Thursday, 21 May 2009
It was no different this time around. I reached the market at almost 7 p.m. and true to my predictions, there was only a small number of stalls left trading. Most night markets would have different stalls selling a wide variety of choices from food, to fruits, vegetables, fishes, poultry and sometimes even clothing. The ones that were open this time were mostly food stalls selling a variety of food including that of my favourite kuih putu piring - a sweet delicacy which resembles a small pancake made of rice flour, sugar, dissected coconut and shaved gula melaka, steamed in a special container (though it reminded me more of a UFO ship, really) and served hot on a square cut banana leave .
I was asked to buy some fishes and vegetables for Along so off I went to the wet market section which is on the other side of the night market. As it was already late, there were only 3 stalls left open and I went to the stall that looked like there were still fishes available for me to choose from. Although the quality of the fishes left was not to my satisfactory, however I quickly reminded myself that if I wanted fresh stocks I should have gone to the morning market instead like the ones in Selayang or Banting where stocks there come in abundance as early as 3 a.m. straight from the source.
I quickly chose my fishes, put them in the small basket provided by the fishmonger who was standing behind his stall and went to pay for my purchase. As I hand him my basket, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fishmonger was the same "abang-jual-ikan" (guy who sold the fish) whom I had a crush on when I was 17 years old. I was a naive teenager back then and I remembered that I would often look out for him amongst his peers because somehow he reminded me of a young Keanue Reeves who acted as one Detective Jack Traven in the 1994 movie - Speed. He looked just like how I have always remembered him as except he was older, his face rougher and there were some fine lines surrounding his eyes - a sign of age and maturity perhaps. He gave me a smile and almost immediately, I was reduced to a state of 'nothingness'. I saw his mouth open as if he was asking me a question. I don't remember ever replying to him but I hope that I have given him a proper answer and not something embarrassing indeed for truth be told, the very moment that I saw his smiling face, it was as if my brain had gone all mushy and I had lost all speech capabilities. Heck, I don't even remember the question that he posed but I saw my hand handing over a few blue Ringgit Malaysia notes to him when he gave me my purchases in a pink plastic bag. I don't remember leaving (apparently, I must have suffered temporary amnesia as I seem to have forgotten A LOT of things after that) the stall but I had hoped and prayed to God that I had left the stall in a manner that shows my maturity and wisdom - in accordance to my age and of my stature. I really, really hope I did not left the stall skipping and giggling like a shy high school girl who had just met her idol - just as I would have done a long time ago.
I then walked around the night market. There were mostly familiar faces but there some new ones as well. The same man who sold roti john stood there at the very same corner, just as the couple who sold the yong tau foo did, although I can't say the very same for the prices of the goods sold. The skies were getting darker and the sun had started to set, but standing amidst the small crowd, I was somehow transported back to the time when I was stil just a teenage girl roaming around the pasar malam with my girlfriends - through the sites and smells of all things which were very familiar and haunting to me.
Oh yes, 'tis was a fine walk down memory lane for me. And very fine one indeed that I don't mind coming back to sometime near the future.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
A pensioner is a person who has retired, and now collects a pension for living. In my family, anyone who is above 50 years of age is considered as a pensioner, even if they are still working.
Day-to-day life, I am constantly surrounded by pensioners, mostly my aunts, Alang and Tanti and sometimes Pak Lang, after he comes back from work, who would often indulge me in various forms of conversation raging from current news, politics, sports and what the heck, even on American Idol. We are indeed a very close knit family. I once told my husband when he proposed marriage to me that I not only have one mother, but several instead. And we are so close to each other so much so that according to my other half, I got my looks and artistic nature from my father, my fair skin from my mother, the passion to cook from Alang, and also my "3-suku" not so logical - logic from Tanti. Furthermore, according to them (the pensioners) apparently I am their Friday girl, their angel, their candle shining in the dark. To them, I can never do anything wrong.
Well, well,well, what can I say? I am truly blessed indeed :).
