Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Happy Birthday, Master G!

Today's his 28th birthday. He's my neighbour in the next cubicle. A monkey who likes to play pranks on me i.e. lower my seat down while I'm sitting on it, throwing a toy lizard around. Always pretending that he wanted to ask me a question but in reality he just wanted to pull that prank on me! Thank God I'm unpreturbed at the lizard thingy.

Anyway, happy birthday, Monkey!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Played the Hookey

Today woke up late. Reason being I couldn't get up on time as last night slept quite late around 2.30pm because we reached home at 1.30am last nite travelling from Batu Pahat.

Arrived at office 7 minutes to 10am. My Immediate Boss was not around, she's on leave to get PMR result for her son. Went to breakfast with Aza de Kaza at the 32nd floor pantry. After breakfast, both Aza and I mengadap another boss for comments on our study report. By the time we finished our short discussion, it was already 12pm. Our brains were jammed. We went out aound 12.30pm to get a bite to eat at the delicious nasi ayam hailam at Ampang Point area with Aza. She's the food expert, knows a lot of good places to eat. After lunch we ambled on to Habib Jewela, looking for the pearl earrings which were on promotion priced at RM49 per pair. Out of stock, too bad. Went to Ampang Point across the street, spent RM167 at AJ's textile, bought some materials for blouse, baju kurung and hubby's baju melayu for hari raya. Time: 2.00pm. Continued our journey to Mei Yin, the tailor to pickup my baju kurung batik. Had to endure her lecture on MLM, Aza fell asleep on her couch. Paid for the baju - RM190 for two pairs of baju kurung batik sutera with lining. Head back to office. Time reached the office: 4.30pm. Continue to read thru my emails. Zaidi from Frankfurt office buzzed me. We started to chat online with some other colleagues on the internal communicator. Catch up on office gossip, today's hot story are some colleague's posting to overseas. More news on the grapevine than anything concrete, really. More speculation on the posting with other colleagues in the office. They tell their version of the gossip, and we speculate some more. Time: 5.30pm. Oh hey, it's time to go home already. I haven't done anything productive today, apart from this morning's discussion. But as Aza always say at the end of a working day, "Ini semua duniawi"....so I pack up my bags to leave and flashed out of the office.

And that's how I played the hookey today......Tomorrow is another day, maybe I'll behave tomorrow!!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Parenting 101: Discipline

What is it with parents nowadays?

They give in to their children so easily, which resulted in spoiled and/or rotten behaviour. They whine for hours or throw tantrum at their own disposal when their wants (not needs) are not fullfilled. This is my observation based on some people's kids that I knew. I've nothing against them but sometimes I've just had enough of them, and in my mind, I'd find ways to torture them i.e. tempeleng sampai bodo (slap 'em silly, get it?!!), bang their heads on the wall and/or bind them with cellophane tape. These are just results of an over-imaginative mind plus sakit hati and jiwa at having to bear with screaming kids, at which their parents do nothing about to shush them. I think that fact makes me more sakit hati than the screaming kids themselves. I mean, kids are kids. The parents have to teach them what's right or wrong, the can or can't do, all the right stuff, etc.

My mum always said: I'm your mother, not your friend. Thus, it implies that you need to treat your parents with respect and there should be some boundary as to which a person should behave towards their parents. Don't treat them like your friend - when you don't feel like talking, you just ignore them.

It is said in Islam that when a child is born, his/her heart is pure like a white cloth. Then it is up to the parents to shape/color it any way that they see fit. The problem is that when a child is not properly disciplined then they would behave or do something inappropriate and get away with it because their parents have gone "soft" on the child and would not be able to punish them accordingly. Discipline must start from a young age, it is impossible to instill it once your child have grown up. Children have to learn conditional learning (this is Intro to Psychology), when they do something bad, then the parents reproach or scold them accordingly. In time they will learn that the particular behaviour is unaccaptable or bad. Makes me think hard about rearing kids if I can't do it properly, if they should end up being a nuisance to other people. Being parents, normally they would be oblivious to their child's fault and would only think that their child is the more angelic than others.

Maybe we should make parenting class compulsory to all parents.....

Oh well, what do I know......I'm not a parent yet. I just pray to God that my child doesn't turn out to be a brat and that I wouldn't be so oblivious to his/her fault and that I would have the strength to discipline them. Amin.

Trip down memory lane: Kedah

Last trip to Kedah with the in laws brought back nostalgia, especially when passing thru the paddy fields. Its amazing to see that paddy grows everywhere - by the highway, the roadside, between houses, in front of the new Kedah stadium where there's a bit of land, there's a patch of paddy field. I didn't think that I'd missed the paddy field scenery with all the greens, so soothing and calming to the eyes and mind, but I did. It's like you don't know what you got till its gone, same like the paddy field scenery that I always took for granted when I was living in Kedah back in 1991-1993.
Paddy field taken in the Gunung Keriang area

A lone house in the middle of paddy field
Other trees flourish at the paddy field
Cows by the roadside, they moved when we honked

Discovery: Jamban zaman P.Ramlee teehehe

Lagi...kalau dengar lagu bola penyokong hijau kuning mesti bersemangat jer....

Yakinkanlah diri sendiri
Berjuanglah sejiwa murni
Tekun berani sesungguh hati
Demi sukan mengharung negeri
Biar jasa jadi kenangan
Hijau Kuning lambang kemegahan
Jelapang Padi tempat sanjungan
Negeri Kedah Darul Aman
Kedah, Kedah pantang kalah
Walau sakit jatuh dan rebah
Bangun lantas semula gagah
Bajur lalu melintang patah
Hijau Kuning tanahku
Darul Aman negeriku
Hijau kuning darahku
Negeri Kedah negeriku
Kedah, Kedah pantang kalah
Walau sakit jatuh dan rebah
Bangun lantas semula gagah
Bajur lalu melintang patah
Hijau Kuning tanahku
Darul Aman negeriku
Hijau Kuning darahku
Negeri Kedah negeriku
Negeri Kedah negeriku

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Ahlan wa sahlan 1430H..

Muharam merupakan bulan pertama dalam Sistem Kalendar Islam (Hijriah) yang membawa makna 'diharamkan' dimana Allah swt melarang umat Islam melakukan keganasan dan peperangan serta pertumpahan darah. Menurut Ibnu Abbas r.anhuma, sejak zaman nabi Ibrahim a.s telah diharamkan peperangan dan pertumpahan darah dalam bulan-bulan haram iaitu bulan DzulHijjah, Dzul Qaedah, Rejab dan bagi bulan Muharam pula sebab nya adalah didalam bulan tersebut umat Islam yang mengerjakan ibadat haji akan kembali ketempat masing-masing dan larangan itu bertujuan supaya jemaah haji yang mengerjakan haji akan merasa aman terhadap keselamatan diri masing-masing dari mula mereka meninggalkan rumah sehinggalah mereka kembali semula selepas menunaikan ibadat haji tersebut. Namun demikian larangan tersebut telah ditamatkan setelah pembukaan Makkah (Al-Baqarah: 91).

Rasulullah saw telah menamakan bulan Muharam sebagai bulan ALLAH (shahrullahi), dinamakan bulan ALLAH lantaran kemulian dan kelebihan bulan ini. Daripada Al-Hassan Al-Basry rahimullah "sesungguhnya Allah telah membuka lembaran Tahun baru didalam takwim Islam dengan bulan Muharam. Tidaklah kedapatan bulan yang lebih mulia didalam takwim Islam disisi Allah selepas bulan Ramadhan melainkan Muharram yang terkhas disebabkan kehormatannya".

