Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Food! Food! Food! Eat! Eat! Eat!


It's raya, and what does it mean? Eat, eat and lots of eating. As Syafiq said, it's the beginning of putting on weight after a month of fasting. Huh! It does have some truth to it.

Let’s see how my eating spree today. It started with breakfast at my place at 7.30am. What did i have? Hmmm… Lemang, nasi himpit, kuah kacang, rendang and two small pieces of cake. That cake was a special cake. The cake came all the way from Bandung, Indonesia from the famous Kartika Sari outlet.

The next stop was at my neighbour’s house, which was four doors away. Today was the first time I went inside in her house. I always wonder how it looks like inside because it’s very nice from outside, but today, when I stepped in, whoa, it was so nice and cozy. What did they serve? Pulut kuning, nasi himpit, rending and sambal udang. I only had a little bit of pulut kuning or sticky rice.

From her house, we went to the other neighbour's house. The house is at the end of the road. They served nasi bariyani, rendang and some other dishes. I just ate a little bit of the beriyani rice. The food was nice.

I took two hours break before my next stop. It was at my mom's house, and again we have rice. This time nasi tomato (tomatoes rice) and chicken masak merah, sup tulang, ketupat, rendang and other dishes. The first thing that I eat was the sup tulang. Its my favorite, and I always look forward to eat it every raya. Since it was at my house, I munched on other foods like kuih gunting, kuih ros and some other biscuits.

At 6pm, we headed to our last stop of the day, and it was my along’s house. She served soto ayam, sup tulang, rendang, ketupat and few other foods. First round, I had soto ayam and pegadil. Ohhh…. I love pegadil. Besides soto, I also eat ketupat, but I didn't finished it as it the peanut sauce was a little bit hot for my liking.

Four houses in a day, and that sum up my day of eating activities. Tomorrow will be another day, and we will be heading to our relatives' houses in Kuala Pilah. More foods will be served. I guess next week, when I'm back to work, I have to start on my diet again. For now, let's eat!!!!!!!


Goodbye Ramadhan, Hello Syawal

Today mark the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Syawal. It was announced on the national TVs that Hari Raya would be on Tuesday, 30th August. Huh! There's a lot of celebration around my area. Loud booms of fireworks can be heard until midnight.

To celebrate the end of Ramadan, we invited my sister in law and her kids to our house for iftar. Except for the oldest, who is in confinement,  the rest of her kids came for iftar. They brought rendang, peanut sauce, ketupat, while we bought lemang. As usual, teh tarik is a must have drink for iftar.

Before the break fast, we had tahlil, and this time, my husband’s nephew who is still in his early twenties led the tahlil. Eventhough he is young, but he has the characteristics of a leader and ustaz. Insya Allah, one day he will be.

Since this is our first raya at our new home, Villa Seroja, my father in-law decided to have Takbir Raya. After the maghrib prayer and a short rest, we continued with Takbir.  There was no one else except family, but it was good enough to usher the month of Syawal.

My father in law started the takbir and then followed by my husband’s two nephews.  I had never had any Takbir Raya at my previous home in Kajang. I hope this is a blessing to the new home.

After the takbir, Zaki and Zara can’t wait to play bunga api (sparkles). Well not only they played, but the big guys played too. But it will be more fun if we can other type of fireworks and firecrackers such the dragon eggs.

Hehe.... it is a rare occasion to have most of my husband side to be with us on Raya’s eve, so we had a photo session. But it was so difficult to get one person to sit in the photo session. Wanna guess who is that person? Who else? It's Mr. Misai…..

Selamat Hari Raya…


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Birthday...

Today is my father 81st birthday, but he left us in December last year.  We celebrated his birthday during Raya last year, but we could see that he was not feeling well.

In fact during Ramadan last year he complained that his stomach feel bloated, and he couldn’t eat much. The doctor diagnosed that he had a gastric, and asked him to cut on some of the spicy food and gassy drinks. But the doctor was wrong. It was not!

We going to miss him this Raya especially his famous 'Sup Tulang'. He would dragged mum to market, and buy ribs to make his special soup. He knew that his kids love his soup, and this year, we would still make it, but he won’t be there to eat it with us.

He didn’t go out much during last year Hari Raya. He only went to was my sister’s house, and my brother’s house in Bahau. I still remembered while we had fun, eating, drinking and singing, he just sat quietly in a corner watching us.

He didn’t eat much, and later he went to sit inside the car because he found it difficult to breath. We were worried with his condition. My sister, Zura, then took him back with her to KL, and sent him to see the specialist. That when we found out he didn't have a gastric, but  liver cancer. He further told her it was already at stage four.

He only lasted for four months, and during that four month whatever he wanted to eat, we tried to get it for him. At one time, he wanted to eat ‘asam katuk’.  My niece went all the way to Malacca to buy it, and later we found out it’s available in KL too.

Now he’s gone, every time we went out for dinner or lunch, we always think of him because he loved to eat. And when he was alive, my youngest sister, Zailin and Zura, would take him to all the places he wanted to go. He loved that very much,  and when he was in the hospital, my sister, Ami and Along Norlia, took care of him. This four women are angels.

