Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Off the beaten track I

The Hajj season is starting again and I am somewhat sad that we are not able to perform the pilgrimage this year. But I have to accept its all about seru and rezeki. Perhaps I was not diligent enough to answer the calls of Nabi Ibrahim. But I hope we would have the opportunity again next year and the years to come, Insyallah.

In our journey towards performing our pilgrimage last year, I was blessed enough to have met a few of future Ustazs, students of the (in)famous I/mam University here. Unlike the pilgrims in Malaysia who went for months of kursus, our training and preparation was fairly short so we depended a lot of guidance from our Ustaz and the student ustaz. What I found most amazing when hanging out with them is how non judgmental they are. How kind and honest they were in sharing with us their wealth of knowledge. They knew me way before I started wearing my scarf (I am still a scarf wearer in training.) And none of them said anything but kind words towards me. (Unlike some people who pre-judged me from the fact that I didn’t wear a scarf but that’s another story.)

These men (although I call them boys) had to go through such struggles in order to complete their degrees. And often many went home without completing their studies. Either because they missed their wives and children at home, or they failed to progress for the following year or even had to rot in a jail somewhere, because of the implied association they seemed to have being in the University. (That’s again another story.)

Alawi was introduced to us by the other Malay students’ in the local university. He was from Cambodia and his mum lived in Malaysia. I often found it very difficult to understand him because he spoke Melayu Campa. I can barely understand the Trengganu and Kelantanese accent, the patani accent is a big stretch and thus the Melayu campa was just often beyond me.

But the stories he told us about his life was just so touching, so trying that I often have to salute the boys who came all the way to further their studies here. In this trying times, when Islam is very much under close scrutiny.

Although Alawi was born in Cambodia, he had followed his mum to Malaysia at a young age. However when it was time to register for his citizenship in Malaysia, his mum had failed to do so, thinking that he was still young and didn’t really need the papers. So his mum managed to become a Malaysian, but he remained a Cambodian.

One fine day, there was a raid by the immigration officials in Kelantan and since Alawi didn’t have the proper papers, he was put in jail. The was there for two years before he was released. He told us how he became the imam at the surau in jail, and as long as he kept his head down, they left him alone. His mum did occasionally come to visit him and he often pleaded to her to find a way to get him out of the jail. But without the economic resources, the connections or even the knowledge about the proper system, she was unable to help.

After 2 years he was released and he tried to make his way back to Cambodia via the inland route.

But a man without the economic resources or proper papers somehow met a lot of sharks on the streets, because whom often tried to prey on his vulnerability. After successfully crossing the border into Thailand, he met a cab driver who offered to “help” him. At a price of course!

But alas, there were many checkpoints along the way and he was often arrested for not having proper documentation, and put in jail. Sometimes it was a short term “stay,” other times it was longer.

I did ask him what the conditions were like in the jails that he has been, and he told me that at least the jails in Malaysia were clean and he had no problem practicing his faith. Across the border however, it was slightly more difficult because the jails were not as clean and the people were less understanding his need to read the Quran.

To cut the story short, he finally managed to return to Cambodia. After getting his papers sorted out, he applied for a scholarship to study here and got a place in the language program at the local University here.

But alas, his grade did not qualify him into the degree program at the University and so the hajj trip last year was his last as a student here.

I often ask myself, if I could have endured the journeys he had gone through. And I think its most unlikely. But what was most inspiring to me that throughout all that, his faith is still intact, if not its even stronger, and it has inspired him to pass the word of Allah and the Quran as his life’s mission.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Do you want ALL your friends to know your blog?

I was reading this thread from AuntyN and somehow the topic resonates well with me. I have been on a blogging hiatus for a while now partly because I didn’t really have a topic to blog about, or rather I didn’t have any topic to share with the world.

Unlike Arena who had qualms about telling her husband about her blog, mine knew I had one from the very beginning. Well partly because I started blogging when we were living apart, so it was a convenient way for him to know whats going on with me. (Hahahah this a 20th century relationship where a husband has to read the wife’s blog to find out whats going on with her . ;))

My beloved often asked me, so what happens when the people whom you blogged about find out about your blog? My answer had often been, well I am very careful to blog about the people I meet here and hope none of them here find my blog ;)

But I know exactly how AuntyN feel when people closer to you (in physical contact that is rather than emotional ties) find out about your blog. Suddenly all your thoughts have been decoded by you for them to read. In fact for the longest time I was most uncomfortable when friends back home found out about my blog. Funny isn’t it, it was OK for me for the world of strangers to read my blog but it was most uncomfortable when people who actually know me in real life read my blog. (Especially if they are the people you want to bitch aka blog about ;))

So why do I blog? Often it is my place to express my thoughts, which often includes whingeing. And unfortunately it often includes the people around me in the line of fire.

So I try very hard not to post whinny, complaining entries all the time but often its easier for me to express my frustration and anger rather than telling people about my happiness. Why? Partly because I made sure that I do not to appear to be boasting. Perhaps its because misery loves company, but I often find that when people read about your latest shopping spree or conquest, they tend to interpret it as you bragging. And I don’t like to brag.

Apparently by blogging, one can attain new friends and even more disturbing, even enemies (Another blogger will tell you she got herself a stalker!). One reader kindly told me that the person shall not be visiting or reading my blog anymore, to which I replied, if that’s what you wish so be it, to which the other person replied, “Sombongnya!” I was just flabbergasted! What did that person expect me to do? To beg him/her to please please please continue to read my blog?

Just because they’ve read my blog, they claim to know what I am all about!

A few of the fellow bloggers whose blog I read have ceased or paused blogging for now and I’m wandering if I am going through the same path. But I do enjoy reading some of my fellow bloggers’ entries and it seemed unfair to just read their blogs without writing some myself.

Perhaps I will just content with writing fewer entries, whenever I had the time or the train of though to piece words together to form proper sentences ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Reality TV

I guess you can say I am hooked on them. What's the attraction of reality TV you may ask? Perhaps for me is the voyeur aspect of it, how different people say different things to each other, and when push comes to shove, what they actually say there is different from the whispers they had in private.

My first experience of Reality TV was the Big Brother show in the UK. I think the winner's name was Kate, but it was Jade who formed a more lasting impression on me.

Survivor Guatemala

I cannot tell you how relieved I am that Stephanie didn't win. All she can say about her behaviour was, "I play the game the best way I know how." By backstabbing people? She had no qualms what so ever about accepting the rewards that the other competitors shared with her, and what does she do in return? Vote them right out as soon as she can. There is no such thing as loyalty and gratefulness in this person. And the lies she tells them. She defends herself by saying that at the time she was saying something, she really believed it and its her prerogative to change her mind. So be it, but thats why you didn't win girl! Because people can't trust you. You're just a two faced being.

Quotable quote. "With you, you can be the best friend with that person until the tribal council and you'd vote them out."

But perhaps this is more a reflection of me than that of her. I dislike people who are all smiles in front of you, and the minute your back is turned, it all comes out.

"Ohhhhh you're the bestest friend in the world." And then, "I can't stand that woman! She is so clingy!"

The Apprentice

Randall was hired! Good for him. But I was just amazed that he opposed the idea that Mr Trump hired Rebecca as well. Why not, I thought? I guess he didn't want to share the limelight with someone else. Wanted all the limelight and the attention on himself.

All in all, I realize that I don't have the toughness and the hunger that these people have for this sort of success. Does it mean that I am less ambitious? Perhaps I lack the killer instinct to win? To become a millionaire?

I did ask myself if I would ever join The Sole Survivor or The Apprentice and I decided that I probably won't. Aside from the fact that they don't have proper flushing toilets for the survivors, I can't stand all the politicking going about. The changing sides and alliances.

As for The Apprentice? I don't think Mr Trump will hire me. I'm not pretty enough nor tough enough, neither hungry enough.

I like my place at the couch in front of the TV too much ;)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Gas expunging marathon

I know I have been neglecting my blog lately. Somehow the words don't come easy these days and I am on a quilting roll. The merchandize I ordered online arrived, 3 months late and my quilting teacher has agreed to start teaching again. So I am currently expressing myself in other ways ;)

We had a very slow day yesterday. What is a slow day you may wonder and it went something like this. I woke up feeling hungry and asked him to get me a bowl of cereal. He mixed the Vogel Soy and linseed cereal with some Power Breakfast blueberry cereal. HAH! Power indeed!

I went back to sleep while he went out. When he came back, I asked him what's for lunch. He was planning on making some roast beef and mashed potatoes and we thought of inviting some friends over to share the roast. Our friends had other plans, and we shelved the idea of making roast.Not for anything, the joint is too large for two people and we would have too much leftover if he just cooked for the two of us.

And then I had a brilliantly lazy idea. We called the restaurant to order our lunch. I had an English breakfast (beef bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, tomatoes and mushroom) while he had a sirloin steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables. We ate while watching TV. He had borrowed a complete Star Trek DVD set and was having a Trekkie marathon. I felt drowsy after the meal and dozed off again.

Remember that "power" cereal we had earlier. Somehow it made us fart all the time! And the worst part was when we had a farting competition under the sheets! So whenever one of us got out of the sheets, some "wind" escaped! Imagine the smell!

But at that time we didn't realize that perhaps the high fiber cereals were causing the gas wars and we decided to share another bowl of the cereal.

And imagine the "competition" we had throughout the night!

On the bright side, the trip to the loo was much easier this morning! Hehehe!

I guess one doesn't have to have baked beans in order to get gas ;)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Is your job good enough to enable you to get married?

