Friday, September 26, 2008

.: من العاءدين و الفاءيزين :.

Last day of work!

Not so. But I’m knocking off in a few hours time, head back home for Eid tomorrow morning in addition to having a hiatus from blogging for close to one week. *can’t say that I’m looking towards it*.

Yesterday, I asked my friend where is he heading this Eid and seems like he stays relatively close to his parents and in-laws. I was telling him how fortunate he is to be so near t
o them to which he responded::

“Kalau awak diberi pilihan, pilihlah yang jauh. Lagi jauh, lagi elok.”
*“If you’re given a choice, find someone far away. The farther, the better.”

I'll just leave that to God. :)

-------------------- ~ --------------------
Given that I won’t be around as I’ll be uber tied up with the dishes, *coughs* and disregarding the fact that I know it’s a tad bit too early for Eid greetings, it doesn’t really leave me much choice. So here are my greetings to everyone, especially to all the lovely people that cruise by every now and then;

:: A typical Eid greeting in Malaysia ::

  • “Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.”
  • *“Happy Eid ul-Fitr. Forgive me for the physical and emotional wrongdoings.”
*Loose interpretation

Owh, and if you are traveling @ driving, travel @ drive safe. If you’re not going anywhere, stay safe. Summing up, just be safe. ^

My semi-dry-semi-witty outbursts are kicking in.
2.43pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 25, 2008

.: The tudung :.

Commonly known to the westerners as the headscarf.

The first time I adorned the headscarf was when I was 10. That was because I enrolled for religious classes and it was part of the dress code, along with the hijab. So I led two lives thereby during the morning classes I'll be in dresses and pinafores while during the afternoon classes in the other school, I'll be in hijab.

Turning point was when I was 12. It wasn't like I was getting pressurized from my parents or I am receiving peer pressure. I just told myself that it is high time that I stop being hypocritical. All along I had worn the headscarf on my own but I never got to wearing it the right way and the outcome always ended with the scarf looking lopsided and hair sticking out everywhere. *I used to joke around saying it's really my head that's uneven.* One fine morning, I brought the scarf to school and asked my good friend to demonstrate. Next thing I know, a group of girls gathered and lent uncountable hands. *I felt like barbie then.*

Over the years, I learnt various ways of wearing the headscarf. The easiest would be the one I worn in school, followed by the shawl. My friend taught me the art of wrapping the blasted thing as she knows how conveniently I misplace my brooches and pins. My sister calls me a Paki whenever I wear it and I'll wrangle with her by saying she's a racist.
*but she's not. bickering, that's what sisters do.* Seems that she has difficulties keeping the wrap secure without using additional aid e.g. pins and the works. Then there are the other ways: using brooches, pins, additional scarves, clips and a bunch of other stuff that I never really got to learning. I do try it once a while and the end results each time is a lopsided effect, minus the hair. That's when my sister comes in and mends my destructive works. :)

Point is, all this while, I had been deceitful when it comes to the headscarf. And yes, I am fully aware of it. *I am most certainly not proud of it.*

This is a start.

11.59am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

.: A year from now :.

My cousin is leaving.

To the University of Sheffield.

The only decent recent front profile photo of her in a scarf, taken together last Eid. *don't worry. I edited the photo and booted myself out. Smile! You're the highlight of the day! * :P

Got a text message from her. Due to work commitments and time restrictions, I am unable to send her off. It'd be odd not having her around for Eid especially when it comes to washing the dishes. *haha~* Insya'Allah, I'll personally go there and drag her back home for next year's Eid. :)

----- :: Personal shout out :: -----

Akak jaga diri tau! Toksah kesah sal orang-orang kat sini. Pandai-pandailah diorang jaga diri. Insya'Allah kalau takda aral melintang, sampailah kat sane. ^ Karang hantar gambar raya eh.
*I generally speak colloquial Malay.*

Rough translations :: Take care of yourself sister! Don't worry about the people here. They can take care of themselves. Insya'Allah if everything goes well, I'll come over. I'll send the Eid photos later.

