Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Arabian Holidays

Ain't Google the best thing for research?

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The whole Lollies clan will be taking a trip to the beautiful majestic country of Oman. We are leaving tomorrow for about two weeks. So I would probably be on hiatus for a while and will later bombard you with the boring journal (somewhat) of my travel.

Oman is vast and we couldn't cover it all especially if the time and budget is limited. So I decided to explore the east of Oman which I believe is the best region to visit during winter. Salalah, on the west side which is a region of history in nature (Prophet Job (Nabi Ayub a.s. tomb and the ruins of Queen Sheba's (Puteri Balqis)castle) will have to wait.

We'll be driving all the way from Doha. The map above is the route that I have planned for the whole trip.

On the 21st we'll drive carefully out of Doha, get into short transit into the Saudi and later into the UAE and finally make a stop at Dubai. I estimate the journey will take about 8 hours.

In Dubai, I am staying with Halley, Dory's friend. HIIIIIII! See you soon. I hope the kids will behave. Apparently its Dubai Sales Festival now. I am not looking for much to shop, but I will probably get some sweaters and jackets for the kids and perhaps knee-high boot for me and another good all covering shoes (its freezing here). Lover might want to get new shades (he lost them in the dunes)

Then the next day we'll move out to Khasab, Musandam. Musandam is an Oman state seperated from the rest of Oman by UAE. The journey will most likely take about three hours. However I am planning to make lots of stops. I heard the route is picturesque. I can't wait to snap snap snap.

We'll be staying in Khasab, Musandam for three days. Hope to catch good view of the sea and fjords.

After doses of majestic cliffs and probably dolphins we'll make a move to Muscat, the capital of Oman. The journey will take about 8 hours. We'll probably visit lots of forts, souqs, beaches and villages along the way. Will stay in Muscat for three days. Hope it is enough to wash our clothes and relax and get some souveniers.

Then we'll take a slow three hours drive to Sur. A beach famous for its turtles. This will only be a 2 day stay but due to the short journey, I hope to be checking out some remote areas along the way like the Sumail Gap and whatever else (remind me to read again).

Then we are off to Nizwa located at the foothill of dramatic Hajar mountain. Five hours from Sur. Three days here.

And last stop at AlBuraimi. We reserved for one night stay, but if it turns out good, we might extent. Its only three hours drive but from what I read, there is just so much to see.

With that I hope you learn some geography today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Name the Shaded Country

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Hint : The capital is Muscat

Monday, December 18, 2006


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So much of me being melancholic about the little rain in Qtar. It rains everyday today now! It rains so much, it even surprises the Qtar Metereological department. In fact this year is the wettest year they have seen since 1964. I was here the same time last year, and I clearly remembered it never rain this much.

Rain is a bless.

In fact Qtar should learn from rain to better manage their drainage system. What drainage system? Qtar doesn't believe in drains. There is practically no drain anywhere. Even if there is, it is accumulated with sand. Thus look what happen to Qtar when it is drenched the whole day, three days straight.

The top two pictures are mud right in front of my house. It is almost impossible to park. My lover's car was stuck in one of the holes. And it was a 4x4 mind you. Luckily some good Qtari Samaritan with powerful Toyota Land Cruiser pulled the car out. Qtaris can be amazingly helpful. They might surprise you like that.

The weather is really cold now. It went down to 9 degree Celsius.

The rain can also surprise you sometime. Here I am rewarded with the beauty of a rainbow in the land of Qtar.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Word Sunday : HOST

So Doha was the host for the 15th Asia Games. We the Malaysians in Doha, Qtar also was the host for the Malaysian team. Some hosted makan-makan or take them out shopping. But what better can we give them but to let them experience a bit about middle east life if not for a game at the sand dunes?

And that was exactly what we did. We went sand duning last Saturday.

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And these are the sand dunes we conquered. Not those little humpslahh, the one at the back.

Qtar is almost like an island. Thus most of the land is surrounded by sea. So here we have sand dune right next to the beach. So the kids get to play with the freezing water. The adults get to do what adults normally due when they find sand. Four wheel drive up the dune. Quad biking.

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The beach and the dune, Part of the convoy, I like that picture and Lover deflating the tyre before we set off in four wheel mode.

We had loads of fun albeit the rain. It drizzled then the sun peaked out and then drizzled again. But we managed to have good fun despite the cold. Pity the Malaysian team..most of them do not have their jackets on.

The main food was nasi lemak and sambal ikan bilis. I didn't know what to bring and finally decided on boiled tapioca and sweet dessicated coconut. It was such a hit particularly with the takraw boys. It was still the talk of town today. Ha ha ha. *sejuk hati makcik memasak*

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The kids.

Some of the mummies were angry at me for letting my kids play in the water. My kids in the water obviously induced other kids to the water too. Ha ha ha. That's the thing with me. I don't mind messiness. I don't mind the sand, the wetness. Seriously what are they suppose to do? Play cards? Board game in the openness? Thumbing gameboy?

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I couldn't take much of the photo when I am at the top of the sand dune. We were going so fast, the car was humping about. My camera went everywhere. These are the best I can take. Check out the tyre tracks on the sand.

