Thursday, December 17, 2009

.: Awal Muharram :.


Zulhijjah 30 1430.


Personal Image - Hajj 2007/2008

Water that's poured inside will sink the boat
While water underneath keeps it afloat.
Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure
King Solomon prefered the title 'Poor':
That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there
Floats on the waves because it's full of air,
When you've the air of dervishood inside
You'll float above the world and there abide.

Rumi, Book 1 Masnavi

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

On this day, I wish everyone a blessed Muharram. Let us begin the year with a resolution to deepen our faith and increase our commitments towards Him in hope of becoming a better person. May Allah S.W.T bless you and your loved ones.

Sempena awal Muharram, sama-samalah kita tingkatkan lagi usaha kita untuk menjadi muslimin dan muslimah yang beriman, bertaqwa dan berakhlak mulia. Semoga usaha kita diberkati olehnya.

إن شاء الله
Insha'Allah. :)

8.56am Malaysian Time

.: Bygone lane :.


Photobook.




Every year my youngest uncle will prepare a family Eid photobook. Carefully selected photographs i.e. singular or family portraits, family gatherings, family houses, candid shots etc. adorn the pages. He started this tradition along with his personalized family Eid DVDs about 3 years ago in his attempt to create a keepsake for the family, and passing it on to future generations. 

On Eid Adha, he brought the photobook. My uncle is known to have a flair in capturing embarrassing images. Gritting my teeth, I flipped through the pages and squirmed at the photos. *it wasn't as bad as last years' ~pheww* 

The final leafs had old photos of unfamiliar faces. 

Mum :: As a city child, you are not exposed to the life of a kampung community. In those days, we regard our neighbors as our extended family. The concern then was sharing our happiness and sadness with each other, regardless whether you're a Malay, Chinese or Indian.
*Kampung = village

Mum is quite right. Life in the city, with its endless hustle and bustle leaves little importance in instilling neighborliness. 

Ask yourself ...
  • How many of us know the difficulties our neighbors go through?
  • How many of us know the names of every single member in our neighbors' family?
  • How many of us speak to our neighbors on a daily basis?

When I talk to my neighbors in KL, they will say; "I knew your grandparents / know your parents."

I hope there will come a day when their kids  will say the exact thing to me too.

Thursday morning.

8.18am Malaysian Time

Sunday, December 13, 2009

.: Wanton story :.


A post dedicated to my dad.

Mum made me help her in the kitchen. I guess I was about 7. At that age I was too young to know how deadly a chopper can be. I practically sliced off my nail and made a run to sis asking for some tissue papers to wrap my injured finger. Sis suffered a panic attack when she saw the nail dangling with bits of skin attached to it. Mum, upon hearing the commotion developed her own rendition. Needless to say, the neighbors must had thought someone just died.

Apparently the experience wasn't traumatizing enough as I still hung around the kitchen. Mum  vigilantly kept the chopper and knives away from me, therefore my chances of ever becoming a chopper wielding samurai eventually went down the garbage chute. She did recruit me in other areas like peeling the skin off the prawns. It was certainly a task I despised the most.

Anyway, many years down the road aunt brought me to her kitchen. I actually set the pot on fire. It wasn't intentional, nor was I mimicking a demented, retarded profile. It just happened. The blazing fire almost reached the ceilings. Thankfully I had some logical sense to put out the fire using kitchen towels. Everyone was just glad a) I was safe and b) I didn't burn down the house.

Then there were the countless times when I tried my hand in cooking. No doubt I scored 80% and above in presentation, but when it came to the taste test some of the things weren't even fit to be dog food. Yet, dad never complain. Not even once. What dad did was, he bravely scooped up the garbage, flung it into his mouth, and chewed every single morsel. I knew some of the things tasted horrible, rancid, and totally out of this world in a negative sense, but dad always ended things with;

"It's good because you have tried your best at making it. However, I know you can become better, and this is truly not your best yet."

For many years have I cursed myself for making my dad eat my garbage. Each time I cursed myself, dad repeated his encouraging words. It just made me all the more adamant to determine I do not feed my dad any more garbage.


Subsequently things began to change. The food became edible. The most incredible part was mum and aunts began to request recipes and food from me. For this to happen, I owe the ladies in my family for teaching me the cooking sense.

