Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The bliss of simple things in life

Boiled cassava with spicy anchovies, dried salted fish and grated young coconut.

Spicy, sweet and salty.

Monday, November 14, 2016

la luna

My first try at photographing la luna, and as it has been raining the whole day into dusk I didn't manage to get any shot of the supermoon as it was rising. When the sky finally cleared, I only had a window of 15 minutes to start figuring out how to get a decent shot. I managed six, and out of that I am lucky to have these four. Soon after, the clouds got really thick and dark.

Friday, November 04, 2016

First step towards gardening again.

What I was up to during the Deepavali weekend. 

Terrarium making is really addictive, especially as it's zero expense incurred, everything was scrounged from around the house. From terrariums to glass jars. Carnivorous plants and tillandsia. All types of moss and small plants. Orchids and bamboo grass. Cactus and succulents. Recycled planting media, stones from under the mango trees, they are all from the garden.

It's addictively therapeutic too.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Some people shouldn't be on socmed!

I know you are trying to be popular and all, but can you please not batch send photo messages to multiple groups on daily basis? You know that daily dose 'Selamat Pagi', 'Asalamualaikum', 'Jom Solat Subuh', and weekly 'Salam Jumaat' or that daily countdown to whatever that's coming up are getting to be really really annoying. 

And don't get me started on the videos! Oh the times I have to delete multiple videos, all sent by the same person. It's not enough you flood the groups, you send the videos and photos through our private message! And it's jamming up our phones and eating up people's data allowance! 

When I reminded one of you of the purpose of the group chat, and that the streams of greetings are actually burying the important facts and information, you got defensive and said that we can't be too serious on the chats, and what's your favorite line, sharing is caring? Hoe many times people missed important information due to this? You seem to miss the point that all the groups are with specific serious purpose, not for random chats and fun sharing! 

Now if only you'll stop sending all those videos and photos, or forwarding them chain messages, I think you'll be able to do your job better, no more mistyped letters or important documents, no more sending the wrong information to the wrong group of people.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Membazir adalah saudara...

Late Sunday lunch episode.

Zz : H finish up your rice and chicken properly.

Aten : Ahah, don't waste. Jangan membazir.

Zz : Kita tak boleh membazir sebab membazir adalah saudara...?

Q : ... saudara mara.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Self Reminder #234

Don't be greedy, you may end up losing everything.

-anon again-

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blood and vein issues, again!

Coming from a family with outrageously fine veins, I've always been considered lucky as I hardly ever have problem drawing blood for tests, unlike mom who usually requires yellow branula most used for babies.

In my attempt to overcome my fear of needles, I even managed to donate blood multiple times before they told me my blood is no longer acceptable.

So, what in heaven's name happened in the past couple of weeks that made my veins suddenly so fine and fragile? Three different lab technicians, four pricks plus a lot of probing in my veins later that they manage to finally draw some decent amount of blood.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Poslaju, thou will be the death of me!

*rant alert*

Treating myself after a very trying day-long experience with Poslaju.

First the package got stuck at KLIA hub for more than a day. Reason given when I went over to the Penang Poslaju office, overwhelming number of parcels.

So the lady (let's call her X) called KLIA to check and promised that she will monitor the package and assure me she will get it to me this morning.

Checked the online status at about 3am, it says that it's left the hub before midnight. So I called them this morning about 9am, X said that the van haven't arrived, and that she will get it to me this morning, even after I offered to collect it from their office.

Noon, still no sign of the package. As I know no one will answer my call during lunch, I waited until after 2pm.

And this was when my blood started boiling. Person Y, who is the co-worker of X whom I also met yesterday took my call. She has this loud voice that I could hear all her conversation with X in the background. So I was told that my parcel is with dispatch A and was given the phone number. I called him seven times, no answer. Eighth time he answered only to tell me that he doesn't have the package, it's with another dispatch with almost similar sounding name as him.

Just as I was to call X, I got a call from her telling me of the mistake. So she gave me E's number whose phone was off. Kept on calling, then it started ringing, still no respond. Twenty first attempt, he finally answered only to inform me that he doesn't have the package.

Call back to Poslaju Victoria, took about ten attempts to get Y answering and and started playing the go between person with X. I could hear her telling X the details I've explained. I also told her that I am running out of patience and am surprised that this is happening after all the 'special monitoring'. I could hear X in the background making calls to locate my missing parcel. I also asked why didn't they let me self-pickup the pancakes as I requested and that X promised me the package in the morning, and this is when Y started getting rude with me, claiming that I didn't say such. I reminded her of my exact words and when I said them. She started to on a rant about how there's overflow of parcels and it's not their responsibility to make sure I get my package in the morning.