One can get seriously lost driving in between the dunes. Everything looks the same. And when you go uphill, you cannot tell what its like on the other side. You have to honk, in case another vehicle comes from the other side and get in your pathway. Or you might find a 90 degree downhill slope. Errkksss

We rented two quad bikes. And we saw lots of Mat rempits in action particularly the takraw boys. But of course no one can match the locals with their stunt and speed.

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The last picture was me taking a picture while riding with lover.

I had great time even though I was drenched head to toe at the end of the day. The gloomy sky, the crying clouds only spoil the photos but not my mood. As you can see no blue sky in the pic.

Kak Lina asked me before I went off, "It's a great day isn't it?" . I replied with a big grin combing my wet hair, "Fabulous!"

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Don't bother looking for me. I am not in the picture.

More pics here

Friday, December 15, 2006

Home and Busy Already

It was a smooth trip back. Jack slept for 6 hours. He was up and chattering when we flew above Oman. The day was clear and bright with bob of clouds about. We looked out and saw the majestic mountain range of Oman. Breathtaking.

It was good to be home and everyone had so much to tell. Sya kept on saying she missed me lots. She said she misses nenek too.

But not a time to be snuggling the whole day though, we had high tea with the Malaysian Takraw team at Dr. Azhar's house. Of course the whole night, everyone was teasing both of us. Tanya lagi pulak to the kids, "Kena duduk luar rumah ke tadi? (Did your parents lock you outside?)" *Merah telinga*

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The Malaysian Takraw Team in the tiger stripes. All in the bus ready to go home.

Then without much plan, we all went to watch the squash game, featuring Nicole David, World Ranking No.1 - squash. We left the kids at Dr. Azhar's house. Everyone went in our car. Imagine 8 adults in the car all hype and ready to tease us, the newly married couple. And my lover, somehow, that night kept on making wrong turns. Ayoooo.

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We had tickets but couldn't get in for nearly an hour. We missed Nicole's game. Apparently those who had tickets, stayed for the whole game since morning. We manage to catch the man's game though. It was Malaysia against Malaysia. Ong Beng Hee against Azlan Iskandar. So not all is loss.

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I have never watched squash in my whole life. Now I know that they like to wipe their sweat on the glass doors. And it is a crowded room in the glass door as well. they kept knowcking each other. But then squash is made even more interesting especially when I get to watch Azlan. He was perspiring and kept on wiping his face with his shirt thus displaying his six packs. I immediately want to become a bimbo and throw thongs at him. Oh la la.

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Highlight of the moment was singing NEGARAKU and watch Malaysian flag raised.

Way to go Malaysian team.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

You Wait

Perhaps the two weeks apart brings back new meaning to our love life. Cewah! Macam bagus!

Anyway we have been on sms or phone calls. Which made me angry because lover is terrible at answering sms and sometimes I can't hear him properly. I am impatient, I know.

But there are times that we enjoyed the teasing. Like lovers we are. Especially on YMs. I can't wait to get back.

I chat with the kids too. Jack was so happy to see kakak and abang and do little dance for them.

Sya sounds so cute on YM. Can't wait to go back and hug her. Hug all of them.

I teased them on the cam. I ate satay which irked lover. I showed MAMEE to Haziq. He didn't care. I showed Roti Gardenia perisa cokelat. Ha ha! He wanted that. I drank vitagen. He wanted that too.

Lover had been quite good with the kids. Apparently he had been taking them to support the Malaysian team at the Asian Games. They were on TV too. Haziq was seen on TV banging the drum. I think that was quite an experience.

I am pretty sure the house is in one piece because that is my lover for you. I have objection with the type of food he is feeding the kids though.

Regardless, I am missing them lots. It is tiring doing things alone (ESPECIALLY PERGI PEJABAT TANAH OK!!).

So lover, you wait ok.


About Traffic

The traffic was bad on the Seremban-KL highway when I drove to KL. Welcome to Malaysia, where highway is jam packed on weekends.

It was Selangor's public holiday yesterday. It took me one hour to reach Bangsar from my house, which otherwise should be a short 15 minutes.

About Songs

Many old songs are sung again huh? New remix and all. I suddenly feel so old. There will come a day, I will have to tell my kids, hey this is an old song. it was better the old version.

About nose and boobs

Many artists have sharper nose now. Is it make-up?

Many ah mois with bigger boobs now. Is it the food they eat?

About Shopping

I hate shopping for clothes you know. I envy those who can shop and end up with heaps of goodies.I have problem finding good pants. It doesn't help that I have a big bump and a small waist. Anything that fits the bum would have a waist too large. And I don't like tying knots. It makes my tummy big. Which already is. I do not need to flatter it more.

What's with the tops nowadays? Too small. The Vs too low. Too transparent. Too short. The one that fits me make me look fat. Bencilah.

But Malaysia is a heaven for shoes. Especially during sales. Hooray.

About Stroller

Zachary had been a fairly cooperative boy. He sat in the stroller most of the time in the mall. He even slept in it for two solid hours. The only things I am scared of pushing him up and down the escalator. Ayoooo so ngeri. I used the elevator instead. But many able people who are not pushing a stroller or a trolley or wheelchair rush into the elevator before me. I hate most is the elevator in Sunway pyramid. The small ones in the middle of the court. Too many selfish able people.

And pushing the stroller down the travellator with bags and wearing a stilleto is also a scary feat.

