Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tree of Life

The pink shaded area, are the places very much mentioned in this blog

The ultimate holiday for the kids is hours and hours in the swimming pool. The rest didn't really matter. What they hate most is shopping. At least for my children.

There is a swimming pool at the apartment we stayed. I kept telling the kids, it would be cold. But since they think they can handle coldness, I let them have a dip. It was freezing alright. I dip my feet in it and felt like they were going to cramp. But the kids manage to get themselves up to the waist while Haziq and Ilham actually swam a few laps. Brrrr.

I tried using the gym facilities. I pretended to play pool. I pretended to play squash (alone). I pretended to lose fat on the bicycle. But I did work my butt off on the butt machine and had pain for a few days after. Adui sakit bontot I complained to Elisa. She didn't offer any massages though.

After heavily eating all I can at P0nderrosa, we went outing to Riff@ where the "Tree of Life" is. And we were all thankful to the new toy for it showed the exact point of the tree of which with the tourist map that we had would have made us go round and round clueless in the desert. I am still playing a lot and trying to find cheats. I'll write more when I am better.

PhotobucketThe Tree of Life apparently is a lonely tree which has lived for like 500 years in the middle of the desert without any clear water source. Of course now with the tarmac road, the tree doesn't seem to be in the middle of the desert at all.

AT first I thought, the tree of life is somewhat an elixir like the fountain of youth but alas its not. So my plan to steal a little branch was not executed. The tree of life is like a symbol to B@hrain, on how, like the mesquite tree, the B@harainis could survive the harsh condition and will prosper more. The tree is big alright. the branches are heavy and strong and it scoops the ground making it accessible for you to climb on it. The kids did, which later I wondered whether its ok.

PhotobucketI wish the authorities would take care of the tree better. It may have survived without clear water source for many millenniums, but it would have died easily in the hands of man. There are graffitis and cut marks by those who think leaving a mark of their presence is important to the rest of the visitors. Its a shame. A disgrace to the beautiful tree.

While we were there, we saw a small kabilah of camels in the desert. What a pleasant surprise. Like the tourists that we were, we went to take photos. Up close and personal with the camels. Look at their teeth.

Imagine traveling with the camels for mile and miles in the desert bringing salt and goodies to be traded to the next town. In the heat of the sun. In the freezing desert winter. No wonder many chose Landcruiser many times over.


Before going back to the apartment, we stopped at the Oil museum. But it was close when it really should not. Baahhh. I was hoping to get a free guide from Mr. Taufik since he is an expert on it.

Next to the museum is the first B@hrain's oil well which have been sucking oil since 1932 and apparently is still is. Fuyo! This is in Jebel Dukhan, just about 1.2kmfrom the tree of life. The cloudy mountain.

Then when we had enough of the desert, we headed back home. As we were going out, the other lane was packed with cars going into the desert.

Ok before that, I notice that people in B@hrain like to have picnic at any shaded tress they can find, be it next to the highway or any road. My lover and I went about betting whether there would be any car parking under the tree surrounded by the bushes up front. And most of the time there are. I find this strange, becaue coming from Malaysia, we go picnicking at a picnic spot which are ddefinitely not next to a highway.

In Qtar, the only place I see this is at the cornice where people put up chairs next to the road. But at least they are facing the sea. The labourers though, would lie down at any grassed area they can find, even on a roundabout.

But in the desert, there were tents almost everywhere. Its almost like a settlement area. I guess this is where they spend their weekend, partly reminiscing their older ancestors' life. What surprise me even further is that, the tents are everywhere even next to the sprawling oil pipeline. I am not sure whether PETR0NAS would have been happy if many people camped out along their Y-networked pipeline.

OMG! I wrote too much. I expected to finish up B@hrain on one entry but I kept on rambling about my unneeded observation. You know, just so I remember.

OKlah HERE are some photos

Friday, December 28, 2007

3 days 2 nights in B@hrain


I went to B@hrain on the second day of the trip. Elisa, a goddess that she is, prepared mee hoon, nasi goreng and cucur udang to take over. Cucur udangnya sangat sedap.

What was I expecting to learn and see in B@hrain? Actually nothing much. I expect a modern city with impressive buildings built on congested reclaimed land. I expected a country which consist more expats than locals. I expected an expensive country. A country sterile with modernity.

True the country reclaimed a lot of their sea. Their skyline spurts impressive buildings (not as much as Dubai and Qtar though). Among two modern buildings (that I manage to take photo off) are the World Trade Centre B@hrain and B@hrain Financial Harbour. From far the WTC B@hrain looks like Lord of the rings tower where the big Lord Sauron's eye is.

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However the country is not as expensive as Qatar. And B@hrain also offer things to see and history which was part of Mesopotamia. B@hrain seems more fertile than Qtar. I read somewhere that it has reasonable well water source under the ground.

PhotobucketAnd if you didn't know how the B@hrain ruler looks like, you will when you get there. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa picture is everywhere on the huge billboards. Some serious looking, some smiling, a few of the Majesty's side profiles, on the horse, praying and many more posts. I know which one is the King, but I am not sure who the other two men are.

When we were on the way to the Al Areen Wildlife park, we passed through smaller town. There were graffitis on some of the buildings. Nothing like what you see in the states though. More of writings in Arabic font. But I must say the writings are quite nice. I couldn't take a proper picture though, because Jack was sleeping err on my lap, and my lens was too long for the close distance I was.

There were "FRU" like guarding certain part of Manama on the second day we were day. There were riot sometime in the middle of the year. Perhaps there were anticipating a new one. Apparently the majority of its people are Shias while the ruler is Sunni. But I don't know. Read one of the news (perhaps exploited) HERE.

We went to the Al Areen Wild life park. That is about 30km from Manama. Pity there were no shuttle service in the park when we went there.Without the service, we could not access all areas thus we didn't get to see everything. Baaahhh.

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Its nice taking the kids to the zoo. They enjoyed it particularly because they had their friends with them. Izani enjoyed it too and refused to be carried nor put on the stroller. Cute gila.Best tau tengok bebudak aktif ni. We were starving there and gobbled up Elisa's cucur udang and her fresh new bottle of chilly sauce brought from Qtar.

On the way back we took photos at the B@hrain International Circuit or F1, where Elisa once nearly lost her F1 ticket. He he.

In B@hrain we stayed at an apartment, courtesy of Mr. Taufik. The apartment was really nice with the view of the sea.The furnishings were superb. Oven ada. Microwave ada. Stove ada. Fridge built in cabinets ada. Semua adalah. Dish washer pun ada. Penyapu aje tak ada.

When I told my friends I am staying in B@hrain, they would say ayoo hotel mahal. What is there in B@hrain anyway? I said I am not staying in a hotel. Or at least I am not paying for the accommodation. he he

On the second day we were there, eh eh eh..the entry is becoming too longlah. I'll put up another entry on Bahrain Part 2.

Pictures of a bit of B@hrain HERE
And at the Al @reen wildlife park HERE.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Back from Elisa's

I am back from a six-days rendezvous in the Saudi and Bahrain.

Visiting Elisa and staying (and wrecking her home) is akin to visiting your relative. Staying abroad doesn't give you much opportunity to do the balik kampung trip feeling. And having friends nearby but far enough for a few hours traveling offer me the very chance.

PhotobucketElisa and family's warm hospitality made all of us very comfortable indeed. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Not to mention my children. Btarisyia is so fond of Izani and stole chances to look after him.

In the car, on the way back home, we all went Aitcchh and Yaitcch, Izani's favourite word. JackJack who sometimes get annoyed being pull down by Izani, would rush to the computer to look at Izani's photo and exclaimed Aittchh, awww he is so cute. We all miss him already.

And not only Elisa's family warm embrace for us, we were also greeted by Elisa's wonderful friends in the Ar@mco. Ar@mco is the big heavily guarded township where most of the world's oil is being produced and managed. There are quite a number of Malaysians there. Such that we were invited to their houses, not one, but three houses.

I was worried at first because, you knowlah, I am shy and all. And what if Elisa leave me all alone, what should I do? Tolong! But Elisa didn't leave me alone until I had the courage to talk to the ladies. He he. And now I make more friends. In fact one of the families are coming next week to Qtar. Elisa tak nak ikut ke? he he.

I must say thank you to my lover and Elisa's hero, Mr. Taufik. If you really think about it, all these would not have happen without our better half's consent of entertaining us, goddesses. One of Elisa's friends ask me, how did Elisa and I know each other. Were we classmates? We looked at each other for like 3 seconds, quite unable to answer. My standard answer would be the internet.

From strangers to friends. And now family friends. Almost relative.

I want to write more but I want to put photos in the multiply first so it would go hand in hand.

But for now I'll show you a glimpse of what the kids get to do at Elisa's. Apart from freely playing outside the house and riding bikes which my children longed for.


PhotobucketMehendi done solely by Elisa. She happily entertained requests for little drawings on the little hands. Jack's hand are not in the picture which is a pity because he had the cutest picture. A little bicycle, which was his original idea.

Sya had cat and flower
Anis had heart and butterfly
Jack had bicycle and a heart and arrow
Haziq had a sword and skull.
Ilham had a sword and a tank
Ihsan had a guitar and the word Cool!
Izani had a smiley face,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Know some of the places

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I like putting maps whenever I want to show a place I am going, so that you can gauge where the place is.

