Thursday, June 29, 2006


I was without handphone for a few days last week. I sold my phone to a taxi driver. Yes.

It was a cheapo Nokia 6060 – a basic phone without camera or MP3 or Bluetooth or videocam or toaster. It could make calls and smses though.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingIt was considerably almost brand new still, only a couple of months old. I sold it because I hated it.

How could I not hate the phone? Two days after I bought the phone, the flip went loose. I wouldn’t mind it so much if it weren’t for it rejecting incoming calls – because of the loose flip you see. Contrary to popular belief, I do get important calls too. Like calls from my neighbour offering me some odorless belachan fresh from Sabah (what is belachan without the odor?) or the call from my tailor wanting to know where I would prefer the pleats of my kain baju kurung to be, left or right (difficult question this one) or the most important one, from Yamtuan telling me about the kayu drivers hogging his way or the stooooopid traffic jam at-this-hour-can-you-bloomin-believe-it (I don’t drive so I couldn’t quite relate to traffic jam issues). I am an important person, this I insist. I need to be in-touch with the world. Communication is key. Technology is all that matters. One NEEDS handphone. Your world stops revolving if you can’t be reached. Must have. Necessity. As important as food, sleep and lipsticks.

And so I went back to see the guy at OUG plaza.

He insisted that it must be me. Being the ogre that I was – not exactly delicate – I must have either dropped the phone or over-bend it or something. He swore he had never seen a new phone so damaged so quick, the poor phone must have been severely abused and mishandled. What did you do to it? Unbelievable! It was unforgivable and cruel and no ma’am, we cant do anything. No-no.

Go repair, I said.
Irreparable, he said.
The only way to fix it is by changing the casing, but since the model is so new, NOKIA doesn’t have the spares out yet and a new casing would cost more than 200 (and he didn’t mean 200 rupees), he said.
Okay, trade in, I said.
But the phone is damaged, if I buy back from you I wont be able to sell back, he argued intelligently.
He said. I said. He said. I said. He said. I said.
In the end, he offered to give me RM150 for it out of charity and obligation. And I had to say no, because the phone was so very new.

And so I lived with the stooooopid phone for about two months. I tried asking other shops, they all said the same thing. Irreparable damage, would be too costly to repair. The only difference is that they wouldn’t take the phone, even if I pay them to.

And then, suddenly this taxi driver offered to buy the phone from me even after I told him of its sad history and bleak future. He insisted that he must have the phone. He offered RM50 extra than what the guy at OUG would pay me. RM200 is not bad at all for a worthless phone. I showed him the problem and he still said he wanted it. I gave him my phone number and asked him to sleep on it. And for two weeks he kept sms-ing me saying please don’t sell the phone to anyone else lah, he’s ready with the money lah, all sort of almost pleading smses. It made me wonder, what possibly could he know about the phone that I didn’t know. Why? And I wondered.

And so we made appointments to meet. He gave me RM200 and I gave him the phone. One side jual, one side beli. Akad jual beli complete. Either I am a super-salesman or he’s on to something. Never mind. The phone has changed hands! Yey! The black that marred my life is removed!

And so I was without handphone. I figured, I have spent almost my entire life without handphone and I did not bad on my own. I decided I wanted to go au naturel again, devoid of technology. Konon, you said. Konon, I said too.

I am proud to say that I survived unhurt without handphone for 4 days!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Baby the Third

I know we hear-talk-see too much about world cup already. Since it started, the production rate per gross capita is reduced by at least 20% at the same time as marital disputes increase by 37.3% from the total percentile of half of the 72% GDP of available first one third of the 94% of previous percentage. If that statistic doesn’t give you an idea on how roundish can football roundups be, go back to school. And this time, pay attention.

And so I am not going to be part of the statistics. I am not going to be one of those people who, for lack of ideas to blog but feels pressured to update anyhoe, just write world cup crap for the sake of having something new to put up. No way.

I am not going to talk about world cup or anything related to it.

I will write about marriages instead. How to make the marriage survive through come what may, through thick, thin, sick or sin - the ood way.

The first rule is to be willing to play in any position. Midfield, forward, stopper, defend, keeper, anything you can think of! Even linesman or plain spectator, be adventurous, wear many hats if you have to. To cheer each other up especially during stressful moments, dress for the occassion. Consistency and stamina are vital. Short spurts of energy is not good. The effort put in should be consistent. Get a good dose of isotonics and energy refreshing bars once in a while. And remember to do the crouch dance whenever any side scores. And never forget the golden rule too, play fair! It doesn’t matter who controls the game, so long as someone scores. While scoring is important, winning is not that big a deal. So long as you have fun and happy. And to be victorious, you just gotta work as a team. That way you can cover each other's weaknesses and capitalise on your combined strengths.

