Thursday, June 30, 2005

Oh My poor stomach!

What else do Malaysians do during the weekends but to converge in a "latest find" restaurant that may remotely serve something that is remotely similar to the food we have back home?

Last night, four couples went to the local Hong Kong restaurant because we found out that they were selling Dim Sum. Yes Dim Sum. Its amazing what sort of food one misses when one is away from home. I never did crave for Dim Sum as much when we were living in London, I guess I knew that they were available but not Halal. And I did satisfy my cravings sometimes by buying the frozen Halal ones made in Malaysia. I'd just buy a pack, bring them home, and steam them.

My craving for Dim Sum started with the "burnt pau" incident. As I was rumaging my freezer, I found 3 pieces of frozen pau which my friend had made for me a couple of months ago. I thought, why not have the pau for afternoon tea and used my microwave steamer to warm the paus. I guess I was somewhat zealous about warming up the paus that I actually burnt them! Yes folks apparently putting the paus in the microwave steamer more than 5 mins will result in the paus getting burnt! I didn't think it was possible but here's concrete proof that it can happen.

they are burnt all right! Posted by Hello

So when another friend told us that she found a restaurant that serves Dim Sum I was all excited to go. In my mind I was imagining rows of Shiu Mai, Lo Ma Kai, Chi Kueh, you know, the whole works! So we all made arrangements to meet. Wednesday night being a weekend night was agreed upon and we met at the restaurant promptly after Magrib, to eat and talk about food. We were all missing the food back home it seems. Dim Sum at Mutiara is apparently the best, so I made a mental note that I will visit Mutiara when I next return to KL. And the Pasar Malam Bangsar comes to mind when it comes to the Char Kueh and the Ham Chin Peng. And Yong tau foo. Tau foo fa. Food that we take for granted back home but is simply impossible to find here, except to make it ourselves. Which we technically could but with much difficulty, due to lack of authentic ingredients.

The meal was for most part mediocre. The Dim Sum was for most part disappointing. The pau was filled with custard and not chicken or meat. The skin of the dumpling was thick and hard. The Siew Mai was filled with glutinous rice. And despite it being a buffet, there was limited amounts of Dim Sum to be had.

The rest of the food was passable, not the unforgetably delicious variety. Of course no char kuay teow. No Tofu. No asian green vegetables. *sigh* But we ate anyways because we enjoyed the company.

We finally left the restaurant at 11 pm. Only to arrive home with two huge stomachaches! His and mine! I tried to curl myself to sleep while the purges himself in the bathroom. We managed to catch some sleep until the early morning prayers after which I had a hard time falling asleep because I was plagued by gas. Apparently, I was giving out mini explosions of the potent kind that he could not stay in bed with me and decided to thump away at his pc, with his stomach ache.

So I sent out a couple of text messages to our dinner companions asking them if their stomachs were allright. Afterall I thought, perhaps it was just us, perhaps they are doing OK. And true enough the two replies I got confirmed that they too suffered from the same plight. Gas, stomachache and migrane. Yikess!

That is our adventure for the weekend. In our quest to look for food that resembles the sort of food we miss back home, we suffer from a bout of upset stomaches. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Life is a quandry

Matters of the heart again. It pains me to see people still tortured because they still can't find love. But sometimes I think, love does, or did come to their door but what did they do? Just let it pass them by. All because they were searching for a Mr Right. Or Mrs Right.

The story unfolds, a successful woman fast reaching her 30, with a successful career, and a very keen admirer. She has known him for awhile. Regarded him as a good and dependable friend. But apparently didn't feel any chesmistry for him. And I understand that. But she is getting more desperate to get married, and wanting to make babies. These are not assumptions, but she told me herself. In her own words.

On the other side, a single 30 something guy, have been admiring this girl for awhile. He had let her go once, because of his career, as he was just setting up his life. But he realised that he still wants her, the one he once let go. Tracked her down, asked her to marry him. She turned him down, nicely, gently of course. Saying she cannot commit, and she doesn't feel the same way about him.

The woman continued in search of her Mr Right, the one whom she would have chemistry with. With some luck. So the guy decided he will wait no more, and move on. How long can one wait? How long is one expected to wait? How long can one endure the not knowing?

A story perhaps tragic, perhaps common, perhaps mind boggling.

The real truth, only between the two of them and Allah would know.

How long can a woman test a man's patience and dedication before he decides that enough is enough?

How long can a guy wait in hope, and hoping before deciding that perhaps he is hoping in vain and is better off investing his time and energy elsewhere?

Love is full of tests and tribulations. That is true. But there is a limit to how much a man or a woman can take. So the receiver must be careful not to overstretch the giver.

It is naive to think that a person's kindness is boundless and bottomless. We are only humans. As Joey from Friends said, "There is no such thing as unselfish good deed." We often do them because we want some sort of retribution, sometimes from the person we do the good deed on, sometimes for ourselves and sometimes for God.

