Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kata Orang Tua-Tua

Kak Ros, one of our dear neighbours left for haj with her husband this morning. Beloved hubby and I went to their house which is just sepelaung away from ours to ucap selamat. After pak Imam melaungkan azan, they rushed into their MPV without looking back and headed for the call of the All Mighty. This reminded me of that time when I too was preparing to leave for my haj some years back. This is not about going to haj, more about why when dah azan, kena cepat cepat ride the vehicle and don't look back. Some say if we look back, the journey will not be a safe one or one may not reach Tanah Haram at all.

Well is that a myth, sheer belief, pantang or a reality? A lot of our daily transactions have this qualifier, "orang tua-tua kata" ... this and that. It is really at one's own risk. I for one, believe them at times, and sometimes I shy away. I do it, because..... well, no harm doing it kan. If shy away... hmmmm... let me think ada ke yang I shy away from doing it?

Coming back to the story pergi haji, I remember when I was small, my Uwan always said to me, lepas makan nasi, make sure curah air a little bit into the plate. If I don't do it, some day when I get to go to haji, the ship which will sail me to Tanah Haram will be kekeringan air di laut. Tapi Uwan, as far as I remember, my parents went to haj by plane, so that was not applicable anymore kan? She still insisted that I do it. I guess the reason is, it is a lot easier when we wash the plates, tak de lah plates tu kering sangat.

There are other Uwan's favourite pantangs like no singing in the kitchen or one will be an andartu, no cutting the finger nails and toe nails at night, no gazing into the mirror at night, no sitting on the pillow takut bisul, no lifting up the legs when laying down menangkup for fear that the mother will die, if you knock on one's head make sure you knock another time to make the knock twice (hmmmm sebab apa ye?), no taking picture bertiga because one of them will die and no playing outside the house during zohor times because ada hantu galah or around dusk because ada hantu tetek! There are good rationale behind them like if you sing in the kitchen, dok syok menyanyi nanti hangus pulak the cooking, no cutting the nails at night because takut injured, malam lah katakan things can be a bit dark whilst no sitting on the pillow because we sleep on it hence why sit on it? As for others, there must be a good reason the elderly forbids or encourages them. It is really up to us whether to practise or otherwise.

Arwah Uwan was still alive when I was in my confinement after my first three Aces were born. During that confinement period, there were lots of things I have to adhere. Those pantangs which there is no two way about it are sometimes a killer. For example, no reading newspapers or magazines during this time, no washing hair, no visitors from dusk to dawn, no walking pass the baby behind his head and no touching his head. Also when burying the baby's uri, make sure to bury it under a tree or somewhere sejuk and redup so that the "baby's friend" is always in a calm state. Some believe if the uri is buried with paku, hantu takut nak kacau whilst if bury with pencil, the baby will turn out to be a clever boy. I told my beloved hubby to bury the uri together with chip and thumb drive so that my babies can be like Bill Gates some day.

My MIL also has some classic pantang during confinement. She is indeed a proponent of makan ini and itu tak boleh, sejuk lah, basah lah, angin lah. The best of all which she always chided on was never to remark the baby by the good names like comel nya, gemuk nya, chubby nya instead to call him buruk nya... or tahi ayam... ! My MIL has also taught me some good beliefs and practices. Kata orang tua-tua, when we fill in the beras into the cooking pot, make sure the cup which we use is always filled with the beras as we store it back together in the basket or container. If we do not do this, we will always find ourselves running out of rice. The other thing that she practised is during a khenduri, she believed that the rain can be "stopped" from falling by tangkupkan lesung batu in a periuk/container full of water. Well it worked so far, because everytime she holds a khenduri and she does that, it never rains. Oh yes, there is also another myth about this rain-stopping, throw your panty onto the roof , eeewwww... and the other is to plant on the ground a hot red chilli running through a stick. The edge should be pointing to the sky. Insha Allah it will be a rain-free khenduri. Hmmmm, is that what the bomoh did during the Sepang Formula One race?

Other beliefs which I can remember are like if your right palm is itchy, it means that one will get big bucks or if it is the left palm, one will have to spend money. If it is the tapak kaki yang itchy, one will soon be travelling far and if your right eye wiggles, it means that you will cry soon because of sadness.

