Saturday, December 20, 2008

Things I Learned

i've been spending time with a lively and nice group of people for the last 11 days. being the baby of the group, they taught me a lot in terms of of being a teacher, being professional, and being a good person.

of course, it is hard when you're 1 year corn (setahun jagung) but it helps when your colleagues are very understanding and are helpful. i also learned that it helps when you give them reason to respect. because respect has to be earned.

yes, i'm lucky to be in the group - a small group comprising a selected few.

but they are also my friends and my mentor.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

my raya haji

it is universally accepted that food is central to family and friend bonding activities. my family thrives in these eating activities and will come up with delicious concoctions, often than not they are concoctions that will make cardiologists sigh.

although in the past, we could expect a certain dish from a certain house, for this raya, it was something unplanned - all my siblings (except for my favourite brother) decided to have nasi dagang as the main dish on the table.

i groaned.

to eat nasi dagang once a year is okay. but to eat the pulut based dish more than once in a day is another. of course, the only consolation is that we ate tuna to go with the rice, but you can well imagine how you will feel like after feasting on such a rich meal - you will experience mid-day slump soon enough, or you can happily snooze, happy with the thought that your tummy is well-fed (and snug).

i ate the nasi dagang 3 times yesterday. oh lazy lazy days!

Friday, December 05, 2008

life in KL (for me)

i've almost settled in now. except for my boxes of literary theories and novels and my paintings and pics, that is. otherwise, i'm doing ok. i'm happy to say that the existence of the supermarket just across the road really is a convenience, a big convenience and i know that anytime i've run out of fresh ginger or need fresh meat i can count on the supermarket.

since this is a school holiday, i've been spending my time meeting my friends and also at my sister's house in PJ, being "summoned" by my mother. i spend my nights here just like when i was in trg, until my bro in-law asked me 2 nights in a row if i was going out. i think the fact that i said i prefer to stay in surprised him, because when i was staying here while doing masters, i was always out almost every night. i guess this has something to do with maturing up. of course, if i can attend MPO concert or go to the theatre, i won't miss the chance; but i'm content to be at home, as i told my bro in-law, those days are gone. it's a bid strange isnt it? you crave and crave for something then when you finally have it, you just dont want it anymore.

now i understand how my favourite brother feels when he flies to other international cities. yes, granted, i'm an avid traveller, and at first i couldnt understand my brother who spends his time in all these exciting cities cooped up in a hotel instead of discovering the novelty of the cities. just last 2 weeks he went to paris and did not leave his hotel - which was at the airport.

yes, i'm staying at one of the most 'alive' places in KL. 5 years back i would be out watching movies or attending MPO concert or going out for a dinner at chilli's or just to revel in the KL night life. now i'm comfortable to be at home. getting older, perhaps? haha.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Uprooting myself : the fatigue

it was raining in terengganu. i was worried, wondering if i could drive safely to KL. and while it was raining, i was cooped up in the house, packing stuff into cardboard boxes. at the last count, there were 30 boxes. on the hijrah day, i was sleepy as i there was a morning drizzle. but by the time the lorry arrived, it had stopped raining, and i was hopeful that my drive would be a pleasant one. well, aside from the sleepiness (was too excited the night before) it was ok. the lorry arrived the next morning, and the unloading started. it was a very overwhelming task, to unpack everything, but my sister kak sham came over with apit, who promised to extend the astro wire himself. but he changed his mind when he got to the house: "apit mana boleh drill-drill ni. mak nora call astro la" yeah right. so in the end, i called the astro technical line and they promised to send a techie within 48 hours. that was yesterday. the techie came today when i was so groggy because of fatigue, and that took only 10 minutes.

oh by the way. today i used the new oven for the first time, and i baked bread, something i hadnt done in the last 1 year. it's good to be baking again.


in the afternoon, i thought of going to TM Point to transfer ayi's streamyx line from the house in trg to ampang. the guy told me they couldnt do it, as they have "copper problem", thus connection is really bad. i listened to the news in horror. that's when i realised how much my life depends on the net. seeing my horrified look, the manager gently suggested that i find another ISP such as celcom or maxis broadband. and so, i decided to pay maxis centre in klcc a visit. 2 hours later i was happily surfing the net with my maxis.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

sighed a relieved sigh

yesterday my students sat for literature in english paper. i was nervous, because i felt that i've done better this time than the previous years, and this was the test for me.

the girls came to my house for the last tuition class 2 nights ago. we discussed solely on techniques and poetic devices found in the poems. and while i was reading the scanty and vague teaching notes given, trying to figure out the meaning of the mindboggling malaysian poems (you'll be surprised to know that some malaysian poets thrive on crypticism); the girls were happily chatting among themselves. this time though, i had to "harness" them back to the class.

the paper was at 2pm. the SS hall is small, if compared to other newer schools, and yet there were only 3 students taking the paper. for 2 1/2 hours i sat outside the hall, trying to read White Tiger. at 4.30 pm the paper ended. the girls were grinning at me, and showed me the questions that came out. alhamdulillah, they were able to answer it and i was glad that we had discussed the important issues in all literary texts studied.

all in all, i was satisfied.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

countdown to moving day

my siblings and my friend shima have told me to hire some help to pack all my things. being on my own for a year taught me to be independent - and damn stubborn.

but of course, because of my stubbornness, the process of packing up is slow, as i'm also busy settling other matters. my car service was due next month, but because i'll be quarantined with the team at one of the hotels for 2 weeks, i decided to do my last car service here. then i was off to JPJ to renew my driving licence. i've also been keeping 2 paintings - one of red poppies and another is a chinese watercolour painting of chrysanthemums, and only now i decided to have them framed. i've been calling the agencies/companies to advise them of my change of address and later today i'll send my cpu to have the new graphic card installed.

as you can see, i've a lot on my hands. but as i said. i'm damn stubborn.

so what have i packed?

i'm done with packing all my books. as you can see, i'm in the phase of packing all the kitchen stuff. in fact, if you see the picture below, you can see boxes of my recipe books (2 of them) and my chinaware.

i havent even started on my clothes, shoes and handbags yet. so you can see that i prioritise more on books and kitchen stuff.

hope i'll be done on saturday. my literature girls are thinking of coming over to celebrate but i told them that it's best we meet outside as i can foresee that the house will be like a shipwreck soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hooked

it's official. i'm hooked on facebook.

when i first joined facebook early this year, i thought that it's silly. who would want to send a virtual LV bag or a virtual cupcake? i couldnt understand the craze and besides i was still into friendster, as it's something i'm familiar with.

last 2 months i noticed that i began to log into facebook daily. i even spend more time there than blogging now. i haven't even visited friendster...oh, like eons ago. i guess i like the idea of commenting on friend's photos or statements and vice versa. and besides i can even get in touch with my primary schoolmates.

so shidah, you're right. it's about friendship.