The dishes are waiting.
4.39pm Malaysian Time

.: The distorted mirror :.

At least it's not broken.

I was packing my stuff when I found some of the things that I bought during Hajj. This eventually emancipated the experiences I had with my mum and sister.

When I was 12, the family went for Umrah. Prior to our departure, my mum told me never to leave her side as she was certain that the people there will abduct me. *coming from someone whose ancestors are Arabs* Being a child, I listened to her though deep down inside I thought that it's total gibberish.

Prior to Hajj, my mum said the same thing. Our conversation was::
Mum: "Don't stray away. You never know when you'll get kidnapped."
Me: "Mum, I doubt that'd happen."
Mum: "You never know."
Me: "What's the point of me learning self defense?"
Mum: "Mark my words. When that happens, no matter how much you scream, no one will hear you. You will be taken away to some unknown place, never to see your family ever again and you will truly then regret for not listening to your mother!"
Yes. The drama. The irony was that when we were there, I was place solely in charge of buying the groceries, household items and etc. Unescorted. My own mother, endangering her own daughter. Oh wow.

So my sister was telling me how easy it was for me to get around and get stuff done.
Sis: "You know what? Your face simply exudes damsel-ness in distress. People will help you. You don't even have to try!"
Me: "Mum did say I was a baby in distress. Go figure."
Sis: So now you know why mum said you might get kidnapped and stuff."
Me: "If I'm that much of a damsel, I'm pretty sure that someone will sweep me off my feet and save me from the wretched clutches of the captor."
Sis: "So what do you say? You can easily get the guys to help us to carry the baggage plus the amount of discounts and stuff we can get..."
Me: "You do not use you own little sister!"
Sis: "You have a gift! Use it! It's not like you've never done it!"
Me: "No! I did nothing! Mum!"
Up till now, she often teases me of several instances thereby I had used my 'gift'. *which I still think I have none* therefore deeming that it's alright for me to make use of it once a while. On a side note, my mum related this incident when I accompanied her to buy some scarves.
Retailer: "You're from Malaysia?"
Mum: "Yes."
Retailer: "I have lots of friends from Malaysia. Is that your daughter?"
Mum: "Yes."
Retailer: "I want to marry her."
Mum: "I don't want you as my son-in-law. Thank you."
Way to go mum!

9.25am Malaysian Time

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

.: Not so parsimonious :.

Oh my.

Less than 7 days till the end of Ramadhan and just about anyone that I know are looking forward to Eid. Somehow, it doesn't work with me. It had been years since I felt the anxiousness of observing Eid. In fact, I feel all the more remorseful and disgruntled. Perhaps it's because I think that I hardly do much during the month of Ramadhan. Plus the fact that the essence of Eid had been tarnished over the years. Being a frugal, I can never tolerate excessive preventable spending.

Like always, I'll be going home this Eid. There's the highly anticipated yearly ritual of spending countless hours beautifying the house, making festive goodies till the wee hours of the day and catching up with times with family and friends. I do take pleasure in doing all those things yet something is just not quite right.

Perhaps I should give this year a chance.
3.14pm Malaysian Time

Friday, September 19, 2008

.: 世界或許已是天堂 :.

Perhaps the world is paradise.


"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

Jawaharlal Nehru
The photos, along with the ones in the previous post were taken at Port Dickson overlooking the Straits of Malacca. I'm not much of a photographer. Proves to show that if you put your earnest heart in it together with the natural beauty of the surroundings, the exquisiteness shall emerge on its own thus producing stunning results. Pardon the Chinese writing. Wrote it as I remembered. Do correct me if I'm wrong. ^

In conjunction with "Zero Emissions Day
" Sept. 21st:
  • Don’t use or burn oil or gas or coal.
  • Minimize (or eliminate) your use of electricity generated by fossil fuels.
Coincidentally, it is also the "International Day of Peace" established by the U.N. resolution in 1982.