Masa kecik-kecik mak selalu pesan pada anak lelaki. Belajar rajin-rajin, dah besar boleh dapat kerje yang elok. Senang nak kawin nanti ….

S has just recently came from KL, now working as a GM of a local hypermarket. He shared with us some of his experiences. This being a country with the unemployment rate of 40%, import a lot of foreign labour. S told us that they do have some locals working as shelf stackers. (Which surprised us of course, no self respecting local would do such a menial job often designated to workers from a 3rd world country.) But their turnover is extremely high, and the rate of absentism is just unbelievable. At least two will resign each week, and at least two will call in sick everyday.

Being new to the country and its culture, S tried to find out why this is so. He was told that as a shelf stacker, the local male will have no chance of getting married. No over protective father-in-law will allow his daughter to be married of to a shelf stacker. Plus he wouldn’t be able to afford the dowry and the wedding expenses anyways on that salary. So most of the time, the young local youth would take up the job as a shelf stacker while waiting for a job with the government. As soon, as they think they are getting a better job, they’d quit. Suffice to say that their morale is low at work, and are more interested in the pay cheque than the work.

However, it's different for the post of the cashier. There is more prestige in being a cashier. If the male joins the company at a young age, hopefully by the time he is ready to be married, he would have been promoted to a supervisory position, and thus giving him a respectable job for marriage material.

Now if you think this is a figment of my imagination you’d have to read this piece of news.

Woman Demands Divorce From Chef

Why do you think he was divorced? Because working as a chef, despite its higher salary, is considered demeaning, unlike working as a security officer, that affords the husband a uniform, allows him to show some form of power lording over other people.

Go figure.

I’d have thought that in a country that has a 40% unemployment rate, its citizens would be less fussy in choosing a career. But apparently that’s not quite the case here. I was astounded to find out that there are 1 million F{l|pina workers in the Kingdom either as domestic help, the health industry, the service industry and the restaurants etc.

There are 8.8 million foreigners in the country, the Labour Minister disclosed in May, a figure significantly higher than any that the government has previously reported. With an indigenous population of about 17 million, this means that there is almost one foreign resident for every two citizens.

The largest expatriate communities in the country include one million to 1.5 million people each from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and another 900,000 each from Egypt, Sudan and the Philippines. There are also 500,000 workers from Indonesia, and another 350,000 from Sri Lanka, the majority of whom are women.


So what sort of jobs do the locals go for? Normally in managerial positions in the private sector, a stable job with the government. preferably in the police or armed force.

The local government recently has imposed some laws not very different from the bumi protection laws in Malaysia. That a certain proportion of the work force must consist of the local labour. Does it work? It does provide income for the locals but whether or not its effective it's something else.

I remember going into a restaurant and there was a local male at the counter. We waited to be greeted but he was silent. So I approached him, saying that we needed a table. He handed a take away menu to us. And then came the waiter who promptly showed us to a table.

So we asked him, what was the local boy in the front supposed to do?

“Oh that’s just decoration,” he said casually.

We had to laugh. Apparently there was a new ruling that each restaurant must employ at least two locals. So what the restaurant did was to employ them and put them in front.

Then again all this could be considered as a blessing in disguise!

Ape taknye pasal depa malas nak buat keje lah kami dapat menumpang mencari periuk nasi di sini. Kalau semua depa rajin dan pandai buat sendiri takdelah peluang untuk rakyat negeri lain datang untuk mencari makan.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Blogspot blocked

So I logged in this morning to check out my blog and the regular blogs that I read. And what did I find? That the local ISP has blocked all access to all * Uh Uh.

Hope this is just a temporary ban. Grrrrrrr

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Another day, another life story

I was lazing on the couch when I heard my mobile phone rang. It was an unrecognizable number so I told Him to answer it for me. Thing is crank calls are very common in this country. Blame it on the idle youth. They have nothing better to do, and given the restrictions for the two genders to interact, they use modern technology to get to know each other.

The call came all the way from back home. It was HN. I met HN last August during a National Day gathering at the embassy. She had been in the Kingdom for over 6 months but had gone home every 2 months. She too had a difficult time adjusting to life here. In fact she got so physically sick that she had to fly home.

[Disclaimer: its not that the medical practices here is bad, its just that some people like the familiarity of their home country. Plus the pampering you can get from your other family members which you may not get here.]

HN told me that she called to wish me “Selamat hari raya and maaf zahir batin.” Which was nice of her, to have thought of me. So I asked her when she would be coming back here. And that’s when part of the story is told. I say part of the story because I didn’t quite get the whole story from her, because I didn’t know if she feels comfortable sharing them with me.

She told me that things are uncertain between her and her husband. It was fine when they were here, but the cracks began to show when they returned home for Eid. She didn’t get into further details and I didn’t probe further. She isn’t sure if she will ever come back here again, although some of her things are still here.

I was just stunned and very sad. I know marriages break down all the time, but somehow I find that being here, can sometimes break up marriages. Some wives can’t handle being idle while the husbands put long hours at work. Some chose long distance marriages and that in itself is another issue. Others well just can’t adjust to life here and blame it all on the husband, causing a disintegration of the relationship.

Well whatever it is HN, I wish you well. Thanks for making the effort to call me up, when you know you didn’t have to. I really appreciate it. I hope we can all pray for HN, hoping that everything will work out the best for her.


Mel Ija,

Welcome to my blog. Sudan is quite interesting but I don't know how the experience will be for you. Please drop by my friend Ghazali's blog on my links because I believe he is in Sudan right now and he can tell you whats it is like down there.

For me, I will try anything once. Even though I was very skeptical and reluctant about moving here, but I told myself, how would I know if I would like it or not if I never try it. Yes the first three months was very hard, even for a normad like me (we've been moving around for the last 7 years), but I eventually adjusted myself to life here.

You just have to evaluate what sort of person you are, if you are comfortable enough stepping out of your regular comfort zone, and if you are willing to accept that many things can be different from what you are accustomed to.

Of course there is the economic factor as well, if the financial gain really outweighs the difficulties or dangers that you may have to face.

Good luck!


Gaduh mesti tetap gaduh :) Kalau tak nanti cemana nak make out opps I mean make up ;)
And I think you will definitely be able to find things to do.


Wah cerita la gaks experience KakLela as expat! But its true about the $$$ part, if not memang lah dah lama balik kut.

Hi Has,

Thanks for dropping a comment.


Good pointers indeed.

Cuma comment saya untuk pakai baju melayu di sini, mereka tak kenal pun. Ade sorang kawan kami memakai baju Melayu, bila naik teksi, driver tu tanya "Anta Bangladeshi?" Mungkin kerana kami di tengah-tengah padang pasir. Dan wanita pun tak boleh pakai baju kurung kerana mesti memakai abaya. Tetapi mungkin di negeri teluk yang lain tip ni lebih berguna.

Ya Laban itu enak lebih lebih lagi selepas memakan nasi kabsah atau nak minyak yang lain.

Tp ni masih tinggal di negeri Teluk? Ade blog yang boleh kami layari?

Terima kasih kerana sudi meninggalkan koment untuk semua.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Life as an expat wife a breeze?

I have been on a blogging hiatus. Partly its been a time constraint. Partly I just needed to think things through.

To the readers who have kindly commented. Thanks for your thoughts. I do appreciate them. Its not that I seek validation to my thoughts but its often interesting to see other people’s point of views and even their blogs.

Last Wednesday, I went to a neighbor’s birthday party. I don’t really like birthday parties because I am not a socially out going person myself, and sometimes I do find it hard to make conversation with some people who I have little in common with, except that we’re neighbors and we often say hello to each other at the pool. But anyways it was nice meeting up with some people. They commented how they haven’t seen me out and about for a long time and they thought I was away on holiday or something. I mumbled something about being busy teaching, quilting and hibernating (didn’t say blogging in case any of them found my blog hehehe) and they mentioned how much they missed me. Wow really? Did I really have such an impact on people’s lives that they missed not seeing me? It was nice to know or perhaps they were just being nice to me.

Through the loud music and the interruptions of people saying hello, I managed to have a short conversation with LN. LN was telling me about a couple who had just moved into the compound. They happened to be a fellow countrymen of mine. DF, the wife, has found moving here particularly hard. LN who lives above her has heard someone crying and throwing things about in the apartment. God bless LN and her kind heart, because that made LN try very hard to get in touch with her and even asked her over for coffee with another neighbor.

Apparently DF arrived just before Ramadhan (which happened to be a crazy time to arrive here because everything becomes topsy curvy) and has found the move incredible lonely without the support of friends and family. Her husband, like most of our husbands here, work till late. And as you already know, we women can’t really go out by ourselves to explore. And it being Ramadhan, everything is closed in the day anyways. It was her first time living outside her country. She had just quit her job before joining her husband here. So she had to come to terms with two things, being a woman of leisure, in a country that is hostile to women.

So LN asked me to call DF up and help her with the transition. Which I agreed to do. You see, one good thing about most of the women here (in our compound or within the expatriate community that is), is that we all understand how it was like when we first arrived in this country. How we found it difficult to adjust to the lifestyle here. And how we had to deal with culture shock. Most of us here came to accompany our husbands. Some were lucky enough to have made the decision jointly with their husbands. Others had no choice but to follow the husband’s posting because the husband’s employer had sent them there. (Of course there are women who chose to come to work here but I’d but them in a different category.)

I did remember my dearest’s boss telling him, there are two categories of wives who follow their husbands here. One type will hate it here and will leave almost as soon as they come. The other type, however will love it here and would hate it when it comes to the time for them to leave.