And dad, I owe you for never giving up on me.
Dad :: My mum used to make this. How did you manage?
Me :: I got the recipe from someone, but I did some adjustments. I didn't know grandma used to make it.
Dad :: But it tastes exactly the same. :)
Me :: Years of making you eat garbage, I should have developed a sense of knowing a thing or two on what suits your tastebuds along with knowing what you really have a penchant for. I am your daughter. :)

Thanks dad. ^^
12.45am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

.: Imminent periphery :.


A struggle. 

There had been times when I debated with myself on the subject of adoption.
  • What goes on a child's mind when he was given away at such a young age?
  • What goes on a child's mind when his biological parents reappear and try to claim their rights over him? 
  • What goes on a child's mind when he has to make the choice between his adoptive parents or his biological parents? 
Meanwhile, the subject of inter-racial, inter-religion, inter-country adoption raises another subject, and by knowing a handful of people who are either adopted or adoptive parents, made me mull over this time and time again. 

When one is engaged in a court battle against the biological parent, wherein both sides are placing their foot firmly on the ground, what are the concealed turmoils felt by both parents? 

"He wants to be with us."

May God be with you. 
9.56pm Malaysian Time

.: Bear hug :.


Awarded by ...


Dearest Mina gave me this award. 


Thank you so much sweetheart! 


I pass this on to everyone else. ^^




Thanks again sis! ^^
9.37pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

.: Reappearance :.


Hi everyone.

Nearly 2 months since I posted anything here. I can't say the itch to blog has died down as I'm still blogging rapidly in my private space, and on regular intervals I will try to make it a point to post painstaking entries in my Chinese blog. Call it a quirk of fate if you must, but I just didn't have the impulse to write anything here.

To rub salt into the wound, I haven't been reading and commenting on blogs either! I shudder the thought of opening my RSS Reader and seeing thousands of unread posts beckoning me to read every single piece! 

Cutting a long story short, in the end, one needs to face this sooner or later. Alhamdulillah, the jive have sort of returned, and Insha'Allah I'll start picking up where I left off. 

A standing ovation to the readers.
9.45pm Malaysian Time

Monday, October 26, 2009

.: Trailing behind :.


Reminiscing.

Brother:: Aren’t you afraid to go out on your own?
Me:: Who’s in charge? *index finger pointing to the sky* :P
Brother:: Haha~ Back at me, eh? Fine fine, be careful. 

This brother self-adopted himself as my mum’s son and as my older brother. Don’t ask me why. Anyway, the “who’s in charge?” line is distinctively his, and was used on several occasions. One of it was when I was taken ill. In an attempt to lighten things, he uttered these sentences:

“Remember who’s in charge. He is the one that tests you and he will be the one to take it away. Be strong and patient little sister. You have my du’a.”

Sometimes, I find myself reiterating those very words.

“Who’s in charge?”

And a feeling of assurance will sweep pass me.
4.15pm Malaysian Time

Friday, October 23, 2009

.: Tumbled view :.


Clearing up.

While leveraging; should or should I not attend another conference, I ditched the thought for a post.

Throughout the course of 2 weeks, the mind was cluttered over a series of things. Some are thought to be exceedingly mind-boggling to comprehend. Alhamdulillah, the solutions came soon enough. Periodical execution lies ahead. Moreover, the timing now is seemingly apt to produce a 360 turnaround effect.

Meanwhile, I haven't acquire the knack to immerse myself completely in the Mandarin language. In accordance to that, there are numerous humongous hiccups encountered in each passing day, although friends are making it worth the while. Without a doubt, my Mandarin today is several notches higher than how it was a month ago. I do not expect a miracle to happen, therefore realistically, I hope to make some major leaps and bounds progress in the next couple of months if only I can allocate more time, effort and focus into it. 

:: 谢谢你们的鼓励和打气,我慢慢读书哦~! 

Yet again, the blogging passion has dwindled further. I haven't been able to churn out any good posts, or any hogwash posts in particular. Excuses are kept aside. A friend predicted the demise of the blogging culture. Perhaps, that is the phase I am going through. Does anyone else feel this way? Having the urge to blog, yet unable to salvage the contents? Or do you concur this entirely?