Doa Awal Tahun & Doa Akhir Tahun

Barangsiapa yang membaca doa awal tahun ini, insya Allah dirinya akan terpelihara daripada gangguan dan godaan syaitan di sepanjang tahun tersebut.

Doa Awal Tahun:


Allah SWT berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad SAW, ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat baginda dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Wahai Tuhan, Engkaulah yang kekal abadi, yang qadim. yang awal dan ke atas kelebihanMu yang besar dan kemurahanMu yang melimpah dan ini adalah tahun baru yang telah muncul di hadapan kami. Kami memohon pemeliharaan dariMu di sepanjang tahun ini dari syaitan dan pembantu-pembantunya dan tentera-tenteranya dan juga pertolongan terhadap diri yang diperintahkan melakukan kejahatan dan usaha yang mendekatkanku kepadaMu Wahai Tuhan Yang Maha Agung dan Maha Mulia.

Wahai Tuhan Yang Maha pengasih dari mereka yang mengasihi dan Allah berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad. Nabi yang ummi dan ke atas ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabatnya dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.


Barangsiapa yang membaca doa akhir tahun ini, maka syaitan akan berkata:
"Hampalah kami di sepanjang tahun ini".

Doa Akhir Tahun:Maksudnya:

Allah SWT berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad SAW, ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat baginda dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Wahai Tuhan, apa yang telah aku lakukan dalam tahun ini daripada perkara-perkara yang Engkau tegah daripada aku melakukannya dan aku belum bertaubat daripadanya. Sedangkan Engkau tidak redha dan tidak melupakannya. Dan aku telah melakukannya di dalam keadaan di mana Engkau berupaya untuk menghukumku, tetapi Engkau mengilhamkanku dengan taubat selepas keberanianku melakukan dosa-dosa itu semuanya. Sesungguhnya aku memohon keampunanMu, maka ampunilah aku. Dan tidaklah aku melakukan yang demikian daripada apa yang Engkau redhainya dan Engkau menjanjikanku dengan pahala atas yang sedemikian itu. Maka aku memohon kepadaMu.

Wahai Tuhan! Wahai yang Maha Pemurah! Wahai Yang Maha Agung dan wahai Yang Maha Mulia agar Engkau menerima taubat itu dariku dan janganlah Engkau menghampakan harapanku kepadaMu Wahai Yang Maha Pemurah. Dan Allah berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad, ke atas ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabatnya dan mengurniakan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Doa akhir tahun dibaca 3 kali pada akhir waktu Asar atau sebelum masuk waktu Maghrib pada akhir bulan Zulhijjah.

Sesiapa yang membaca doa ini, syaitan berkata:
"Kesusahan bagiku dan sia-sialah pekerjaanku menggoda anak Adam pada setahun ini dan Allah binasakan aku satu saat jua. Dengan sebab membaca doa ini, Allah ampunkan dosanya setahun."

Peristiwa-peristiwa penting:
1 Muharam - Khalifah Umar Al-Khattab mula membuat penetapan kiraan bulan dalam Hijrah.
10 Muharam - Dinamakan juga hari 'Asyura'. Pada hari itu banyak terjadi peristiwa penting yang mencerminkan kegemilangan bagi perjuangan yang gigih dan tabah bagi menegakkan keadilah dan kebenaran.

Pada 10 Muharam juga telah berlaku:
Nabi Adam bertaubat kepada Allah.
Nabi Idris diangkat oleh Allah ke langit.
Nabi Nuh diselamatkan Allah keluar dari perahunya sesudah bumi ditenggelamkan selama enam bulan.
Nabi Ibrahim diselamatkan Allah dari pembakaran Raja Namrud.
Allah menurunkan kitab Taurat kepada Nabi Musa.
Nabi Yusuf dibebaskan dari penjara.
Penglihatan Nabi Yaakob yang kabur dipulihkkan Allah.
Nabi Ayub dipulihkan Allah dari penyakit kulit yang dideritainya.
Nabi Yunus selamat keluar dari perut ikan paus setelah berada di dalamnya selama 40 hari 40 malam.
Laut Merah terbelah dua untuk menyelamatkan Nabi Musa dan pengikutnya dari tentera Firaun.
Kesalahan Nabi Daud diampuni Allah.
Nabi Sulaiman dikurniakan Allah kerajaan yang besar.
Hari pertama Allah menciptakan alam.
Hari Pertama Allah menurunkan rahmat.
Hari pertama Allah menurunkan hujan.
Allah menjadikan 'Arasy.
Allah menjadikan Luh Mahfuz.
Allah menjadikan alam.
Allah menjadikan Malaikat Jibril.
Nabi Isa diangkat ke langit.


Surprising Singapore

I was in Changi Airport on Christmas day to fetch my brother in law who was flying in from Narita Aiport. Our journey started from Gombak at 9.30am on Christmas morning yesterday. Hubby drove and we reached Batu Pahat at 1pm and we stopped for lunch and a bit of rest at his parents home. Then we continued the journey to Johor Bharu to fetch my sister in law and her daughter for the journey. It was our first time to travel into Singapore by car. The new Malaysia CIQ at Causeway was very modern and quite systematic. A bit of traffic, but I suspect that it was not as bad as normal days, everybody still in Christmas mood.

Cars queuing up at the Woodlands checkpoint

We had to go thru two Custom & Immigration checks- Causeway in Johor Bharu Malaysia and Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore. At Woodlands, we had to fill in immigration departure card or whar they called the "white card". Then we had to purchase Autopass in order for our car to enter Singapore and our car was given 10 days free entrance excluding Saturday, Sunday & public holiday. If not, each car would be charged SGD20 apart from toll of about SGD4 (depending on which area you go in Singapore).

More cars in Woodlands checkpoint
Once we have gone thru the checkpoint, we continued our journey to Jurong to visit hubby's grandma who lives there with her son. The directions were simple enough, we just have to take the BKE highway, then turn into PIE highway, find Corporation RFd, and find block 404. All the highways are short-formed i.e. Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and the road signs are clear which makes driving in Singapore quite easy. Plus the road is not congested and speed limit on the highwy are mostly 90 miles per hour. So a half hour drive is quite long especially when you are trying to keep within the limit as they will automatically impose fine once you check out at Woodlands.
From Jurong, we continued on to Orchard Road area which houses Mustafa Centre for a bit of shopping. I was told by my colleague that original branded perfumes are cheap there as the owner buys evrything in cash and bulk. So for original Elizabeth Arden's 5th Avenue of 125ml bottle will set you back only SGD 59 or roughly RM145, whereas in Malaysia it will cost almost RM300. Of course yours truly borong perfumes like there's no tomorrow. Sampai terlupa yang mak saya pesan belikan perfume Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent....takperlah mak...nanti saya gantikan dengan yang lain heh heh mak pilih jer mana satu yang nak daripada
bawah nih....

L to R: Hot by Benetton (EDT), 100ml -SGD13.00; 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden (EDP), 75ml - SGD35.00; Guess by Guess (EDP), 50ml - SGD45.00; Love in Paris by Nina Ricci (EDP), 50ml - SGD69.00; Hugo by Hugo Boss (EDT), 30ml - SGD39.00.

TOTAL = SGD201 =RM484 - - - -> Value for money!!!

