Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I need to write this even though I wasn't there to witness the accident first hand. I am compelled to relate this as my inner emotions are seething with angst, fired up by the indifference attitude of our society. A society that is losing its humanity as we get immersed in deep social chaos.
The story goes....
An ambulance is traveling through the busy town of Kuantan to transfer a cancer patient, a makcik, to the government hospital. She was strapped down on a stretcher, accompanied by a nurse.The driver was busy negotiating the haphazard traffic, with the siren blaring away. Upon reaching one of the biggest traffic-light junction in Kuantan, the ambulance had to snake through in between 'understanding' vehicles which were paving a path for it. The light was red but the ambulance was moving upfront steadily as the cars on the moving green lane, stopped to make way for it to pass through. Halfway through the cross-section, the nurse saw through the side mirror, a car, speeding through, disregarding the voluntary traffic halt that was made for the ambulance and she knew that it was going to hit them. Fast-thinking, she embraced the makcik's body with great force to prevent her from jolting over, as she anticipated the impact of the crash. True enough, the 'thoughtless' driver had rammed into the side of the ambulance exactly where the patient was! Fortunately the nurse's fast action had saved the poor makcik who suffered only minor shock. The nurse herself, through her actions, had sustained abrasions in her arms.
As the ambulance driver began to recover his composure, he stepped out to examine the wreck. As he confronted the careless driver who was a young malay guy, he was in for a bigger shock. When asked why didn't he stop to make way, his brazen answer was,"Lampu hijau, saya jalan lah!" Realizing that he was facing someone with an attitude, the driver decided not to waste time and drive the patient to the hospital. A straightforward accident with many witnesses is apparently turning into a twisted bizarre tale of false defense by a reckless driver.
At the police station, after reporting the truth of the accident, the ambulance driver was in for another surprise. The arrogant young driver was given special treatment where he was invited to do his 'business' in a special room and they appeared 'chummy'. In his report, he defended his offense by alleging that the ambulance driver did not sound the siren! In actual fact, there were many witnesses that can attest the contrary.
The ambulance driver left out an important fact in his report: that the rash driver's initial statement was "lampu hijau, saya jalanlah" and not because the siren wasn't on. When he returned to amend it, the police told him that altering a report was not allowed. But it wasn't 24 hours yet! Can anyone clarify the issue here?
Due to the bleak situation and probable litigation, the driver was transferred to another department.Isn't it sad? How can we call ourselves civil when outright misappropriation of power rule our society? That we have allowed rowdy and bold youngsters grow amongst us is something shameful and so unbecoming. It reflects how weak and fragile the 'system' is.
Perhaps the perpetrator of the accident and the authority shielding him should ask themselves this crucial question: "What if the sick person in the ambulance was a relative of theirs? or better still. "What if they were the sick patient in the ambulance, themselves?"
Eid Mubarak to everyone and Maaf Zahir Batin! Fi amanillah! Allahuakbar Allahuakbar Allahuakbar Walillahil hamd!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
WOULD YOU ACT, EAT OR SLEEP ON IT??
What do you do when problems fall on your laps like an unstoppable avalanche? Have you a special mechanism to tackle them without causing a cascade of depressive symptoms besiege your mortal wellbeing? I am sure everyone has a personal psychological shield to prevent themselves from falling too deep into a chasm of 'blues'. Some would resort to sleep over the matter, so to speak, which I think is the commonest way chosen by many, though I feel that is the lamest, if not most cowardly, solution. Some hide behind 'comfort' foods to make their problems go away. Some would just feign a denying 'front' that disregards any predicaments and continue with their mundane activities with no qualms. Perhaps, too , there are those who are born experts at delegating their problems to others, pushing half , if not all, of their burden to the poor shoulders of unfortunate souls.
I am a born worry wort, as my mother is. It must be my mom's Chinese genes. I worry over the slightest issue that involves my life and family. I have this inherent character that holds firmly onto a motto that pressures me to analyze a problem, think of possible solutions and act them out ASAP. Worse still, I have this great urge of wanting to see the solutions materialize over night and this can be equally daunting! In fact, I can feel the adrenaline surge in me when I start worrying about things. Most exasperating is when your significant other falls in the 'cool' type that prefers to sweep the matter under the rug, only to uncover it when the issue gets out of hand. Sleeping over the matter is just not my style of untying a knot in my life-line. I might binge if there's good food around but I would think hard of getting out of the desperation, all the same.
Over the years, as I age, I have learned to accept problems in a way that's kinder to my nerves. I know now that these problems are actually tests from God to try my patience and make me stronger. Today, whatever problems that befall me, I'd still react by scrutinizing them but I am calmer, in the sense that I know everything is in God's will and I must accept the outcome with inner peace. At times, when a predicament seems so huge and burdening to my soul, my initial response would still be to sort them out ASAP but I have learned to take a step back, looking at the matter in a broader perspective and tell myself, "this will pass, too". I have also adopted the mantra: If you can't change something, then it's no longer your problem. Just let it go.