Have a nice weekend everyone!
3.58pm Malaysian Time

Saturday, October 17, 2009

.: Deepavali :.


Or Diwali.





Wishing everyone a blessed Festival of Lights!

Photos of chicken tikka and chicken something tikka courtesy of Al-Karim restaurant, New Delhi, India.

They and another Pakistani guy were kind enough to allow me to snap some quick shots of these delightful skewered chicken pieces. Malaysians may have to wait another year before they make their 2nd visit. At least, that was what I was told. Or that was what I understood. *haha~* There's no point in cross-checking with my sister since she couldn't make any heads or tails of what they had said. I extend my gracious thanks to my former colleagues from India. Because of you guys, I can actually understand their thick Indian accent.  

Note :: Don't ask me which is which. I have clearly forgotten as I was too focused in trying to snag the recipe from the Pakistani guy. haha~ Anyone care to shed some light?

Another holiday. :)
8.08am Malaysian Time

Sunday, October 11, 2009

.: Bahasa Melayu :.


Posting in my mother tongue.

Considering I hardly write in Malay, and even though I speak the language everyday, the conversations are mostly conducted colloquially. Didn't take long for me to notice that I am actually losing my grasp in the language, therefore this is quite a brave attempt on my part to sort of get in touch with it again. Having gone down the path thereby I had been dubbed a non-Malay due to my incompetence in the language many years ago, I prefer not to endure it again.

. ~ .

Standard Malay *as far as I can remember ... to my Malay language teachers, please send me a detention slip if you notice more than 10 errors.*

"Terus-terang, Aja tidak boleh ingat kali terakhir Aja menulis di dalam Bahasa Melayu. Terasa kekok dan payah sangat. Kalau diikutkan, Bahasa Melayu sering digunakan sebagai bahasa perantaraan baik ketika bersama-sama ahli keluarga mahupun sesama sahabat-handai. Namun, bahasa tersebut telah dicampur-adukkan dengan bahasa asing. Tambahan pula, tidak dinafikan wujudnya penggunaan bahasa pasar dikalangan generasi muda. Sesungguhnya, keadaan ini amat membimbangkan lebih-lebih lagi apabila segelintir daripada kita tidak mampu untuk menilai keindahan menulis di dalam bahasa ibunda."

Written in slangs and abbreviated forms as how I would speak with my peers.

"Terus-terang, Aja tak bleh igt bile Aja last tulis dlm BM. Rase pelik; susah sgt. Ikutkanlahkan, BM ni kite slalu gak pakai bile sembang dgn famili & kawan. Mungkin sal dah campur dgn base laen kut. Pun sal, kitorang slalu gune base pasar. Tp, mmg sedeylah bile kite dh taktau nilai laie."

English translation.

"In actual truth, I can’t remember the last time I wrote in Malay. It feels exceedingly peculiar and strenuous. If I were to contemplate on it, the Malay language is regularly used as the communication language with family and friends. However, its' usage has been influenced by foreign languages. I do not deny, there is also the usage of slangs amongst the younger generations. Hence, the situation becomes tremendously worrisome particularly when some of us aren’t able to value the beauty of writing in our mother tongue."

Losing the proficiency.
8.20pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

.: Vanished leaves :.


Shifting sands.



It is said that the reason leaves fall off the branch is to allow new leaves to grow ...

No matter how sad the fallen leaves look ...

There will always be new sprouts to take their places ...

Perhaps the emptiness in the heart is something similar to that ...

Crosses space and time.
8.15pm Malaysian Time

Sunday, October 4, 2009

.: Our lingo :.


Breaking the code.

I came across this article several days ago. The context addresses some of the most common 'expressions' used in Manglish; Malaysian English; which is basically a bastardization of the English language. Using it, is like a secret code that is generally understood amongst Malaysians and Singaporeans. Foreign friends, find it perplexing, yet at the same time utterly fascinating. 

Hence, I present to you ...

The Adorable Lah - Authentically Malaysian

By Lee Su Kim

If you are walking the streets of London or sipping coffee at a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Paris, and you hear in plain English, "So expensive-lah" or "So hot-lah", just turn around in the direction of the voice and I guarantee you that ten out of ten, the person who just dotted his or her sentence with a lah is Malaysian.