Since we are on the subject of marriage, I might as well announce the Rancangan Ood Ke-3. I am planning to be pregnant again soon. Yes. Maybe when Sun turns two and Dot four. Which is soon. Year end, perhaps, God willing.

When I was pregnant with Dot, it was World Cup Korea/Japan. I was so into the Japan team. Japan being the techie nation it is, I swear the players were all cyborgs. They were unstoppable until uh, they were stopped? I so wanted to name the baby Nakata or Inamoto. I asked my Arab friends whether the names meant anything bad in Arabic and he gave me the green light. No meaning at all, so I was all set to name the baby either Mohd Nakata or Ahmad Inamoto. But then the baby turned out to be a girl. How could I name any baby girl Nur Nakati? Sitinamotah? Hait? Nope. And I have written in earlier post on how Sun acquired his name, Erik Edman of Tottenham. Now, for the next baby I am thinking of naming him Omar Bravo or Redha Tukar or Golmohammadi. My kids can sue me later and go to court to change their names, and I will deal with that later. That is to be expected. Kids being kids, they don’t know what is good for them. Mothers know best. I should know.

There, a non-football-ish posting.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Identifiable Flying Objects - IFO Invasion

For reasons unknown to me, I have this strange affinity towards flying objects.

I was born in Kota Tinggi. Once, there was a flying keris there. Thrown by a laksamana and became the cause-of-death of a sultan. All over a prized jackfruit. I was brought up in Kluang. And kluang is bigger than a bat. I did my schooling in Muar. Now, here in Muar, a lembing once went flying. Thrown by an awang in the name of a dayang. Romantic in a gory sick morbid way. But romantic nevertheless. Do excuse my exaggerations. I am after all a Johorean. I come from the land of Big Foot. That big foot thing must have been started by some poor sod that had the misfortune to catch a glimpse of my hairy big hobbity feet. Must be during some kenduri. Exaggerations, I insist. My feet are not that big. Or hairy.

As a toddler, I was once attacked by a whole swarm of bees. You get my drift? Bees have wings? They fly? Yes? Good.

It was all thanks to my sister. She showed me a beehive, gave me a stone or stick I cant remember and asked me to throw at the thing. But not before she retreated to a safe distance away. In the split second after the thing was split open (good throw that was), the bees came after us or to be more acurate, the bees were after me. My sister was bigger and ran faster. I, on the other hand, didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to wait. Oh, it was painful. But my sister thought it was hilarious. Oh well. She has four children and there are many beehives around. My time will come.

And some years after the bee attack, I found a bird sitting in one of the rooms in our house. It was sick and I took care of it until it was fit to fly again. And then, over the years more sick birds started to fly in for shelter. Some died, some regained their health and flew away. Bird flu was not known by the public yet so I wasn’t worried.

This thing with birds continued on. I had birds just fell into my hands while I was on the bed reading. And I must have caught three or four birds with my bare hands too. Wakwak, ciak rumah, merbuk, tekukur etcetera. Since I don’t believe in caging birds it has always been just catch, nurture and release. A few years back, a baby bat fell infront of the house. It was making such a big racquet crying out for its mom. I took the thing in, hang it among the only plant I had in the house which was bunga telur. Well, I know bunga telur isn’t a plant at all but it would do. The baby bat died the next day and I cried oceans for it. A baby is still a baby, batty or not.

And when we moved into this apartment, a bat decided the phone lines stretching on the ceiling right infront the door would make a nice place to hang around. It did. Every night, during happy hours the bat would be hanging there with its picnic basket. I wouldn’t mind it so much except that in the morning we would always be greeted with bat droppings and food leftovers. Right infront of the door, you see. What would our mothers say! So Yamtuan put some newspaper on the phone cable and our little friend had no place to hold on to anymore. He left.

Last weekend we went back Yamtuan’s kampong. We chose to sleep in the living room. The kids fell asleep fine. But just as Yamtuan and me were cosy and ready to drift to Neverland, a bat flew in. Now I thought bats were supposed to be using ultrasonic state-of-the-art sensors to help it navigate, you know with them being blind and all that? Yes? Well, not that bat. It flew haphazardly, got hit by the fan a few times and almost hit us a few times too. I was more afraid for the kids. Bats bite and they might cause the Cujo disease. You know, from Stephen King’s novel? Rabies? What choice did I have but to catch the thing? I threw a blanket on it, caught the thing and threw it outside. We slept fine after that.

The next night, again, just as Yamtuan and I were ready for some sleep, the bat came. It flew like a drunken pilot was behind the control board. This time Yamtuan handed me a broom. I was supposed to play batminton with it. I was supposed to smash when the bat served. Bola lambung was not allowed. Play to win.