Most importantly is to accompany all efforts in battling a problem with fervent prayers to Allah swt. Dua is the unseen weapon belonging to all Muslims. I am grateful each time a friend reminds me to invoke Allah's help whenever I am in dire strait. An effort that is accompanied by diligent prayers to Allah swt is definitely better than those without.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Dear Sofi and Sarah,
An evident drought has seized this blog and I am taking this opportunity to paw down a letter of laments. Since you've been gone from home, I have been severely suffering from a bad case of lack of tender loving care and warm strokes by you! You see, everyone is either too busy or too careless to even notice my depressed presence. They pass by me as though I am just a furry-orange ornament in the house. To them, the mere act of replenishing my biscuit bowl, suffice the requirements of preventing the RSPCA people from coming after them. I think it's time they enact an animal Act that says it's mandatory for a cat owner to at least stroke their cats twice a day!
Even worse, I have been grounded out of the house for the past few weeks for a crime I don't remember committing! Your mum (who owns this 'arid' blog) has conveniently accused me of urinating on a pile of fresh laundered clothes, a vice which I am unknown of executing before.Since I can't offer any good alibi, I am guilty as charged. KKL strengthened your mum's case further by suggesting that I have grown into a man cat which has developed a dire need to mark its territory. Thanks KKL for recognizing my maturity but can you please reserve your thoughts next time?
Now, I am most of the time, lazing either in the front or back porch, having to share what limited space available with Nahar the stray which has decided to permanently call this home, his! Remember how your mum used to praise that 'pariah cat'? How he feared to incur anyone's wrath by tip-toeing quietly around? How he dared not come near the house or touch even a speck of biscuit? Well, that
Since the day I was banned from getting indoors, there was no more suspicious urine odor tainting the clean clothes. Your mum is adamant that I am the culprit but I have my theory. I believe that there is an elusive rat in the house. Even Maman confessed of hearing it scurrying away in the kitchen, recently. However , I doubt that the rat was marking its territory. Senile incontinence was more like it, I daresay! My other worthy theory, would be that
How I miss your loving pat and stroke against my velvety coat which incidentally is turning coarse due to the dirt outside. I could always tell that you were pleasured by my purring against your brushing hands. Those were the fine days. Now that Aliah is back for the hols, I get a bit of pampering from her, albeit not much. Well you know how she is when she gets into one of her day dreaming moods. I can tell that her mind is somewhere else and the stroking gets meaningless.
So, I am begging you to call mum and persuade her to let me indoors again! By the way, your mum keeps on complaining that you don't call home that often. With Muhammad skype-ing her every other day, you're a definite toast, my dear! I know how expensive internet fees are at your place. Since, we have a well-known cosmonaut over there, maybe he can suggest to Putin to make internet free for the Malaysian students there? No?
I hope this letter gets printed in this blog for both of you to read. Typing with my paws is hard work. And you know how useless my left paw is. Since KKL introduced me with Royal Canine, I have gained weight, causing my left maimed leg to limp even more. Anyway, do take care of yourselves and bundle up for the winter. My regards to Sifi the turkish angora.
Mayo Jr a.k.a. Tempang
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
As per my last entry, we almost spent our raya in the hospital. Strangely, I was not sad but was emotionally prepared to 'celebrate' it in the hospital. The feeling was of someone who was resigned to face the inevitable : a quiet raya in the sterile ward, away from home, beloved parents etc. However, the physician decided that hubby was well enough on the eve of raya to go home although he was still extremely tired.
On the 3rd raya, my family came up from KL. Guess, they missed us as much as we missed them! 2 days later we convoyed back to KL. Thus, we got to celebrate raya in KL, after all, albeit late. In view of hubby's condition we only limited our visits to very close relatives i.e. his brothers, my aunty and a cousin. I had to oblige mak when she asked me to accompany them to another cousin's by leaving hubby behind.
We had the great pleasure of being visited by 2 blogger families this raya. Pycno, Bea and their whole brood were kind to drop by for a meagre dinner. They brought us a beautiful strawberry cake and some gifts. Maman managed to snap a pic of the yummy rich cake but it came out blur. In essence, the visit was to inquire hubby's health. We are lucky to have friends who care and pray for us in times of test. Our heartful thanks to Pycno, Bea and family.
Last weekend, we were again given the opportunity to meet another blogger family. A long awaited visit, indeed! Mynn, Nisak, Sarah and Amar came to our house for the first time. Besides them, we also got to meet Mynn's fine dad and sis. Of course, KKL and OK were around too! Like all bloggers who get to meet each other for the first time, the feeling was mutual. It was as though we have known each other long. Reading entries and looking at their pictures were sufficient to create a bond of some sort. Thank you guys for the visit and gifts! To Mynn: Good luck in your up coming attachment and may you succeed in getting your masters soon!
On a more sombre note, Mynn/Nisak's close friend, Mr D passed away 2 days ago, from cancer. I got to know about Mrs D and her blog from Mynn/Nisak's entries. Though, I don't know D at all, my readings about her was enough for me to feel for her present bereavement.
Few days prior, my mom's neighbor, also D, passed away, from cancer, too. Still in her mid-late 30s, D left behind a 3 year old daughter. Apparently, she decided to go for chemotherapy when the cancer had advanced. Allahu'alam.
Both sad stories have profound similarities that I find intriguing. They both were inflicted by cancer and died young, leaving behind very small kids and young spouses. Also the span of time from diagnosis and their deaths was less than a year, I think. Such a poignant reminder for us that sickness and deaths can inflict us anytime, thus appreciate your health and seek His pleasure!