Thank you to all my sisters for taking care of abah.

‘Ya Allah, ampuni dosa ayahku dan tempatkan lah dia di kalangan orang-orang yang beriman. Amin’  - Al fatihah.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Favorite Raya Songs

Ah!! Another 3 more days, we will be  celebrating Hari Raya or Eid-ul Fitri, but it depends whether the moon can be seen on Monday. If it does, then Raya would fall on Tuesday; otherwise, Raya would be on Wednesday. I hope it would be Tuesday.

Lots of people are slowly making their way back to kampong. I know some of my friends left after sahur this morning as they have a long trip to make. Heading up to the north or east, and normally it would take them more than 5 hours to reach their destination. I hope they will reach their destination safe and sound, and please drive safely.

Switch on the radio to keep you company, and listen to all the Raya songs, and don’t forget to listen to Balik Kampung by the late Sudirman. Talking about Raya songs,  here are my favorites, and they are all oldies. 

Suasana Di Hari Raya by Sanisah Huri

 Satu Hari di Pagi Raya – M. Nasir

 Selamat Hari Raya - Saloma

  Aidil Fitri Hari Mulia – Fazidah Jonet

Enjoy and Selamat Hari Raya....


Thursday, August 25, 2011

An evening with Mom

I went out with my mom and my sister last night for iftar. It’s also to get mom her new bag. We decided to go to Mid Valley, as it was the nearest to my office and my sister's place.

I asked my sister to make a reservation at Chilis Restaurant, but, unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t take any reservation. It is on first come first serve basis. We were told to be there early as by 6.30pm the place would be full.

Since I’m nearer to Mid Valley, I told my sister that I would go first, and she would pick mom from my sister’s house. I left office after 5.30pm thinking that I would only need the most 15 minutes to reach there.

But my well laid plan got haywire. I was stuck in the jam. I only reached Mid Valley at 6.15pm, and by the time I reached Chili, the place was already almost full. There were few people waiting outside the restaurant. I quickly joined the queue. I waited for about five minutes before my turn, and I was lucky they have a table for five. The guy in front of me didn’t get the table as he was alone.

“Alhamdulillah,” I said and went in. My luck was getting better. Instead of table for six, they gave me table for eight. Heh! I used the empty chair for my computer bag and handbag.

It was still early, but the waiter gave me the menu to order first, but I just put it aside. I took my ipad out, and started to write, but I can’t focus. First, I was worried that my mom and the rest can’t make it on time as they were stuck in the jam, and secondly, the guys on the other tables behind me were talking so loud.

After thirty minutes, the waiter came and asked for my orders. I ordered my food and I also asked him to wait while I called my mom and her troop and asked for their orders.

To make it easy, I ordered country fried chicken for all four of them and fruit juice. Heh! My mom wanted Teh Tarik, but I told her no The Tarik at Chilis.

I was getting worried because at 7pm they were still on the road. And do you know what time they reached Mid Valley? 7.10pm. Normally they only need less than 20 minutes to reach Mid Valley, but yesterday it was almost an hour. Thanks to the 'Bazaar Ramadan' near the Kg Kerinci. It caused the traffic congestion.

Oh ya, besides the Country Fried Chicken, I also ordered Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert. Just one piece but it was shared among us, and yet we couldn’t finish it.

After dinner, we went to get mom her bag. We stopped at Charles and Keith, but I don’t really like the bags they have there. We then went to Metro, and my mom had ‘rambang mata’ there. Too many to choose from.

We looked at all the bags and finally she decided on Toscano. She asked me, “Is this okay?” I replied, “Okay as long as you like it, but check the inside first. Don’t worry about the price.”

She checked the bag, but there was not many compartment inside it, so she decided not to take it. We went to Hilly, but she didn’t like it. So we went around again, and she stopped at Toscano again.

“I think mom like this brand,” said my sister. She picked up one nice bag and said,“What about this?”
“Yeah, that one look nice,” I said.

She took it and looked inside the bag. “Okay, I take this,” she said.

Luckily there was not many people at that time, and the payment counter was empty. After I had paid the bag, she showed me her new shoes that my sister, Zura, bought for her.

Ahhh!!!! She’s happy, and I love to see her happy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eid-ul-Fitri and balik kampung

One more week and then we will be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitri. It’s going to be a long leave for most of the people. With school close for a week and three major public holidays on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, most people will take the opportunity to go for a holiday.

But not this girl. I would not be taking any leave. I would still be working on Monday, the Raya’s eve and Friday. It is not that I cannot take any leave, it just that I am reserving my leave for my up coming trips. Furthermore, Syafiq would be sitting for his trial exam once school back in session.

Most of the people would start making the trip back to kampong on Saturday, and by Monday, KL would be quiet. I won’t be joining the Balik Kampung rush. Let those whose kampung far in the south or north or east to travel first. I would only go back on the morning of Raya after the prayer.

My mom house is only a short distance from my house. It is only 30 minutes drive from Bangi, but that 30 minutes can turn to one hour plus on Raya morning. But I do have three options to reach Seremban.

