Thursday, November 29, 2007

Phantom at the Opis

Typical boy-meets-girls story in the beginning.

Girl saw Boy and her heart went extra fast in its lub-dup-lub-dup. He must have heard the racket it made for he responded by asking her out for a drink. But, instead of meeting him for an ‘innocent’ cuppa at the cafeteria downstairs, they went out like a real date.

One date led to a second date. And plenty of text messages in between.

Others started to notice her glow. And Boy stayed back at the office even when there was no apparent need for him to do so.

One day, Boy asked her out for a third date. She wanted to, but she couldn’t. There were too many things to do and she had to go outstation the next day so she really couldn’t do coffee.

Oh, that upset him. Bad.

To her surprise, he started to send her nasty messages – calling her names. She didn’t know how to reply to such sms-es so she kept quiet.

Then, to her horror, the nastiness got worse. He sent her threatening messages. He signed off as The Devil and promised her that he would make sure that hell would be coming her way. That he would destroy everything that was dear to her. He would dial her number non stop for 200 times at one go. The fact that she didn’t answer, spurred him to dial again and again, and further fuelled his anger.

All this happened in the span of 3 weeks. Heavenly for 2 weeks and hellish in the third week.

Girl came to me crying and showing me all the wonderful messages. It actually shook me. Memories of the past came back. The whole situation was a bit too familiar for comfort.

And I told her what I wished someone would tell me back then.

That she must take action. This is a no-joke matter. He’s a sick sick person and he needs professional help. She needs protection from him. Being the sick person that he is, no one can really gauge what he will do next. You can pacify him by saying sorry, go out with him again, and then what? It doesn’t seem to take much to set him off. He treats you wonderfully one minute, he makes you feel like you are on cloud nine. But once he is angry - and the reasons are often unpredicatable, he makes you feel like you are 7 feet under. Yo-yo life. Up and down and up and down. Extreme high then extreme low.

You read in the newspaper about some body found in a dumpster, or someone slashed to death by someone who loved her tooooo much. Someone who couldn’t bear to see her even talk to another man. Someone who would be jealous of her every time she wasn’t within sight. Yes, he killed her but he only killed her out of love. And he believed his line too.

I told this girl, to stop weeping. Instead, do something about it. Report to the management. Make a police report too. Stay away from him. Do something, before it gets too late. Be careful. Watch your back. And learn some lessons from this. I told her that i would walk her to her car everyday if needs be, i will chicken-chop the guy if it has to come to that (Yamtuan kata, awak kecik aje, sedor le diri... hehe, but you see, no one, and i mean NO ONE messes with my friends. Remember my severe warning?)

The whole thing reminded me of a story that a dear friend told me. It was about her sister.

His fiancé was extremely jealous of her. He was abusive and even had the audacity to blame her for the abuse too. ‘I hit you because you made me’ – you know, that kind of stuff. One day she told him that she had had enough. He made her go in his car and drove her down to her or his kampong, I cant remember. He wanted her to tell the parents. It must have been ugly in the car, they must have fought, he must have lost concentration in his driving, so much so that the car crashed. He survived it but she died. She was crying when she died.

This friend met me here - in the blogosphere. It is by sheer coincidence that my name is like that of her sister. And this friend said, I look a lot like her sister too. The fact that I have experienced something like her sister - milder though, was of no surprise. But at least my story ended better. I came out of the drama, maybe not as whole as I’d like to think, but I survived it.
And I found Yamtuan. He kicks ass better than i do. Together, him and me, we keep the country safe. Mwahaha...

My friend at the office, she's a pretty 36-year-old and has a daughter. Know anyone that's looking for a life partner to match-make with her?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

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Have you ever heard of the ‘true mirror’?

It is a mirror that doesn’t reverse things. You put up writings infront of the mirror and you can read its reflection in the mirror just as how the writings would appear to your eyes. You see things as they are. Back is back, front is front, left and right are left and right. And, I must add, ugly is ugly, beauty is beauty too.

I first read about it some ten years ago. The invention wasn’t even new then, (patented in 1887), but it made news somehow ten years ago. I read in awe how most human subjects would freak out when they look in that mirror because it would be the first time they see themselves as others see them – you know what I mean?