Friday, 26 December 2008


Belated Christmas greetings to my friends who are celebrating it: Ms Karen Pereira, who's working in Qatar but spends the Christmas in Alor Gajah, Ms Agnes who is in the Philippines and Geoffrey who didn't go back to Kuching this year.
Merry Christmas and may it be a joyful one...

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Read the book, seen the movie.

I must say that the movie did follow the book closely, up to quoting direct words from the book. For instance, when Dr Juvenal Urbino was about to die, he uttered the words to his wife, Fermina Daza "only God knows how much I loved you". But to understand the movie, one must read the book. There are too many things left unexplained in the movie. Whoever thought that it is a good idea to translate the book into a movie, must have thought that the sexual contents in this book would make into a great movie. Not.

For one, there are too many things happening in the lives of the characters which I think is better left to the imagination of the readers. For example, the many carnal relationship of Florentino Ariza, the antagonist in this book. All his illicit affairs conducted in silence and from women who took pity on him. Even so, not all of his relationship was explained, or even featured in the movie - the precious friendship between him and Leona Cassiani, his employee whom he did love but never had any sexual relationship. Or his sexual relationship with a 14-year old charge, America Vicuna, when he is already 76 years old, and broke her heart, which ultimately resulted in her suicide. Also, not featured in the movie.

The heroine, Fermina Daza, was played by an actor, which to me did not captured the essence of Fermina's character. In the book, the author painted her as someone rigid, beautiful and quite regal in the way she carries herself, from the time she was a young girl till the time she is widowed at the age of 70+. The actor did not potray the haughtiness that her character is suppose to be, and she is giddy with emotions and not restrained as according to the book. It is contrary to Fermina's character. The actor was also not beautiful in the conventional way, which Fermina is supposed to be, she looked older when she is supposed to be in her teens and she looked young when she is supposed to be in her 70s. Oh well, blame it on the makeup...

Benjamin Bratt potrayed Dr Juvenal Urbino quite charmingly in the movie. But then, it is a shame that the movie did not feature his relationship with Jeremiah de Saint-Amour as in the beginning of the novel as it would have been quite interesting to see the differences in both characters. Or that it didn't focus on their marital problems or Dr Urbino's diificulties on growing old and how Fermina helped her husband get through the day.

In the end, the movie that wanted to capture the love Florention Ariza felt for Fermina Daza for more than 50 years, failed to bring a credible emotion. I think it is better to leave it to the book and the imagination of the readers....

That is my humble opinion on the movie adaptation of the "Love in the time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel prize winning author.

Trivia: this book was also featured in the movie Serendipity, played by Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, on which it was written Kate's phone number and was later lost to John but he managed to find it again.

Indecent Exposure

Yesterday evening, on my way back home from work, there was a bit of a jam from Condo Bestari out to Jalan Ipoh. It's a shortcut way I used from PWTC to get to Jalan Pekeliling instead of using the main Jalan Ipoh. While my car was stuck in traffic in between a chinese restaurant and a mamak shop, I saw one chinese lady with her two girls, one aged around 4 years old, the other around 10 years old in front of the Chinese restaurant. Then I saw that the younger girl was taking a leak (pissing) over a small drainage sewer while her mother was watching. This incedent was by the sidewalk, and her bum was exposed for all to see. Her mother then coolly wiped her bum with tissue and carelessly tossed the tissue into the sewer.
Euuwwww! As if the incident was not enough to convince me that Chinese people are indeed pengotor and tak malu , the girl then continued to play with her sister, all the while leaving her bum bare, again for all us motorists stuck in the traffic to see. Not that I derived any pleasure from it, more of disgust and disbelieve. I was waiting what would happen next. She continued to play for several minutes in that condition, then did she pull up her pants. Unbelieveably, her mother did not say anything to the child about her indecent exposure. Right in front of that restaurant was a junction with Kolej Bestari situated at the front. There were a bunch of Nepalese guard loitering in front of the building. Maybe some of them were looking at the little girl or not, I wasn't entirely sure.
In my mind I was wondering if the mother's lack of security and protection on the decency of her child might cause harm to the child later on. I mean, if your child's bum is hanging out for all to see, isn't that like some kind of invitation to perverts and paedophile to do something to the child, harming, sexually abusing and worse, killing her when he is done with her. Look at what happened to Nurin. I wouldn't be surprised if something did happen to that girl. It is clearly the negligence on the parent's part to supervise the actions and decency of their child which resulted in an open invitation to bad things.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Criminal Minds Season 3 Marathon

Spent the weekend with marathon of Criminal Minds Season 3 - 6 DVDs in total of 20 episodes. I love Criminal Minds, I think the team is awesome and their cases are mind-blowing. Result after watching the complete 3rd season: so many insane people in this world, especially in America. Its not safe to go to America lest you become a victim of some psychopatch killer *shudder*

Criminal Minds the series is based on a team of profilers at the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) in Quantico. Their core job is to profile serial killers behaviour and help the local PD to solve the cases, so there's extensive travelling in their ultra-cool jet by looking at the crime scene and basically try to be in the killer's shoes. They look at little details, "nothing is too small". It is mind boggling on how they can arrive at such deductions, but then, if I paid more attention to Introduction to Psychology back then, I would've understand it better haha

Anyway, season 3 started with the introduction of Joe Mantegna as the replacement to Mandy Patikin. One of the reasons that I loved to watch Criminal Minds initially was because Mandy Patinkin was brilliant as Jason Gideon, the head of FBI's BAU. He was also brilliant as the tortured doctor who sang and played the piano in "Chicago Hope" in 1994. I was a bit down when he left the show, and convinced that other actor couldn't play his part well. Enter Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, the original creator of BAU, who have left the unit for the past ten years. He is street smart and he also knows his psychology.

The strength of Criminal Minds is that the team of BAU are all powerful with the brooding Thomas Gibson (best known as "Greg" in the comedy "Dharma & Greg"), smokin' hot Shemar Moore, AJ Cook, Paget Brewster, Matthew Grey Gubler (as the bumbling Dr Spencer Reid) and Kirsten Vangsness (as Penelope, the tech savvy analyst chick).

Ending of season 3 was a cliffhanger with the serie titled "Lo-Fi", about a suspected group of terrorists who have been going around in New York, wearing dark hooded clothes and killing people at point blank range in the middle of the day on the streets and subways. The serie ended with an SUV carrying one of the agents to blow up, and thus the question, which agent was hurt/killed? I sneaked a peak at Criminal Minds Fanatic website last night to find out the answer, which was already commented in website sometime in June 2008. USA viewers are already watching season 4. Couldn't wait for the season 4 DVD to come out, I'm going to watch everything in one seating. Not generally patient with waiting for the series to play on air, which is now mid season 3 and air on 8tv at 10.30pm every Monday night. By the time which I may have accidentally slept or watched another DVD...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

My Tea Adventure

I've discovered lately that I have developed a penchant for tea...yes, tea, the drinking kind...I don't like coffee because it leaves a horrible after taste in my mouth and tongue, which I would have to use my tongue scraper to get rid off. But I absolutely love the smell of coffee, it is so tantalizing and sensuos....but not to drink...just smell.

Maybe tea is my caffeine drive instead of coffee. But I treat tea like drinking hot plain water because tea doesn't have an after taste, unless you drink the really bitter and thick tea. I take my tea hot and sugarless. In the office, I've started the habit to drink tea in my 1.5 liter water bottle, made from just one satchet of tea, steeped in hot water for a few minutes then pour in cold water. Result: wonderful, watery but drinkable tea. Just the way I like them!