Do you believe in all these? Or do you have any kata orang tua-tua, pantang or myths which you would like to share?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Escape From Stress

Busy ber-outstation terus lupa my 4th Ace, Alina's 10th birthday. I feel bad about it and felt even worse when in the afternoon, I checked with beloved hubby whether he has wished Alina birthday wish, he said he forgot. He quickly texted Alina the birthday song. Aduhai lah suami. ...... When I reached home at midnight, Alina was still awake and truly excited to receive the multi types of colored pencils and Vanessa Hudgens key ring as my birthday gift to her. Beloved hubby got some Barbie stuff for her too. Thanks Babbs!
No birthday party and no big bang celebration this time round. To compensate, I decided to give Alina and the other Aces the Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa treat just now. It may be a bit too late taking into account that the show started its air time in Malaysia like 2 weeks ago. Better late than never, kan!

The line of story is familiar. Yet, the sequel of the 2005 Madagascar managed to tickle our hearts. Tak sure lah part yang mana. Maybe the script, the characters and also the wiggling butts. The animals like Alex, Melman, Marty, Gloria and ehem ehem Moto Moto (you call my name twice!) were lovable. For the kids, as long as they are animated characters, lots of animals and pretty synchronised in the presentation it will definitely awe them. I pun enjoy them too, seronok tengok cos I very much enjoy the Dreamworks movies.

Takeaways for me, sebab cerita cartoon mesti selalu ada morale behind it:-

1) Everyone has always the desire to be a hero in its own way.
2) Love transcends beyond boundaries and does not differentiate between a long necked or a fat hippo, and apa-apalah yang can differentiate you!
3) True friends are always there whenever you need them.
4) Must start carrying a Nanny handbag which can carry necessities in them. Who knows I may need them to survive or to save a dear life.
5) Penguins are smart lots, they can repair planes.... hahahahaha
6) Finally, when I am antagonized by the stress at work, I should remember the tune, "you got to move it move it" as a mode of relief, cos it could be my inspiration to be the mover, shaper and shaker.

Enjoy the show!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Short Trip to Negeri di Bawah Bayu

After the so very busy week, I am now doing the post at S*ang-**-L* Tg Aru KK. Arrived here this evening. It was a long day. At 11.00 am, I realised I have not packed when I should have already be on my way to catch the plane. The flight was at 2 p.m. So terkoch-kocoh sangat sampai beloved hubby boleh sindir "Well, that is nothing new!"

Made at the airport on time but the flight was cancelled. Had to take the 3.00 pm flight. Rugi je rushing tadi.

At the "Goodwill Dinner" just now, my name was being mentioned in the speech. Laaaa.... I was caught unattentive sebab sibuk looking and amazed with the 2 day planned agenda. The top leader was supposed to attend however last minute, he could not make it. He promised to join us tomorrow evening.

Got this pic taken whilst still negotiating with the partner at the lobby area

At 12 midnite I was still reviewing document for tomorrow. Tak cukup tidur lagi! But I love this place. Should have brought my kids but it is just too expensive to travel ramai-ramai and the trip is just short. My mother was supposed to follow me, but last minute, she changed her mind. She wanted to visit my brother and family but tak tahu apasal, she had a change of heart pulak last minute. Hopefully I can come again with the family some other time. The counter party promised to give me a good rate i.e. half of the corporate rate which we are enjoying this trip.

Oh dear, eyes dah berpinau-pinau. Stomach pun tak berapa sedap. Must be the stress. Hope tomorrow is not another heart-attacking day.

Post original comment : I only managed to catch a two hour nite sleep (felt like 20 minutes!) and saw the morning sun at the beach from outside my room before heading to work. Yup, it is going to be another sleepless and tiring day today.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unimpaired Energy

Adoi, penatnya... It has been a very busy week. On Friday, I came home at 10.57 p.m. On Thursday I arrived home at 12.30 midnite. On Wednesday pulak it was 8.15 pm. The week before was pretty much the same. I was not the only one who was working late; one of my lawyers and obviously my secretary were there too. I did not ask them to stay back, except for on Friday lah. I was doing my own thing whilst they had other things to finish too. On Thursday, I siap belanja everyone lunch because we knew that during lunch pun, tak sempat nak keluar makan. It has been a mad house.