Despite their age, wisdom and maturity, more often then sometimes, I have this very strong feeling of protectiveness over them - just as how a parent would have over her child. I worry about them constantly - be it when they got lost and call me to ask for directions to the same restaurant which I have taken them again and again in many numerous occasion. Or the fact that when I was asked on my personal opinion on the current political turmoil in Perak Government, they reacted as if I had told them of my intention to commit apostasy instead. They reminded me of young children sometimes, very giving, carefree and occasionally, emotionally driven. At times, they can be quite overwhelming indeed however most of time, they are my 'little' darlings. My bundle of joy.
I often try my best to keep them abreast with the current "happenings". Be it from the latest movie craze, e.g. the Twilight series or even on the social networking scene, e.g. twitter, facebook, friendster etc. My intention was to teach them this new knowledge to help them to understand my world better as they have often taught me about theirs during out numerous outings together.
However, as similar as we are in many ways, we are also different from one another. They are from the Ahmad Jais and Elvis Presley era, on bell bottoms and disco antics. I am from the era of McDonalds and Starbucks, of Sesame Street and that once upon a time, NKOTB was the best boyband in the world. Sooner or later, our worlds would have clashed, one way or another.
Once PakLang asked me if I have a "Blueberry". After questioning him further, I found out that he was apparently referring to President Barack Obama's communication device, the "BlackBerry" which he used well during his 2008 Presidential Campaign to communicate with his team.
The following are some of the many 'hillarious' interpretation by my children:
1. BlackBerry --> Blueberry
2. Wi-Fi --> Wee Feee
3. Facebook --> Face-Off
Hehehehhe, indeed, "kids" do say the darnest things sometimes ;)
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Today, I went to see ... the DENTIST.
It is most certainly no laughing matter I tell you. Well, not to me, at least. I have always felt a little bit apprehensive about going to the dentist ever since I was a little girl. The idea of being at one's mercy ( I call it as "serah diri" in Malay) - with your jaws open under the brilliant white light and the sound of the instrument "whirrring" in the background certainly has caused me some sleepless nights. I was only able to control my "hyper-imagination" only when I was about 10-11 years old, when I began to understand the importance of dental hygiene.
But then, all were lost in the year 1996, when Hollywood came up with one of the their greatest horror film of all time. It starred Corbin Bernsen who was famous for his role as Arnold Becker on the one top series during the late 80's - L.A Law.
However today, after more then a decade, and as part of my many new years resolution , I have decided that in order for me to conquer my fears, I shall need to face them. And I am kicking off this year with resolution No. 299 -that is to see the dentist (and also for the fact that I have to get treatment for my sensitive gums which makes eating my favourite Peanut Butter Chocolate ice-cream a real chore!!!).
It was a spur of the moment thing. My friend from work wanted to see the dentist to seek treatment for his aching tooth and I decided to tag along to give him the moral support that he needs. Truth be told, I can be in denial sometimes as for the fact that at the end of the day, I was the one who was in great need of moral support!!
I told the doctor's assistant that I wanted to do 'scaling' - a routine dental cleaning procedure of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces. When my name was called and the doctor appeared at the the door with her white lab coat and the surgical mask on, I started to develop heart palpitations and thought that I would get into cardiac arrest any minute then. It doesn't really help that I could see the famous 'dental chair' with the lights and surgical tray behind her being prep by the doctor's assistant. My palms were sweaty and cold sweat started to develop over my forehead and above my dry, chapped lips. Only when the good doctor pulled down her mask and gave me a gentle smile did I realise that she has been calling my name a couple of times now, with me standing rooted on the same spot - frozen in place. I then took a deep breath, gave my head a quick shake and walked towards the doctor, while chanting to myself, "I am macho" over and over again. The power of mind control, or so I've heard. You are what you think you are.
Uhuh, yeah right.
I thought I had my fears under control. I walked, no - 'glided' towards the doctor with a calm look on my face. As she ushered me into the room, the doctor casually asked, " Is this your first time?" to which I confirmed her inquiry. I then asked her how did she came by to this conclusion to which she smiled and gave a gentle reply, " It's quite obvious dear". Only when I came out from the treatment room did my friend told me that instead of 'gliding' smoothly towards the doctor, which I really thought I did, the fact was that I resembled more of a person who was suffering from 'constipation' with my feet dragging across the floor - looking like I was heading towards my doom. My friend had in fact, at one point contemplated to himself on whether to push me all the way to the room or drag me by the arm as I was moving far too slow for his liking.