May Allah swt protect their souls and place them amongst those with iman. To Mrs D, I pray that Allah swt give you great strength to persevere in this hardship of yours.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Alhamdulillah, his quick action of repeating an MRI after experiencing a similar headache he had in February, helped detect the thrombosis early, hence the swift treatment of i/v antibiotics consisting of triple regime of Flagyl, Gentamycin and Rocephine. The rapid management helped to resolve the thrombosis fast and he became much better within few days.
However, on the 4th day, he became weak again and developed symptoms of probable Addisonian Crisis which sent me into a panic frenzy, calling his former surgeon and demanding the physician to intervene. After the appropriate therapy, he responded well and I am truly grateful to his former neurosurgeon who took pain to make sure he got the proper treatment here.
So to you all out there, sorry that there was no proper Raya wish. I have been off the internet since the whole plight.
SELAMAT HARI RAYA EIDUL FITRI. MAAF ZAHIR DAN BATIN.
*I cried reading this entry.....
*To Muhammad, we missed you this raya as much as we missed Kak Sarah and Sofi. Insyallah there'll be more raya with the seven of us together!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
5 menda dalam beg galas aku...
1. Notebook kerja <- menunjukkan bahawa si Pang5 ini sama seperti berjuta 'yuppie' eletronik yang lain.
2. CD lagu raya <- bahawa dia ni mat jiwang karat yang emo habis
3. Documents kerja yang aku bawak balik rumah kononnya nak review <- bahawa dia sama seperti makhluk lain yang berkobar-kobar nak buat homework tapi gerenti tak buat
4. Check untuk bayar vendor <- bahawa dia ni orang kuat syarikat
5. Charger spare untuk handphone <- bahawa dia ni tidak boleh hidup tanpa handphone
5 menda dalam dompet aku...
1. Duit la kan... <- bahawa dia ni tahu dompet tu memang untuk simpan duit
2. Kad membership MARES <- bahawa dia ni adalah ahli Majlis Amanah Rakyat Eksklusif Sahaja
3. IC, lesen memandu kelas B2, D dan GDL <- bahawa dia ni bukan sahaja boleh pandu kereta manual, bahkan kereta otomatik, jentolak, chikadak dan yg sewaktu dengannya
4. Kad ATM dan kad kredit <- bahawa dia ni ada bank account
5. Duit kertas RM2 untuk improve reception handphone <- bahwa dai ni adik-beradik McGyver
5 menda feveret dalam bilik tido...
1. Katil dan selimut <- bahwa dia ni tidak tidur atas lantai/ toto
2. Radio clock, kasik tidur/gerak aku. <- bahawa dia ni tidak berkemampuan bangun sendiri
3. Charger handphone dan wayarless aku <- bahawa dia ni ada ekstra charger
4. Bokken <- what the heck is Bokken??
5. Camera dan adik-beradiknya <- bahawa dia ni pandai membiak camera
5 menda aku wish nak buat...
1. Jadi kaya raya... <- bahawa dia ni manusia normal
2. Pass exam CW <- dia dah ambil exam CW tapi asyik fail
3. Ambik lesen scuba diving <- dia belum ambil lesen ni sebab belum pass exam berenang
4. Belayar dalam kapal selam <- dia nak belayar dalam kapal selam sebab dia takut naik kapal biasa
5. Memancing kat semua tasik-tasik besar kat Malaysia <- menunjukkan dia dah memancing di semua sungai di Malaysia
5 menda aku buat skarang...
1. Tulis mende tagging bodo nih <- menunjukkan bahwa dia tahu menda ni bodoh tapi terpaksa buat juga kerana nak mengambil hati orang yang tag dia
2. Suruh harmonics buat homework<- siapa harmonics ni?
3. Belek mende nak beli kat internet <- dia ni kaki bershopping di internet
4. Belek fotopages family dan kenkawan <- dia banyak masa terluang
5. Tag kat tagbod aku. <- dia pencinta tagboard
5 orang kroni yang patut kena tag sekali...<---mujurlah dia ada 5 kroni untuk melayan dia
1. Doctor In The House
Monday, October 01, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Yesterday, 25th September was Maman’s 14th birthday. To my youngest but not the smallest (echoing Sofi’s statement here) offspring, I pray to Allah swt, that He will guide you always and bestow you with his constant kind blessings and lead a life filled with contentment. May you be more diligent in your studies and pursue a good and sound career.
And two days ago, 24th, was Salina’s (boogey’s wife) birthday. It has been Boogey’s tradition to forget her birthday each year. However, I am still in the dark of this year’s fate. Did he repeat the same blunder? Only Salina can tell. Happy sweet 20th birthday sis-in-law!
FLAT ON MY FACE!
Ramadhan this year, so far, has bitter-sweet taste to it. Sweet, because, we get to breakfast with KKL and OK and savor her phenomenal cooking. Bitter because few nights ago, after work, all exhausted and weary, coming down from the car, my kain got caught in one of the seat appendages and I took a heavy dive on the porch’s floor. As my hands were full, clutching all my work paraphernalia, I couldn’t use them to absorb the sudden assault, in time, as I hit the floor. Instead, my chin was the first to crash against the floor, transmitting a sharp jarring effect to my poor head! My chest and left hand came next, in a subconscious effort to reduce the burden of the fall. For a good moment, everything went blank.