Monday, November 24, 2008

the quest for a good oven

since my childhood, the oven has formed an integral part in our family. my earliest memory was of my brother and sister working hand in hand making kuih raya, baking them in my mother's now old and unused cooking stove and oven. in went some uncooked, unappetising and unattractive dough and out came crunchy, tantalising smelling cookies. since then, i have much respect for ovens.

my first oven is my trusted sharp microwave convection oven. i love my oven so much, it's such a delight when i baked batches of cakes and breads. until one day, when my turntable just wouldnt turn. and the motor makes such horrible sounds.

and so i was in despair. i only have a very small oven, which i got for free. baking cakes using the small oven is a disaster, as the temperature tends to get very high. my cakes were usually burnt or uncooked. when i lamented to my friends at school, they said they use the small oven, and they're okay with it. well, if it means i've to be on my toes for nearly an hour, then i guess i've to find another oven. a good one.

finding the right oven isnt easy. originally, i wanted to find an industrial use electric oven. i found one, a solid steel oven. before i made any purchase i decide to make a phonecall to intan my chef niece. despite it's "cheffy looking", intan told me to buy europa oven. my sister in laws use the europa, so i decided to be the 4th in the family to buy one.

yes, i got my europa today. i was ecstatic. if i wasnt about to move, i would have been in a baking frenzy now. i decided to save the frenzy when i move to KL.

next on the list: to buy a Kitchen aid mixer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the infamous KL traffic

now that i'm going to stay in ampang, i have to go there often in order to make mental measurement, as well as to see how much space i have to "decorate".

yesterday i was supposed to meet my friend shidah to buy the train tickets (for our 5ilmu reunion in JB) after i went to hang my work clothes in the closet in ampang.

to go there (or in other words, to meredah) from PJ on a friday afternoon was crazy. suicidal. i don't know how i could survive and enjoy driving when i was doing my masters here a few years ago. i thought that jln tun razak was going to be congested so i decided to take federal highway. the problem started near masjid negara, because the men parked their vehicles everywhere. worst, up ahead, the road beside the colonial bangunan sultan abdul samad was closed!!! arghh!! i had to make a detour - a long, arduous ordeal which tested my patience as a driver, as we inched bit by bit. yes, i made a stupid mistake of being caught in the jam...at the most congested area in KL!!! to make it worse, motorcylists made dangerous swerves here and there, and sorry to say, it really made me serabut.

and today, just because my car has a T registration, cars bullied me, even though it wasnt my fault! life isnt peachy when it comes to driving in KL, and sad to say, i was swearing in the car. probably my BP will shoot up next month... *sigh*

Friday, November 21, 2008

the day out

yesterday my niece farah took an mc and we had lunch together. you would have thought that when a pregnant woman takes an mc she'll be unwell, but not farah hehehe. so we went to have lunch at charms, a kopitiam at OU. and as usual i couldnt resist buying a handbag. i bought myself a liz clairborne and wondered how many handbags i have so far. dont think i want to count.

we then went to my bro's house to meet with my other niece intan the chef, who s looking very much pregnant. we arrived just in time for tea, so she served us with apple crumble with homemade custard and brownie with chocolate ganache.



the apple crumble with custard


the brownie with ganache...note the trace of custard after i finished the crumble

suffice to say that after eating, the most perfect way of ending a day was to have a nap because there was a thunderstorm yesterday. but we had to weather it through to return home *sigh*

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the new school

i called the posting officer at jpnwp yesterday, and he informed me that "tentatively" i'm posted at smk jln padang tembak, which is in zon keramat, and not that far from my sister house. yay!!! i know where that is, it's near to mindef and pulapol. that means i'll be teaching a lot of the police and army kids.

so my problems are all settled. i've a place to stay, and a school. and my tesl friend is also teaching there!!! alhamdulillah.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

house hunting

this morning i decided to go house hunting. well, to be exact, apartment hunting. since i asked for zon keramat, i thought that it's best i started scouring the community message boards of 7-11 to find a suitable apartment. so there i was, at 7-11. i even called one of the landlords, who has a flat behind mpaj for rm400 and a unit at bandar baru ampang form rm700. then i decided to call my bro in law, to drop the stuff i have in my car boot. and my prayers were answered! my bro in law said he and my sister discussed that i can stay at the house. yup, this is good news indeed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

the story so far

i thought that i'd be staying in segambut, but my family doesnt feel that it's the best option. the question of where i'd be staying is haunting me, and the fact that my mother asked when to move the things from KT house made my head hurt - i had migraine yesterday. she wanted me to stay at my bro's empty house in dengkil. dengkil??? my seri puteri friends are helping me now, they're trying to find an apartment in keramat area.

today, after being cooped up in the house for the weekend, i went to have lunch with my childhood friend dina and my seri puteri friend shidah. dina's house was featured in impiana march edition. i could see why her house was featured in the mag, because it was tasteful yet simple. but of course her furniture spells money. she served us with moroccan dishes, as she had been to morocco before. that was the first time i tasted couscous with tajine chickenand harari soup.

after lunch, i met up with mozie to go to JPNWP. the officer in charge told me that the officer in charge for teachers posting was on holiday, but he asked me for my particulars and where i'd like to be posted to. hopefully i'll get somewhere in keramat.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

au revoir, SS!

today is my last day in smk sultan sulaiman. a part of me is sad to leave, but i'm happy to reunite with my family and friends.

today i clocked in for the last time in SS. i wore my favourite pink batik silk. there was a present wrapped in purplish pink with a card on my table. somehow i knew who it was from - kak wan azma. and i could guess that it's a recipe book. yup, it's a book on slow cooker recipes. i was planning on cooking some of those dishes when i move to kl.

then at noon, the form 6 teachers came in, and gave me another present and you guess it, pink paperbag. there's kain sembahyang inside, with pink embroidery. after settling all the work, i started going around the office and the staffrooms, salaming everybody, and asking for forgiveness. i was worried that i would tear up. but i guess my excitement prevented all that. i'm not saying that i want to forget the people in SS, but to be with my family and to hang out with friends again! then when i was salaming with kak wan aminah, the secretary for the exam unit, i got a bit emotional, as she asked me if i was going to forget them. when i got back to my own staffroom to salam, i received 2 presents from the female teachers - all wrapped in, you guessed it, pink. kak muna told me that they didnt want me to wear pink all the time so they bought me cloths in other colours. well, the first piece has pink flowers, but the other piece is totally not my colour. but that's their point i guess. while hugging and salaming, all of them had one same advice for me - although it wasnt directly put, the wish they gave was laden with meaning. the word "berbahagia" kept cropping up.

