Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Today we all went to have our blood test. Somehow the company that my lover is working for need all these records. So we went.

It is the Muslim's calendar new year but it is not observe as a public holiday here. Unlike in Malaysia where it's public holiday for both Awal Muharram and Maulud Nabi. There is no stories of Awal Muharram in the children's school either. Or is it because they didn't go to school today. Blood test remember?

In fact today is another ordinary day. I probably wouldn't notice that it is awal Muharram if not for me reading it in the web and also the dates on the YM offline messages. Yes it has both the Gregorian dates and Islamic dates on the display.

I think I will just tell my kids the name of the Islamic months again and probably explain the significance of the month. You know Ramadhan: fasting, Syawal:Eid, ZulHijjah:Hajj, The forbidden months of war:Muharram, Rajab, DzulQaedah and DzulHijjah. Is it? Oh! No! I am so rusty. Help! And it was 1427 years ago when our beloved prophet moved to Madinah in his struggle to spread Islam.

Anyway we had our blood test. Only Sya cried. The boys didn't. Such a classic case of stereotyping, my children.

My children all have different blood type. This is probably because myself and my lover have different type of blood as well. Mine is A and his is B. So this combination can give you all blood type when mix together.

Hazig is a "B" which he detest. He wanted A like mine. What is it with him? Does he think everything is a competition?

Sya is an "O". With her crying and wailing I don't think I can ever ask her to donate any of her blood. ha ha ha

Zachary is an "A" which Makes Haziq ask why is it that he is not an "A". Anyway we also have Zachary's stem cell stored safely, Insya Allah, in Cyber Jaya. Hope we don't have to use it ever.

So now should I make another one just to complete the blood groups. An AB perhaps?

But what good an AB is? Only for oneself. But still another AB's blood can be used for another AB person in need eh?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Teori Saiz

Aku kadang-kadang malas betullah nak pergi shopping masa sales ni. Tapi ya lah dah kata sales tu naklah ambik peluang beli barang at discounted price.

Kalau kat Malaysia aku suka betul pergi Edmundser dengan Spade. Aku rasa kalau aku pakai baju tu macam sleek aje rupa, corporate gila. Aku rasalah. Tapi masalah kat Malaysia tu ialah saiznya sangat cinoni! Kalau aku pergi kena betul-betul selak cari saiz untuk aku. Kalau untung sabut, bolehlah saiz M tapi most of the time saiz L. Itupun kalau nak two-piece suit, baju top saiz lain, yang skirt or pants saiz lain. Dan yang paling sedih is apa baju yang paling cun tak ada dalam saiz aku. Oh! Sungguh mengecewakan.

Marks & Spencer sales kat sini. Hah! Inilah masanya untuk menambahkan pakaian dalaman. Kalau tak sales lebih kurang harga kat Malaysia..slightly less actually. Kalau sales lagilah murah. And again aku di hampakan dengan masalah saiz. To the contrary of the sizes kat Malaysia, kat sini saiznya besar-besar! Mak oi macam buah kelapa pun ada. Sampai cup G pun ada! Gila babi punya besar! Tapi briefs ok pulak. Ada jugak saiz normal 8-10 dan yang lebih besar pun adalah.

Dan sekali lagi aku di belenggu masalah mencari saiz yang sesuai. Adoi susahnya nak cari saiz.

Aku nak beli jeans pun susah. Pinggang dia boleh masuk dua kali pungkok aku. It's that big!

Aku punya teori is kat Malaysia ramai sangat orang bersaiz besar. Sebab tu masa sales tinggal saiz yang kecik aje ala-ala Ally MacBeal. Whereas kat sini, semua orang cinoni kot..tinggal saiz buah kelapa aje yang ada.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Wave of Sadness

My lover and I were having our normal chats in the kitchen when suddenly Zachary came rushing in, laughing, running away from his brother. Naturally he ran to me for "protection". The next natural thing to do is kiss him and tickle him lightly and pretend to chase him back. This is so that I could have my little quiet time with lover.

Hilarious these children.