To give credit when it is due, the doctor was EXTREMELY patient with me. She was in her early forties and had this distinctive 'maternal' aura about her. Very motherly indeed. There was something about this doctor that just calms me. She was informative indeed and told me what she will be doing to me and what to expect before she starts with the scaling procedure. And all the while, throughout the process, above the sound of the instruments, the only words I hear repeated by the good doctor was "Buka ya..." (Open please). Apparently throughout the exercise, I kept attempting to close my mouth over her hands making the task of scaling my teeth very daunting for her. At one point I think I almost bit her little finger off as well. Thank god she had the patience of a saint, or else to quote Alicia Silverstone from the movie Clueless, I am " just a law suit waiting to happen"!!
All and all it took her only 20 minutes to get my teeth and gums all cleaned up. She later prescribed me some medications to treat my sensitive gums and advised me to change my tooth paste as well that would be more suitable for me .
Doctor : Oh yes, one more thing. Not only your tooth paste but I would advise you to change your tooth brush as well.
Me : Why doctor?
Doctor : Well you see, rahang you 'dalam' (you have a deep jaw), so you tak boleh pakai berus gigi yang biasa untuk orang dewasa(you cannot use the normal tooth brush for adults). It is too big and you won't be able to reach the teeth at the back.
Me : Oh, if that is the case, berus gigi apa saya kena pakai? ( What toothbrush I should use then?)
Doctor : I suggest you pakai berus gigi budak-budak (I suggest you use children's tooth brush). Its smaller and more suitable for you.
Me : Uiikk????!!!
Aren't I suppose to grow older? Bigger? Shouldn't I be flocking with the birds of the same feathers? I am now reverted back to my childhood - well for my teeth at least. Is there anything else that I need to revert back as well? Or am I just another "Curious Case of Benjamin Button"??.
Aisseeyymaannn, and here I thought I am already approaching my 'expiration date' with the big THREE-OWHH this year. But apparently, deep down inside, well in this case, deep inside my jaw, I am still a toys-r-us kid afterall!!!! =)
"I don't wanna grow up, I'm a toys- r-us kid,
There's a million toys at toys-r-us that i can play with
From bikes and planes to video games
I just wanna be a toys r us kid ... "
-- Toys R Us 80's tv commercial song
Monday, 12 January 2009
Yesterday I went over to Ina's place to visit her at her new home. As usual, after so many promises and i.o.u's, the day finally came and we spent our time together doing what we ladies do best - multitasking. In between her 5 months old "bun-in-the-oven" and her little hyper energetic son, she still managed to gossip, cook for me (as Madame here was fasting and was craving for her daging-tetel masak assam pedas Malacca style) and looked absolutely gorgeous with no make-up and a simple knotted hair-do style. She has always been of those people who looked "collected" all the time - never a hair out of place.
*Sigh, lucky her. I am turning green with envy just thinking about it. I guess some people are just born with it, huh? :(
At one point, Baby Ash - my nick name for Ina's son - Asraff ( although I do realise that the "baby" term needs to be dropped once the time is right, let say, ooohhhh, once he can start voting perhaps? ;) ), was being a little bit more naughty then usual and I can see that it is starting to take a toll on Ina's patience. After repeated warnings of telling her son to stop his tantrums and to stop kicking her legs, she finally gave her last warning,
"Ashraff, if you do not stop this now, I would have no choice but to put you in the court!!"
Oh wow, I was rendered speechless. I mean, yes I have known Ina for more then a decade here and I knew that despite her sweet and calm disposition, she can be one "bad-ass-hitler- reincarnation" once she loses her patience. And believe me, I have had my fair share of being in her line of fire, so when I say "bad-ass", just take my word for it will you?
I may not be a mother yet but I still believe that her decision to put her son in his own 'place' was little bit too extreme, don't you think? I mean, yes, the boy was being extremely difficult and I don't blame her for losing her patience. God knows what I will do with if it was my own child instead. Could it be one of WWE's The Undertaker infamous "chokeslam" move, perhaps? Or maybe Triple H's "indian deathlock"?? (Hmmm, come to think of it, that doesn't sound very motherly now, does it?).