If you are feeling homesick in a foreign land and suddenly you overhear a conversation full of Yes-lahs and No-lahs, your homesickness can be assuaged for it sounds just like home and the speakers can only be Malaysians (or Singaporians, which is close enough when you're homesick!).

Just where did this lah come from and how did it creep into the English spoken by Malaysians? It is inevitable that Malaysians, living in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural setting will inter-borrow phrases and expressions from one language to another. Thus the very unique lah, used only in this part of the world (Malaysia and Singapore), could have originated from Malay, or any of the local dialects or languages.

Only a Malaysian born and bred in this country will know how to use the lah. A Malaysian who has been away for a while can slip back into using it quite comfortably but a Malaysian who has been away for a long time, say, seven to ten years, with little contact with fellow Malaysians, may find great difficulty as to exactly when to pepper his speech with lah. Just going lah, lah, lah every first or third word doesn't quite qualify. Malaysians will be able to sniff you out in a second and tell that somehow, sorry-lah, you just don't make the grade. For example, try saying the following sentence aloud:

"I-lah tell you-lah how-lah many times-lah but-lah you never-lah listen."

Any true blue-blooded Malaysian would cringe and tell straight-away that any person who speaks like that is an impostor.

Foreigners newly arrived in this country will find it quite baffling at first. Sure, these Malaysians are speaking English but what on earth is that strange musical note that they place at the end of their sentences every so often?? It does take some getting used to. An article in the Malaysian Trade Quarterly (Jan-March 1995) states that many foreigners have the mistaken notion that adding a lah to the end of every sentence lets them get away with a fairly good impression of a Malaysian accent.

This is hardly the case. The use of lah is, in fact, quite an art for those who were not born into the language. Here are a few sophisticated variations of its use:

"No fun-lah, you!" (You're really no fun at all!)

"You see-lah, like that also you cannot do!" (Can't you even do such a simple thing?)

What are the functions of the lah? What are the rules regarding its usage? How would you teach your orang puteh friend or spouse how to use the lah if he demands desperately for some help along the way ? Well, I'm afraid one can't learn it formally. Like sambal belacan or cincalok, it's an acquired taste. You've got to be around for sometime, and gradually you'll acquire a taste for it.

If you think the lah is baffling enough as it is, Malaysians have more tail words up their sleeves or in this case, off their tongues. A great favorite is the 'aaa', which has an entire repertoire of meanings, depending on how it is used. A simple 'thank you' to a Malaysian may sound too curt and most Malaysians, in informal settings, would prefer to say 'thank you-aaa' as it sounds softer and friendlier. A 'Yes lah' and a 'Yes-aaa' response are also subtly different in meanings.

If someone were to ask you a question such as, "Are you coming along?", a 'Yes-aaa' response would be inappropriate whereas a 'Yes-lah' response would be acceptable.

If your friend informed you that he's bought a brand new car, then a "Yes-aaa" response would be fine, meaning "Oh really?" The "yes-aaa" could cover a whole gamut of responses ranging from being a question to a reply dripping in sarcasm depending on the intonation.

Another popular tail word is one, as in,

"I don't know what to say-lah. This kind of things very hard to say one." or

"I'm so fed-up one, you know. I explain how many times in simple English, still cannot get through one."

Sometimes if you use one once too often, it can backfire. Your listener may find it hard to resist and may pun on your one. For example:

Lady: "I don't want one, but he wants so what can I do?"

Friend: "You don't want one aaa, but you want two, yes or not?"

Yet another tail word is man, as in "I say, man. Long time no see" or "I donno, man." This is an interesting adaptation from American culture rather than an influence of the mother tongues. Malaysians can add man to any sentence arbitrarily and even to exclamations such as "Wah man! Solid!"

To confuse things further, sometimes, Malaysians don't use single but double tail words at the end of a sentence, for example, "He's so bodoh (stupid) one lah!" or "Why your dressing so Ah Beng one-aaa?"

And sometimes tail words do not appear at the end of sentences but somewhere in the middle, such as in sentences where the subject is delayed, for example: "So action one man he!" or "Terror one lah she!"