And he was right. Just recently we had a friend who has chosen to leave the country while the husband continues to work here, after trying to live here for just 6 months. More recently a Kakak (who was here to work a as a cook) was confiding in us that she wanted to leave at the end of this month, just after living here for 2 months. (At the moment she is extending the stay until after Hajj.)

So I called DF up and she told me how relieved she was to have heard from me. Apparently she has been told about me from a few people. Even the compound manager mentioned us but she didn’t know where we lived. She even asked her husband to walk round the compound, looking for someone who may look Malay. (Which would have been fruitless of course because I haven’t really gone out much especially during Ramadhan.)

She told me how she missed her family very much. She is very close with her mum, whom she still saw everyday even though she has been married for a while and living on her own. She misses her 7 year old nephew whom she talks to on the net everyday. She said her nephew even sometimes calls her “mama.” They are that close.

She was terrified of going out because she is often harassed by the Ar@b men. She feels that she is being stared at, or looked down at. She is not used to being mistaken as a F|l|pina.

DF related to me how a local man approached her and her husband as they were doing their grocery shopping. The man came to ask her husband, with a big grin on his face, “is this your wife?”

“Yes,” replied the husband.

But the local man apparently was not satisfied with that answer and proceeded to ask them 2 more times. Still with that cheeky grin on his face.

You see, DF and her husband is in a Muhibbah couple. She is an Amoi muallaf, while he is a Malay. Knowing how the local men here think, they probably thought that he was a B@ngla worker and she was the F|ilip[ina girl friend. And He might offer the girlfriend over for a price. DF is rather pretty, with her porcelain white skin, lustrous black hair and very slim figure. She looks very different from the local women here, and of course would elicit interest from the local lecherous men.

[Dislaimer: I am not saying that ALL local men are leacherous, but the local men who are lecherous here, have problems holding back and does not understand the concept of respect for a woman. Kang ade plak yang salah sangka cakap saya ni anti org sini!]

So she is quite terrified of going out by herself on the shopping bus, and had to depend on the husband to go out. The husband however, has had to put in long hours at work and by the time he reaches home, is too exhausted to go out again, to battle it out in the crazy traffic.

She said she was crying almost every other day, if not at least once a week. Even her husband found it hard to deal with her when he comes home seeing her black face everyday.

I tried my best to reassure her that we all go through a little bit of that when we come here. Despite having experience living abroad at different countries, I too had to go through the same things when I moved here myself. I told her that she needed to find something to keep herself busy, either go out and make friends on the shopping bus or find a hobby that will keep herself busy. Without new friends and something to do, surviving here would be difficult.

It will take some time for a woman who has been busy with her career, to suddenly find that she now has no focus in her life, no office to go to, no where to go to dress up for. She has to give herself some time to come to terms to that. And if she so wishes, she can try to find a job here.

Anyways, the reason I am sharing this story here, is that I hope the wives who are about to embark on the journey of becoming an expat wife can take a leaf out of DF’s book. You may go through a little bit of depression, you may go through a little bit of culture shock and you may start breaking down, questioning your existence as a woman here.

Once again I have to stress the importance of doing your research before coming. And if you don’t have any children to accompany you during the day, make sure you are comfortable being alone, being with yourself, and stepping out of your regular comfort zone. Keep an open mind and be prepared to face the idea that naturally everything in your new environment is very different from your home environment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Silver lining in the cloud

With every vile and nastyness I encounter, someone else shower me with generosity and kindness.

Such is life, one door closes and another opens.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Somewhat upset

Why is it some people only care about how much they have been offended and not realize how much they have offended other people?

In some ways, this feel like a kindergarten tiff and I try to refuse to dignify it with a response or even an acknowledgement. But I guess when someone splash water on you, you will get somewhat wet. Although I want to ignore the person's attention seeking behaviour, somehow I cannot help cursing and feeling somewhat upset with this person.

Unlike other people who, when they did something wrong, immediately point fingers to other people, I try to look inside and ask myself. Was it me? If I am the insulting and the offensive one why do people come to me sometimes even to complain about her? Don't get me wrong, its not about taking sides, but I found that I'm not the only one who have problems getting along with her and I am too polite to tell her that.

Perhaps she should look into herself and ask why people stay away from her, instead of blaming on other people. She claims that the others are prejudiced because she is married to a local. But its difficult to hangout with someone who is constantly trying to preach instead of making a jovial conversation.

Example of a conversation:

A: Oh no, why are they bombing Amm@n now? What are the @l-q@edah up to? What do they want to achieve?

Her: No kak its not necessarily the @l-q@aeda doing all this. I disagree that its the Musl|ms are doing this. Perhaps its the IRA thats responsible.

Me: IRA? Gimme a break! (<--- comment considered sarcastic)

{grrrrrrr takde orang bagitau kat dia ka IRA nak buat apa pi bomb tempat tu! Tapi degil nyer pasal dia nak jugak tegakkan benang yang basah tu. Pasai apa? Dia tak nak ngaku yang buat bende ni orang @rab. Taulah dia kawin dgn orang @rab tapi tak semestinya kita criticize some sections of the society sama cam kita condem laki dia. Malas betul! Kalau tercakap skit tercritcize skit psal org Timur tengah dia yang terasa dah tu dia nak defend. Tu psal org semua insulting to her psal apa kita bual dia ingat its all about HER. GRrrrrrrr)

But anyways, I refuse to allow this deteriorate into a rant or a list of how much she has upset me. Just that I need to vent out some steam.

To quote a friend whom I had a conversation with, "Some people cannot differentiate being a Musl|m and an Ar@bb." Some people feel that to be a religious person is to adopt the arr@bic culture and customs.

Go figure.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What can you do with leftover nasi impit?

OK the story went like this. There were rumours here that Eid would fall on the 2nd November, so we got all excited. I decided that I wanted to eat kuah Lodeh for Eid this year with the Brahim Nasi Impit. So on the afternoon of the 1st November, I boiled all 6 packs of the Nasi Impit. At the same time we had made plans with some friends to have a BBQ on the night before Eid. (Which was the sticky part really because we didn't know exactly when Ed was going to be.) The plan was, we'd buy the meat and marinade them on the 1st, if Eid was announced to be on the 2nd, we'd have the BBQ that night, otherwise we'd keep them for another night.

However, my dearest decided that he was too excited to wait for the Eid announcement and called our friends to come over and have the BBQ that night. So while lighting up the BBQ fire, we waited and waited for the sms from friends, hopefully tellng us that Eid was to be tomorrow (the 2nd). But it wasn't meant to be. We had our BBQ and the nasi impit was placed in the fridge.

I thought I would cook kuah lodeh the following day, but we received a call in the morning, inviting us for Malam raya grub at a friend’s place. It was really yummy and we had a blast.

And the Nasi impit stayed in the fridge.

At this point, my plan was to cook the kuah lodeh on the morning of Eid, so we could have it for lunch. But on the morning of Eid, we received a call at 8 am, inviting us for a Laksa brunch. Yummy! So we got dressed and went over for some lovely laksa.

And that night we had dinner at the Embassy. Food was yummy! Almost everyone was dressed in baju kurung and there was some lagu Raya.

And my Nasi impit was still in the fridge.

On the second day of Eid, we had another lunch invite. This time it’s a full pledged home-made laksa! Ade mokcik from gannu and her daughter made home made laksa noodles with authentic laksa gravy. It was soooo good that we ALL had at least two bowls of laksa each, until there was no more gravy!

That evening, for dinner, I took one pack of Nasi Impit out to eat with the kuah lodeh and rending which we bought from the local Indonesian shop.

5 packs of Nasi Impit remained in the fridge.

The following day, we decided that we had to do something with the nasi impit or it will all go to waste and t would be a shame really. So my dearest suggested that we made Soto Ayam and invited some friends over for dinner. The Soto Ayam was a hit although we only used up 4 packs of Nasi Impit.

And we’re still left with the last bag of Nasi Impit.

What can we do with it? I am no longer excited about cooking kuah lodeh. Already had some kuah kacang with some nasi Impit the other day. Made the soto.

So what or how else can we have the Nasi impit with? I really don’t want the last bag to go to waste, so I would really appreciate it if you can provide me with suggestions for the Nasi Impit.

And how did your Eid went?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Eid Mubarak

The exodus have begun. Some friends had flown home. We would have flown home too if we were going back to KL this year.

And the Eid wishes has started coming in. I was surprised at first, thinking it was too early, but I suppose no Hari Raya songs are being played over here to remind me that Eid is just within a week. We're still receiving iftar invites so somehow I am still stuck in the Ramadan mood.

Tried to make plans to go for umrah after Eid. Looks like we may not have the chance this year. Hotels were either fully booked or quoted exorbitant prices (RM4,000 for a room which was previously RM200!). Flights are full too. Insyallah, if Allah extends us an invitation, we will go after the Hajj season.

Anyways I would like to wish my kind friends Eid Mubarak. And I would like to sincerely aplogize if I have offended you in any way either through my words or my actions.

Enjoy your Eid with yout friends and family and to quote a song which I forgot the tittle, "Ingatlah kami yang di perantauan." or something to that effect ;)

Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin.

And to those of you who have sent me the wishes, thank you and I wish the same to you too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Impatience and night turning into day

A few days ago, we went to IKEA and drove home at about 10:30. The highway was extremely busy because it was peak shopping time. Behind us were cars. One car in particular keep on flashing his light and blowing his horn at us. What can we do? The traffic light was red and there were lots of cars in front of us. And then he had a bright idea, he decided to drive on top of the pavement. There are hardly any pedestrians here anyways, so perhaps he thought that the pavement was an extra lane for impatient drivers like him. Just then the lights turned green and it was our turn to move. The impatient car on the pavement however was stuck, because there was a huge cement pillar round the corner and he was stuck behind it. And the rest of us refuse to allow him to cut in.