Best tea I tasted was in Krispy Kreme in Jakarta, with accompaniment of sweet donuts . It was Rosebud with lemongrass, and the taste is so magnificent. I have not been able to find the brand of tea again....the satchet is also quite unique as it was triangular in shape and the material holding the rosebuds and lemongrass is like soft plastic.

I would have to say that the second best tea that I've ever tasted is the Red Berries tea from the Ronnefeld brand. It has the sour taste of Red Berries and the color is so bright, not sure if it is au naturel or just coloring. I still have some satchets left from which I collected during tea breaks in Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, KK last year when I attended a meeting there. Maybe they have it in stores...I haven't been to the cold storage in ages..

A mouthful to pronounce: Superoxide Dismutase Lemon Tea Essence from Life Compact brand. I bought this together with Ms Autumn Lilies when we went to Watson at the Mall. They were having a demonstration at the store and were saying that among the benefits is to reduce cough, which I was suffering at that time. It did alleviate the cough, but not to eradicate it. This is what started my tea drinking to this point. I wouldn't say my tea drinking is an obsession but it is an alternative to iced water or coffee.

Fourth is the most excellent lemongrass shot from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre's welcome drink. I would categorize this as tea although it is presented in a small shot glass with one lemongrass for taste and effect. It is also served cold and sweet. You could hardly call a lemongrass shot juice, not popular with the mass taste bud. It is in the same line with ginger tea...more used for zen treatment after spa.

So there you have it...my tea adventure. Sorry no pics....

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Original Trivia from Hynhar

Originally I received this trivia first from Endless Love but because I was on leave the whole of last week and couldn't get access to my favourite pic, I decided to put it on hold. Finally was back in the office and able to upload my picture and consequently, answer this trivia. So Hynhar, here goes:

1. Do you think you are hot?
Yes...it's a state of mind...I don't care if other people don't think I'm hot, I know I'm Hot!!!

2. Upload your favourite picture of you.

3. Why do you like that picture?
Because I look cheery and fresh and kurus (sikit)...this picture was taken on my wedding day 2 years ago, around 4 pm in my mum's backyard garden. I was actually dog-tired from all the picture taking and excitement. But, damn! I do look good and Hot! (even with all the teeth) If I may say so...hehehe

4. When was the last time you ate pizza?
Last two weeks, a few colleagues in the office wanted to have some mid-afternoon snack, and we ordered 2 Domino's regular, one seafood and one meat mania. But I love Domino's New York crust pizza with the awesome foursome flavour!

5. The last song you listened to?
"Mengapa Kasih" by Double Take

6. What are you doing right now besides this?
Doing report...neverending...*sigh*

7. What name would you prefer besides this?
Fadhilah...that's my other name, which is hardly ever use...

Now, I would like to tag new victims to do it...hehehe
1. La Signora
2. Noreez Azlan
3. Silent Scribbler
4. Ms Fantaghiro
5. Ziahlicious

8. Who is no. 1?
She is a very weird lady who lives in Adelaide with her other half and pet cat Pancho and happens to be my friend since Uni days..

9. No. 3 is having relationship with?
With her other half, Sad, who works together with her in the same institution. Not sure if she is a cat person, though....what say u, Ash?

10. Say something about no. 5?
She is my Uni mate, and we were friends with La Signora and the Silent Scribbler. Lost touch for a while but thru the hands of fate, reunited in the cyber world thru our love of blogging:) she is a wonderful mother to baby K and is also expecting her no.2 baby. Loves cats especially orange ones...

11. How about no. 4?
Is my confidante, best friend and was there for me thru the years. We knew each other since Matrix and main camp but got very close till now. But she doesn't blog. She just encourages me to blog for her entertainment....what a selfish woman!! Hmph!! But she does loves black cats...

12. Who is no. 2?

A long lost friend from school and reunited again when both of us lived in KL. Currently a homemaker and mother to her Princess, and pet owner of Binky, the cat who was attacked by ants recently.

So there you have it!!

Travel Bug

I was in Kedah last week with the in-laws for a jalan-jalan session. There were 9 adults and 2 children and a 3-car convoy. Our itinerary was going to Pekan Rabu and Padang Besar. My! How Padang Besar shopping area have grown, from 1 complex to 3 complexes. I haven't been to Padang Besar since 2002, so wasn't expecting much and thought that the trip would be a dud. Was pleasently surprised with all the shops around, so we had a fun time exploring. What you can find there? Ala...your basic barangan Siam like periuk, kuali, bantal kekabu Siam, baju, some imitation products to keep the boys happy i.e. football jersey and hiking bags.
We stayed in budget hotel called Hotel Seri Gemilang in Alor Setar which cost only RM60 per night (no breakfast!) and was within walking distance of Pekan Rabu...also had fun in Pekan Rabu buying kuah rojak Mak Bee, kuih loyang madu (serious sedap!) and dodol.
I'm bitten by the travel bug again! Have whipped open 2009 calendar with a few destination ideas to go, courtesy of Kam and Jam. So, if you wanna be inspired on where to go for your next trip, can have a look at my list:
Prospective Destinations:
1. Padang Besar
– can go by bus, train or drive, overnight in Bukit Kayu Hitam (my aunty’s house), on way to include a trip to Zoo Taiping's nite safari.
2. Taman Negara
– Xscape package by Tourism Malaysia ranging from RM100++ (free n easy) or RM400++ with guided tour
3. Singapore
– for clearance sale in Jan 2009, just take a bus to Causeway, or, you can drive into Singapore, which is FOC
- good bargains for perfumes in Mustafa, which is like Mydin here, but they open 24 hours
- another is Lucky mall for other stuff - fashion, perfume, etc.
4. Hatyai / Koh Sa Mui
– can take train to Hatyai and take a packaged tour or just free and easy.
5. Pulau Sibu, Johor
– take a bus to Johor then follow packeged tour about RM250++, 1 snorkeling and meals (2 days 1 nite). More info visist: http://www.malaysiaresorts.com.my/
6. Paka/Cherating
- slow drive about 3 hours from KL to Kuantan, bypassing Cherating and end up in Paka, staying in Rumbia Resort - banglo styled resort less than RM200 per night. BBQ by the pool.....nice! Also, they have the new KLCC mall in Paka, which was styled like Suria KLCC but scaled down to one storyed building.
RALAT: The mall is actually called Mesra Mall (by Petronas) situated in Kertih which is about 15 km away from Rumbia Resort in Paka.

Prospective Dates:
Januari 1-4 (New Year – have to take leave on 2 Jan)
Jan 24- 27 (Chinese New Year!!) – not advisable to go round…expect heavy traffic.
Jan 31 – 2 Feb (Federal terrritory day for KLians only)
Feb 7 – 9 (Thaipusam)
March 7 – 9 (Maulidur Rasul)
May 1 – 3 (Labor Day)
August 29 – 31 (Merdeka)
Dec 18 – 20 (Maal Hijrah)
Dec 25 – 27 (Xmas)
P/s: Going to Singapore on this Xmas day to fetch my bro-in-law landing in Changi. Then we go jalan2 around Singapore and shop in Mustafa. Hope to find good bargains there.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Incidents with the Korean

Mid of last week I had to attend a final draft presentation of a nearly completed study focusing on the Korean and Japanese tourist and their spending pattern whilst in Malaysia. It says that the Koreans in terms of demographic are mainly the young ones and they are highly educated i.e. degree and masters level. Of course this study have not been completed, therefore some of the findings disclosed here must not be taken as conclusive. Koreans are also considered late bloomers in the travel industry as they have just begun to travel abroad due to their "hermit" nature and their obvious intention not to mingle with other non-Koreans.