If you really want her/him back, apologize and ask her/him to take you back again, with proper commitment. And sincerity. If you don't, let the other person go. Let them lead their life for themselves for once, without having to think of you at the back of their mind.

If anything, if you don't already know, you cannot take people for granted. And you cannot take life for granted.

It is not my place to tell either of them what is right or what is wrong. But what I find is most disturbing is to see both of them hurting. But I also realise that only the two of them can work things out for themselves, either individually or together.

We all make our own decisions based on what we think is right for ourselves. But we can also ask our creator for his guidance.

I too had my heart broken in many million pieces. And all I could then was to get down on my knees to pray to him. To ask him for forgiveness, to ask him for happiness, to ask him for a peace of mind, and to ask him to give you a suitable partner for you, the one who will love you for who you are and who will appreciate and cherish you for the rest of your lives.

Though these times will be difficult to go through, I hope the both of you will grow through this experience. What doesn't kill us, will only make us stronger.

I don't wish to assume that both of you read this, but if you do, I hope you will take this kindly.

Actions often speak louder than words. Its not what we tell people that matters, its what we do that we are often judged upon.

Good luck.

Alhamdullilah, Praise to Allah

[Caution mushy post ahead. If you have an aversion to mushy posts please stop reading right now and read this instead.]

When you first asked me to marry you, I wasn't sure. All I answered was "In due time." You know that I am not the sort who makes false promises, especially those I am uncertain if I can keep.

The day we got married, I was still apprehensive. I too wondered if I made the right decision. I also wondered, what if Mr Right comes along later and I have already committed myself to you? But I accepted the fact that only predestination that enabled us to meet and finally got married. If any of the sequence of events didn't happen the way it happened, our paths would have never crossed and we would never have had the oppurtunity to meet and got to know each other. It was pure divine intervention, and I accepted that.

Allah sent you to me, answering my prayers after my heart has been broken into a million pieces. All I asked from Him was to give me a man who loves me more than I love myself. A man who has faith and will be able to lead me to the right way. A man who will be true to me and will cherish and appreciate me for the rest of our lives.

When I first met you, I never thought that you were the man I was to marry. My best friend and my mum will attest to you that my comment that night after the lunch date was, "Ahh dah jumpa dahh. Dah tua! Gemuk bulat plaks tu!" Although in my heart I knew that the woman whom you will eventually marry will be a lucky woman and will be taken care of very well. I just didn't know that the person will be me.

Its been a while now that we have been married, and I can tell you that I love you much more today than the day we got married. You tell me that somedays you wake up wandering, "I am really married to her?" And it felt like we only got married yesterday. It has been a long yesterday. We had our ups and downs. We had our struggles, our sacrifices and our adversities. And I am so glad that Allah has given you to be with me on our journeys. He couldn't have picked a better man for me. And I have since learned to trust and accept His judgement.

Somedays I have been insecure. It upsets you when we found out that our friend was having an affair, not you, and you came home finding me in tears, doing some soul searching. Its only because I think you're the most valuable thing I have in my life, just the thought of the possibility of losing you was unacceptable for me. I realize that perhaps sometime in the future a loss would be inevitable because we all would have to move on to the next life, but a loss in death would be different than a loss in life. But Alhamdullilah, you have been good to me, you have been understanding although sometimes you were upset that I was upset. But hey, its only because I love you so.

So with each passing year, I would have to thank Allah for giving you to me. For the good life He has given us and hope that He will continue to bless this union we have. Please continue to be a companion and a partner in this journey we're embarking. My hope for the future is that we will grow old and happy together. We will continue to hold hands even in the sunset of our lives, that we will continue to make each other happy and will be there for each other, still true to each other and still in love with one another.

Happy anniversary darling! You are my Mr Right, I may not know it then but I certaintly have realised it now. May Allah continue to bless us all.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Horaaaay back online

After 3 days without our ADSL its finally back! I can now finally check my emails, read blogs and news etc. It has been hard not having an internet connection at my finger tips. Finding out about something was just a google push of a button away for me until we got booted off the system.

Anyways after hassling all sorts of people we are now back online :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

How do I love thee? Which of the nine ways?

This is not the first study on Love but perhaps the latest. So which category does your love fall into? I think mine is a combination of a few.

Tim Radford, science editor
Wednesday June 8, 2005
The Guardian

Next time you board the streetcar named desire, ask yourself: is this hedonistic love, or are you already in a role-bound relationship? If the first, your love will be gone with the wind. If the second, brace yourself for a brief encounter.