Cyber cafe and fax Store

There is no cyber cafe in Mid Valley in case you want to know. There used to be one at the boulevard area. So I went there pushing Zachary, only to find rows of slimming stores. It intimidated me. I felt fat, inadequate and jiggly.

Anyway if you ever need to access the internet at Mid Valley, like I did, there is one corner at MPH. There are four computers and they charge you RM2 per half an hour. I personally think they should not allow kids playing games there though.

And also if the need to fax is a matter of life or death, there is one at Carefour. At one of the magazines and paper store. There used to be one next to 1901. They have moved at P1 level under the travellator at Jusco's side. This one do photocopy in colours and also can print your school assignments. (But the computer was so damn slow)

Hmm anyway it had been a good return for me. I was never idle. Busy busy everyday. I get to eat what I want to eat. For the record I prefer the briyani in Malaysia better. I get to meet those I want to meet. I got to do what I wanted to do.

You guys are lovely. And Dory so kurus. Betik too (sebelum dia marah aku) and Diah too for God's sake. How can a pregnant woman be slimmer than me who is not pregnant.

Gart's female colleagues are so so kurus. The newscaster on TV also so kurus. What are they eating?? Or not eating maybe.

Fried koay teow with kerang are the best.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Word Sunday : Milestone

Milestone : An important event in one's life path

I am back only for a short two weeks. Myself and little Jackos. My lover and my two kids are still in Doha, cheering the Malaysian squad.

For those of you who just recently become Lollies the not so domestic goddess cult followers, you might not know that I am currently on a one-year-unpaid leave from the company who sponsored my studies before. This is obviously so that I can dutifully follow my lover to Qatar. Now the one year is up. I applied for an extension, and as expected, was rejected. Thus the time has come to decide whether I would want to continue working, serve my bond but live apart from my lover. Him in Doha, me in KL. Or quit my work, pay up the contracts, lose the job I like but stay together as lovers and have great love life.

My milestone of life is this decision I am making.

I think the decision is obvious for me. But my dad and my inlaws are not happy. Very understandable especially after they saw us going through two years when lover was out of job.

I am sad too because my job has been my last cling to my individual self. Throughout my stay here, I sometime keep myself subconsciously apart from people knowing that I have a job still waiting for me.

Like today as I was walking around the Wetex Parade, the most happening "mall" in Muar, I was stopped by a salesman trying to coax me to take up an English course in some college. "Are you a surirumah or are you working?" "I am a surirumah" Gosh! I still find it hard to say that. I hope if you are a homemaker, you won't be offended, because that's not what I am trying to do. I like career life and that is the truth. I still find myself unorganised trying to organise a small house. I am a chaotic domestic goddess.

Regardless, I still think I am not ready to keep the family apart. I don't think I am emotionally independent. I don't like the bed cold either. Now that we are three days apart I am already having mood swings.

And last week, during dinner, Haziq said that I have the greatest job on earth. I corrected him and said that I am not working anymore. He replied and said that I am. "You are babysitting us," he said as he gobbled up his food.

Indeed. The greatest job on earth.

I would be in KL for one whole week and most likely will not be able to access the internet. I didn't have my Doha's phone so i do not have your number. Any problem? Call : 019-607 6840. You problems may or may not be entertained though.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

All Set to Go

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Doha is set for the Asian Games tomorrow. Even though I personally think, with the mountains of money they have, they can do so much better in terms of aesthetic and preparation. But they got everything in place and in time. Phew! The second picture is the Athlete's Village. A big flag, I think it's Bahrain's, is proudly plastering on the wall. The Athlete's village was just finished. Another phew. They could do with more greens I think.

Securities in Bedouin makeshift tents are at every stadiums armed with metal detector for under the car check.

Flags, banners are everywhere and those big big banners that cover the whole building depicting different type of sport are classy (sorry no picture, maybe later). Full of colours. I really like them. Very tasteful. Thumbs up!

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Most roads leading to stadiums are well lit decorated partucularly this one. This road leads to Khalifah Stadium, the main stadium here where the opening and closing ceremony will take place. I am amazed they choose these type of streetlights. Too much maintenance in my opinion. Today there had to put up new light bulbs. Gosh!

The big tower cum torch at the Khalifah tower is pleasantly intimidating. Someone told me just how much gas they will pump up to keep the light burning, I err, forgot. The stadium's lighting are hallucinating. I saw part of the commissioning (from far) and I must say, wow! We'll wait for the real day I guess.

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Colourful billboards are placed at every strategic roundabout and traffic lights intersections. A good way to cover up the pile of unused land.

The 15th Asia Games will be held in Doha from 1st-15thDecember 2006. I have been waiting for this moment since I got here. What more, I am a committee member for the Malaysian association here.

But where would I be at that time? I would be in Malaysia instead. Yes you read it right. I am leaving to Kuala Lumpur tonight via Qtar Airways. I will be like all of you, watching the sports from the tele, and that is if I do watch.

It will be a short stay. Hope to meet some of you if not all.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Word Sunday : Terrible Twos

The terrible twos refer to the period when a toddler are beginning to discover independence and individuality. It can begin as early as 9 months but usually around the age of two, thus the name. This is the age where temper tantrums are beginning to emerge.

