Monday, November 28, 2005

Weekend Wiggles


Friday night started with a blast, with a Hari Raya open house reception. But the main room was so full of people that the cigarette smoke made the place unbearable. Plus as time goes by, many rather tipsy people were asking me if I was having a good time (I was, kinda) that I had to move to the smaller room and later even that room was as bad as the main room, I had to call it a night and left early, like at 10 p.m. Plus the fact that I had golf Saturday morning. But the food was good, the company was rather good too, even though most of them were loud and terhuyung-hayang.

What can I say about golf the next day? The usual lousy game, but that was good enough for a RM 200 Isetan voucher prize (“This time the vouchers are mine”, Lina said) and get this, a pair of Business Class return tickets to Langkawi. Heh heh……. Nazzim was upset as there were only two tickets and lamented on the possibility that someone would be left behind. Lina and me played along for a second after which she said,

“Takkanlah Mama tergamak nak tinggalkan anak Mama…..”

You should see how both Nazzim and Sofia light up like the sun. Lina’s sister and her husband dropped by that night. I have always enjoyed my biras’ company. There was a very good reason for them to be there that night, their only child, a son Nazzim’s age, is away camping at a location near our house.

“So, Zul, you want to go peek at Naim?”, we’d ask.

“Oh no, it’s his mother who wants to come here….”

“No, it’s not, it’s you……”

“No, it’s you….”

No, it wasn’t me, you were the one….”

“Wei, wei, it’s only for two nights, you’ll get him back on Monday……”

On Sunday we went to Malacca to visit Lina’s friend who is going to Mecca next month. Lina used to sleep over at her place when she was in high school and yesterday we were told that her friend's mother had a name for Lina. I'm not telling. Got something to do with how she does her hair. In a ponytail or something like that. Anyway, I'm not telling.

Anyway, after that we dropped by to see our good friends, Zali and and his wife Tim. Zali is the most laid back and honest (the Malay word is lurus) man on the face of the earth. When we first met them, he was in the final throes of becoming Tarzan – there were goats, rabbits, Egyptian pigeons, your usual pigeons, geese, chickens, ducks, cats, fish, hamsters, turkeys around the house and a cobra in a den by the side of the house. I finally persuaded him that the snake might not be good for their health as they are dangerous. He ruled out the standard boiling water down the den, as it might hurt the critter but when we visited him the following week, the cobra was gone. Later he told us that he used the usual rat trap cage, a piece of chicken as lure and called the cobra out and set it free again go a few miles away.

“Macam kita panggil ayam lah, kurrrrr…..kurrrrr.”

“Wei, mana sama panggil ayam dengan ular weiiii…”

“Boleh, boleh, aku buat macam tulah, hang tanya Tim….”

Oh God, people like this also got aaa? Knowing him, he probably had a pep talk with the cobra and reasoned with it.

“If you don’t come out and let me move you, no one would come to my house and I would die of loneliness and you’d get new people living here and those people would just pour hot water on you. Now, tell me, which one would you rather choose, a new place or me dead and a new mean human living next to you?”

I am sure that was precisely what he did…. You try and coax a cobra into one of those rat traps....


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Another Week In The Life Of Siapa, Huh?


Another week has gone by and we are nearly at the end of Shawal. Nazzim got his 5A's in the UPSR exams and I am poorer by RM 500 as that was what I had promised him. That's what Lina said too but I can't recall doing so. Can't blame me, that automatic defense mechanism kicked in when the RM 500 was mentioned. He is as happy as one could ever be but I hope it won't go to his head. I keep telling him that some people will keep telling him that he is smart and clever just to throw him off. He's smart now, yes, two months ago too but try to be smart and clever too during SPM when he is seventeen and definitely when he is eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three right up until twenty-seven or twenty-eight because that is when it really matters. After that he would have had a wife so it doesn’t really matter. That last part was a joke, heh heh. Good one eh?

