Thursday, April 29, 2010

Manglish - What language is that?

I never like language classes when I was in school. I found it very challenging to understand the fundamental of tata bahasa or grammar and I do admit until today, I do have that problem. I rated myself to be average in commanding these two languages in writing and in communicating. But I will never admit this during interview.

When I was young, I spoke Malay (with local dialect) all the time but I started to mix English and Malay when I was teenager. Now it becomes natural for me to speak in Manglish. What is Manglish? It is a combination of English and Malay words within a sentence. Eg: I'm going to MidValley masa (during) lunch. Nak ikut (Do you want to follow)? Normally I used Manglish when I'm conversing with family members and friends. In office, normally the conversation will be all in English except when we want to gossip about our IBM partner. We will mix English with Malay or Chinese as these people are from India and they have no idea what we said.

So when do I converse in Malay. Well, normally with my mother but she also know Manglish and my aunties or whenever I go to government office. I always started my conversation in Malay but somehow it either ended in English or Manglish.

Because of my frequent use of Manglish, my children are also slowly picking it up this bad habit. This is bad for them as they need to learn proper Malay or English. Otherwise, they will have problem constructing sentences in good tata bahasa. I still remembered when my eldest son in primary school. He constructed sentences such as Doktor itu check (periksa, is the right word) abang saya. Saya berenang di swimming pool (kelam renang). Ibu saya drive (pandu) kereta pergi kerja. He was using some of the regular words that I used when he wrote those sentences and his teacher commented this when I went to see her during report card day. However he has no problem constructing sentences in English.Now my little girl, who is 4 years old, is also slowly picking up the habit. Will I corrected her? Maybe...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sayang

Today is my husband birthday. I did not get anything special for him except cake. This is our way of celebrating our birthdays. Even for the kids, we do not hold any special birthday party for them except when they turned one year old. We had a special prayer for them and followed by birthday party.

So for my husband birthday today, I bought him a small cake and satay. So we have satay for dinner and cake for dessert. This morning, before he left for work, I casually asked him whether he wanted iphone for his birthday. He didn't say anything except he said he will called me later. FYI, he has been using the same Sony Ericsson for the past 6 years whereas I have changed phone 3 times during the same period. Not because it was faulty but I can't resists new toy.

Now it is 10.40pm and he hasn't given me any answer whether he wanted the phone. Sayang, I'm giving you until Friday, 5pm 30th April 2010 and if you want the new iphone, you better let me know asap. Other wise, I will go and buy the MacBook Pro which I have been eyeing for months.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Obsession with E-Book

Initially I don't like e-books but I changed my mind after I read the review on the ebooks. It is kind of neat where you don't need to carry the physical book around you anymore. So after being convinced that e-book is the way to go, I happily check the top brand, Kindle, whether it is available here in Malaysia. To my disappointment, it is not available here nor in Singapore but you can get Kindle in Thailand and Philippine. I'm not sure what so special about Malaysia and Singapore that Kindle is not available here. Since I have my office mate from US,I asked him whether he can get Kindle for me when he goes back to US for his home leave. Being a gentleman as always, he said no problem. I was happy thinking that I can finally get Kindle but when I further checked from the Amazon websites, I found out that I can't even purchase ebooks. So Kindle is out. :(

Next I checked on Nook, same thing, I can't purchase it unless I resides in US. What a policy! Did I give up? NO! I keep on doing my research and after weeks of looking, searching and googling the internet, I found out that KOBO can run on my iphone and there is no problem purchasing ebooks from KOBO. Eventhough it doesn't carry a large selection likes Amazon, it still has some of the books that I wanted to buy. I guess for time being it is enough for me until Kindle or any ereader is made available here.

You might ask, what about iPad since I have KOBO running on my iphone? Well, iPad can be one of the option but if I'm going to own iPad, I want to make sure that I can purchase songs, movies and ebooks from iTunes. Currently iTunes doesn't allow me to purchase any of that from them so until they change the policy, iPad will not be in my list.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Life in Jakarta

I was assigned to Jakarta in year 2006 for a period of 8 months. When I left for Jakarta, my little girl, Zara, was only 3 months old and my third son, Zaki, was exactly 2 years old. I was really heart broken leaving my children behind but I have no choice.

When it was assigned, I was promised for two months only. So I sat down with my husband and told him that I have to go to Jakarta for two months. He was stunned and asked me to get another candidate to go. I told him that I have no other staff to send to Jakarta as one of manager was 7 months pregnant and the other manager was heavily involved in the billing migration project. I told him that I will come back every 3 weeks. He was quite reluctant to let me go but he has no choice. I was lucky my parents-in-law were willing to stay and help to take care of the kids.