Simon Watts of Nottingham Trent University and Paul Stenner of University College London analysed the nature of modern love by asking 34 women and 16 men to agree or disagree with a set of 60 propositions. They identified nine varieties of love, reported in the British Journal of Social Psychology today. They are:

· A grown-up version that involves mutual trust, recognition and support

· The "Cupid's dart" variety, in which couples - think Antony and Cleopatra or even Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity - are swept away by blind passion

· Hedonistic love, concerned with personal and perhaps fleeting pleasure, the theme of much Hollywood film noir

· Love as the ultimate connection: an essentially romantic view

· Demythologised love that recognises the need for hard work, patience and compromise to make things work

· Love as transformative adventure: the emotional rollercoaster experience of a Bridget Jones figure

· From Cupid's arrow to a role-bound relationship dictated by society's expectations - the experience of the tortured couple in David Lean's film Brief Encounter

· From Cupid's arrow to the security of close friendship

· Dyadic partnership love, in which two people become a single unit (and tend to finish each other's sentences)

"I wanted to try and find a way of capturing people's experiences that went beyond asking them," said Mr Watts. "When you do ask them they are very rarely able - even if they wish to - to tell you the whole story, to get it into words. We want to map the cultural state of love. What is the climate of love at the current time?" he said.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


My friend R has just came back from her trip back home in Russia. So I asked her how things are back home and she told him how hard life was there. People are working for long hours with little pay and are barely scraping through. One example she gave me was their trip to a bowling alley. The cost of renting a lane was EUR30 and that does not including the entrance fee (just to get into the facilities one has to pay!) and other incidentals like refreshments or shoes.

It was also her husband’s first trip to her homeland, as they had met in Syria and got married in Europe. H, her husband asked, who could afford such places when the cost is exorbitantly high. She pointed out to him the other patrons at the bowling alley, mainly big burly men with thick gold chains with young, thick made-up girl friends. Only the “businessmen” could afford to bring their girlfriends to hangout at such places while normal people would just peer in from outside.

R told me when she told her mum how much the outing to the bowling alley cost, her mum remarked that the amount they spent for that evening was equivalent to her monthly pension. Can you imagine, R told me that her mum spends 80% of her pension paying for just the basic electricity and water bills.

The transition from communism to free economy has hit the normal people the hardest it seems.

I guess the usual story goes, the rich gets richer while the poor gets poorer.

R was also suffering the blues since she came back. Her sentiments are often felt by us women when we get back here after a trip elsewhere. Because she suddenly remembered how good it was to have freedom and mobility, to have it all taken away in our life back in the gilded cage.

Yes life here is fairly good and comfortable. We have a bowling alley at our doorstep which we can use anytime without additional cost. But, all at the cost of the loss of our mobility and freedom.

I also updated her on the goings on in the compound while she was gone. And I related the story of one neighbour, who in the quest for her personal vengeance, had tried to close down the playgroup. Also, some of the rumours going on about some of our neighbours.

R said something which I thought was most profound, living in this closed gated community somehow can bring out the worst in people. Its like a test almost of who we truly are. The ones who are prone to be having affairs, would have one. The bored ones who like to gossip will do just precisely that. The rude and racists ones become more so. And some people just lose all ideas of what real life is all about.

The others, the ones who wouldn’t care less for the gossip and the affairs in the end just stay at home and make themselves busy.

And so our conversation ends. I was just so glad to see R back here again because I was just so tired of the gossiping and meddling women.

But I still am pondering, what has living here made me?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cash (re)payment on the spot

Life can sometimes be full of surprises. And I am deeply humbled by Allah’s grace. I have I only thought of doing a good deed, in fact I haven’t even managed to deliver the good deed I was thinking of doing, and suddenly opportunities came knocking at my door. Literally. Without me lifting a finger.

Even if the opportunity that came knocking at my door was just an empty knock, I will still deliver on the deeds that I promised to myself I would do.

Because apparently, just by thinking of doing some of it, I have been repaid. By someone else’s kindness to me.

I am brought to my knees, I recognize that I am a mere mortal, a weak human being, experiencing the greatness of my Creator.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Homage to Leen

Reading about Leen’s experience on her first flight out to the UK brings back memories of my first flight out to Canada to mind. [Unfortunately mine is not as witty as hers.]

It was about eleven years ago, one family, one whole big bus, not the 15 seater mini van OK but a full pledge bus from the local bus company, went at 6:30 am to the airport. I have this HUGE and I mean HUGE suitcase with me. Perhaps I had two of them, my memory is getting fuzzy now. [Because I was allowed two pieces of luggage to North America you see.] What did I bring with me? Almost everything. Clothes. Food. Maggi. Rice cooker. Luckily no comforter. Lots of sweaters and winter jackets, some second hand, from friends and well wishers. Some shiny new ones as well. And there I was 6:30 am at the airport with two huge bags and a very very very heavy hand luggage which I could hardly carry myself, going to a country neither me nor my parents have ever been before, not knowing that to expect, what is ahead of me, going all alone.