At this stage the toddler is discovering that they are actually a separate entity altogether being from their mother. The way for them to explore and see how things work, is by testing their boundaries. Thus it is very important for mummies to be consistent with boundaries and discipline for the childÂ’s safety and MY SANITY. And of course lots of luuurrvvvvveeee and kisses and huggies and nose pressings and cheek pinching.

But of course Zachary is no where near terrible. I kan mak dia. Mestilah kata gitu. He throws tantrums now and then to the dismay of his kakak and abang. But it never did stop them "bullying" him anyway. Despite the occasional crying from JackJack who complains that abang buat him or complaints from abang that jack keep throwing his blocks at him or the forever complaints by Sya that Jack pulled her hair, they are always playing together.

As expected, everything in the house belongs to him. EVERYTHING. "Mine!", he would say. When he wants, he wants. So sometimes I need to put a line to him. Kena tahnlah kalau melalak tu.

Haziq usually kicks around with Jack. Jack would be holding his fist in a stance. He would then charge at you and pretend to hit you, but sometimes he would actually hit you for good. Ouch! Jack! When you still wear diaper, you would look incredibly cute doing that. And because a toddler look like us albeit small, shot hands, short legs, small fists, buttoned nose, they look so adorable. It's hard to be angry.

Jack plays with Sya's dolls too. He would hold a wrapped up in a blankie barbie, just like Sya, but would later throw Barbie around. Sya would of course be angry.

The only problem is when my older kids are not around. Jack would usually want to kick around with me. I sometimes oblige. He would charge, kick, punch and I would pretend that I was hurt..ahhhhhh...and drop myself to the floor. Then I would come up and attack him in return. He would run with his little short legs and exaggerated arm swing. I would then lift him up and attack him with kisses on his face, on his tummy, his armpit and he would shout and squeal. If he is in the mood of punching, this would annoy him tremendously and would wriggle off. He would shout,"TOP IT! TOP IT!" And that is stop it in your language.

Another great thing about these terrible twos period is their constant act of imitating you. Especially masa sembahyang. So cute tengok budak kecik sujud. And him reciting Allahu Akbar.

And vocabolary expansion is tremendous albeit sometimes the baby talk. The attempt to have a full conversation with you is amusing. Zachary is now into three proper word in a sentence.

Jack nak ikut.
Abang main air.
Nak ambik kakak.
Jack nak apple jus. (eh 4 pulak)

Terrible twos year is a great year to enjoy your little one, but watch out for the tantrum.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When you have Nothing to Talk About talk about the weather.

The weather has been really pleasant nowadays. A definite contrast to the scorching humid hotness last three weeks. The highest temperature was 28C and in the morning when I send the kids off it was about 20C. The wind was perfect and the coolness just envelop you that you feel like running around in some dandelion field, except that you won't be able to find it here.

The last two days grey clouds hover above us with a promise of rain. And yes it drizzled and rained. It rained heavily when I went out to pick Batrisyia up.

And I just realised, being too accustom to a country which does not rain for 9 months of its year life, I didn't have an umbrella.

Worst still, I didn't even know where does one get one.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Word Sunday : Rewang

Rewang is pronounced as "ray-wang".

In the southern slang it means a lot of people helping out for the purpose of a feast of sort. However if an anak dara helps rewang, she should not be referred as Minah Rewang as this totally has different connotation to it very much akin to bohsia these days.

Rewang-rewang also mean jalan-jalan. Rendesvous aimlessly.

I helped rewang last week. In my context is tolong rewang potong bawang segala. The association I am involved with..hey wait a minute I am getting tired putting up this long sentence. "The association I am involved with". From now on I would refer the association to the ASS. So when I said the ASS from now on, you shouldknow what I am trying to say.

Anyway the ASS (:D) participated in an ASEAN Bazaar fest held here in D0ha last Friday. We bought a table and decided to sell satay. Funny we didn't want to make satay initially but end up doing it anyway since people always expect satay when it comes to Malaysia stalls here.

The only way to make somewhat profit, satay should be sold in large quantity (and quality of course). So we pierced away 1600 sticks of satay. And because most of us are working and we can only rewang at night, we took 2 nights to prepare them.

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I didn't have a picture of us selling though. And the pack of satay's picture is out of focus. Hmmpphh. Which is too bad because I believed (perasan) that I look dashing that night. With selendang somemore to match the black kebaya.

I bought a little fan from the Brunei's stall. And from my chattng with AJK tingkap, Dory, we both knew it would have been more effective if I had the short tight laced kebaya and a hair bun to boot.

Regardless, even with the boring old black kebaya, it was a sold out.

Lepas ni gua nak rewang-rewang pulak. Penatlah.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Name is Barnaby

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Hi! I am Barnaby. And this is Batrisyia. She is my mommy for three days. Sunday! Monday! Tuesday! Wednesday! Hey! That is four days. I have no fingers. I can't count.

Miss Laura, said, Batrisyia is a big girl. She can take care of a cuddly bubbly bear like me.

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She does everything with me.
She brushes my (lack of) fur.
She eats while I sit.
She takes me to school.
She reads to me.

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You see I even have clothes to wear. Apparently I am a boy. Batrisyia always make sure I look good before she takes me out. Which by the way she only takes me out to school.