The first month was hell for me. I missed my children especially Zaki as he was very attached to me. Everyday I will called back home and when I went home after 3 weeks, my sons surrounded me and followed me whereever I go. The next morning when my little girl woke up, she just stared at me. She might be wondering who is this lady.

By second month, I was already adapting to being single again mixing with single ladies and men. And my third month, I'm really comfortable being away from the family eventhough I still missed my kids. Why did I say comfortable? Well life was very luxury in Jakarta. I stayed at Crown Princess Hotel, I have a driver to fetch and send me home. Just take an elevator to second floor and breakfast will be served, dumped all my clothes in the laundry bag and someone will collect it, and bed will be made without asked.

By fourth month, I requested to be moved to another hotel. I told them I'm bringing my family for two weeks and I need two extra rooms. So they moved me to Aston Hotel with kitchen, two rooms and living room. Life was great. Since the room has kitchen, I tried to cook as much as possible but when you were alone, eating outside was a better choice.

In Jakarta, I joined my friends playing pool, which I last played when I was a student in US, bowling, tennis and other sport activities. The only thing that I find challenging in Jakarta is the lack of english books and the jam. Most of the novel were in Indonesian language and the cost of english books are double than in Malaysia.

Shopping is also heaven in Jakarta. First our currency is higher than Rupiah therefore I can buy more than what I can buy in KL. Secondly most of the branded items (non fake) are cheaper than in Malaysia. So I bought quite a number of clothes for my children and sarongs for me.

The best thing that I liked about being in Jakarta is no nagging, no crying, no whining and no bickering. I can get up and go to bed any time I like. Nobody disturb me at night. It was like a vacation to me where no pressure on work or life. It was totally heaven.Will I do it again if they assign me to some foreign country? The answer is YES!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Love for Books

I love to read. I have been avid readers since I know how to read. My mom always said that Zai and books cannot be separated. Everywhere I go, I will have book with me. So what type of book that I read ?

Hmmm..let's start from when I was young. Since there was no library near my area when I grew up at kampung, I have to rely on my brothers and sister book. I mostly read my sister's magazine and my brothers' Dan and Beano comics. Whoo I loves those comics and if I saw it at bookstore, I will flip and read it. When I was 10 years old, my family moved to Port Dickson and my house was near to the library. So that's where I spent most of my afternoon, in a library. This small library introduced me to the world of Enid Blython's, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.

Then when I was a teenager, my reading interest moved from Enid Blython to sport magazine. The first magazine that I bought was SHOOT Magazine. This is a magazine that talks about football and footballers. Initially I bought it because of the handsome, hot and tough British football players but after sometimes, I learnt to appreciate the game. From SHOOT, I moved to FanFare and others magazine. However my obsession with SHOOT and magazines was shortlived. When I was seventeen, my classmate loaned me Brabara Cartland and Mills and Boons books. WOW! I fell in love with romance after I read Barbara Cartland's book and until today my love for romance novel is still strong.

When I was in US, I bought my first historical romance novel and it was by Joanna Lindsay. From Joanna Lindsay to Jude Deveraux and then to Marsha Canham. All these books I kept with me and I brought it back with me to Seremban after I completed my study. My house mates brought back boxes of kitchen ware but I brought back boxes of romance books. After I came back from US, I stopped buying any books due to (1) no money as I was still not working (2) Bookstores don't have the book I want. Once I moved to KL, I started to buy romance books again but I stopped after I got married as my husband doesn't really like the idea of me reading romance.

So in year 2000, after 6 years of not buying any books, I decided that I cannot live without my novel. The first purchase was not romance novel but Harry Porter's book. And from there, there was no stopping me from buying books. The first romance book that I bought was Nora Robert's Sea Swept. Nora Roberts made me fall in love with Romance Novel again. So from Nora Robert's, to Jude Deveraux,to Susan Elizabeths Phillips, Linda Howard, Rachel Gibson, Julia Quinn, Julia London, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Jo Beverly, Mary Balogh, LaVern Spencer and the list continues to grow. Since I bought an average of 2 books a month, I have run out of space and I have to sell some of my books. But those books that I treasured are still with me and among those books are books by SEP, Nora Roberts, Rachel Gibson, Lisa Kleypas, Lavern Spencer and Julia Quinn.