First option is using the Seremban-KL Highway where those who are heading down south would use this highway too, or we can take LEKAS highway. This would definitely be our choice as those who use this Highway are mainly those heading down to Kuala Pilah and the areas nearby to Kuala Pilah.

Final option is just used the old KL- Seremban road where along the way, we could see other kampung and the people wearing colorful, brand new baju melayu and kurung. Ah, I seldom that this route because this is also the slowest route among the three.

Whatever option that I am going to take my objective is to reach home safely. We the Ops SIKAP starting today, I hope we can reduce the number of accidents and reach our destination safely. Happy travelling folks!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm leaving.....

Dear Neighbours,

Life as a farmer is hard, too hard that I decided to leave. Yup! You heard it right. I’m leaving you, and I’m going for a vacation. Will I come back? Don’t know yet. But what my mom said when I was young was true.

My wise mom always reminded me and advised me to have a better life. “Don’t be a farmer like your grandparents and your aunties and uncles and me. Be a doctor, lawyer, engineer or a teacher. Don’t ever be farmers,” she reminded me.

I took her advised. I studied hard, slogged through school and colleges, burned midnight oil just to avoid being a farmer, and now I have a successful career. Not a doctor or an engineer or a teacher nor a lawyer. It’s just a career.

I was happy with what I’m doing, and BOOM, came the Internet and the world of cyber. I was sucked into it, into the world of Facebook and Farmville. Yeah! Farmville.

Ohhh…. I can still be a farmer without having to sweat and play with the farm animals. Yes, and off I jumped into the world of cyber farming without thinking.

Veni, Vedi, Vici – I came, I saw and I conquered. Haha! That’s my high school’s motto, and I applied it to my farming world. I relentlessly worked my farm from 14x14 to 24x24. I became a multimillionaire. I owned tractors, harvester, seeder, and you name what ever vehicles I need to farm. I have wine factory and farm in England. That’s how rich I’m in the world of Farmville.

After two years of constant farming, I grow tired of my farmer’s life. What my mom said before was true. Farming is still a hard work. Winter, spring, summer and fall I have to farm. Take care of my plants and my animals. Hah! No resting.

We helped each others,  neighbours. I appreciated that. But now I’m tired. I wanted to take a vacation. At midnight, I would pack and leave. Yup, I’ll be leaving on the jet plane. And I don’t know when I’ll be back again…. But I will drop by to pay you a visit.

Salam, adios, chao….

Your ex-neighbour.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Iftar at Villa Seroja

My family was at my place on Saturday for Iftar. Well, not everyone was there, but the majority of them were there. The most important guest was there! My mom and so were my sisters. Both my brothers couldn’t make it, but Bang Ngah sent his kids and grand kids. He had other appointment that he could get away from.

I was happy as it went well. We started the event with tahlil for my late father and followed by doa selamat. When we started the prayer, it was after 7pm. My fault because the prayer was added at the last minute. They only know about it at 5.30pm, so can’t blame them when they reached my place late. By the way, the prayer was led by my father in law.

We had kuih muih, murtabak, pengat pisang, santan durian, orange juice and teh Tarik for the break fast. Some we bought and some were brought by my sisters. The table was full of food. The hit of the day was Tembosa, which was made by my sister, Ami. I called it a giant curry puff, but the filling was made from egg, black pepper, chili and onion.

We then adjourned for Maghrib prayer, and this time, the prayer was led by Ustaz Najib. He was the only non family member that was invited. After the prayer, we resumed our dinner. We had rice, chicken kurma, prawn sambal, fried Kailan, fried chicken and fried ikan pari masin. My mom brought Sambal Tempoyak goreng with anchovies. I was very happy to see that most of the food finished and only left some for sahur.

I was lucky to have my mom’s helper and my sister's maid to help washed the dishes. After they had left, my nieces, Yasmin and Nadia turned to wash. Without them, I guess I would be busy washing dishes the whole night.

Since my house has a lot of spaces outside, my sisters proposed barbecue for another family gathering which we planned to do it during Eid. Hmm... No problem for that as long as I have someone to help the cleaning.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I need a break....

TG it's Friday. I don’t know how I feel if I have to go to work tomorrow.  I might not have the energy to drag myself to office. Since beginning of Ramadhan,   I have only about four to five hours of sleep every night, and I guess it is slowly affecting my sanity.

And today, I hit the limit. I couldn’t focus on my work; my eyes lids kept closing, and my tummy was upset too. So at five o’clock, I packed my things and went home. Luckily I left before rains started, or else I would be stranded.

Since I was so tired and sleepy, I took a rest in my room. Within second, I was transported to the La La land, and almost missed breaking my fast. Luckily Syafiq woke me up ten minutes before Iftar. Hah! It becomes a mad rush for me caused I haven't had my Asar prayer. Huh! Bad bad girl, Zai.  I should pray first before taking my rest.

Anyway, when I went down, all the foods were ready on the table. I have to thanks my in-laws and Syafiq for getting the food ready. And as usual my in-laws will be sitting patiently waiting for the Magrib's azan. Heh! Their plates will be full of foods. While my in-laws were ready for Iftar, my kids were still in the living room. They would only enter the kitchen when Azan is heard. By that time, everything will be in chaos.