The unfortunate accident left me with painful, swollen and bruised jaw, left hand and right thigh. Also, my neck and left wrist suffered minor sprain. X-ray of my mandibles was clear of any fractures, alhamdulillah. The kind doctor issued me an m.c., a much needed rest for me, I perceive. My boss and colleagues were kind and understanding to reshuffle the day’s schedule. Thanks guys!
As in all previous unfortunate series of accidents, my hubby was quick to label the incident as a kifarah dosa for I had sinned against him earlier on, hehe. I shall not delve on the details but suffice to say I am glad that my sins have been cleansed, insyallah!
We are now already in the second leg of Ramadhan, i.e. the maghfirah phase. As we know the first 10 days is the Mercy stage and the last 10 days is the Salvation stage. Let’s increase our efforts to better ourselves in these precious remaining days of Ramadhan. For that, Pycno has aptly listed the 6 adabs of fasting as a guiding tool.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Recently I was 'transported' into a labyrinth, out of my own will. Realizing that the entourage was gamed on going deeper, I had to stage an act. An act that will force them to turn back before I became hysterical. The labyrinth was actually the world's biggest and deepest, abandoned old tin mine of Sg. Lembing (closed for more than 20 years ago) and the entourage consisted of my family (hubby, sons and I), lead by a family friend who is a local, well versed in finding his way through the old catacombs. He used to enter the mine when he was small, sending his dad, meals, as the miners were known to work long hours without coming out.
Initially I was made to believe that we were only going to tour the external grounds only. Little did I know that the friend was equipped with several torches to bring us as deep as 300 meters in wards. Upon reaching the site, he showed us the two main entrances. It was impossible to enter them as both path-ways were blocked by collapsed tunnel roofs. I gave a sigh of relief as I had no plans for old mine exploration! Good, I thought, we would only admire the place from outside. Then, he brought us to the side of the hill and showed us another entrance. Only this time, he went in and beckoned us to follow. Don't worry, he's just showing us a few meters in, I thought. As we enter I could feel a gush of cold air flowing outwards. This cold air phenomenon was actually due to air holes dug from the top surface of the hill downwards to ventilate the mine.
It was pitch dark inside but the torches managed to light the place and made our passage manageable. Twice, he made us switch off our lights and savor the true darkness. We couldn't even see our hands placed in front of our faces! Many parts of the ground that we tread were muddy due to dripping water from the roof. Instantly, my wild mind thought "what if the soggy soil above suddenly gave way and collapsed?" Oh no I thought! We'll be in the news papers tomorrow! A family of four trapped in an old mine! As we pursue the tunnel deeper, I kept questioning myself, "Why are we doing this? Why are we endangering ourselves? Why are we being stupid?" Ironically, my hubby and two sons were unperturbed. They followed our guide like seasoned archaeologists looking for lost artifacts and there I was trembling, wishing I hadn't followed them.
Then, we reached a junction of 4 tunnels. Oh good, an exit I, I hoped. But heck no! The exploration was only half-way, it seemed! Since we were already there, he had to show us through each tunnel, at least a few meters in. This was when I started 'whining' and asking hubby to signal his friend to end the tour. However , hubby shushed me up, telling me not to worry. I sensed that he was afraid that he might offend the friend, who was in a zealous mood to show us around.
As we got deeper, the grounds became more precarious. There was numerous excavation holes made by illegal excavators of recent times, here and there. Some were extremely deep, that when a stone was dropped, it took quite sometime to reach the bottom of the pit. Still in a jittery state, I had to yell at Maman who, in sheer eagerness, went much too close to the edge. I can't bear the thought of the unstable ground giving way. At one point, we entered a high-roofed area, almost like a huge cave. Here, we could see various excavation spots on the high ceiling with makeshift dwellings. Through the dim-lit space, I could see that the path ahead was worse. In fact, I believe that we had to walk on a ledge or something! Enough! I had to act now!
When they started to proceed further, I stood still, not wanting to budge an inch. I acted as though I was going to cry hysterically. Hubby knew then that I was adamant to end the expedition. He told the friend-guide of my fright. The guy reassured that he was about to turn anyway after showing some mining artifacts. It was when he said this that made me retain my composure, " Don't worry, many tourists come here. 60 at a time. Only today, there's none." Phew!
Undeniably, I was the most zestful on the returning path. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel was my most coveted proverb that day!. Breathing fresh air again, I made another secret vow of not returning back, ever! My hubby and sons? Oh, they came out feeling like Harrison Ford in scenes from Raiders of The Lost Ark, though they pilfered no precious stones. Not even a tiny speck of tine ore! So tell me, would you guys go on a similar exploration? WOULD YOU?
*To Pang5 and Boogey, abang Yusof tanya kabo awok bedua. Dia tanya bila awok nok ke sana lagi? Kawe cabo awok bawok anok bini masok lombong!
(click the above to listen)
Got the above link from Azleen's blog.
RAC : Ramadhan Awareness Campaign is a good effort and may we benefit from it.
To all Muslim friends, "May this Ramadhan be a month full of goodness, filled with earnest worshiping of Allah swt, qiyyam, sincere ukhuwah and heaps of blessing from Him, our Creator. Most importantly, may it not be our last. Ameen."