Even without true mirrors, through the ‘deceptive’ mirrors that i have at home (the only type of mirror I have), I must say I seldom look-see myself. The times when I sit in front of the mirror, to cleanse-tone-moisturise my face, or to comb my hair or to tease a pimple, I always avoid looking into my eyes, or rather, their reflection. If I need to put eyeliners, my focus will be at that part of the eye that is to be lined, not into the eyes. Almost never into the eyes.

When I go out to restaurants that are filled with mirrors, I will choose the seat that will have the direct view of the wall if I can or at the least, the seat farthest away from mirrors so I will not accidentally look at me.

Why? I don’t know. It feels awkward maybe? I cant quite explain. What I know is that, that person reflected in the mirror doesn’t look like me. But if you ask me, I seldom look at myself so I probably wont be able to recognise me. So, let’s hope I will never lost me because if I do, how to find me if i don’t know how ‘me’ looks like? Yes? I cant just describe myself as that ‘short, roundish woman’, can i? For all I know, I only look roundish and short because the mirror tells me so. But mirrors lie! Maybe, others see me as a tall hourglass with great long legs? I dont ever want to stand infront a true mirror, no thank you.

What you see in the mirror is only a backward reflection of things. It is NOT true. Imagine the possibilities! You look at yourself and you think you are pretty. In actual, others look at you with pity! Hehehe… Or vice versa, you think you are ugly, but others actually envy you *wink wink*.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ikhlas - Jauh ke dekat ke....

I think ‘sincerity’, ‘ikhlas’ is a wonderful wonderful gift. Next to love, or maybe equivalent to love, sincerity is perhaps God’s best gifts to us.

Things are made easier, burdens feel lighter, and time feels shorter all when you are sincere.

On the way back from office yesterday, walking to the monorel station with a colleague, she asked me whether I find the journey to and from office difficult.

Well, I do find it difficult, but not that difficult.

True, the journey usually means having to be on my feet, standing and walking, one and a half hours to work and at least one hour for the journey home. While my knees and back often do need rubs at night, I honestly don’t mind it much. Maybe because I am only 20 weeks pregnant. Maybe as I get bigger, it will be more difficult. But for now, I am actually fine with it.

Because going to the office on my own means, the kids can wake up a little bit later, and it means I help the family save on fuel money, and I spare Yamtuan from having to drive through the horrendous traffic to Bukit Bintang. For all that, my steps become so much lighter and the loads I am carrying on my back (laptop, purse, books) and my front (baby, loads of fat, water) feel very much manageable. Because I genuinely am happy helping the family out in that leeetle way, I reach the office in a jovial mood and reach home later that day tired and aching as I may be, but happy still.

It doesn’t just apply to me going to-fro work.

I believe it applies to everything that we do - sending the kids to school, cooking, solat, balik kampong, taking care of sick parents, mending husband’s shirt, cleaning up after the kids, puasa – anything, everything.

I remember in one of AuntyN’s entry, she wrote about ironing her husband’s shirts. That she takes it as a privilege to iron his shirts. Not a chore. Definitely not a burden.

Tak ikhlas, jangan buat. You think people cant tell that you are not sincere? You can easily tell if someone hates their job by the half-hearted services they give you. You can tell one sincere smile from the other.

Kalau ikhlas ke tak ikhlas ke, kena buat jugak, then wouldn’t it make your life so much more pleasant if you try to be sincere anyhow? Like it or not, you still have to do it. You can do it grudgingly and be miserable and cause others to be miserable too, or you can try to like it and be happy. Whatever ‘it’ is.

I believe in whatever one does, if one is sincere and take pride in it, the output will be better too.

I am sincere in carrying the bulge. Sun sincerely wants the baby-in-the-bulge to have stickers. So I now have two stickers on my belly. One is Luigi and the other Van Fillmore – you know, characters from CARS the movie? And so proudly I have been walking around with cars on my belly. Sun happy, I happy.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sek Men Sains Muar

Sambutan Ulangtahun ke-25, Sek Men Sains Muar, Johor

Dinner at Hotel Singgahsana, PJ

12 Dec 2007

For all x-SMSMR SPM1984 - SPM 1988

Get details and register at

Deepavali - Sungai Balung, Tawau

I read with envy how joyously wonderful Deepavali was to some people. Holidaying at paradise lah, cosy time with family lah...