one teacher said that it won't be the same next year, as i won't be there to entertain them with desserts, kak muna will be going off to down under with her husband, and my close friend shima will be on study leave to do her masters.

it's sad though. because i belong to the school, i've a place there. i'm a part of the community. but life goes on, and one does not stay in a place for so long. c'est la vie! i'll miss the people there. i'll miss the students, i'll miss my LCDS activities, i'll miss grumbling over the tonnes of work they give us.

it's a good school. i had a good life there with a great bunch of people, and i wouldn't have asked for the transfer were it not for the forced circumstances.

au revoir, au revoir.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Incomprehensible Notion

for the past few days, the male teachers have been coming up to me and asking me about my transfer. don't get me wrong, it's just that the admin and the female teachers know about my transfer, but the male teachers received the news late - as late as our annual hi-tea at tuanku mizan's golf & country resort.

well, from the questions (not only from the male teachers, but also from the female teachers) i gather that the notion of one leaving the kampung is incomprehensible to them. an alien concept. take this conversation for example. for the benefit of the readers, let me translate this into english.

teacher 1: i heard that you're transferring. is it true?
me: yes. i'm transferring to KL
teacher 1: why?
me: because i'm here alone and my family is in KL.
teacher 1: oh your kampung is in KL?
me: no, my kampung is here. but everybody's in KL.
teacher 1: but why do you want to transfer? this is your kampung!
me: (a bit impatient now) i'm here alone and all my siblings are in KL. even my mother is there.
teacher 1: so how long are you going to stay in KL?
me: i don't know. forever?
teacher 1: find a husband and then you can come back here.
me: it doesnt necessarily mean that i'll marry someone from here!

see what i mean? the idea of uprooting yourself and romp here and there is unfathomable to some. but then, those people are entitled to their opinions, just as i am.

Friday, November 07, 2008

the transfer

two days ago, i went to the ministry website to check on the status of my transfer application. it stated that the results would be out today. so early this morning, roughly around 7ish in the morning, i logged into site - and found the word TAHNIAH in red capital letters. yay! i got the transfer to Federal Territory!

yes, i'm thankful and relieved.

as my earlier post revealed, i had a rough time dealing with what-ifs and the fear of the unknown. i gradually learned to appreciate the house that i grew up in, to finally feel responsible for it, and to have a place where i belong, where i'm the mistress.

some of the teachers' opinions are not helping in my making the decision. they're horrified with my idea of living in KL alone instead of with my siblings. one teacher even predicted that i'd be back in terengganu after a year. i was devastated. and confused. and scared.

but a talk with my niece and my 2 frens helped. i remember why i wanted to transfer in the first place. i remember crying on my way back to terengganu after spending some time with my family in KL. where i stay in KL doesnt matter because my family will be there for me; instead of being some 400km away from them.

i guess some people do not understand the fear of being alone without the family. yes, this is my hometown. and yes, i love the laidback lifestyle. but my family and my friends aren't here. they are in KL.

i do not know what lies in store for me in the future. but i'm learning to accept changes, because i have to, and i'm a fighter.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

food, food n more food

will somebody please remind me again why i have uric acid because i can't say no to the food served during our makan-makan...and to make it worse, i'm one of the food contributors! am having a case of indigestion right now.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Blood Test

because i had so many anxieties and sadness, i had a migraine attack last saturday. and so i mourned, because although it was a beautiful sunny saturday, i couldnt enjoy the day, as i spent it on my bed, with the pounding in my head.

normally i 'll get migraine attacks after a few sleepless nights, or facing direct sunlight or plain PMS. but knowing myself, something was amiss. and so i decided to visit the doctor, who happened to be the mother of one of my students. she took my BP reading and pronounced that my BP reading was okay. hmm....so why the migraine? of course, we agreed that it can be attributed to my anxiety and stress. nevertheless, i was dissatisfied and wanted to do a blood test today.

it must be said that i hate needles. i hate the sight of blood. i can still remember the day in the lab back when we were in form 5 when my Bio teacher told us to prick ourselves using lancets to check our blood type. that was a scary day for me. anyway, when the lab assistant came i told her i wasnt about to look at the needle. but i did see my dark red blood afterwards. i felt queasy all of a sudden. the results came out and i found out that i have elevated uric acid, which is a cause of concern, since it seems that it runs in the family. my blood sugar level is still quite normal, as with my cholesterol level. i made a call to As, who assured me, "i'm telling you, nora, don't worry".

so now i'm reading up about what to eat and not to eat... *sigh*

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Therapy

my therapy for feeling upset is, obviously, eating and cooking. when i was upset a few days back i had this sudden craving for meat. and i was browsing through the frozen food aisle, one brand of salisbury steak burgers caught my eye. i had a hell of a dinner that night, though it's nothing fancy, at least my craving was satisfied.

that said, after my lowest ebb, i looked forward to my weekly marketing at pasar kedai payang, something that i'm going to miss when i move. for this past one year i have begun to appreciate the wet market, despite its slimy and dirty floors (unlike the clean floors of hypermarkets), the market houses the cheapest and freshest produce. where else can you see fat and shiny purple aubergines, or freshly picked ulam, green bak choy, and fat red chillies? and the fishes - the fishes are so fresh, you can actually see the silver colour on scales, and they're all covered with seawater. yes, my idea of a heaven on earth is this, the wet market (aside from chocolate shops selling pure belgian chocolates, baking equipment shops and kinokuniya). i love seeing the grains in burlap sacks - there's mung beans, kidney beans, black beans, soya beans - and you see tiny pearls of sago and raisins. and also mountains of shallots, onions and garlic.

i came out of the market with my treasures and i felt content. not excitement, but a quiet joy - a homage to the freshest produce.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the lowest ebb

i'm at my lowest ebb now. there are too many things happening, and at times i just cant help myself but cry.

some may find this a shock, but to those who are close to me, they know the reason why.

i'm trying not to be a drama queen here, but this is just a series of unfortunate events for me - well let's just say i cut it short and start from the moment my mother was diagnosed with cancer until now. in the span of more than a year, i've felt pain of all kinds. my mother is sick, siblings bickering, my house was broken in twice and i was humiliated by a man. and on top of it all, i'm staying alone, while my family is in KL.

i like him the first time i met him, we were talking about our school days. he came in an old lorry, i dont know whether this was a deliberate test for me. and he brought his son. it was drizzling and he covered his son's head with his own tshirt since there was no umbrella in his lorry. i found it very endearing. anyway, he just went through a bitter divorce and his cousin pushed me to go for him. she meant well, but i felt embarrassed. i'm not a well looking for a timba. and so i met almost everybody in his family.his mother even consulted me for the right recipe for making fruit cake.i even had breakfast with his grandma. his youngest son was quite attached to me. probably because i reminded him of his mother.

but i didnt get the right vibe from the boy's father. this i told to my friend. but she kept pushing me. until one day when i went to his house but he totally ignored me...

that was the most humiliating experience for me. and yet, despite all this, i still like him.

and a few days ago i learnt that he has remarried.

watching my favourite kungfu hustle didnt help, and my eyes and nose became puffy red. the alarm techies came, and were wondering why the red puffiness.

i know that God gives tests to all his servants, and i try very hard to be patient, and i recall the story of Nabi Ayub and how he had to suffer for years. i just hope that i'll find happiness soon.