To begin this Ramadhan with a sure foot, I am asking for forgiveness from everyone, especially those I have wronged.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The originator of the Nice Matters award states that it is meant for “those that are just nice people, good blog friends, and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others, that are there to lend support, or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!”
Thank you Anne for giving me the award. Glad to know that what I write here can be of good inspiration to others. To keep the ball rolling, I am awarding the award to all the bloggers in my blog list. To the rest who frequent this blog but I have not included in the list due to my forgetfulness, you also deserve the award! You all have inspired me in your own unique way!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The deep sinking feeling of aridness once again overwhelms my household. After seven whole weeks of sheer merriment spent with my beloved two eldest daughters, we are back with only three of us. My girls, by now, should have reached Volgograd for about 10 hours, probably still jet-lagged. I pray to Allah swt that He bless them with a fruitful 10 months ahead and ease them out of any predicaments.
During the last week they were here, which coincided with the school hols, the whole family members managed to squeeze a "3 days 2 nights" trip to Fraser's Hills, after much coaxing from Red and Mas. True to their words, Fraser's is indeed a place that makes one yearn to return. A small hill town (more of a village, I daresay), compared to Cameron's, it boasts an ambiance so peaceful and tranquilizing to the heart.
As to several of my prior holiday trips, the journey always pose as a hindrance, so much so, leaving me vowing quietly to never make a return visit. Tioman's choppy boat ride left me a total wreck. The bad road to Kuala Tahan was nothing to be desired, too. Now, the dwindling uphill road to Fraser's is another crying shame. For those who have sensitive vestibular organs like my daughters and I, negotiating the hair-pin curves, repeatedly, all the way up, was a head-spinning and nauseating disaster!
Anticipating an arduous journey, Sofi and Aliah, prepared themselves by sleeping early in the trip, all curled up, hoping to minimize the roller-coaster effect. Thinking that I have developed a certain kind of immunity, I braved through with only slight apprehension. Halfway through, I developed a sudden attack of nasal congestion, probably an allergic response to the kerbau meat I had earlier at a wedding. Made worse by the rising altitude and cold climate, I began having difficulties n breathing. The narrow road and gloomy weather contributed to the claustrophobic effect, reducing me into a nerve-wreck with an impending panic attack! Half irritated, hubby told me to relax as it was rather impossible to make a u-turn, panic attack or not!
After more than an hour of vertigo challenge, we reached the "hill station", as it was called a century ago by the British, whom, in search for cool climate, would scale the highlands of Malaya to find suitable spots for cool retreat. As history went, Mr Fraser was seen in the late 19th century with several mules, transporting tin ore through the hill treks. He was never to be seen again after that, thus the hill's name.
Occupying a 3 bedroom apartment in a resort perched on the hill-sides, surrounded by luscious green forest in the background and facing a majestic view of interlocking hills ala Shangrila upfront, we had a glorious family time together , immersed in joyful activities. We had barbeque for both nights, of marinated meat, prepared by the girls, from home. The ample balcony was truly apt for barbeque parties but unfortunately the very cool atmosphere and slight wind made it quite impossible to light the pit properly, thus we opted for the fire-place instead, which was quite a quaint idea after all.
With the cool breeze constantly blowing through the balcony door, we spent the night in a most relaxed manner. Some, having a game of scrabble which should be renamed squabble due to the amount of bickering the two opponents had. Some in great earnest, trying to finish Harry Potter's latest book. Mostly, we were lazing around watching whatever was on the TV. The barbeque tasted great, probably influenced by the holiday mood and also being famished after the trying journey.
Basically, Fraser's Hill consists of a small town center with several resorts, hotels and colonial styled bungalows scattered all over. the quaint small town is made up of a row of shops, a police station, a post office, a health clinic and a municipal office. In the middle is a clock tower that also serves as a round-about and a must photo-taking spot. All this is cloaked in a misty atmosphere, its beauty enhanced by the colorful flowers that thrive well in the cool temperate. Many of the old buildings here are colonial styled with white-washed brick walls, accentuated with black window and door frames. this must have been a vain attempt by the colonial British to create an atmosphere similar to their hometown.
Within the two days , we managed to scour almost all the important spots in Fraser's, taking the main route many times in a day. Of them, my favorite would be the Ye Olde Smokehouse, a name I find very amusing to pronounce. An old English bungalow, converted into a posh restaurant with rooms for accommodation plus an interior so overwhelmingly Christmas-like in atmosphere that a background music of jingle bells would have completed the mood. I read that one should not miss the scones which was rated as scrumptiously good. They, however forgot to mention that the price was exorbitant! For a set of 2 measly scones, accompanied with clotted cream, home-made jam, butter and a cup of tea (BOH tea!!!), they made us pay RM 18!! And the scones were nothing to shout about, really. I suspect they were not freshly baked as touted but frozen and microwaved when needed. Nevertheless, having tea, English style in such an appropriate ambiance is an awesome experience to cherish.
There were several trails that traverse the hilly town. Bishop's Trail became well known a few years back when 3 Singaporean youngsters got lost in it. It took us 45 mins to walk through it and indeed it was a challenging pathway with many obstacles that include walking on narrow ledge and not to mention the teeming leeches. As we went deeper into the forest, we could here a group of Baboons making jungle calls and I can't help envisaging them attacking us. Alas, it was the leeches that got the better of us. Numerous succeeded in attaching themselves to our lower limbs. Sofi had a few in her shoes!