So much for refusing to stay in queue.


The inability (or refusal) of the locals to queue is legendary. A friend related to us how one afternoon he was queuing up to buy some food for iftar. Then came two local men, both refusing to queue, both went directly to the front of the queue. So the men in the line asked them why they didn't join the queue like everyone else. The local's answer was, "But I am fasting!" He was indignant that the rest didn't see things from his point of view. But he seemed oblivious to the possibility that everyone else in the queue was fasting too!


One reason I love it in B@hrain was that when the locals here try to cut the queue there, the locals there refuse to serve them and ask them to join the back of the queue. Somehow they get away with it over here.


A friend told me how she called the hospital to make an appointment to see a physiotherapist at a local hospital. The operator asked, "Is 1 o'clock Ok ma'am?" "Sure," she replied. And so the operator repeated, "So ma'am you can see Dr X at 1 am on 28th October," and put the phone down.

1 am?? Who makes appointments to see Drs at 1 am? Apparently here they do!


Another friend related to me how she received a phonecall at 11:45 pm from a hospital confirming her appointment with the Dr the following day. 11:45 pm? Is that considered a decent time to be calling people up?


Just over a week and hopefully things will turn back to normal.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sick of eating out? How about burnt boiled eggs?

One of the main difference since we moved here is that we eat out A LOT here. Partly because we can afford it better here and partly because its all Halal here. I think I will be hard pressed to name fast food places we have not sampled.

I have been somewhat on strike during this ramadhan. Have not done much cooking myself. Partly because the shops are opened odd hours and partly because I am too "weak" or more likely I've just been too lazy. The first week was mainly Arabic fare. You name it, we had it, Chicken Kabsah (Nasi Buhari to the rest of you), Mande lamb and chicken, various grilled meats. etc etc. Then there was a surge of Chinese food. Went to about 3 different Chinese restaurants. Had roast duck, roast chicken, wantan soup, fried wantan, Scechuan beef and tofu. Then we had rounds of Thai food. Tom yams, beef salad, prawn salad, squid salad, green curry, deep fried fish in hot sour sauce, Kai Lan etc etc etc. So finally yesterday my dearest declared that he doesn't want to have any Chinese or Thai food for awhile.

I have been somewhat out of character myself since this Ramadhan. I actually made sambal belacan! 3 jars full thank you very much! Beloved says he can count on his fingers the number of times I actually made sambal belacan since we've been married! Told you honey, I tak pandai sangat masak-masak Melayu ni hehehee.

Just the other day I managed to burn my WMF pot! (Ni macam hint nak periuk baru sebenarnya maklumla Port Store ade sale :P) And what was I cooking? I made fish head asam pedas, with the last remaining leaves of my Kesum leaves. This being Ramadhan, with the smattering of iftar invites, the Asam pedas was reheated, placed in the fridge and reheated again for three days in a row. On the fourth day, I reheated it on the stove and somehow forgot all about it. Suddenly, the smell very similar to Ikan Bakar whiffed into the living room. Hmmm wonder who is grilling fish? Then I saw the smoke! Oh dear oh dear! My now very "kau" and very mesra asam pedas is smoking in the pot! I turned off the stove and opened the pot. All too late now, its all blackened. Too burnt to be saved! *sigh* So much for my asam pedas!

And my burnt pot? Well I left it soaking in the sink for 3 whole days. And finally, thank god for the creation of Bicarbonate of Soda I managed to scrap most of the burnt bottoms off!

Hmmm I really should have a list of things I have sucessfully managed to burn over the years! I assure you that I am capable of even burning boiled eggs. I burnt some paus while attempting to heat them up in the microwave. I now have successfully burnt asam pedas. Also managed to burn some pulut hitam.

I guess what I am saying is, I am very good at burning things! Its a skill I have perfected over the years!

So honey, if you don't want to eat out anymore, what about burnt toast or burnt maggie? Heheheheh. Sabar bang sabar ni bulan Ramadhan ;)

How about Japanese food? Shall we go to Tokyo Restaurant soon? I've been salivating since reading KakLelaHiro's buka fare :) Nak Ikura, nak unagi, nak udon, nak zarusoba nak tenpura. Semua nak!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Which direction do we go?

Its that time of the year again. Contract renewal time. Its the time we get antsy. Will we be staying or will we be packing our bags to go?

J told us that she will be moving out of the compound in 3 weeks. I was very sad at first, and my reaction was the same as Ely's, "Why is it that the nice people go away, and the trouble makers get to stay?"

Our quilt sewing group is getting smaller. Alice, was given 14 days notice to pack her bags and go home. She is back in the States now. And now J, they're moving out because it was contract renewal time and they decided that they want to move to a cheaper place to save more money. At the end of the day, despite what people say, the truth of the matter is, we are all here for the money. Sure, some say they like the sun, some like the lifestyle, other even venture into liking the culture. But the main driving force has got to be the economics of things. And whats the point of being out here if we don't save enough, pay off our debts and build for the future?

As for us, well we decided that perhaps we want to stay here for awhile. We may move compounds but perhaps try to live it out here if Allah determines that our rezeki is meant to be here. To Him I have to put my trust. In my prayers I always asked him, that if he thinks that its best for us to be here, please make us feel happy and peaceful here, and if he thinks that our rezeki is elsewhere, please show us the way, make it easy for us to make our decision.

Perhaps some will call it Blind Faith. But I do believe in both freewill and predestination. We have the free will to do good or evil, but a lot of the paths in our lives have been predestined. Perhaps it may not make sense to you, but somehow the idea clicked on with me.

My beloved has been buried under work lately. Didn't even have the time to come home for iftar. SO much so we had to cancel our plans to fly back for Eid. Funny thing was, the HR dept made such a fuss when he told them that he was cancelling his leave. HUH! We would love for him to go on leave, thank you very much! Did they think its great fun to cancel a holiday? So he had to get his Manager to talk to the HR manager about the leave cancellation. A lot of times, I don't understand how people think in this country. Their manner of reasoning is just so different. The HR manager made some noise about "Whats the point of making leave plans when you don't adhere to them?" What about project deadlines? Well whatever.

Its the weekend and he is working through all weekend. *sigh* Nak rezeki Halal la katakan. What about those people who report to work at 11 and leave at 3 because its Ramadhan?

To each his own I guess.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Om Ali (Ali's mum)

One tradition here is that people are addressed according to the name of their first born son(who could be your 13th child). For instance if you first born son is named Ahmad, the father will be addressed as Abu Ahmad and the mum will be addressed as Om Ahmad. Which I guess further reinforces the cultural need for sons.

So what if you don't have a son? Either you keep on trying until you get one. Or they'd ask you what you think you'll name your son and address you accordingly.

But anyways I am digressing, Anasalwa asked me about Om Ali (Egyptian equivalent of bread and butter pudding), which she said she wasn't very familiar with so I looked in the net for some info and recipe. Sorry Anasalwa, I haven't actually gone round to making it myself because I somehow feel that middle eastern dessert is somewhat sweet and rich, plus its so widely available here that I am not inclined to try it myself. (I bet I will feel different once I move ;)

I poached this recipe from the net:

Om Ali
Origional recipe submitted by Nancy Girgis

It's an Egyptian dessert that contains phyllo dough or puff pastry, milk and nuts. Use any kind of nuts that you would like and eat it with a spoon. Legend has it that Om Ali was the first wife of the sultan Ezz El Din Aybek. When the sultan died, his second wife had a dispute with Om Ali, resulting in the second wife's death. To celebrate, Om Ali made this dessert and distributed it among the people of the land." Original recipe yield: 8 servings.

Image taken from here (Sorry I am unable to view the site myself from here. Its banned and I don't know why.


* 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup flaked coconut
* 1 1/4 cups white sugar, divided
* 4 cups milk
* 1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. Place the pastry sheets in the baking dish and place the dish in the oven. Watch it closely. When the top layer turns crunchy and golden, remove it from the oven. Continue until all the sheets are cooked.
3. Preheat the oven broiler.
4. In a bowl, combine walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, raisins, coconut and 1/4 cup sugar. Break cooked pastry into pieces and stir into nut mixture. Spread mixture evenly in 9x13 inch dish.
5. Bring milk and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour over nut mixture.
6. Beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over nut mixture in dish.
7. Place dessert under oven broiler until top is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

One of those nights

Perhaps I had too good a night last night. Was invited to dinner which consist of lauk ayam perchik, gula kan masin dan terung, daging kering dan chill kicap, pecal, sambal belacan, with desserts, sri muka, pengat pisang, Um Ali, murtabak dan berbagai lagi hingga saya tak dapat nak list kat sini.

Came home at about 11 pm, got in bed, could not sleep until sahur time!! Now I am groggy and my body is aching all over. My eyes were closed but I simply could not doze off. I thought I wanted to get up and sew since I could not sleep but I couldn't haul myself out of bed either!

And how my whole body is aching. Can't seem to move from my bed but can't sleep either! must remember not to drink tea after iftar! I know I cannot drink coffee after 2 pm! But now no tea either? I did have a cup of chamomile tea before tucking into bed but it didn't seem to kick off.

Not in the mood to explain prepositons but I already cancelled class once, so I dont want to cancel it again! I am begining to become quite unreliable! And I musn't use Ramadhan as an excuse!