I live in Qtar. Can you see it on the map? Qtar is a part of GCC. Not all middle east countries are in GCCs. The six members of GCC are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qtar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE. Just so you know.

Tomorrow, after EID prayers, and also after makan-makan raya at Shidah's place. Oh btw, for those of you who knew Shidah (a retired blogger), she is here visiting her hubby. So I will be cooking some festive food, nasi himpit instant(yang shidah bawak), rendang, peanut sauce and the lot and bring it over to Shidah's place.

Oh back to the story, after EID prayers at the embassy, we shall be leaving to Elisa's place in Al Khobar. Some spell it as Al Khubar. If you have been reading Elisa, you can see she is busy preparing her abode. Malunya aku. She is the truest of goddess to the bone. Just look at her cushion covers! Pengsan!

I have been planning to go to AlKhobar for sometime now, but somehow the bureaucracies to get into Saudi has stopped us. But we have settled everything. First we have obtained the bahrain Visa. for a transit visa to saudi, we need to have the country's visa that we intent to go first. When we went to Oman, we got the Oman visa first before the saudi transit visa. Unlike the Bahrain's visa which is ready within one day, Saudi transit visa took eight days. My lover has done the exit permit.Legaaa. All ready to go now.

So tomorrow, I shall be driving to Al Khobar. And I will be testing my new toy while I am at that. Thank you lover.

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Elisa has in advanced made itineraries for my visit. Bless her. We shall go to Bahrain for two days. Bahrain, as you can see on the map, is a small island north of Qtar. They are planning a bridge to link B@hrain and Qtar. I wrote it here. And that will indeed shorten the time to go to Al Khobar even. My toy suggests that it will take me approximately 4 hours to drive to Kh0bar (not including immigration hassle). If the bridge is up, it will take me half an hour to reach B@hrain and another half an hour to reach Khobar (not including immigration).

And then we will travel down to Riyadh. Riyadh, as you know is the capital of Saudi. We will crash Elisa's friend's place. Malu jugak ni sebenarnya. Hope my children will behave. And they have made plans to visit a very interesting place there. I am actually worried about the camera. I don't know how friendly the Riy@dh authorities are with cameras.

My kids are happy that they will be seeing Elisa's children again. I certainly hope they won't wreck Elisa's place. I am bringing loads of chilly sauce and oyster sauce for Elisa to hopefully last her until next summer. I am bringing some othe stuff which can't be said yet. Surprise.

So I would be offline for about a week, and Insya Allah will be telling stories by next week.

I know I am going to have fun.

I just hope I won't put on too much weight knowing all these goddesses in Saudi.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Entertainer

I really want to bring all my photo albums from Malaysia. Als the weight for all of them would be a bit too much. And my priority is still on my cili kering and ikan bilis. But I still manage two of them. One is my thick, lacy wedding album. Adakah ini bermakna akan ada a scan photo of gambar kahwinku?. And one small photo album, the one that they give you for printing a roll of film.

The small album was pictures of the day before I gave birth to Zachary, also when I was in the midst of pushing him out of me, his bloody picture (literally) and the whole one month of Zachary in this world.

I was flicking the album earlier, and one photo caught my attention. It was this one:-

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I believe Zachary was somewhat one month old this time. perhaps six weeks. As he seems alert with his surroundings. Batrisyia was three and Haziq was six.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHaziq lives up to his role in this photo. He has always been the entertainer in this household especially among his siblings. Sya and Jack can never be the same cheerful children when Haziq is not around. So much so that there was one time I took only Sya and Jack to see Dory (our first meet), the two were grumpy and refuse to be happy.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe other day we went to the dunes (yet again). It was a foggy morning. So I opened the car door to enjoy the speed and the fresh air. Haziq stick out his head and came in with his hair sticking out. Sya and Jack tried hard to emulate but Sya's hair was too long while Jack's was too short. But they had fun laughing at their comical abang. But then haziq decided to go to another car because his friend was there. Suddenly the car became so quiet and the kids became grumpy.

I was bless to have Haziq who never show any form of jealousy when he first had a sibling. the moment he sees Sya, he began to play with her. The moment a baby was coming along, he'd plan things to play for the three of them. There was no attention deprive action from him. It was like he has so much love to give. he didn't have any problem sharing my love and his love.

He has always been Sya and Jack's source for entertainment and fun and games. Such that sometimes Haziq has difficulty to concentrate on his homework, with Zachary fencing the foam sword on him or Batrisyia continuously wanting him to do something with her. On top that he has a short-span attention capability.

Haziq so far never fail the role of being the one to create games and things to do. And you know something is happening around him because you can hear him miles away. Sometimes I wish for him to silence down.

But most of the times, I am just happy that he makes my life so much more cheerful with lots of happy noise. And my mothering work so much easier.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Minggu ni minggu exam kelas arab dengan kelas tajweed aku. Alhamdullilah aku dapat markah penuh untuk kelas arab. Pastu dapat 28.5/30 untuk tajweed. Yang 0.5 tu markah kesian yang cikgu beri lepas announce aku dapat 28/30. Kalau korang semua gamaknya mesti score penuhlah. Gerenti!

Untuk exam arab ada ujian bertulis yang put to test ruling yang baru sikit aje di ajar tu, ada imlak (dictation) and ada qiraat (reading). Yang tajweed cuma recitation aje yang harus di memorise, tapi ayat simple-simple ajele so far. Al Fatehah, Al Ikhlas, AnNas, Al falaq, Al Masad dan Al Nasr. Tapi of courselah kena hafal dengan tajweed yang betul.

Aku masih mempunyai masalah makhraj bagi huruf kha yaani yang huruf jim, kha, kho tu. Dia kata aku masih sebut "ha" lagi. Naik sakit-sakit tekak aku mecuba nak sebut huruf tu. Banyaklak tu huruf tu. Dalam Bismillah dah dua kali. Start Fatehah dah ada. Adoi! Lepas tu aku ada masalah betul nak ihfakkan huruf nun mati jumpa shin (ada dalam Al falaq dan An Nas). Aku ingat aku dah dengung baik punya. Ayoyo!

Tabik spring kat semua cikgu-cikgu di center yang aku belajar ini. Pelajar-pelajar dari pelbagai negara dengan cara sebutan yang beza-beza harusnya kasi masalah yang pelbagai. Rata-rata yang dari Malaysia ada masalah kha macam aku. Pastu mesti tak biasa sebut zal (yaani dal, zal), tha dan dzo dengan betul. Tipsnya kena keluar hujung lidah sikit. Yang dari Indonesia akan ada masalah dengan zal, mesti nak sebut jadi huruf "j". itu pasal rezeki jadi rejeki, izin jadi ijin. dan sebut sin jadi shin. Yang dari pakistan mesti tak sebut Allah dengan betul. Tak mufahammah sebutan lamnya. Aku sendiri masih tak betul lagi makhraj. tak apa tak apa shuay shuay (perlahan-lahan) lama-lama ok Insya Allah. Semangat tau.

So far aku masih istiqomah nak follow the classes. Infactnya aku puas hati amat. Walaupun aku masih lagi tak boleh buat convo in arabic. Tapi adalah satu dua dah hafal selain dari kaifa halk, ana bikhair. yang dah amat standard untuk di hafal tu.

Ismi Lollies.
Ana min Malizia.
Ana mutazauwijah.
zauji muhandis.

Nama saya Lollies.
Saya dari Malaysia
Saya dah kahwin
Laki saya sangat hensem. (hahahahahaha)

kelas tajweed tu pulak dalam dia nak suruh kita recite dia beri sikit-sikit arti ayat tu. Taklah macam harfiyah tapi bolehlah buat ingat dan ada oohhh factor sikit.

Walaubagaimanapun dalam kelas aku dah empat orang yang quit dan dukacita sekali, kesemuanya Malaysian. Hu hu hu.

Aku sebenarnya tak kesah kalau orang nak quit. Itu prerogatives masing-masing pada aku. Tapi aku kesah jugaklah kalau ada buat minor smear campaign. Seakan-akan nak melobi orang lain untuk quit sama.

Tell me engko malas. Rumah tak terurus. Takleh cope cikgu mengajar. Bahasa inggeris tak faham. Dah tak ada mood. I am ok with that.

Tapi kalau sebok tanya aku, ko tak bosan ke tengok cikgu tu dari pukul 8 sampai 11:30? Yang tu aku kesah.

Aku ni romantik tau. Aku defensive kalau orang kutuk cikgu aku.

Aku jawablah. Ko kan kerja dulu. Biasalah meeing sampai sebulan dengan orang yang sama. Tak ada masalahlah aku.

Most makcik kelas aku pernah attend beginner class last year. Aku aje lompat gi intermediate. Tak kosa nak belajar huruf. (kereklah katakan). Apparently cikgu beginner tu fun fun orangnya. The very the bubbly. Cikgu aku ni (according to them) ada sikit strict dan banyak laju. So pasal tu dia orang berhenti. Ada tu nak masuk balik beginner class. Tak mau progress. *sigh*

Yang aku tak tahan juga nak berhenti sebab orang lain berhenti. Aku jawab aku bukan belajar kerana orang tu.