Among those books that I keep, my favorite are Hummingbird by Lavern Spencer, This baby of Mine by SEP, See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson and few others.

Do I read other books beside romance novel? The answer is yes, I do but normally I will borrow from my sisters, nieces or friends. Among my non-romance books that I like are James Patterson and Tom Clancy. I also read self improvement books but if I compare the ratio between romance to non-romance book, it likes 50:1.

What do I get from reading these books? It helps me to relax and forget about work. It is an escapism for me. Escape from work and life pressure.

Since I have invested a lot on romance book, monetary and time, I made a promise that I need to invest my time and money to read religious book. It is time for me to enhance my spiritual and to prepare my next journey in the next world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Birthday and Sisters

I had a good birthday celebrations with my sisters even though it was a week late. It is difficult to get everyone together as we have our own family and life. Where do we celebrate my birthday? We went to Red Box at Pavillion. My sister, Zura, proposed that we have karoake and followed by dinner but we decided that we will have our dinner at Red Box itself.

The party start at 4.30pm. I took half day off from work to enjoy this occassion. The day started when I picked up my eldest sister, Norlia, from Zura's office at 3pm. She travelled all the way from Seremban to be with us and I'm so proud that she made it. Instead of going to Pavillion, I went to KLCC Suria and purchased two books by Karen Hawkins and Lisa Kleypas and also a Quicksilver backpack for my eldest son first.

At 3.40pm, I went to pick up my sister Zura at her office and together we went to Pavillion where another sister of mine, Ami was waiting for us. So after making some arrangement, we were given room #22 and the fun started.

My eldest sister has never been to Karaoke before and for me, I never been to Red Box but has been to other Karaoke outlet. So it takes time to warm out since we have never sing together before. After making the song selection, our fun and karaoke session started. At first we just bulldozed the song. Pitchy here and there and out of tune at times but who cares. It's only us and there are no Simon, Randi to critize us. So eventhough Along has not been to Karaoke, she can sing. She said she had entered talent time contest during her school day and sang to Zura and Arda when they were babies. WoW, never knew that.

For Ami, she is the muscially incline in the family. She can play guitar and singing comes naturally to her. Zura must has been going to Karaoke quite regularly as her singing was quite natural in there. For me, I'm not the musically talented but I love music. What kind of music that I like? Well normally rock, blues, country, pop and not much sentimental. Along made a comment that she doesn't know that I'm a rocker coz to her, she only know me as someone into sports and books.

Since I'm rock incline, most of the songs I chose was rocked based such as Queen, Eagle, Beatles and anything that can be danced to. I'm also not much into Malay song so most of the Malay song that was chosen I don't know much except for the oldies.

At 5.40p, my youngest sister, Arda walked in and brought us flowers. That was so sweet of her. I was more surprised because she can really sing and her songs are mainly Sheila Majid's song which are jazzy. She also knows oldies such as Carpenters song which some of us don't know the melody. To make it more unbelievable, those songs are not from her era. She is only 30-plus whereas the rest of us are in 40's and my eldest in the 50's. I really salute her for that.

Our party ended at 9pm where we did another encore of Mama Mia and Dancing Queen. It was fun night and we have fun. We agreed that we should do it again for the next birthday do - for Ami in May.

To my sisters, I love you and thank you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How do I rate my day yesterday - Productive, Wasteful or ??

Yesterday, I was feeling sluggish. My mind and body was really tired. Not because of the birthday party that we had a night before but I guess I have been feeling tired for few weeks already.

What when wrong, I'm not sure. Maybe, I didn't get enough sleep at night. I have a habit of getting up after 4 hours of sleeping and it will take me sometimes to get back to sleep again. So yesterday, I was sort of not able to focus on work and also on writing. I tried to blog about my birthday party but my mind just sort of blank. Not cooperative at all.

I had meeting with IBM together with my boss and colleagues in the afternoon but since my mind was tired, I was yawning away in the meeting. My boss looked at me as if she wanted to eat me alive. But what can I do. I'm simply too tired. To keep me awake, I logged on to twitter and also facebook and follow the conversation or any interesting update on both sides.

I was grateful when the meeting ended at 3.40pm and did I go back to Plaza Sentral? Nope. I stayed in MM and do my work from there. Not real work but just read email, surf the internet here and there just to kill time. At 5pm, texted my friend whether she wanted to go for tea. She replied that she still in meeting but she wanted to go for tea as both of us are hungry. We only had sandwiches for lunch.