Zara and Zaki would also join us, and they behaved as if they fasted the whole day. I have to entertain them first before I could eat my dinner. Ahhh… It’s a tough world for working mom with no helper because the work didn’t stop at the office. I would always be the first to get up and the last to go to bed. That’s why I’m in this condition. I guess I need a break....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When I was young....

Lailatul Qadar will be coming soon. It will  happen in the last ten nights of Ramadhan. I would blog about the Lailatul Qadar later, but today I would like to share with you about my life in kampong in the early 70’s.

There was no electricity in my kampong, and by 7pm, the whole place would be dark and quiet. The only noises would be coming from crickets. We used oil lamp to lighten up the house. So at night, there were not many activities for us, kids. 

Most of the time we spend our nighttime studying or we went for Quran reading class. Walking in the dark to the Ustaz could be very challenging and scary. I was lucky that the Ustaz house was just across the main road.

Every evening, before it gets dark we were already at the Ustaz’s house. Well, there were more than ten of us, and we had to take turns to read in front of the Ustaz. While waiting for our turn, we would recite it first over and over.

The Ustaz was a fierce man. He didn’t like us to talk or play. If anybody caught playing, he would smack you with his cane. Hahaha…. Everybody would sit as far away as possible from him. Those who came in last would be the unfortunate one to sit near him.

We would not leave until he gave us permission to leave. In other words, we can only leave once everybody has finished his or her session with him, and normally, it will be after eight. By then, it would be very dark.

Since our house was only about 500 meter, we just ran across the road without any lights to assists us, but there were two sisters and a brother who lived quite a distance from the Ustaz’s house.

Since there was no road lights to lit the way, they used the dried coconut leaves to help them see their way home. The coconut leaves would be tied together, and they would light it. It’s their torchlight.  They would bring three of it and would light it one after another.

They didn’t mix much with the rest of us, and because of that we liked to tease them.  When we were half way to our house, we would shout at them, “Hantu……” or “Ghosts…” and ran as fast as possible.

The three of them would be running and screaming down the road with the burning coconut leaves. Every time they screamed and ran down the road, we would be laughing, until one day, their grandfather came to the Ustaz’s house and warned us.

From that day onwards, we didn’t tease them anymore. Furthermore, not long after that, they lost their mom. I didn't see them much after that. I wonder what happened to them now. I have not heard about them for so long. Maybe I would take the opportunity this Raya to ask my aunty or cousins about them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Should I help her?

Oh I hate this feeling! A young lady, selling books, stopped in front of my house this evening when I was about to go to my sister in law house for Iftar. It was around 6.50pm.

 I was in my car, and about to drive it into my gate when I saw her. She was walking from Jalan 7/5 before she turned into my street. I was hoping that she would continue to walk and would not stop in front of my house. But my hope was in vain.

She stopped, and waited for me to come out from my car. Once she saw me opened the car door, she greeted me with “Assalamualaikum.”

“Wa alaikumussalam,” I replied softly and locked my car.

I knew she was not a local girl. Most probably, she was from Manymar.  Before she said anything, I shook my head to indicate that I was not interested in the books. Furthermore, my hubby and kids were waiting for me in the car.

She tried to explain, but I told her that I didn’t have my money with me. My bag was in the other car.  She stared at me. Her expression was kind of hoping, angry and frustrated. I pity her, but I don’t like to buy books in hurry. I need time to choose and select my reading material.  Since it was almost 7pm, I don’t have time to do that.

I walked to my car, and before I open the door, I looked at her. She was already walking towards my neighbor house. I’m not sure whether she managed to sell any of the books, but her timing was not good. People were busy for iftar.

In the car, I kept on thinking about her. I wonder where did she goes for iftar, does she has  money, and where is her house. I tried to forget her by reading Victoria Dahl’s Good Girl Don’t book on my iPad, but I failed to concentrate.

I felt guilty for not helping her. Until know, 4 hours later, I could still see her angry, hoping and frustrated expression. Gosh!

I feel bad. I feel that I should help her, especially in this holy month of Ramadhan, but I failed to that. Failed to help another person, who is in need.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What did you call me?

Hahaha...today I saw a memo written up by Mr Han for the new guy. Heh! He wrote that I was an unqualified staff to manage the departmental budget. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! I shouldn't take this function when he was desperate for someone to help him do the budget. I should say NO to him earlier, but I'm a nice person. Don't know how to say no. I admit that's my problem. My hubby said the same thing too.

Did I get angry when I saw that? No, because there's a truth to that. I'm a pure IT person. I never take any accounting or finance classes when I was in college. Oh! I did learned some basic accounting when I was in lower secondary school, and I know the terms debit and credit,  but the rest are all fuzzy.

When I was 'forced' to do this budget, I had few sleepless nights. To make it worse, the handover that was done (in total 10 hours) fit for someone who has worked in finance line for years. Not for someone like me.

But whatever it is, I did enjoy handling it. I learned new things, made new friends, especially those from the finance department. They helped me a lot, and not as claimed by someone. That particular person knows how to assign and delegate only.  I would talk to others first before I go to him, but to be fair he did give some guides.