Grinning, the both of us, "my lover asked, "Have you wondered what our children would be like when they are older. Would they still be good to each other and can laugh at each other, the way they are now? Do you think Haziq would be as lovable to his siblings as what he is now?"

"I don't, really," I replied. "But I hope so. I hope and pray that they would be close together and remain not just siblings but good friends."

"When we didn't have a child, I wondered if we could. When you got pregnant.."

"And a huge whale I was!"

"Well..you are fine now..when you were pregnant, I wondered how the child would look like. And now we know. Then I wondered what kind of toddler they would be. And now we see that Haziq is a friendly moving chatterbox, Batrisyia the sweet but quite fierce actually and we are yet to know what JackJack would be."

"Hmm..yeah. These are all phases of getting older for us you know?"

"I know. Those are happy phases. Waves of sad phases are yet to come and I am worried of it."


"Our parents."

I know where this was coming from. My lover's uncle passed away on our third week here in Qatar. Pak Andak was younger than my father in law, whereas my father in law has his own history of heart problem. And my mother in law is not feeling well off late as well.

"Death is inevitable. You coming over here are destined as well. We must give them the best that we could as a child while we still can."

Then silence engulfed us, except for the shouting among the kids watching TV in the room nearby. We were all thinking about the same thing.

Oh lover, you do know that is one of the reasons that I was reluctant to come over. I cried when you were offered, for they were the only one thing in my mind. They are not getting younger and my mother already had a few toes removed due to diabetics. Do I not worry, if they were to leave the world without me nearby?

I had a drift with my mother after my first child was born. And despite they were often in KL with me, I still felt uncomfortable because deep down I was still angry. I was fighting with my stubbornness and responsibility as a child. But I let the drift dragged for years. Not that we do not talk to each other. We did, it's just that there was something missing. And the longer it went, the more difficult it became to even change.

A stranger woke me up one day and said something that made me change. I had made peace with my mum and myself actually sometime last year and I must say I had never been happier. Not that my mum know about it because I didn't say anything. The changes are within me. The way I feel about my relationship with my mother. I am a mother though, and I think she knows. I think she can see.

I was slowly making progress reconnecting myself with her, asking for recipes and chatting, just chatting. Mother and daughter. But it didn't get full swing just yet and we had to move here.

I cried so much and I am still crying now.

There are only the two of us, my brother. My brother who lives in another world. My parents relive their joy of twilight years most of the time with me. My children are their little source of happiness. I felt that I have robbed them from that. That I took the privilege away from them. Deep down I am worried that they wouldn't even get the chance to enjoy my children anymore.

I think about this a lot, ever since I got here.

In the end, I cried.

Did I also tell you, my brother, my only sibling, was admitted to the hospital yesterday for high blood pressure and stroke?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I always take my time after fetching Batrisyia from school in the afternoon. We would stop at a bench in the small park midway to our house. JackJack would be happily running around. Most of the time we would finish up the food that I pack for Batrisyia's school break. The sun is quite fierce in the afternoon, but sitting under the shade, with the wind blowing is really nice and cooling. A great break after a whole morning of housework.

Yesterday two Indian ladies with their kids passed by and looked at me strangely. I thought they were the one who were strange. I wondered why they skipped the nice park. It is a shorter route and a much pleasant one rather than walking under the scorching sun. They were not discrete about staring at me though. They must have thought that I am a maid finishing up my employer's kids' food.

I don't like the way they stare. I really don't.

Today Batrisyia had extra special food. It was someone's party. Batrisyia's friend, Allisson who is a quarter Korean. So we gobbled up Bounty and Snickers and Batrisyia put on the party hat and blow up that thing that makes noise and roll paper out.

Then there was this boy, about five year old perhaps. He was cycling and when he saw us, he stopped and watched. He watched us for so long that I am beginning to get wary. But I let him. He went away after a while.

But he came back after that. And just watched us. Okay I know he is just a kid..but I don't like it. I do not know what kids are like here. With stories I heard, I don't think I like to know. I was beginning to imagine that he would come and snatch Batrisyia's party pack away. Not that they are anything of worth. And not that I couldn't stop him or anything. He is a kid for god's sake. I just don't like it. I don't like him just being there, watching.