Unfortunately there was no internet then and I could not do any research about the city I was going to as I can now. But luckily my mum had some colleagues who used to go to the same University I was going to. And so they could provide me with some snippets of how the place will be like. What the campus was like. They reassured me that I would have no problems because I was a very independent person, and I was a little daunted, but I was very determined to go. Because I had fought very hard to go.

The fight for me to study abroad was a long one. I didn’t get accepted at the local University but I knew that I could still further my studies, just not at my home country. But my parents, namely my dad was very reluctant to let me go. At first, they told me that it was financial reasons, that both were just civil servants and we didn’t have a money tree tucked away somewhere for them to send me abroad. So I told them I would take up a bank loan to finance my studies. And I would work part time while studying to supplement my expenditure. Luckily my mum was very supportive and she told me to do all my research, to find out how much I needed to study abroad and what I should do to find myself a place to study.

With my dad it wasn’t so easy. I understand now that to him, sending his eldest born abroad all alone, by herself when he is not a travelling man himself was very daunting indeed. My dad is the sort who did not like travelling himself and thus just the idea of his daughter going away to a place far, far away was incomprehensible.

But in the end my mum and his friends talked him into it. My mum realised that nothing will stop me from going, because even if I didn’t go then, I would find my own way to go eventually, because she understood that I had a thirst to see the world. I had told her that even if I wasn’t allowed to study abroad, I would eventually go backpacking by myself because I was determined to see the world beyond our tiny flat. Perhaps, secretly she too had the same ambition, and thus supported me.

My dad was further persuaded by his friends who had also sent their children abroad to study. They told him how much their children were learning from being independent and how much a difference it would make when they come back to find work as a graduate, rather than just an A –Level holder.

And so there I was, in a 30 seater bus at the airport early in the morning. At the last minute the night before I had called the student center in Canada telling them that I was coming and to please arrange for temporary accommodation for me and to send someone to fetch me.

Luckily I was not charged for excess luggage, and there I was embarking on the journey of fulfilling my dream. I think I was the first in my family to have taken such a long haul flight so it was a big deal to them. All my grandparents, aunties, uncles, neighbours, cousins were all at the airport with me.

If I was scared, I didn’t have time to think, just the burning desire to go.

I remember about a month before my flight, my auntie had approached me to ask me why I am going so far away to study. She said, afterall a woman’s place will be in the kitchen in the end and was it really necessary for me to go so far to get an education? I remember getting irritated a little bit by that remark but I wasn’t going to let anything pull me down then. Of course now many years later, her prediction isn’t too far. I am afterall a housewife and has been predominantly one since I got married. But for me then, the fact that the issue was raised showed the generation and mindset gap we had between us.

I realised how daunting it was only when I arrived at Vancouver airport. I suddenly realised that I was in a different country (duhh!) and I didn’t know where to go! Luckily for me there was a student receiving desk (I guess Canada does accept a lot of foreign students) and the nice girl showed me where to register myself to process my visa and where to send my luggage for my connecting flight to Calgary.

I still remember that moment when my visa was being processed like yesterday. There I was standing in front of this kindly looking bespectacled man with curly hair wearing a wedding ring. He asked to look at my papers which I had handy, and with a stamp in my passport, he told me I was set to go.

It was all a little bit of a blur after that. Until I reached Calgary that is. It was a small airport, and coming down from that escalator, I was very apprehensive. Oh no! What do I do if the University has forgotten to send someone to fetch me? Do I get a taxi to the University? What if I get ripped off? And where do I stay for the night? I somehow did not plan for this part of the trip.

Luckily for me there were some students from the Singapore Malaysian Association there waiting for me. I was relieved. They introduced themselves to me, and then proceeded to give me a mini tour of the city. Lily, the president was the club had one leg on a cast then from a motobike accident. And then there was 2 other guys, and another girl whom I have forgotten her name. They checked me in on Rez where a room would cost me $20.50 a day, where I can stay until I can find myself a permanent room.

Library Block Posted by Hello

And there I was, all alone, in that room, ready to pursue my dreams.

After unpacking some necessities, I decided to walk round the campus a little bit to explore. I found the little convenience store, the vending machine that sells Reese peanut butter and eventually the food court.

Guess what folks! I was too daunted, too scared to go up to the counter to buy any food or sit in the food court. In my mind, I was going, “Oh ramai nye Mat Salleh.” Duuuhh!!! I know, I know. It didn’t daunt to me until then that I was going to be in Mat Salleh land, and thus there would be lots of Mat Sallehs in Mat Salleh land! Silly me!

Since I was too afraid even to look at the menus to buy myself dinner, I walked back to my room, bought myself 4 Reese peanut butters to eat as my dinner. Those Reese peanut butter gave me the runs! Luckily the Rez was still quite empty then, so I could use the public toilets at my own convenience.