But then again, Ashraff is only a baby, He is not even two years old, for goodness sake!!! I simply have to give Ina my opinion on this matter and to get rid of this feeling of unfairness. I believe strongly in retribution, but I also believe in being just. And this act of hers is simply not acceptable!!
I was about to give her a piece of my mind when Ina finally gave up and lifted the crying baby off the floor and walked purposefully towards me. I don't know whether she saw the 'disapproving look' I had on my face or not. The ugly frown I had or that of my lips tightly pursed together - an ugly scowl in other words. Well, even if she ever saw it, she just paid no heed to the "warning"and just walked passed me. At this point of time, I was feeling a little bit upset and tried to calm myself down and bring myself together before confronting her. I need to be in control of myself if I want to do this right. And being emotional is never, ever a good trait to have - especially in such trying situations.
I took a deep breath and turned around, ready to offer her my view from a different perspective.
I had one hand raised, in a manner almost similar to that of TV3's famous environmentalist reporter "Karam Singh Walliah" - preparing myself for a verbal spar if the circumstances demands it.
Unfortunately, the situation was indeed, as the Malay proverb would say it, "Indah Khabar Dari Rupa" (Not what as it seems to be). In my head I had it all figured out. The problem at hand, the manner in which I will state my case, the type of respond I would most probably receive, my replies to her - supported with concrete evidence and quotations that I know at hand which I have read from the news, books (although, it did not seem to matter to me at that point the fact that she herself is working as an assistant editor with one of the prominent newspaper publisher and I may end up eating my very own words!). In short, I was ready for an epic battle just like one of those from the many famous Hollywood films that I love to watch.
At the end of the day, all that Ina did was in fact - walked passed me towards the crib that she had put up against the wall behind me and deposited her child there. The crib, or in this case, a baby crib is actually a small bed specifically made for infants. It is also commonly referred to as a 'cot' in British English - a cradle or a stock. Ina's was made of dark wood, with fluffy pillows and and a very comfartable looking baby blue and white mattress.
Owwwhhh, "cot" is it?? Not "court" (mahkamah), ehh??
Heheheheheh, well, what can I say? I am a Libran after all. According to "Garfield" (am an avid fan one one by the way), my zodiac says that besides being sociable and artistic, most of the time I am "slightly unstable" anyway.
Phewwww, thank god for small miracles. Else, I would have made a fool of myself in front of my good friend with my "slight" blunder. Pendek kata. kalau tak - alamak aiiii, malu-nye aku!!!!!" *Blush *Blush =)
Thursday, 8 January 2009
It has been quite a while since I last blogged. Been receiving remarks dripping with heavy doses of sarcasm from friends especially, such as, " Did you know, your blog is full of cobwebs. Not gonna clean it up eh?" or " Dey, where have you been woman?!! We were thinking of going to the authorities to file a missing person's report!!". But the best remark yet would have to be from a former work colleague of mine whom I met at one of the hypermarkets over the weekend. I thought my eardrums were going to explode when she screeched into my ear, " Oh My Gawwddd, you're still alive??!!".
*Sigh, it is so nice to know that there so many who are deeply concerned of my well being .
I have been busy. Yes, I know-lame excuse. Truth be told, I was just...not in the mood to blog. So many things have happened (as usual) - tasks to be completed, goals to achieve, people to entertain, etc.
To summarize what has happened over the final 3 months of year 2008:
1. Am still employed (i know, it's a 'miracle', huh?);
2. Moved to a new crib ( my very own private sanctuary); and
3. Passed my exam (THANK GOD!!!! No need to 'rebus' the books afterall daddy ;)).
Also, as part of my impending new years resolution and has been since 10 years ago - which is to loose weight, I have been trying to maintain a healthy diet (by the way, the key word here is 'trying') and include some exercise regime in my hectic schedule. I started a bit late in the middle of year 2008 and have been trying to maintain my discipline in keeping up with the regime. I used to alternate between running on treadmill and swimming but I had to forgo the 'privilege' when I chose privacy over luxury and moved house. As of now, I am lucky enough if I could even go to the gym at least once a week.