Spread the word. :)
9.37pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 18, 2008

.: Picturesque seascape :.

Every picture tells a story.

Yet not everyone can comprehend. Or come to a consensus. Seeing as individuals we each have a mind of our own, hence enabling us to create numerous assumptions. For that purpose, I shall allow your thoughts to go rampant by opting not to unravel anything. ^^

Let's be downright honest, it's just too taxing and I can only type so much. *haha~*

"Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream."
Kahlil Gibran
The Straits of Malacca.
10.16pm Malaysian Time

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

.: Food connoisseur :.

What's really good?

Yesterday was pasta night. As I'm not the kind to slog endless hours in the kitchen *it's not like I have a kitchen to begin with* pasta was the easiest and fastest thing I could come up with. That and because I didn't have anything else. I had oodles and oodles of it to the point that I made a personal note to myself never to have it for the next one month or so.

Somehow, this question randomly came up ...
"Is there a difference on how people cut their veggies?"

Few years ago, I helped my cousin cut some veggies for dinner. At that juncture, it never occurred to me that she'll be a talented culinary extraordinaire. Can't remember which vegetable it was but her comment stuck on to me.
Cousin: "You're cutting it like a Chinese."

Me: "I'm what?"

Cousin: "You're cutting it like a Chinese."

Thinking that I'll end up getting the exact response, I
didn't probe more into it and chose to shut my mouth. Now honestly, is there really a difference? I understand that there might be if you are referring to different styles of cooking. E.g. the way you cut veggies for stir frying varies from veggies for soups or stews.

There had been several occasions thereby I'll come up with something and unknowingly, it is something that people are quite familiar with or that I'll follow a recipe only to end up
with something else. My mum never really emphasize on the names of food or its origins therefore more than half of the stuff I conjure are nameless and I don't know whether it's Malay, Chinese, Indian, Western, Arab or Fusion fare unless I identify the ingredients. *my mum likes to quiz me on this ... trust me, it's stressful trying to guess what goes in, the amount and when."

For instance, my sister made 'Aglio Olio' and being gullible on food terminologies I didn't know what it was until I ate it. I was telling myself "Gosh, and I made this weeks ago and simply called it fried spaghetti!" Then there's the time when my friend made some sweet soup for me and I doubted knowing anything about it only to realize later that my mum makes it all the time. *I ought to be ashamed of myself* I suppose that will change in due time.

By far, I am no culinary expert. Cooking has never been my forte. *I have no kitchen!* Oddly enough, I always mess
things up when I cook in one. Perhaps I'm intimidated by the surroundings.Yet as a child, I have always believed Martin Yan when he said "If Yan can cook, so can you." Because of him, I am exceptionally good with the chopper. :)

How I recall back the times when I used to play house with my cousin and we'll pick leaves, berries, fruits and grubs from the garden, pound it and mix it with water into a paste like substance, straining the residue and try to feed it to my other cousins.

Those were the good times.

10.23pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

.: Cloudy skies :.

A storm is coming.

Quite unlikely.

I admit that my head is always up in the clouds, metaphorically. And clouds are one of the things that I photograph the most. There is just something about the cottony candyfloss-like stature that intrigues me.


"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."


Attempt to look within.
7.50pm Malaysian Time

Saturday, September 13, 2008

.: A love story :.

Still sick.

As I sat in the KTM on my way back home, I can't help but notice some random fondness gestures displayed by the commuters. Surely by now I would have gotten used to it. Yet somehow, my mind started to wander off. To a certain story that I heard not so long ago.

This is their story.

There was a girl. And a guy. They met and did not fall in love. *you didn't expect that did you? haha!* It was more of a one-sided love. Guy meets girl and falls head over heels. Meanwhile, girl meets guy and it literally stopped there. There were no fireworks. No sparks. No baby Cupid shooting any arrows. Guy decided that the way to capture her heart is by getting into her mom's good books. Which he did. Why, who could ever resist such fine and well-brought up demeanor? To sum things up, like any fairytale, the prince charming won over his princess.