Mandolin Rain by Bruce Hornby

A cool evening dance listening to the bluegrass band
takes the chill from the air till they play the last song
i'll do my time, oh keeping you off my mind
but there're moments that i find, i'm not feeling so strong.

listen to the mandolin rain, listen to the music on the lake
listen to my heart break, everytime she runs away
listen to the banjo wind, sad song drifting low
listen to my tears roll down my face as she turns to go.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the little graduation

today, i was involved in the graduation ceremony for the form 5 and 6 students. in the first year they started the event, which was in 2006, i was amused, partly because i thought it was just a mimicry of the real thing, when the real graduation was so much more - more grandeur and more formal and the piece of paper we receive is the ticket that qualifies us to work. blame it on my cynical self.

well, i was informed late on thursday that i was supposed to replace the head of panel of music, who wanted to keep a close eye on her gamelan musicians as they serenaded the whole ceremony (yes, my school has a gamelan group) while all the head of panels were supposed to form the "faculty deans". the ketua bidang, who already drew up the chart for the procession, didnt want to redo the whole thing, and wanted me to replace the teacher. me??? as the head of panel of music? that was hilarious.

there was no cap at all when i went to get the robe. plus, i didnt really bother how the robe looked on me - until this morning, when to my horror i found that the robe dwarfed me, and the length was enough to sweep the floors of the convention centre at taman tamaddun islam. the teachers asked me why i didnt shorten it, but i gave a noncommital answer. the last time i wore a robe was in 2006, when i attended my MA convocation in UM, and god knows how many safety pins i had to use, even when we the postgraduates were seated in DTC.

despite my cynicism, there was one thing that remained innocent and hopeful in me - as i watched the happy faces of my students, i was reminded of my 3 convocations (well, one was a commencement ceremony when we the whole tesl batch passed the matriculation). the TESL 4 matriculation commencement, 1993
the first two events were joyous occasions shared with friends, with such exuberant enthusiasm and the passionate idealism of 20something year olds. the last convocation marked my personal success in passing one of the most difficult MA programmes; it is a celebration of a more mature and confident me, and a wiser person.


yes, despite my cynicism, i saw the graduation today as a beacon of hope to my students to further succeed in their lives, to really feel the sweetness of success, as i tasted it years ago.

i have a confession to make. as i watched my students walk on the stage, i nearly teared up. i saw khairina, the best student who scored 13 A1 and 1A2, mariam, who received the special principal award (she deserved it), my other literature students - maryam and umi, my LCDS president Jim and vice president Suveen, my other students whom i taught in form 3, and i nearly teared up.

what do you expect from someone who cried when watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast?

note: i do not have a scan of my bachelor's degree convocation pic

Saturday, October 25, 2008

au revoir, my pretty heels

Months ago before I went umrah, I received a stern instruction from my fren Dr As to stop wearing heels. which I followed religiously, of course, until the day I shopped for my raya shoes. they're perfect, as if waiting for me - one, because they're pink, and all my raya ensembles are in pink this year, and two, they have pretty bows.


after my return from umrah months ago, I also bought green polka dot wedges and they look oh so cute! I just had to get them, never mind that they're 2.5 inches high. I wore them to the 70s themed dinner last weekend.


and so, after being on "high heels fasting" for quite some time, I happily strutted in my heels, forgetting my fren's warning until on thursday I felt pain in my nerves starting from my back, down to my calf and to my left foot. the pain was so excruciating that I had to move slowly, and had to pray sitting down. I blamed everything on the rain, and the jellies I took, until a talk to my other fren and also her hubby revealed that this happened because of my heavy weight and also the heels. oh bummer! after they prescribed me some medicine, I sat down, looking at my heels.

why is it the best things are not good for you?

like cheesecakes and tiramisu - they are fattening.
beautiful heels - they kill your back!

I mourn for the more than 20 heels that I own but I can't wear.

Monday, October 20, 2008

back to the grooving days of the 70s

the night scene overlooking the Kuala Terengganu from Heritage Bay Club, Pulau Duyung

me in my 70s maxi


with ex vice president, Danica


with Mr President, Jim and Mr Vice President, Suveen


with colleague, Asmah and LCDS member Khairina

my lcds members protested when they heard that the theme for the annual dinner this year was Friday Night Fever (remember Travolta's Saturday Night Fever?). their reason? it's difficult to find the retro ensemble. on the contrary, i think that with some research and imagination, they could have come up with some interesting 70s style attire. i was actually disappointed to find that the students didnt bother to dress in the 70s period. some was in a different era and dressed in the 80s style, some just wore jeans...well, except for a few who did adhere to the theme...and that is hardly 10% of the students. when i related this to my sister in-law, she said "well, they're not good sports and didnt go all out for it". my sentiment exactly.

i remember the time during our uni days when our last annual dinner was themed "Down the Memory Lane". some dug their parents closet and came up with 60s kebaya, some dressed and even styled their hair just like in "Hairspray" and there's one guy who dressed as Tunku Abdul Rahman and he won the best dressed award.


i wanted the students to get to know the 70s which i think has a lot of character, as this was the time when disco songs like the Bee Gees' and Boney M's songs made their marks, and also the famous trademarks of the 70s which is the platform shoes, the bell bottom pants, the maxis, sideburns, Cher's flat straight hair, the big glasses, Fat Albert cartoons and etc. quite disappointing really to think that the students didnt bother at all to know the past.

to say that the 70s is just passe' is not true at all, because in Will Smith's Hitched, Boney M's Sunny is used in a remix. Madonna also uses Abba's song in her song. and, the new movie Mamma Mia features
all Abba's songs. so, the 70s is hip.

oh well.


however, all's not lost. i went to a kopitiam, belonging to one of the members' father. i was entertained with BeeGees songs and some other 70s hits. not bad at all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

the battle of the bulges

i have a love-hate relationship with my body for years. however, i have a very good relationship with food. so can you see my dilemma here?