Sorry to disappoint Atiza, Nef, Angel Eyes, Mobilemum & KakTeh. Yeah MM when I was talking to Kakteh earlier, I thought I would be gong back for Raya. Got those tickets booked and all, but errr circumstances has made it such that it would be too short a trip and I thought it will be better to postpone it to next year. Plus I haven't spent a Raya here, so will year will get an idea what's it like. Kakteh yeah Insyallah one of these days hopefully ade rezeki we'll meet up either in KL or London.

MiV nasib smalam saya dapat makan murtabak! Yummy! I had 5 pieces I think!

Trust, sini takde freshnye :(

Elisa, check your email :) Kalau sudi sila datang :)

Atiza, tu la kan unfortunately these things do happen. its not that I am saying "men are evil heartless creatures," its just that I feel for the women in that predicament. :(

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Berbuka puasa dan Tak Balik Raya

Wah melilih air liur baca juadah berbuka teman teman bloggers semua.

Hansac, was it telur ikan terubuk masin? I think I have 3 more pieces deep in my freezer which I am rationing very, very strictly. That with my last ikan terubuk masin which an aunt has very kindly flown to us from Sarawak. (Alamak come to think of it that ikan masin is almost 1 year old. Simpan dalam freezer dah 1 year old pun OK kan? Sayang la nak makan, susah nak carik!)

No caviar is not as cheap as you think it is. And being land locked, toksah kata telur ikan, ikan pun kekadang tak best.

Mr Hobo, hmmm but surely where you are the food is not too much different from Malaysian food (if you are where I think you are.)

MadnessinVain, tak jelak ke have the same thing twice? Or perhaps you are showing what sort of loyal man you are ;) Untung la siapa yang kawin dengan you nanti.

KakLela apa yea nama kuih tu, kuih takok? Huwaa sini daun pandan pun takde nak cari! Kalau kat London kuih takuk tu boleh jugak beli. Masa kat Dubai saya ingat lagi, beli kuih tu kat Blue Elephant Thai Restaurant, tak salah RM20 untuk 4 biji! Ingat Blue Elephant kat Bahrain ade jual, rupanya takde. Huwaaaa kalau takde daun pandan tak samalah rasanya kan? Ade recipe? Heheheh.

Lollies sedaaaaaap. Wahhh camni leh bukak kedai ;) Leh buat business frozen murtabak for Ramadhan or even anytime.

OITT ATIZA! Hang ni nak torture saya yeaaaaaaa. Sampainyer hatiiiiiii. 19 items pulak tu! Ishhh Isshhh. Anta kejam! Hehehehe laaa I mana pandai masak lomak chilli api, how about you masak I makan ;)

Ah Wong ah, lu ah ni semua lu punya pasat tau! Heheheh lu sulah buat saya dan ramai teman teman blogger saya melilih air liur tau. Dulu saya ingat ah, ada this uncle ah juat popiah basar kat belakang TMC kat Bangsat. Itu uncle punya kedai ah, tak berselera lor bila saya tengok tapi ah bila makan manyak sedap tau! Saya tak tau la kalau itu uncle masih jual itu popiah basah atau sulah letire.

Nasib baik ahh sini ada air tebu. Saya customer setia kat satu kedai air tebu kat M@kk@h. Compulsory tiap kali gi sana saya order air tebus satu small cup RM5! Sini juga ada juat tapi itu area mau pigii manyak susah woo jem lasyat.

CN in Kota Bahru! Wahhh untungnya! Weh saya cuba nak chat dengan CN kat YM la tetapi selalu takde depan pc! Selamat berpuasa!

Elisa, tu laa pregnant tak pregnant pun I rasa susah la kat sini nak carik Malaysian or even respectable Asian food :( Seriously, I think masa duduk kat London dulu I tak rasa so deprived macam ni. Kalau rindu rindu Malaysian food boleh pegi Mawar ke Malaysian Hall ke or even go to Chinatown or Oriental City to get the ingredients. But here! Sigh Cubaan betul! I guess this is my first full blast Ramadhan here as well, last year we were in KL for the early part of Ramadhan and in London for the end part of Ramadhan. Just had effectively one week of Ramadhan here.

About being innovative tu la, I agree with you. I never did make my own fish balls until I moved here. But somehow using Hammour for fish balls is not too nice. I also tried with red snapper pun not as nice as fishballs back home.

I nak makan fish ball noodle soup! And nak laksa kerang! Sini takde kerang!

So what else have you been craving for?

Leen wahhhh saya pun ade one pot of asam pedas di dalam periuk di dapur. My daun kesum came from Pasar Kajang, February this year, and I was rationing my use of them. Sedih betul tengok the daun kesum like ranting-ranting kering keluar from the freezer. Kalau kat Malaysia dah lama dah buang daun kesum tu. But since its impossible to find here, dah kering macam mana pun pakai juga :(

Wah wah wah CK sounds like a feast! I think dekat J pun ade ade pasar Ramadhan dulu. Ramadhan Kareem to you too. Hope you’re feeling better.

Hari ini ada orang sedekah nasi putih, with ikan goreng and kari ayam. Ulam timun and sambal Belacan! Makan sampai berpeluh tapi yummy sedapnyaaaaa.


Tak Balik Raya

Bag dah keluarkan dari storeroom. Barang ada yang dah di beli. Takde apa sangat, just some sejadah for family, some Ajwa dates in case they run out of stock and some saffron for friends. Ticket dah book untuk 26hb on Emirates. Nasib ticket belum issue pasal kami tak jadi balik!

4 tahun tak balik raya, I am used to this.

Friends I would have to apologize. Can’t make plans to meet up because unfortunately we won’t be in KL anytime soon. Hopefully next year!

Elisa kalau nak gi Emb@ssy to celebrate raya with other Malaysians sila la datang ke R|yadh. I promise you sini you don’t need police letters or exit visa ;) A mere 4 hours drive! And 11 hours more brings you to M@akk@h.

Anyone wishing to send me duit raya ke, kuih raya ke, baju raya ke, I will accept them ;) Heheheheh.

PS I tak beli baju raya kat sini, just abaya Raya. Hopefully I will come round to blog about it.

PPS Its 1 am and I am about to go out grocery shopping. Kedai masih buka!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ramadhan buffet

Last weekend, we went for a Ramadhan buffet at the local 4 Season’s Hotel. According to a friend we have to book a table early in Ramadhan before they get fully booked later in the month. At Rm144, I thought that it was somewhat steep but well since it was a gathering with some other Malaysians, I thought why not. Bila lagi nak pergi. Three years in London and I didn’t get to go to any iftar buffet.

But seriously I am beginning to doubt the value of iftar buffets. Afterall, how much can one really eat all at once especially since one have been abstaining from food all day? But anyhow it was a HUGE spread. There were about 4 soups to try from (I only tried the chicken soup) and there was some Asian dishes, Arabic dishes and Italian dishes. Then there are different salads and an array of sweets, both the Western and the Arabic kinds.

After the azan, I had a date and the soup, then we proceeded to perform our Magrib prayers. When we came back I had some salad, a spoonful of different types of rice and dishes, a small portion of pasta. And I was full. Tried some desserts and took photographs with the other ladies while trying to finish off my two scoops of ice cream.

Once again, I forgot my camera. The ballroom was decorated Arabian style with Bedouin tents. The ladies went crazy with the picture taking, which started BTW after most of the locals have left. Knowing that they are not very happy to have their pictures taken, especially when their faces were not covered, we took great care not to offend them. (There have been cases where people were beaten up for taking pictures of uncovered women.)

But what was really nice was that we managed to catch up with the other Malaysians here. Found out who was going back for Eid and who wasn’t. Most of us kept out abayas on throughout the dinner because all the other local ladies kept theirs on, but after most of the locals left, some of the ladies took their abayas off while taking pictures.

What was interesting for me was to see some of the more colourful and latest abaya design worn by the local women. Judging from the lack of staring, most of the local ladies are either well heeled, well travelled or perhaps come from other countries in the region. Even the men were somewhat more polite. Perhaps it was because they knew we were Malaysian. Somehow Malaysians are held in higher regard here, thanks to our dear Dr M.

There were also a few Malaysian chef working at the hotel. I teased them about not serving some of the normal Malay dishes. “Eh apsal takde laksa ni? Popiah basah ada? Mee goreng? Kuih lapis?” They just smiled at me. They were very busy making sure that the dishes are constantly topped up. I asked one of them if he had eaten yet and he said he only managed to break his fast with one glass of water. He told me he spent 2 hrs that afternoon doing up the fruit arrangement centrepiece. I wonder what’s it like to be working around food all day, cooking while fasting. But I guess they are used to it.

We left at 8:30 pm, giving us enough time to arrive at the shops just as they opened. The Ramadhan sale is also on full swing.

So if you are going to the pasar Ramadhan this afternoon, could you please buy for me some popiah basah (I blame WongAhBeng for reminding me of the deliciousness of this kuih), kuih puteri salad, kuih lapis, laksa, nasi kerabu, yong tau foo, air cincau, tau foo fa with the gula melaka and ayam perchik. Just to name a few. I won’t eat all of them at once I promise.

I must say I am tired of eating Kabsah and mande. And please, if we’re meeting up if/when I return to Malaysia please, please, please (I beg you) do not suggest that we have dinner at an Arabic restaurant! (Hahahah someone thought that it was cool to have iftar at The Sahara Tent last year.) I want some Malaysian food which I don’t have to cook myself!

Ishhh tengah puasa ni asyik bual pasal makan pula!