There were so many things happening at the same time. First of all, it was budget time of the year. Friday was the department review with the CEO. Hai! Banyak betul planned spending kena butchered. Everyone is bracing for the cost-cutting measures. If Year End Projection tak meet the approved budget for the year, definitely the 09/10 budget kena ikut Year End Projection. Tak boleh nak lavish lavish. We have to say good bye for now for any workshops and meetings or functions proposed to be held outside the office. Good luck to everyone lah because the meeting rooms in the building bukan nya enough to cater for the meetings and mind you, there are 4000 odd staff in one building. My phone bill allocation pun kena axed by RM200. No more sms and calls lah like this, kena use messenger and emails. I understand there is the austerity drive from now on, just hope that it will not go overboard and at the expense of other critical things.

The next item which was top priority in the list is the signing ceremony at KK next week. Although ideally we should have an agreed document by Friday, ada satu item yang still is not agreeable. That Friday, I was chasing this person and that person who has the mandate to give decision. Then there was the media release to prepare. Yang ini kena go right up to the Mr President since a lot of sensitivities on this venture. When we drafted the press release, we were very naive. Just ikut the facts and the agreed terms. When the PR people saw it, whoooaa... banyaklah correction kena buat. They surely know what really matters to orang suratkhabar kan. Ada yang boleh disclose ada yang tidak. Hai, pening nak satisfy kan semua orang.

Then of course on Friday too is the drop-dead date for this company yang I prepared, well we, jual to another company. So all checklist had to be perfectly checked. It should be immaculate, no omission, whilst all resolutions and authorisations are tip top. The handing over ceremony was at 3 p.m. That morning had to rush this and that to make sure all were in order. It was a simple ceremony, but sad, because of the emotional attachment I have with this company. Kira, I gave birth to it lah... Hahaha... This company has got some activities at Putrajaya. When they started the works on this about 10 years ago, I siap ada satu picture posed kat tengah palm oil estate at Parang Besar (now part of Putrajaya). So it was quite an emotional atmosphere for some of us albeit relief because the company which is also quite problematic in terms of the revenue-earning was sold to another party.

One thing I learnt after all these, the women are a specie who are very committed and agile. This is not meant to undermine any one, but I tell you... most of the people who worked for the three matters yang I cerita tadi are females. I don't know what that infer. Is it because women are a plenty compared to men or the women are ehem.. ehem... lagi terror on episode commitment, agility and staying back late etc etc. There was one night tu, at 9 p.m. and I was walking to the restroom on my floor. I had to walk pass two departments. I discovered that meetings were in progress at the common area, just as if it was still bright daylight and the discourses were attended mostly by women. Believe it or not, got slide presentation some more!One of the meetings was at Finance and the team comprised the boss, the only guy and lain-lain tu were ladies in skirts and baju kurung. Most of them are working mums. Eh... I worry lah about the children, my children too, macamana ni dah lewat malam their mommies were still working! An opportunity to create social problem? Well the dads better make sure that this has now become their responsibility to impede it.

To add to the statistics, I know that at one of our plants, 60% of the shift staff are women. Dulu used to be all men. We have even gone to the extent that the plant control room had to be renovated to add more toilets for the ladies because the number has increased tremendously. We have also read in the news that the pre-qualification for boys into the tertiary education have been lowered because if it follows strictly to the girls' pre-q, berapa kerat aje lah boys yang boleh masuk university. I find this problem very true. Tak payah go far lah. At the home front, my daughters are more hardworking than my sons. IQ wise, they are the same.

I thought when the economic scene is rosy, people are busy looking for growth. When things are being impacted by the global meltdown, hopefully work should slow down. There are some companies who have declared shortening their work days from five to four days. Even in our office building pun ada US company which office hours in the week are up to Friday lunch time only. This is a real T.G.I.Friday! So far for us, masih lagi following the motto Buat Kerja and maybe to add ... Sampai Mati! Mana I get this endless energy pun I don't know, Alhamdulillah anugerah Tuhan. Just to quote what Hj Samuri (Satay Kajang Samuri) said in the interview by Malaysian Business, "in order to be successful one just have to enjoy and love what they do". I concur however, bukan lah I nak jadi successful sangat. Just trying to cari rezki for my 5 Aces. However I don't mind at all if one of these days, the company declares four working days in a week. I will be one of the people who will be jumping up and down and in those mornings, I will be cooking big breakfast for the family, like mee kari, mee bandung, mee rebus, nasi dagang or even laksa Johor. Oh I really miss that!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rendezvous With Tijah

It was an amazing performance by Tijah last night, the name she loves to be fondly called. The beautiful songstress Khadijah Ibrahim held her Pearl Concert at Dewan Philharmonik PETRONAS. Wow, she has been in the music industry for 30 years ! By 8.30 pm the majestic hall was full of audience. I spotted a few Ministers, two Vice Presidents and some friends and familiar faces. The guest of honour was the beautiful Queen herself. Ampun Tuanku! The Pearl Concert was a charity concert held for the underprivileged children supported by Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita Keluarga Dan Masyarakat.

