in JB. And I really want to see him and his bride.

Mona came in his dad's Vios and we shot to Taman Melati. Of course a bit of sesat here and there. Two servings of delicious nasi beriyani with beef curry, chilli chicken, achar and washed down with Siren (sirap oren) and polished off with kuih bunga kemboja and slices of watermelon. Yummy. Spent time chit-chatting with the newly wed and friends who came down from JB to attend the reception and off we go to Projet for both Mona and Nab to change into the second persalinan. Its merambu time!

Since there was no proper plan, we spent time driving aimlessly along the MRR2. It was either Alpha Angle for the Melayu-type shopping complex or visiting a friend who was suffering from Cancer in HUKM. In the end we turned to Jalan Ampang to KLCC. It was a big mistake! The road in front of the famous landmark in KL was jammed packed. All the parking areas were full. All the lepak places were filled with "international tourists". We were speechless and Mona had no other choice but to drive around to Jalan Pinang with hope to find at least half empty parking lot near the Mandarin Oriental. Unfortunately it was a futile attempt. I repeat, all the parking lots are full! And it was all because of PC Fair at the KLConvention Centre.

In the end, we decided to look at local handicraft in Karyaneka at Jalan Conlay. It was my first time there and the place was almost deserted except for a few tourists who browsed looking at simple and authentic yet expensive handicraft. There was no hassle to find empty parking bays because all the bays outside the building were empty. In fact, it was easily to just drive inside the compound and park the car there.

After browsing all those impractical knick knacks we went to the artists village behind the main building. There were a group of professional musicians playing keronchong songs at the main wakaf surrounded by small wooden artists shops.

The music was soothing eccentuated the calmness of the surrounding with old big trees shading the area. Walking along the footpath in the artist village makes one forget that you are in the middle of the city surrounded by sky scrapers. It just so detached from the hustle and bustle of KLCC area!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


My second Timex lasted for 10 years before I lost it. I've changed the wrist band four times. From the original leather band to the metal bands.

I love my Timex although the Indiglo was broken and the glass face was full with scratches. I first bought Timex watches when I was in Form Six. It cost only RM60 and at that time was the "funkiest" watch that I can afford.

While my friends opted for Swatch, I was content with my Timex. It may not as expensive or trendy as Swatch watches but I love my Timex with its black nylon band and black face with red colour hands showing the hour, the minutes and the second. It was practical analog watch. It lasted about two years before it went kaput on me and I saw one under the same brand name sold at a small watch shop in Jalan Silang.

It was on display with other "brothers and sisters" in a rectangular box. One caught my eyes. It was not funky nor trendy. It was normal regular looking white face and bround leather band watch, but what set it apart was the sign - "Indiglo". I knew then and there it would be my first Indiglo watch and I gladly parted with my RM150 for that watch. The money that I had just received as my second month salary eight hours before.

Last year during rainy season, I was in a hurry to get out of the car. I had a few plastics of stuff that I had just bought from the Jaya Jusco Taman Universiti, Skudai. I just hang everything on my left wrist and used my right hand to push open the door, slammed it and use the remote control to lock my MsWira. I did not realised that my Timex was no longer secured on my left wrist. It was gone. Permanently.

I was actually moody when I realised that I lost that Timex. That wrist watch who was the witness of my terbulent life, the one that I thought would never leave me. The Timex who had faithfully showed me the time when I was here in the beloved country or traipsing across Europe. I remembered the last time I bought the new battery for the watch was in March 2003 in Hull. It cost me GBP7 at that time.

Then, I vowed not to buy any wrist watch except Timex brand although how tempted it would be. There would be no Swatch, Citizen or even Alba. I couldn't bear to put any watch on my wrist except my beloved Timex brand. I felt that I would be cheating if I fasten Citizen, Raldo or dad's favourite Rolex on my left wrist. Lucky, I got free watches when I went for Immigration raid on illegal Chinese peddler a few days later. I got a free Bozen metal watch which lasted until last month.

Last week, Sis told me to send her to clinic for medical check up today. I picked her up and send her (part of duty for being the younger sister). She flashed me her brand new Titus watch. Pretty, I told her. Said she bought it at Sunway Pyramid. I knew that was the sign. I need a new watch. My wrist has been bared for the past 31 days. I need to buy myself a watch but it would not be any watch. It would be a new Timex. Haze or no haze...

