Sunday, January 30, 2005

A new begining?

Its funny how 3 weeks can change your life. S came back from work saying, "You know what, after what we've gone through, somewhow what I do at the office doesn't seem to be as important anymore."

And that set me thinking. (To be honest I havent had much time to think since I got back, in between the spouse diagnosed with bronchial pneumomia, coffee mornings, lunch and dinner invites.)

What is it about the last 3 weeks that changed my perpective about life?

Firstly, I learned more about the past history of my religion through the different stages of the ibadah. How the Kaabah was built by the Prophet Ibrahim a long time ago and how it was revived by the Prophet Muhhammed SAW. I will try to write more about these aspects later because I do see their importance in shaping my current world.

Secondly I had the oppurtunity to correct my faith and believe. I realised that I am nothing but a humble servant, that I have been leading very much a blessed life and I should do more to be grateful for what I have been given with.

Thirdly, the swiftness of divine retribution is all to apparent in the Holy land (tanah Haram.) That would make one learn one's lesson pretty quickly, I'd have to say.

And I have decided that at the end of the day, we men are our own enemies. Even while performing our Ibadah some chose to be impatient, rude, pushy and selfish.

Will it be the selfishness and self-centredness of mankind that will ruin the Earth?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Back from Makkah

Yes I am finally back but we are still resting from the trip. I came back with stuffy nose and bad cough while hubby got a fever as well.

I think its fair to say that if you have the means to do so, one should try to perform the Haj while one is still young and energetic, because the whole process is very much a physical one, as well as spiritual.

For those of you who wished me well for my trip, thank you.

Will write more about my trip after I finished my suitcase full of dirty laundry.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I would like to apologize about yesterday's blog.

Perhaps I am premenstrual, perhaps it was just my test before the big journey or just perhaps.

Anyways I was just trying to release some pent up feelings and somehow Allah showed me some light today and that matter has been resolved for me.

I do not know if I will be able to put up any more entries before my Big journey. If I don't please wish me well. I will (Insyallah) be embarking on a journey of the spiritual kind. As it stands there has been several tests even before the main journey. We hope that we dealt with it as best as we could with the purest of intentions.

Some friends and neighbours did ask me a few days ago, at what point or when did I decide that I wanted to make this journey. I guess it was a few months ago. Well actually we did decide last year although for me it was a verbalized promise rather than a spiritual one. But slowly it has become a real commitment, and now it it close to becoming a reality.

For me, the journey of life is a short one. I don't know when it will be time for me to go. Thus I would like to embrace all oppurtunities given to me while I still can, while it is still open for me. For I do not want to despair in the future, remembering that I was presented with many oppurtunities, none of which I took advantage of.

Hopefully this would be a journey which I would be given many future oppurtunities to partake. In my opinion, sometimes its about the "Seru" or "calling" that one gets the oppurtunity to go. And not everyone gets the oppurtunity or the "calling."

For those who know me, I would like to apologize if I have hurt or offended you in any way.

For those who don't thanks for reading my blog.

Monday, January 03, 2005

People I meet on the road

Being a constant Musafir, I often get the oppurtunity to meet all sorts of people. Some I managed to keep contact over the years, some I haven't had the oppurtunity to meet up again.

I am terrible at keeping in touch. For that I apologize to my friends.

One of the most recent characters I met was Kak Z. She is a single mother of 5 children, 3 daughters and 2 sons.

How did I meet her? She was the relative on the Ustaz who was accompanying us to Umrah and she was kind enough to invite us to stay at her place while we were performing our Umrah.

I found Kak Z very fascinating. She was sent off to Cairo to study at age 4, and married off at age 14. "After my second menstruation," she told us as a matter of factly.

Not only she was kind and understanding, she was generous and very resourceful. She shared with us stories of her experiences, many of which I found very interesting but I lack the time to retell it all here. She was very religious, but not preachy, even though she told us many stories, it was not told as if she was boasting, but rather that she was sharing with us her tips in life. And for all that Kak Z, I have to thank you for them. It made me see some things in a different light.

Many people just mentioned the joys of having children, but she actually shared with us the difficulty of raising them (somehow people don't tell you about the difficult parts but just talk about the nice parts) and what she did to overcome adversity.

Thank you Kak Z for the glimpse on your rich experiences. We have only just met but I felt that I learnt so much from you and took so much of your generosity.

Then there was Kak S, she was from Malacca and married off to her first cousin here. She yearns so much to return to Malaysia. One of the things that first stumped me was the story of how she clung to her Malaysian passport for as long as she could.

"Yerlah kalau suami kita ceraikan kita nanti, kita takde hak di sini. Macam mana nak balik Malaysia." She said as a matter of factly.

Her sister-in-law told us how, she has even planned how she would distribute her children should ber husband divorce her, and if she had to return to her hometown. Her daughters will be given to the elder-sister-in-law as that sister only had 2 daughters and her sons to the second-sister-in-law as she didn't have many sons.

But after 15 years she finally surrendered her Malaysian passport. And she said she would try to re-apply for Malaysian citizenship the following year.

I feel so much for her. She married a local man here because her parents had promised her to her current husband. She obviously loves her husband and her children but her heart is not here in this country, its back there "di kampung halaman."

And then there is B. She is kind, helpful and I think, lonely. She is very keen to make friends but sometimes I feel she is too enthusiastic to a point that she drives people away. She does not understand the concept of space and privacy and often oversteps them, without realizing that she has offended the other person, causing them to withdraw away from her.