Prior to the marriage, the girl posed a condition to the guy . "No matter what, my family comes first. You will always be second. If you agree to that, we shall get married." The guy agreed and they got married.

Keeping to his promise, the guy allowed the girl to devote her time to her family. However, they are staying in another country and the girl voiced her concern whether they could move closer to her family. He agreed. He may be the eldest in his family yet he chose to leave them, his friends and all that he has ever had only to return and rekindle the relationship during the festive days.

When her mother passed away, her mother said "You have married a good man.". When her father passed away, he said "He is a good man.".

You can never hear them saying "I love you." to one another. They don't hold hands. They don't hug. They don't kiss. They never celebrate their birthdays or wedding anniversary. In fact, you can never see them displaying any acts of affection like buying flowers or gifts. Needless to say, they do not need a day or an item to celebrate the happiness and love that they have nurtured and achieved.

It doesn't matter whether the world knows how you feel about one another but what matters most is that the ones that really need to know, deep down, the girl and the guy knows it. Words are mere words. Things are well ... things. And there is only much you can express through it. Sometimes, you don't need to utter or do anything to express how you feel simply because it is best to leave it as it is. I suppose, in the end you just know.

The girl in this story is my mum. And the guy is my dad. :) I have omitted most of the things and made it clearcut because certain things are best left unsaid. Also I do not wish to reveal everything. For now, their story revolves around my dad randomly singing and cracking jokes while my mum laughes it off and relentlessly reminding him to eat his medicine.

What is your love story?
9.28pm Malaysian Time

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

.: Tenth day :.

Of fasting.

Not feeling too good. Starting to feel a little feverish and delirious. It's a portent. *get more sleep!* I suppose it'll be an early night for me. :(

Here are a few photos of the gastronomic creations I had for iftar back home. Prepared by the culinary connoisseurs of the house; my mum and my aunt. As you might have expected, I'm merely the kitchen assistant.

Photo Number 1:

Yong Tau Foo. [釀豆腐] ~ Soupy dish with Ha
kka origins.

Photo Number 2: Clockwise;

Tamar [تمر ] "Kurma" ~ Dates. *the fruit.* .|. "Roti Jala" or "Roti Kirai" or "Roti Renjis" ~ Malaysian pancake. *I fabricated that.* When spread out, it looks like a net *or spider web* with lacy-like consistency .|. "Kari Daging" ~ Plain old Beef Curry

Photo Number 3: Clockwise;

Assorted "Kuih" [cakes] .|. "Sayur Campur" ~ A variation of mix veggie .|. "Ayam Kicap" ~ Chicken cooked in soy sauce .|. "Ayam Goreng" ~ Fried chicken .|. "Nasi Goreng" ~ A variation of fried rice .|. "Bubur Terigu" ~ Wheat porridge with a viscous consistency.

It'll be another 2 weeks till I get to devour their yummy cooking. Until then, I'll have to be contented with my own.

PS: Photo Number 1 and Photo Number 2 were taken during 1st Ramadhan. while Photo Number 3 was taken during the 7th day of Ramadhan. *awfully sorry for the bad quality pixs ... didn't have my photoshop gear with me. :P*

The greenhorn.
10.06pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

.: Manifestation :.

A case of mistaken identity.

Has there ever been a time when someone insinuates your race, religion or creed base on your appearances? Over the years, I encountered several comical instances. *still ongoing* Chronologically, the question marks were:
  • .. "Are you a Muslim? And are you Malay?" ..
  • Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. To think that someone asked me that when I was in primary school. *perhaps it's because I failed terribly in those papers.*

  • .. "Are you Bosnian?" ..
  • I doubt I look Bosnian at all.