when i was small, my mother fed me with nestum and raw egg yolk. trust me, if somebody offers me a million if i can swallow nestum and raw eggs, i will definitely turn down the offer. my siblings gave me candies and chocolates, resulting in a chubby me. i remember my pilot brother who brought back a nice blue black lined velvet top, and on me it looked like sarung nangka. i was 5. my elder sis-in law gave me a scottish kilt inspired skirt, made of tweed i think, and you guess it, it never fit me either. i still have the skirt in my closet. or the pink satin blouse my bro in law bought for me in japan. couldnt wear it either *sigh*.

when i was doing my first degree, a visit to a panel doctor introduced me to the world of slimming pills. yes, i lost 10kgs, and i was popping 2 pills a day. because of the pills, i was over-active, i had moodswings (which led me to an emotional debate regarding the grammaticality of "it" in my essay title with my writing lecturer) but i was eating right and exercising. but i finally stopped taking the pills after i couldnt sleep. yep, i regained the weight that i lost.

then when i started working, my then boyfriend told me to lose weight. i knew he felt ashamed of me, and he wanted a trophy girlfriend that he wanted to show off. often than not, i cried because i realised that if i wanted to lose weight, i wanted to lose weight because of me and for myself, and not for someone else. i ditched the guy. the best decision i made.

when i was doing my masters, a visit to the doctor was an eye opener. i had gained weight due to stress of reading theories and countless novels and doing assignments, but suddenly i had the will power to stay on a low-fat diet, and to go briskwalking at the hill near kelab darul ehsan, and suddenly i lost a whooping 17kgs! having studied about women empowerment and feminist theories in my literary theory class, my self-esteem skyrocketed. i ate healthy, and i was healthy.

this went on for awhile until i finished my study leave and was reposted to my current school. at first, it was easier to avoid the school canteen. but after awhile, i discovered that my staffroom loves holding makan-makan. oh no!!! i sit near to the place where the jamuan is held. how can i resist the tantalising smell of nasi minyak?? to make it worse, now that i'm back home, that means i can practise my culinary skills. which means, more cakes, more breads, more desserts to be tested and tasted.

for a few years, i maintained my weight, and i often went briskwalking. but i guess sheer laziness slackened me, and the next thing i knew, when i came back from my umrah, i gained 5kgs. when i told my siblings that something was wrong with the scale, they laughed at me. my favourite brother even weighed himself just to make sure the scale worked. the scale told no lies *sigh*. come ramadhan, i couldnt resist practising my culinary skills again. laksa terengganu, bubur lambuk, spaghetti bolognaise, the curries and the list goes on. the worst was during raya when visits to siblings houses meant eating heavy stuff.

yesterday the male teachers staffroom held a raya feast. i remember the bowl of laksa, ketupat, nasi impit and the 2 satays. and i remember finishing my nasi lemak too. so yesterday evening, in an effort to jumpstart my diet, i began walking again. was out of breath after 2 rounds.

today i ate better. for lunch i only had spicy soup. and because i had that only, my tummy rumbled when i was invigilating. suddenly i remembered the taste of goreng pisang and KFC chicken. oh no!!! determined not to screw up, i went to a fruit shop and bought bananas and oranges, the fruits that i ate when i was dieting. and tired as i was, i went walking again, this time 3 rounds without feeling out of breath. well, that's an improvement!

i hope that i can do better tomorrow, and although i dare not expect miracles, i do hope i can shed a modest 1kg in a month.

Friday, October 10, 2008

in response to those who wrote against the malaysian education system

some readers were upset with the news that none of the malaysian universities made it to the top 200 world universities for this year.

as usual, the blame is put to the politicians, certain races and teachers. in fact, i'm disgusted with all the readers' responses - all they know is to blame and blame and blame.

yes it is sooo easy to just sit on that comfy chair and type sentences to let other people all around the world read about it. but i would like to pose this question to those readers who like to blame other people "have you done anything constructive about it other than just yapping around?"

i do not like the idea of blaming the teachers for churning out graduates who can't think critically. some will say this is because i'm a teacher myself. but it's precisely because i'm a teacher i think i have the right to answer to those yappers.

look, we teachers carry a huge burden in school. we are the official babysitters of others, who expect us not to only teach their children, but also to educate them. on top of that, we have to comply to the ministry's directives and policies, which can be as unpredictable as the weather sometimes. the policy makers do not teach, and so sometimes they do not know the hardships that the teachers have to endure to make their policies work.

in my opinion too the students are too lulled and comfortable with the convenience of the millenium. back in my school days, we did not have streamyx or PS2 nor did we have handphones. but it was because of the lack of convenience and luxury that we were forced to think of other activities to fill up our days. for me, it was reading books. i periodically ask my students if they have read books this year. not many have. what is even sadder, is that they gave me blank stares when i rattled off a few classics like Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice or Dumas' Three Musketeers or Enid Blyton's. they do, however, recognise JK Rowling. instead, they're more into bluetoothing songs, or creating facebook, friendster or myspace. money is spent on sending text messages to friends (the language of the text messages itself have corrupted the students essays, especially when "you" becomes "u"). the students have no sense of urgency or purposefulness in life. there are students who are aware of all this and are making plans for their future, but the majority continue to be lulled. and although the yappers say that this "majority" come from a certain race, i can assure you, all the races will have such students and not from a particular race; and it is not correct to blame a certain race either. remember hitler and his aryan fanaticism.

some of the readers argue that we only do question drills with the students in class. well, may be if our society isnt that exam oriented, we can slow down on the speed, smell the flowers, listen to the birds and teach the students how to become critical thinkers. it is a vicious cycle actually. i'm guessing the yappers do not have schooling age children, or dont even have children, so they do not feel the heat. it is a vicious cycle in the sense that the parents have this overwhelming expectations on their children. hence, the children are sent to the tuition classes. at every state ed. dept, there exists a competition. the race is on to be the state that produces the most excellent results for all the major public exams. the need to be the best is impressed onto the principals, who in turn pressured the teachers to churn more A students so that when the results come out the school will be known to all. the students are pressured because at such an early age they are expect to perform well, so that their parents can brag about their achievements to the family and friends. the vicious cycle will not stop if everybody keeps focusing on As instead of creating wholesome individuals.

the CDC and the LPM try very hard to implement this idea of teaching the human aspects to the students, and literature is one of the ways to reach the students. some equates literature with the daunting works of shakespeare, but literature doesnt necessarily need to be daunting. my literature lecturers used to tell us that "literature is a slice of life", and it is. at that time i marvelled at the wisdom of my lecturers words, but it is true, which is, literature is a slice of life. through literature, students will be exposed to issues pertaining to humanity - social interactions, history, politics, discovering one's identity and so on. last year, during the literature convention in melaka, the director of the LPM said that "we don't want to only produce doctors and lawyers, but we want to produce morally sound doctors and lawyers". having said that, i must admit that we need teachers who are passionate in the subject to be able to bring out the students' interest. although it is the ministry's wish to change the education system, it is hard to change, as i said, it is a vicious cycle.

this is the burden that the teachers have to bear. it's a well-known fact that fingers will point at the teachers if the students' achievements are poor, but when students pass with flying colours, they will attribute the success to the students' sheer intelligence and hardwork.

i have, at least, done my part.

to the yappers, stop blaming other people. if you want to, then you might as well blame everybody, including yourself.