So I told Batrisyia to hurry and pulled JackJack away. He followed. When I stopped for Zachary to pick some rubbish up, the kid stopped too. Batrisyia who was oblivious started to run ahead blowing that thing whatchamacallit. Then he cycled faster. I can hear the shackling of his rusty bicycle chain tinkling tankling. So I called out to Batrisyia in Malay to stay with me and I got angry when she didn't listen.

I shouted at Sya and I stopped. I told her to come to me for I am not happy with this bicycle boy.

He stopped too.

Now this is a kid. Should I be worried? For all I know he probably wanted to be friends. He probably wanted the chocolates. Or could it be that he was the one who was afraid to pass by me. Could it be that he was on his way home and was in fact surprised to see me there. His parents told him, be wary of strangers, particularly who gobble up their kids food.

But I am a mother. I have two kids with me. I just do not want anything to happen to any of us and I would be too clumsy to do anything. I do not want him to know where I live either.

They say, attack is the best defense.

So I made a stop. I turned to him. He stopped too.

Really he is just a kid.

I asked, "Where are you going boy?"

He just stared.

You are not following me eh?

He just stared.

Well, because if you are, it's not very nice okay? I don't want you to follow me alright? OK?

He just stared. Wide eyes and all.

Then I left and pulled the kids away and got home still looking back. In case he is still following.

You know what..I think he doesn't understand English.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Minyak Gamat

Why oh why
Did I not bring the magical ointment
The powerful potion
the one
that heal wounds in a blink

Little boys run
And fall
even on an even floor
Little teeth
sharp as razors
Zis Zas Tore

Blood blood blood
Swallow them
Spill them
Stop them! stop them! stop them!

No minyak gamat
Ibu sighs
Just dab on him
The magical ice

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Dream Came True

I dreamt I misplaced my handphone last night. I looked for it, but not hysterically. I was just taking my time. Then I saw someone, a male friend of whom I could not remeber who it was now, now that I am not dreaming anymore.

I asked him to ring me, so I could guess where my handphone is. I just knew it is nearby. But you know handphones, keys, remotes..they all have brain of their own and certainly have the habits to be scurrying away the moment you lay your eyes off them.

The guy obliged. I recited my Malaysian handphone number. Even in my dream I can still remember that number.

Then some ring tone. Ahah! But instead of actually locating my handphone, I woke up! Startled!

My handphone was ringing!

In the real world!

Pinch! Pinch!

Oh! I set the alarm at 5:15 a.m.!

Friday, January 20, 2006

There's always the first time to something

Thanks to the wonderful technology we have today. It is so much easier to get connected.

My father, after 60 years of his life, is now introduced to the world of chatting.

And so is Haziq!

Haziq is seven though.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ustaz-Ustaz dari Indonesia

Masa mula-mula Haziq dapat sekolah dulu, we were so relieved. One hurdle dah lepas. The thing is the school doesn't have a school bus and even if it does, our house is a bit far off. Of course for someone who have lived in Klang Valley, 20 minutes drive is not far. But in Doha city, 20 minutes is considered far. Well, we didn't have much choice, all the schools near our place are just full.

So the next hurdle is transportation for Haziq.

There are a few choices. Among them are for us to have two cars. One for him, to go to work, and one for me to drive the kids to school. Me, wide eyes, estatic at the thought. You mean I get to have my own car here? Here? Even though I am not earning and you will pay for everything? You will? But err..this can only happen in a longer term, even if it does happen. Because first of all my lover needs to get his Resident Permit (damn they are slow). Then only I can get some Resident ID number of which then only I can take up the driving license (will be blogged later). After which if money permits then only we can get two cars.

Duh..slump back to boringness of being coop up.

The next choice is to hire up a limo or driver. Quite a few people do this as well. It is quite safe but errr, errr..I am a mother with many wild imaginations. But if you are coming here, ever, this is ok. Just pricey though.