I have been a Khaty's fan since I was 13 years old, and this pleasantly coincided with her first few years of singing. Masa time secondary school dulu, the favourite Malay singers were like Khaty, Sudirman, Noor Kumalasari and Freedom. So it was a total deja vu walking down the memory lane with Khaty last night. My favorite songs include Ku Sangka Siang Kiranya Malam, Tangisan Hati Yang Derita, Peristiwa Di Bulan November, Ku Pendam Sebuah Duka, Terbang Pulang, Aku Dia Dan Malam and Everyday Girl. I was mesmerised by this versatile singer whose powerful voice always haunts me by her song "Malaysia Truly.... Asia...".

Khaty is a performer, a natural joker. I love the way she speaks, pure, sensual and eloquent. She engaged herself with the audience and that is what I call a good entertainer. She paid tribute to her late Dad, her late Mom, her sister Sophia Ibrahim, Sudirman Hj Arshad and even her ex husband. Dato' Ahmad Nawab, the great saxaphonist and Papa Rock Ramli Sarip made special appearance. The best number that night for me was Doa Untuk Kekasih, a duet by Khaty and Papa Rock, also apparently a favourite of the Queen too.

I enjoyed the concert very much. It had this nostalgic effect of going back to the old times, when life was just so free, no problems to worry and it was just me and my old friends. I just love those years in 1980-1990s. Beloved hubby and me were singing along the popular numbers, clapped our hands, swayed and shook a little. If not for the concert being held at MPO, where everyone was so tertib, we would have gotten up and shake and shake and shake, baby!

Awesome, we love you Khaty!

ps : For those of you who wants to watch and enjoy Khaty's performance, there is one last show tonite. Try grab the tickets if they are not sold out yet.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Letter To Ali

Dear Ali

Congratulations for achieving good results in your UPSR. I know you are not satisfied with your results, but Mama feel that it is quite an achievement. Mama saw how Ali studied and I think the results are commendable. You were even more dissatisfied because the B you got was for English and I know for a fact that you did your English revision particularly in composition, comprehension and grammar more diligent than the other subjects. I can only say "bukan rezki Ali this time".

Do you remember that Mama used to nag you to study before the exams, yet you defied me. You still preferred watching your football game or playing PS2 or sleeping, as opposed to studying. I thought it was endless how I pushed you to your limits to do the Latih Tubi. This only happened about two months before the exams. The concentration was on English, Science and BM. Thank God you followed my advice diligently afterwards although I felt that you should have put extra effort.

Nonetheless, when the exam started, I remember you were very confident that you could answer the questions very well. After the exam, you became more confident in accomplishing 5As that you have requested a PSP from Baba and Mama if you are successful.

So today is the day, unfortunately lady luck was not with you. Do you know that I took time off to be with you today because I worry that you will not be able to control yourself in case you did not attain what you wanted. I am glad I did that. I could not control shedding my tears when I saw your emotions. Tak macho lah sayang! It did not do any good either when your friends also cried, I guess due to frustration. When I saw your friends asked you how you have fared in your UPSR, you replied "just 4As" in sorrow and disappointment, I could see an element of surprise from their faces. Like me, I think they thought you deserve better.

I told you last night kan, that if you feel confident you will achieve 5As, you should also have a twinge of that feeling, what if you don't, and prepare for the contravention. Seeing you come home and refused to eat instead dozed into slumberland, had worried me. I truly hope you will get over it as soon as possible.

Thank God to the PSRA results which were out in the evening and the football match which you won at Sekolah Agama. Boys being boys, football is the best medicine of all. I am happy to note that you are now back to yourself, disturbing and fighting with Alina and Alim. From the post mortem which we discussed relating to UPSR and today's event, I realised that you wept just now not totally because of your non-achievement in getting 5As but because Mama and Baba will not be rewarding you the PSP which you wanted so badly. According to you, you just have to mengikat perut to save money for the PSP from today onwards! Tak pe, naik secondary school and with the pocket money that you will receive, definitely you can get the PSP in six months time! Or you can ask Baba to top up a little bit, kan Baba.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Fren's Visit

I planned to go home early today. The weariness from the hard work for the past two days is giving my body a toll. However at about 4.30 pm the phone rang. What a lovely surprise. It was from my good old friend Siti Harlina aka Along. I can't refuse the invitation of a buddy who has invited me for coffee right? For Along's sake, tak pe. My sleep can wait.