What did you have for iftar yesterday?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ramadhan Kareem

In Ramadhan, night turns to day and day turns to night. First is the confusing shopping hours. The shops are closed in the mornings, (some open from 10- dzohor) then they will open from 3 – 5 pm and then they will close again and reopen from 9 – 2 am.

Its like a ghost town in the day. The inhabitants probably dozing away. Even office hours have been adjusted, from 9 – 3:30. There is a huge traffic jam between 3 - 4 pm. People rushing home for iftar.

We went for dinner after magrib the other day, the roads were empty! As empty as it can be. After having some dates and performing our magrib prayers, we left for the restaurant. There were hardly any cars. It was amazingly empty. We had our dinner at an empty restaurant. Apparently the crowds will only come after 10 pm.

My beloved and I never did go round shopping for cars before. We either bought cars that friends sold to us or just borrowed or rented. So this is our first car shopping experience, and guess what, people test drive cars between 9 pm to 1 am here. I guess its apt because the traffic is really crazy around that time. Plus, for reasons unknown to me, they have car sales in Ramadhan. Perhaps it’s a local custom to sport a new car for Eid hehehe. A friend got pissed off because he bought his car 2 months ago and found that the same model has reduced in price by 20K this Ramadhan. Imagine that! Perhaps they were just trying to boost car sales during this period.

We are still at quandary about which car to buy. Obviously the ones we want are slightly beyond our budget. I let him do most of the choosing. I think he is having fun with the process of looking for a car. Comfort for long distance is important as we hope, Insyallah, we will get to make trips for umrah in the chariot.

I have more Ramadhan stories to tell, but can’t get round to putting them into words.

Wishing everyone Ramadhan kareem. May we all benefit from this month. BTW, just to share a hadith I learnt recently, a hadith sahih, if you feed the people who fasted in the day, then your pahala is equivalent to the pahala of the person who fasted. So let us all take the opportunity to be generous this month.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Widow

She stood at the door to greet us, her face gaunt and pale, especially in contrast to her black attire. Her normally lovely curls is hidden under a black head scarf wrapped tightly round her head. The smile I normally see on her face was not there. I was just so shocked to see the transformation in her.

The last time I came to the house, she was the gracious host who fed us cous-cous and an array of Moroccan food. Today, she is a widow, still grieving for her husband who departed suddenly. I gave her a peck on each cheek, asked her how she was and she answered calmly with Alhamdullilah. But the lustre in her eyes was missing.

The house was as pale as the owner. The last time I came, there were colourful paintings on the walls, beautiful artefacts and exquisite carpets. But its all gone now. All packed away. Even the house was in mourning, a reminder of the loss that the family has just experienced.

Another lady was already there. We exchanged pleasantries and sat down. They were mainly speaking in Arabic, my friend H, Fatma the bereaved widow and A, her friend. They apologized to me for mainly speaking in Arabic and occasionally provided me with a condensed translation of the topic they were discussing. I didn’t mind it so much. Gave me more time to observe them, observe her.

I was still in shock. I saw her before she left for her summer vacation. She looked young and happy. And now aged and bereaved. She has lost a lot of weight. With no make up, she was still very pretty, her skin fair, but I see the wrinkles forming.

Death can really age you. Makes the young grow up quickly, and the adult, age in no time. She has an eight year old son. I asked her is the son was away in school and she replied yes with a small smile. It was obvious that he was her only consolation at the moment. Her only joy.

She offered us Morroccan tea and some sweets. We allowed her to pour us some tea. And she offered us sweets. Sometimes the conversation goes on full swing, sometimes there is just silence. And sometimes there is a rapid exchange between H and A, while Fatma keeps quiet with her eyes down. I have a feeling she was really not there with us. Lost in her thought.

A few times, the telephone rang. Friends and acquaintances calling her, asking her if she was doing allright. And her standard answer was, “Alhamdullilah.” Perhaps saying, I am as good as I can be. I am still here. Praise to Allah.

H and A talked a little about death of spouses. Normally, if a husband loses a wife, he would get himself a replacement in no time. But if it was a woman who lost her husband, somehow it takes much longer for her to heal, or if she ever finds a replacement. With a limited vocabulary in Arabic, I couldn’t and didn’t interject. I just listened and observed. Frankly, I didn’t know what exactly to do or to say.

And then her late husband’s boss showed up. She excused herself and opened the door. We exchanged pleasantries. She excused herself and ushered him into a smaller reception room to discusss some logistics with him.

She wants to say here for another year, at least to give her son some time to adjust to the change and the loss. If she withdraws him from his friends and his school here, and bring him to a different country, the might just crumble under all the changes. He needs some form of stability.

In her absence, A brought us up to speed with Fatma’s current plight. It would have been impolite to talk about it in front of Fatma. Apparently her late husband has grown children from a previous marriage and her husband’s estate in now put under a trustee’s care. The trustee was her brother in law, whom she was not very well acquainted with. Her bother in law wanted her to return to Egypt with them, but she declined. She wants to stay here for a year before returning to Sweden where the rest of her family lives. She was afraid that her son will be taken away from her if she brings her son to Egypt.

In the meantime, she could not get access to his bank account, it has been blocked. So how will she live now? She can’t really get gainful employment.

Dear Fatmah, may Allah give you strength and guide you for the days ahead. May He makes things easy for your and for your son. May He give you good health and peace of mind. May you find happiness again soon.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What my mother taught me

While doing the previous entry, I was stumped at the section “7 physical traits you look for the opposite sex.” For some reason, I didn’t have any. Am I blind? I asked myself? Do I really not care? Would I really say “No” if Brad Pitt proposes to me?

I remember asking friends, particularly those who have not found their mate, what exactly they look for a man. And one friend’s answer just floored me. “He must be tall,” was the first thing that she said to me. Tall? Is that really important? I just didn’t really understand that.

Then I remembered the time before I left my homeland to study abroad. Many people, including my mum’s friends, and even the Singseh whom we often patronize, told her that her daughter would come home with an Ang Moh as a husband. It really puzzled me why these people would jump to such conclusion. So I asked my mum, what she thinks I should look for in a potential husband. Does it matter that he is Malay? Would she accept if it was an Ang Moh?

The first criteria she told me, was that her future son in law is a good Muslim man. She said, it doesn’t matter what race he is, as long as he is a good Muslim person. I did ask her why. She said, “So he knows what is Halal and Haram, and the religion prescribes the roles of the Muslim husband and wife.” I did ask her if he has to be born a Muslim man, she said, “Not really. But are you confident enough that you have the knowledge to guide the other person in the religion? If he has the inclination for the religion himself, then that’s different. But if he is merely converting just to marry you, then that’s something else.”

So I did go away, had one or two non Muslim boyfriends. And somehow things didn’t work out. One said he was willing to convert but did not take any serious step towards learning what the religion was all about. The other well, he was a recent convert to Chr|st|an|ty himself.

Four boyfriends later, I found someone whom I thought I could share the rest of my life with. So I told my mum. And this is what she said to me,

“Whatever your choice is, its for you to decide, because in the end, its your life. However, you have to think long and hard and make sure by embarking on this next leg in your journey of life, that your life will be better.”

“I always believe that whenever we move on in life, the next move should be better than the previous place. If being married to this person is a move that will make your life better, then it’s a worthwhile move. But if your married life will be worst than your single life, then perhaps you should reconsider your decision. So think long and hard before you decide.”

Whoah! What does she mean by “better move?” So I had to do some soul searching myself. I had to ask myself what “better” means to me. Is it being economically better? Physically better? Geographically better? Emotionally better? Which criteria was most important for me?

More importantly, how would I know what the future will hold for me? How would I know that my life will be better?

So I had to ask myself, what is important to me in my life? I decided that happiness is very important to me. What’s the point of having loads of money when one is miserable and have to share your husband with 3 other women? Or have a rich husband who don’t really care about you, but only of himself? Or have a good looking or famous husband whom many women were trying hard to get their claws on him? What if he’s so engrossed in himself or his work and has no time for me? Whats worst than being single and alone is being married AND lonely!

What do I want in life? What makes me happy? I had to ask myself long and hard. Did some soul searching, and asked him some questions about his views on things.

And if anything, my mum has taught me a few things from those conversations. That I am responsible for the decisions that I make in life.

Whenever we are about to move to a different country or a different contract, I often ask myself, will the next move be better for us compared to the current life we are leading?

She has taught me that in life, in everything, we do have a choice. And we are personally responsible for the choices we make for ourselves.

I guess if or when the time comes, I would pass her wisdom on to my child(ren), especially to my daughter when she tells me she has a candidate for her husband.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tagged again

I've been tagged by MobileMum and here's my list of 7s. Its awfully boring but here it goes:

7 things you plan to do before you die

1. Go tandem parachuting somewhere (hopefully before I am kerepot)
2. Visit Alaska in the summer
3. Return to Canada and travel coast to coast in the summer in a motorhome
4. Do a round the world trip
5. Take a ride on the Orient Express
6. See a little of Africa and mainland China
7. Visit Al Aqsa mosque in Baitulmuqadis, see a little of Iran hopefully before the US armies get there first

7 things I could do

1. Be a better person, a better Muslim
2. Go to Makkah and Madina more often
3. Build up my retirement plan
4. Live each day as if it was my last day, but plan for the future as if I would live forever.
5. Work harder at learning Arabic
6. Make my beloved happy and give him lots of hugs and kisses
7. Take care of my health

7 celebrity crushes

I don’t seem to have very many celebrity crushes. Sorry.

