Sunday, August 29, 2010

Raya preparation

I haven’t done much preparation for eid. In fact, I couldn’t be bothered to get a new pair of baju kurung knowing I will only wear it once a year. The old ones are still as good as new and I am sure nobody at the new place will notice should I have to host lunch or dinner on that day.

The young lady on the other hand would like to have our traditional dress, preferably in blue. She saw a few that she liked but it was either they didn’t have her size or the quality of workmanship wasn’t as good as I expected. Perhaps we can use Monday to find one that meets all requirements.
I reckon this year will be our simplest way to celebrate eid as we have yet to make friends in the new city. I assume the partner’s friends and colleagues will be away to spend time with their family in their respective hometown, thus reducing the chances of having an open house. It will not stop our kitchen from up and running as the young lady has requested our annual pulut kuning and rendang as well as a few other dishes from his country. Hopefully someday I get to master the cooking and receive less criticism but for now I shall leave it to the partner to prepare them while I focus on making our local dishes.

Pulut kuning and rendang (pic googled)

Pumpkin dessert (pic googled)

A few days ago while enjoying my mocha at a nearby cafe, I texted a friend in London. I was telling her that life here was different and that I wasn’t ready to settle for good. Perhaps the combination of the change in my character and my circumstance led to that conclusion. With the path I chose, it seems unlikely that I will reside here unless of course if I find a pot of gold coins at the end of a rainbow which allows me to have a home in the respective cities, making it possible to retire early and divide my time accordingly.

Hmm, I am not sure if leprechauns would be kind enough to leave their treasure unattended or better, if they visit on my side of the world. Perhaps I have higher chances in striking luck if I go to the Land of Irish.

Leprechaun in his pot of gold (pic googled)

Anyway, I hope I can squeeze a few jars of cookies in my luggage. The partner seemed to like ‘kuih bangkit’ when I introduced it to him back then while the young lady simply enjoys most traditional cookies. As for me, my all time favourite has always been pineapple tart and I used to make them when I was an undergraduate. I think I liked to experiment baking and cooking when I was in my late teens, yet gradually the interest faded away over the years.

Oh, before I forget, I stumbled upon the last book in Twilight series in paperback version. The price was only half than the ones available in UK and as it was on sale, it became almost one third. It didn’t take me twice to think and I grabbed it. To my own surprise, I finished reading in one day.

I still think Jacob is hotter than Edward.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

High School Musical no more

After three nights in a row having dinner at fine dining places, all I wanted tonight was to chill at a mamak joint or equivalent. Thankfully my two buddies were game for it and we decided at this corner restaurant in Telawi. Since Ramadan commenced, I had yet to taste a cup of teh tarik, thus the strong urge to have a sip of this local favourite.

True enough, I had two mugs of this drink and as a result, my mind decides to stay fresh at this hour. I hope I can wake up for sahur and not drift to dreamland.

I wasn’t planning to write but why waste this energy as I know my thoughts are composed better when everyone is having a stroll in their dream. I only wish that I have nicer things to write when truthfully, all I can think of is sarcasm.

People are prone to change but I am sure we expect better from those who are close or used to be in good terms with us. Somehow our act of kindness goes right down the drain, resulting the uncalled behaviour or reaction.

Come to think of it, it wasn’t me who remembered what I did for these people. Instead, it was my friends who highlighted and that annoyed them.

But hey, when there is a domineering party who loves to be the centre of attention, eventually others who get close will get infected. It is not surprising when they too start to portray similar traits.

Anyway, I am learning my lesson. I should be careful where generosity is concerned. I shall think many times before I let a ‘friend’ uses my car, wears my clothes or stays at my place. They could be wearing a different mask in future.

Some people are still living in the past and who they were before is more relevant than what they have become. Others have achieved significant milestone and I believe that matters more than having a so-called ‘colourful’ background.

Even the young lady and her friends have stopped following High School Musical. If only adults share the same sentiment and move on

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Language for dummies

Me: Do you want to go to Pasar Ramadan?

The Young Lady: No. There is too much food there. Let’s just go to **** restaurant and order.

Hmm, I was quite surprised hearing that from her. Probably she couldn’t be bothered by the food feast. She just wants a plate of her favourite dish for iftar and unfortunately, I couldn’t make them as the oven in this house isn’t working. She prefers her old routine of breaking fast with a simple meal (roast chicken is super quick to prepare) followed by dessert for supper.

