Archive for September, 2008

Sep 30 2008

Posted by under Dale Carnegie,Diary,Trips

Berbuka In Kuala Terengganu

Last Sunday, we had our breaking of fast at a restaurant near the Sultan Mahumd Airport. The cab driver left us here (to fetch us again later):

The P’Your Seafood Restaurant looks nice:

We only ordered fired rice, with fired squid and some vegies, plus drinks.

But the crowd got bigger:

and bigger:

We were lucky we got our drinks in time for berbuka. But our food only arrived at 7.25pm. We made the order at 6.15pm!

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Sep 27 2008

Posted by under Diary,Family,work-related

Another Working Sunday in Kuala Terengganu

The home in Serom (Muar) that I look forwar to visit this Raya (pic taken on Raya Haji last year):

Tomorrow morning I’ll be going to Kuala Terengganu for another 1-day training programme. This time I’m luckier because the DC office has booked the Firefly flight, instead of Air Asia :) .

Firefly means we are flying from Subang Airport which is only 20 minutes away from home, compared to LCCT that’s 50 mins away! When the flight is early in the morning, and coming back at night, that matters!

I’m feeling much better now, even though the thoughts of Raya always give me mixed emotions.

All the kids (5 of them) are home now, except for Ayi who’s too far away in Canada. When DH asked him recently (during their YM chat) if he’s surviving well, his reply was “Surviving? I’m enjoying it here!”. well, it’s nice to know that Ayi is having a great time there, as long as he’s on track – studies always come first!

Today time flew very fast. Doing the dishes takes longer now (with more people in the house), and frying chicken also takes longer time ;)

We’ve got Raya day well-planned – 6 houses to visit within the first day of Raya! All in Muar. DH wants to visit 3 friends and Nuni wants to visit her best friend, A. I only want to visit my step-mum and my cousin (The late Mak Usus’s home, as featured at the top). It looks that DH and the kids have overtaken my schedule, not that I mind them :D

11.45pm, 27/09/08

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Sep 25 2008

Posted by under Family,General Issues

Is My Heart Vulnerable This Week?

That was the title I first thought of, but then, “vulnerable”?? Isn’t that too bombastic? :D

OK lah.. Let’s just say, I am a bit sensitive this week. i’ll tell you why:

Reason 1

Last Sunday, in my flight to Kuala Terengganu, an old lady (at least 70 yrs old but she looked like she’s 80) sat at the isle seat while I sat at the window seat. There was an empty seat between us. Initially, I only smiled at her, and was busy studying my presentation for the day. About 20 minutes into the flight, I finished my work, and started to talk to her. I asked her if she came to visit her children and going home. She affirmed it.

She then continued to tell me (she was very eager to tell me her stories :) ) about the grandchildren that she visited. Their father was her son, and died of a heart attack about 2 months ago. She went on to tell me that the kids’  mother (Makcik’s daughter-in-law) passed away three years ago! She was electrocuted while trying to stop the TV from falling onto her then 1-yr old toddler.

I asked her, so who then is taking care of the children? “The Indonesian maid”, she said! She told me that the maternal grandparents are staying with the children. Unfortunately, the grandmother is much older that this makcik, and the grandfather suffered from stroke! Makcik’s son was only 45 when he had the heart attack. How many kids are there, I asked further. Makcik told me that there are 5 kids, with the eldest being 17, and will be sitting for his major exams at the end of this year! The youngest is only 4 :(

To make it worse, Makcik’s husband died on the 6th day of fasting, this year! Poor makcik.. She did tell me that she’s worried about her “yatim piatu” grandchildren but she can’t afford to leave her home either.

I am so grateful that so far my family is still intact!

Reason 2

I called Cikgu R, a senior assistant of my alma-mater, and I came to know that there are 33 students in the school who have lost at least one parent, and are categorised as very poor, while 99 others are in the poor category, and all 132 of them are entitled to receive tithe (zakat). He was collecting money from donors who’d like to pay tithe, including teachers and other school staff. He told me that last year they managed to give each student RM30 as “duit raya”. I’ve already had the intention to pay tithe, so I banked in some money last Monday for the fund. Later yesterday, I was told that the school may be able to give the students RM25 each, as duit raya. I bet that money could just cover their travel expenses to go home for the Raya holidays.