Along was one of my best buddies when I was at IIU. She hailed from Seremban hence the connection. Our parents knew each other. My sister Shamilah were batch mates in school with Along's brother. Whilst we were doing our practical, I remember doing it at the Courts together. She was also one of my library mates in the varsity. She was such a fun girl, happy-go-lucky and full of zest, thus it will not take that long for people to like her or be close to her. Other than my four other buddies in IIU (Sue, Ina, Nim and Lisa), Along is another closed one though different group! Along was there during my engagement, my nikah, my first delivery (and the other deliveries too) and the khenduris which were held in Seremban. We had our dreams back then. A lot of dreams.

Along became a successful syariah lawyer in Seremban and here I am in this prestigious organisation. At least this part of our ambition became a reality.

However, not all our dreams came true. After slogging like mad at work, expansion of business, promotion and having babies, the life we dreamt for did not turn out to be the way we wanted. Although both of us could not be by each other's side during the difficult moments, we knew that in our hearts we are close and we kept praying for each other and our families' well being.
We reminisced the challenging events, the wrong and right decision, the correct and incorrect action, lessons learnt, the suffering and everything we could talked about. It was painful but we had no more tears to cry. Life has to go on. I am glad that Along's life turned for the better although that may not be how she dreamt and hoped. Similarly I know that Along also feel the same way about me. Just now as we sat having coffee, we exchanged our sadness and happiness. We hope that whatever He tested us has made us even stronger to continue with our lives. We also hope that after having gone through the sorrow and pain, it is time to be blessed with contentment again. Happiness and joy like no one of us have ever dreamt and imagined.
As we parted goodbye, if God permits, Along favoured me of finding a big house Down Under (isn't that what I told Nuha last time?) if I am selected to work there. She is always welcomed to be there with us and to find peace and solace. I have now added another one more person praying for my posting overseas :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

East Coast Day Trip

Greetings from Kemaman! I arrived in Kemaman early this morning. It was a tiring journey. Not so much because of the plane ride, but because I was in the office til 10 pm last nite. By the time I reached home, I had to review my presentation for today. Unfortunately the DVD kaput. Nasib baik ada hard copy and double nasib baik, they have e-mailed the presentation to the office in Kemaman. I was still reviewing the hard copy of the presentation in the taxi to airport, in the plane and in the company car to office. Tak sempat tengok lagi since these past two weeks I have been busy with preparation for board meetings.

Mat, the company driver was already at the Kuantan airport when I arrived. To go to Kemaman, the nearest airport to disembark is Kuantan airport. It was my first time in the brand new Toyota Camry which I remember we had to deliberate one whole hour on which company car to procure, a Naza, a Perdana or a Camry. That is another story to tell.

The journey to Kemaman was quick. Now kan dah ada Lebuhraya Pantai Timur. We exit at Cherating and it took us just about 30 minutes to reach Kemaman. Weather was good although according to Mat it rains at night. They are doing the necessary preparation in case the flood hit Terengganu again. Almaklumlah dah nak masuk musim tengkujuh.

Kemaman is the next famous town after Kertih, where the gas processing plants are. There is the Export Terminal at Kemaman Supply Base, also the infamous Perwaja Steel is in this town. The town is biasa je, and I think there are so many traffic lights for such a small town. One big traffic one at simpang Hai Peng Restaurant, an eminent kopitiam. The opposition influence is still felt in Kemaman, or Terengganu for that matter.

What is buzzing around this area now is Mesra Mall. There is finally a decent mall in Kemasik (about 20 minutes drive from Kemaman). A favourite hangout for the inhabitants nowadays. Mesra Mall, a project by KLCC, housed the popular outlets like Starbucks, Secret Recipe, Toys R Us, MPH, Guardian and a few more famous shops. Giant tak buka lagi, wonder why. A lot of cerita about this and I don't know how true the rumours are.

My duty finished after four hours. Not too bad for someone who reviewed the presentation at the last minute and tak cukup tidur. Maybe I should work on this mode more often, he he....
In the evening we headed back to Kuantan airport. On the way back we singgah at the stretch along Kemaman-Cherating where they sell kopoks (keropok). Bought 40 batangs of kopok lekor, our favourite tea time grub.