Other then that, I try to watch over my food intake - although it is often easier said then done. Malaysia is simply a huge melting pot of scrumptious tastes and heavenly aromas. Temptations often lurk around the corner wherever I go, and sad to say, I have succumb to the mighty temptations in many numerous occasions.
Still, there are rewards at the end of the tiring journey. It may not be a huge one but still, it is nice to know that all efforts were not lost. Just the other day, a colleague of mine told me that i was 'looking good'. Despite the simple sentiment, it brings such joy to me and believe it or not, a surprise to me still. You see, other then the slight decrease in my clothing size, I don't feel that much different. In fact, I initially thought that reason why my tops being a bit loose nowadays, especially around the shoulders is because they are worn out from over-washing and it was time for my annual shopping spree.
Often I would consult my buddy cum health consultant, Dino, who got me into the 'health awareness' programme. When I asked him why, despite my one hour's exercise per day, three times a week routine, my body shape is still heavy on the top rather then my bottom, he simply replied, " That's because you're an apple, dear".
Well, look on the bright side - at least he did not call me a 'durian' ;).
According to research conducted in the west, female body shapes are based mainly on four combinational structures :-
Banana or Straight
Your figure is straight up and down, without a lot of curves. The waist circumference is at least 75% of the chest or hips circumferences, which are virtually the same. The body has a relatively high androgen level compared to the estrogen level, and this causes the skeleton to develop in a more masculine pattern and body fat to be distributed predominantly around the waist. If you were to gain five pounds, they would distribute evenly throughout your frame.
- Apple (Triangle downward)
- Your upper body is noticeably larger than your lower body. The waist circumference is at most 75% of the chest circumference, and the chest circumference is at least 110% of the hips circumference. Body fat distribution tends to begin in the arms, shoulders, chest and upper abdomen first. If you were to gain five pounds, four of them would go to your waistline.
- Pear or Spoon or Bell (Triangle upward)
- Your upper body is noticeably smaller than your lower body. The waist circumference is at least 75% of the chest circumference, and the hips circumference is at least 110% of the chest circumference. The distribution of fat varies, with fat tending to deposit first in the buttocks, hips and thighs. As body fat percentage increases, an increasing proportion of body fat is distributed around the waist and upper abdomen. If you were to gain five pounds, four of them would go to your hips and thighs.
- Hourglass shape (Triangles opposing, facing in)
- You're very curvy with a clearly defined waist. The waist circumference is less than 75% of the chest or hips circumferences, which are virtually the same. Body fat distribution tends to be around both the upper body and lower body. This body type enlarges the arms, breasts, hips and rear before other parts, including waist and upper abdomen. Due to the preference shown to physical symmetry, many celebrities falsely claim hourglass measurements but actually rate closer to a straight figure or apple.
Based on studies conducted, the most common female form is the pear whilst an hourglass figure is considered the ideal female form. To top that up, a new research suggests that hourglass women may live longest, and apple-shaped the shortest.
Now, after that of being compared to the hourglass, would you blame the '"apples" if they are constantly in a state of precariousness ?!!!
Damn, there goes my new year's resolution. Now I am in a dire need of a good Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream to lift my spirits up from this sheer depression =(.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Sadly, we would not be able to hear his voice again after this. Not unless they do re-runs of previous movie trailers.
Don LaFontaine passed away on September 1st, 2008 at the age of 68. For the past three decades, he has been the Voiceover Master in Hollywood, The King of Trailers, The Voice of God, the man who made the phrase "In a world...." famous. His work ranged from movie trailers, commercials and radio spots. With almost 5000 movies credited to his voice, he could be, "... perhaps the single busiest actor in the history of SAG (Screen Actors Guild)"-- http://www.donlafontaine.com/.
