Sunday, September 30, 2007

The New Place


I finally got that piece of paper I was waiting for on Monday, 24 September 2007. There being no flight out on Tuesday night, I had to opt for one on Wednesday morning, at 9.00 am, through Istanbul. Cleared my table as best as I could Tuesday evening, said my goodbyes to the folks at the office. That night the gang decided to give me a short farewell at McDonald's near my house. I had to oblige, so nice of them. But I had to leave after an hour or so - I have not finished packing. I never do, not until the very last minute. (True enough, I left behind my spare glasses, the Kaabah direction finder and a pouch that I very much wanted to bring). I finished packing after sahur - all 47 kg of my stuff. That was what the weighing machine read when I checked in.

"Please please Miss check-in counter lady, please do not look at the bright red numbers. Just look at my face and my my, have anyone ever told you that you have lovely teeth and not to mention your lovely lovely eyes......."

I got away scot free....

Then it was a blur of buying Minyak Cap Kapak, immigrations, the short ride to terminal C, some duty free shopping and the lounge to raid MAS' delicious kacang and tomato juice.

The flight to Istanbul was 10 hours 40 minutes and I probably slept for about 2 hours. The rest of the time I spent reading, watching some movies and thinking. Then it was a 7-your wait at Istanbul. Then another three and a half hour flight. I arrived there at 2.30 am, was in the hotel by 4.30 am, took a shower, tried to go to sleep, got about an hour's worth before I couldn't sleep anymore, watched some TV and was at the office by 9 am local time.

This place is something else, it is kinda beautiful in a weird sense, not in the usual sense. It's like Putrajaya being located just next to KL. Wide avenues, collossal buildings lining up one after another. Office buildings, apartments. And in the background, the mountains and beyond the mountains, Iran. Wide roads. Not many cars. Safe like crazy, no robberies or snatch thieves or whatever. Can't walk in town after 11 pm though, but it's OK to be travelling by car at that time. The weather is a lovely 18 degrees C. A bit colder at night. Food ada masa-elah sikit. Dia sini Islam tapi puasa tak, solat tak, most ayam and lembu hentah sembelih atau tak and ehem ehem, kerbau pendek is eaten by some of them. Pandai pandai lah. I have been jemputed to berbuka puasa rumah orang 2 kali dah - you back home, trust me, count yourselves lucky with all the food and pasar ramadan there. And my sahur this morning was maggi asam laksa, a bun eaten with ikan bilis goreng berlada, coffee and a banana. Yummm.... Lina doesn't know my sahur menu. The hotel food here is only good for the first meal, after that not sedap anymore. Plus the fact yang you tak tau the ayam and lembu is sembelih or accident punya plus ada kerbau pendek in the hotel menu. But, iftar today, at rumah budak bujang. I will bawa the ikan bilis goreng berlada that my sister gave me and the serunding that Lina made for me. Sedaaaappp..... And just a minor teeny weenie afterthought, the girls here are alamak pengsan lah aku banyaknya yang cantik nak mampus.

I took a look at a few apartments and all are nice and I will be having a hard time choosing one. So the space is available to whoever is coming, you know who you are. Lina, Nazzim and Sofia are planning to come at the end of next year, after the exams and when it's snowing here. They asked me to take a look at another apartment near "Disneyland" a theme park built by the government but it is a bit further and I don't want to stay near "Disneyland". It is not Disneyland but that's what the locals call it.

I miss them. I miss Lina, I miss Nazzim and I miss Sofia. I spoke to them this morning and they were on their to Masjid India, to buy some stuff for Nazzim.

"Well, I have to do it sendiri now, kalau tak dulu we'd do it together. Now I have to do it myself."

Kesian my sweetheart tu. Any of you reading this, just call your spouses and children and ask them to stand still for about a minute and just look at them. Just look at them. Trust me, the very prospect of not knowing when you will be seeing them next, whether it is in two weeks or or two months is not a palatable notion.

Well, a man's got to do what a man's got to do. To all, Selamat Berpuasa ......


Friday, September 21, 2007



Starry starry night....

The photo above personifies one thing - things that I wish I could do and have done more. That is somewhere at Taman Tasik Permaisuri on the morning of Sunday, 3rd September 2006. I know, the date says it's the next day but the camera was wrong. I am right. And what's more, that was a few days before we got to know that Nazzim will be going off to boarding school.
I am simply tired. I am trying to tie off loose ends so that I could leave and take up my new assignment. Then it dawned on me that things at this end of the line will never ever end, taper off or stop so I might as well use up all the strings that I have, tie off as much as I could and when there is a slight pause, jump on to the next ship.....
I am tired of becoming a VU graph engineer. I am tired of being told my presentation materials are dry and do not have enough meat. I don't care, I do not want to attend a 1 week course that teaches you to prepare stunning VU graphs.
Thay have courses like that?????!!!??
It seemed that they do. It seemed that you could be the lousiest anything in the world but if you could do the most amazing presentation materials, people, especially the bosses would simply love you and give you an all encompassing title - planner.
I have been declining invitations, well, 3 actually, not that I have to fight off a swarm of owls (read Harry Pottah) but the one time I berbuka outside, I felt so lonely without Lina, Nazzim and Sofia. That's it, eat at home all the time. And oh, Nazzim is enjoying his time sick at home, well, not enjoying that much because he has been sick and he was quite listless until Wednesday night after which I went to see my mother and brother, consulted with them, gave them some pengeras each, went home, got hold of Nazzim, "kus semangat etc. etc." and asapkan dia kemenyan and kelilingkan dia kemenyan and lo and behold, he was a much chirpier version of one of the dwarfs (remember? Grumpy? the grumpy part, not the short part) yesterday. Whatever it takes.
I need a new drug...