Reason 3

At the same time, my office mate, A, wants to give tithe to poor students, and I’ve asked Cikgu R to help us find them (the students). He identified 2 students who are very poor.  No doubt, they are receiving the federal scholarship of RM70 per month, but apart from that, they hardly have any other financial means. Studying in a boarding school means these students have to pay extra fees! Both students are in Form 3 and will sit for their PMR after Raya. The first one, a girl, has lost both parents, and is second among her siblings of 5. Her sister, 17, is in Sek Men Teknik, and her two immediate younger siblings are in an ophanage while the youngest is being adopted by a certain family. During holidays, she would go back to her auntie’s home. The second student is a boy who has lost his father and is also second among the 5 siblings. His mother works as a canteen helper and earns RM300 a month. That’s all I know about him.

Yesterday, after listening about these students’ stories, suddenly I became so emotional and tears just rolled down my cheeks. I just imagined, if I’m earning RM300 and have 5 kids to take care of, how would I feel? I really felt for them. I immediately went down to the bank downstairs and banked in RM100 into Cikgu R’s account, and called him to tell him that I am giving them RM50 each for Raya!That’s not much, but at least I hope that gives the signal that they are not alone, and I hope that will help them celebrate Raya better. I also conveyed to Cikgu R my intention to meet them personally the next time I visit the school (which I do quite regularly :) )

[S, who saw me with red eyes yesterday, asked why. After I told her the above stories, she immediately went downstairs to bank-in some money for the fund that Cikgu R was organising. Thanks, S!]

Why am I so easily touched by such stories? That’s because I lost my father when I was in Form 5 (1979), less than 3 months from sitting for the MCE (now SPM) examination! I already lost my mother when I was in Form 1, and I went through 2 step-mums! I remember my parents’ passings as if they happened only a few years ago. Mum died while she was in Mecca to perform her haj (she never got to do her haj, she succumbed to high fever just before the Haj). For years I never felt that she died. I always felt that she just went away and never came back. For a couple of years, I was kind of waiting for her to “come back” :(

Dad died on the 10th day of the fasting month, in 1979. I remember Raya that year very well. I went back to Muar to celeberate Raya with (my late) Mak Usu and I remember trying hard to hold back the tears on Raya morning. Suddenly I felt so lonely, so helpless, so lost, despite having Mak Usu, Mak Ngah and all the cousins who love me very much. From that year onwards, I became very emotional every time I hear the “takbir Raya”, and 29 years on, I am still struggling to overcome that sad feeling! Everytime I hear the takbir, I am reminded of my parents, and especially the Raya in 1979. Luckily, it is not so bad now, now that I have big, bubbly and fun-to-be-with kids! And of course, a loving hubby ;) !

DH will never understand my feelings of Raya, and I don’t blame him, because his parents are still alive and healthy!

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Sep 25 2008

Posted by under Diary,Friends,General Issues,work-related

Lunchtime in Ramadhan – Kompleks PKNS

After  blogging on lunchtime in Ramadhan, yesterday I took my Lumix to work :)

When it was lunchtime, I went to Kompleks PKNS with H. We only bought some rendang tok, dendeng and lemang for the breaking of fast, and at the same time I took these pix:

The stall where we bought the rendang tok:

From another angle:

Now, let’s look at the costumes stalls:

More:

More shops:

And more:

And more shops:

H getting some dendeng (me too, later ;) ):

Then she said she should get soem lemang:

While I looked at more shops:

And more:

Who said guys don’t shop?:

See here too:

And here:

The non-muslims too:

Even the goldsmith is busy:

That was it for the day. We left Kompleks PKNS to get back to office, and guess what we saw? A real traffic jam of cars trying to get into SACC Mall’s parking lot:

The Q was indeed long:

