An Open Letter to My Neighbour-to-be

Salam and a very good Saturday morning to you,

I sincerely hope your Saturday morning is good, because mine is no longer as good as it used to be.

For the past 6 weeks or so, my Saturdays are like like Monday-Friday, where it has been constant knocking and banging from your side of the block.  Sometimes I wonder how much longer this is going to last?


I know you want a dream home, and you can afford to do so financially, that’s why you get the contractor workers to knock so many walls of your house. Never mind the fact that the house has already got 4 bedrooms with attached bathrooms and another room downstairs (not including the store room nor the little storeroom under the staircase). I also am ignoring the fact that I heard you only have ONE child. I always thought that this house of a built-up area of 3600sq feet is more than enough, but I could be wrong! 🙁


I know it’s easy for you to want any kind of renovation done because you are not living in it yet. And yes, my husband has signed the consent letter (required by MBSA) for you to knock the back part of the house and extend your build-up space. We do believe that that is your right because it is your land. Never mind that our air flow can be partially blocked, because the location of our houses is high up and we have plenty of wind blowing into them.


However I would like  you to know that a few of us here are prone to migraine, and the contant knocking and drilling can really drive us mad. I am trying my best to tolerate it on weekdays, because it is conveniently assumed that we would be at work, though I do not work full time, and sometimes  we (my husband too) work from home.


I want you to know that on a serene Saturday morning like today, my nerves are not as well-behaved as on weekdays. Why? Because my brain is wondering how peaceful you are at your home, and not knowing what kind of torture we have to endure here in OUR home, just because you want to have such extensive renovation on your side!


Sometimes I feel like suggesting to MBSA to only allow huge renovation like this (or any renovation at all) ONLY IF the owner lives in the premise! Then maybe the owner can understand the torture that we, the next door neighbours who share part of the walls have to endure!


I think we are saved by the fact that the developer of this area does not allow any renovation work on Sundays, otherwise 7-days a week I have to put up with this!


Nevermind about the dust that collects on my car, and gets into the house. Nevermind that I have to mop the floor almost everyday – because it is my fault that i want my floor to be free of dust, most of which comes from the knocking downs that are happening on your side.


This has been a long letter, and I hope you can read this with empathy, because as I am writing this letter I am also shivering with anger, trying to control myself from shouting to your workers to stop those knockings!!!!

In short, I hope you remember the phone call I made to you 2 weeks ago, asking for Saturday works not to be noisy, because Saturdays are when everybody is home here, and we would appreciate a quieter time, just like before the renovation work started.

Despite all these, I do welcome you to the neighbourhood. I hope you will move in ASAP, because that will also mean the end of those knockings and drillings!!


Sincerely yours,


(a very disturbed neighbour-to-be)

Honestly, sometimes I feel like going next door and shoot those workers(as if I have a gun. Or should I consider ilegally get one? Hahahahahaha!! Can I plead insanity for that?







Kawan Awan 2011 – Part 3 (Final)

You may wish to read Part 1 and Part 2 before you proceed to read this blog entry.


Here’s a close shot of the goodie bags:

Apart from the goodie bag sponsored by LSG Sky Chefs, they also received duitraya/angpow from Capt Nik himself:

They gawked at their huge plane:

After which they happily walked towards the jumbo:

The pilots were all ready:

Though they had the boarding passes with allocated seat numbers, they actually were allowed free seating:

The Boeng 747 can carry 450 pax, hence it was so spacious for us:

Putting away the bags:

Ah, we needed to know more about the plane, didn’t we?

Getting to know the seats and gadgets around them:

In preparation for the possibility:

Here’s Capt Nik (such a simple and humble guy!) being interviewed by the media team:

We were attended to by a charming team of inflight crew, like this lady:

Once air borne, the non-Muslim got to sample some inflight refreshments:

While the Muslims were given the food and drinks to be taken home:

Some (or rather most of them!) started looking out of the window 🙂

It was a short 35 min ride. Before we knew it, we were ready to leave the plane 🙁 :

Though impromptu, we managed a few group photos with the banner, like this one:

After over 24 hours of excitement (starting from the moment they left their homes the day before), they were finally going home:

Buses were already waiting for them:


That was it! Though short and simple, I am sure the outing will remain in their memories forever.

Personally, I would like to thank Capt Nik for inviting us to join in the event. Being an orphan myself (mum and dad passed away when I was 13 and 17 respectively), I could really feel for the kids. Many times, when I saw the orphans, I became overwhelmed with emotion and had to fight hard to stop the tears from flowing.

