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.