Worth mentioning are the tarantula's nests found in relative abundance along Ledgeham Road. These hairy spiders make burrows in the hilly banks of the road. When observed closely, you'll find old brown leaves neatly lining the opening which is often covered with a cobweb. Tarantulas only leave their nests late at night, thus for spiders enthusiasts, this would mean having to bear the eerie possibilities of encountering other spooky beings as well.
Apart from the strenuous journey up and down, Fraser's Hill is a perfect retreat spot for nature lovers who pine for a peaceful hill-top getaway. Already, I am sensing that somebody is planning a revisit. In fact, I might just retract my vow of not wanting to come back. However the next time, I would be more prepared with Stemetil, asam and all! And oh yes, this time I'd prepare the scones from home as well!
Friday, August 17, 2007
THE LONELY TRIUMPH OF BAKAWALI
Do you know the great bloom of Bakawali?
Beautiful splendor in the night,
Amidst dark quietness, all so lonely,
Its whiteness, all so bright.
Unfolding its fragile petals,
In a glorious and elegant fashion,
Exuding mystical charm,
Emitting a fragrance so poignant.
When its bloom has reached its height,
All its petals opened wide,
So turgid, so upright,
Tresses of filaments, flowing wild.
Alas, the great bloom of Bakawali,
Unclasps its resplendent beauty, a few hours only,
When midnight looms, it starts to droop,
Wilting rapidly, losing all its glory.
Why the name Bakawali, I mused?
Perhaps its the night tryst, I gather,
Emulating a 'wali's night prayers,
Forever seeking Allah's pleasure.
Two nights ago, Mak Itam alerted us that her Bakawali plant was going to bloom that night. Not one but ten beautiful brilliant white flowers! Mak Itam said that this was the most number of blooms so far. We rushed to her place as the flowers are known to only bloom for a few short hours and will droop immediately around midnight. When we arrived, they were already blooming handsomely as though luring us to be near them.
The flowers were speckless white with a yellow tinge in the center. Each consisted of many feathery petals with abundant strips of filaments flowing from its middle. One can easily catch the exuberant fragrance coming from them as one passes nearby. However as one sniffs directly into the flowers, the odor is much more sweetly pungent. In fact Sofi remarked that the smell reminded her of kenanga which she somehow associated with an eerie emotion unlike that of the milder odor of melor or chempaka. They spent a significant time focusing, using a flash and mini spotlight as the lighting at night was poor.
Later, we sat chatting with Mak Itam over black coffee and jemput pisang. When we left it was almost 12 midnight but the flowers were showing minimal signs of drooping. Thanks Mak Itam. The sight was simply breathtaking!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Have you ever faced a terrible predicament but able to evade it with a good and truthful alibi? I experienced it yesterday and the feeling was so exhilarating! If only I could execute it more often. If only...
....AND THE TOXOPLASMA IN US!
Anyway, the alibi turned out to be enjoyable as always. We spent quality time playing with cute feline beings and discussed several issues pertaining to them. Ma'am (Jo Kontan's wife) related to me recently about her niece who was diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, presenting with visual disturbances (central scotoma). So toxoplasmosis was the heated topic last night, :p
Refreshing up my knowledge on it, I surfed the net and discovered some very interesting facts. Here are some mind-boggling info:
Biological modifications of the host
The parasite itself can cause various effects on the host body, some of which are not fully understood.
A recent study has indicated Toxoplasmosis correlates strongly with an increase in boy births in humans.
It has been found that the parasite has the ability to change the behavior of its host: infected rats and mice are less fearful of cats - in fact, some of the infected rats seek out cat-urine-marked areas. This effect is advantageous to the parasite, which will be able to sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat.
The findings of behavioral alteration in rats and mice have led some scientists to speculate that toxoplasma may have similar effects in humans.The behaviors observed, if caused by the parasite, are likely due to infection and low-grade encephalitis, which is marked by the presence of cysts in the brain, which may produce or induce production of a neurotransmitter, possibly dopamine, therefore acting similarly to dopamine reuptake inhibitor type antidepressants and stimulants.
"In populations where this parasite is very common, mass personality modification could result in cultural change. [Variations in the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii] may explain a substantial proportion of human population differences we see in cultural aspects that relate to ego, money, material possessions, work and rules." — Kevin Lafferty
Correlations have been found between latent Toxoplasma infections and various characteristics:
* Increased risk taking behavior
* Slower reactions
* Feelings of insecurity and self-doubt
* Neuroticism (one of the Big Five personality traits)
(personal note: could it be that many of our politicians are infected with toxoplasma?)
Notable people with toxoplasmosis
* Martina Navratilova (tennis player) retired from a competition in 1982 with mystery 'virus' later found to be due to the illness
* Arthur Ashe developed neurological problems from toxoplasmosis (later found to be HIV-positive)
* Leslie Ash contracted toxoplasmosis in the second month of pregnancy
* François, comte de Clermont, is Dauphin of France, Orlean pretender to the French Throne. Both he and his younger sister Blanche are mentally disabled due to toxoplasmosis-related ailments.