Tapi aku takleh cakap banyak. Nanti dia kata alaa ko tak pernah dapat cikgu yang best tu. sebab tu kau tak tau. Or orang kata alaah ko terer. Senanglah kau. Pulak

Plus who am I to comment? Macamlah aku tak pernah quit belajar. Banyak kali apa? In fact to tell you the truth aku pernah belajar bahasa arab for three years and siap took arabic as a subject for SRP (ancient equivalence to PMR). I hated my teachers thus I hated the subject. Miracolously I got a C6 for it. Dan terus terang aku tak ingat satu apa pun yang aku belajar kecuali yang amat-amat basic. Aku dah tak boleh construct a decent sentence dah pun.

Insya Allah this is my payback time sebab aku tak pernah rasa serugi dan sebodoh berebel masa muda seperti ini. Adakah ini the silver lining aku dihantar ke negara arab? negara yang memang sah-sah tak mau pergi dulu! Ever! Ever!

Funnykan twist of life?

Eh jom tarik confetti. Aku dapat markah penuh woo arab exam hari tu.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


"Laa belajar tinggi-tinggi, lepas tu berhenti kerja. Sayangnya."

A makcik exclaimed this to me the other day.

"Kalau I tak kerja I rasa bodoh."

Someone else said on a different occasion.

It's ok. You don't need to pat me or tell me that she is wrong because I don't mind.

In fact i thought of that many times too.

I am feeling useless now. Sure sure i do things with the kids. They "love" it that I am always around and that their teachers and I are on top of things all the time. I cook tremendous and I am a goddess.

But I fell useless to myself. Being a thoroughbred left brainer, I have always felt that going to school and work is the ultimate way of life. So not working and not having something that feels ME does bring me down many times. Something ME which generates money for ME.

Why not work there, you may ask. I have thought of it many times. Looking at the same industry that I was working back in Malaysia here, I fell intimidated and worried. I know how most of certain kaum (tak semestinya arab) work here and I don't really feel I am up to it. Then issues about small house where to put helper, need to get drivers for the kids and finally not able to go back for a long summer in Malaysia. Excuses eh? Many women (Malaysian) work here too. OK je. Ko tu aje banyak sangat cari alasan.

For that i envy those who dared to quit and yet have something to generate for them. The ME factor. Sure money is not everything, but ME factor is quite a boost. Lack of talent and not apt enough to see opportunity, leaves me like this.

Not to worry. I am just expressing how I have been feeling. But I'm ok. A bit down but good. A mixed emotion just like my rojak here. A blob of my peanut sauce would make it extremely good.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Loi Loi

I have mentioned to you before that some people are happily matching Jack Jack and Loi Loi together. Loi Loi, if you must know is Mr. and Mrs Fath's youngest daughter. The whole family are very close to us. I must say I am very comfortable with them.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketJack Jack and Loi Loi are always playing together in such if you are looking for one, you need to find the other. And Loi Loi would be very unhappy if Jack Jack is not at the same function she goes. Will Jack Jack be there, she'd ask. This is probably due to that in my circle of friends they are the only two of the same age. (Actually Loi Loi is older by a year.)They talk the same language too. And Jack Jack is quite a gentleman. He even took his time to buckle Loi Loi's sandal on, which was quite hard on his motor dexterity.

Not enough that everyone teases Jack jack and Loi Loi, but they will continuously tease me as the mother in law. Especially when they see me feeding Loi Loi. Suap tangan tu. Habis dah dia nak, suap ajelah.

I don't mind all these, mainly because I have always liked Mr. Fath and wife. I don't mind playing along because I respect them too. They are a delightful family. Lainlah Mr and Mrs Twit. Uhuk uhuk.

And don't get me wrong, I don't advocate girlfriend boyfriend games. But like I said, they are wonderful friends. And we all are almost like relatives.

Yesterday i got news. Not so good news.

Loi Loi fell off the car. A moving car. On the road. A busy road. Mommy's driving.

I was shocked last night. I tried calling them. But either it was engaged or it was not picked up.

My lover was on the phone with a friend, planning something for this coming weekend. I asked him to stop. I asked my kids to make prayers for Loi Loi. Jack Jack kept asking Loi Loi? Why Loi Loi?

I managed to sms Mr. Fath and was relief to be told that Loi Loi is miraculously ok.

I was so relief.

This morning, I bumped into Mrs. Fath in the arabic school. So I asked her what happened. From what she told me, Ya Allah, it was a near miss. When Mrs Fath got off the car, Loi Loi's hand looked like it was under the wheels. But amazingly it didn't hit her hands, instead it was only her sweater. Can you imagine that? And to think some more that Loi Loi fell onto the busy side of the road. And she is small. And in Qatar everyone drives fast. The only consolation was, she didn't fell head first. The other consolation was, Mrs fath just made a U-turn and was not in full speed yet. In fact Mrs. Fath managed to see Loi Loi holding on to the door half running on the road. ya Allah ya Allah!

Please don't bombard me with issues of childlock, seat belt and car seat. I am sure Mrs fath is already guilty as it is. And Loi Loi has never ever fiddle with the lock until that fateful day.

I cried listening to Mrs fath. I cried with her. Right there at the bottom of the stairs in the arabic school. I cried because I was and still am thankful to Allah that he wants to extent the loan of Loi Loi to fath's family, the loan for us to cherish this little bubbly girl. I feel that the family was given a second chance. And for that I was thankful. Syukur! Syukur Ya Allah!

I was feeling so overwhelmed that I could not concentrate in class. I was called almost all the time to the board and I made silly mistakes and then still manage to get myself lost in space only to be called ya Lollies, are you with us? I apologised to my teacher after that and explained why was I so spaced out. She gave me a hug.

I think this incident is a reminder to us all. Child lock. Seat belts. And what nots.

And our love ones can be taken away anytime.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Not enough time sometimes

I find it even harder now to sit down and put up my feet sometimes.

At the start of me becoming the domestic goddess nearly two years ago (coming to Qatar that is), I've already found the job quite overwhelming. It's never ending job you know. What's with to think what to cook nearly everyday. Ands the cleanups is continuous yet repetitive.

And then I started sending the kids to school. I spend two hours in the afternoon. Sometimes I got home at three (nearly everyday). Even limited time to do all the goddessy work. And that is why I am busy in the morning. I must make sure that lunch is ready before I go out to pick the kids up. So at least when the kids got home at three, they get to eat.

Usually after eating I will start muqaddam reading with Sya. And her bahasa malaysia work. And her spelling and her reading. And her supplementary ugama book. This may take one hour or two. Thankfully Haziq can do his own work with minimal supervision now. But still I do check occasionally depending on my time. That is in between cleaning up the kitchen and mopping and what not.

And I know I must not neglect the quality time like playing games together and reading together. Not to mention, I strive for the days that I take them out to the park which is quite a drive away.

And my house now is err not of goddess quality. But I have no shame to tell you this because all of you know I am a faux. And you still love me regardless. Err kan?

And as if those are not enough, I slaughtered myself to become an ASS comittee. And to put up the newsletter, making posters and managing projects and meetings took alot of my time. But after I finish my ASS, I was dead bored. I must do something. Classes of course.

And now with the classes, I am attending. Two of my mornings are taken up. So there will be two days that I run around like an amputated cockroach. And with classes there are homework. Wajib. And for tajweed, there is hafazan with correct tajweed. Oh sungguh gelabah gelabah.

Not to mention activities during the weekend. I find it even harder to do the bigger goddessy job. You know housekeeping the cabinets, the fridge, the wardrobes, the toilet, the dressing table, the stove. If I use to mop everyday, I skip days sometimes now.

I am squeezing time for my relaxing hours online like blogging, blog hopping, chatting, analysing photos, uploading photos and reading and replying mails.

And when Batrisyia's teacher asked me whether I would want to volunteer doing reading once or twice a week with the children, what do you think my answer was?

P/s : The children are lovely.

Oh some picturs of Sya's school's international day HERE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

T'is the season

T'is the season to play outdoor
Tra la la la lasaa la la la laa

As I have mentioned the weather has cool down. Outdoor time people! We went dune bashing the last weekend! We went to Kh0r Al Udeid. If you want to know what and where this is refer HERE

And this time, in a smaller group of 12 4WDs, we went through an even exhilarating terrain than the last time we went. But this time it was only a day trip. We went after Jumaat prayers and went back after maghrib.

This time round we got to enjoy the beach. The kids swam. Some fished. Some went to tangkap kupang. My lover just sat down chatting. I ran around with the children taking photos.

Highlights :

We went down on a very very very steep slope with our car. Triumph! I took pictures of other cars going down. Of course no one had mine. Hmm I had to strategise next time. Haziq slide himself down. Then while waiting for all the cars to come down, the kids ran up the dune and slide down and ran back up and slide down again. Man they have so much energy.

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Goddess highlight:

I brought nasi lemak, sambal kaw kaw and ayam goreng rempah toss about and a flask of chai. They said the sambal and chicken was super duper. He he.

Energy (lack of) highlight:

After gobbling two plates of nasi lemak, I decided to run about with the children on the beach. Then I thought why not I try getting up the smooth crescent dune because it looks too inviting. Like a smooth icing just waiting for you to poke it.

Let me tell you this. It is really really difficult (for me) to get up the dune. For a 100 percent energy I gave, I only get to move a little. One step forward, three steps backwards. I cannot imagine being lost in a hot dessert with all the difficulty walking in the sand. Err the kids however climbed up like nobody's business.

