Monday, October 24, 2005

Ipoh Mali


I called a friend, Din Taxi, last week and got a funny ringing tone. Must be overseas, so I quit. No need to make Ananda Krishnan richer. So I messaged him, no choice but to make Ananda Krishnan richer, but by just a bit. True enough, he’s in Beijing. Din Taxi, I mean, not Ananda.

“Wei, ada amoi ka?”

The answer came back, “Talak ooo…”

“Wei, you in Beijing. Beijing in China. In China ada more than 1 billion people and no amoi aa….?”

“Talak ooo… Semua pergi Ipoh ooooo.”

Semua pergi Ipoh? Oh OK, maybe that’s where the expression Ipoh mali came from.

Sabar ajelah….


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Yesterday Once More


N, who has just returned from a six-year overseas assignment, called me earlier this week. A long time ago, I used to cover up incessantly for him. His wife, Z, who used to work with me would come over my workstation and say, “Waaah, ke mana you pergi dengan N last night, sampai pukul dua pagi baru balik?”

Ooops, I was at home last night. I was watching TV all night last night. I was with Lina all night last night. There were just the two of us then. Nazzim was just a flicker in his mother’s eyes. Sofia was a much much smaller flicker.

“Oh, oh, oh…., we had dinner and we went to the usual places, you know, the ferry point and oh, the jetty, yes, the jetty.”

“You know, watched the supply boats coming in, the platforms and the flares.”

“The waves.”

“The sounds of the sea.”

I better not get carried away. I’m beginning to sound very romantic. I could be if I want to, you know.

“Oh, OK.” she’d say, and went away.

Aiyaiyaiyaiyaiyai…. I called him.

“Weeeii, N, where did we go last night?”

“Eh, sorry, sorry, I forgot to tell you.”

He once went missing for two days from home, from the office, from the lives of people around him. They asked his wife and when she pleaded not knowing where he was, I was next in line. I didn’t know where he was then too. When he re-appeared, he told me the truth – he was on a caper with someone. OK, fine, they slept in separate tents or trees or boats, it does not matter but for three days his employer, his wife and his friends went looking for him, worrying that he might be hurt in a ravine somewhere and he was actually playing Michael Douglas but only that he was not romancing a stone. If Lina ever finds out that I am part of his extra-curricular activities, though as alibis, I’d still be mincemeat.

Daging cincang.

Spaghetti and meatballs.


God, I never could pronounce that. I just point to the item in the menu.

When he asked to meet, I gladly agreed. After terawihlah, I said, nak maintain record respectable sikit for terawih this year. But when it was about time to meet I could not get hold of him, I had this nasty feeling all over again. I have yet to hear from him since. I think I am an alibi once again.

Nasib baik tak burn terawih. I feel like having spaghetti today.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Oh Well.....


Tagged, doubly, by Sheryl and Zetty.....

7 things to do before I die...
1. See both Nazzim and Sofia get married, have children of their own and be able to tell them not to marah2 my lovely grandchildren.
2. Retire when I am still in good health, play golf 3 times a week on weekdays and hang out with my friends and compare grandchildren!!!
3. Sleep in the back seat while either Nazzim or Sofia is driving.
4. Travel for a full year around the world until I get so sick and tired of traveling and just want to go home and sleep for a month……..
5. Gather all my favorite people in the world just to spend some quality time with them, like breakfast, lunch, dinner and ngeteh!
6. Keep my mouth shut and speak lesser and lesser and lesser. And smile a bit more.
7. The standard Haji and 12 Umrahs etc. etc. etc.

7 things I cannot do
1. Swim!!!! I was taking lessons and very very close to knowing how to swim about 13 years ago but then my swimming teacher got pregnant. Dog paddle, OK. Wei, bukan doggie style lah!!!!
2. Even start to like people such as Pak Malau, Benny the Snake, Lan X-tra, Rahman Large, Man Togetherness, Rahman Bengkuk, Paolo Rossi and a few people in that place. OK OK, many people in that place!!!! Happy? Now Rahman Small dah join the list dah, can’t keep his trap shut….
3. Wear short pants in public, especially at this age!! Seeing how ugly people look in them, with their skinny legs, pengkau stance or sepah walk. I assume that I will look as bad. But it’s OK to wear them on the playing fields…… Now that’s different……..
4. Drive a golf ball 400 metres.
5. Play football, rugby non-stop lie I used to, wear jeans like I used to be able to. Has to do with body size and fitness, boo hoo hoo……..
6. Watch movies that have Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude van Damme, Steven Seagall, Sylvester Stallone and recently, Tom Cruise in them.
7. Eat carrots.

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex
1. Short hair
2. Nonchalance
3. Down to earth, no eksyen eksyen one…
4. Smiling eyes
5. Walking style. Not like a model’s catwalk but neither like some taiko’s walk either….
6. Voice, not shrilly. Speaks slowly and with a lot of sense and not hearsay.
7. Enjoy my company. Otherwise, tak mau lah.

7 things I say more often
1. Putangina makan jambu!!!!
2. Jangan ngada-ngada…
3. Pundek betul……………….
4. Hey you…..
5. Hi
6. Whatever you do, do not…...
7. Why did you do that for?