The study reminded me of an incident which happened not too long age with a bunch of Korean kids. Me and Kolat was in Suria KLCC after a lovely lunch with my parents in the KL Convention Centre's cafe. We wanted to watch Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan. So we bought the tickets and went in the cinema. Our seats was the first and second from the aisle and besides us were a bunch of Korean kids, about 6-7 pax. They were in their late teens, I guess. I was coughing quite badly and frequently at the time. So as soon as we settled in the seats, I began to cough. The Korean girl next to me immediately turned her head to the other side and started rambling something in Korean, and quite suddenly she stood up and get this: knocked her knees to mine and started to wave her palms to me in a shooing motion, as if she was shooing a fly or some other animal. I felt so insulted but I didn't say anything. All the while she was rambling and obviously complaining to her friends in the loud and rude-sounding Korean language. I let her pass, and she was sitting on a seat just in front of me. I was complaining to Kolat about the rude Korean girl and was saying things that I'd like to say to her and cursing her at the same time.

Not so long after, a few boys came in the cinema at the place where the Korean girl was sitting. Obviously it was their seats. The Korean girl got annoyed, again, because she didn't want any Malay to sit next to her. Then the girl got up and started doing the shooing motion and move to a seat which was to the very front row which was so close to the screen that she'd practically had tilt her head back to watch the movie. I had hoped that she'd had a terrible neckache by the end of the movie. I said to Kolat: "Padan muka dia, crazy girl, so rude. Ntah dia paham atau tidak tengok English movie". She was really rude and loud in the cinema. In my prejudiced state of mind at that time, I think she didn't really understand the movie. She just wanted to be there to look cool and just see Shia LaBeouf. Now I have the impression that Koreans are really rude people, that their sweet facade is just that, a facade that hides their true personality. If you've ever seen some Korean movies or drama, they'd always have an arch-typical character of macho ma or some gangster-girl or some damsel in distress. Phooey...all fake Koreans...I couldn't watch another Korean movie or drama, still haven't. I will keep it that way, as long as I'm able to.

By the way, Eagle Eye was a good movie and the two of us really enjoyed it. On our way out, we saw the girl again, smiling sweetly to her friends as if nothing happned. And all I could think about was that "This crazy girl is so fake...". I know I'm so passive-aggressive. I'd only have bad thoughts about other people and their actions, but I don't actually do anything about it. The hell with it...as long as the Koreans are in Malaysia, and they spend their money here, at least our country can benefit from that. Right? Spoken like a true tourism person...

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Selamat Hari Raya AidilAdha

Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha to all my friends out there....especially to La Signora and Hynhar who are not in Malaysia. Jangan jealous, we are having nasi himpit with rendang ayam, opor ayam, satay Kajang Haji Samuri and ketupat nyum nyum.......

Trivia from Hynhar

Second time receiving trivia from Hynhar, but couldn't do the first one coz need to post a picture which I don't have at the moment. So I will do this trivia first...here goes:

What were you doing 5 years ago?
Struggling with my job, feeling I was underpaid as a government officer, sometimes feeling I was doing some menial job which were not important....

What were the 5 things on your list to do today?
* Masak nasi impit Nona for tomorrow's Aidil Adha
* Clean house
* Watch DVD - today's pick: Stardust and Baby Mama
* Masak custard jagung untuk esok...tp macam malas pulak huhu
* Update my blog hehe

What are the snacks that you enjoy?
Kerepek, nuggets, chocs...basically anything fatty and yummy keh keh
La Signora: I remembered Zaihan and Oreo for her thighs!!

What are 5 things that you do if you were bilionaire?
^ Travel the world with my whole family - termasuk la pi Haji/Umrah
^ Give to charity, orphanage, welfare, or sthg for a good cause
^ Buy land in a prime area and build a conceptual home with top security
^ Buy a damn nice sports car hehe
^ Savings in stocks and bonds

What 5 jobs you've had?
- Clerk at Cosway dealer
- Clerk at Berita Book Centre
- English tutor (about 2 months only)
- Part time Taekwondo trainer
- Working with government

Who are 5 person you want to tag?
1. Noreez Azlan
2. La Signora
3. Silent Scribbler
4. Ziahlicious
5. Tinie
Sorry people, you've been tagged!!

Landslide tragedy in Bukit Antarabangsa

Let us pray for the victims of the landslide that occurred yesterday morning (6th December) in Bukit Antarabangsa, claiming the lives of 4 people, wrecking 14 bungalows and forcing thousands of people from nearby condo to abandon their homes as they were ordered to evacuate the area for fear of safety.

So sad that this tragedy happened just days before the Hari Raya Qurban, and also eerie that it happened near the collapsed condo of Highland Tower which occurred on 11th December 1993 due to landslide and poor construction pilings.

More on the landslide tragedy:
The Star
Berita Harian

Friday, 5 December 2008

Global Brand Forum Malaysia 2008

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Global Brand Forum in the Palace of the Golden Horses which was held from 4-5 December 2008. The turnout for the Forum was about 800++pax and POGH was overrun with the who's who in the industry, be it the local celebrity such as Afdlin Shauki, Hans Isaac, Kavita Kaur, or entreprenuers such as Dato' Farah Khan and Datuk K (BTW,where's Siti?), various universiti lecturers, PR & advertising people and even some royalties. The registration for the forum was RM4,800 per pax but of course our organization was "charitable" enough to sponsor, hence the free passes for me and other colleagues.

The Forum was about branding, and my colleague told me that the first day speakers were very good turnout with Jim Stengel (formerly from Procter & Gamble), Datuk Tony Fernandes (Air Asia) and Stewart Butterfield (man who invented Flickr). However, the second day session proved to be quite dissappointing as everbody was expecting Ivanka Trump to show up to give some perspective on branding from Trump POV, but she did not turn up physically, but rather thru hologram projection and video recording. But the host extraordinaire, Riz Khan from Al-Jazeera managed the session quite well, despite some hiccups on the video part. Ivanka's presentation lasted only about 15 minutes, and there were some Q&A from Riz Khan, obviously planned qs which Ivanka obediently answered. The audience did not have the opportunity to ask Ivanka questions. To make up for Ivanka's absence, the organizers invited Malika Sherawat who was in town for the Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival to fill in the gap.

Sadly, she was not in the audience at that time and Riz Khan decided to open the floor for qs on the GBF itself. BIG mistake.....audiences "tembak" the organizer with questions why Ivanka was not present and why they were not notified beforehand. Obviously, Ivanka was a crowd puller for the Forum and those who have paid almost RM5,000 for the registration felt that they were cheated. If the organizers have notified early, they could've avoided the outcry. because organizer did mentioned that they'd known about it quite at the last minute , only about 3 days before. Another attendee also commented that the audience who attended thie forum was from high ranking and please do not insult their intelligence by hiding Ivanka's absence till the last minute and Malika not being there on time. Again, Riz Khan managed to smooth things out by saying that organizers took note of the comments and be sure that they will inform Ivanka as well. To be fair, the organizers did quite well with the other speakers who were present, including Oliver Stone, that famous film director who directed films such as JFK, Any Given Sunday and latest "W", based on George W. Bush.