On Deepavali, i had to leave town to go to Tawau. Yes, that place. Again. Not that i have anything against Tawau. I think it is a nice place, quiet, unassuming, great seafood, friendly people. Nice. Except i was sent there for a meeting, and had to leave my family behind.

The meeting was to be done at this place called Sg Balung Resort.

The bosses left one day earlier as they had very important visit to Sampoerna, you know, to do snorkelling and all that. Coolie-kangs like me travelled a day later, laden with boxes and boxes of files. All marked intimidatingly with words like, 'Rahsia Kerajaan Langit' in red ink, and for all their importance and secrecy, were checked in and not hand-carried. Hehe.. how to hand carry i ask you, Mr Protocol?

Once i have checked in, and had the policewoman's hands all over me, i received a call from my boss. She said, maybe the resort is not a place suitable for me - gravel road, verrrrrry bumpy ride, motorcross version. Sigh, wattudu, the warning came weeeee too late, innit?

So i boarded the flight to KK then another one to Tawau. Waited at the airport a good hour because the 4WD broke down on the way to pick me up. O-oh.. bad sign!

And when it finally arrived and we were finally on the camel-trophy road, i telllll you, twas a very bumpy ride. The driver was kind, though. He went maybe 20 km/hr? Apart from the drilling ride, the journey was otherwise a pleasant one. Beautiful view of an organic plantation! There were rows of tequila plant, misai kucing, mengkudu, and dont-know-what-else. Greens and nothing but greens.
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Tequila oo la la

And i wrote this from the room,

8 November
5-ish pm.

It is not even 6pm yet but it certainly feels like it is at least 7pm. Dark. And all I can hear is the sounds of the forest preparing itself to usher in the night – steady hums and buzzes of insects and occasional cries from the forest residents. The rooms are barren of what the city folks deemed as necessities – television, phone, internet. I know Yamtuan would have a nervous breakdown here.

The walls of the chalet are made up of river stones, the floors are wood panelling. Imagine such structure built underneath canopies of the rainforest and you started to wonder why they install air-conditioning system in. You stroll outside and you understand why – it is so you don’t open the windows and allow mosquitoes and other nasty bugs in. But they don’t have that many of the blood-scucking bugs either – thanks to the serai and pandan planted all around the compound.

From my window, all I can see is the greens. Wonderful trees, huge, old and sturdy. Cool to the eyes, soothing to the tired soul and comforting.

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View from my window.

I absolutely love it here.

I am alone in my room now as my colleagues are all out for a 4WD tour around the resort. The host wouldn’t let me – no matter how I pleaded. She says the gravel roads will give too bumpy a ride for me. Great for my back, awful for the baby I am carrying – that’s what she claims. But she’s not my Obgyn and I am stubborn. But this is her land and she is just as hard-headed as me. Thus how I end up in my room when everyone else is out having fun.

Oh, for lunch just now, we were served palm-heart and some weird looking but pleasant tasting fruits.

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Buah abio ke entah apa ke nama ntah

You would expect that i spend the night romanticising and mooning over the stars and the depth of the night. NO.

I was excited at first. I saw this giant snail and took pictures and everybody called me peghak jakun. But i have never seen snails that big! Really, jurassic in size!
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I then had an absolutely interesting dinner. Of palm syrup and palm heart and weird weird fruits.
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On the way back to the rooms though, i walked with the bosses. Two of them stayed at a 4-bedroom bungalow. One guy complained to me how Dato' (who stayed with him) didnt seem to be much of a sleeper. Throughout last night, he heard Dato' moving about in the house. And i laughed, i said to him, 'ye lah tu Dato' that you heard, entah-entah benda lain!' After i said that, i realised how celupar i sounded and i was after all in the thick of the forest and you know, taboo kan?