  • .. "Are you a Malay?" ..
  • Got this twice in college. *don't I look Malay?*

  • .. "Are you a student?" ..
  • Countless times. I even got ticked off by a cab driver because he thought I was playing truant.

  • .. "Are you twins?" ..
  • This happens whenever I go out with my sister. She's 6 years my senior and whenever we get this remark, she'll strike a chord at me on how young she looks and how old I appear. On the contrary, I'll constantly remind her that I look mature, we are after all sisters and surely it is normal for us to look alike.

  • .. "Are you Indian?" ..
  • Happened when my sister and I were buying dates and nougats from an Indian shop in Mecca. The shopkeeper was awfully generous with our purchase though.

  • .. "Are you Chinese?" ..
  • Indeed there is a touch of Chinese blood in me however I always thought that at most, I only have a droplet of Chinese blood and that is mirrored purely on my ability to grasp the language.
People generally deduce you are so and so base on what you're wearing or how you look. Bluntly put, purely on your facade. It's not that bad. Until they start speaking in a language that is totally alien to you and expects an answer from it. Should there be a change in the mindset or is it because of the multi-racial community?

In a nutshell, I had been identified as the 3 main races in Malaysia; Malay, Chinese and Indian which plainly makes me a bona fide Malaysian then. ^^

What's next?

10.40am Malaysian Time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

.: Out for a drive :.

Certainly not for me.

Last weekend, I went back to KL. My journey started with my friends dropping me off at the KTM station, boarded the commuter to KL Sentral and pondered whether to take the cab straight home. Like always, I enjoyed the ride. Occasionally dozing off every minute or two and scrutinizing the antics of the commuters.

Everything seemed fine till I arrived at KL Sentral. Initially, I wanted to take the LRT *to observe more human drama* yet to my dismay the ticket queue was endless. It wouldn't have been that horrendous if I had my stored value card alas I lost it a few weeks back and had procrastinated in buying a new one. *serves me right for being such a slacker*

Off I went to the cab counter. Felt disgusted when the attendant informed me that I need to wait at least 1 to 2 hours for my turn. Considering that I didn't have much of a choice, I bought the ticket. Managed to get a cab in the next hour and reached home just after the Isya' call of prayers.

The situation is to be expected since it is the fasting month and most of the drivers are away breaking their fast and performing the Maghrib prayers before resuming their respective tasks. Therefore, I am not complaining at all. But during times like that, it made me think that it might be good to have my own car.

So why don't I? I have a driver's license. I can drive. In fact, I have driven before. *please equip yourself with a personal insurance plan before getting into the same vehicle driven by yours truly...*

Needless to say, I have my reasons ... to be precise:
  1. My mum thinks that girls shouldn't drive. *my dad is fine with it.*
  2. Presently, I don't see having a car as a necessity. *besides during times when the public transportation fails on me*
  3. Much prefer to take the public transportation. *there are lots to see... more life stories... then there's the part where I don't fancy driving at all...*
Public transportation has its pros and cons. The cons would be that it's hardly on time, stuffy, at times there'll be this odious odor emitted from somewhere *or someone*, you get stuck with crazy people and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, I still prefer it and till my reasons choose to backfire me , I doubt I will actually purchase my own car anytime sooner. ^^

Quite a long post and where is this leading to?
10.41am Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 4, 2008

.: رمضان مبارك :.

Happy Ramadhan.

Today marks the 4th day of fasting. A bit late for Ramadhan greetings but better late than never. :)


:: To Muslims and non-Muslims alike ::

  • ---| Wishing everyone a blessed Ramadhan! May we spend the time well on self purification to achieve blessings from Allah SWT.

  • ---| Selamat menyambut Ramadhan, semoga diperbanyakkan amal ibadah dan memperolehi keberkatan sempena bulan yang mulia ini.

Thought of writing greetings in Chinese and Arabic, however I shall pass seeing that I am tremendously out of form in both.

Maybe next year. :)

6.17am Malaysian Time