The following days got easier and easier when more new students from Malaysia came. I met Keat and Eileen and I also found the “white house” where I chose a room in the basement at $180 a month. Keat, Eileen and I hung out for quite a bit until semester starts.

Errrkk this story remind me to the fact that Keat had just gotten married recently and I have forgotten to send him a congratulatory card. With that I have to end this blog entry to find myself a card and a cheque. Funny how memory works doesn’t it.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dreaming of beaches and seals ...

I woke up this morning with a very strong memory of my dream. What causes us to dream? Why are some dreams more vivid and memorable than others? And what did my dream mean?

According to the experts, the most memorable and vivid dreams usually occur in the final stage of sleep, the REM (Rapid Eye movement sleep). There are various psychologists who have different theories as to why we dream and what it means to dream. Although there are some variability in their theories, I am finding that the theories are not too different from each other.

Sigmund Freud believes that dreams are wish fulfilment. He theorizes that there is a symbolic nature to dreams and that dreams are a direct connection to our unconsciousness. It is through our dream that our hidden desires are unfolded. But Freud insists that everything in our dreams is about our sexual psyche.

Alfred Adler’s theory is not too far from Freud, he believed that dreams are an open pathway to our true thoughts, emotions and actions. Adler sees dreams as a way of overcompensating for our shortcomings in our waking life. Dreams offer some sort of satisfaction that may be more socially acceptable.

For Carl Jung, dreams serve as a guide for the waking self to achieve wholeness. For him, our dreams offers us a solution to a problem we are facing in our waking life.

Frederick Perls on the other hand theorizes that dreams contain the rejected, disowned parts of the Self. Every character and every object in your dream represents every aspect of yourself. Perls asserts that in order to discover which aspect of the Self that is being disowned, it is important to retell your dream in the common tense.

So back to my dream, I dreamt that I was walking in the compound with a friend whom I often take walks in the evening with. And then she led me out through the backdoor which I never knew existed before. And it led us to the local village (more like the Malay seaside kind rather than the Bedouin kind.) We walked past two shops selling mats, keropoks and various titbits. I chided her for not bringing me through this walk earlier. We walked on the sand, lingering a little bit to where the waves come. It was pleasant to have the feel of the waves on my feet. Then we arrived to a jetty like structure where they were some people just sitting there looking at the sea. I thought I saw some penguins swimming in the clear green water, but as the creatures swam nearer I realised that they were seals, not penguins.

And then I realised that I was suddenly alone. And I had bought some fish from this guy selling them, so that people can feed the seals (errkk don’t ask me the environmental implications of this please!) And he was giving me instructions as to how to throw the fishes at the seals. He told me that I must be careful to throw them out and far because I don’t want the seals to come lunging at me for the fish.

So I was a little bit frightened (yes I am a scaredy cat, even in my dream!) And I decided to throw all of my fish out to the seals at once, and I threw it far and high.

And then I decided that I needed to walk home. I traced back my steps until I reached the secret small door leading back to my compound. In the compound was more sand and an artificial lake. It was pleasant but man-made, unlike the real Mccoy just outside that small door. And I headed towards my room which was small. Along the way, I picked up three newspapers, remarking to myself that I haven’t read or even touched real nice thick newspapers for a long time. Where have I been? What have I been so busy with that I haven’t had the chance to read newspapers (I am or used to be a news junkie until I moved here.) Just the feel of the newspaper between my hands was good.

My room however was small and somewhat cramped. And I found one or even two cockroaches in my room. (Even in paradise there are rodents?) So I decided that I will ask to change rooms, I will ask to move back to my villa, where there are no cockroaches.

And with that I woke up, and realised I was back in our villa. No beaches in the backdoor but at least no cockroaches as well.

Even in my dreams, my world is balanced. In life, there are always good sides and bad sides. For the luxury of watching seals and walking at the beach, I had to put up with cockroaches. Yikes!

Anyone with any theories with regards to the seals?

Seals Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Another day and another drama

The phone rang at 9:30 am on Saturday morning. It is the weekends for goodness sake, I thought, who is calling me at this time when I want to be spending it in bed with hubby dearest?

So I answered the phone with Jane’s voice, “Good morning. How are you? Can you come to my house to talk?” Huh? I thought. So early? Not inviting me for chit-chat over coffee over the weekend surely?

“Why Jane? I’m sorry I can’t come immediately I haven’t even showered yet and we haven’t had breakfast yet?”

And so she told me her story. Obviously it was bothering her so much that she had to share it with somebody. Her husband is away, travelling on work and she is left all alone with her two children.