Malaysians generally speak two types of English -- proper English particularly in business and professional settings, and Malaysian English with its charming and unique expressions. Just as the French have their oo-la-la, the Italians their Mama-mia, and the English, endearing expressions like "By Jove" or "Well, jolly good", may our Malaysian lah live a long and healthy life! Say yes-lah to that!

Glossary :: Orang Puteh [White man], Sambal Belacan [A Malay style sambal made of chilli, shrimp paste, lime juice etc.] and Cincalok @ Cencaluk [A traditional sauce famous in Malacca; baby shrimps preserved in brine].

What lah ...
9.25am Malaysian Time

Saturday, October 3, 2009

.: 中秋節 :.


Mid-autumn festival.




Wishing family and friends a wonderful Mid-autumn @ Lantern @ Mooncake festival!

__________________________________________

I just returned from attending an open house. On my way back, neighbors were lighting lanterns and having idle chit-chat with family and friends. However, the atmosphere here in Kuala Lumpur differs vastly as compared to my Southern home. Back there, I can see tens to hundreds of red lanterns floating up to the sky. As of now, I have only seen one. And there aren't as many people playing with lanterns. Perhaps I will see more later. 
__________________________________________



PS :: In case people may want to know how the packages look like and what are the flavors available here, here's a brochure. *I'm not promoting the brand* Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Alhamdulillah, these days, it's really easy to get Halal mooncakes.

Off to eat more mooncakes. ^^
9.03pm Malaysian Time

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

.: Tales of innocence :.


Lesson 2.

It was drizzling. I turned to one of the corner shops, hoping to buy an umbrella. There were 2 little girls, aged about 6 and 9 manning the counter.

I scrutinized the shop, found the umbrella and went to pay. The 9-year old called for her grandmother, whilst the 6-year old played with the rainwater that was dripping down the gutters.

I smiled at her and said, “Xiao meimei, bu yao wanr.” [Little sister, don’t play.]. She just smiled at me, laughed and continued playing.

Few moments later, the grandmother came, smiled and gave my change. Her expression changed instantly when she saw the 6-year old. The little girl was already skipping from puddle to puddle, twirling around in the rain.

Grandmother :: “Xiayu le! Bu yao wanr!” [It’s raining. Don’t play with the rain!]

The 9-year old appeared from the back with a towel, and gently dried her little sister’s hair and partially drenched dress. She had an anxious look on her face. On the other hand, her little sister continued giggling and tried dragging her older sister to the rain.

... ~ ...

Over here, I recall seeing parents losing their patience over their kids by scolding, screaming even spanking them, or they will just allow their kids to do whatever. Those incidents happened there too.

In spite of this, at this little shop, I saw a 9-year old and a 60+ year old, both sharing the equal amount of patience, calmly advising the little one again and again; not even once raising their voice or lifting a single finger.

It is another rainy day.
9.45am Malaysian Time

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

.: Other side :.


Of Malaysia.

The bulk load of my Life postings center on the uniqueness of Malaysia. Considering I’ve called Malaysia home for the last 20 years or so I am still very much intrigued with the diversity, a rich melting pot of cultures lumped into one. I have had several bad experiences, when after coming into terms with it, I figured that it is an essential part of life. In short, I deem that my life with the occasional hiccups has been good alright.

Albeit, there are certain things that I still can’t stomach. By all means, the following points are practiced only by a selective few. Base on my travels, these things do happen in other places.
  • Spitting :: I detest spitters. Every time I see spit, or someone spitting, I feel like pushing the person, face-down to their spit.
  • Littering :: I despise litterbugs too. I feel like hurling them into the dumpsters.
  • Unleashed or stray dogs :: I’ve been chased by one too many. Even though I manage to outrun them, it irritates me having to make the run of my life. My youth is losing its hold, and the stamina is nearly at its brink of extinction. Also I was never a sportsperson to begin with.
Just a handful of the things I’m unable to tolerate. I have read that spitting is in fact a culture to some people. Therefore, in my pursuit to gain further understanding of other people’s cultures, I suppose it’d take me years before I can accept this unique trait.

What are your pet peeves?
2.45pm Malaysian Time

Friday, September 25, 2009

.: Lifting spirits :.


Switching to Eid mode.