I had to shout for Haziq many times because he kept wandering about the dunes when we got up there. When he was on the other side, I cant see him. I kinda get worried, because the dunes look almost the same everywhere.

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Photos highlight

We moved out after finishing maghrib and Isyak (qasar, Jamak). Of course I had to be the last one to pack. Cleaning up the kids took me a long time.

Then we travel through the dunes in the stark darkness except for the lights from our cars. Occasionally there were a few locals in their powerful Nissan Patrol or Toyota Landcruiser zooming around us. We were getting out of the dunes, they mostly were getting in.

The drive back was challenging because we still had to go through steep slopes. Many got stuck but there were many of us. So while I waited for the guys huffing and puffing helping some cars out of the sand, I took photos.

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note : the white light is the car front lights, red light is the car rear lights.

the streak is the light following the car's path movement.

the top picture shows a car going up the slope in the dark. The next picture, shows that as a car was going up, another car came rushing down the slope at almost the same time. About three locals were driving down the dune, driving almost like mad. Scary!

The trip was by far the best sand dune trip I went. There were no formal guide. We depended on this guy who apparently has been visiting the dunes. He is equipped with GPS of course.

I think I am now very interested with GPS. Very very interesting. When is my next birthday ah?

More photos HERE

Tomorrow night I am going crabbing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh Dear Sya

Today I received a letter from Sya's teacher. What I read was a total shock to me.

Shock. Embarrassed. Angry. Sad.

Apparently Sya has been asking money from her friend. Not the extortion kind. More of a friendly kind. And the girl has been continuously giving her money so that Sya can buy herself a bottle of juice.

I don't even know how to start what I want to say.

I am still angry to the point I feel like crying.

You see, Sya has been asking me for pocket money so she can buy something from the school shop. I have explained to her numerous time, she and her brother, the reason why I don't think it is a good idea.

First of all, I am giving her food everyday. Maybe its obnoxious but I pride myself for doing her lunchbox. I also gave her plain water. I told her that I do not agree to buying juice from school. remember my new year resolution. That I want to reduce the sweet juice intake.

I guess she did not agree with the idea and feel that she needs to buy from school still.

Using someone else's money.

I can't tell you how embarrassed I am now. In fact embarrass enough to write this down here. But I need to recollect myself. Help me clear my mind.

I suspect though, that she wants to buy because she would look cool and in with the rest of the girls. Everyone else has pocket money. So its might not really be about the juice. Which is something that needs to be addressed.

One easy solution is of course to give her money from now on. Just QR1 will get her the juice. But it's not all about money. Even though I have been contemplating to give them pocket allowance, but now it would seem that I am going against my instruction. And should I or should I not control what she eats? I still want to in a way. Sya can easily plump up. She did last term before summer. I just do not think its right to plump up too early. (my age differentlah). I do want her to practice good eating habit.

I have talked to Sya. No allow me to correct that. I have shown my anger to her. I may have also use the word disappointed. *hangs head in shame*. Total wrong I know. I didn't know any other way sometimes. I was disappointed that she went against me. She knew about the no juice thing. I said to her despite no juice policy, I still give her juice every time she gets in the car when I picked her up. What else do you want????? And asking money from a friend is another thing. Ahhhhh!!

I will speak to the teacher tomorrow and very likely give a courtesy call to the girl's mother. And what is worst the teacher wrote the message last week. And all this while there have never been any message when I check, and I just have to not check this earlier.

I am still thinking what to say to her tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Little Gift

You may have noticed that I mention something about farewell lately. And do you remember I mention something about making a gift for her. HERE.

Elisa then suggested that I looked at Martha Stewart's for ideas. Which I did. Thank you Elisa. This is what Martha suggested. I put some of my ideas and uhuk uhuk I manage to make something for my friend. First time me do something "crafty". Me so proud.

The idea started when I was sorting some of Kak Azit's photos. I happen to have a few good selection of her pictures. Then everyone has been giving her something. Very expensive something.Persian carpet (I chipped in), crystal chandelier, vileroy and boch vases. I wanted to give her something more personal. And I was thinking that she might appreciate a handmade something. I would.

I made her a photo album with her pictures, her family and her closest friend's pictures.

In the process of making the album, I noticed she likes things Laura Ashley like. So I changed the scheme colour from my typical black and white classic look into a cool blue and white. Actually that's the only pastel colour I can find in the store for the card. I added little blue and white flowers for effect. The little flowers also have another purpose. I wanted something to add a gap between the photos so they won't stick to each other in the long run.

I procrastinate a lot of course, which is not surprising. And I didn't expect that Kak Azit change her flight date to even earlier. Suddenly I heard she was going back the next day. I scrambled to finish the project. I had to grab the only fabric I found which I was not entirely satisfied. The fabric is for the album cover by the way. It didn't turn out as how I imagine it. Oh well..

However, the look on everyone's faces (including her children) when I presented it, was priceless.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Winter is Coming

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe temperature reading on my dashboard display says that it is 22C. This is at 7 in the morning. Oh what a pleasant weather it is nowadays. It hits maximum 35C in the afternoon and the sun is pleasant and warm. The breeze is cooling. Indeed, winter is approaching. And I just can't wait.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe flowers and greens are back. The council is busy planting flowers and grasses on roundabouts and road dividers. Even the Ministry of Agriculture is dispensing advice on gardening. I bought a few pots myself. Even though, I know this effort can be futile. Come summer when I shall be away for two months, the plants will wilt in the death of the heat and thirst. Still if I can manage to salvage one plant which is now happily blooming beautiful pink flowers at my doorstep, I think a few more can survive.

I certainly look forward to winter for I love dressing up in the cold weather. Out come my jackets. Long red jacket. Hip suede brown jacket. Elegant green velvet blazer. I am thinking of buying one more. Another longer jacket, preferably brown. And I love my sweaters and jumpers to be worn for different feeling and different occasion. Jackets and jumpers always cover my bulges and I perasan they make me look smart. Put up the collar, I would look mysterious. Flip the lapel makes me look elegant. Not to mention elegant mufflers around the neck add the extra umph. And boots. Knee high boots to boot!

Winter time also means outdoor time. Lots of plans are buzzing now. In two weeks time I might go sandduning. There are other plans of barbecues. Desert camping. I am thinking of taking the kids out at the park more often this winter.

For about five months you most likely won't hear me complaining about the sun. In fact, the sun is a blessing during the cold time. When the clod breeze hits you, the sun will stroke your cheek and keep you warm.

Winter, the best season of the year in Qtar. Brrrrr!

Monday, November 12, 2007

About sleep over and my open house

Nabit, Mr Fath's daughter had to make a choice whether to go to my open house (the fourth one) or to go to her friend's place for a sleepover. She was having a dilemma deciding and talked it over with her parents. As told by her mother, Nabit really wants to go to my place, but her friend shall be leaving D0ha soon and thus these would be their last sleepover of sort.

Nabit asked her parents to send her to the friend's place later at night after coming over to my place. "You think I am your driver ah?", said her mom. So Nabit had to chose. her mom, positively said (which I tend to agree), that perhaps going for the sleepover would be a better choice considering that her friend is leaving. Auntie Lollies would be around in D0ha for more open houses.

Finally Nabit succumbed, and sadly said to her mum, "Can you send my salam to Auntie Lollies. tell her I am sorry that I couldn't come". Her parents laughed at this. (It was quite funny when Mrs Fath told me). It was like as if nabit is going to faraway land and not see me anymore.

I met Nabit at another open house prior to mine. She said she is very sorry she could not come. I really wanted to tease her and make her feel guilty for not coming. But I decided otherwise, considering that she is only twelve. Instead I said, i understand and that I'd probably do the same thing too. Plus who knows when will you ever see your friend again. She seemed relieved.

But I was honored that she came to tell me. She has my admiration that girl.

Anyway, Mr Fath's family was the first to come that night. Way before Isyak and prayed at my place. Nabit was there too. :D. Then Mrs Fath send her to her friend's sleepover.

In the end, we parents are our children's driver. Always.

Batrisyia was also invited for a sleepover on the very same night. her classmate's birthday apparently. She told me days before. To tell you the truth I am not very keen of this. She is too young for a sleepover, I think. But more importantly, I have an open house. My closest friends, whose kids are by default her friends too.

When I told her this, she was not very happy. I ignored her.

She didn't stop at that and kept coming back trying to make me agree to let her go. And each time, i said I am inviting some people over. I reminded her that she kept asking me when these people are coming to our place. And now you are begging me to let you go elsewhere? To another party?

But it was on the day of the open house itself. On Friday. She woke up with a gloomy face. "Can I go?", she asked. I sighed and said we have talked this over many times Sya. And she got angry and began to snap at her brother.

I called her to the kitchen. I was slaving and was in slight verge of panicking for there were still too many things to do. I got angry with her and told her to get over it and stopped snapping at everyone. I also mentioned that her friend's mum did not mention anything about sleepovers, so do you think I am going to let you go? I told her off!

After I cooled down, I called her and sat with her. I explained that I understand that she is frustrated. So would I. I asked her to understand that as a host it is respectful that we are around when our guests come over. I am sure her friends would want to play with her. How would you feel going to your friend's house and she is at someone else's house? I also said, that sometimes we can't get what we want all the time and sometimes we have to give in for someone else. Most of the times we must show respect and appreciate our guests. And that is the responsibility of a host. And I can see that she is a big girl now. Can you take this responsibility?