Apparently she has just been told that another lady in the compound is using her name to complain to the Manager, asking the compound manager to kick the lady who runs the playgroup center in the compound out. That lady, M, whom I personally though isn’t a very nice person due to my own personal encounters with her, had a run in with C who runs the playgroup in the compound. M continued to bad mouth C and her school and eventually those words reached to C herself. So C confronted M about the issue and basically told M to take her money back and not send her child to her school anymore.

Apparently M got livid that C kicked her child out of the school and started a personal vendetta against C, trying to kick her off the compound.


And frankly this doesn’t really have anything to do with me, except that I work in that school once a week in my attempt to get my butt out of my chair. And I have only started working very recently.

But I understood that Jane needed a listening ear so I told hubby dearest that we would have to get ready and that we will go out for breakfast after I have a quick word with Jane.

Jane told me that M, has gone round to the manager telling that some mothers in the compound including Jane is unhappy with the playgroup and that he should get rid of the play group from the compound. The Manager told M that he would look in the matter if M can get 4 women to sign a petition with her. And Jane is livid that M is using her name to further her personal vendetta against C.

After listening Jane for a little bit and trying to calm her down, we took our leave.

And on Sunday, Jane called me again to give me an update. Argghhh! I thought to myself! I don’t really need an update on this!

Apparently Jane got upset again today because M had come by with a piece of paper, presumably to ask Jane to sign the petition. But Jane feigned an excuse saying that it was not a good time and that they will try to touch base later.

Another lady Nory, called Jane to warn her that M had dropped by at her place, asking her to sign the petition. Nory had refused to sign it, saying that she does not support M’s cause.

And apparently M is now very upset.

Could it be that the ladies here have nothing to do that the very little things that upset them becomes a big deal? That a small misunderstanding can be blown so out of proportion, that it becomes a huge war of personal vendettas?

What bothers me the most is that a part of me is being spun in the saga. I know that all Jane want is a sympathetic ear and I am trying my best to give that to her but seriously, I don’t really want to know any of this silly stuff!

Just one bitter trouble maker can stir so much trouble in the compound, but I suppose its not far from a Malay saying, “Kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga.”

Help! I don’t want to get sucked into all these pettiness!

Why can't these women just try to get along!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Are you salivating yet? I am

Yummy! Posted by Hello

How does one go about shopping for groceries when one is on a budget but one wants to try new things all the time?

By purchasing the items that are "Reduced." I remember walking to Waitrose at about 4 - 5 pm on weekdays. Thats when items that are about to expire are reduced in price to half price. Its by buying these reduced priced items that I got to try organic salmon, lobster, scallops and all the items above.

When I first tried the Goldtop milk it was reduced from £0.99 to £0.69. I am a big milk drinker but with this delicious Jersey and Guernsey milk, I was even more hooked! And I refused to put any of the Goldtop milk in coffee or tea, I would drink it out straight from the bottle, sometimes in one sitting (well the first time the excuse was the milk was expiring but thereafter hahaha it was just too good.) I remember a cashier once remarked to me, "Ah Goldtop, the champagne of milk." And I could not agree more. There is a smooth taste that was lemak-manis, has a wonderful after taste and sometimes its really hard to buy it! I found out that it is not pasteurized so the milk don't last as long as they other types on the shelves, so the stores don't stock too much of it all at once. So sometimes the Goldtop milk don't even get reduced, they just run out of it!

And the clotted cream. I was never a cream fan until I came to the UK. To me cream was something fattening that Starbucks but on top of coffee or hot chocolate. And then came the strawberry season, and I have always heard about people having strawberries and cream. So one day, on one of my trips to Waitrose, Rhoda's clotted cream was reduced. Of course I had to try it and whoah!! It was really, really good! My favourite part is the slightly hardened top. I woouldn't even have them with strawberries, I would just take the top part with the spoon and immediately pop it directly in my mouth! My hubby often complained that by the time he could put his hands on the clotted cream, all the top bits have been skimmed off! I would smile sheepishly of course, and would often do it again, but I sometimes leave him a small spoonful of the top crust so he won't complain. I am terrible aren't I!

Just the thought of the GU cheeky puds just make my mouth water! Again, I bought them because they were reduced so I thought it was a good time to try them. They are literally melted chocolate in a small canister! Its so yummy that I literally have to stop myself from buying them everyday for fear that I am consuming too much sugar! And I also love the cute tiny canisters that they come in. I save these canisters for my vitamins. I want some GU!!!

And strawberries! I think English strawberries are the best! I love the Kent ones rather than the Spanish ones because they are bursting with sweetness! For me one of the best things about the strawberry season is the pick-your-own farms. Hubby and I will make a special trip out to the nearby strawberry farm to pick our own strawberries and rasberries. Of course we would `taste` a lot of strawberries before buying them hahaha as afterall tasting is free.