7 celebrity crushes
1. Ashley Judd
2. Ashley Judd (Again)
3. Kate Hudson
4. Helen Hunt
5. Julia Ormond in Sabrina
6. Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only
7. Diane Lane in Streets of Fire.

7 people that I want to do this
1. Red
2. Rostam
3. AntaraAdaDanTiada (You know who you are)
4. Mummy
5. KC - dah buat ke belum?
6. Nadya
7. Shidah

I have to go away. After I come back, I'll go away again.....


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Life in the Fasting Lane


I started fasting maybe at seven or eight years old, much like other children but I think I only started completing the whole month when I was thirteen, while in boarding school. In Standard Six, I missed completing one day when I passed out in school during the annual BCG inoculation campaign. The next thing I knew I was lying in the Teachers’ Room with Madam Ee coaxing me to eat the kaya and margarine toast. I gladly did, plus the coffee. We kids have been seeing similar toasts disappear into the Teacher’s Room since time began and when I became a prefect in Standard Six, entering the Teacher’s Room was a privilege for us prefects, under the pretext of carrying their books or looking for them teachers. It was toast heaven. Don’t ask me why were they sticking them needles into us during the fasting month, but that they were doing just that to us that year.

I missed a few days of fasting the previous year because I thought I was strong enough to play with the likes of Seng Lee, Arumugam and Shanmuganathan. Only later that I realized it was not a good idea to go gallivanting during the fasting month with those guys. My fasting record was perfect over the five years in boarding school, the next five years after that and then it went to the dogs. It was not easy to fast when my housemate Rosli would tell us every morning that he made nasi goreng for breakfast. And he made extra for me and our housemate, Mardzukie. Great. And Rosli could work up (wok up?) a good tasting nasi goreng during the fasting month. I was happily munching on a Snickers one day when I ran into Prof. Gardow and he asked me,

"H____, aren’t we in the fasting month now?"

Great. Now I have to hide if I want to eat. When I return home after that, it took me about two years before I could shake off the nasty habit of not fasting for the whole month…..

Whenever I am offshore, I try to avoid going up the steps to the cat deck, those mothers usually have at least 44 steps to climb. Usually I’d go walkabout at 6 pm or so, near to buka time. Trouble and blowouts usually wait for buka puasa to be over with, if they know what’s good for them. But once in a while, we lose. This one time, we had to do a lot of running around, thanks to a no good well that would not flow even though we stuck a coiled tubing down its throat and pumped all the nitrogen gas it wants (as Prof. Enggibock says, my speciality), and I ended up crawling to the galley an hour past buka time. I remember thinking that if I buka that day, I will not fast again that year. No fun if you fumble the first few days cos then it would be too easy not to fast later in the fasting month.

I am not the greatest fasterer in the world, if there is such a word, ha ha.... Lina has to keep an eye on me every single day of the fasting month, make sure I don’t overextend myself, hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!! To top things off, Sofia fasts like I do, ssssssssssssssssssssss..... Whenever she negotiates with Lina on whether she can buka or not, I'd get dirty looks thrown at me like passes to a wide receiver. No prizes for guessing from whom she inherited that trait.... Shoot, Lina fasted the whole month when she was carrying Nazzim........

“Kalau kerja ada kena mencangkul macam manalah Papa ni agaknya”, she’d say once in a while……


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Down Under


Perth is a strange city. It's nice and clean and the people are polite but the city is so quiet. On the way from the airport on Sunday we probably saw nine cars on the road. No jams, none at all and no one is in a rush, unlike at home. The weather's cool, a denim jacket is more than enough.

The only thing left for me to do is to shop for Lina and the children, all other things are secondary but it is easier said than done. Most of the shops are closed by 5.30 pm and I don't get off till about 5 pm so there has been little chance of shopping these last four days. We'll go to Fremantle tomorrow as the Fremantle Markets is open till 9 pm. If it is anything like Victoria Market in Melbourne, then I'm home free.

Met a friend last night, she's doing her PhD here. She's having a ball of a time here and is thinking about staying on. Go for it, I said, I'd do it if I were you. The place is so nice, clean, safe and jam free. But just before we parted, she's having second thoughts about it. OK, come home then, there's no place like home.

As for the fasting month, there's a Malaysian restaurant about five minutes' walk from the hotel and that's all that's needed. The Aussies are wonderful people and the first asshole I have to meet here in Perth had to be a Malaysian. Aiyooo..... First day of puasa and we entered the restaurant about ten minutes before buka puasa time and my buddy Abdullah said to the waiter, "Apa ada yang cepat, dik?"

"You have to wait"

Well, he was only jesting and the asshole had to take in hook, sinker and line. Aiyoo.... Speaking lagi tu. Maybe he's got a wombat up his behind. That happens, you know.....So to turn the screws, both Abdullah and me spoke Malay and Mr. A always replied in English. Well, maybe he's been here six months and he has forgotten his Bahasa Malaysia. But do not despair, for I have found a buddy for Mr. A in the proprietor of this store where I am writing this entry. He's Turkish or Kurdish or whatever but an asshole too. Thank goodness, for it would have been embarassing should it be that the only asshole I meet during my journey is a countryman.

I need a new drug.