I just hope there’ll be more “Kawan Awan” events in the future. I also would like to be more actively involved. I could see myself handling some activities for them and going around looking for contributions for the gifts!!



Kawan Awan 2011 – Part 2

Please read here for the first part.


With the checking-out process done, we were ready to leave the hotel for the airport. Getting 6 buses there was not easy, especially when some of  the drivers were not familiar with the route. We were however fortunate because the State Police had agreed to provide us with 2 outriders.

Here is a group of the orphans having a quick photo shot with the traffic police:


The kids were very disciplined:


It was surely a busy day:


Here’s our videographer in action:


We only managed to see the Crystal Mosque from afar:


Soon the road was clear :


Suddenly all the buses stopped.

Apparently one bus was left out at the last traffic light while another made a lunch stop at McD (the bus that carried the non-Muslims).

Eventually we reached our destination:


And soon queuing up before we entered the airport building:


Very patient, but surely excited faces:


Obedient too:

We sure were lucky that this new airport had the arrival hall on a different level, otherwise can you imagine the crowd waiting for the pilgrims combined with ours?

Our flight was MH8632:


Eventually we were in the departure lounge:

Unfortunately the pilgrims were just about to come out, and the plane needed to be cleaned before we were allowed to enter. So, what better way to while the time away, than some photo sessions like this one 🙂 :

and this:


While waiting for the plane to be ready for us to board, we had some presentations from the orphans:

from the girls too:

Finally we were given the green light to board the plane. Wait! They didn’t just walk away. There were goodie bags waiting for them:


To be continued..

Kawan Awan 2011 – Part 1

Kawan Awan – that means “the Cloud Friends” in Bahasa Malaysia. What is it about?


It all started when Captain Nik from AD Charters told a forum that he would have a chartered flight from Jeddah to Kuala Terengganu to send a group of umrah (small haj) pilgrims. The plane would then come back to KLIA empty. How he wished he could fill the empty plane with orphans, just to let them experience flying. The problem was he would need sponsorship for the buses to ferry the orphans to Kuala Terengganu (KT) and food and lodging for them in KT.


In less than 2 weeks later, enough money and sponsorship were collected!  LSG Sky Chefs even sponsored some goodie bags for the orphans.

We were lucky to be among those  invited by Captain Nik to join the group. He told us we had to pay for our food and lodging, though the rest were taken care of. That was a very good offer that I immediately said yes to, when DH mentioned to me!

So, last Sunday, 6 buses headed for Kuala Terengganu. The passengers were almost 200 orphans from 6 different orphanages, their guardians  and us.  We arrived at the (no less than) Primula Hotel at almost 4pm!


After checking in the kids were allowed some free time before they were asked to get ready for the breaking of fast. DH and Nafis managed to capture some interesting shots, like this one:


When asked, many of them said that they had never been to a beach before!


Some girls being interviewed:


Soon it was time for the breaking of fast:


Some of the dishes:


Patiently waiting for the time to eat:


Another group:


We were serenaded with some nice traditional songs. Before we knew it, our own Dato Jet went to the group, and started to sing  the song “Tak Seindah Wajah


He surely could sing! That song is not an easy song to sing but Dato rendered it very well.


Before we knew it, the other guests had left and we were the only ones left at the cafe:


That night we also have a ceremony where our VIP gave out the boarding passes:


An RTM reporter came along with us too, and here she is, interviewing one of the orphans that night:


Interviewing the smaller kids:


That night the team also managed to get the hotel to agree to open the kids’ pools (all pools are normally closed at 7pm) for the kids to have some fun. Some fun they surely had, as they were allowed to be in the pool from 8.30pm until almost 11pm! Here’s the view of the pool from our balcony:


I only noticed there was no more noise from the pool at 11pm. We woke up for sahur at 5am.

The following morning we were ready to check out. We then found out that the inbound flight from Jeddah was delayed, and hence ours too.


I think it was a blessing for the kids. They had more time to roam the beach. Some even managed some football game:


While others got ready to get their feet wet:


I spotted another group having their own group photo. Nafis managed to shoot this one (see how happy they were):

While the non-Muslim (hence not fasting) kids dipped into the pool again:


By noon, we were ready to check out. Hotel lobby:


I wonder what these boys were thinking of? Maybe wondering when they’ll ever get to come here again?