1. Michael Palin – and this man has travelled!
2. Sean Connery

7 often repeated words

1. What goes around comes around
2. You teach other people how to treat you
3. Only you are in control of your own destiny
4. I love you
5. I want to be with you always
6. Thank you
7. Alhamdullilah

7 physical traits I look for in the opposite sex

For me, the true measure of a man is not how he looks but how he holds his word. Thus I don’t look for any particular physical traits.

7 traits I look for in the opposite sex
1. Loyalty
2. Wisdom
3. A good Muslim
4. How loving and caring he is
5. A self made reliant person
6. Sense of adventure
7. Good sense of humour

7 tags to go to

Any 6 volunteers???

Monday, September 26, 2005

To tell or not to tell

A new lady in our midst. Just happens that she is recently married to a man some years her senior. But she has not realised that there are vultures about. Vultures prying her privacy and then piecing it off to the others.

Details that should only be kept between man and wife is suddenly known by several people and before you know it, everyone will know.

Should I tell her to be careful to whom she tells her personal details to? But perhaps she would learn about the people around her, herself.

I have a personal policy of non interference. But she is a nice and friendly person, and I cringe to think that some people are capitalizing on her naivety.

Why oh why do I bother myself with these things!? Tsk Tsk Tsk.

Stay away! Often they’d just shoot the messenger.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Chinese Whispers

We had a conversation with another couple yesterday about societal pressures of being married couples without children. For some reason, other people think its their god given right to probe into our personal lives with the excuse of being concerned for our lack of having children.

Why should they be concerned when we are not concerned? Or perhaps being concern is merely an excuse to be nosy? Are we anomalies because we don’t conform to the Malay norm of having a child within the first year of being married?

We managed to trade stories of how other people have tried to probe into our personal lives in a sneaky manner, by asking the other couple about us. Couple X told us of how various other individuals asked them if they had sought medical help to help them conceive. Then the conversation progressed to the question if they knew why we don’t have any children. Hmph! They might as well ask us how often we have sex and what sexual positions we practice!

So we told couple X that we too have heard stories about them. We never asked them about it before, or talk about it to them because we felt that it was far too much information than that was necessary for us, it was none of our business and it was a hurtful thing to ask anyone because it was a very personal issue. But somehow the opportunity came out while we were having a heart to heart talk.

“B mentioned to us that you guys tried IVF and was unsuccessful.”


I could see Mr X’s face change. His jaw almost dropped to the floor.

“Just to get the record straight, we have never tried IVF in our lives before. What happened was I met Mr B and we were just talking about the exorbitant medical costs in the country. And I guess it was my fault because I mentioned that another couple we knew was comparing the huge difference in the cost of IVF between Malaysia and here. I never said anything about myself having done it or even considering doing it.”

“But well how the story came to us was like it. Mrs B asked me if I had met you guys, and told us in the same breath that you guys had tried for IVF and was unsuccessful. Of course, then I didn’t know you guys very well so we never said anything about it because seriously, it was none of our business.”

More than anything, the conversation illustrated to us how an innocent conversation can be twisted and misunderstood. And worst still, it could spread into a vicious gossip that was totally untrue and unkind.

Sometimes its issues like this that makes me just want to isolate myself from interacting with the Malay community. For whatever reason, topics like this would be of no interest to my Western friends.

Malas tul kekadang, cerita sebenarnya lain tapi bila sampai ke telinga orang ceritanya jadi lain.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What is it about men and cars?

Just recently we sold off our much loved 4x4. My beloved’s answer to the question, “Whats the best feature of your car?” was “The fridge. Its equipped with a fridge to cool off my drinks.”

But alas, the good times had to come to a stop. About a couple of weeks ago the car simply just died on us. Disappointed? Of course, but we have had many good times with the car. Went to umrah quite a few times. Drove all the way to Makkah and Madinah with his parents in that car. Not to mention numerous trips to Bahrain.

To illustrate my ignorance about cars, when I first moved to this country I remarked to my beloved, “Wow the roads here are very smooth! I don’t really feel the bumps at all.” Little did I realize much later when I took a ride on another friends car that our 4x4 had a very good suspension system, rather than the roads being smooth.

Surprisingly many friends (even family back home) were surprised to hear that we sold off the car. Some even offered to buy it over from us. The problem with the car was its transmission, a new transmission suffice to say would buy us a new compact size car. We had the option of buying a second hand transmission for the car which would cost only a fraction of a brand new transmission, but who’s to say how long the second hand transmission would last? And what if we sold the car to a friend and the transmission dies on them again in the next few months? We don’t want to deal with any of those issues. As it happens the second hand parts dealer offered to buy off the car when my beloved brought the car in for repair.

Now that the car is sold, we rented a mid size Corolla to get around town. And I tell ya, there is such a huge difference as to how people react to us! Because of the numerous terrorist/bomb threats in this country, there is a checkpoint for all cars before entering the underground car parks of the major shopping centers. In our 4x4, they normally just check the engine, peeked at the boot and waived us through. In our rented vehicle, they actually made us wind down the window (no powered window! Yikes!) and asked us where we were going. “Going shopping of course,” we answered. But seriously, does it mean that in a smaller car, now we’re considered less worthy of shopping at the Mall?

But I have been digressing, now with the option of buying a new car, my beloved has spent many many many many hours devouring car magazines, car related websites and talking to petrol head friends, discussing the many virtues of various cars. Suddenly he has a valid excuse to go out gallivanting with his petrol head friends at the local car souk or the various car dealership to test drive the cars. Its amazing how guys, whom otherwise he’d only have exchanged 5 words with, become good friends when it comes to trapezing round at car junk yards and car souks!

And its amazing how his male friends would have a long list of suggested models and even the “going rate” price of the cars readily stored in their head. And many more who volunteered to accompany him to test drive various cars! (I suppose its a bit like women and shoe shopping.)

If you’re wandering why there is an absence of women interest in cars in this part of the world, well we’re living in a country where women are legally not allowed to drive. In fact I sometimes think women are not even allowed to think (but that’s another gripe altogether.) If previously, a couple would go out together to test drive a vehicle, its something that is not done here. No women is seen at the car souk or even the computer souk. One brave woman who actually had the guts (or didn’t know any better) told us how she was stared at, as if she was an alien creature from outer space when she is seen at those areas.

For now, I have to content to temporarily being a “car-souk widow” while my beloved goes to the car souks in search for his new toy. For once I am glad that we’re living here, where petrol is still cheaper than buying water.

As long as the passenger seat is fairly comfortable for long drives, and makes me think that the roads here are reasonably smooth, I’d just have to sit at home and gripe a bit more on my blog. J

If I could choose any car I want, I think its would be the H2. Where else can you afford the petrol for this mini giant anyways? Or have the roads wide enough to accommodate the car. Better still have the H2 attached with mini missile for you to fire on cars that annoyingly try to do a U turn at the traffic light from the right most lane. (It’s a left hand drive here.) I bet the 14 year old drivers would think twice before cutting in front of us while we’re driving at 120 km/h.

I first saw the Hummer in Calgary about 11 years ago and was instantly in love with it! Of course the original Hummer looks nothing like the H1, H2 and H3 now, but even then I knew that it was a car I would want. Perhaps if we forget about owning our own house, and resort to living with our parents for the rest of our lives, eat 2 packs of magi and drink tap water everyday, my dream can be a reality. (Or find a rich footballer to marry me.)


But a girl can dream can’t she?

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Personality test

Main Type
Overall Self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Scale (|||||||%) results:

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||| 42%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||||| 50%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity |||||||||||| 46%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 66%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||| 30%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||| 50%
Your main type is 5
Your variant is self pres
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Type Five
The Investigator

Lefthand (male):
Enneagramfree enneagram test

Righthand (female):
Enneagramfree enneagram test

The perceptive, cerebral type. Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. They typically have problems with eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation. At their Best: visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time, and able to see the world in an entirely new way.

Profile Summary for Enneagram Type Five

Healthy: Observe everything with extraordinary perceptiveness and insight. Most mentally alert, curious, searching intelligence: nothing escapes their notice. Foresight and prediction. Able to concentrate: become engrossed in what has caught their attention. / Attain skillful mastery of whatever interests them. Excited by knowledge: often become expert in some field. Innovative and inventive, producing extremely valuable, original works. Highly independent, idiosyncratic, and whimsical. At Their Best: Become visionaries, broadly comprehending the world while penetrating it profoundly. Open-minded, take things in whole, in their true context. Make pioneering discoveries and find entirely new ways of doing and perceiving things.

Average: Begin conceptualizing and fine-tuning everything before acting — working things out in their minds: model building, preparing, practicing, and gathering more resources. Studious, acquiring technique. Become specialized, and often "intellectual," often challenging accepted ways of doing things. / Increasingly detached as they become involved with complicated ideas or imaginary worlds. Become preoccupied with their visions and interpretations rather than reality. Are fascinated by off-beat, esoteric subjects, even those involving dark and disturbing elements. Detached from the practical world, a "disembodied mind," although high-strung and intense. / Begin to take an antagonistic stance toward anything which would interfere with their inner world and personal vision. Become provocative and abrasive, with intentionally extreme and radical views. Cynical and argumentative.

Unhealthy: Become reclusive and isolated from reality, eccentric and nihilistic. Highly unstable and fearful of aggressions: they reject and repulse others and all social attachments. / Get obsessed yet frightened by their threatening ideas, becoming horrified, delirious, and prey to gross distortions and phobias. / Seeking oblivion, they may commit suicide or have a psychotic break with reality. Deranged, explosively self-destructive, with schizophrenic overtones. Generally corresponds to the Schizoid Avoidant and Schizotypal personality disorders.