I also said that I am proud of her. She sobbed. Ahh she is a good girl. We hugged.

Then she helped me slice the pineapples. :D

She wrote something about her fun time with her friends. Perhaps if I have the time, I will scan it and put it up.

I hope she learned something from this.

I did.

My daughter is growing up.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Open House Batch No 4 : Done

Gosh! When will she stop talking about open house?

He he.

Last Friday night was probably the most ultimate open house I had. The guests were about 60 plus. Most of them are, I can say, my closest friend here. You know the kind of people that you WANT them to stay longer at your house. Those who can go straight to your kitchen and make themselves comfortable. Those who can korek periuk for extra servings.

I cooked:-

Nasi minyak sprinkled with saffron and raisins
Dried chicken curry
Acar nanas and timun (pineapples and cucumber pickle)

Mee curry
with fried chicken chop chop (for description in photo form refer HERE)
Fried chickenlah of course

Surprises of Rojak Pasembor ala Lollies
which is a mix of
Crispy tepung goreng (sliced)
sliced boiled eggs
Things fried in special batter
chicken breasts (cut in strips)
sliced cucumber

The Rojak surprise was to be eaten with peanut sauce

Marble pudding

Air sirap bandung

Teh tarik

Cofee susu panas (brand Kenco)

I couldn't make extra desserts because I had to run to another open house during the day.

Phew!! I was really tired at the end of the day. The most painstaking job must be the rojak surprise. There were just so many things to do for the dish. The frying. the slicing. Including the peanut sauce which thankfully i roasted the peanuts days before.

But everyone attacked it and it was gone in like ten minutes. Tinggal timun je sikit. Me happy!

I had a few worries before the open house. First, because there was a bigger co joined open house during the day where most of the cooking experts in D0ha cooked. There were nasi kerabu, mee hoon soup and LAKSA SARAWAK (oohh sedapnya). In fact a few of my guests told me not to do it at the very same night but I was adamant. But I was still worried that people won't be eating since they might be full. And worst most of the hosts for that big open house were my guests. Errkkss.

My next worry is as usual, would the food be enough? What if I underestimated their tummy?

My biggest worry was probably, that most of my guests are experts. The kind who can whip out dishes for hundred of people with eyes closed. the kind who keep big pots and pans and warmers and periuk nasi and long sudips and big senduks in their house stores. The kind that have the individual tunku api to cook outside their house for kawah style. Oh I have been mixing with them and I know that they have taste for food. And can be particular especially if you are cooking malay food. Sambal ikan bilis tak kaw, memang slowlah dia orang. Not that they say it out loud, but I know. So worry worry. But again I was adamant. Because my niyat is to call people over and hope that even if the food was bad, they can still enjoy themselves. But pray notlah.

So cook with love and feel happy. Those are the magic ingredients.

Alhamdullilah they LOVE LOVE LOVE the food. They love the mee curry. the love the dried chicken curry I made. My nasik minyak turned out perfect. They even suggested I opened a restaurant. Oh how kembang. And people rushed to the dining table. It was almost chaos. Its either the food was too good or it just appear rowdy because the place is too small. But people were laughing, shouting and jesting at each other. It was like pasar chow kit for a moment.

Despite people claiming that they are full due to the earlier open house, they added more plates and bowls. Oh I was delighted. I love my friends. All my tiredness? Gone!

And as expected most of the ladies made themselves comfortable in my kitchen. Those with little babies mostly sat in front of the TV. The men in the majlees. Some playing 400. Mostly chat away. One guy even slept, after eating, on my arab sofa.

The children played in my kids' room and some outside.

They left at somewhat midnight.

That night, I was really tired. But somehow I was too excited to sleep. I went chatting the night away with my lover.

I slept happy remembering my funny friends.

I also slept, a happy goddess.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


nope! Not sister-in-law

also not SIL as in Surge impedance loading on a transmission line when the resistance is set to zero thus the line is considered as a lossless line.

Sil is an arabic word spelt as sod-ya-lam.

It means connect. (Mudarisah aliya, tolong betulkan ya)

Think silaturrohim. To connect the love. (betul ke ni main suka translate aje)

You know, I must admit to you, that I feel good inviting people over. Doing all the open houses. Tiring yes, but I enjoyed it. And because of that, I try my best to oblige when people invite me over. Tak mau kecikkan hati orang.

I feel that with all these visitings, the friendship gets closer. We bond more.

I must say thank you to the hosts of the first ever Malaysian open house here in efx2. I personally think that it is such a great idea. An open house done virtually. I can almost feel the loudness and the laughter.

Can you feel that you connect more? Bond after feasting your eyes on the food?

Go visit the happenings at [URL=""]MALAYSIAN EFX2[/URL]

Pastu duduk computer ketawa sorang-sorang diri ajele.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Third Batch of Open House: Done!

This time round we invited mostly the "bachelors" over. And also a few families who know these "bachelors". Apparently all the three families I invited, do not know each other. I hope they do now. :D

The guests were again not many. About ten.

I cooked nasi ayam (chicken rice). I chose nasi ayam, because this has got to be the most simple dish ever to make especially for group invitation. Make the chicken soup kaw kaw, and you get the rice. Tapi I ada tips baru untuk masak nasi ayam yang semerbak harum. *winks*. Take the chicken out, throw stuff to marinate the chicken and fry after a few hours. As for the fibre, toss some salad, slice tomatoes and cucumbers. Walah you are ready.

Perhaps the most tedious part for me is to make the chilly sauce. Because I always use fresh red chillies and I would deseed them. And of course I must get bawang goreng and daun bawang and kuah kicap. Barulah nampak presentable.

I wanted an easy menu knowing that I had two open house invitation during the day. So my time was pressing. My open house was at the later night. And luck has it, both of the open houses I went today served nasi ayam as well. And at least two of my guests that day went to one of the open houses.

To top it, sometimes I get panic when I think that I cook too little. When all the guests were savagely attacking the nasi ayam, I got fickled. I thought that the rice would run out soon. I went against my lover's advice and cooked a bit more rice. Which, in the end was not touched. So you can only guess what we had the next daylah kan.

Mabuk nasi ayam aku!

I also cooked roti jala with chicken curry. I am probably not good at whipping the batter, that in the end I had to sift the batter to have a smoother one. And making things worst, my plastic roti jala mould(?)is not very good. (This is actually the case of not being able to dance, blame the floor). The funnel(?) is not smooth. Some tiny plastic bits are at the end of it.

This tiny bits at the end of the funnel somehow disturbs the flow of the batter. making my roti jala looked like roti titik-titik.

So to kirai the roti jala took a lot of my time. This is on top knowing that to make roti jala aready is a painstaking one by one work. And I rejected the ugly ones. Which notlah that many. I exaggerate mostly. Only about four out of I don't know. Quite a lot.

The highlight of the day also was the air jagung and mint tea.

I had a good time that day. One of the families who came, Ms. Fash, had her mother with her. Lucky lucky her. Her mother sangat berkenan dengan Haziq. And partly that was the reason she agreed to come to my house despite her being tired after shopping the whole day. She also said somehow she feels very content being here in my house. Wowser! Despite the rummage of the children's room!

Suffice to say, I enjoy each of my open houses. Rasa macam puas dan akrab sekali dengan kengkawan.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Miss You

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI miss you. Zachary has been using the three words to such great effect these days. He said I miss you when I picked him up from school and hugged me tight. He said I miss you to his dad when he comes back from a long journey home.

And what more, he said I miss you even to Loi Loi when they meet at open house after long weekdays. Oh Loi Loi's mums and siblings (all girls) are ever thrill of course.

Zachary is also the favorite of many of the "uncles" here particularly Mr. Adub. Mr. Adub has three daughters and no son (yet). He adores Zachary to bits and even spoon Zachary dinner whenever he can. And Zachary would always run to him first and hold his hands out so Mr Adub would carry him.

Last night at an open house, Zachary said to Mr. Adub, "hello Uncle. I miss you". Mr adub melted last night. he said to my lover, "Mak oi! Ko tau anak ko kata apa! Dia kata I miss you. Cair aku! Cair!"

And what's special about Zachary's I miss you is that he doesn't use it freely. I miss you is not cheap. He knows really when and to whom he should use it. Bless this child.

I am happy for my children. I am happy that they grow up surrounded by love not only from their immediate family, but also our friends and my friends children. Be it here and even my closest friends in Malaysia. My Pak dara mak dara and sebagainya.

I think, children who grow up knowing that they are loved in many ways, has good self confidence, Insya Allah. A high esteemed of oneself. A child who knows he is loved do not have to go into the world to prove himself right all the time. Because he is confident of himself. Even he is wrong, he knows he tried and people would love him regardless. And the world is a platform to learn, to teach and give.

This love from extended families are supporting love that is vital to a child's growth. It is laso important to nurture a more wholesome person that can connect with community. That can make them carry themselves as who they are, Insya Allah, without pretense.

Contrary to a child who is always condemned, criticised and snickered at, she grows as a rebel child. Having the need to prove herself all the time. To top it, she might have low self esteem of herself and very little confidence. She might also grow up thinking that everyone is against her, making her rebel even more.

I should know the latter one.