Here are the little people from one of the homes:

While many of the Muslims kids come from poor families of single parents, or who have poor relatives, I was told that most of the non-Muslim counterparts were REAL orphans, who were abandoned by their biological families. Just look at the kids again (pic above), how could their families abandon them??? They are so adorable, and most of the time cling to their guardian whom they called MAMA!

Next: Part 2


When Will Our Eid Fitr 1431 Be?

Today was the 27th day of fasting (Ramadhan). So, will we be fast for 29 days, or 30 days this time? This question has been going around quite actively lately that I decided to blog about it 🙂 .

On Wednesday (8th September 2010) night, there’ll be “New Moon Sighting” activities by the various religious bodies. There are rumours that this years Eid (Raya) could be on Thursday and not Friday as initially understood. These rumours will be answered only on Wednesday night, when it ‘s cofirmed whether we will be celebrating on Thursday or Friday.

I told a few colleagues that to reduce our enxiety, let’s check the times of moon set and sunset for Wednesday evening.

After googling for “moon set sunset Malaysia”, we came across this  site:

I checked for the sunset time for Wednesday (8 September 2010) and got this:

And for the moon set, I got this:

As we can see, on Wednesday, the sun will set at 7.15pm, while the moon will set at 7.05pm. To get a new moon, the sun has to set BEFORE the moon. So, analytically (Malay: kiraan falaq), there will be NO NEW MOON on Wednesday night.

On the other hand, on Thursday night, the sun will still set at about 7.15pm, but the moon will set at 7.56pm. That’s a good 41 minutes away. Hence we should be able to see a clear crescent that night.

So, my dear friends, after studying these tables, when do you think our Raya (Eid) will be? *wink*

If we really celebrate Raya on Thursday what is your conclusion?

KTMB Hotline is A Real Joke!!!

It happened to me many many times, but only today I feel like blogging about it.

KTMB hotline is 1-300-88-5862

Getting through the line is very fast, but getting someone to actually answer your call is a real joke!

Try it yourself, and you know what I mean… 🙁

I visited KTMB’s website:

Aftergoing through a few pages, I was not happy with the information. I needed more, so I called their Hotline. Their hotline is definitely very very cold!

A few attempts failed. The calls just ended up being terminated.  I got similar outcomes when I tried the number a few weeks ago to enquire the latest ETS service.

A 3D2N Retail Therapy in Jakarta

I came across the phrase RT (retail Therapy) from some of my “Mak Cik Blogger” (blogging aunties) friends, esp Kay.

Two office mates and I booked our Jakarta tickets some time ago, and last Saturday (15th May 2010) was the departure day.

We were really aiming to shop till we drop and nobody brought a camera! Why would we need a camera, we were not playing tourists, hahaha!! We however had our phones (though mine doesn’t have roaming facility) that have built-in cameras. Hence all the pix here were taken using my phone camera.

Day 1

Armed with a few millions rupiah (yeah, we were millionaires that day!), we arrived at LCCT at 6am (having checked in online the day before). It was a fast move to the departure lounge because we were not carrying any check-in luggae (hence skipped the baggage drop).

Our plane left at 7am, and arrived at Soekarno Hatta Airport 2 hours later, at 8am local time. By 9am we were already at Tanah Abang!!

Oh, by the way, I met Tini of Snazzy and Such on the plane. She was accompanying her friend for some shopping too!  Our path crossed again at the food court in  Tanah Abang!

First stop was at the textile shops for bargain on cotton fabrics. I managed to take these pix:


It looked so much similar to the shop that I blogged (about wanting to visit).

The shop not so cheap, but we found others that offer better prices. One of them was this one:


My friend looking at some of the cotton:


while I looked at those outside the shop:


After this second shop, I totally forgot to take any other pic, and just engrossed myself in the RT 🙂 .

We had our lunch of nasi padang  at the food court in the (Tanah Abang) shopping complex. It was simple but delicious. I also had one of the best cendols I’ve tasted so far too.

After lunch, when our initially almost empty hand-carried bags were full, and we had just too many plastic bags to carry, we took a cab to our abode for our stay there, the Traveller’s Hotel.

We took a rest until it was time to have dinner. We asked the reception for some suggestions of places to go. The guy suggested “Mall of Indonesia”. We didn’t hear it right, and when we tried to tell the cab driver, he (the driver) asked us back “Grand Indonesia?”. Clueless, we said yes. Little did we know we were heading to downtown Jakarta, and it was Saturday night! We ended up spending quite some time in the traffic jam before we eventually reached the place.