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Meet my new friends. From left is Meowie. Next to it is froggie who apparently have trouble facing to the front. He croaks. Really he does. If you press his tummy, he will croak for you. Then there is leopard whom everyone calls him tiger.

And then there is dancing barbie in between my legs. :D. And Kayla who is squeezed in the middle next to Fairy. We call him Fairy because he is a faggot.

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Here's the cheeky one. His principal of life at the moment is whatever is yours is mine and what is mine, is really mine. He thinks I am his. To Sya's dismay.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingBut before the day ends, Batrisyia can be sure that I will go running back to her. Tomorrow I am going back to Miss Laura and she will bathe me (in the washing machine) and later get me a new mommy or maybe daddy.

Oh Ibu said, when she helped Batrisyia put my baju on, she told Batrisyia that it is the wrong baju for the day. That Batrisyia should choose another one. Which Batrisyia refused. Then Ibu remembered she argued with her Ibu. All mummies want to be mummies to their big daughters' babies. Then she lets Batrisyia pick the baju she wants herself and gritted her teeth instead.

Barnaby said bye-bye to Sya. Barnaby had a great time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Word Sunday : Stagger...

A few people have been hinting as to when am I going to open my house for makan-makan. I have never really invited anyone over come to think of it. I did invite Mr Drive Fast, Mr. Mail, Ms. Amel and that's about it really. The whole time I am here, those are the only three whom I have served dinner to.

Perhaps I don't like this place. I don't like the house. I was not in the mood. And perhaps also everyone here is one hell of a cook. Seganlah nak jemput makcik-makcik yang terer merer masak ni. Serious terer most of them here. Masak ratus-ratus sorang-sorang pun boleh. Sedap lak tu.

The other thing is, I am not a big fan of mega open house. Even in Malaysia I would call people over according to different batches of predefined group of friends. At least I can entertain better in smaller group. And part of a goddess scope of work is not just a tuan rumah, but a good hostess as well.

However, I think it is time that I do call people over. My mood is back, so I might as well swing them. We went on a shopping spree buying serving dishes. I go white this time round. Apparently everyone is going silvers Queen Anne's look. I'll skip that just because. I am also eyeing for the food warmer bowl kind of thing. Perfect when you have soup or lodeh kind of dish.

I will still call people in groups for, numero uno, I have no help whatsoever. No helper. Only lover to help. *Tak cukup tangan weh*.

I am not a fond of disposable. Everything must be served in proper plate. Dessert in dessrt plates. Pengat in the cute bowl. Proper spoon. So again *tak cukup tangan*.

Thus I will be arranging the makan-makan groups in a staggered period.

Last Saturday was my first one. I invited the committee member first. It became a makan-makan session cum meeting for the next event. More makan-makan event in the future. Haiyaaa.

I prepared bawang and what nots the night before and went to bed at 1. But couldn't sleep because of the cough. I think I slept at 4. I woke up at 830 the next morning in panic. People should be here at 1230.

Panic overwhelmed me. I remembered cooking in a very disillusion and staggered manner. I couldn't think straight and I thought all the dishes tasted horrible.

Guests were about thirty and these were the menu.

Thai Curry Prawn with Pineapple
Beef Patayya style
Sweet and Sour Garoupa
Som Tam Mango
Broccolli sauteed in garlic
Bread pudding with homemade custard sauce
Pengat pisang with real gula melaka
Watermelon juice
Coffee 434

All made in staggering four hours. Thank God I cut some garnishings the morning before. All in all I cut and deseed 50 red chilies. My hands are still burning till today.

It went well. I believe it was a lip smack affair. Despite that I collapsed (exaggeration) at the end of the day. But please no more waking up that late for future open house. I wasn't the best of hostess that day because I was rushing. The kitchen was a mess when they came. Ahh so not godessy. I hope the blouse and the skirt that accentuate my "professional" look helped cover the actual mess.

Four more batches to go now and I am playing menu in my head.

By the way these will no more be raya open house. For at the rate I am going it will stagger way beyond raya.

So we shall call it celebrating a near one year we are here. 12th December was the date.

Except I am not sure whether celebrate is the correct word for it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Change of Season

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Did I tell you it rained here on the fourth day of Raya? It wasn't much but it was enough to wet my cement compound and bring up the smell of rain. I didn't even realise it was raining, until we went out that day.

I was overwhelmed by the rain you know. I almost cried. Sappy gila aku ni. But yes, if you have not seen rain for so long, droplets are like blessings. You would thank God for it. You would want to savour it. Actually what I wanted to do was to stand in the rain, heads up, arms outstretched and eyes closed enjoying the raindrops. But, I had mascara on, powder and all. he he.

The real rain season, however will be sometimes in February and March. Those are cat and dogs rain. Just watch this space for entries on flash flood around those time of the month. (If I can take my own photo that is)

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWe went to Dukh@n which is about 1 hour drive from D0ha. There was a raya invitation. And on that day, I really felt that raya was really raya. It was probably the long hour travelling traveling. (Ceh! Baru satu jam). And also perhaps the house is old quarters, bungalow with spacious area and white wooden fences with creeping vines. I felt like I was at my Atuk's. I felt like I just balik kampung. The true spirit of raya is an exodus to kampung (pardon KLites).