Since I do not know how to tell her about this nicely, (plus I don't think its my place to tell people anyways for I am less than perfect myself) I keep my distance. I keep my distance because I do not want to get hurt. I know she is not being malicious but her words often does hurt me and I am not the confrontational sort.

And then there is O, we met briefly in Nara, Japan. She was a "cultural volunteer." She donates her free time bringing tourists around town, explaining to us the cultural aspects of the city, most of which I wouldn't know or be able to comprehend if she wasn't there to explain to me. She sent me a lovely Christmas card, and I am still surprised that she remembered me. For I was just one of the many clueless backpackers who visited Nara. Japan, felt like a page from the past for me, but she managed to bring back the good memories to me.

And there are more, perhaps one day I will write about them here.

All these characters have enriched my life, one way or the other. They have either given me some lessons in life, allowed me to be grateful with what I have, and made me more aware of myself and how I should behave towards others.

There was a reason why our otherwise separate paths meet and for that I am grateful. My lesson from 2004 is that the spirit of generosity is the most valuable gift one can give to others. And I hope that I would learn to perpetuate the spirit of generosity for the years to come.

MCs and Egos

Just to say that I am annoyed at H.

She did apologized to me but even her apology didn't sound sincere to me.

"Well I am sorry about the other day. I didn't mean to hurt anybody's feeling but I was trying to make a point."

OK. So she made a point by doing a character assassination on me and suggesting that I am doing something out of vanity and ostentiousness rather than the goodness of my heart.

Even when apologizing she is not admitting that she made a mistake.

So to her making a point was more important than making sure that the other person's feeling is not hurt.

I guess for some people, they are more interested in listening to their own voice and thoughts rather than what other people may think.

Please God, please make me a stronger person. Please protect me by placing me amongst people who have good intentions towards me and please protect me from people who have ill intentions towards me.

Please make me a more patient person. Please give me strength to handle your tests for me in life. Please make me say only good things and please stop me from saying terrible things, even in my heart. Please protect me from envy, disagreement and dishonesty.

Please make the journey ahead of me as smooth as possible.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New year Weekend - II - The Second bang

So I called X, whose house we were heading towards, to tell them about the car accident. S wondered if X could come and give us moral support.

S also called Ustaz and asked him if he could come and become an intrepreter. It is a well known thought in this country that if there was an accident between a foreigner and a local, no matter whose fault it actually was, the foreigner is at fault. So we need someone who can understand and speak the local language.

Thank god that the guy who hit us from behind wasn't local.

However, the 5th car, the car at the back most of the accident was driven my a local. This is a quandry indeed. Out car is on the rightmost lane in a 3 lane expressway. The 5th driver's car was on the leftmost lane of the same road. The 5th car driver, being the local, felt that our car was at fault because we were in front. Never mind that he rear ended everyone else.

X called to say that we should not move our car until told to do so by the police. That we obeyed.

There were lots of onlookers.

X came shortly, and he brought along 2 of his friends. Colleagues from his previous working place. So there was a short conference, the police trying to determine who was at fault and who would have to pay what.

Somehow it was decided that it was 2 different accidents that happened simulteneously. We didn't have to pay anything, and the car behind us would have to pay for the damages on our car. In the meantime everyone has to go to the police station to make a statement.

So I head towards X's house to pick up his wife and from there we headed towards Ustaz's house. So much for trying to catch up on time. We were aiming to be able to do our tawaf after Subuh prayers. But it looks very unlikely time-wise then.

At Ustaz's house, we sat and chatted a little about the accident. And suddenly a loud, "Bom!"

What was that?

"A bomb," said X's wife calmly. The X's are survivors of the Al Hambra bombing.

Not again. Where we wondered?

I called S to ask him where he was. Thank God he answered the phone.

"I am still at the police station. No I didn't hear any explosion here."

I was relieved.

So it finally came out in the Al-Jazeera news. Bombs went off near the Ministry of Interior. We heard the explosion from the DQ.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Year Weekend - I

What a wreck! Posted by Hello

Perhaps it something is easily gotten, then it would be easily forgotten. For every bad thing, some good will come out of it.

It was Wednesday evening as we hastily set off from the driveway. S hesitated as he reversed the car.

"What's the matter?" I asked him.

"Well its close to Maghrib, I am debating if we should push off after our prayers," he pondered.

"Well its still a few minutes yet, we should just drive over to X's place and perform our prayers there. As it is we are behind time."

Perhaps it was Allah's way of reminding us that we should always put him first. Or perhaps we was protecting us from harm or perhaps we never would really know the answer....

Merely 5 mins away from X's place, our car headed towards a traffic light near the junction of X's house, our car had to stop as there was a stationary Nissan truck trying to turn to the right. We managed to stop behind the truck in time and then a few minutes later, a loud thud, and the car moved a little.

What was what?

Behind us, all the traffic had stopped.

We got out of the car and the wreck above is what I saw behind us.

But we're going to Umrah! I lamented to myself. How will be make our way to Umrah if the car is badly damaged? And it wont just be us! Everyone would be so disappointed!

"Why did you stop there?" cried the driver as S stepped out of the car.

"Because there was another car in front of me!" cried S back.

"Didn't you see my car stopping?" he asked.

"NO!" lamented the driver.

Aside from both of our cars, 3 other cars were in the accident. How did that happen? I don't actually know.

So we are safe, Thank God! But what next? Will we still be able to drive to Mecca for our Umrah?