Grand Indonesia is too grand for our purses, so we only had dinner, bought some foodstuff and headed back to our hotel. The dinner was pricey but nice and tasty. I took some pix but somehow I could not find them in my phone, I wonder why…

Day 2

Well rested the night before, we excitedly had our breakfast early, because the destination for that morning was Pasar Pagi (Morning Market) at Mangga 2. As the name suggests, we thought the place would open early, but when we asked the concierge to get us a cab to the place, he smiled at us and told us that the place started business at 10am!

Argh…. Disappointed, we went back to our room and watched tv instead (we caught an episode of Upin & Ipin!).

At  9am we however agreed to take a gamble and headed for the market. We agreed that if we arrived early, we’d just wait at the entrance to the shopping complex. We had a pleasant surprise – there were quite a number of shops open and bustling with transactions!! One of the first things we did was to get ourselves a check-in bag each! We needed these bags to put in the goods that we’d bought and were going to buy :-). I also managed to buy a Simpati prepaid call card and called Yudi (an Indonesian friend who was my coursemate during my training in Tokyo in 2004)  and Norita (a Malaysian friend who lives in Jakarta).

To cut the story short, we ended our visit with an early lunch at the food court. The food that we chose that day were not as nice as the nasi padang that we had the day before.

After lunch, we took a cab back to our hotel, to drop the bags and the stuff that we bought at Mangga 2 (Pasar Pagi).  We then went back to Tanah Abang. Yes, Tanah Abang. We were there until the shops were about to close (they close at about 4pm-5pm).

We then had no choice but to go back to our hotel to rest :-).

Since we missed going to “Mall of Indonesia” (or locally known as MOI) the night before, we were determined to go there that night. I told Norita about it, and we agreed to meet up there. So that night, we went to MOI and met up Norita and hubby, Endi.

Here’s a pic of Norita and Endi choosing the dishes (we gave up trying to understand the menu):16052010588

My 2 “partners-in-crime” whiling away:


Norita treated us to a Sunda meal. It was delicious and I remember to snap a few more pix 🙂 .

The way they served the sambal belacan was really attractive:


Similarly with another sambal:


More dishes:


And I love the sayur asam:


The main ingredients were buah malinjau and its shoots.

I know the seeds are used to make a type of crackers (keropok) that i love, as shown in this pic. That night it was the first time I saw the seeds in the soup:


Ah, enough about the food. In short, the dinner was wonderful!!

Before we parted, we thanked Norita and hubby for the wonderful dinner. Luckily we remembered to have a photo of me with them taken:


Hope to see Norita soon in KL, when she comes down to KL for some official tasks.

Day 3

We were leaving for home that afternoon. I had no more rupiah in my purse (I even owed S a few hundreds rupiahs!). Initially we were planning to just rest in our hotel room before we leave for the airport.  The temptation was high, and we found ourselves at Mangga 2 (ITC) again that morning, looking for more bargains! I resisted buying anything until I came across some chiffon head scarves that I couldn’t resist. So, I borrowed more rupiah from S and bought them.

We came back to our hotel in time for a brief rest, before we checked out and headed to the airport. Our flight was on time.

While in the plane I saw Air Asia’s new advert on the tray:


I thought the kitten looked so cute, don’t you?


We landed at KLIA at 5.50pm, and by 7pm I was home, cooking dinner for my family!

Now, that was a short and sweet RT outing!

Time Out With Touhid Bhuiyan & Family

Touhid was one of my classmates during my e-Learning training at CICC, Japan in 2004. Together with other friends we had some great outings together while we were there. Since we left CICC, I’ve met some of the others during my travels:

  1. Yudi in Jakarta
  2. Mr Hiep & Mr Binh in Hanoi
  3. Siriwan in Bangkok
  4. Liang in Beijing.

Apart from meeting them there, Mr Hiep, Siriwan and Yudi had visited Kuala Lumpur and we had some time together too.

Last Thursday was Touhid’s turn to visit Kuala Lumpur. It was not really a visit.  Touhid and his family were on their way back to Gold Coast (he is a PhD student in Brisbane) from his homeland, Bangladesh. They arrived via MAS at 7.30am, and they were going to take the 9.40pm Air Asia flight to Gold Coast.

So, I took the day off and went to KLIA to fetch them. Rosaline,  Touhid’s missus is a charming lady. Rohn (the son) was shy but Anna (the daughter) is really a smart girl. I’ll tell you why later.