Checked in at the airport and went straight into the boarding area. Kat luar ramai sangat orang because there were bakal-bakal haji yang taking the same flight. Tengah lepak-lepak suddenly, I heard a sickly noise, Arrrggghhhh.... Toleh ke kanan, laaaa, ada mat salleh ni dah muntah kat tepi ni and collapse. Mabuk lah pulak mat salleh ni! (Oh yes, I thought I saw this mat salleh drinking a can of .. I wasn't sure what, at that time I entered the scanner just now). The cleaners were efficient. Ambil lots of tissue, ambil mop, pail, dustpan, and what have you, they quickly cleaned up the mess. Spray freshner zzzittt and zzaattt.

At the same time, the drunkard's friends carried him to the toilet, one of them came out of the toilet, brought in a grey teeshirt back in. Then the drunkard came out, walked helplessly and sat on the chair. He was moaning and groaning, or did I hear him cry? Almost 15 minutes before boarding the plane, the MAB personnel came. Rupa-rupanya ada dua mat salleh yang drunk. Sorang lagi was laying on the chair. There was some commotion and the two drunk guys were escorted out of the boarding area. Ye lah, it may be dangerous for these two people taking the flight, for some reason or another.
As we surrendered part of the boarding pass to the officer in charge, I pun busy body tanya the person on duty.

"So dia orang pergi KL naik teksi ke?"
"Terpulang lah pada agent dia orang"
"Siapa mat salleh tu Encik?"
"Dia orang ni sea-farers. Mabuk lah tu bila atas darat. Sama lah jugak macam kita. Bila kita kat darat, kita ok. Cuba pergi laut, kita pun mabuk."
Hahahahaha, funny lah you!
Blur... Eh, entah entah betul!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Washing the Fish Pond

I woke up this morning feeling like having Big Breakfast at La Bodega. Mooted the idea to beloved hubby but he replied that today is the fish pond cleaning day. Oh OK. I knew that the fish pond needs cleaning already. The last time we cleaned the pond was two weeks before raya.

We do not have any pets at home except for the kois and the kelahs. I am not into cats or rabbits. I hate to have cleaning up the cats' mess although I know that they can be toilet trained, whilst for the rabbits, we had three of them some time back. After a year with us, they died after having infected with some kind of rashes in their ears. We finally settled with fish as our pets. The kois were just about 6 inch length when they came to our homes. Now we have about 13 kois and 10 kelahs, and boy, are they huge!

We had the fish pond since about two years ago. We did some renovation works to the porch and front gate, and that was when beloved hubby decided to have a fish pond. It was an option between a pergola and a fish pond. In the beginning, I did not buy the idea because, habislah my garden yang sekangkang kera tu. The extra land is very useful during khenduri kendara. Well not that we do the khenduri every other month. But even small makan-makan sometimes, it is practical to have the tents up with the tables and chairs. Of course not to mention the three pinang merah that we had and the flowery shrubs in between which had to be given away and sacrificed. Beloved hubby vetod-ed me on this, cos the next time I knew, the workers were already digging the ground for the pond.

Beloved hubby had it all planned up rupanya. He was thinking of a Balinese pond. Siap carved with Balinese designs and etchings lagi. Got this Indonesian whom I believe is half Balinese to do the carvings. It took him about 5 days to siapkan everything. Initially tu, I was sceptical how it would look like, but after watching him do the sculpts everyday, I had confidence that it will turn out the way beloved hubby wanted it to be.

The pond is semi-circle, about 3 feet in depth and width wise it is 6 feet times 4 feet. There is a small waterfall that flows through the wall, a small fountain and a jar that also gushes the water slowly. We have some greeneries planted in the surrounding of the pond which makes it look very tropical, a parched patio and stepping reflexology stones around it. I did not like what the pond do to my garden fence though. In order to have a Balinese look, the garden fence has to blend with the Balinese outlook, so the fence pun jadi ala ala Balinese. I told beloved hubby I prefer the simple one, not too exaggerate.

We started with rearing the koi, added with gold fish. However the gold fish did not last that long. We did not house the gold fish together with the koi for fear that the gold fish would be eaten by the koi. The gold fish were placed at the tiny pond at the fountain. However they continued jumping out into the big pond. The kois apa lagi, hari hari yang dia lapar tu, naturally they gobbled up the gold fish.