The we thought, let’s go to the stalls outside SACC. There’s a bunch of Kelantanese girls selling tudungs whom we be’ve befriended last week:

Tudung bawal at as cheap as RM10 each, they’re a hit:

Their customers changed within seconds:

A formal one for the album:

Ah, we were running out of (lunchtime) time, so we headed back to the office. I turned back fro the last time, and took this:

While at the office, those who didn’t have enough time to go out, were about to finish their “shopping”:

My verdict, this Ramadhan is merry (merry = meriah?) ;)

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Sep 24 2008

Posted by under crochet,Hobbies

Crazy Over Solomon’s Knots

I am sleepy, and it’s passed midnight, but  N** asked to see my recently finished (though not properly done yet) blankets using Solomon’s knots, so i quickly grabbed the camera, and took this:

N**,

Lighting was not good. I’ll take new pix tomorrow ok ;)

More here:

Another try:

Sneak preview on my Granny squares project:

At leaast I’m into useful projects, as compared to my big girl, Nuni, who has just discovered the pleasure of crocheting, and busy making cakes, ice-creams and cookies :) . See here and here.

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Sep 23 2008

Posted by under Diary,Friends,General Issues,Hobbies,SMSTMFP

Lunchtime in Ramadhan

Am I blessed or what, to have an office with 3 shopping malls nearby? Not to mention, the office is only 10 minutes from home (not counting the peak hours when it can take more than 3o minutes!).

Back to the malls, next to our office block is the Plaza Alam Sentral. If we walk a bit, we will be at the oldest shopping mall in Shah Alam, i.e. Kompleks PKNS. Next to it is the relatively new SACC Mall. SACC stands for Shah Alam City Centre. Across the street is the newer Anggerik Mall, but that’s too far for us to walk, especially in the hot midday sun :( Closer to SACC Mall, they are building another mall!

So, in short despite being in the “ulu” Shah Alam, our lunchtime is never boring. Now it’s Ramadhan, it’s much more merrier than normal.

Everyday, we would just enjoy going from one stall to onother, looking at all styles of baju kurung, baju kebaya, male’s baju melayu, and also costumes for kids! Today, we gave the costume sections a miss, and went round the cookies stalls. We didn’t buy any of them, but at least we got some ideas on what we would like to buy later ;)

Back to the costumes, those beautiful baju kurung and kebaya, with glittering tudungs really tempt us. I tried my best to refrain from buying any, and yet about 2 weeks ago I DID buy one. you see, we were looking at a row of baju kurungs, very simple, not so expensive fabric but comfortable enough. Four of us wwere there then – Nik, H, S and I. It was priced at RM79 per pair (dress and matching long skirt). The shopkeeper (owner too, maybe) offered us RM65. We jokingly said, if she gave us RM60, we would buy one pair each. After some hesitation, and consultation with her hubby, she eventually gave in! So, there we were, we bought 4 pairs of the same fabric design, but different colours. We had fun when during the Berbuka at the office last Thursday, all four of us wore these baju kurung! Other colleagues noticed one after another. One said, “K Sabar, your dress is similar to F’s?”, then another asked “Your dress is same as Nik’s?”, then another said, “Hey, H’s dress is also the same!” Hahaha!

Now, I still have a few more working days to go, and more visits to the malls. I just hope I can resist buying anymore dresses! ;)

I’ve been busy trying to catch up with my NZ blogs that I forgot to blog about this. Now I am planning to bring my faithful Lumix to office tomorrow, and then during lunchtime, I’ll go to these malls and snap as many pix as possible, to be uploaded later – just to capture the Raya mood there :)

Good night to all. Wait for my postings tomorrow night,  ya!

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Sep 23 2008

Posted by under Dale Carnegie,Diary,Trips,work-related

A Working Sunday in Kuala Terengganu

Last Sunday, I took the 7.05am air Asia flight to KT. I had to leave home at 5.00am! I was going there with F, for a Dale Carnegie training session.