And we did try to grow our own strawberries in our backyard. We bought a growing bag from Homebase and three strawberry plants. Cost us about £20 I think. I tended after the plants, watered them religiously everyday, put lots of Miracle Grow, and even made my own plant shield using plastic meneral water bottles because I thought the squirrels and the birds were eating our strawberries. Boy I was so wrong!! It was actually the slugs that got fat on our strawberries! And the slugs were living inside the growing bag! For all out effort we only managed to eat 2 strawberries! In the end we decided that we could get a lot more strawberries from the supermarket rather than our garden!

And how I yearn some good thick cream! Either with strawberries or just a generous dollop in my tea! All we get here is the whipping cream which isn't as nice and the English creams! We used to make our own ice cream as well. Just some cream and the fruit of our choice in the ice cream machine and Wallah! Home made ice cream! No preservatives, not too much sugar and all with the freshest ingredients we could get.

Its amaziing that I didn't gain too much weight! But these are my lovely memories of summer, the rain, the strawberries, the creams and the puds.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Summer blues

Who would have thought it possible to get the blues in the summer? But you would when its 41 oC out at 9 pm. The wind bringing hot air to your face. And your black abaya becomes a sauna bag, absorbing and trapping the heat close to your body. While the men wear white of course.

The whole city seemed emptied out. Either they are gone, to someplace cooler or they stay at home. Driving seems more bearable as there are less cars. People are either gone or are staying away. That’s the only saving grace.

The exodus is beginning. Almost everyone I know is going away for the summer. They are surprised to know that I have no plans for this summer. Not even a short holiday surely? They asked. All flights to Malaysia are now full. They are all going to KLCC to shop or laze at the beaches. If the men stare at your breasts, make sure you slap him and tell him that is unacceptable behaviour. Then they will treat you with more respect. The richer ones are gone to their European summer homes. They too will flood Oxford Street and Champse Elysee.

We thought we’d save our money on our holiday to pay off a portion of our mortgage. It would be lovely to return to London for the summer like last year, but I know it will be too expensive. And I am putting a distance between me and the city I previously call home. Home is where I am now, where my loved one is. Not where the house is. The house that has come to signify our sweat and our tears and our triumph. It is only an object. Objects are disposable in life. It’s the goodness that we do in our lifetime that we bring with us to our graves. Not our worldly possessions. Do I sound convincing?

It hit 52oC last year and they predict it will be much much warmer this year. Greenhouse effect and stuff. The sun literally sucks the water from you. Immediately upon stepping out of your door, you feel your throat drying up. You reach for water. Nature can be your nourisher but also your demise.

Thank god for air conditioning. Every room, every nook and every cranny is air-conditioned.

My French neighbours, they love the sun. Spent hours sun tanning themselves. Looking like barbequed chicken. All dried up and wrinkly. But they seem to like it. I however, made sure I wear SPF 60, with either a hat or an umbrella when I go out. No way I will stay out there in the sun. I’d be melting in no time. Even in the swimming pool.

But I like the summer here as much as I love the winter in London. Where the streets are empty, no mad rushes no queues. Far from the maddening crowd. From the hustle bustle of people. Afterall, in death we’ll be all alone, no company in our graves, except the worms, the maggots and the what nots. So might as well get used to it from now. Get used to the sound of silence, which is impossible to hear sometimes with the drone of the tv, or the Ipod or even with the air conditioner blowing.

I will go where ever you want to go. I will be with you wherever you chose to be. As long as you promise to love me, pamper me and cherish me. And never, ever, intentionally hurt me.

Casting out to the wind....

You always insinuate that you are smarter and wiser than us. You’ve always let us know that you know a lot, learnt a lot more than us and have done so much more than us. Apparently. Then why are you behaving like a child who has been withheld candy?

When we are having a conversation you refuse to listen. All you want to do is be the center of attention and talk about your family back home. DO we really care about your numerous nephews? Not really. Especially not when that’s ALL you talk about. And especially when you refuse to listen when we were making our plans. And then you claimed that we always left you out. You said you were always the last one to know. THAT’S BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT LISTENING! You refuse to listen when other people talk and only want to be the one talking. And when we have made our plans what do you do? You sulk! You balk.

I will not be treated rudely. I will not be spoken to rudely. And I will not be taken for granted. I may forgive you once, twice and even three times. But I will not let this go on forever. I will not allow myself to be treated like a doormat. I do not accept to be treated like a punch bag.

Grow up for goodness sake. Despite you making sure that we are always conscious of how smart and how knowledgeable you are, you always behave like a child. Its cute on a four year old, understandable on a fourteen year old, but on a forty-one year old, its tiring and sickening.

I tried and I tried. I forgot how mean you were, all those things you said to me. I was willing to forgive and forget. But you brought all the memories back. All the hurtful words you said to me.