Coming back to the story about washing the pond, beloved hubby had the usual orang surau to help him. The key players were pak cik Baks (Bakar) and the muazzin Mus. This is no small job tau. First of all they had to transfer the fish into another pond. Ikan are banyak so apa lagi, the temporary pond is 5 Aces' mobile wading pool. Later they emptied the water from the fish pond. They scrapped the fungal and algae away by using the scraper. Washed the filter and pump. Scrubbed the walls and the floor trying to make it go back to the original cement-grey color. This time round it was a bit easier for them compared to the last time cos one of our friends Capt Zawawi loaned his jet-water machine to gun the algae away.

The algae accumulates easily if the filters are not agile enough hence that is why we have to clean the pond almost every quarter. According to one of my friends, Hudal, we would be better off not to scrape off the algae as algae is good for the fish. But tak tahan lah tengok hijau melekat-lekat kat dinding. Pakcik Baks suggested that we construct a roof on top of the fish pond, it will be redup, so the algae do not grow anymore. There were buckets of algae accumulated. Scary tengok the green sticky plants.

These few good men spent a good 5 hours cleaning the pond. In the course of cleaning, five kelahs died due to lack of oxygen. Beloved hubby buried the kelahs next to the fish pond marked with a small stone as its batu nesan.

During tea break I served them pie tee and keropok lekor with the big bottle of 100 plus. They were busy working that they only had lunch til 3.00 pm. Lunch was ayam masak lemak cili api, bawal goreng, bayam rebus, sambal tempoyak and mango as dessert. Masak simple orang kampung je. Licin, beloved hubby smiled. Of course lah, semua nya lapar and exhausted.

During the fish pond-washing, we had visitors too. Hj Ramli came with another friend, they helped out sekejap. Later Capt Zawawi came and followed by Mail and son, who happened to be Aliah's friend at school. Mail threw some salt into the fish pond sambil bermentera, God knows what was that for! Riuh rendah dibuatnya bila dah ramai-ramai tu. Ali, my 3rd Ace came out from his hibernation of PS addiction at 4 pm and asked in oblivion, "Woh! Kenapa bersih sangat pond ni?"

Terima kasih banyak-banyak (and daun keladi too), those were my parting words to the wonderful friends. Hope their wives tak bising to them cos Sundays like this they are supposed to be spending their time at home with wife and kids.

But then, I guess the men enjoyed doing this sort of thing because at 6 pm, Mail and Capt Zawawi came again to pay a visit to the fish pond. This time round they brought some more kelahs. Now beloved hubby is thinking to add lobsters into the platoon.

I am contented, as long as I can hear the sound of the waterfall from the fountain when I go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

TV, Tomyam and Troy

Beloved hubby was up even before azan Subuh today. We were very excited about him appearing on Malaysia Hari Ini. This is the second time he appeared on air sejak dapat the new job nine months ago. Popular pulak tiba tiba. I was disappointed that I couldn't be one of the viewers. In the office there is no TV and to watch it from internet, rasa macam pelik pulak when I should be diligently working. My daughters saw him on air. According to Ayna, his command of conversation was a lot better than that time he appeared on RTM1. However he looked as if he did not have enough sleep. Yelah, last night we slept at 1.00 am, borak-borak and temankan him packing. He will not be around for two days. It is his turn to be going outstation this time. Later in the morning, an old friend of his texted me. He commented that beloved hubby looked handsome on TV. This friend of beloved hubby has not kept in touch with us for a good two years. They went separate ways due to some misunderstanding between them. The fact that he texted me and complimented beloved hubby today, does that mean peace?

I was rushing to finish work in the morning and at the last minute there was a request from VP for me to come up with a legal opinion. No mood to put my thinking cap today thus I postpone it to tomorrow. I hope VP will not complain that I procrastinate in my work. I left office at 12.00 noon and headed to Amcorp mall for lunch and meeting. The consultant belanja us lunch at Restoran Seri Melaka. I haven't been to Amcorp mall for a pretty long time. I remember going there to look for some antics at its Sunday flea market. Forgot about this nyonya restaurant. Love the food especially the tom yam. I had two bowls of it, although I wish I could add another one. But macam tak malu pulak kan. The sambal belacan was really out of this world. Yay, I finally manage to find an eating place to bring the kids some day. They love tom yam. I bet Ali will have two servings of the sambal belacan.