At the start of Ramadhan, mum decided to make cookies using some new recipes she learnt in a cooking class. Only one type made it into our cookie jars, the chocolate chip cookies; which is her original recipe *2nd row, 1st picture*. The others, received a thumbs-down from the rest of us. As a result, we made the usual selection of cookies. And like the previous Eids, I didn't get to snap any photos. *we're a bunch of cookie monsters*


Traditionally, kids will get Duit Raya. *money packets, sometimes referred to as green money packets* I suppose, each family will have their own cut-off age. On my mum's side, as long as you don't have a job, you are entitled to receive money packets; irregardless of how old you are. The instant you start earning your own cold hard cash, you are expected to pinch in if you are able to do so. Over at dad's side of the family,  although I have a job, I am still entitled to receive. Well, sometimes. :)

Besides kids, adults may also receive money packets from their children. The first time I gave it to my parents, it felt really awkward. I was so used to getting it from them! As for cousins, nephews and nieces ...

Cousin :: OMG~! You're giving us money packets! OMG~!!!
Me :: One more word, just one wrong word and you can kiss your money packets goodbye.
Cousin :: You are so nice~!!!
Me :: I sense insincerity there ... *muahahaha! I love to torment them this way!*
Cousin :: No~!
How's your holiday?
5.54pm Malaysian Time

Saturday, September 19, 2009

.: Eid greetings :.


It's tomorrow.



Wishing family and friends an early Happy Eid @ Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Batin @ Eid Saeed @ Happy Holidays! 

Have a safe and pleasant trip everyone.
11.03am Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 17, 2009

.: Notable mentions :.


Websites.

I haven't been featuring blogs @ websites for quite a long time, hence here are a few noteworthy ones, which we may be able to contribute to throughout the year. Some of you may be familiar with them already. The excerpts are taken directly from the website.



First of all, date is the yummy fruit, okay?

HalfDate is not about monetary donation drives, because in Islam, the concept of Sadaqa [charity] is much broader than that.

Narrated by Abu Huraira; Allah's Apostle said, "To judge justly between two persons is regarded as Sadaqa, and to help a man concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage on to it, it is also regarded as Sadaqa, and [saying] a good word is also Sadaqa, and every step taken on one's way to offer the compulsory prayer [in the mosque] is also Sadaqa and to remove a harmful thing from the way is also Sadaqa."

Collected by Al-Bukhari.
~ :: ~

The next 2 websites were referred to me by Jeanne-Ming. Thanks for the brilliant surprise in my inbox. In accordance to the e-mail contents, no photos are published. May God continue to bless you and the entire Bunnies By The Bay staff. ^^



"Changing children’s lives does not require new facilities or expensive playthings or complicated new procedures. Human contact is the most important ingredient, and caretakers can make a huge difference—just by taking an extra moment whenever possible to hold the babies, talk to the children, hug them all, and assure them that someone cares."

For the Children, Half the Sky’s training manual

All the children who are held and loved will know how to love others ... Spread these virtues in the world. Nothing more need to be done.

Meng Zi @ Mencius c.300 a.d

~ :: ~
I just had to feature them.


They have the most adorable baby items!

Which reminds me ...

WELCOME TO THE WORLD BABY NATHANIEL!

Smiles, are able to warm hearts.
9.56pm Malaysian Time

.: The gift :.


Of memories.

انّا للہ و انّا الیہ راجعون 
Verily we belong to God, and to God we return. 
Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 156.

May Allah S.W.T bestow His mercy upon the deceased, and provide strength to the families during this difficult period. Heartfelt condolences to everyone affected.

 A life is never ended until all the lives it has touched have ended.  Chinese Proverb

With regards to my absence, lately, there have been quite a number of deaths. The most recent, was my late grandfather's little brother. 

On another note, a great big THANK YOU to everyone that emailed their address, and putting your trust in this total stranger. It didn't occur to me that the response will be overwhelming! The Eid cards were posted last Saturday, and Insha'Allah [God Willing] it will reach you in 2 weeks time. 

PS :: Dearest Mina, I'm posting yours tomorrow. ^^

I'm also taking some space to mention one of my youngest friends; 1 year-old Jeat. Please vote for him here

He's no. 12, with the caption "我的手被绑架了" roughly translated as, "My hands were kidnapped!" 

Although I've wished him beforehand, I'll just wish him ...

