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


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 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. 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


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.