Since I was home early today, the kids and I went to watch High School Musical 3. Ooohhhh... I love it. No wonder Aliah watched it twice and Ayna watched it thrice. I love the choreograph. I enjoy watching the love birds Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez. They remind me of Irwan Syah and Acha Saptriasa. Troy and Gabriella are meant for each other. Troy is so handsome. He is the kind yang you look into his eyes and your heart will melt. Oh, I miss my high school days. Terasa like want to go back in time, learn to dance, enjoy school life, teachers and friends. If I were to turn back the clock, definitely the first thing I will take up is theatre! I will be the first to purchase the DVD when it is out for sale. Kids were excited too when they saw mommy was so teruja!

Beloved hubby called me twice during the movie. Oooppps, sorry no phone is allowed in the cinema. Texted me that he miss us so much. Tak de lah jauh sangat, kat Bukit Tinggi je. Tomorrow is another big day for him and hopefully things will go well as expected.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Painful Flame

Nothing much has happened in the past one week except for work work work. I have been going back late due to some deadlines to meet. Then there is board audit committee (BAC) meeting on the 10th Nov and board meeting on the 19th Nov. The BAC and board meetings cycle is similar every quarter. Preparation is made as early as a forthnight before. During this time, all hell break loose. Spirits are low, tensions are mounting. Fortunately today, they are a bit lifted because of the news which the world has been waiting for. Barrack Hussein Obama is President-Elect of the United States of America.

Things are pretty much the same for beloved hubby too. He is still under a lot of pressure. He has been smoking more than he should lately. I hate it when he smokes. Nowadays when I am stress with work, I get more stressed when he lights the cigarette. Not because he smokes, but more so because he smokes in the house. I am taking the route of not minding him smoking because that is what he chooses to do. I have given up hope that he will stop smoking one day. I know I can't change this not only a bad habit, but an unsafe one, unsafe for all of us in the house.

To me, let it be if he chooses to be underprivileged. He chooses not to listen to my nagging that smoking is bad for his health. He knows that smoking will cause amongst others lung cancer, coronary heart disease, disorder in respiratory, cardiovascular system and what have you. These are all facts. Yet he is always in self denial. The excuse will be something like, if you are fated to die young, you will die. There are people who do not smoke die a lot younger than the people who smokes. So far the medical check up which he underwent almost annually shows that he is healthy and fit, so why stop? And a lot more excuses he can offer.

For beloved hubby, the Government can increase the price of cigarettes to the max, or you can say anything that scares him off on smoking and its repercussion. It will just be status quo. We have seen on the cigarette packs, the warning signs are boldly printed AMARAN DARI KERAJAAN MALAYSIA MEROKOK MEMBAHAYAKAN KESIHATAN. It is even funnier on the Djarum or Kretek packs which are printed warning signs like this..... MEROKOK BISA MENYEBABKAN KANKER, SERANGAN JANTUNG, IMPOTENSI DAN GANGGUAN KEHAMILAN DAN JANIN. In Singapore, in the effort of curbing smoking, there are pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs. The pictures include a deformed foetus, mouth or throat cancer, black and bruised lungs or dysfunctioned heart. Malaysia too is embarking on graphics pictorial health warning signs effective from 1st January 2009 in its latest blitz against smokers. Will these frighten or sway beloved hubby? Well, I believe it may frighten him or make him pause for a while and think about the illness or impending death, but only for a short while, as the addiction is far greater than the fear.

I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke. It emits this kind of smell that makes me nauseous and angry. When he smokes at the lawn, I know that he is smoking although I am at the room upstairs. More often than not, his demeanor has become a subject of emotional dispute between us, that I have given up to say a single word about it. I detest it when he smokes in the car, especially when the children are in the car. Although he puffs the smoke to the outside, it will definitely absorb into the air which we breathe in the car.

He has this corner in the family room to himself when indulges in his addiction. As he enjoys his puffs, inhales and exhales, the carcinogen is also sniffed by the poor 5 Aces in the house. You can call that selfish, disrespectful or self-centred, he will not budge. The most he would do is to puff the smoke out into the balcony and repeat the selfishness again the next few hours.

Being a passive smoker and a concerned mum, wife, daughter, sister, aunty and citizen, I shudder the moment when I know that any smoking related disease is fated or would befall on me or my beautiful children. Touch wood! I will never forgive myself if that happens. Especially for not being able to be strict and authoritarian on beloved hubby's smoking habit. I hope it is never too late to hammer this in his head and make him realised that he is burning us bit by bit.