I am happy for my children.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Red Dots

Sya played I spy with haziq during lunch yesterday. The thing about them playing I spy is they tend to look at the things that they want the other person to guess. This of course made it easier for you to guess the answer.

So, it's Sya's turn to do the I spy and she said, "RED DOTS" and then immediately her eyes darted at me. And haziq upon cue, looked at me too. And upon inspection of me, he said, "PIMPLES! on ibu's face!"

They laughed and sya added, Ibu has lots of them.

Bertuah punya anak.

It's true you know. Remember my so called rashes/ pimples that I had when I came back? Now it has grown to pimples and also full blown acne. Such agony! I actually had to go to a dermatologist and now on the medication. Cream and pills.

As expected all hidden pimples comes out as if no shame. Some dried out. Some grown into a stump and stop there with a big red dot. But mostly grows into volcanoes. Active ones. That erupt every other day. One erupt, five more peeked out. Gross gila.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Second Batch of Open House : Done!

This time I invited a few mummies from batrisyia's school to my house. It was on Thursday morning when the kids are happily in school. It's party time for mummy.

There were only six ladies. A mixed of nationalities : Malaysian, Indonesian, Germany (Remember Kirsten?), Jordanian (remember Fifi?) and Egypt.

Kirsten had a baby. She was pregnant last time, remember? So typically all the ladies went oohhh ahhhss at the just too cute baby of hers.

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I cooked the typical Malay Eid (at least typical for a person who is from Johor)food. Something that should not be spicy for my non Malays taste bud and stomach lining. Something, I think, that will present Malay food well. So I cooked, which is no surprise,

pressed rice
peanut sauce
lodeh (I only put carrot and cabbages and prawn in coconut gravy. and dried bean curds)
fried satay marinated chicken.
I also whipped up corn pudding in creamy milk sauce.
Teh tarik (tea with milk)
Orange juice.

Of course to most Malay standard, this is too little a menu. For usually one would cook two sets of dishes. But considering it is weekdays, and I slaved cooking at night and still has to go out to send the kids to school, and also there were not many people, I think it was ok.

My non Malaysian friends seem to love it. Kirsten actually said, this is the kind of food she likes, with gravy and this sweet crunchy sauce (peanut sauce). I warned her though that it contain nuts, in case she is allergic to it.

Apparently, I think many westerns are allergic to nuts, such that there is no nut policy in most schools. It's either I am not aware of it, or there are very few cases, but I really do not know any Malays who allergic to nuts. Correct me please.

Anyway they ate three bowls of it! And they were amazed at the pressed rice. And thought it is so cute. When i worked as a waitress in a Malaysian restaurant back in the UK, pressed rice, as simple as we may think, has always been the attention of many. I always have had to explain the whole technicalities of rice pressings. they would usually take a nibble and said, it tastes nothing. I said it is just rice but pressed.

My Malaysian and Indonesian friends are mostly fasting but came anyway, for which I doggied back some of the food for them. Hope they like them.

I had a surprise that day. When Kirsten came, she brought me a box of baklava. That was not the surprise. It is quite common to receive desserts. But my Arab friends brought me house gifts! Wowser! Nicely wrapped as well. That was surprising. Apparently its common that they bring gifts, not in the form of food, when invited to someone's house. Do take note my friends. I received two dessert dishes and a tissue box wrapper and matching coasters. :D

I enjoyed myself. I hope they had a good taste of experiencing our Malay food.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Guess who is going to school?

He he he

He he he

He he he

It's me!!!

It's true my friend, I am your new school going old girl in the blog.

I have enrolled myself for the tajweed and arabic class here. Finally! Here in Qtar, yo can find a few establishments offering arabic, tajweed, and tahfiz classes. Some are quite expensive, some takes many hours in one sitting, and take most of your weekdays off and mostly most of the courses are done at night.

But the one that I am attending is, in my opinion, the most practical for a typical domestic goddess like me. You know for those who need to send their kids and pick up their kids. And also for those again like me, who wouldn't be able to go to evening classes and leave the kids at home alone, or would prefer to berkepit dengan lover as soon as lover comes home.

The class is twice a week. Monday and Wednesday. Arabic is taught on both days. tajweed is only taught on Wednesday. Each class is one and half hour each. And read this read this. It costs me QR120 PER YEAR! Per year I tell you. Is that cheap or what?

This course is done in an establishment special for ladies. It is heavily sponsored by the government of Qtar to help educate the ladies especially the expat's wife. Besides arabic and tajweed, they also give lessons on Fiqh, tawheed and tafseer.

I have been eyeing the course for a year, but was not able to attend for Jack2 was still around. And I must confess, this is the main reason that I sent Jack to school. Sure I said it would be good for him, so that he mixes with other kids, establish the english language, early exposure bla bla bla. But the real reason is, as a matter of fact, is really a very selfish reason. I just wanted something for myself. And that is why I chose Jack's classes to be on Monday and Wednesday. Most of the time, ladies and gentlemen, my life is precalculated.

In a way it is a balance thing. First I helped save lover's money for not sending Jack for the whole one week. I also get to go to the most core of the courses provided. having said that I have to forgo the other classes. But don't you think it is good enough?

Today is my second day. But we are still in the early days of the course where everyone's spirit is high and everyone is eager to learn. teaching is still basic Talk to me again in three months time. heh heh

Oh oh oh I was put for a test so they know where my level is for both arabic and tajweed is. I am put in the intermediate class for both classes, for which I am happy. This is one step hisgher than the beginner. And get this, the teacher said my handwriting is nice, MasyaAllah sister! She said. Ahsanti! I really had a laugh. Not to the teacher. But to myself. You all have seen my jawi writing kan? hahahaha. But yes, it was legible. And to an Arab, knowing someone who is non arab who can write in arabic font quite easily, must be quite something. nevermind my writing is not an art. However when she tested me on my tajweed, Ya Allah berapa kali kena betulkan the makhraj. Baru Fatehah. Aku ingat dah cukup betul tu. But she did ask whether I have learned in an arabic school before. This is the second time an arabic teacher ask me this question. I am still perplex with this.

The crowd seems fun. So many ladies from so many nationalities. I am really excited.

Anyway, pray for my istiqomah.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I just want to tell

That I am feeling very happy these days.

It must be the positive energy I have been getting throughout the holidays of eating frenzy. Meeting the right people. Having great conversation. Some intelligent, mostly none. I feel so so good. So content. And I feel loved and has lots of love to sprinkle out.

And that is funny for I should be grumpy on my PMS day. And to top it, today is the day the routine starts again. Early get up, cooked up a wholesome breakfast of pancakes, getting the kids ready and O.M.G. why was the road so jammed up? Send kids, get home, clear the house, cooked asam pedas ikan tenggiri, rushed to haziq's school, then to Sya's school, then to Sya's sports activity venue, then back home to feed the boys lunch for ten minutes and out again to pick Sya, then the routine of mengaji and pouring over homework, then lover comes home, eat eat eat, tidy tidy tidy. You know the usual thing.

And nothing manage to put me down today. Today is my good day. the day when things are in good shades of pink. The day to hug the one you love. Kisses and smooches.

It must also be that the weather has been kinder. There were puffy clouds in the otherwise too clear blue sky. The breeze is far more pleasant. I can feel the spring in my feet as I walk.

I am enjoying this good feel day. I feel calm. I am feeling positively happy.

Hope you had a good day too.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

First Batch of Open House : Done!

Last night I opened up my open house for our first batch of guests, my lover's officemates. As you know, I like calling people in small batches rather than the one shot, cover all open house. I prefer an intimate entertaining.

The menu? Oh same thing I did last year. Just a bit of adjustments due to lack of ingredients.

Thai Curry Prawn with Pineapple
Beef Patayya style
Sweet and Sour Garoupa
Fried sawi with fishballs
Marble Jelly pudding
Watermelon juice
Sweet melon
Crunchy grape

The men, I noticed, ate a lot. I think its because they missed the white rice afer gluttoning over ketupat and rendang and noodles and laksa.

A few more batches to go perhaps. Kalau rajin. Some people who are actually close to me heard about my open house and have been hinting why they are not invited. Gulp! If only they know that I will invite them on the weekend so they can spend time longer at my place. I will explain to them after this.

Kadang-kadang tak tau nak masak apa dah. But next possible in line

Mee curry
Laksa Johor
Mee bandung
Lontong set
perhaps a breakfast invi so can make nasi lemak
nasi puteh set with steam fish and chicken padprik

Somewhere therelah. Can you help me with more ideas?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Raya di Qtar

Aku suka nak assume that korang semuanya nak tau macamana agaknya beraya di Qtar ini. A family of three young children tinggal di negeri arab. Ada ramai Malaysian sini. Seperti kebanyakan rakyat Malaysian di Qtar ini, aku juga tidak tinggal di komuniti compound. Rumah malaysian merata-rata. Jadi beraya pun merata-ratalah.

Pertamanya pada malam sebelum raya hari itu, kekasih aku dan anak jantan sulungku pergi bertakbir di embasi Malaysia. Malang sekali sangat sedikit para hadirin. Amat mengecewakan. Mungkin kerana pengumuman raya yang mengejutkan, ramai yang masih lagi di masjid (dan ada tu habis terawikh 8 rakaat), ramai juga terpaksa menemani isteri terkocoh-kacah menyiapkan masakan menyambut raya. Anakku seronok juga bertakbir dan seterusnya bermain dengan rakan-rakan.