By the way, I can't wait for the new guy to join us next month. I would not dump everything to him on day one. It would scare him off. Furthermore, the budget exercise is about to start, and he can have all the fun staying up late preparing that.  I already told Mr. Han that I don't have the bandwidth to do the budget exercise when I have my own work to do. Ahhh.... Pity, pity me! ...I have been neglecting my work since I took over this finance thingie. Hmm... It sounds like a fling eh? Now all the sweetness had gone, I'm going back to my own work.

My dear loyal work is waiting for me patiently.  Sorry work, I know I have not given much attention to you, but don't worry; you will get my full attention next month. Another four more weeks to be exact. Then I'm yours! Totally yours!!!!!!! But then, I have to leave you for a short while, to be a guess of the holy land, but I know I would leave you in a good hand.

Sekian. Salam.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strange Dream....

I had a strange dream this morning. I took a short nap after Amir went to school. I was so sleepy after taking the pain killer for my back pain.

Well, I dreamt of meeting my friend at the offices, and both of us were heading out. I remembered that we took an elevator, but we ended up in a bus. The best thing is the bus was floating, and we have to press the panel of numbers for our stop.

Since both of us were new on that bus, we missed our stop, and the bus took us far out from our destination. It finally stopped, and we went down for a drink at the coffee stall at the roadside. Hehehe..I dream of drinking coffee during Ramadan. Bad…Bad…Zai.

The place was pretty crowded. There was a lorry In front of the stall, and it was covered with canvas. We were enjoying our coffee when a big, angry Indian lady, came from somewhere and started shouting at someone in the lorry.

She flipped the cover, and there was a young teenage girl, begging, “Mammi, please don’t.” She was scared. The Indian lady pulled her out from the lorry and that when I saw she was pregnant. She was about 6 or 7 months pregnant.

The mother was so angry and kept on cursing the daughter, while her daughter kept on pleading not to harm her. Suddenly, I heard, “Whack.”, and the girl cried. She fell down, and somebody caught her. Her mother kept on whacking her.

I couldn't stand it and rushed and shouted to the Indian lady. “Hey lady, stopped it. She’s hurting, and I will call the police if you keep beating her.” She stopped and glared at me. She dared me to call the police, and started to beat her girl again. Suddenly another friend of mine held her hand and took the belt away.

She shouted at us and that when I woke up. When I looked at my watch, it was 7.45am, and I was late to wake my little girl to school. But then my girl didn’t go to school because she cannot open her eyes. She might ask me later why I didn’t wake her up since she was very eager to go back to school after missing 3 classes last week.

Sekian. Salam. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I didn’t know what to blog today.  Totally I have no idea at all. I have been thinking and  sitting in front of my computer for two hours, checking Facebook, twitters and surfing the Internet.

Out of curiosity,  I googled ‘arzai’.  That’s my favorite nickname that I used for my online, and for my office. I have used it since I was thirteen years old, and never know that when they created my login id for my office system, they used the same name. Must be special, huh! By the way,  what does it stands for?

A for Abd, R for Rahman, by the way, that’s my father’s name and Zai is my name, and Zai’s what everybody called me, at home or at the office.

When I was in Form 1, I used this nickname to write Arzai underneath my chair. Well, most of us wrote our names underneath the chairs just because someone with a broken chair will take your chair and changed it with a broken chair.

But there was one funny story with regard to how I got my nickname. I first wrote Zaiar, but there was one boy whose name starts with R. He thought I was combining his initial and my name, R And Zai.  He thought I was crazy about him. Bah! He was wrong. He was not even my type.  To avoid more confusion, I changed from Zaiar to arzai. So that’s the end of the story for him.

I didn’t know that there was a place called Arzai  in Lebanon and Pakistan.  The one in Lebanon is near seaside; whereas the one in Pakistan, is more of a tribal area or use by the tribal people. Well, I’m kind of curious to see how these two places fare.   Insya Allah, one day I might travel to this place and see what’s the major attraction.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My mom wanted an iPad

My mom wanted an iPad. It all started when she saw my digital Quran on  my iPad. Well she has seen my sisters’ iPad before, but she only seen it as devices for games or for books. She was not impressed with iPad before, but after she had seen myQuran on my iPad, she wanted it.

I was stumped at first when she said she wanted one. I looked at my youngest sister, and she looked at me. My sister was cute when she told my mom that my mom didn’t know how to operate a simple phone.

“Oh! I can learn,” she said, and that showed how determine she is.

I smiled because at 76 years old, she was not afraid to try on new technology, and desires to learn new thing. It was driven by her desires to perfect her Quran reading and understanding.

To me, the myQuran app, is a good application for people to learn more about Quran. I, myself, found it was very easy to read as the writing was big and clear.

It also has tafseer and translation for you to understand the meaning of those verses, and if you wanted to memorise any of the surah, there was a function to help you do that. And it also has few Qaris reading the Quran.

The recital of Quran by those Qaris was the one caught her interest. She said it would help to improve her pronunciation, which I totally agreed. Sometimes we thought we know how to pronounce, but actually not.