The rain, the traveling that day, the convoying with many Malaysian (Ms. Ruby one of them. Ha ha ha Elisa, ni kan sikit-sikit I mention nama dia). To add to it, the Melayu community in Dukh@n is way smaller than the one in D0ha, and somehow they exude so much friendliness. We were only invited to one actual open house, but we went to the other three Malay houses as well. I do not know any of them. Kelam kambut dia orang masak. Sampai nugget pun keluar. Kesian dia orang.

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This morning, Doha was blanketed with thick fog. The ambiance was cooler and almost refreshing. Visibility was about 50-100m. The sun shied away for a while. Amazingly traffic seems to be on everyone's side too. Fog as thick as this is akin to the haze found in Malaysia and Singapore. Ahaks! Ahaks!

The top two pictures are actually at the same roundabout (called Sudan roundabout). One taken this morning, the other sometime during clear day. The rest of the pictures I just put it up here to prove my point. And my point was, my windscreen is dirty.

The kids have been coughing. Running nose and all. Me too.

You can probably tell by now. These are all signs. New season is coming.

Yay to winter.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Word Sunday : Event Management

Event management is defined as the application of the management science of project management to the creation and development of festivals and events.

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A very typical amatuerish raya invitation card designed by Lollies.

Not that I am an expert on it, but I have been getting a lot of tips these past few weeks. There was no science.

The event was not a professional one, but it did take a lot of my spare time. Thus explaining my short hiatus and the lack of chatting time. Hu hu hu

I was seriously paying attention to Futuredoc's entry on tips to attend a function. I made mental note on them, since I was in the organising committee. He he tu lah pasal saya risau sangat tau.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe association thing that I gatal-gatal got myself involved in here organised a makan-makan open house for the members. About 200 came. The committees prepared the main dishes, which again I was paranoid the whole time I cooked. I made soto ayam. Again after reading Serious tummy ache after a raya function, I took extra care when I shred the 10 chickens. (lenguh jemariku ini). And I also cooked with luurrrvvvve, so hopefully no case of uncooked chicken or something. It was nervous wreck to cook because the other makciks were good at this big 200-300 people cooking. So, my dish could end up alienated. And I am being serious ni. Photo shows some poisoned victims looking healthy prior to eating my chicken soto

I was also the MC of the night. I was glad that I didn't have to call strange people to give speeches like what this other doctor had to endure. Unfortunately they had to endure me *uhuk uhuk*. It was a cheerful mode, no formalities. Just simple short fun-filled action-packed time.

There was ketupat weaving competition, which was won by Miss Salw. She was amazingly calm and completed like only minutes after I started off the game. Leaving the rest of the contenders nervous like crazy. Menggigil babe!

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Ms. Salw is the one in niqab. The guys were seriously good too. The one biting the ribbon got the second place. Anyway, Ms. Anggerik Merah, you might recognise someone in this photo, if you can head-read that is.

I counted a whole lot of nuts at 2 the earlier morning. I sincerely hope that it was correct. Can you guess how many nuts are in the jar?

I had a crazy time computing all the answers when people rushed to me shouting. I seriously thought the audience would be unresponsive you know. So I urged them to come out, get to the mike. Was I wrong! They were all over! Yang jantan. Yang tino. kecik beso. Hitam puteh. Tak terlayan aku.

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Look at this enthusiastic guy. Some people actually took out their calculator to count the nuts. Lawak gila!

The children got their face painted. They got balloons and little balls to occupy their time. And some goodie bags too.

There were lucky draws (so common eh? but people love lucky draw especially if you keep them anxious about it).

One story eh..

The last winner was Puan Hafsah Manaf. So I announced her name and there were groans from the audience that they did not win. When she was approaching me, I said oh sorry, bukan Puan Hafsah lah (Not Puan Hafsah). People were quiet. Puan hafsah stopped short and said, "Don't tell me salah orang!" (Don't tell me you got the wrong person). I said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, indeed it is not Puan Hafsah but DR. Hafsah (for she is a PhD. holder)" The audience laughed and Dr. hafsah hit me on the shoulder. Ouch!

Lover helped me wrapped the presents. The whole week before the event, we went out everyday hunting for suitable prizes. That's why I have been silent. Sebookkzzzzz. The best dressed were also given prizes. Yang syioknya tengok budak kecik. I bought a big monstrous truck for the best dressed boy. And a big cooking set for the girl. Don't they love getting big colorful wrapped present?

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All in all, I had a great time. The prizes were not expensive ones as the association is like running out of money and we didn't have time to look for sponsors. (Sebenarnya aku tensi pasal ni. Tapi kang dia kata ko lah jadi president. So fogeddit). But I had fun. I think the people had fun too. At least I hope. We hope. Some pictures came out in the local paper with a short clipping to it.

A simple event, I must say, but good fun.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Raya Parcel

I do want to write about my raya here but I was caught up with a lot of things and now I am infected with with blocked nose and irritating cough (yet again). I will post my raya experience here next. Perhaps with a picture or two. With the slacked kebaya? Tengoklah..

But now I want to write about this long awaited parcel that have finally arrived. My mother in law posted it. It took two weeks to reach here via normal post, which from the date stamped, I was supposed to receive it on the 17th October. Somehow, maybe some people are too lazy, we only get to collect it today. But better late then never.