So nak jadikan cerita, hari yang Haziq nak pi ambik test tu, I terlupa nak call KARWA (company cab kat sini). I did call. At 4 in the evening for a 6:30 cab the next morning. Sorry babe dah fully book. Ayoyo teruk betul public transportation kat sini (will blog later). Bas tak ada kat sini. Kat tengah-tengah town aje ada. And they are going to have, what, Asian Games 2006 in 11 months. Biar betul!

Anyway, so we called up ada Ustadz dari Indonesia ni. Nama dia Ustaz Nizam. (bersih aje muka dia tu, suka tengok) Kekadang dia boleh tolong drivekan orang. tapi dia pun dah ada orang book. But, but, but he suggested Ustaz Yahya, a friend of his. Dia pun ada orang, tapi still boleh tolong. Alhamdullilah.

Maka, dalam tengah brainstorming (cewah) pasal Haziq punya transportation, I thought why not kita hire Ustaz Yahya ni untuk hantar Haziq ke sekolah. We called and he said, yeah he would be free sebab mamat yang dia hantar tu dah ada kereta dah pun.

Talk about murah rezeki for Haziq man. Me, the mother yang paranoid tu, sangat lega.

So mai kita cerita pasal Ustaz dari Indonesia yang ada di Qtar ni. Di Qtar ni, there are no male construction workers macam kat Malaysia. Indonesians yang datang ke sini are either professionals, mainly geologists. Negara minyaklah katakan. Or female helpers and also Ustaz-ustaz.

Apparently kerajaan Qtar telah menjemput mereka ke Qtar untuk menjadi muazzin di masjid-masjid Qtar. And Qtar memang banyak masjid. Mereka digajikan sebanyak QAR1000 (RM1000 plus minus), which is a lot for a muazzin, I think. Rumah pun diberi. kalau tak beri, memang tak boleh hiduplah. Rumah mahal gila kat sini (will blog later). tak ada share-share pun rumah. Rumah kat compound masjid.

Selain dari jadi muazzin, di masa-masa lapang mereka, mereka juga boleh memberi khidmat tolong drivekan orang pergi kerja and in my case hantar budak pergi sekolah. Dapat jugaklah ongkos lebih. Pastu boleh jugak tolong ajar bagaimana nak drive bagi yang ambik lesen and nak familiarisekan drive belah kiri. Ya kat sini drive belah kiri.

Ditambah dengan itu juga they establish kelas-kelas ugama dari topik-topik yang mudah seperti Quran untuk kanak2 dan juga dewasa, tafsir Quran (almost all of them I know are tahfiz) , bahasa Arab (salah satu syarat ialah mereka mesti boleh berbahasa arab), kelas2 fardu ain. Ada juga kursus untuk pergi haji dan umrah. Topik2 yang lebih sukar mengenai ketuhanan, tasauf pun ada jugak.

Out of my blunderness, I said to Ustaz, bagus ya Ustaz, boleh buat wang tambahan. Despite I was sitting behind him in the car, I can sense his uneasiness. Oh I hope he didn't get me wrong. I continued, dan yang lebih pentingnya kita semua mendapat faedah berkongsi ilmu. He seemed relieved. Ya, Ibu, kata dia, kita semua boleh berkongsi ilmu. Bantu-membantu sesama lain.

They have high reputation here among the muslim community. Ada satu omputih yang baru revert dan bosan dengan sikap orang arab yang confusing tu, mula bergaul dengan ustaz-ustaz ni and with Indonesian and Malaysians generally. Kita kan kaum yang lebih accommodating.

Perhaps, I can continue with my Harfiyah classes eh?

Monday, January 16, 2006

School has Started!

Haziq and Sya finally went to school yesterday. Yes, on Sunday the 15th. We came on the last week of autumn term. So they have had a long holiday filled with TVs and cartoons and fighting among each other.

Haziq's school starts at 7:00 in the morning while Batrisyia's, 7:30. Both ends at 12:45. The schooling days are from Sunday to Thursday. Haziq is now in Year 3 and Batrisyia is in reception they call it.

I am telling you, it was hard to get them places in school now. These are for the facts that there are flux of people coming over to Qtar (including us) and also we came at the wrong time (school wise). I have emailed various schools in Doha , emailed them from Malaysia even, and the reply was bleaked. I was hoping that both of them get the same school so that it would be easier, logistically, in fact it would be easier for everything.