So, will she be getting the iPad? I’m not sure. Maybe. I just need to discuss further with my sisters, but eventually she will own one. Because, she said she would pay for the iPad herself if we didn’t buy for her.

Hahaha…Mak or mak.. We will get you one before you merajuk…..

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ramadhan in Jakarta

Yesterday, I blog about my experience on fasting in US during the summer. It was tough. Long hours and very hot, but I survived. And today, I would like to share a little bit about fasting in Jakarta. 

How did I end up in Jakarta? Well, I was there on work assignment in 2006, and I would say that the assignment was very valuable as I learned about Indonesian cultures and people. Eventhough, it took me away from my family I have no regret at all.

If in US, because it was in summer, the fasting was more than 12 hours, but in Jakarta, I felt the day passed by very fast. 

I was lucky to stay in stayed in a hotel with kitchen facility. Hehe.. I didn't cook because it was no fun cooking only for me. So most of the time, I eat outside with my friends. I only cooked when I really missed Malaysian food.

Fasting in Jakarta was totally difference experience compared to here. When I first saw someone who I know a Muslim (a lady), and went out to eat during daytime, I was shocked. You will never see that happened in Malaysia. The religious department might haul you if you caught eating in public. But in Jakarta, it was common for people to eat in public if you are not fasting. 

The first time someone approached me and said, "Bu, Selamat menyambut Ramadhan Mubarak dan minta maaf ya," I was stunt. My replied, "Oh ya?" because I'm not used to it. After few people came and did the same thing, then only I know that's their culture. 

During my one month fasting in Jakarta, I didn't see any hawkers or stalls set up to sell food for breaking fast. Maybe, it was because I stayed in the city center, that’s why I didn't see any. I did asked around, but nobody can tell me exactly where it was, or they don’t understand what I asked.

So, most of the time, I ended up eating either at the restaurant near the hotel or at the Plaza Semanggi. Sometimes, I just packed the food and ate alone in my room. After a few days, I started to get tired of eating almost the same food. Hey! I’m not that adventurous with food, so I tried to avoid those that I have never tried before.

One good thing was the hotel where I stayed offered meals for sahur. They will send the meal to my room at 4am in the morning, but I need to order the food before 11pm. At first, I was so excited, but after two weeks, I couldn’t look at the food. I ended up eating bread for my sahur. Actually, I don't mind eating bread because when I’m back in KL that’s what I normally take during sahur.

Since Indonesia has the most Muslim population in the world, the activities at night were the best. The city becomes alive with activities. Throng of people went for Terawih’s prayer, and I could hear people reciting Quran too from my room, and their TV channels ran until morning where they had live shows while waiting for sahur. They mainly have comedians during the show to keep people awake.

During my stayed there, I also learned that, in most of the villages in Indonesia, the male youths went around the village with a drum, shouting ‘Sahur! Sahur!’, to awake the people for sahur. I’m not sure whether we have it here or not. But I think it was a good community service by the youths.

It was a great experience fasting in Jakarta where I learned new things about their culture.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ramadhan in Wisconsin

Not everyone has the opportunity to fast in the foreign land. So I was glad that I did experience it, twice, and on both occasion I was alone. No family members. Just friends.

The first experience was way back in 80’s, in US. I studied in UWEC, Wisconsin for 2 ½ years, and Ramadhan was during the summer. Oh boy! It was the longest day in my life. The Imsak was around 4 something in the morning, while the iftar was around 8 something at night. To make it worse, it was a hot summer day, and I was still adjusting to the weather in US.

Since the day was long, it gave us time to cook for iftar. Nothing fancy. Just some simple malay dishes with rice. No noodles, no kuih and definitely no teh tarik.

Since it was summer, the favorite drink was cold drinks. Carbonated drinks or fruit juice. That was the first thing that entered my mouth after a long hot day. 

Since I took summer classes, it was not so bad. At least half of my days were in the classroom, but then morning was never really a problem. It was only in the afternoon and evening when the weather became unbearable.

To keep me cool during the hot day, I normally spent my time in the basement. It was much cooler in the basement compared to my apartment. Furthermore, when you were on scholarship, you tried to save every single penny for other things, and air-condition was considered a luxury for us.

And one great advantages fasting in a foreign land (non-muslim country), you can eat if you are not fasting. I remembered that I went to KFC or other fast food outlets to have my lunch, but then I replaced those during winter, which posed another problem.

No doubt, the day is shorter in winter, but the body also becomes hungry very fast. We really need to keep our body warm with layers of clothes. Eh! Winter in Wisconsin will always requires you to wear layers and layers of thick clothes. Macam Michelin tyres. But it was still my favorite time of the year to replace those days that I didn't fast. 

Ahh! What an experience, and I cherished it. Nothing can take that away from me. 

Oh ya! Tomorrow, I will blog about my experience fasting in Jakarta with no kids, no hubby except office mates.

Sekian. Salam.