A good thing that Oliver Stone did came, if not, it would've been another outcry from the audience. Oliver Stone did mentioned some things on branding, in which he remarked that Branding is comfort, people would go for brands that they recognize and bring them comfort. But that was all about branding that he spoke about. He did say in his opening line that he didn't know why he was being invited as he didn't know about brands,, his films are not brands like Lucaas Film, or Spielberg or even HBO, but not him, he is the anti-brand. He was suppose to talk about Hollywood: Branding thru films but mostly, he rambled about the Vietnam war - which he received a purple heart for and which he made 3 movies about it - Platoon, Born on the 4th of July and Heaven & Earth. He was labeled as a political provocateur, and he mainly talked about American politics during the session. I think he would be more suitable if someone invited him to talk about American politics, rather than branding. However, he did striked to me as a humble person, highly intelligent and very cynical, and somewhat funny. It was kind of awesome to see the famous director himself and I think this is the point why people were willing to pay high money or travelled overseas to attend a conference, where they can hear first hand info from the experts. Hologram projection and video doesn't do justice as opposed to physical appearance on stage.

Malika Sherawat is a Bollywood actress, for those of you who are not familiar with her. IMO, she is not as famous as Aishwarya Rai and to me, her only memorable role was that of a peasant girl dancing with Shah Rukh Khan on top of the train to the tune of "Chaiyya Chaiyya" in the movie Dil Se. However, she is known for being rebellious and outspoken and unconventional in her choice of role i.e kissing scene in films which defy the Indian society morality. She also starred alongside Jackie Chan in a Hong Kong movie and now some other projects in Hollywood. under director Jennifer Lynch. She is well known as a sex symbol and some say that she is a bimbo, but she did spoke quite well and her English was not tainted so much with Indian accent. There was an attendee who commented that Malika was not in the same league with Oliver Stone (sitting together in a panel discussion with Farah Khan and Samar Khan - an Indian film maker) and there were some words uttered to insult her. But Riz Khan was firm and said that it was not polite to insult the guests onstage and Malika retorted back and said of course she is not in the same league with Oliver Stone, she's only 4 years in the film industry and still new and learning, whereas Stone is a prolific director and have won awards for his films.

The last session was with Martin Lindstrom, a well known branding expert. However, I did saw his presentation when I attended ICCA Congress in Pattaya in 2007, so I skip it to go back earlier about 4.30pm before the weekend jam starts:) Based on the sessions that I attended, it did not feel like a branding forum, more like Oprah's interview session. I'd understand if some people felt that it was not worth their money, but maybe others see it as a good opportunity to gain info and network with the high profile attendees. Either way, Media Prima has done a good job, and I think it was apt for Datuk Farid to take up the challenge to host the GBF as TV3 has quite a good branding.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Jalan oh Jalan

Memang lumrah pemandu Malaysia ni,
Kalau jalan dah jem, mesti dia nak menyempit jugak,
Seboleh-boleh tidak dia nak menyelit, asalkan bolos beb!
Tapi bila jalan tu dah lega, pemandu yang sama bawak slow pulak,
Macam jalan ni aku yang punya lagaknya,
Come on lah!!
Ini peak hours, kalau saudara atau saudari nak cruising,
Sila tunggu non-peak hours atau gunakan slowlane,
Tapi rasanya definisi fastlane atau slowlane pun dah tiada makna,
Sama saja bagi pemandu yang tak tahu undang-undang jalanraya,
Mana tidaknya jalan-jalan di Kuala Lumpur senantiasa jem,
Penggunanya bodoh-bodoh belaka,
Maaf, ini bukan serangan peribadi terhadap sesiapa,
Lebih kepada luahan perasaan empunya blog,
Kalau boleh dijadikan iktibar, lebih baik...
Nanti jalan-jalan di Kuala Lumpur tak jem lagi..
In my dreams lah kan.....

Sajak tak berima ni diilhamkan masa saya tengah memandu pagi tadi....lebih berfaedah daripada saya sumpah seranah pemandu-pemandu yang tak senonoh....tapi menyumpah jugak sebenarnya hahaha

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Di tag oleh Cik Ash

Dah lama tak update blog.....tetiba kena tag pulak....tapi kali ni dalam Bahasa Melayu, first time kena tag gini. Jadi....terimalah!!

Bekas kekasih saya...ada ker...? huargh huargh huargh
Saya sedang mendengar... "Take a Bow" by Madonna
Mungkin saya patut...dinaikkan pangkat secepat mungkin supaya saya boleh sambung belajar Masters dan beli rumah.....
Saya suka belajar... memasak makanan yang menarik dan ringkas.....
Sahabat baik saya...ialah Ms Fantaghiro yang selalu menemanii saya di kala sedih mahupun gumbira.
Saya tak faham......bahasa Nepal yang dituturkan oleh pekerja Stesen Kopitiam masa saya tengah tunggu order laksa kari tadi....
Saya kehilangan...tenaga dan semangat, tak sama seperti masa muda remaja saya....
Ramai yang berkata...aku busy, tapi sebenarnya tidak...sama lah dengan saya hehe
Makna nama saya....complicated, saya pun dah lupa...
Cinta itu....satu misteri dan ...hanya diri anda sahaja yang mengetahuinya dan boleh mendefinisikannya
Disuatu tempat bernama...Istanbul, yang saya harapkan untuk percutian saya seterusnya....kalau mampu!!
Saya akan cuba...untuk memasak lauk pauk Melayu dengan jayanya...setakat ni lauk yg boleh dibanggakan adalah paprik ayam...tu pun masakan Siam hehehe
Makna "selamanya".... secara lisannya: sehingga ke ahir hayat atau hari kiamat, yang mana terdahulu!
Handphone saya...baterinya selalu kong, menyebabkan ramai orang tak dapat kontek saya. Ramai yang nak tolong buangkan ke laut hehehe
Saya paling meluat....driver di jalanraya yang bodoh & lembap!
Bila saya bangun dari tidur....saya tutup alarm dan tidur balik!
Party adalah...aktiviti yang memenatkan...saya lebih suka private gathering dengan kawan2 rapat dan keluarga.
Haiwan yang paling cute adalah...semua jenis kucing, tak kira di mana saya berada...
Peringkat umur yang paling menyeronokkan adalah...semasa awal 20an dimana dalam minda hanya nak berseronok sahaja....rasanya sampai sekarang lagi kot? yang penting mesti happy.....
Hari ini saya rasa sangat tension...sebab pagi tadi pulun buat report kajian tapi pening tengok spss...
Malam ini saya akan cuba...untuk tengok DVD yang ada....
Saya betul2 inginkan...badan yang kurus dan sihat!
Bila tengok muka kat cermin pagi tadi...belek jerawat yang dah jadi ketuat tepi bibir.....tp Klinik Salma hanya bagi krim vitamin E, kedekut betul!
Shopping kompleks...hanya untuk membeli barangan yang perlu dan bukan untuk berpeleseran dengan pasangan anda...
Makanan segera biasanya...bubur segera Maggi, sup sayur kering, nugget...apa-apa yang ada dalam peti ais lah....
Ayat2 terakhir pada orang... kepada Ghalib: "Only you know how to do it!" sbb dia dah terbalikkan skrin PC Aza De Kaza....mengamuk sakan minah tu...
Nak panjangkan tag ini? Noreez Azlan, Salfaryna, Tinie, LuvSal, Farah Hasliana (kalau tak mabuk baby), Hazriq (kalau rajin, aku tau hang malas buat trivia hehe) dan sesiapa yang suka buat trivia....anda dipersilakan.....