* Louis Wain was a prominent cat artist who later developed schizophrenia which some believe to be due to his constant exposure to cats and thus Toxoplasmosis
Wow! And all that are caused by a microscopic protozoa that is shaped like a banana?? Masyallah! Maybe we should all check for toxoplasma antibodies in our blood ASAP!!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
THE GIFT OF THE (WEIRD) GAB
Have you noticed how the youngsters of today speak and the peculiar phrases they use? I was having a conversation with my two big girls the other day about possible suitors during my younger days and they made serious exclamations when I mentioned a name or two. "Mak, nasib baik! Dia nampak 'skema' habis . Yucks!" I've heard the word 'skema' used many times amongst them and I think it can be translated into several meanings. So this time when they say that this person is so 'skema' it probably means that he looks like a nerd. So what's wrong with being nerdy? Perhaps a nerd is associated with being very 'bookish' and unaware of his surroundings which is definitely not cool in this modern day!
To muse further, being 'skema' might also mean that one follows everything by the book and dare not tread on unfamiliar grounds. Perhaps it also means that they plan meticulously before any venture, and spontaneity is never in their vocabulary. Being spontaneous is always related to being subjected to challenges and makes one more exciting and colorful.
Thus, in conclusion, my kids think their dad is NOT a 'skema' person. In fact my husband was once dubbed as the malay version of Ryan O'Neal during his U days. Ooh la la! But my third daughter thinks otherwise. She thinks he is more appealing now than when he was much younger! Oh what a perception! (caution: you may need a vomit bucket nearby when reading this!!)
My third daughter loves using the phrase "macam nak nangis" denoting an emotion either full of disgust or exasperation and she uses it so well that I can't help laughing each time she articulates the phrase with poignant display of sentiment. Once, we were in the company of a family friend, a datuk, no less, sitting on the same table at a renowned stall selling nasi lemak kukus. As he talked in between sips of his teh tarik, he made some 'unbecoming" actions that were only caught by Aliah's sharp eyes.
Aliah who is so obsessed with cleanliness, saw him wiping his sambal stained lips with a tissue paper and later used the same piece of tissue to wipe the table that he had dirtied whilst eating. What came next was utterly uncalled for, especially for an immaculate freak like Aliah. He had once again used the same crumpled tissue to wipe his mouth! Horrors! And he had sort of alternately repeated the grimy act with Aliah observing quietly, apparently unperturbed on the outside but definitely flinching inside, without doubt! When we left, Aliah can't wait to relate us the incident, using the phrase, "Aliah tak tahan tengok, macam nak nangis!' According to my eldest son, this phrase is an influence of the Japanese comics/ anime whereby a character is made to cry profusely (read: tears literally splashing out of both eyes) when faced with a predicament.
Of late, I've been hearing the word 'tak boleh bla' been used oft repeatedly by my eldest son. I've been trying to decipher its true meaning and usage. I sort of guessed what it implies but I am still puzzled of its relationship with the actual words. Can anyone help me out here?
I don't mind them using these phrases and words as long as they are not swearing or cursing slang. I remember in their younger days, when struck with anger, words like bab*, cela*a,sia*, bodo* were verbalized freely and each time I would exasperatedly reprimand them. At least, they have now, better and milder alternative words to express themselves. Never mind that most may sound ridiculous or preposterous. At least it does illustrate your true emotion, like wanting to 'cry' when someone digs his/hers nose at dinner table when you're about to devour your favourite ayam masak merah!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY FACET OF SHORT MESSAGE SYSTEM
I consider myself thrifty. In fact I had once blogged an entry and self-proclaimed myself as a cheapskate. Thus when it comes to communication using hand-phones I minimize my phone bills by only sending sms where feasible. Phone calls are only for urgent matters that need immediate attention or when there's a sudden dire need to hear the voices of your loved ones. No, I am not someone who would make long idle chit-chat calls and I loathe those who do so!
Sms is a relative new trend of making communication, so much so, many of the older generation like my parents have difficulties in utilizing it. My chic mom however has recently mastered its usage and has proudly displayed her prowess by sending me sms-es with the latest sms lingo, courtesy of my youngest sister whom with cute ingenuity had made a flow chart on each steps of making a text message on my mom's mobile! Till today, my mom religiously follow the chart, lest she'll send me blank messages!
Sms lingo nowadays have carved a language of its own. Spellings are stringently shortened, leaving out vowels where possible, barely making out the real meaning of the word. The savvy and seasoned youngsters nowadays employ this 'distorted' language without qualms. They tap on the keypad with both fingers, even faster than a veteran typist. Some have even acquired the art of typing texts without looking at the keypad, using one hand, whilst driving! Such audacity!
As for me, I sometimes still find it hard to comprehend some messages. For instance today I texted a message to dear hubby complaining about somebody's lackadaisical attitude and he replied with a sentence that began with, "hmm.." . Now, how should I interpret the 'hmm'? Is it 'hmm with a ? and rising pitch that translates: "well, that's trivial. Why are you so upset?" Or is it a long 'hmm' that sounds like a sigh that reads: "well, what do you expect? Isn't that normal of him?"
"Entah la" and "Entah ler" carry two different connotations even though essentially they are the same. "Entah la' is sounded short and crisp and it represents a sincere confession of not knowing something. Whilst "entah ler" is phonated in a lax attitude, laden with skeptical insinuation, meaning that the person actually has knowledge of the matter but is simply exasperated to blurt it out. So, do mind your 'la' and 'ler' the next time you text!