So we went to Aseana Cafe and we ordered teh tarik with Goreng Pisang ala Bali, Vietnamese Spring Roll and Keropok Lekor. Hmmm yummy! It was very relaxing time for me as we chatted other staff except work. We move from one topic to others and the best topics was on Tanda-Tanda Akhir Zaman. We were at Aseana until 6.30pm and we parted for the day.

Even though I had a good time with my friend, my body was still tired and by the time I reached home I was totally wiped out but my kids have other agenda for me. My girl refused go to Quran reading class if I didn't send her. Since I don't want her to miss the class, I walked with her 10 doors away from my house. After the class, I still didn't get to rest coz by then, I have to run thru with my sons their homeworks. By the time they went to bed, I was still up and busy doing my Income Tax. I only went to bed at 11pm but instead of sleeping, I read Karen Hawkin's book. The book keep me awake until 1am in the morning.

I know that this morning I will still feel tired and it is true enough. I am tired. I guess it is time I should plan for my next vacation. Where to? Europe or New Zealand? Hmmm.....

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Today I have time to reflect on my life. I have been living a hectic life for the past 22 years where work has been my main focus. My family has taken a back seat in my quest to be successful. But of late, I have been restless. Work is no more challenging to me. What I see is only a routine and mundane job. I guess as an Aries and a Tiger, I need a more challenging job or role. Otherwise I would lose interest in whatever I am doing.

So how do I fill up my time at office? Well, early morning after login in, I will read my mail and at the same time, I would log on to Facebook and Twitter. I will respond to those urgent mail first and also will screen through some of the status on FB and sometimes twits with those I follow. I need to juggle between work, FB and Twitter so that I would not get bored early in the morning especially if I have to read the contract. My brain will simply shut down and refuse to cooperate.

I normally becomes more productive in the afternoon around 3pm onwards. That's when I am able to focus on my work. Normally it will be reviewing documents, writing love letters (to my "partner") and completed whatever that I need to do. Since I try not to take work home, this will drag until 7pm.

I guess after 22 years working, it is time for me to change. Change to my lifestyles, my health and also my spiritual. I need to prepare myself for my next journey where only my firm believes in my religion will help me. So I should spend more time reading and learning about my religion and less on romance. Hmm that will be tough to do. I guess what I need to do is for every 2 romance books that I read, I should read one book on Islam and I should read Quran on daily basis. Insyallah, I will succeed. Amin.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Around the World - Surabaya

I was assigned to Jakarta for 8 months in 2006. So during one of the weekends, which I decided not to go back to KL, I flew to Surabaya with my friends. It was a memorable trip where I had the opportunity to see a live volcano and sunrise. We left our hotel at 3am in the morning going up hill and when we reached there it was cold and surprisingly at lot people already there. The temperature was 5C and we rented coat to beat the cold.
The view was spectacular and those 3 pictures above was taken using my Sony Ericsson P901i. I wish I brought my camera with me.

Around the World - Seattle

Those photos below were taken when I attended the HPOV conference in Seattle, Washington, US in 2002. I travelled alone to attend this conference and it was right after the 9/11. For someone who is wearing tudung, I'm kind of worried that I will no be able to enter US. Alhamdullilah, nothing happend to me and the US immigration was very helpful.

I stayed at Hyatt in Seattle downtown and I had the opportunity to shop at Nordstorm which is only a walking distance from my hotel. I also had the opportunity to shop books at Barnes and Noble and what did I buy. I bought 3 Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books from Barnes and Nobles.

Well did I remember anything on the conference? Err after 8 years, I can't remember anything at all but I can still remember the city of Seattle and I still have SEP's books with me.

My First Entry

WoW! I finally has a blog. Been thinking about having blog for a year after the completion of the outsourcing program but did not have time to do it. It doesn't mean that I have time now but at least I have a channel to write what I want to write.

Well, will I update my blog daily. Not sure I will have time but I will try to do it regularly. Whenever there is intersting things happening around me, I would blog about it. For today, let's blog about my birthday.

My birthday was last Monday 12th April. On this special day, I celebrated it with my third son who was born on my birthday. He is now six and instead of arriving on his due date, he decided to come 4 weeks earlier and as a result I celebrated my birthday in the labour room. Was in the labour room at 3am in the morning but he decided to make his entrance to the world at 3.59pm. That was 12 hours of pain. So I feel very lucky that my son will continue to celebrate my birthday every time he celebrate his birthday.