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Me, Myself and I

Yesterday, my editor/friend/colleague, Fezin said he has almost reach the target of 200 pages of the travelogue that will contain various writings of people who have the privilege to travel with their work, including yours truly who have written on her experience in Venice. He also forwarded my article to other prospect writers as an example. I was elated that my article was good enough to be made an example to others and the sweetest thing is, it may be published! Still over the moon today on the news......the travelogue would be a unique Malaysian experience overseas, with unique point of views and perception......

When I was in Bandung early this month, I had the chance to go to a bookstore there and found two excellent travelogue books in Bahasa Indonesia titled: The Naked Traveler: Catatan seorang Backpacker Wanita Indonesia Keliling Dunia and Traveler's Tale: Belok Kanan: Barcelona! It could be an excellent reference for us to publish the Malaysian version of the travelogue. I'm not sure if there exists other travelogue in the market but Fezin says that the market for Bahasa Melayu travelogue is wider than English travelogue published in Malaysia. Maybe because the readers would prefer more sophisticated publications by world renowned travel writers. Maybe it's true, I don't know.....if I have the time, will check out for existing Malaysian travelogue in bookstores....

Monday, 24 November 2008

While I've Been Away......

Again, I was lagging behind in my posting. But more;

1. Forecast
The Outgoing Boss (which is going to be posted in Bangkok) asked me to do a forecast on tourist arrivals for year 2009. Eventhough I'm not handling statistics now but I was tasked to do it with the help of another assistant officer. We had to do linear regression in order to achive the projection. Kinda like your basic "upwards" chart but have to do some calculation to get the value of y=a+bx. In my desperation, I asked La Signora to forward me Ash's mobile number to help me check on the calculation. She checked it and basically said I'm on the right track. Anyway, we referred to another colleague who had done this years ago and he gave us a shortcut way to do it in Excel, and soon both of us were doing all kinds of regression which included Polynominal, Exponential and Linear. That was basically what I was busy with last week. Today, I found out from my colleague that the Big Boss won't use it as they have come up with another forecast. Sheesh! Time wasted...but at least I can say that I've learned something new, and I know that it's going to be a valuable tool in the future.

2. Meeting in Kuching
Barely two weeks after attending the workshop in Bandung, my Immediate Boss (IB) asked me to attend a meeting on Cruise in Kuching to replace her as I am a senior officer. I told her that I know nothing about cruise, being in Research only for two days and what if they ask me all kinds of questions about policy. Our organisation only focuses on promotion and marketing, policies are under the Ministry. So I pleaded with my IB to bring the project officer of cruise study along to be my understudy, as he has more technical expertise on this. So the two of us went to Kuching on Thursday, 20 Nov and returned on Saturday, 22 Nov. More stories on my adventures/misadventures in Kuching on my next blog posting.

3. Status
On my placement in the office. Again, when I was away from the office, important letters regarding the future of yours truly arrived. This kinda pisses me off as it had been the third time it happened. The first time was when I was in Kuching in August 2008, I received letter informing that I was to transfer to Research Division effective that September. Second time it occured, I was in Bandung and the letter infomed that I was being transferred to Domestic Division effective 10 November 2008, barely two months in Research. I vehemently refused to go to Domestic as 1) feels that I've more to learn about Research and wanna be good at it; 2) Domestic is hot seat division, why trouble myself after what I've been thru for the past 6 years. In this regard, the division had decided to retain me. This is when the third important letter for me arrived, dated 20 November 2008 while I was in Kuching from 20-22 November. It stated that I would be retained for the period of one year starting from the letter's date. What does the events are trying to tell me, whether it is pure coincidence or God's will? Who knows.....at least now I know where I stand and can be firm about it.

4. Connection
Hubby recently bought a black casing yet transparent desktop with BenQ's 19-inch flatscreen monitor, instead of fixing his busted laptop. It cost him a cool RM1750.00, the monitor being RM450.00 only! Now he's in front of it every night playing cyber soccer. Well, at least we won't be fighting for the TV, plus I urged him to subscribe to Astro's movie channels by next month.....I'm in my heaven....lalalalala

Will update more on my trip to Kuching....

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Ms Fantaghiro's outing

View of Chiang Mai taken from Wikipedia

Missing the company of my best friend...Ms Fantaghiro's out on company outing to Chiang Mai since Thursday (13 Nov) till Sunday (16 Nov). She was supposed to go to Bali for the company trip, but what with the recent bomb threat for Bali, the boss decided to cancel the Bali trip barely 24 hours before departure. Ms Fantaghiro was devastated coz she was looking forward for this trip for months. Then the boss decided on Chiang Mai. She wasn't keen to go and had a long face on when she came to my house on Wednesday nite to borrow my suitcase and camera. I told her to cheer up, any trip would surely be a relief from office, just keep an open mind and enjoy it.....

Texted her yesterday but there was no reply...maybe sms didn't get thru international roaming like my time in Bandung recently. Anyway, am waiting for her to get back to get details on her trip and pics too....

Meanwhile, Air Asia's been having promotion on the no fuel surcharge....my usual travel mate's been pondering on the destination of our next trip.......still pondering....

Friday, 14 November 2008

Happy Birthday Mum!

14 November 2008 was my mum's 51st birthday. I called her yesterday to tell her that I'm going to Sarawak on 21 November and inviting her to come along with me on the trip. Then she casually said " Today's my 51st birthday!"....then I said "no wonder the date today seemed so familiar!"....I am so bad with birthdays!!! Anyway, a Happy Birthday to the special lady we call all sorts of name....starting from:

Mak, mum, meemok (kolat's specialty), the General (my dad's specialty) and of course her pseudonym: Kerabu Jantung.

Many happy returns of the day and May Allah bless you always!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Bandung: Site Visits in Botanical Garden & Tea Plantation

I was in Bandung from 3-9 November for an agrotourism workshop, which had about 20 participants from various countries such as Lao, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, India, Taiwan and of course the host, Indonesia. After a gruelling 3 days workshop filled with presentations, we were ready to say goodbye to Bandung and go to agrotourism site visit namely to the Archipelago Botanical Garden in Cipanas and the Gunung Mas tea plantation in Bogor. It took about two hours from Bandung to reach Cipanas using the hilly road, and witness one motorcycle accident on the way, which thank God was not a fatal one. We arrived first at the botanical garden and had about two hours to walk around. There were different types of garden such as the French garden and American garden that was cultivated as part of the landscape.
Gunung Mas Tea Plantation
Tea plantation in Gunung Mas in Bogor

Tea pickers

The participants in factory garb - minah kilang huahua

Watching the workers airing the tea leaves

The group in front of the tea factory

The Archipelago Botanical Garden in Cipanas
a peacock with seasonal flowers in bloom for its tail

French garden

View from top of entrance

Agnes from Philippines and Hong from Vietnam with me in front of the garden's entrance

Mediterranean Garden: Love the cactus!

"Clown" flower from Vietnam

Didn't have time to go thru the maze, so just took a picture of it from the observation deck

Hydrangea in bloom

My mum loves this flower, she said it's called bunga Siti Zubaidah
The participants on our last nite out in Bandung, only managed to go to one factory outlet.
But we did went to the Bandung Electronic Mall (BEM), which is just like Low Yat plaza, really. We came back by angkutan kota or van sapu which cost about Rp5000 or RM1.75 per pax. By taxi, it could've easily cost about Rp50,000 for night fare (without meter).