Friday, October 03, 2008

Merry-making and Feasting


This year's raya fared better than last year's, the reason being my mother is at home. last year we had a sombre raya because my mother was hospitalised for cancer. in retrospective, this year's merry-making was a quiet affair, if compared to the previous years, as some of the nephews and nieces arent around as they have gone back to the spouses'kampung.

having said that, however, it was still a raya. my sister cooked lontong which is my favourite, and then my fav brother arrived with his family. one thing about my brother is the whole family will be decked in one theme colour. they had black, maroon, green, blue... and this year the theme colour is cream.
we agreed to head to my other sister's house, in kelana jaya. while driving, my other bro the datuk kept calling, saying nobody's at my sister's house. when we arrived there we attacked the food on the table straight away. my sister cooked nasi dagang and there was her sate (actually it's hj samuri's sate, which she orders every year). it's a good thing too, as my bro in law's really big family soon came and we had no choice but to eat and leave, without the usual lingering over and exchanging stories and gossips as well as banter. then we headed to my eldest sister's house, the sister who has dementia, and sadly, is almost a zombie now. it is sad because my sister used to have that aura of a datin, and controlled the house like a kingdom. she's thin and frail now, and can't recognise anybody.

after my eldest sister's house, we went to shah alam to my fav brother's house, who served nasi minyak, and not the usual spaghetti bolognaise. there we had time to talk and banter around. the last stop was at the datuk's house, who loves kampung life and went to the fruit orchard behind his house to retrieve a giant sized jackfruit, which is Mother's delight and unfortunately, a bane. durians are still on trees and rambutans are still green. i 'm envious of my siblings now, because when the durians fall and the rambutans turn red, i won't be around to enjoy them as i'll be in KT.

the visiting ended at night, when i drove back to ampang, on a quite crowded Federal Highway. too stuffed with all the goodies.

Monday, September 29, 2008

shopping at jln TAR

the balik kampung exodus is supposed to be happening now, but if you ask me, there are still many KLites around. yesterday i went to Jln TAR and Jln Masjid India to find some tudung and other knick knacks. the parking lot at Sogo at 9.40 am is what you can call almost sardine packed. well, i may be exaggerating, but usually on any other day, at 9.40 you can find lots of empty parking lots. but yesterday, i had to go down to Basement 2. and this was at 9.40 am. by 11 am the police already blocked the road to the Sogo parking area.

there were people everywhere that makciks selling tudung couldnt give that special attention to a particular customer. had to walk a lot to find a particular colour of anak tudung to match my tudung. then i spent some time buying Korean brooches and then bought raya shoes (pink, what else) at Sogo. while i was walking i saw a stall selling ketupat pulut and serunding daging. oh yum! but my energy waned fast as i felt discomfort in my throat and realised that the lethargy i felt was because of the sore throat. so after more than 3 hours at jln TAR, i went home, and slept for an hour.

Monday, September 22, 2008

countdown to raya

the heatwave of raya is finally felt. it is kind of difficult for me, being alone here without my family, but the thought that i will be with them soon makes the last few days bearable. plus, i 've started playing the raya songs, just to be in the mood. and while listening to the songs, i sew the beads on my plain pink woven silk baju kurung.

i've searched for a youtube for anuar and elina's raya song. please click on the title to listen to the song.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

aching feet for a delicious fare

my friend zana asked us the 5ilmu girls for the recipe for nasi kerabu. at first i wasnt thinking about it, until yesterday. an image of fried grated coconut spiced with ginger and pepper sprinkled on white rice with that fragrant and appetising turmeric leaf was just too much for me to bear.

so after school, i went to the local market to get some herbs (daun kesum, daun selasih and some other fragrant leaves which i dont know the name) and turmeric leaves. bought a salted egg, some otak-otak (god, i'm thinking of kuala kemaman's famous otak-otak now) and ayam percik. ah, the works!

got home and i immediately made the kerabu consisting of white grated coconut, ground mix of onion, fish, pepper and ginger. it took a long time to fry the coconut though. my feet are still aching from standing for too long. anyway, everything was perfect. fried the keropok keping, boiled the egg, finely sliced the herbs.

then i remembered. i have no budu*. the last time when i cleared the kitchen, i threw it away.

ah well....you can't have everything.

by the way, one last word. to enjoy nasi kerabu, you MUST eat it with turmeric leaf, as it really whets one's appetite. trust me, as someone who really loves her food, i should know.

*in terengganu, nasi kerabu is usually white and eaten with budu. in kelantan, the rice is blue in colour, and they have a special sauce made from santan for it. just like terengganu's nasi dagang is white, while kelantan nasi dagang is made from red rice. however, now all nasi kerabu sold in terengganu is blue in colour. i prefer the white rice.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Change

making changes is all the rage now in malaysia. whether it's a prominent, big-scaled change or a small-scaled one, it's a change nonetheless, that will change our lives or our views.

once upon a time, i was ready to embrace that change. although i was trained to become an educator, my passion lies in writing, so much so that i was offered to become a journalist before my graduation. alas, my mother opposed to the idea as it meant that i had to work in KL, and she wanted me to serve the people (and serve the 7 year "itch" contract with the ministry) in my hometown. i remember there were tears of disappointment, watching the opportunity go by. i remember my friend dina who told me to hold on and not to sink into idleness and lose that spark.

four years later, i made a change as i decided to further studies. it's a big change as i had to tread into the unknown. i wanted the change, but it was scary. but it was good, in the sense that i was able to mingle with the academicians and my coursemates, who came from all walks of life. i was taught in a boarding school and later on in a tesl programme which only allowed bumiputeras in. when i did my masters, i had the opportunity to be friends with the other races and to learn about their cultures. it wasnt an odd thing at all to eat at a banana leaf restaurant or to have dinner at a vegetarian restaurant with my chinese and indian friends, discussing literary theories and novels. academically, i was enlightened. i marvelled at the genius works of the writers, and discussed and argued with coursemates over some theories that we were learning. i had taught myself to think critically.

the good academic life came to an end when my 2 year sabbatical was up, and i was reposted back to my hometown, to a new school. i must say that i love this school, as the students are generally well-behaved.