Di kebanyakan masjid di sini sembahyang raya pukul 5 lebih. Memandangkan subuh masuk 4:15 pagi. Orang arab suka sembahyang raya di kawasan terbuka. Embasi Malaysia juga ada buat sembahyang raya, tapi pukul 8:30pagi. Untuk pengetahuan semua, 8:30 pagi di sini macam 11 pagi waktu Malaysia. Sembahyang open air itu amat panas sekali. Tapi aku pergi jugak ke embasi selepas selesai sembahyang. Saja nak jumpa rakan Malaysian yang lain.

Hari raya pertama sahaja aku pergi lapan open houses. Itupun aku dah terpaksa tak pergi dua open house. Tak sempat. Keluar pukul 8 pagi balik pukul 12 malam. Meriah tak meriah raya at sini.

Ramai jugak rakan-rakan aku kat sini. Sebagai pengganti saudara di Malaysia, mereka inilah extended relatives aku. Terus terang aku katakan, aku rasa seronok sangat. Walaupun Mrs Twit masih tetap suka mengumpat, aku dah tak bother dah. Ramai lagi rakan-rakan ku yang menggembirakan aku. Seronok rasanya berkonvoi dari satu rumah ke satu rumah. berborak dan bergurau sambil menternak lemak yang sikit-sikit hilang sepanjang bulan puasa dulu.

Ada sesetengah Malaysian menyambut raya di Mekah. Seronok juga rasa nak buat yang sama. Ada yang pergi melancung ke Dubailah, Italilah. Hmm aku tidak mempunyai pendapat yang sama. Raya padaku bersama dengan keluarga dan extended keluarga. Tapi masing-masing punya selera. Ada yang balik Malaysia. Cemburunya aku.

Kat sini gomen kasi satu minggu cuti raya. Sakan betul cuti free. Jadi sepanjang minggu ini penuh jadual aku pergi rumah member-member. Hari ini ada tiga. Esok ada lima. Esok jugak kami akan ke AlKhor. Satu daerah di utara Doha dalam setengah jam perjalanan. Di situ jugak ada komuniti melayu. Hari Khamis komuniti melayu di Dukhan pulak menjemput. Yang ni pun di utara Doha. Perjalanan lebih kurang satu jam lebih. Aku dan kekasih aku girang nak berjalan jauh. Kami ni kempunan nak balik kampung jalan jauh ni. Lusa ada lagi open house. Infact hari-hari sepanjang cuti ni. Alhamdullilah.

Anak-anak aku semuanya gembira ikut aku beraya. Mana taknya berjumpa dengan kawan-kawan. Pada mereka beraya ialah jumpa kawan dan main. Such simple life is. Disini tradisi duit raya kurang dipraktikkan (among the malayslah). Orang arab masih beri duit pada anak-anak mereka. Tapi adalah jugak dapat sekeping dua. Tapi nampaknya anak-anakku pun tak sebok mengharap dan mengumpul. Ramai jugak family yang anak dah besar umur 13 tahun tak bawak anak-anak berjalan lagi dah. Bosan katanya. Sekali lagi aku kurang setuju. Kenalkan mereka dengan extended keluarga mereka. Kawan ayah mereka. rakan-rakan mereka yang lain. Salam dengan orang tua. Yalah bosan agaknya menunggu orang tua berbbual. Baik tik tok tik tok main computer games.Anak-anak aku dinasihatkan salam dengan orang tua (walau no duit raya) lepas tu hah pergilah kau main. Mak oi gamatnya rumah.

Aku nak bukak pekung di dada, aku tak masak apa pun raya ni. kalau dah aku asik berjalan keluar, siapa yang nak makan. Menu pun lebih kurang pulak tu. AKu rasa membazir aje kalau aku masak dan tak makan humban masuk tong sampah. Tapi yalah bila tak masak tu rasa kurang pulak. Tapi dah sebok-sebok beraya ke sana kemari, anak-anak seronoklah jugak. nanti aku jemput orang pulak, biar rasa sebok sikit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Esok Hari Raya!!!!

Di umumkan tadi bahawa hari raya Eidul fitri jatuh pada hari Jumaat, yaani esok 12hb Oktober 2007 di Qtar. Dan most likelynya di kawasan GCC yang lain (saya tak pasti).

Inilah bahananya procrastinating. Aku satu apa pun tak siap. Rumah pun tak di lap lap lagi. Kekasih aku dah bergegas ke embasi untuk bertakbir ramai-ramai dengan Malaysian yang lain. Aku dan Sya akan sebok buat benda lain supaya suasana raya dapatlah juga di rasai serba sedikit.

Hampir menangis aku tadi masa tau esok raya sebab mati-matian aku jangkakan hari Sabtu. Tak cukup puas pulak aku rasa berpuasa.

Apa apa pun aku ucapkan selamat hari raya untuk rakan-rakan yang membaca. Mintak maaf jika terkasar bahasa menyentuh jiwa. Terlebih cara dalam berseloka.

Selamat semua

Good things for haziq

Haziq came back from school the other day showing a box with a calculator face on it. What is that, I asked. A calculator, he replied. Where did you get them, my next obvious question was.

Apparently Haziq won a science quiz competition in school. The kind that the teacher ask an impromptu question and you give the answer. It wasn't the best calculator,but it was quite good for his standard actually. Basic Casio scientific calculator. I think I only had that calculator when I was doing my A Levels.

The questions were
1. What is the first space craft carrying man into space?
2. What is the first country to launch a satellite? i asked him how did he know the answers. He said he read about Armstrong sometime last year. And I asked, and you remembered? Yeah, why not. OH so nerd. hahahhaha

And he knew the second answer from watching Iron Giant.

Why don't you give a try at the questions (without googling :D)

Also Haziq did full fasting this Ramadan, Insya Allah..there is still tomorrow eh? I must give him full credit for it. I know it is hard to fast in this hot weather. What more with the vigorous P.E. that he still has to do. Under the hot sun as well. He attends all his afternoon activities, karate and swimming. Both are optional. he didn't need to go. But I encouraged him nevertheless and waited for his reaction. So far he did not complain directly or tell me he wants to quit fasting. Terharu aku.

The swimming must be quite hard because he is swimming in an open air pool at 1 in the afternoon. And I know the teacher pressed the students quite hard in he pool.

I am happy that he didn't ask to quit fasting even though I never force him and most likely allow him to quit anyway. Of course after interrigation. Maybe that's why he nevr bother asking. He is tired I know, that sometimes he would be grumpy when I asked him to recite the Quran or calling him to pray when he is resting. (tadi baru lepas kena marah)

But otherwise i think he did well. I promised him and Sya a toy each. i am actually thinking of giving him some amount of money. I would let him spend on a toy of his choice with the amount of money given. Before that I will be guiding him to spend, and give some to charity and some to keep. We'll see how he fare eh?

So readers, have you got the answer to the question yet?

Monday, October 08, 2007

It was Haziq

Heh heh it was Haziq who was on tele. And it was the AlJ@zeera Children's Channel, which I have just found out that it is only aired in the GCC and some part of Europes. Even I have never watched it. Elisa, apparently it is on Nilesat. It is an Arabic programme. That figures.

Anyway Al J@zeera Children's channel launched a retail store selling children's stuff last Friday at the Vill@gio, one of the biggest malls here in Doha. And Haziq, well, he participated in modelling the store's merchandise.

In short Haziq did fashion modelling. Hahahhahahha. He did the cat walk! On stage! In public! On tele! Except that err no one get to watch itlah.

It started sometime the week before last, when the embassy called us and told us that AlJ@zeera wanted a Malaysian boy and girl around 8-12 years old. Somehow, the wakil ambassador thought of Haziq. then I got to talking with the agent. She said he needs the Malaysians to parade our national dress for some launching I don't know what. I said OK. It would be exciting eh?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHowever, the next day she texted saying that Al J@zeera already has their Asian kids and costume, so they don't need Haziq. I said OK. Nothing lost there.

But then, the agent called me again the next day and said, you know what, why don't you send in Haziq's photo and we'll see from there. I send one. Apparently it was a va va voom photo. The agent loves Haziq instantly and put him back in. The other Malaysian girl was out of the story it seemed.

And that was it. He went for practice nearly every night. And met a lot of other kids of different nationalities. Started off nervous and shy but took off afterwards with the rest of the boys and infact had to be told off for playing too much.

On the day, he started off parading his national costume and after that he walked about the stage showing off the store's merchandise wearing the store's shirt as well. And then they were laughing, playing an imaginary guitar and high fiving each other on stage. He enjoyed himself alright.

The only thing was I couldn't get good shots of him that night. The crowd was rowdy and most people in front of me are taller than me. :( The only time I get to snap was during rehearsal.

There was one time I got a good snap. I was in front of the stage, smack at the the centre. I raised the camera and snap at the most perfect angle. Alas it was not a picture of Haziq but the Egyptian couple. And after that I got told off by the crew member that my camera flash was spoiling their shoots. :(

Anyway photos of the night can be found HERE.

It was a good experience for Haziq. He met alot of new friends and learn something new. He still look a bit stiff walking on stage, but it does not matter. He was happy.