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Indonesia: Culture, Signboards and Sights,

In Indonesia, the time difference with Peninsular Malaysia was about one hour. However, their sunrise is very early, which is at 5am and sunset is at 6pm. Therefore, 8am here feels like 10am already. It rained almost every afternoon when we were in Bandung. Couldn't do much shopping at the factory outlets.

Some of the things which really left an impression on me was how similar but yet different the culture and language of both countries. Its funny that Malaysia and Indonesia have the same language, but have different meanings, for example: bed in Indonesia is called ranjang but in Malaysia it's called katil. Katil in Indonesia means the bed in which you carry the dead (spooky!).

Also, some words which have the exact meaning in three different countries: goat is called "kambing" in Malaysia, Indonesia and also the Phillipines. "Ulam" means dish that accompanies rice in Tagalog. "Bahsa" means language to Sri Lankans and Malaysia, but it means "read" in Tagalog. Filipinos calls chicken "manug", whereas Sarawakian calls chicken "manuk". So many Tagalog words that have the same meaning in Malay: kanan, putih, lelaki. This trip has been a wonderful experience of language and culture with all the different countries, which I've never really experienced in previous job assignments. To experience it to such an extent that I feel we are bonding beautifully as a group of participants to the workshop.

Some of the pics i took on sights around Bandung and some signboards which amuses me.
Roadstall was up and running by 7.30am in Bandung

Bandung road in the morning

Traffic in the morning in Bandung

Cigarette ad

Road stall in Bogor selling avocados, sweet yams and the white things hanging are called singkong or cassava - tastes like tapioca. Reminds me of that song really..."aku suka keju, kau suka singkong..."

Bogor area

School kids by the roadside - view from bus

A lot of roadstalls like this selling food like baso, satay padang.

I've tried mie ayam pedas and mie baso...but haven't tried mie babat - or perut

Very catchy advertisement

and tada! My favourite advertisement - because of the bold colours and bold words :)

Words are everything in Indonesia. Next time you're there, open your eyes to the advertisements. It can be hillarious but at the same time very catchy and truthful. No beating round the bush that you won't get the meaning. Nothing lost in translation.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Updates for November

Hi cyber friends...I'm back!!! Some updates on what happened to me during the hiatus:

1. Attending a course in Indonesia
Was attending an agrotourism course in Bandung and Jakarta from 3 - 9 November 2008. I have been to both Jakarta and Bandung, but it's nice to revisit the places again. One important thing is that, I need to go SHOPPING! but couldn't do it in Bandung coz the workshop ended at 5.30pm and it rained in the evening, so what a bummer...but managed to do some shopping in Tanah Abang complex in Jakarta. Besides that, Ministry of Agriculture Indonesia was kind enough to bring us for a field trip to the Archipelago Botanical Garden in Cipanas and also Gunung Mas tea plantation in Bogor. More updates on the trip on my next blog posting.

2. Job movement, again!!!
While I was in Bandung, received a phone call from my colleague informing that I'd received a letter dated 5 November to move to yet another division. This time around to Domestic Promotion Division. I was stunned to hear the news because I was just transferred to Research Division only two months ago. Have not reported duty to the new division, which was suppose to be on 10 November coz I was on leave. But my current Division is going to appeal to not move me to that Division, because I'd just started to adapt to the work. Anyway, see how it goes on the decision from the top management. For now I was told that senior officers (like myself) are needed to be on the operation side to do marketing and promotion. My personal opinion: It's a hassle to move again, but I think it's better to stay than move to Domestic. That is a hot seat division as Minister is now focusing on domestic promotion.

3. Laptop still busted
It's been that way for the past two weeks and I hadn't the liberty to update as often as I would like it to be. Note to self: Will continue to nag on hubby to fix it hehe

4. My kitties
I had given away all my kitties. Have some pictures on their last day with me and drop off but couldnt upload yet. I've given two kitties to Gojie, my office mate and another one, Kemek, to my sis in law. Kemek is now known as Meme, and she actually responds to that name. I was informed that all three kitties are behaving well and still go to their litter box. What a relief! Seems that I'd train them well. I had to get rid of the kitties as my house is too small and for health reasons. My mum is convinced that it's the cats' furs that are making me cough.

So that's it for now...will update again soon.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Tagged by La Signora

La Signora tagged me ages ago.....couldn't copy the original from her, so I copied from Ash.

When is the last time you ran? erm.....months ago
Do your jeans have rip, tears and holes in them? yeah in unseen places hahaha - - i've had the only jeans since my uni days and it only cost me RM19 which i bought in Giant. La Signora, if you remembered, you said I look nice in those jeans!!
What are you dreading right now? Work...coz I got a report due...
Do you celebrate 4/20? Huh? I don't understand this question! (buat muka blur) - - copied from Ash hehe
When is the last time you saw your significant other? This morning
Do you get full 8 hours sleep every night? yes
What is your current favorite song? I kissed a girl by Katy Perry
If anyone came to your house on one of your lazy days, what would you do? clean the house like mad before they arrive, and try to whip something up.
Who last grabbed your ass? Haha need I tell?
Have you ever been in your school band? Yes but only for a while...
Do you own a pair of Converse? Never own them.
Did you copy and paste this survey? Yes...from Ash.
Do you eat raw cookie dough? Never....
Have you ever kicked a vending machine? I must've have!
Do you hate it when a radio ruins a song by playing a slow one after that? Depends on the song.
Do you watch "Trading Places"? Don't think we have it here in Malaysia.
Have you ever stayed on a line a long time waiting for someone? yes...
Are you 'cocky'? Dunno...maybe not.
Could you live without a computer? Probably not...
Do you wear shoes in the house? No
At what age did you believe that Santa was not real? No
How many phones are there in your house? 2 only
What do you do when you are sad? Hear my favourite song or vent it out to my sister
Who would you call first if you won a lottery? My hubby
Last time you saw your best friend? Hmm....on Monday I went to Noreez's house to return her bekas laksa Sarawak. I haven't met Ms Fantaghiro in ages...since Hari Raya in fact.
What or who sleeps with you? My bedroom secret heheh
Are you still in high school? No
Is anyone on your bad side right now? Can't think of anyone now
What jewellery are you wearing right now? Nada
What is the first thing you do when you get online? Go to my blog
Do you watch Grey's Anatonomy? Yes, sporadically
Would you ever wear your boyfriend's / girlfriend's clothes? Not really
Where do you work? In PWTC
What are you doing on Friday? Shopping!!
Is Justin Timberlake the next Michael Jackson? No
Favorite name for a girl? Nadia
Favorite name for a boy? Daniel
Will you keep your own name when you get married? Yes
When is the last time you left your house? This morning
Did you return your cart (I assume trolley)? Yes
Do you have a dish washer? No
What noise do you hear? The fan and the washing machine and somebody washing the dishes

I now would like to tag: Noreez Azlan, Salfaryna,Tinie. Others are welcomed to do the tag if you want to/

Monday, 27 October 2008


It's a bird, it's a plane...no, its K.A.O.S and MAYHEM, the supercats that have destroyed a roll of kitchen towel in my living room!

This was taken two weekends ago, but since my hubby's laptop is busted, couldn't download it soon.

K.A.O.S at work

The perpetrators


"Aku tak bersalah"

MAYHEM at work

Them at it again

"Sniff...snifff...I found a clue"

Tired after a hard day's work of making a mess of my living room
Got more picture on the kitties...will download them again....