but good things must come to an end too. my darkest hour was when my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. the family reeled from the news. my mother is a woman of strength, but to see her lose hope was heartbreaking. but she regained her willpower to live, and decided to stay among her other children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. and because of that i had to learn to finally live on my own, something i had wished for when i was 24. it was a novelty for me at first, but when there're 2 break ins, you began to feel fear. such circumstances force me to make another change, which is to ask for a transfer to where my family is.

although i yearn to be with my family, i do not want to leave my house, which had been my cocoon for the past 30 years (except for the few years when i was at school and the uni). and this saddens me greatly.

changes do not happen overnight. the physical changes can happen overnight (or in the case of my tummy, in 2 weeks) but it's our pysche that is slower to accept changes and to adapt. it takes a strong person to make changes. but somehow we have to change, as it's only through change that we advance in life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the promise of a new day

my erudition in literature has led me to some satisfying and thought-provoking read, so much so that i make the effort of collecting seminal works by prominent writers and philosophers.

in the light of the interesting scenario in our country, i would like to share with you Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (rousseau is a French philosopher, and this book influenced the French Revolution) words. in his book "The Social Contract", Rousseau says

"Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains. Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they."

in other words, the notion of controlling or having power over someone leads back to the person itself, as it binds and enslaves him, leaving him with no other alternative to break free from his notion.

we sometimes forget that we're put here for a reason, although one might say that this was the result of one man's weakness over a woman's request once upon a time in Eden. anyway, sometimes we're caught in a mayhem, that we cant seem to stop ourselves. we enjoy the ride so much that we forget about the others, that we assume that this is our right, and we plan to keep it permanent. enjoying the ride leads Napoleon to say in The Animal Farm "all are equal, but some are more equal than the others".

this leads me to Homi Bhabha's theory in The Location of Culture, in which he opines that in setting the narrative of the nation, it is the people who decide and shape the narrative, despite the rulers' efforts to mould the people.




Friday, September 05, 2008

The Month of Deeds

in previous Ramadhans, i had written about my recollection of nostalgic moments during Ramadhan in my childhood - of how certain foods and routines define the Ramadhan for me.

this year though, i wont be talking about nostalgia. it'll be kinda boring to repeat, dont you agree?

this year i'll be talking about Ramadhan with frankness.

i always believe that as we grow older, we should strive to better ourselves - spiritually, mentally and socially. most of us strive hard in the social and mental department. but how many strive for the betterment of the spiritual?

although towards the second half of the previous year i had suffered a lot of family problems, i realised that those obstacles had to happen so as to make me a better muslimah. the problems were too much for me to handle and i just lost control. and i hate losing control. finally, i made the best decision - to perform umrah. but before going to madinah, i faced another obstacle. so much so that i questioned whether i was ready for the spiritual journey.

however, that was the best experience i had so far. i've seen eiffel tower, i've been to stonehenge, saw the white cliffs at Dover Beach, i've seen the tiny fairy penguins at phillips island and been chased by a fat sheep just outside melbourne; but these are vacations, and are incomparable to the spiritual journey.

to see the magnificent minarets and the big gold doors of Nabawi Mosque was a feast to the eyes. just like to be able to see the intricate ceilings inside, and to be able to enter and pray in Raudhah, a piece of Eden on earth. when we arrived in mekah, we chanted the talbiyah, which made me weep. the best part was when we finally saw the most recognised building in the world, the Masjidil Haram, and Baitullah in the center. i think masjidil haram has the most beautiful and intricate carved ceilings which reminded me of a cake with icing. the lamps reminded me of Aladdin. but to actually pray in masjidil haram, to tawaf and saie there - was the greatest. i must admit that it was hot and dry over there, and one would have thought that since Kaaba is in the center of Masjidil Haram and isnt covered with a roof, it'll be hot. but surprisingly, when i tawafed there, there was gentle wind blowing (no, it's not from the air conditioning unit, nor did it come from the fans and nor was it the typical wind you have over there, because believe me, the wind there is dry), and it was cooling. i remember my friend As told me that as the pilgrims are tawafing Kaaba', the angels are also tawafing at a place in heaven directly above the Kaaba'. i felt at peace there, that i didnt even remember the troubles that i had before i went on the journey.

i remember our muttawif, ustaz masytoor, who reminded us to be better muslims when we returned to malaysia, and not to slacken or suffer a relapse. i didnt feel so much the first2-3 weeks, as i was busy with family weddings and later, school camps and debates. but after that, i started to read a book by Imam Ghazali who wrote about how to conduct the daily lives the islamic way. and it has helped me so much. deep conversations with some also helped me to become who i am today. because of fear of being alone, i turn to God for help, and believe in his protection, so much so that for the first time, i experienced total peace and contentment, i could feel God's love for me. this is what is called sakinah, or tranquility. it is the most beautiful feeling which didnt last long - when i started #$@%$# the madam upstairs.

god says if you stay with me, i'll help you, and he did. i dont feel suffocated or restless like i used to feel before i turned a new leaf. prayers are not seen as a burden, but more of a communication, a sign of gratitude, and humility. if before, i viewed certain deeds as taxing, now it's not taxing anymore, when you just give your spiritual self a chance.

i must admit that the ramadhan has more challenges this year in spiritual sense, but this does not deter me in the quest of becoming a good muslimah.

happy fasting to all muslims, and hope that you'll be blessed with sakinah like i did.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Eye

it started on saturday, when suddenly i felt pain on my right eyelid. the first thought i had was it's ketumbit, so i just pretty ignored it.

last night, remembering some of the natural remedies that my mother taught me, i peeled a clove of garlic, and started tenyehing/sentaling my eyelid with it. despite the sting it gave me, i continued my endeavour with the utmost zeal.

until this morning when i woke up and saw that my eyelid was a bit thicker (swollen), which doesnt say much, since my chinese genes prevent me from getting those perfectly double eyelids. after a long arduous meeting after school, i came back home only to find myself staring into my big mirror and i was in despair! the eyelid is thick-err than the other side, and it's visible.

so i decided to call my nephew the doctor. he didnt pick up my call. so i called my fren as the specialist. she didnt answer either, but she smsed. so after some smses, i finally got the name of the antibiotics which is unpronounceable by layman like me, but sounds like rapid French when uttered by doctors. even French words are easier to pronounce than the antibiotics. i just remember the name of the antibiotics starts with a C.

and so i got the antibiotics from the pharmacy and the pharmacist told me it's an eye infection, but despite the modern med, i still keep tenyehing the garlic...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Working holiday

now that's an oxymoron isnt it? how can you have a working holiday? if you're a teacher, you're used to it as the JPN people envy the teachers for getting a lot of holidays, so they have to be party poopers and spoil our parr-tay. what on earth are you talking about? you may ask.