X finally located the parcel with dispatch C who took one phone call and didn't pickup anymore after that when X called to check where he was so that I can meet him to get the package a.s.a.p because he said he can only deliver by 6:30pm. All through this, I could hear Y passing my messages to X and adding her own commentaries too, telling Y what to tell me. I told her to let me speak to Y directly as I my patience is running really low.

This is when I heard her tell X, "X, pompuan tu nak cakap dengan hang sendiri, dia nak hamput hang" in Penang-speak which translates "The lady wants to speak to you directly, and she's going to scold you bad"! Boy, was I mad or what when I heard this!

Took a deep breath and a few more after that to cool down and calmly told X to give me C's number as she also continue tracking him. Reminded her of all that she said and promised to me, which she verified. She told me that the dispatchs have a habit of passing the parcels around themselves without informing the office or updating the system even though she specified that the package must arrive before 10am as it's already delayed. She finally got C on the phone, and asked him to call me to plan a meet-up, he's merely five minutes away, but sending parcels to about twenty units of apartments.

Before I hang up, I asked X if I scolded her? She said no. So I asked her why Y said I was going to do so in a very defaming manner, X was shocked that I could hear all their conversations. I told her to tell Y not to be rude and if she's going to pass such remarks, she doesn't belong in customer service. I also told her that I am going to file a complaint on Y's conduct. X apologized profusely, told her she's done her best, and the screw-up is not due to her.

In the end I picked up the parcel from C at 4:42pm and that messed up my very tight schedule. I lost a day worth of work and what was supposed to be done this morning will only be completed tomorrow afternoon.

And the whole morning before that, I had to deal with MBSP, Geological Dept., JPS and PBAPP visit to our house due to the serious environmental issues we have been having the past three months.

So you see, I really deserve the 'three layer tea' and the ghee tosai.

Monday, August 08, 2016

About toilet at KLIA, again.

Back home in Malaysia, the toilets look third world compared to even those at Bandung's tiny Husein Sastranegara Airport.

The toilets in Indonesia are cleaned by Indonesian. The toilets in Malaysia are mostly cleaned by Indonesian too.

Toilets in Indonesia are clean, while the one in Malaysia are much to be desired. 

So, are the cleaners not doing a good job or Malaysian are just not interested in keeping public spaces clean?

~pondering during our six hours layover~

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pondering #58

Yes, because sometimes, after a bit of deliberation, a tad more thinking, a few moments of reanalyzing, we realize that we are not quite right after all. So always respect differing in opinions, because we are not right all the times, no matter how smart we think we are. It would save us a lot of embarrassments, and dealing with pride and dignity massaging later.

~29 July 2015~

Monday, July 25, 2016

From the mouth of the babe #21

Boys watching Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol.

Scene : Ethan Hunt & Benji attempting to enter Kremlin, they converse in Russian with the sentry guard checking their identification.

Aten : Hussen, do you know what language they are speaking in?

Hussen : Yes (eyes on movie)

Aten : So what language is it?

Hussen : Cakap Peghreligh! 

Qays : Cakap Cina!

Aten : *selop gelak*

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

'Adik sakit jantung'

After two weeks of letting him do as his wish of not going to school, we had to put our foot down, so yesterday and today we dragged him to school. Both episodes are different, yesterday the struggle was in school, first with Zz then with the two teachers. Once in class he was okay and was chattering away when we went to pick him up after school.

There's no bullying by fellow students nor teachers. We have checked many many times. And as one of the teachers said, he's an exemplary student, penyejuk hati and one of the smartest kid in class, and the neatest and best dressed one too. They are concerned that he's unhappy to go to school.

Today's episode begin right as we wake him up. He refused to get in the car, had to force him in. Then begin the attempt to escape which includes cry for sympathy from mom and grandma, kicking, struggling, pinching and scratching Zz, hitting the car window, screams of 'Adik sakit jantung', 'Why nak paksa adik, adik tak suka' and ultimately biting me in my upper arm. The bite went through my T-shirt and broke skin as he bit and tore. Wails turned to sobs, I even hear him apologizing, saying that he didn't realize what's he's doing, but he promises not to do it anymore - the biting part, not the not going to school part, this one keeps his promises, so he won't promise that yet.

I had to hold him down the whole five minutes drive (which felt like hours). Three quarter of the way I heard between sobs that he wants to sit with the counselling teacher and not go to class. I agreed and told him to stop crying and struggling. That's when he settled down.

We waited for everyone to be done with the assembly, only then we drove into the school compound as we were still concerned that he may run into the busy road.

Half willingly, with no struggle but sulk worth a crate of lemon, he went to the counselling room. The counsellor has him now, so let's see what tomorrow may bring.