The top three photos are my kids particularly Haziq who were very excited. I was correcting him (dengan marah-marahnya) on his Al Qadr tajweed, but he was too distracted that I finally let him go.

Well generally there were lots of kuehs. My mother in law must have thought that I love London Almond so much that she posted them too. You see, I usually give her those for each raya. I am never a fond of modern kueh raya actually, but I guess London Almond is an exception. She gave murukus (lover loves them), kerepek (lover's), tart nenas (I want my mummmmmyyyy's) but one thing that caught me by surprise was she gave me kueh bangkit. Yay!!! I love kueh bangkit. This is the true "don't melt in your hand but melt in your mouth" cookie. Hmmppsss feel them plastering in the mouth. I just love them. And the one that she got for me were the good ones. She must have seen me gluttonning over kueh bangket. Oh I love her.

And she got me ketupat segera Adabi. Yayyyy!! I have been experimenting using plastics, tupperware and was about to go back to my student's day of pressing them in sarung bantal (unused okay). Legaaa.. And not only that, she also got me the plastik tahan panas for more of the easy peasy nasi himpit that will last throughout my stay here, including if I ever call people over. Yayyyy!!!

She also got me a big pack of serbuk kari. Alamak one je? He he. And gula melaka. Ohhh I can already imagine my sago puding and pengat pisangku. And udang kering (dried shrimp). Yayyyyyy sesangat. And ikan bilis (dried anchovies). (Hope the photos are not yucky to some of you). Alamak mine should be the white clean one, but hey beggars cannot be chosers. So yayyy again.

But most importantly my dad passed me the one thing I was in need most. My Jamus (traditional supplement for guaranteed aphrodisiac and energy needed to fulfill the high libido caused by taking the supplement). Love you ayah. Stock good enough to last me until the day I go back home.

Yummeh. Lick lips.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Selamat Hari Raya Semua

Hmm I clearly have missed the timing to wish everyone Selamat Hari Raya. It's a long holiday over there is it? Dang it! I didn't even send well wish emails to my friends. Sigh..

I haven't been feeling myself lately. Not that felling myself is such a great thing but yeah I am a bit off.

Like all mothers with little children, I still put up a facade so that Eid is a joy to my children.

I got all their baju rayas ordered way before fasting. Everyone's baju raya except for Sya was tailored at the tailor over here. And I must say they are quite good at copying. The ladies dress they tailor here looks like it pops out of haute couture cat walk thing. You just bring a photo of a dress you like and they can copy almost verbatim. Serious! My kebaya ada sikit slacklah but you know kebaya and with too much curves, it can post some difficulties. But the boys cekak musang are excellent. They look tremendously good. I even tailored up Haziq's and Jack's samping. Alaaa hensemnya. I sent Sya's baju kurung to Ms Fashion Designer. Sokong bisnis member maaa. (She doesn't do kebaya though)

Then we made up one of the rooms which is suppose to be the guest room. We took the beds out. Lay out new carpets and put up a few bedoin low sofas. Now the room is a majlees for guests to sit about. We had to sacrifice one bedroom of course, but our current living room is too small and it has the TV set. The children, the TV, the adult talking are just uncomfortable. I always avoid inviting people over. Will I start inviting people over after this? Nyeh nyeh.

qatarI think it was a good purchase. You know the kind of purchase that you feel that you manage to get value for money kind of thing. We initially wanted a wall to wall carpet but it was too expensive. So we got the second best thing and bought a really really big carpet. It didn't fit the whole room for the room has an odd shape, but it covers most of the room. The carpet was not the typical carpet that I would buy, but I like it because it is different and it has a picture of a tree. With hanging leaves. I like. I think we need to paint the room. Perhaps moss green. Get some gold frames with arab motifs. Or wall coverings with bedouin patterns. I also want those dangling things to put at the door. You know the beads that hang and get in your way as you want to enter a room. The curtain probably needs to be changed too. The colour is off. They are ugly as well. Bookshelf perhaps. I really like the one they have here.

I bought a few flower pots and plant. Bought some pelita. Have been listening to lagu raya.

Should I make cookies? Hmmm probably not.

I miss lots of things. I listen to raya songs and I think about my dad. I think about my mum. My kids want to go back.

I feel empty.

Selamat Hari Raya. Saya mohon maaf jika ada terkasar bahasa at anytime saya berblog ini.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Word Sunday : Surfeit

Surfeit means

The state of being more than full. Or eating until excessively full.

Which of course during the fasting month, is not a wise thing to do. One of the reasons for fasting is so that we realise how the poor or those who are not fortunate suffered when they had to go without food and drink. How can we empathy when we indulge ourselves excessively during breaking fast?

I am of course guilty as charge.

What with the food I am cooking. However I must announce, unlike the previous years where I throw the excess food, most food I have now are just right. Both in terms of quantity and quality. Ehem ehem.

The thing is I don't really like throwing food away but sometimes some of the kuehs I bought turns out yucky and some siput sedut masak lemak turn out bad. Hmmpphhh.

Now no such thing though. He he. Spring rolls are filled generously. Donuts rich with sugar. Murtabak thick enough for teeth to set in. Home made chilly sauce can be refilled. Soy milk so creamy and tasty. But no air tebu. I want air tebu (sugar cane drink.) Fried mee rich with haiwan. And no food turn out bad.