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY BABY JEAT! 

again. :) 

Ramadhan is ending.
10.56am Malaysian Time

Sunday, September 6, 2009

.: Season's greeting :.


A dying art?

I'm curious as to how many of us still send out season's greeting cards; as in the physical ones. None of the electronic over the information superhighway e-greetings stuff.

As for me, my passion to do so has deteriorated. Family and friends make do with text, phone calls and the ever-so-popular e-greetings. *+ FB wall posts, twitter ...* Extremely discouraging when all of the above has become the practice for the past 10 or so years. Gone were the days where we will wait in anticipation for the next possible greeting card to land in the mailbox.

Reminiscing that feeling, I got myself stack loads of cards. Problem is, I don't know the addresses of my family and friends! Pathetic? YES! Thus, I'm trying to retrieve as much as I can. It is rather sad to call your relatives and ask for their address.

Me :: Hi Aunt. Can you give me your address? I wanna post you a card.
Aunt :: All these years, coming to my house and you don't know my address?
Me :: Uhh ... yeah ... sorry ... so uhh ... can I have it?

While I'm still in the spirit, I would like to share this newfound passion with my readers. If you would like me to send you an Eid card, kindly email your (a) name and (b) address to hajar.alwi@gmail.com by Sept. 11th. No matter where you are, whether you celebrate Eid or not, I will post it. :)

Note :: Any information that you provide will be kept confidential and I will be scrupulously discreet about it.

Let's just hope it doesn't get lost in the mail.

7.28am Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 3, 2009

.: Family bonds :.



Lesson 1.

After having dinner, I didn't have the nerve to stay in my room all night long and spend it by watching the telly. I wanted to go out, to observe the people and their lifestyle. Dreadfully wanted to know, what are the things that make them tick. Alas, I had promised my friend that I will not go out at night.

Then I started walking around my floor. I ended up at the exit door, leading to the staircase.

And I heard the once familiar voices coming from the opposite building. I gingerly pushed the door, sights aside, I had a full view of families having dinner together. In their living room, at their balcony, on the rooftop. The chatters, the laughters, the screaming, the fighting ... it was a spectacular view.

The scene, reminded me of how things were.


A family that eats together, stays together.

Being away from family, made me realize that. Even after I came back, we seldom have meals together. Someone is always out, occupied with something supposedly more significant.


Mum :: When we are here, please make a point to eat with your dad. You know how much he values these little things.

Little things, do make a difference.

10.14pm Malaysian Time

Sunday, August 30, 2009

.: Far-off day :.


Quick update.

Of just about everything. Tomorrow; 31st August shall be ...


Malaysia's National Day!

So it's a holiday here. :)

Arabic Class :: Has taken a standstill. I am considering of taking level 2 allover again since I missed several classes. However, the teacher believes I can proceed to level 3. I haven't taken the level 2 test yet. Will most probably do so and continue with the lessons after Eid.

Mandarin Class :: Yesterday was my 2nd class of level 3. Things went really well, Alhamdulillah. The teacher is really good, and I actually enjoyed being in the class. Next week, the teacher will be teaching us Chinese songs, and I am supposed to sing a duet with him. It is the late Teresa Teng's song, 月亮代表我的心 [yue2liang dai2biao3 wo3de xin1; The moon represents my heart]. Coincidentally, that was the first Chinese song I learnt years ago, and I practically know the lyrics by heart. Hence, that was why I was 'selected' to sing. Hopefully, I can avoid damaging my classmate's hearing with my singing.

Book Fair :: Popular Bookstore organized a bookfair at the KLCC Con
vention Centre. As a result, I blew my monthly budget there. Managed to purchase 3 comics, 2 books and boxes of scrumptious snack food. One of the books is about writing Chinese characters, 800 of the most common ones. A great deal of thanks goes to my colleague for informing me about the fair.

Family and friends :: Taking the time and space just to say, I'm thankful to be surrounded by family and friends.
^^

A long weekend.

7.15am Malaysian Time

Friday, August 28, 2009

.: Meme away :.


My Islamic way of dressing.

Tagged by Hajar Zamzam Ismail. Thanks sis. Sorry it took me so long.