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gambar rehearsal ajele nampaknya

Friday, October 05, 2007

1 2 3 4 5

I have been tagged here and there. So here I am for the five things

5 Things in my bag

- sunglasses alhantuya.
- purse yang tercabut button and dah kurang tembam compared to masa kerja
- compact camera
- handphone
- make up on the go. macam bagus - compact powder and lipstick aje

5 Things in my wallet

- Malaysia ATM card. I don't have an ATM card here. bukak account pun tak boleh. tak kerja.
- 2 credit cards
- identity cards - malaysian IC, resident permit, driving license, health card untuk pi klinik sini
- money, duit, fulus
- old receipts. bila nak buat housekeeping ni?

5 favorite Things in my bedroom.

over here i don't like my master bed room. I like the one in Malaysia. so favourite rhings are

- lover
- jack
- cosmetic stuff on the dresser. moisturiser abd stuff, perfume, hairbrush.
- a book i am reading. A malayan trilogy : Anthony Burgess
- kids story books to be read at sporadic times on my bed

5 Things I would like to do

- facial
- hair cut
- organise jack's photo
- prepare a present for a friend in the form of pictures that I took here. She is leaving for good at the end of the year. I am planning to print her pictures and make a booklet of sort. What do you think? Any idea?
- travel everywhere

5 Things I am doing now

- drying my hair by attacking it with a towel
- charging my camera batteries
- main jerawat
- checking alerts
- looking at photos

5 People I want to tag:

No one lah. It seems everyone has done it

If you have the time do watch AlJazeera channel or is it AlJazeera children's channel (ada ke ni) at about 1-2 a.m Malaysian time. 8-9 Qtar time. Someone would be on air tonight. He he

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Goddess have their lazy days too

Sometimes even the truest of goddess runs out of ideas to cook for iftar. Especially the appetiser or dessert or the snack food.

So on the laziest of days (and also perhaps running out of stuff to cook due to even lazier act to grocery shop), I whipped up strawbery jelly and splashed creamy milk sauce and added fruit cocktail just for the bites.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Over Expressing : I Like

I like I like I like the way my lover show how much he appreciates my cooking. Especially when the cooking was exceptionally beyond. The goddessy kind. Trust you, me, he wouldn't just say hmm this is nice. Or you would have to insinuate his actions of sudden gullible of food. He would really tell. I don't have to worry that he was just exaggerating (well perhaps he is), because I know when the food is not at the Goddessy par or just so so, he wouldn't express that it is good. He would probably comment in the most tactful way when the food is below average good.

I have never told him thi, but I just love the way he praise me. ooohhh it just made me want to give him more. As you all know, i am not really the cooking type person. I wouldn't list it as a hobby that is for sure. In fact I didn't know how to cook until I had to survive my degree and had to share with four malay girls who wants rice everyday and my cooking turn was on every Monday. I really would not bother myself for recipe or even ask around on how to improve. I might have slowly killed my housemate throughout the two years we were together.

Of course then I got married and somehow it is just logical that I cook. Partly because both of us like to stay at home and eating out everyday was just not appetising.

And like everything you do, the only way to move forward is to improve. So does my cooking. When we were first married, he would show his appreciation by saying, hmm sedap and looked at me in the eye and caressed my cheek and then we can proceed to things yang lebih sedap. And then he upgraded his praises in parallel with my cooking's ability. (Ahaks!)

Now he would not only say hmm sedap and look at me and caressed my cheek, he would also shiver himself into an uncontrollable spasms, and roll his eyes like as if he is in ecstasy. Have you watched Gary Oldman in the Leon. Whenever he wanted to do something bad, (he was he bad guy in the movie), he would sniff his coke and got himself in ecstasy complete with shivers and rolling eyes.

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My lover is my Gary Oldman, and my food is his coke (sometimes). I like I like I like.

And during this fasting month, when you cook extra special for breaking fast, I get even more of this ecstasy expression. I would just roll my eyes in the pretense of being the "perempuan melayu terakhir yang ayu and pemalu" and say you are too much.

The kids love this drama and would impatiently wait for lover to do it. Even though he doesn't do it everyday, because not everyday the food is to his liking. "kuih apa hari ni?" "Trifle" "Alaaa". Trifle wouldn't be to his liking. No ecstasy there.

But the kids would still wait. Azan. Little doa. Bite kurma. A gulp of drink. A bite on food and ecstasyyyyyyy. They are always amused.

And now the kids are taking sides. The boys would all go into trance and Batrsiyia would roll her eyes like me.

As you can see, we are breeding an over expressive children.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another year

It must be lonely. Breaking fast by yourself. When you use to have a wife fussing over food. You must have remembered how the four of us would wait at the table for the azan. Eyeing the food. All the time delicious. You have always said the best time of the year was when breaking fast. I must agree for I am enjoying it with my family, your grandchildren.

And then everybody grows up and everybody grows old.

Somehow I also remembered how you have always liked keroncong. I remebered the nights that you dimmed the lights down and put on the turntable to the tunes of old keroncong. Ibu would make you ABC or any dessert and sit with you talking the night out. I would be grumpy because keronchong was just not in. Bukaklah Casey Kasem ke apa.

Ayah, I was watching Mukhsin the other day. At the end of the movie two old couple sang this simple keronchong, maybe a bit low for ayah's taste, but it reminded me of both you, ayah and ibu.

I imagined Ibu singing out of tune and you singing everything like elvis. Or you would strum the guitar while Ibu still sing out of tune. Or you would sing and Ibu would strum, again right chord, wrong strum.

The clip from the movie Mukhsin. Pssstt thanks bear

It's your birthday and I can feel the loneliness.

We all miss you terribly and wish that things are just different.

Happy birthday ayah.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kad Hari Raya

My makcik urut (traditional massager) said to me,when I visited her for my yearly maintenance, "Raya nanti ko jangan lupa hantar aku kad raya" (Don't forget to send me Eid greeting cards when you get there)

Gosh! I have not been sending out greeting card for ages. Last was most likely when I was working, only to my parents. My lover insists that we send raya card for both parents and siblings. But my nenek urut, like many older generation, they still prefer snail mail (or card) rather than the mass sms or the computer greetings with music and flas card pictures. Which I must say, I do agree, but the effort. And also the litter after.

And I have not received cards ever since I got here. Partly because I am too lazy to give my lover's office address. They don't have house address here. Nor do they have postmans to send the mails. They use P.O. Box or courier.

Even before, when I was working, I have only been receiving sterile cards. Like from the insurance companies, consultants, hotels and all that. Where sometimes they stamp their name rather than sign. Gone are the days when I received stacks of cards from friends with messages like

"Pecah kaca pecah gelas,
sudah baca harap balas"

So I am sending out raya cards this year. To those who are significant and those who want to receive.

.....and why am I troubling myself for that, I just can't explain. Instead of buying the card from the rack which are far more more easier and prettier and creative, I decided to make my own. Not the one that i colour myself which is like more personalise kan?

I chose some of my photos. Old ones I am afraid. I haven't been out much to take new ones. Put the Eid Mubarak Greeting on it and print it. I couldn't even get proper cards for it. So it doesn't look professional. But doesn't look too bad.

Are you sending out any this year?

Some of the pictures for my cards

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Can't Stop Crying

Aku belai anak kecilku dari dia kecil lagi. Aku limpahkan kasih sayang kepadanya. Bila dia besar aku terapkan disiplin. Aku kongsi ilmu bersamanya. Aku perhatikan dia membesar di hadapanku. Setiap detik menggembirakanku. Hilai ketawanya. Sedu sedannya.

Dia peluk aku pagi semalam. Dia peluk aku pagi ini. Dia mahukan sesuatu dan memujukku. Aku buat tak layan. Dia sugul. Comelnya. Kasihnya aku padanya.

Dia minta dimasukkan ke kelas ballet. Ibu tak ada duit. Dia sugul. Tapi masih lagi dia datang memelukku.

Ibu masak sedap. Dia senyum memandang aku. Bundar matanya penuh cahaya. Aku kasih padanya.

Dia bergaduh adik beradik. Ibuuu tengok dia ni, jerit dia. Rimas aku. Tapi bila semua tak ada, aku rindukan hingar bingar. Aku rindukan pelukkannya.

Janganlah engkau, syaitan bertopengkan manusia, ambil itu semua dari aku. Engkau, manusia selaku haiwan, dengan nafsu serakah engkau. Hati binatang engkau. Apa hilang sifat kemanusiaan engkau. Engkau merosakkan kehidupan anak kecil itu. kehidupan keluarganya. Keluarga yang memberi kasih sayang sesama mereka. Tidak ada sedikitkah lagi sifat belas kau?

I was talking to my friends about my kids transportation to school. One of them remarked, you parents are so paranoid. I played in the kampong throughout my childhood. I cycled to school in quiet road. I enjoyed my childhood.

I enjoyed my childhood too. I walked 15 minutes from school when I was in primary. I cycled to my religous school. I go to pasar malam. I go places.

It was perhaps safer back then or I was just lucky.

But I feel afraid to take similar risk with my children. Am I hampering them with great life outdoor? But can they really be safe anywhere. If in the security of home do not promise anything. I feel scared. Scared for my children.

But to my friend, I said, you obviously do not have children of your own.

AlFatehah Nurin. Dunia ini kejam. Tempatmu di syurga sekarang, anak kecil.