Key Motivations: Want to possess knowledge, to understand the environment, to have everything figured out as a way of defending the self from threats from the environment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

When life don’t go as plan II

I met E a few days ago. She is half the woman she used to be. She shrunk from a size 16 to a size 10. But I don’t envy her diet plan. A huge dose of heartbreak and a side of pain. She was selling off some of her treasured fabrics. She has decided to suspend quilting for now. Got herself a new job teaching English and taking computer lessons at night. She is starting to plan for a new future, a future she didn’t anticipate or plan for.

“You know my sister asked me how come I didn’t put some money aside for myself. But I told her I didn’t know this was going to happen to me. I didn’t plan for this. So now I will send all that I make back to the States.”

What she said just set my mind racing. Do we or should we plan for these sort of things? Some women do keep a separate account from their husbands and keep their own income for themselves. What about the housewives? Some ladies I know draw an allowance from their husband and they can choose to spend that allowance in whatever way they choose.

I once heard a couple bickering, “You nak TV in the bedroom ke? Nak TV from the bedroom beli la from your allowance. Or I potong je from next month’s allowance.

Potong dari allowance? Tak nak la. Dah lah allowance kita sikit.” (In a high pitched voice.)

Errkk not the sort of conversation you want to hear.

I do admit that I started our partnership that way. Part of our prenuptial agreement was that I will have some money set aside every month in my own account in my own name. In my case, I had put it in a fixed deposit account that was automatically renewed.

Then came a point when we needed to pool our funds together to buy our dream house. He told me that I didn’t have to put in that money I had put aside for myself. But I insisted. Because it was a dream we shared and I wanted to contribute as much as I could.

Now, after that conversation with E, I had to think again, was it a wise choice I made?

Things are always OK when the relationship is nice and rosy. But what if something that you don’t plan for happens?

Another lady I know who lives in the compound, is given a fixed amount by the husband as an allowance for her to spend on the household. Apparently she has been siphoning some of that money for herself. Spent a little less on the household so she could save some for her to send back to her family.

Surely what she does is her own business. But children will notice these things and may act out accordingly. Apparently her children are always hungry and often goes to the neighbours for food and snacks.

Back to E. I asked her what her plans are for now. At first she said she just wanted to pack her bags to leave. She told her husband that she wanted to return to the States, after devoting 22 years to him and the children.

“What was most hurtful to me was that he didn’t even try to ask me to stay. He just said, well if you want to go, just go. I just realised there and then that the door for reconciliation was shut firm, tight. And I was devastated.”

“But for now I have to decide how I want to lead my life in the future. I can just stay here for my children, so I can be here with them around them. Because if I pack my bags to leave, I may only see them once a year, if that. And that’s too much for me to bear.”

“Of course if I stay here and devote myself to my children, I will not have the opportunity to find love for myself. So I have to weigh my love for my children and my need to find love for myself, because their love fulfil only a certain part of me.”

“So right now I just have to improve myself and start planning for the future. I will need to support myself so I am taking steps to enable to do so if or when I return to the States.”

I am sure the women with their own careers think that these women, who left their careers to devote themselves to their husband and their children bring this sort of issues onto themselves.

Are we wrong to choose our family over our career?

Frankly, I don’t know the answer. We all make our own decisions based on what we think is best for ourselves.

Of course some people will say, “Why do you think of such things? Why do you bother yourself with these things? Its someone else going through a separation, not you. Your husband loves you and is devoted to you, so why worry about these things?”

Why? Because I believe in learning from what happens to the people around me. Because I do not want the rug to be pulled from under me.

And of course you hear and read stories all the time, of husbands who abandon their wives in search for someone new. Husbands who confess that they are in love with another woman. Husbands who think that its their god given right to subject their wives to the misery of sharing.

But through the blog world, I have read the stories of women who managed to rebuild their lives after a broken relationship, and that is inspiration to me. One of them in MakAndeh. But she had kept her job all along.

What about the rest of us who are or has become housewives? Should we all start opening a separate account?

I do hope that the husbands realize the sort of sacrifices we had to make to become housewives, and not just discard us or take up a new bride whenever they just feel like it.

Of course I do accept that sometimes, some of these things are fated and predestined. And Allah will test us in ways which we think we can handle. Its through our tests and experiences that we grow as a person.

For E, I wish her good luck and I hope she will remain strong.


If my postings sound somewhat neurotic these days, I do apologize. Just that I have been around friends who had bad luck recently.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When life goes don’t go as plan …..

Some of us work hard to save up for our nesting egg, our retirement. Some choose to work abroad, where hopefully salaries are better so one can save more for the future.

But what if you never really do reach your retirement? What if your time runs out before that?

A few days ago, H called to me tell me that F’s husband was in the hospital. He was in coma. He had just undergone a heart operation and he slipped into a coma after the operation. And yesterday H called to to say that F’s husband passed away the day before. H herself was in a fix, her husband is away on a business trip and her younger daughter has just been admitted in hospital for high fever.

H and F have two things in common, alone in a foreign land, without their husband, facing uncertainty. Of course for H, it’s a temporary thing. He will come back from his business trip.

But what about for F? What happens now? She and her husband are from two different countries. He’s an Egypt|an while she is a Morroc@n with a Swed|sh passport. Last I talked to her was before the summer holidays. She had invited us ladies from the cooking class to her house for lunch. She served us cous-cous with lamb and lots of other things. She told us that she and her husband was building a house near the coast in Egypt somewhere. Her husband will work here for a few more years to pay off that house.

Her story is not different for many of us here. We came here to save up for that dream retirement house that we would otherwise may not afford if we stayed where we were.

But what happens if we don’t reach till retirement? What happens if things don’t go as plan?

In this case what do you do as a wife, a woman, in a foreign land, without the help and support of your family, having to face the death of your loved one? Who helps you make the arrangements? Where do you choose to return? Where do you go from here?

I had to ask myself, if ever, nauzubillah, I was in F’s shoes. What do I do? Where do I go?

Of course many times I have been asked, where is home for me? And honestly I cannot give you an answer. Home is where me and my beloved live, so right now home is here where we are. We did set up home in UK but now we have no ties there. No paper to say that we can live there permanently. So I can’t say I can call UK home.

Then there is my birth country of course. Where the rest of my family is. But since my mum has passed on, aside from my immediate family, I no longer feel strong attachment to that place. True it’s the place I grew up as a child, but every time I returned, its so different. Many things changed and I am no longer able to recognize the place. And the mindset of the people is somewhat different from what I have became. The never ending kiasuness and the fast paced rat race is just too much for me.

Of course there is KL, but if without my beloved, I don’t have real ties to the place. Yes I do have friends there but it might even be too painful to stay there, at close proximity to his family.

I pray that I will never be tested the same way. Because I would have to start on a clean slate.

A friend once told me that I think too much. I give too much thought and plan for things in the future that most people don’t even think about. Or at least she didn’t.

But I have been caught off guard once. Having a parent passing on at the age of 49, before she could have a taste of her retirement, made me assess some things in my life. And my only way to deal with that is to devise my own contingency plans. So that I know, if this ever happens to me (God forbid), I have given some thought to it, and have an idea what I want to do about it.

Not that life always go the way you plan it. Judging from my own past experience, it never really does.

Once again in my life, I feel displaced.

Please sedekah Al-Fatehah for F’s husband.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Entries long overdue

Once again I fail to update my blog. Just that so many things have happened lately, so many topics I wanted to blog about just didn't get round or have the time to put my thoughts into words. Will ruminate over them and perhaps but something up in the near future.

Re-reading my own meme was somewhat weird. Perhaps it sounded like I was bragging but I thought it was a fair representation of a life being full of ups and downs. If I sound like I am a spoilt person leading the high life, it actually isn't true at all. Just that we're masochists preferring the road not travelled.

If you guys think my life is interesting(Lollies, NurElsa, Atiza), let me assure you that it is also full of dull moments. Perhaps I just choose to highlight and embrace the interesting parts. You might go to sleep reading about what I ate, what I did do and what I didn't do, especially now. :)

Babe please don't feel like that, life is such that different people take different journies in life. And we all make decisions in our lives base on what we think is right for us. Of course sometimes there is also the element of fate. But there are many things I had to forgo living this life. For example the nonexistence of a career or even the oppurtunity to further my studies. But I am also a believer in being a student of life. For me, I guess the world can be my classroom where I can roam to further improve myself. The downside is, you won't get a certificate when you graduate or pass a test. So it can be hard convincing your employer to employ you base on a nonextistent certificate.

Well I did once upon a time thought about writing my experiences which is why I started this blog in the first place. Whether it will materialize into a book, who knows. I am not that vain to think that people will be willing to buy my book to read about me. The fact that I have some readers to my blog is surprising to me.

Kieli, Ana, Makcik-San, don't worrying about not wanting to accept the baton. I just thought that it would be interesting to read yours. :)

Atn, yes dear you said it right. Nikmat is different for everyone. And I always believe that Allah is always fair, that you may get more of something and less of something else. Which means that in the end, we all get the same things, just in different areas. And the trip round the world is just a dream for now, whether I actually get to actualize that dream, well only if Allah permits it.

And everything in life comes at a cost. Mine comes at a cost of stability and predictability. May sound exciting but it hard to plan for the future. And living with uncertainty does get tiring after awhile.

KakTeh heheh yes good ol' Sainsbury. I do miss it quite a lot! I bet the strawberry season is now over and the apple season has started.

And now I will start blog hopping, something I haven't been able to do much lately.

Thanks for reading.