Life is too short for me to spend it with caustic people with a lost cause. I am tired to be the one trying all the time. I am tired of being the one who gets hurt all the time. Sometimes you don’t even realise your words hurt me. And even when you apologize you weren’t sincere. “I was just trying to make a point,” you claimed. Really? Your point being you are smarter and wiser and that we all must follow what you say? Just because you are older than us? Even though you can be more childish and immature?

Get real. How many times does he need to apologize on your behalf? We really like his company. And perhaps he likes our company too. Does that make you unhappy so? Just because we could just sit and chat and get along? If that’s the case then fine, we’ll stay away. We like his company but you seem to resent that. If it’s a huge resentment for you, then we’ll stay away.

Life is too short to be spent getting hurt and angry. I want to move on, spending my time doing happy and beautiful things, without the hurt and the anger. I want to be spending my time with people who make me happy, not people who hurt me.

If you’re hurting either share or deal with it. But do not abuse the people around you who care about you. Because sooner or later, you’ll offend all of them, and they too will move on.

Life is too short, so get on with it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Surah 103
Al-'Asr (Time)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Time is witness that, surely, mankind suffers loss,
except for those of faith,
Who do good, and become a model of truthful living,
and together practice patience and constancy.

Translated by Kabir Helminski

Time has flown by very quickly for me. Suddenly I have less time to read blogs and even write blogs. Good or bad, only time will tell.

Sorry for not having the time to reply to your comments and for not being able to read your blogs as religiously as I used to do. Those whom I met regularly in Pok Ku's ym chatroom, sorry for not being able to chat as much as I used to.

Suddenly I find myself only having about an hour a day to devote myself at my pc. I think there are some emails still pending, "Anonymous" I have been meaning to write an email to you but somehow I havent been able to do so.

Perhaps I am just being typical me, I like to take a step back sometimes, I have a short attention span, I am obsessed about doing new things. The blogsphere has been very useful and interesting to me. Its where I cast out my insecurities, my thoughts, my preoccupation and my dissatisfaction. It was my way of staying sane. But at the same time I realised now, that there are people reading my blog. Hehehe yes its a weird relationship I have with my blog and my blog readers. The whole idea of writing one is such that my thoughts are in the open but I don't really know if I am comfortable of the same thoughts being out in the open. And sometimes people read things differently, sometimes they interprete the thought of my writing entirely different from my intention. Then again I am a contration anyways. I don't always know myself.

But what I know, I try to do as much good as I can. Sometimes its misinterpreted. Sometimes its misunderstood. But I have come to a point in my life that even when I do get hurt, I understand that I can never get along with everyone and I can never please everyone. But what I can do is to be true to myself and do all things that please me. And my lovely husband. Its selfish I know. How I lead my life has been somewhat selfish, I am about me, me, me. I am not delusional about that. But I am in the view that I try not to hurt other people even when I am being selfish.

I had enjoyed reading other people's thoughts through their blogs. Often I try to give an honest opinion. Sometimes I just abstain. Blogs gave me a way of taking a peek into other people's lives and thoughts. And I did find it interesting.

But all this peeking into other people's lives is sometimes too much for me. Especially if they are people whom I know and live with. Lately I have been fed with stories of my neighbours and acquaintances here. And frankly, I don't really want to know. I wish I don't know. And I don't like people peeking into my life either. Especially those who are constantly trying to find ammunition to fire.

"Is that your new dinnerset? How much did you pay for that?" or "Ah your new handbag? You always get yourself a new handbag?" Really? What is it to you? Did I ask you for money to buy it for me? I don't understand why some people get all defensive when they know what you have. I guess they are being competitive. Envy is a terrible thing. When envy becomes the center of a person's psyche, the person becomes very ugly. But I am not in competition with you I always wanted to say. But I forget, perhaps I am not in competition with them, but they are in competition with me.

Its annoying to be in a competition that you don't want to take part in the first place.

So I am taking stock of my life again. I vow to lead my life the best way I can. I vow to lead every minute of my life as meaningful as I can, in the way that is meaningful for me. Even if its just cuddling in front of the TV with my beloved. Because every second that I spend with him is very precious to me. And I hope he feels the same way too.

I will make myself happy as much as I can. I recognize there are good days and bad days but I shall not let the bad days overshadow the good days. I will not yearn for the past and the things that I cannot have. But I will look forward to good things always. I have the power to make myself happy, not other people.

I will lead my life with no regrets. No regrets of what I did or didn't do yesterday and no regrets of what I will do tomorrow. I will lead my life to the fullest. And not compare myself to other people. I may take a leaf out of their book as a lesson for my life, as a wisdom that they shared with me, but I always, always, always measure myself against myself.

I believe in fate and predestination. But at the same time I also believe in free will. No matter what our circumstances are, we have control of our own minds, to intrepret our environments for ourselves. And I choose to see both sides of the coins, weigh my options and decide whats the best for me.

And Time, it just passes me by, leaving me behind. Always.