bundles and bundles of exam scripts to be marked, that's what i'm talking about!

yes, we have to slave through our holidays to finish marking, just because the JPN people want the marks to be submitted on a certain date, usually during the holidays! well, isnt that just nice? and what do the JPN people do? sit on their chairs, dabble here and there for awhile, then go to some kedai kopi.

and what about us the teachers?

we have to come to school before a certain time. now, the latecomers get to have the prefects take down our names (like we're some students to be degraded like that). then we have to teach. we have to manage the class of more than 30 students. mind you, if you get a very obedient class you're lucky. then we have to mark the exercises. we have to give homework. we cant go out to some kedai kopi, we have to eat at the school canteen. we're sent to some courses, usually done by JPN at some crappy hotels. we ve to become camp facilitators at the very last minute, due to very late call letters.guess where do they come from?

and yet we're still underpaid, and yet it takes more than 10 years for a DG41 teacher to be promoted to DG44, never mind that some of us have more brains than those who sit in those comfy chairs.

now if you'll excuse me i've to shop to relieve the stress.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

temptation part deux

remember about womenfolk having 9 lusts? it's struck again. i just bought an aigner bag (before i made the vow), and my itchy hands have been culprits into signing into ebay (just like i blame my feet for walking into Habib in Ampang and coming out with a glittering purchase). and there are too many gorgeous bags... gorgeous, dahling, simply gorgeous (read that in british accent). i spotted some nice pink dooney & bourke, they cost around US99. and that excludes shipping.

and while i was thinking of the cute pink bag, i remember my vow, and i also remember that i've another trip coming up next year, and i sighed a long sigh. plus, there are just too many expenses. especially after looking at my citibank statement. not good at all.

i should just drool at the pic then.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trauma

have you ever gone through a stage of life when everything was going so well (or just passable) and then suddenly your world came crashing down?

yes, you must have. otherwise, you're not a human. nobody lives a perfect life, unless you're Barbie. last monday, there's a break-in at my house, the second in 9 months. thank god for the alarm system.

though physically the house is okay, the trauma stays with me. it envelops like a second skin, and i hate that. i get paranoid nowadays, but sometimes it pays to be paranoid. having said though, such traumatic experiences prevent you from being free, as you're constantly living in fear, and right now i can feel the strain.

it's a cruel world we're living in.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"don't make my blood go upstairs"

this was supposedly uttered by one of the local film producers, and it was featured in the locally produced film "Pengantin Popular".

so, today's topic will be about anger. yup, the green eyed monster. at school, most of the time anger is justified especially when students dont do their homework. or if they're playing truant from school. or playing football using empty water bottles as the ball....

anyway.

today, after my briskwalk, i decided to have my favourite McD's chicken porridge. the counter was deserted, and there were 2 staff there. okay, so far so good. another few steps away, and came this 1 guy who went to the counter. i thought he was placing an order. as 1 girl was listening to him attentively, another had her back turned to me. she turned around, and i know she could see me from the corner of her eye, but she just ignored me. hello, cant you see there's a customer waiting??? to make it worse, it seemed that the guy wasnt placing an order, he was just having a chat with the 1st girl!! he finally noticed that i was waiting (fuming, as it was) and told her she had a customer. yes, i could feel "my blood go upstairs" never mind that it's been malaysianised, i was just damn !@@## to say the least. no, i didnt scold her. i was cold, as cold as ice.

then, my favourite porridge wasnt available for the day. argh!!! so i had to change my order. and because she had already keyed in the order, the manager had to be called to change. and i, still feeling the blood boiling, asked

"are you the manager?"

shocked, he nodded.

"just to complain that your staff gave a slow service".

i didnt elaborate further as i was too angry.

look, working in the only McD branch in KT doesnt mean that you can do sloppy work. especially when you think that people in KT are "tak kisah" people. i refused to be bullied. they had better learn that there are discerning people around who expect the best service.

but being a softie, once i got into my car i realised something. now i ve to stop going to McD for awhile. i might have been blacklisted now *sigh*

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Vow of a Shopaholic

i paid my tailor a visit today, along with my silks. when i told her there are more cloths for her to sew, she exclaimed "but you have too many clothes already!"

and that woke me up from my cloth buying frenzy. yes, it sobered me up, especially after i remember that my closet is so packed with my baju kurungs and kebayas that all of them are wrinkled. and i counted how many pieces more i have with her - 9 pieces, which she'll sew in stages. i kept thinking of the money i could have saved (don't we all), but then i agree with the survey they did about malaysian women - that we shop when we're under a lot of stress. hey, i'm in a cluster school, that's enough to give any teacher a high b.p.

but then, i know i've to learn to be frugal.

therefore, i'll make a vow to myself that:

1. i will not make anymore cloth purchases no matter how cheap or how cute they look especially if the cloths are pink in colour.

2. i will not shop at kinokuniya, marks & spencer, habib, vincci, nose or any other shoe shops or dine at chili's when i'm in KL.

3. i will not buy any other handbags no matter how cheap they are...hmmph... on second thought, i still can't forget that blue Kenneth Cole handbag....okay, okay...focus, focus, be frugal...be frugal...

4. i will not eat out, but i will cook and buy fresh produce from the wet market.
(hey, i've done that already!)

5. i will not use my credit card this month (this is the biggest challenge).

*long sigh*

Thursday, July 31, 2008

temptation

islam says that womenfolk have 9 lusts. i dont know whether this is a boon or a bane, but after today's episode, i think that it's going to be a bane to my purse.

it all started a few days ago, when i received my RM625 rebate. i was thinking of the turquoise i bought in Mekah, and it's high time that i have it set on a ring. so i asked my colleague to ask her hubby (he is a goldsmith) to fashion a ring for me. okay, that will cost me roughly RM500.

then i remembered that i have a piece of kain tenun terengganu with bunga songket bertabur, and i was thinking of getting a piece of silk from Suterasemai (let's just say i'm proud to wear terengganu's locally produced fabrics). the pink woven silk and woven cloth with bunga songket bertabur
i went with my friend shima. the problem began when i was greeted with bolts and bolts of silk in vibrant colours and also soft hues. a girl can get crazy there, it's like being lost in a candy store. and instead of buying a piece of pink silk for the top, i ended up buying 3 pieces!!
the blue woven silk and the checked woven silk

and suterasemai silk isnt cheap.... *sigh* but then how can you say no to such gorgeous colours? i told shima i m not going to follow her to the shop again on saturday....better to stay away from costly temptation and to start saving.


ah, temptations, temptations!!

p.s. to ina, the suterasemai HQ is at Chendering (that's where i went) and there's a shop in town at jalan air jernih called suteraemas. the silk is around RM70 per metre and it's dry clean only.