Reason is, I'm uncertain on how I should go with this post. My conclusion is, probably, I am supposed to indicate my way of dressing according to the principles of Islam. As a starter, I am extremely old-fashioned with zero fashion sense, so you are bound to read some super simple get-ups. Please skip this post if you do not want me to bore you. Sister Zamzam, I just had to pinch your format. :)


If I were to choose which one is me ...

Presently, I am mostly mini-qubeisya.
... ~ ...

At home :: 90% of the time, I'll be in "Kaftans". Sometimes, due to its length, it can double up as a broom and sweep-away the mess you leave behind during snack-time. :)

Prayers :: Always, in a white "Telekung" with some embroidery. Yes, I bring it with me even when I'm out. That should explain why I lug a bagpack. :)

Make-up :: None. I'm contented with the natural look. If I have a greasy face, I have a greasy face. If I have a zit, I have a zit. And if I have chapped lips, I have chapped lips. :)

Outside :: "Baju Kurung"

When I'm too lazy to iron it or want to save time, I will wear pants or long skirts matched with a / multiple layered long-sleeved top. :)

Hijabs :: To be brutally honest, I'm not a 100% hijabi. More of a 95%. I'm working towards it. Insha'Allah. My hijabs are normally the square scarves [regardless of the size], and rectangular shawls; with or without the pins, and brooches. I don't use any of those hijabs that you can slip on in less than 5 seconds and look wickedly smashing in it. I actually look frumpy in those.

Shoes :: Strapped-on sandals! And slip-ons! No heels! NO HEELS! And I put on socks.

Nails :: Years ago, I managed to obtain some henna, and slabbed it on my nails. Nowadays, keeping it short and clean is more than enough. :)

Perfume :: None. I'm happy with that. :)

Hair :: So far, I haven't done anything to it.

Accessories :: I wear a necklace, and a bangle. The necklace was a gift from my mum's colleagues when I was born. I've been wearing it for about 3 years now. Meanwhile, the bangle was a gift from my mum when she went for Umrah. I've been wearing it for 1 year, after I snapped the previous one. I still keep the beads though.

Colors :: My wardrobe consists of pastels, earth tones, red, pink, black or white. Nothing loud, i.e. sudden burst of summer colors. Although, I am starting to move on to other shades.

While I was searching for hyperlinks, I found out that the author for the "telekung" link is an old lost acquaintance of mine. What are the odds ...

Anyone can snitch this meme. :)
11.02pm Malaysian Time

.: Awards galore :.


To my lovely sisters.

Thank you to happily newly-wedded Mina and lovely Melissa for this spectacular blog-centerpiece.

The rules of this award are:

•List five current obsessions.
•Pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs.
•On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.
•When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well.
•Don't forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by leaving a comment on their blog.

:: Current obsessions :: *this is tough!*

1. Learning Chinese. Determination! Determination! Determination!
2. Cooking. I haven't been cooking lately. However, I keep getting recipes posted to my inbox and since Eid is 3 weeks away, that means I have 3 weeks left to bake cookies. I don't recall volunteering to make it this year, but it seems like my mum and aunt have made it my duty. Anyway, it's about time I regain my cooking obsession.
3. Memory Book[s]. Of my trip to Guangzhou and Shenzhen. I like to flip-through pages and recall things.
4. Muhammad Ahmad Zahid Al-Hafiz. I'm not obsessed with him. I'm obsessed with his Quran recitals.
5. Writing. I'm starting to have the muse to write again. :)

Awarding this to ::

1. Hajar Zamzam Ismail
2. Empress Anisa
3. Farhana
4. Hijabee
5. Umm Travis

PS:: Mina, you don't need me to remind you how fabulous your blog is. :)

And another one by dearest Mina.

I'm awarding this to everyone in my blog and followers list.

Really sorry that I haven't been cruising over to your blogs for ever so long. Google Reader tracks about 150+ of unread blog posts, therefore I am aware I am missing a lot of updates. With time, Insha'Allah.

While I'm at it, CONGRATS TO MINA, EMPRESS ANISA, HIJABEE, and MICHELLE@COFFEE CATHOLIC! Honestly thrilled with the wonderful news! You lot should pretty much know why, hence I'm not mentioning anything. :)

Lastly, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the both of you.

Thanks Mina and Melissa! ^^
10.41pm Malaysian Time