After leaving KLIA, our first destination was the LCCT to “dump” a couple of huge baggage at the “Baggage Storage” service. I could not send them back to LCCT later that day, so we thought it would be better to keep the bigger bags at LCCT so that it would be more convenient for Touhid and family to find their way back to LCCT from down town KL.

We then drove into Putrajaya. The obvious stop was the Putrajaya mosque. Despite being still early (about 9am), it was already very bright and hot, as can bee seen here:


We then stopped at McD (along the NKVE) for brunch before heading towards Genting Highlands.

It was my first time on the Genting cable car, and Touhid and I reminisced on our trip to Hakone (Japan) where we took a couple of cable cars, trains, and a river cruise – all in one day!

Here’s one shot as we went up to the top:


We only had less than 1 hour at the top, and since the outdoor theme park only offers day-passes, we had to give it a miss.

We then went to the Indoor Theme Park, and found out that we could buy RM8 tickets for single. Not to disappoint his kids, Touhid bought a couple of tickets:


His son insisted on the Ferries Wheel:


While Touhid took the ride, I looked around. The indoor park has changed a lot since the last time I was here (almost 10 years ago!).

I was surprised to see some gondolas:


On close examination only I noticed that they are mechanically operated, and the “Italians” in black and while shirt are just dummies:


Ah , well… I’ll wait for my real gondola ride in Venice – one day.. one day…

In the mean time, Touhid managed to get his kids another ride on the Merry-go-round before we had to head towards the cable car station.

We agreed that the signage in Genting can be improved a lot. Many a time we followed the signage only to come to a point where there was no more signage to our destination. We were grateful to Anna for being very observant and quick to retrack our paths! A smart 9-yr old girl she surely is!

We took our cable car ride down at 2pm. The first part of the ride was covered with clouds and the kids were so excited (actually, adults too!) to be “in” the clouds.

I finally left Touhid and family at KLCC (that’s the no.1 destination for Anna) at 3.30pm and headed back to Shah Alam. I had some other commitments to attend to hence I could not be with them any longer.

As I was saying goodbye to them, Rosaline handed over this little container to me:


When I was at a traffic light (getting into Jalan Sultan Ismail), I opened up the container and was pleasantly surprised to see the contents:


It’s a set of pearl necklace and earrings! Thank you Rosaline, I love them.

Soon we had to leave,

Playing With Beads Again

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of not working. I took the opportunity to unpack some of the boxes and catch up with ironing (apart from the routine cleaning, doing the dirty laundry, etc..).

In between the work and Facebooking, I took some quick time off  to organise the storage of my beads and stones. I then made these phone accessories:


The little golden beads and the wire that I used to connect the beads are gold-filled (in Bahasa we call it suasa) so they will not tarnish. I posted on my FB wall, and was surprised that quite a number of friends commented that these are cute.

Today, I had my monthly breakfast with Sh, As & Al. I came home at 11.30am.

Later in the afternoon, I felt like playing with the beads again, so I ended up with the following pins:


I wonder who would be the lucky owners of these pins (apart from me and Nuni)?

In the mean time I am also doing some knitting as well as having a few ongoing crochet projects. I also would like to do some patchwork quilting! Hey, there are only 3 more days of long weekend (minus today, which is almost gone now). Will I ever get to do so?

Oh! While I am playing with beads, I need to re-do Nury’s bracelets… Will blog later once they are done!

An Evening with Howard, Pat & Sabre


Admiring Sabre’s Cheesecake??

Yesterday (Monday) just beforre I left for work, DH told me that he had invited Howard, Pat & Sabre to our home after work. Wow! I thought. But I finished work late on most Mondays!! I told DH so. He then said he’d arrange everything himself. Phew!!

So, when I arrived home at about 7.45pm, I found some Ayamas roast chicken, orange juice, salad (from Nando’s), soft drinks and some mandarin oranges in the kitchen.

DH was no where to be seen. He went to fetch Howard & Pat at the Kelana Jaya LRT station. Soon after that, Sabre arrived.

Not long after Sabre arrived, Nuni came home! She was early!!

I am too sleepy to say more now. Nuni has saved me from blogging in detail by her writing her blog about the evening much earlier.

DH and I later sent Howard and Pat back to their hotel (Le Meridien, KL).

It was a brief but enjoyable evening meet. Thank you, Pat for the bouquet of flowers and thank you, Sabre for the cheesecake!