That night, i tell you, i cowered under the blankets. It was too quiet yet there were too many bumps i heard from outside my window. Like something was trying to get in, to get at that celupar mouth of mine. Padan muka, ye tak?


Moral of the story is, go bring your families to Sungai Balung Resort in Tawau for a healthy getaway. All greens and organic too, just be careful with what you say, ok?
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

eCHEM Raya Do

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eCHEM (Alumni Jab Kej Kimia FKKKSA UTM) dgn kerjasama PAUTM akan menganjurkan RAYA GATHERING esklusif utk SEMUA graduan Jabatan:-

TARIKH: 08-11-2007, Khamis (Hari Deepavali)
MASA: 12 tgh

Semua Graduan dan Warga Jabatan dijemput hadir.

Sila forward kpd Alumni Jabatan yang lain.

REVERT to Azmi Said via SMS 012-2121011 or email for attendance utk budget food.

Supported by PAUTM.


Because it will be on the 8th Nov, i suppose it is more than just for Raya Aidil Fitri, could be for Deepavali too. Go people go!

Friday, November 02, 2007

To Open is to Eat and Be Merry

When I was a kid, hari raya was at the most a 3-day celebration.

And I am not just talking about Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Deepavali or Chinese New Year would be the same too. Especially on the first day of raya, all houses would open their doors. We kids would be tricktreating at as many houses as our legs could carry us. Raya wasn’t even about the angpows. It was about wearing new baju kurungs (and feeling all rimas lemas pasai tak biasa) and being allowed to roam about with your friends, and washing down sweet cookies down the throat with sweet red pandan syrup.

Raya in Kuching camp was the best as there were so many houses to go to. Even on Aidil Fitri, we would still be visiting non-muslim houses. They would let us in even when it wasn’t their hari raya. I remember one Deepavali when we visited a Punjabi house and were served chapattis. Yum! Oh and I love that sweet ball thing served at deepavali-celebrating houses, it was so powdery that you MUST never open your mouth once you have bitten on it. Ngamho. And the red and black hard kuaci(s) on Chinese New Year! Awesome.

There was no such thing as Open House concept. It was Hari Raya kan? Of course houses would be opened!

It is so different now.

Raya is one month long. Raya is only during weekends. One Open House after the other. Buffet style. Eat all you can.

Living in KL, I feel the difference. Kampung may be different.

We only had 3 groups of visitors this year. One was Yamtuan’s sister’s family. Then the cab-driver’s family – I dont even know his full name (he’s listed in my phone directory as Teksi Den only) and he doesn’t know mine too, except I always call him to send me to KLIA whenever I need to travel. He came for raya with his family because the wife wanted to ask me about government grants, tak apa lah... The other family was my neighbour. They were on their way to Pasar Malam, and dropped by for maybe 5 minutes?

All my friends, even other neighbors, when I ask them to come over for raya, they would always ask me, when exactly is my open house going to be. I always replied, everyday sure open one – if not open, how to enter, aiyah..

And when I tell some friends that I would like to come visit them for raya, they would tell me, don’t come today, come on certain-certain date as that date will be their Open House do.

But friends, it is not about eating. I don’t care if you don’t serve anything at all!

We are always too busy aren’t we to see each other? And friendship does require some form of maintenance, at least once a year, no? Only once a year of meeting friends. Eating? I do it more than 5 times a day everyday! Trust me I can recognise one bowl of laksa from a distance away but i may not be able to recognise some friends even when I am standing right next to them. People change, development happens. Expansion and reduction, tucks and nips, lines and botox happen.

I do see the good of open day and I will always try my best to attend whenever we get invitation. And because of Open House concept too, Syawal is really extended because ‘houses’ need weekends to ‘open’.

Cheers for Open House concept. But I just don’t do Open House. Trust me, my house open all the time. You eat what we eat. Far from fancy, and you dont get caterers, you only have me and my suspicious-looking dishes.

I dont do open house. Never done it and probably never will too.

Does it mean friends will never come over? No good food, you wont come meh?


I definitely know that it means my Aidil Fitri cookies can last until the next Aidil Fitri!

I have three Open Houses tomorrow. I will be so merry-go-round Yamtuan will have to roll me home.