By the end of the day, I got my new Timex Expedition Indiglo WR50m. I love it!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

old friends

Dear friends
Its been 14 years and I thought I would not recognise you. How wrong I was. You have changed. Yes. Maybe physically because underneath, you are still the same.

A few months ago RZDee informed me through email that some ex-school mates are planning for reunion. It would be the first alumni and I was excited. I looked for old photos of my friends, my classmates since Form One and tried to imagine how they woud look like now. How many are married, with kids, divorced or swinging singles. I remembered some of their nicknames - Nan, Ayin, Lizal, Sotong, Nani, Nit, Madz, McGyver, Herni, Nora.. and the list goes on.

I could not believe it that I was actually berdebar-debar that day. Since morning I was contemplating - should I go early or should I be fashionably late? Should I go with friends or should I go alone? This is worse then going for a blind date. But, I was excited to meet my friends.

That morning, my hp buzzed.

"Eh! Kita kena pakai baju kurung ke? Ish! I was thinkin' of wearing blouse and pants"
It was from Madz.

So, I replied..
"Aik? Pakai baju kurung? Reunion ke kenduri kahwin? Skemanya. Me just wear jeans and blouse"

"You get that one correct. hahaha"

By 1.30pm I was already heating up MsWira's engine. This "girl" has been very notty. She played in dirt and now her gleaming supple body is covered with dirt and grime, and me so busy, got no time to bathe her. Hish! Teruknya, going for reunion and your friends would see how dirty your car is.. but tak apalah, then they would know how busy your single life is, sampai tak ada masa nak hantar kereta to be washed.

Zurd and I decided to go on separate cars because she would have to pick up her younger sister in Gombak, so after Zohor prayer, we left her house to our old school. Yep! Our inaugural alumni is held at the school's hall.

My heart fluttered when I passed the school's gate. It brought back too many sweet memories. The times when we tried to sneak out, cheering our football team, or simply berbondong-bondong balik macam itik pulang petang. There are a lot of changes in that school. It has three blocks now but that extra pertukangan wooden block is still there. I wonder whether they are still doing the free chair repairing service for the school hehehe.

The old bicycle shelter was removed to make way for the new dewan. There was no new shelter for the two-wheelers. Are the new generation no longer cycle to school anymore? Are all of them sent by parents in big cars? The small taman was also no longer there. But there is a small "Wakaf Warisan" for school children to sit and discuss. The canteen is now better looking, more organised complete with tables draped in red cloths. Macam boleh buat mesyuarat U*n0.

I parked my car right opposite the hall's entrance and just sat there watching the ex-students greeting each other at the registration counter. Dah lama sangat and I only recognised a few faces. People who have left their marks in my heart.

I was greeted by a familiar face but I don't remember her name. I smiled at her and asked her name. Then a guy approached me and smiled.

"Hi, Assalamualaikum. Remember me?" he asked.

I laughed. Nervous. I don't remember his name. "I remember your face!"

"I know your name. Its you right? You have not changed a bit except of course...."

I smiled. Of course. There was no reduction, always expandition. Then someone called his name. Huda. Yes! I remember him. He was always with another boy Hakim. Our very own "Judge"!.

We stepped inside the hall. There were tables and chairs. Yep! It looked more like kenduri kahwin. There were those who came with spouses and some with children. Some were seen pushing trams while a few women were heavily pregnant.

The atmosphere inside the hall was cheerful. Children were running around the hall while moms and dads chatting away. Remembering the old days. I joined Madz, Herni who came with her nine-months old cute baby girl, Nora who brought her eldest daughter, Miss McGuyver-chatty as always. Then came Mar with her three beautiful children and drama-actor-look husband. I talked with Kak Naz who is the younger sister of the actor-Shaharuddin Thambi. Mon, who was one of the organising committee member.

I saw my old sweet dream boys - Carrey, Wan Chic, and of course the one and only Ayin, who was my best friend during Scouts heyday. Ayin, the boy who was ever willing to help us girls. Playful, charming and still maintain "handsome" now is married and the father of a cute baby girl, Hana. Except Ayin, I wondered what make me fall for these boys hahaha.

Well, the event may not be well organised. But the efforts to bring back more than 100 1991 school leavers was what matters. It was not easy to contact us, but Im sure the next alumni, the organiser would be able to get more ex-SMTT to attend the function. Thanx to the cikgus who are still there and dedicating their lives in educating the next generations. Cikgu Razak, you are a Scout through and through.