In my line of work, I deal with a lot of individuals and mostly through the phone. They say, you can tell a lot about a person just from hearing their voice and of the way they speak. Is he bold or timid? Strong or weak? Outgoing or shy? Mature or childish? Although this will enable us to see the personality of a person without being shadowed by their appearances, but is it possible to know of a person's physical looks just by the mere voice? The saying goes that if the person on the other line has an 'attractive' voice, chances are they lack the same attributes in the physical form. I honestly believe it takes more then physical looks to describe beauty. Beauty, as they say, is in the eyes of the beholder.
Once I took a call on behalf of my colleague - 'S',who was not in the office. The caller was an old school friend. He was looking for 'S' through his office number as he had lost his mobile number. I don't remember how it happened, but the next thing you know we were having a wonderful conversation as if we were long lost friends ourselves. He told me of his days with 'S' from school up to university , where he is now and what he was doing. In return, when asked, I told him a little bit of myself although I was still being careful with whatever information I passed to him just in case he is not who he said he is. The conversation lasted about 20 minutes but he left a great impression on me. They way he spoke - in such an articulate manner, proper and the way he expressed his opinions - it was very impressive indeed.
In my opinion, voices and speech communication plays a vital role when you speak. I have always believed in good manners, and marvel at the ability of a person to relay a message accurately and without profanities. I believe in the saying, "If you have nothing nice to say then don't say it at all". It is not that I reject the naked truth, but I feel that perhaps it can be told with a little sensitivy in mind. After all, what is wrong with wanting good manners? It makes the world a better place to live in, does it not?
I found this clip by NBC about the famous voices of Hollywood. We may not know how they look like but we do know how they sound like. They are indeed the "voices in our head".
A couple of months back, my company decided to upgrade our telephone system. It came with a pre-recorded function so that when callers call in they can choose from the menu available and connect them directly to the person whom they wish to speak to. As I was the only lady present on the day during the installation (others were away on assignment), naturally I became the 'victim'. According to the contractor, it is nicer to hear a woman's voice on the phone rather then a man. Plus, it is more soothing and does not make waiting a 'tedious' task. After the installation, for a brief moment, I became the 'talk' of the office. They were excited with my "professionalism" and kept calling the office again and again just to hear my pre-recorded voice. One even professed to calling the office at night just to hear my 'squeaky' voice. However, my aunt was the best of all. She used to call me in the office and had to go through the receptionist to get to me. After the new system was installed, she told me " Eh, got new receptionist is it? She sounds just like you la!! ".
*Sigh, pensioners - they can be so adorable sometimes.
Come to think of it, should all effort fails, and if I don't end up in the legal career after all, perhaps I could look into working as a Voiceover actor in Malaysia?? Who knows, maybe I could just be the next Don LaFontaine??
What do you think? ;)
Thursday, 21 August 2008
However, I find myself struggling a bit with the language. Unlike Lea, I am not as proficient as she is. It would take me quite a while to grasp the vocabularies and I find the task of translating sentences very daunting indeed.
We have a test coming soon in two weeks time. This would be my final Mandarin paper. I barely passed my previous 2 exam papers and by god, I will not fail this one either!! In order to 'motivate' myself, I have decided to embrace everything that is Chinese to help me achieve my objective. For the past couple of weeks, I ate halal dim-sum, I drank hot Chinese tea, read the history of People's Republic of China, and religiously watched every game and reruns of Beijing's 2008 Summer Olympics. Taking my efforts to next level, I am currently watching the re-run of Bodyguard from Beijing and listening to songs by famous Hong Kong artist - Leon Lai . I have been a fan ever since my high school days when I first watched him in the TVB Series "The Breaking Point" back in 1991/1992. The series was shown on the local channel for one hour weekdays between 6-7pm. I can still remember how we girls (back then I was in an all girls boarding school) will sit close together and often fight for the best spot in front of the television just so that we could capture all the romance and drama.
video courtesy of KTPhimbo.com
*Sigh, those were the good ol' days when my only concerns in life back then were to make sure that I pass all my exams and whether Leon Lai and Kathy Chow would end up together or not.
Well, I hope my efforts will pay off. Here's crossing my fingers and praying for the best.
*p/s: Lea, as usual, you are my walking Mandarin dictionary. I am "reserving" you until our exams are over, thank you very much , heheheheh ;)