Not only I emailed, I called and I visited. But the visits were helpful, I must say. I met the principal of Doha College and she was very helpful. She told me a lot of things, but still couldn't give us any placement. Hmmff!

Picture : Batrisyia playing when she should be in clas already. Jack2 playing as well Only one school had a place for Haziq and none for Batrisyia. I send Haziq for the admission test (of which he wouldn't be accepted should he fail the test) and looked for other places for Batrisyia. Lady luck must have been near to Batrisyia for there is a small reception school within our compound. So they took her, and I told them about her english. The teacher told me though, that Sya did say a few words and seem to understand. So I told her, she watches cartoon a lot, which is mainly American, so a British accent would be slightly tough on her. And she said, well you've got a British accent yourself. I said, I am very flexible maaa.

Anyway, when Haziq was accepted to that school, which is by the way a bit far from my house, our next problem was logistics. This shall be blogged later. Batrisyia is just 5 minutes walk for me, but since I had to take Sya and the little tortoise, Zachary, it can take about 15 minutes. Picture : Haziq, wearing his school uniform, kicking a plastic toy, while waiting for the car to come.

It's a wonderful walk though in the morning. It is quite cold but very pleasant. I can still wear sandals even though my toes felt prickly. When Zachary and I head home, I gave him time to run around and look for ants or pick rubbish and pluck leaves from the bushes. Picture : Batrisyia on the way to school

A friend asked me this morning, "Tak boring ke bebudak tak ada?" I was like, are you kidding me, and I replied, "Tak lah! Lega sesangat. "

Tips: Bringing your kids here? Make sure you bring along your kids school record - translated if it is not in english. Bring their immunisation record as well

Friday, January 13, 2006

Serving Dessert Tips

I'd like to share some tips to serve desserts for whatever function that you want to organise. This is based on my own experience of small open houses, past office functions, kenduri, functions organised by people of which I am involved or just plain observation of a person who eats dessert. Yum! Yum!


For the last bloggers makan-makan, for example, I had only chocolate fudge. Since there would be many people and many children, the cake must be cut to small pieces, so everyone can enjoy and children can have the cake in one go. So, tip here, one type of cake, cut in small pieces.

The last eid Adha function we had here, there were about 300 people. Desserts were numerous. Nearly everyone, including guests brought some form of desserts. There were numerous cakes from normal chocolate cake to glamorous tiramisu. There were four big dish of caramel. Too many puddings and jellies. Belgium chocolates. Sorry no cheapo sumi jelly manis, no sweets. I am telling you, it's a feast of desserts. I shrink at the thought of my amateur pudding. Musti tak laku punya ni

I noticed many people didn't cut up their jellies, cake and pudding. Ah! Ah! Ah! (shaking fingers). Let me tell you friends, if you are serving jellies, puddings or cakes, remember to cut it. Particularly cake. Unless you have a knife somewhere near, otherwise no one will eat it. Particularly when they can eat up the chocolates nearby. You wouldn't want to bring home your dessert do you?

My tip is, cut at generous portion. Slightly bigger than usual. For cakes, particularly, when serving arranged one to be slightly off alligned. This is cake psychocology. It lures people to take a piece. Once one is taken, many more would come. If you are that desperate for people to pick up your untouched dessert, you can take a piece yourself, to start off this cake psychocology of luring people.

Now look at this picture. The one which is nearly empty is mine (grin). Look at the contenders. They look marvelous, colourful don't they? At the end of the night, it is still not finished. This is because it was not cut. When people want to eat, they want to eat without much work. They just want to scoop it. Once you manage to get someone to scoop it, you would want them to take a lot of them. Thus cut generously.

But of course, if it is flan or caramel, you do not need to cut it up. Just serve with a strong spoon.

Plastic Spoon

The other thing is, I am not sure about you, but I hate plastic cutleries. I hate the styrofoams. I hate eating from it. That's why I rarely take away in the office even when no one wants to eat with me. But for the purpose of our discussion, let's talk about plastic spoons.