I digress actually. I wanted to share with you this new word I found. So timely during the month of Ramadhan. Surfeit. At any time do avoid it.

The Prophet said: "Do not eat before you are hungry, and stop eating before you are full". This is the best guideline for dieting.

I should abide it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ooopsss in Fasting Month

I had one oopss this fasting month. It was on the first day of fasting. I was boiling the sugar for the keria. I flick the sugar coating on the ladle and licked it after. that's like a subnconcious thing I do while cooking. My lover said, "Woi! Puasalah!" (It's fasting month O' beautiful wife.) I quickly gargle the sweet taste and spit them off.

Haziq had his share too. It was on the second day. JackJack asked for his help to pierce the straw so he could drink his creamy chocolate milk. Out of routine, Haziq sipped a bit. Then when he realise that he was fasting, he panicked. To get rid of the chocolate taste in his mouth he sipped some plain water.

Unlike me, Haziq felt so guilty that he cried telling me this.

Laaa, I told him, it is ok. And he's done good. No worries. Allah knows.

A piece of white cloth that boy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Word Sunday : Intuition

The last summer I sent Haziq and Batrisyia to swimming classes. The thing is the classes are in another club which we are not a member of, so I couldn't dip in with little Jack. And because I worry about Jack being deprived of the pleasure of paddling in a pool, and will make a scene, Jack and I went to another place instead.

Lover stayed with the two kids. Each time he picked me up, I would almost routinely ask these questions. How did they do? Getting better? What are their progress? Tell me! Tell me everything! Tell me also whether Sya's pink goggles go with her pink suit.

As expected lover would say they are doing good. Haziq is really well. He is not scared of the depth. He can swim in one whole lap. He can dive to the floor. And sya well... she can swim better now but scramble a bit. Sometimes she worries about the depth but she doesn't mind jumping in though. Sya doesn't swim one whole lap like Haziq.

This is of course expected because Haziq had a headstart. He was already learning to swim in school. He was refining his skills in this class. It was expected for Sya to scramble because its new for her and she doesn't have as much energy as her brother.

I routinedly ask these questions each time they finish class and my lover dutily answered their progress.

Until sometime later when I asked the kids to get ready for the class, I noticed Sya's lack of enthusiasm. She took a long time to get ready. She continued watching TV and pretended not to hear me. She even said she didn't want to go swimming.

Hmmppffff. It was QR350 for 12 classes each, do you think I would let her give up like that? I watched her for sometime. Then my intuition tells me, she didn't like the comparison between herself and the brother. Maybe she felt that she was not able to compete with her brother at the rate he is going. And in the last class, the teacher insisted that she get in the depth and she felt scared but he had to pretend that she was not because her brother was not. The last thing she need is a jeer from Haziq. And ayah, yes her beloved ayah, kept saying that her progress is not as well. All she wants is to impress him.

So I told lover, perhaps next time when I asked how the kids are doing. Say good things about Sya. How much she has improved and not make it sound like a comparison with her brother. And of course make sure she heard the conversation as well while pretending that we didn't know she is listening.

Than later both of us will congratulate her and say we are proud that she is good now. She would tell you of course that now she is not afraid of the depth and you would say wow, you are brave.

My lover asked, did Sya tell you this? Did she tell me that she is not happy? I said of course not. Sya wouldn't say such thing. She has far too big an ego to admit. Just call it a mother's intuition. Some things can be read even when no words are spoken.

And wehei it works. She is not as inferior to her brother now. She doesn't take heed of what her brother can do, but rather what she has achieved. Cayalah babe. Picit hidung sikit.

Intuition is almost like clairvoyant kan jill? Mothers can nearly always predict what would happen next with their kids. Remember also we have a hundred eyes. Mothers see it all.

P/S : On another note, my mother knew that I had the thing with that Electrolux salesguy when I was err 15 years old. That guy turned out to be so yucky. Now now now how did she know this. Hadn't I been guarding it well? Intuition eh?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Helping Hand

You know the blessing of Ramadan being far away from a country with those delicious looking Bazaar Ramadhan is that my kids get to eat my food and also experience seeing me do it

Anyway, Batrisyia is always the excited one. She would come in the kitchen, checked the real cooker, open the lid, look at the table, look in the sink and ask, what are you cooking today? Then she would also ask, "Are we going to someone's house?" or "Is someone coming over?" She is asking this because I rarely cook dessert at home unless I am going out or someone is coming over.

Then she would ask, "Can I help?"

Now this is a magic question most of the time. She is always excited to "help". Actually she is always trying to do something but I notice this more during this fasting month since I am doing something every day.

The first time was when I was making keria. I was shaping into a ring and she helped shape it into heart shape. It didn't come out so much like a heart though.

Then she helped me roll the roti jala.

The other day I made sardine roll. She watched me cut off the crusts and roll the bread thin. Then she volunteered. Since I was rushing to do everything before iftar and have not done the main food yet, I let her do them while I filled in the sardines.

Then I have finished mine and was waiting for her batch of bread. I urged her for the rolled bread. Quick Batrisyia I need to fry them up. To this she answered, "Ibu, I am only a little child ok."

Now, that is my daughter for sure.