Serve. One all. Outside. And service over. And SMASH tangan kiri! A TKO! Cantik pukulan! Kemas permainan! Uber Cup! Hehehe… Pasukan Johor menang mudah! 21-0!!! Esok cuti!

I am sorry bat. But I was certain that I didn’t smash that hard. Just enough to win (stun it so I could put it outside).

The next morning, I started to have pain around the eye socket. By the time we reached KL, my right eye was hurting real badly and the whole half of the face was painful too. Like I am a shuttlecock that have been smashed or something. The pain spread all the way down to the neck and then the shoulder and the upper chest. My eye was really hurting. The whole side of the face-neck-shoulder was painful to touch. Even washing the face was painful. And my vision started to blur too. It wasn’t the usual red-eye conjunctivitis. There was no redness, no discharge, no itchiness. Just pain. White pain. Red pain. Pain pain.

I thought I was going blind as a bat.

I went to see the eye specialist. He said my eye was abraded (whoa!). He gave some eye-drops, painkillers and some other things. He said it could be allergy or excessive dryness. But he wasn’t sure. And he said it wasn’t muscular pain I was experiencing. It was the lymph node. Oh whatever, all I know was whatever the reason, it was causing me pain and affected my vision 2020.

Two days after that, things didn’t improve much. I was still in pain and I realised there was this thing at the edge of my eyelid. Like a growth, like a mole. And that spot was the most painful.

This morning, I went to see the doctor again. At Pantai Bangsar, the doctor is bald and cute but the smile is a bit plastic (Anedra, i have asked for his number for you).

And you know, he looked at the newly formed mole in/on my eyes and happily announced that he knew now what was causing all the trouble! Yes! It was a tick! No! A TICK! How can? How can? Using forceps he forced the thing off my eyes. The tick took with it a tiny piece of my skin and it was REAL no-nonsense pain. Oh My God! I now have a permanent tick mark on my face! Hehehe… that cant be all that bad, can it?

But really hehehe… I am thankful that it was JUST a tick and not something more sinister than that. And I am sorry to the bat for thinking that it was some cosmic arrangements to make me feel the pain of the bat that I played batminton with. The tick could have been hosted by the bat. It must have flown over from the bat to me during the match. And the bat didn’t bat one eye at this! Bad bat!

And all this while, I thought my affinity was only towards birds and bees. Apparently it includes bats and fleas too.

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Fleas and ticks transmit diseases to people as well as pets.
Lyme disease is by far the most often reported tick-borne disease in humans in the United States: 13,083 cases in 1994, up from 8,257 in 1993. Most reports came from the Northeast and North Central regions of the country. Symptoms include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and a red, circular skin rash. (See "Getting Lyme Disease to Take a Hike," in the June 1994 FDA Consumer.)
The next most prevalent disease from ticks is Rocky Mountain spotted fever, characterized by fever, headache, rash, and nausea or vomiting. It affects more than 500 people each year, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC received reports of 415 cases of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis, a disease also transmitted by ticks, since it was identified in 1986. It is similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but usually without the rash. In 1994, scientists identified another similar disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, or HGE. About 170 cases have been reported.
The organism that causes the tick-borne disease babesiosis infects red blood cells, which burst and die, resulting in hemolytic anemia. Patients develop a malaria-like fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting; those with no spleen are at particular risk of developing severe disease. The reported incidence of babesiosis is about one-tenth that of Lyme disease, or even less, according to Sam Telford, Ph.D., a lecturer on tropical public health with the Harvard School of Public Health.
Lyme disease, HGE, and babesiosis are all transmitted by the deer tick. Ticks have been found to have any two of those disease-causing organisms. "I believe it's only a matter of time before we find a tick with all three," Telford says. The lone star tick transmits human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis.
Many exposed people never develop the diseases. Roughly 5 percent of the coastal Massachusetts' population has antibodies against babesiosis, Telford says. "We believe it's about the same for ehrlichiosis. For Lyme disease, it's maybe three times that."
Fleas or an infected animal can transmit bubonic plague. Seven cases, including one death, were reported to CDC in 1995, in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Oregon. Another 13 cases, also including one death, were reported in 1994, in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, headache, vague discomfort, and very painful, swollen lymph nodes near the infection site. Septicemic plague is more serious because the bloodstream is infected, as is pneumonic plague, with its overwhelming pneumonia. Antibiotics are used for treatment. A plague vaccine is available for special groups at very high risk.
Early diagnosis and treatment give humans the best chance of recovery from these and other flea- or tick-transmitted diseases.