Look at the picture again. Ooopss sorry I have taken away my heavy metal spoon from my dish. But there is still one plastic spoon observed in the picture. If you are serving pudding or cakes, try to avoid plastic spoon, particularly when you have not cut it up. It's difficult to cut using plastic spoon. Sometimes the dessert is hard and heavy, one might break the spoon.


Of course in any type of dish, beautifying it is one way of luring people to eat it. Let's just assume that when you want to serve people, you already have this in mine. Let's just assume that all dishes are delicious to the eyes. Try the tips above so that your desserts will be picked. Make your effort a worthwhile one. Cut up properly and serve properly.

The objective is you want people to eat it without putting too much of their effort. With luck people will come for more.

I didn't tell you, of course, that near the end of the night, I promoted my amateur pudding to close friends. This help too. He he.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Marble Pudding?

The Malaysian way of celebrating anything, even the smallest occassion is eating. When you are inanother country, this eating fiesta is observed even more. Ever since I got here, I was invited to various houses to eat. Mostly, so that we get to be introduced to the seniors, the veterans here. The embassy function, the Malaysian-Qatar association, people's houses. I am so fat!

Today is the second day of Eid. Yesterday we were at the embassy for brunch. Today we went to the ambassador's huge mansion for lunch. Tommorrow we will be going to the Brunei Embassy for dinner.

Most importantly, this evening, we the newcomers, the juniors are inviting people over to our compound for an "open house". And I am here like what, three weeks? No big pots, no queen Anne's serving dish, no Corels, no nothing. So we catered. Thank God. However the wives will each make some sort of dessert or appetiser.Trust me I did not volunteer. (I am a bit pissed actually, since the discussion was made without the wives but we had to cook up something anyway)

Gulp! I am so not good at this. I can make springrolls, but without a car, I certainly am not happy going around town looking for the spring roll skin.

But but but, I am always prepared. Even how small it is eh? I asked my colleague for her great marble pudding recipe. She claimed it is the easiest thing to do. I took it without even looking at it.

I have a confession to make. I have never make pudding in my whole entire life. I have never made jelly either. I have no idea what the measurement should be. I am clueless in this pudding jargon.

The seniors akaks told me that the gelatin powder here is not as strong as the one they are used to in Malaysia, so they had to use more of it.

I bought ten, just in case.

The recipe went like 30g of something, 500g of something else and ml of some liquid. I went to get the scale thing. The one that the use to measure cakes and make anyone look so professional when they cook. But I errr used my kids milk bottle to measure liquid.

It is like you are in the lab or something except nothing explodes, mind you.

I am supposed to make marble pudding. A mix of yellow colour pudding and stripes of chocolate flavoured jelly or something. So I gave it a shot. A practice.

I think I must have poured the chocalate in a rush, that it overpowered the yellow pudding and turned everything chocolate. Err there goes the marble identity. But it is still pudding nevertheless.

Then I waited for hours for it to hardenen. It didn't. I don't know why. Frustrated, I chucked it into the fridge and decided to feed my children slurpies of chocolate pudding tommorrow.

Later at night, I checked and hey. It is now a jelly. Oh! I am supposed to put it in the fridge eh?

I made another one for the makan-makan. This time, hopefully no mistake. No room for errors. I carefully poured the chocolate jelly, making sure it doesn't mix with the yellow pudding.

I just hope it taste alright though.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Marhaba from D0HA

I have finally got a computer! And I am so nervous. I am almost speechless typoless, I don't even know what to write. Many things happen that I would happy to complain and make this entry a long list of complaints. But not today. Today is Eid Adha.

And I am happy enough with my brand new computer with a 19" flat screen. But I am still on the slow prepaid dial up (38kbps). I can't sign up for ADSL yet since my lover has not get his Resident Permit. No RP means no life here. But hey I have my blog back! And I have you! I still have all of you right?

Man..have I been cooped up!

So wazzzzzzuuupppp people?

I have more to tell. But I have to breath first. In out..in out. I am too excited.

So smooches and hugs and will see you again..soon, very soon. After eid prayers and lots of eating tomorrow, at the Embassy again. (roll eyes)