We arrived at about 8am, and by 8.15am, we were at the training venue (yellow building on the right-hand side:

It was a whole day training programme, which we finished at 5pm.

Since both F and I do not know anybody there (We forgot Kak Wan!), we we soon roaming around the Pasar Payang and the nearby area:

We we looking for a decent and practical place to break our fast. The Restoren Terapung Puteri looked nice, but we were worried that we couldn’t get a cab in time for our 9.20pm flight back to LCCT.

We eventually walked round the bus terminal & taxi terminal area (wanting to be close to the cabs after the meal) looking for a decent eating place:

When we decided to go to the nearby KFC:

we saw a newly opened “Noodle Station” behind the KFC, and decided to give it a go.

We were in Noodle station from 6pm until Berbuka time. We had a bad experiece there :(

Will blog later about this,

By 8.15pm we were back at the new airport. After we checked in, we checked the airport:

Lighting was not good enough for my handphone camera :(

We arrived back at LCCT at 1015pm.

Will update this posting later…

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Sep 20 2008

Posted by under Uncategorized

Oh, Ondeh-ondeh…

Like yesterday, today we are not going to have any main dish for the breaking of fast. We will go out again for the proper dinner. Then, I thought, why not have ondeh-ondeh for berbuka? DH loves ondeh-ondeh, and those that you buy at the Bazaar Ramadhan or the restaurants are made much earlier, hence not as soft and nice as home-made ;)

so, I started at 5.30pm, and 20 mins later I got these:

I would normally use dried desicated coconut (moistened with some water and salt), but today when I went to the nearby shop, they ran out of desicated coconut. Neither did they have any “white” grated coconut, so I had be contented with the normal grated coconut.

Like most people, I just use the glutinous rice floor, blend some pandan leaves to get the pandan green juice, and of course, cut out the manisan/gula kabong.

I remember how difficult it was to make ondeh-ondeh when I was kid (early 1970s). We would soak the glutinous rice in the morning. After the afternoon prayer (zohor) I would be be grinding it with a rice grinder that looked like this:

Taken from http://malaysiana.pnm.my/Alat%20Tradisonal/dapur_batukisar.htm

What was produced has the consistency of the batter that we use for fritters. I can’t remember how, but we had to shieve (using cloth shieve, I think) the batter to get a thicker paste. Then only we can use it for making ondeh-ondeh.

As for the green colouring, I had to diligently pound several pieces of pandan leaves until I got a soft paste, then squeeze it to get the green colour.

For the coconut, I had to crack open a young coconut, peel out the coconut, and grate it using a hand-held grater, or sometimes  when I was too lazy to peel off the coconut, I’d just use the traditional grater that looked  like this:

Taken from http://malaysiana.pnm.my/Alat%20Tradisonal/dapur_kukuran.htm

Didn’t I mention peeling off the husk of the coconut? Ah… that was normally done by my brother ;) .

So, every time we made ondeh-ondeh, it would be a lot, and we ended up sharing them with all the neighbours!

Very nostalgic thinking of the old days… But do I miss those gadgets and processes that I had to go through? Naah….

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Sep 20 2008

Posted by under Diary,Family

Adding Variety to the Breaking of Fast

I know DH will not be able to tolerate having rice twice a day for 30 days at home :) Yesterday, we did not  have main dish for breaking of fast – not even bought dishes. We ust had lychee drinks and kurma. Then after the maghrib prayers, we went to have have JM Beriani at Tesco Shah Alam:

By then, the berbuka puasa crowd had just left :)

DH had beriani, but Aina and I only had mee bandung.

Even JMB is well decorated for Raya:

We came home immediately after that – very brief outing!

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Sep 20 2008

Posted by under Trips

Finally, The New Zealand Blogs Are Done!

Yes, finally. More than a month after we got back from the trip, I’ve finally finished blogging the trip. Here are the links:

Day 0 was the day we spent at Coolangatta Airport waiting for the flight to Christchurch, and Day 9 was the day we flew back to LCCT from Coolangatta Airport. Hence in total we spent 10 days for the whole trip.

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