He's the kind yang 'simpan dalam hati', and now reacting to the things that happened in his life recently. Yes, it's heartbreaking, but he can no longer not be in school. It's sad, our strong and firm Q has to express his emotions this way. We also know that one of the catalyst for him to act out this way was when adults are very selfish and act without thinking, no worries we have dealt with that. It's a matter of convincing him that he will no longer be bothered in school by 'unwanted' visitors. Insyaallah we'll weather this together, bites, bruises and all.

We are on the way into the city to get Kevlar lined shirt.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday Qays!

It's such a feat to get a good photo of him, most times the photos are blurred because this kid is constantly in motion. 
He may have outgrown 'The Flash' phase, preferring some of the darker characters of Star Wars now instead, I am glad that he's still our determined, helpful, focused and hardworking chatterbox that we love dearly. 

He's also no longer not adverse to trying new things, he's even adventurous with food, this photo is from the time he discovered raw fish sushi and immediately took to sashimi too. He's even started asking to try some green vegetables much to our surprise.

Happy 7th Birthday Qays! We love you to the end of the world.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Raya Open House 2016 Morning Drama

Wow! Two dramas in a row!And it's only 11.30am!

First the chicken Mama booked, not in stock. So we had to rush to Tesco Udini. Got the chicken, but may need require some extra cutting.

Then just as we were done loading the car with more than 50kg of chicken and were about to rush home Shereen realized that one of her Egyptian charm bracelet is gone! 

Told her to check the car and the car park while I backtrack her steps in the supermarket. Went through all the five places she stopped at, nada. Checked the chili basket, bread racks, yogurt aisle. Nothing. Ask the CS, supervisors, no one found anything. 

I was in such a spot, having to choose between really combing through the supermarket to look for that family heirloom or to rush home to cook for the guests arriving by 2:30pm. My instinct tells me that we will get the charm bracelet back. Then I saw the young man restocking the ice cream freeze that I walked pass by as I rushed to the donut rack. Decided to ask him if he's seen the bracelet. Alhamdullilah, he said he got it in his pocket and was just about to hand it over to CS.

So now, don't any of you dare turn up early for our do today. Ayam baru sampai rumah, tak masak lagi!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Queensbay Mall Raya Decor 2016 Part 2

I just realized the location that they've placed what they claim to be their Aidilfitri festive area as in their statement couldn't be of poorer choice.

It's placed right upfront of Morganfield's Restaurant, a watering hole most famous for their pork dishes! Good job Queensbay Mall! Take your pick, stupidly insensitive or downright insulting.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shame on you Queensbay Mall!

The evening before 23rd of Ramadan 1437. Seven days before Aidilfitri. Central court of Queensbay Mall, which usual gets all the celebration decor is empty. Almost too stark naked. Walking in, once I am past the shock, I am enveloped in sadness. Am I still in Malaysia? Where we proudly claim of multi races living in harmony, sharing all the many celebrations from all the different ethnics and religion groups that makes us Malaysia. Yet it looks like the mall in in mourning.

So why is that the biggest celebration, by the main ethnic group, embracing the official religion of our nation only get a corridor (between Starbucks and KFC) worth of celebration decoration.

Does CapitaLand Mall Asia, the company managing Queensbay Mall deem that Aidilfitri is not worth the beautiful celebration decorations that they are famous for? The winter wonderland Christmas decor, the Chinese courtyard of 20's Shanghai for Chinese New Year, and every year they always trying to outdo themselves. Yet when Aidilfitri comes, almost nothing. Maybe the demographic is not worthy in term of revenue to them, yet I see so many doing their Raya shoppings there, most with at least a couple of bagful of purchases.

I also notice that Deepavali does not get any recognition there either. Yet, Valentine's is really huge, with decors all over the malls.

Inquiry to the information counter confirmed the worst, there's no decoration planned for the central court or any other places apart from the 15' corridor at the far end of the mall. 

Again I asked myself. Are we still in Malaysia?

Originally posted on Facebook here

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

7 Ramadan 1437

Haven't visited my grandparents in a long time, so stopped by as we were in the compound. 

Alfatihah for grandpa Shekh Mohammad Hussen Bakar Rafie and grandma Zaynab Shaikh Saleh Al Azhari. We miss you very much, Insyaallah we'll meet again.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Hussen turns 9.

Sleep tight my little Padawan.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong.

And for the times things get too hard to bear, we will always be here for you, one way or another, that's a promise.

Happy Birthday Hussen. 