I see that Australia has qualified for the World Cup. Good for them. I’ll take the Aussies over any South American team, except the Brazilians, any day. To me, most of the other South American teams, ESPECIALLY Argentina, personify dirty football. A World Cup is a good World Cup as long as any other team wins. Except Argentina. Sorry you pampas lovers but you have to face the truth sometimes. A typical Argentine footballer will grimace when a single drop of an opponent’s sweat touches him and notice how each and every single one of them will raise their hands feigning innocence after they have kicked, stepped or elbowed their opponents. They are so far below the Brazilians that even if the Brazilian players have smelly feet, they could not even smell it. I am no fan of English football and Beckham but I was for rooting them when they beat El Stinko recently. Shoot, how can you be good when you have to cheat (Hand of El Blimpo) to win the World Cup? But there is something I like about Argentina, such as, such as, such as…….. it’ll come to me later, I’m sure it will.

Aaaah, life could be good sometimes. I had the pleasure of meeting three very lovely ladies, Nora, Farah and Arina during a business session last Tuesday. I met Nora and Farah again a few days later and they confessed that when they first saw me, they were very very unsure as (I get this a lot) I looked "garang". Fierce, that is. Must be the moustache. Lina has forbidden me to shave the moustache. But then after the usual wheeling and dealing, it turned out that I was "OK" (whatever that means) and I don't eat people for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

"Eh, tak kan nak menyengih tak tentu pasal?"

"Ye la, tapi kalau you tak senyum, layu bunga tau?", one of them piped in. Or something like that.

OK OK, I promised to smile and smile and smile the next time I meet them. Make it soon huh? Working with such lovely people makes you rue the fact that we only work nine to five. Heh, heh.... Wei, Red, Rostam, I'm a nice guy kan?

Wait, wait, now I remember one, Gabriella Sabatini. She's a doll, don't you think so?


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Raya Ramblings


As usual, we alternate every year between Emak and Mama’s house on which house do we spend Hari Raya eve and the first day of Hari Raya. We are lucky, their houses are fourteen minutes apart. If I drive a little faster, it’ll be like eleven minutes. If I drive like a madman, eight minutes. This year it was at Mama’s house. Being a menantu lelaki is easy, we only have to lift heavy things around if any at all. But I do try to make myself useful but then they do have two maids so I guess it wasn’t that much for me to do. Besides, no one wants to eat my cooking. About the only other significant errand most of us guys do is go to the shop to buy things required for the lauk pauk or endless errands of sending cakes, kuih and lauk or someting else to some relatives’ house. Lina wasn’t so lucky. At Mama’s house she have to lead at cooking and at Emak’s house also, a menantu perempuan could not duduk aje, if you know what I mean, kena tolong tolong. Teruk kan? Tak fair kan? But then that is the reality. But then weeeii......, I pun ada tolong tolong wherever we’re at tau? Nak jadi menantu kan? Kalau tak, jadi hantu..... That applies to both guys and gals, by the way.

I have reached a stage where I only dish out money during Hari Raya. Even my niece, Aina, who has started working got duit Raya from me.

"I’ll stop giving you duit Raya when you start giving me duit Raya."

Uh, somehow that was a very very one-sided deal, brokered my me but I guess I’ll have to live with it. Nazzim and Sofia are busy collecting money and thinking, out loud, what are they going to do with the money.

"In a cat’s eye.", said Lina. "Hand over the money to Mama and Papa."

But we’ll give them a decent amount to spend on things they want but do not need. Both wants watches and Nazzim has got his eye on a watch like mine but I think it’s a bit out of his league. I promised him that I’ll get him one when he graduates from college. I can be sure that he’ll remind me of that when the time comes, even though it might be a decade or so away. They already have watches but they want new ones. Sabar aje lah..... Shoot, I even borrowed fifty from Sofia and ten from Nazzim and I have yet to pay them................

"Papa tak dapat duit Raya ke?", Sofia asked.
"Dapat, sayang, every month Papa dapat dari employer Papa."
"Every month? That’s not fair!!!"

Not much in life is fair, dear. Our next Hari Raya will be another year away but that year will go so fast that we’ll be wondering what hit us when the next fasting month is only a week or two away.