Monday, August 8, 2011

An evening in Alamanda

We were at Alamanda, Putrajaya yesterday evening to do some shopping and groceries. We left home around 3.30pm, and it didn't take us long to reach there. I thought getting parking would be a nightmare, but it was not bad. We didn't have to go round and round to look for parking.

We decided to have pizza for our buka puasa (Iftar), so we headed to Pizza Hut. Whoa! No reservation. We had to order and pay them first. I told the girl we would be there by 7.20pm.

We then headed to Parkson. Zaki wanted a new pair of shoes because his current shoes is already tight. He didn't want any shoes but Polo kids high top. He saw it last week at Parkson 1Utama, but there was no size. Unfortunately, there was no polo shoes for kids in Alamanda. The only brand for kids was Kiki Lala. I showed to him, but he just walked past it.

Since we're already there, we bought Zara another pair of jeans and blouse for her. I wanted her to wear a skirt or gown, but she refused. She wanted jeans. She also wanted a pair of shoes. I showed her all the girls shoes and sandals, but none caught her fancy. She wanted sneakers. Gahhhhh!!!!!, my little doesn't like girl stuff. She just wanted to be like one of the boys.

As we were busy choosing, selecting and trying shoes, not us but hubby, Zara said that she's hungry. After we had paid the shoes, we went to Pizza Hut, and we were one hour earlier than the time I told them. Well, they can't turn us out, right?

So they brought Zara's food first. Cabonara, Ice Milo and ice cream. Woohoo! Zaki who fasted was really tested especially when Zara had her ice cream. Every five minutes, he would be asking me the time. It's fun to watch him and Amir looking at Zara, and when the buka puasa time came, they quickly said the prayer and eat.

Half-way through, Zara wanted to go to the toilet. Luckily, I had finished my meal, and we went to the first floor toilet. On the way to the toilet, I realized that the mall was very quiet. Only one or two people walking around, while all the restaurants were packed with people. I realized than that Alamanda's patron was mainly Malay. At other major shopping center, likes One Utama, Mid Valley or KLCC, the place will still be busy with people during Iftar.

After an hour, the place was busy again with shoppers. Before it started crowded, we headed to Carrefour to buy some groceries. On the way home, I realized that we didn't accomplish our goals. Heh! We have to go shopping again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bad Girl and Shock

Wow! Zaki has a new favorite group. No more Tomok! He is now crazy with a Korean boy band, Beast. Not sure how it started, but I guess Amir must have introduced him to the band.

He likes it so much that he watches Beast's video clip every day. He would be watching it in the morning, afternoon and most of the time, in the evening, after I reached home. My iphone would be disappeared, and would be returned to me when the battery almost gone. Sometimes, I have to hide my phone from him.

At first, he only admired the six young Korean boys, then slowly he started to learn the song, and today he has gone one step up. Dancing. Yes, he has been practicing the dance step. I wouldn't know about it if he didn't insist me to go up with him tonight.

I was watching TV with Zara downstairs when he came down and asked me to join him upstairs. At first, I was reluctant. It's not every day I got a chance to watch TV, but after fifteen minutes of begging, I pity him. I agreed to join him upstairs. Furthermore, I wanted to read my latest book that I just purchased. Making Waves by Tawna Fenske.

I was flipping through the book, when he asked me to look at him. He was getting ready to dance to Beast's dance step. I watched. "Not bad," I said. Well, he is not as good as Syafiq. Syafiq is more natural in his moves, but Zaki, he is a little bit stiff. Maybe, if he continues to practice he can dance like the Beast boys.

There are few songs that he likes, but his favorites are Shock and Bad Girl. I have to admit the songs are not bad, but it stills can't beat my 80's songs.

I tried to record his dance, but he realized it, and stopped. The best thing is Zara, which was still down with fever, danced too, but only for a short while. She was wobbly and tired. But she sang with her brother.

I wonder what will be his next favorite group or singer. Maybe, I introduce him to my favorite songs, the 80's songs.

Sekian. Salam.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When the doctor sounds like machine....

My little girl had a very high temperature yesterday. When I woke her up for school in the morning, her temperature was mild. I didn’t let her go to school as I’m afraid that other kids might get it from her.

Before I left for work, I told my father in law to watch her temperature. True enough, by midday, her temperature increased. I asked him to give her the fever medicine first, and to keep the temperature down.

When I reached home from work, she was sleeping on the sofa. “Ahh! Must be very bad,” I said to myself. She normally still able to play no matter how sick she is. We decided to take her to the hospital.

When we reached the Hospital An-Nur, the waiting room was packed with people. There were so many people seeking treatment from the hospital, and the majority were toddlers and young kids. We have to wait, as there were ten patients in front of us.

We waited for 45 minutes, before we were called in. A young female Malay doctor attended to us. Oh ya! Amir was with us too, as his left elbow was in pain. Not sure what happened, but when he woke up on Tuesday morning, he felt pain.

The doctor was good, but she sounded like machine. There was no personal touch. When she attended to Zara, she talked to Zara as if Zara is an adult.

I found it's funny they way she talked. It was like reading from a book or a manuscript. Some example of what she said to me yesterday, and, please read it as if you are reading from a textbook. Okay, here they are.