Somehow going from one stall to another is too much for her.

One thing she does enjoy is the variety of kuih. I try to get different ones each day and she has no complaint so far unless it happens to be too spicy e.g. cara berlauk.

On a different note, the other day something tickled me and as it was Ramadan, I refrained from making further comments. There was no point getting into an argument with an old mamak ‘pak haji’.

I wonder how people define themselves as Malays or Muslims. It baffles me when I see their reactions towards others who do not fit their ‘mould’, especially where kids are concerned. My friends’ children shared their views when they came back from abroad. They were ridiculed for having an accent and after a few months, they started to speak ‘manglish’ in order to be accepted.

People are quick to judge when they see someone different from them. I dont see the point of mastering the language when their values are long gone. The social ills in this country are alarming that I wonder where we went wrong that these youngsters are behaving the way they are.

I dont blame my friends for wanting their kids to be better at English. They simply want the best for their children and this language serves as a good platform to widen one’s knowledge. Besides, if they want to read as many books as they want, why should we stop them?

Further, how do you a expect someone to be good in Malay when we have different dialects for every state? I remember my daughter said she couldn’t understand her cousin as she was speaking the language East –Coast style. Even I need a translator whenever a person talks to me in strong dialect.

I am happy to entertain kids in English regardless where their hometown is. They talk to me sensibly, love their parents dearly and try their best to be better Muslims. It seems they are on the right track compare to some Malay-speaking kids I’ve seen. One who is able to speak bahasa may not necessarily possess its values nor appreciate its culture.

Before anyone makes anymore noise about my girl not speaking the language at par, at least she has no qualms eating durian, sambal or petai. Some Malays couldn’t see themselves near these items!

Hmm, adakah catatan ini mengurangkan pahala puasa saya?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan thoughts

This is our first Ramadan here in six years and it feels different in many ways. I appreciate the moments share with my loved ones but at the same time I miss the simplicity of fasting atmosphere in London. Being in company where one must think many times before expressing one’s thoughts and feelings, I slowly find myself longing for a place where I can define as my sanctuary. In between my hectic schedule, I squeeze in private outings to nearby ‘mamak’ or cafes to get a sip of ‘teh tarik’ or mocha on my own.

While enjoying my drink, I usually find myself lost in my own world reflecting on life and the journey taken so far. I have received mixed reactions but most of them were positive. There are things that I do not share with others but I think it’s a natural act for everyone not to disclose everything. To the handful who knows more, they understand my course of actions pretty well.

There are times that I find myself stuck in giving my views as it may be perceived as strong. I haven’t mastered the art of hitting around the bush and tend to give an honest view. Take for example an invitation to meet people from the past, if a person had an experience of ‘bad reunion’, they simply ask up front if we would be comfortable to meet and if not, it is ok if we want to avoid. Sometimes if I have given similar thoughts on the subject before, I usually avoid giving an opinion again, fearing it may not be what the listener wants.

Of course not many would see it that way.

Anyway, I hope you have a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. Take this opportunity to reflect and appreciate what we have. Often we are caught in our busy life that small things tend to be neglected

ps: To Ms Khairunnisa, I havent forgotten your questions. I will try to answer them in due course.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


While waiting for a friend at a cosy cafe, someone approached at my table and suddenly sat opposite me:

Guy : Miss, sorry my English not so good. Can I talk to you for a few minutes?
Without waiting for me to answer, he continued rambling and I tried my best to follow. To sum it up, he was seeking for donation. All of a sudden, he asked;

Guy: Miss, so where are you from? Here on holiday is it?
Me : Saya orang sini (I am a local). *with a stunned look*

The guy then left and I wasnt sure who was more confused. Perhaps he thought he could easily squeeze some money from me when I have seen this kind of scene many times. I looked around to see why on earth this person thought I wasnt local. Perhaps it was the place as most patrons were foreigners or my attire as I was wearing a floral maxi dress.

Hmm, next time this question arises, I should probably say “Jawa mari”. *grins*

By the way, anyone knows good places that serve fish head curry for dinner? Warung style please and within KL/PJ/ Klang Valley.