*sorry we weren't home for your birthday, and this post comes days later, but we are glad to know you are mature enough to understand *

Friday, May 27, 2016

MakChick Bloggers at KeCeramic

We went looking for 'pinggang' with Kak Teh, but found laughters and friends (and Rosmah's pinggan and wonderful ceramics) instead. Thanks for such a wonderful evening ladies. I haven't laughed this hard in a long long time.

Thanks Kak Hasnah for the delicious Laksa Sarawak and Rissoles from Dapur Hasnah, Datin Rosmah for hosting us at your beautiful showroom (when can I move in?) and the gigantic king crab in two dishes.

It's always a hoot to get together with Kak Kay Mohd Noor (thanks for the 'Red Uber' ride home) and her serene highness of DJ, Kak Nasirah Aris.

Sorry Kak Puteri for all the pot shots we took at you (the handbag is still not suitable for a women of your stature, I'll gladly take it off you anytime). Once you are done rearranging the abstract design tiles, you can color code the others 

Too bad Mak Andehh is still very shy to join our mugshots 

I am also honored to meet Kak Fauziah, hope our kookiness doesn't shock you too much.

Here's to old and new friends, may we always be true to ourselves and never let petty things to come between us.
Pengkisahan yang penuh emosi oleh Kak Teh
Kak Nasirah and Kak Fauziah were listening intently. Kak Hasnah's ready with the durian pits for anyone dares annoy us.

'Lost Pinggang Society' first official meeting. 

Must have post! 

And one more joined us. 

This one's for you Tom, we saved the king crab shell for you.

Quite a feat that was, fitting everyone in this selfie.

The hosts and the guest of honor. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

TWG for Athene's Belated 42nd

We were at Paragon, and he asked me what I wanted for a belated birthday treat. I said as we are both still exhausted from the weekend and yesterday cooking sessions, I'd be happy with just some Godiva ice cream. 

He took me next door instead, and we had one of the best high tea we've ever had. Their new high tea set menu is really good, every dish sweet or savoury infused with a different type of TWG tea. And of course we drank my favorite Geisha Blossom tea!

It's one of those meals that leaves you with that indescribable feeling that lies between a smile and a high. 

Thank you Abang

Saturday, April 30, 2016

ANSARA BP 87-91 25th Anniversary Weekend

Love you girls forever.

Adju, Fid and Faten, causing trouble and mayhem together since 1987.

ANSARA Balik Pulau 87-91 Silver Jubilee

Twenty five years later, we came back to where our stories begin. We may look like adults now, but we are still and will always be the same silly-giggling-troublemakers we were.

 Unfortunately, I couldn't take a photo with each and everyone of you, I arrived at the dinner with barely thirty percent battery left on my phone. With so many of us that night I know I even missed saying 'hi' to quite a few of you, for that I am truly sorry.
Partner in crime, twenty nine years and counting.
 I am glad I made it there with my best girl Fid, and chaperoned and driven by Ms. Rudi & Pak Lan as back in those days (and that made me miss Ms. Loh ever so much more )
So close yet we hardly meet, we must make a point to see each other more often Jaja.

Kapten Rizam and his lighting issues

You have been sorely missed Acom!
The elusive DZ, whom we finally tracked down early this year.

Uji, my roommate Lina and Majen.

Long lost Tikuih, Caen, Obot and Conen

Homeroom Bakti '87! 
To all the teachers who made us who we are today, we are who we are because of you no word can describe our eternal gratitude. 
The master slave driver who made us run track and cross country while he rides on his Honda Cub! Thank you Cikgu Mail, for making me believe that I too can run.

The ever youthful Cikgu Nor Aini Naim, she reported for duty mid semester and took us off the long suffering Mr. Wong Song Kuong. She was too sweet for us to bully 

Ms. Connie was the one who started calling us 'The Giggling Goslings'. She's just as bad as we are if not cheekier, she put me in such a spot that night that there was no way out for me but to face the 'crimes of my past'! Thank you so much Cikgu *roll my eyes* 

Kudos to everyone who made this weekend happen, it's no easy feat to get this whole bunch under one roof at the same time.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Five Kittens of Ara River

Looks like we aren't the kind to do things by half. From no cat in the past 10 years, we go to one cat plus five kittens that came soon after. Mom Pogo has gone missing the past couple of days, so the kittens are officially adopted by us. 

Harvey 'Two Face'

Baby Socks who gets bullied all the times

Ninja, she's almost fifty percent bigger than her siblings! Shereen calls her Fatso

Bubbles 'Troubles'

Feisty Ginger.

We've never had female cat before this, hence we never had any newborn kittens before. Watching these five daily progress, after the months of guessing game of 'is Pogo really pregnant or just fat' has truly been a joy.

Meet Ninja, Socks, Ginger, Bubbles and Harvey, born on 12 March 2016.