“Ibu, ada thermometer tak kat rumah?” (Ibu, do you have thermometer at home?)

“Ibu, ubat antibiotik ini mengambil masa 48 jam untuk berkesan” (Ibu, it will take 48 hours to see the effect)

“Kalau saya boleh pegang tangan ini tanpa dia merasa sakit, ianya tidak patah.” (I don’t think his hand is broken because he didn’t feel any pain when I hold his hand)

All in all it just took her about ten minutes to diagnose my kids. Alhamdulillah, Zara’s fever has reduced today, but she developed red spots now on her body, legs and hands. It doesn’t look like measles or chicken pox. So far there are 5 places that have that mark.

Amir’s elbow is still in pain, and if both of them are still not okay by tomorrow, it will be another visit to a doctor, but this time I would take them to see their pediatrician at Ampang Putri.

Oh! Just pray that it’s nothing serious.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tired, Sleepy and Floating

I didn’t blog yesterday because I was too tired and sleepy until I felt like my body floating. I only had about 8 hours of sleep in two days. On top of that, there were so many things I need to do yesterday in the office, until I had to continue to do work at home.

I seldom brought back my laptop home since my back problem gotten worse. But because the bosses need the information urgently last night, I have no choice but to drag my laptop. Poor me! 

I told my boss that if I didn’t come to work today, it means that my back had a problem. He has a cheek to ask me what’s wrong with my back, even though he knows that I have been having slipped disc. I felt like ‘cekiking’ him, but I didn’t. I just walked off and packed my things because I was already late to pick up my son from his Math tuition class.

I thought I could reach my son with 45 minutes, but I was wrong. The traffic jam was really bad. I was stuck at NPE for almost 45minutes, and another 30 minutes on KL-Seremban Highway. Because I was really late, the teacher was kind enough to send my son to Saujana Impian. It saved me another 10 minutes drives. I was told by my son that the road leading to his teacher’s house was also jam. Phew! Otherwise, I would be breaking my fast in the car.

After the buka puasa, I told my kids not to disturb me as I had work to do. Lucky they were tired too, so they didn’t disturb me that much. 

Huh! I thought I could finish my work in one hour, but Allah has a different plan for me. Instead of doing my work, Allah asked me to rest. How come? It was because I can’t get connected to the SAP system to check on the figures. I tried and tried and tried until I gave up. I SMS my boss, and told him that I would submit it in the morning.

Since I was too tired, I didn’t hear the alarm clock this morning. When my hubby woke me up at 5am for sahur, everything was ready. Hehe! I only help to clean and wash the dishes. Best thing was I got to continue to sleep after my Subuh prayer too, and hubby get the kids ready for school.

But damn! I’m still tired.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Zara and her first attempt at fasting

Alhamdulillah, the kids get through the first day of Ramadan without any problem. For Zaki, this is the first time he fast the whole day while Zara was only for a short while.

The night before, they were very excited and can’t wait for sahur (the early-morning meal). Since they need to last the whole day, I cooked rice and fried some curry puff.

I woke up at 4.15am this morning. Actually, I wanted to get up at 4.45am, but my dear hubby set the alarm at 4.15am. This gave me ample time to fry and heat whatever food that we have during dinner. The kids didn’t get down until thirty minutes later. Zaki and Amir were the first to sit at the table.

“Where’s Zara?” I asked.
“Still sleeping,” said Zaki.
“Eh! Better get her up. She wanted to fast,” I said.

So, off went Syafiq to wake his little sister up. When she reached the kitchen, her eyes were still closed. She sat quietly while the rest were already eating their food.

“What do you want? Rice?” I asked.

She shook her head and pointed to curry puff. I gave her one piece, and she ate slowly. She was still eating her curry puff when the boys finished their food. I offered her one more curry puff, but she doesn’t want. She said she wanted her milk. 

I thought she would go back to sleep after she had her milk, but she, Amir and Zaki decided to play, and they kept on disturbing me. I have to ask them not to disturb me as I was sleepy. I only had four hours of sleep before I got up for sahur.

When I was about the leave for work, Zara quietly came to me and said she wanted her milk again.

“Eh! Aren’t you fasting?” I asked.
“I am, but I want susu,” she said.
“No. You cannot eat or drink anything if you fast. Why not wait until 12pm, okay?” I said, and she agreed.

At 10am, she called me at the office, and said she wanted her milk. Since she is only five, I told her that she can have her milk, and to ask her Uwan to make the milk. 

Since she didn’t want Zaki and Amir to know, she quietly told her Uwan, and had her milk downstairs before joining the boys watching TV.

At 3pm, she called me again, and said she wanted her milk. I asked her to eat something before she got stomach upset, and no milk. No objection because she must be very hungry. Hah! Normally she would eat in front of the TV, watching the Indonesian drama, but this time she told her Uwan that she would have it in the kitchen. She didn’t want anyone to know that she was not fasting. Smart little girl!

During iftar, she wanted exactly like what Amir and Zaki had, and told me that she wanted to get up for sahur again tonight. Heh! I don’t think I want to wake her up because tomorrow is a school day. She might use sleepiness as an excuse not to go to school.