I have a hunch that sms was invented for the cowards due to several reasons. If you can't fulfill an appointment you can simply sms and avoid the embarrassment of being a spoil sport. Making complains are much easier through sms as your grouses get across without having to unpleasantly confront and verbalize them. The setback is that the 'defendant' might just deny having received any message. To carry this cowardice sms act to the hilt is to actually divorce your wife via text messages! How can a man even consider himself being a man when he conveniently choses to end his marriage just by tapping his phone!
Despite it's abundant benefits, sms is not without its downside. Due to its widespread availability and low fees, sick people are quick to manipulate and abuse the whole system. Reality shows have and will continue to make billions merely on sms votes. Millions of people are willing to waste their money to make sure their idols win a contest.
Apart from that, sms has also reared its ugly head in the form of spreading malicious lies and creating unease amongst the people. An example is the case where an sms was passed around calling all to an alleged church gathering lead by a muslim apostate. On a personal ground, I was confided by a male patient who claimed that his wife had a torrid 'sms affair' with another man! Blimey!
In truth, all kinds of technical communications are necessary and useful. They make our life better and as communication is just a tap of the keys away, family relationship is uniquely enforced as compared to generations of yesteryears. However when greed and lust overcome, then the whole system evolves into something sinister, wild and unruly. Apparently, the human race never learn its lesson.....as long as they make the devil their advocate, that is!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Cats, at times, behave like humans. Some are very well behaved and display good conduct and respect towards other cats as well as humans. Some, however, harbor a stubborn streak and wants to control a territory which is not theirs. Since the day we were depleted of our own band of feline members, our house has been invaded by several uninvited furry guests.
One is a stray, scruffy, dirty, white (beige??) semi long-haired which resides liberally between our house and those adjacent to us. We call him Nahar (now please don't snort again, Anne!) because Nahar, a village jack-of-all-trade once came searching for him, saying that the cat left him. Nahar (the cat) is such an adorable one (not that Nahar the human is not adorable but that is a totally different story!). He won't dare go near us and would scurry out of our way, as if in great fear of incurring our wrath! He would lie peacefully under our parked car outside even when the day is hot if he knows we are in the house.
His only crime is to snitch Mayo's (our only cat left) biscuits, which neither Mayo nor us, mind. Each time when he comes for the food, he would eye me intensely. As if to elude us, he would surreptitiously take further route and circle the premise, only to approach the biscuit dish when he thinks we are not watching him! Should he catch us eyeing him, he would not nab the food straight but would make pleading eye contact, silently asking for our permission. Once, I even told him, "makanlah". Nahar is also a peaceful creature, not wanting any confrontation of feline sorts. Never do I hear him making deep roaring sounds to initiate any cat fights. Thus he gets along well with Mayo and they would laze around and gaze indifferently at each other.
Nahar has a peculiar gait. Watching him walk from the back, you'd notice that his hind ankles sort of meet together with each step. A bit like knock-knees. So when he runs, it appears as though he is hobbling . And he has a cute rotund face, a bit like Nahar the human. Which gave me the theory that a cat tend to look like their owners as they grow!
My immediate neighbor has three siamese cats. Apparently they are very bold and shows irritating bravado. The most brazen of them is this guy with pointed genes, meaning he has dark pigmentations on his nose, ears, feet and tail. We call him Mafia for obvious reasons. He would mark his territory by pissing and defeacating all over our lawn! Once as he was stuffing himself with Mayo's food, I shooed him away but he put on a deaf ear and kept on eating. When I tried pushing him away physically, he won't budge at all! Imagine! Worst still was when he wanted to fight Mayo over the biscuits. I wonder if he gets any food at home! This evening he picked up a fight with Nahar whilst he was eating. I chased him off by spraying a gush of water from the hose. I hope Mafia will get the message that his insolent audacity is not welcomed and that Nahar's presence is more accepted here, despite his unkempt persona!
Another of Mafia's vice is to enter our bedroom through the balcony door which we would leave open at most times. On several occasions he would creep in unnoticed and trail downstairs into the kitchen to rummage the rubbish bin. Due to this, we now have to keep the balcony door closed.
I know Mafia is just a cat with natural predilections but his impertinent intrusive habits just vex me more and more each day. Once I tried to be nice to him by stroking him. Mayo came near me, requesting me to pet him too. In an instant Mafia growled and put on a fighting stance. Sheesh! And I thought I could be nice to him. Since then, I have no heart to be amicable towards him.
Sorry that I have to blog about cats again. Not that my life revolves only around them but I see a lot of uncanny similarities between cats and human behavior. How some human love to 'pick' up fights and destroy relationships. And how some cats can manage to be more human by being more amiable to each other. Observe these feline beings and maybe we can learn how to be more humane from them!
*By the way, Mayo's eating corner is now an attraction to many cats from areas nearby. There's an orange-white one from the left side of the near kampung. And various others have also come for their share of Mayo's yummilicious biscuits. Maybe it's turning into a soup kitchen or something!
Friday, June 08, 2007
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was born in Walla Walla, Washington, and grew up in Northern California in a Greek Orthodox family. He is founder of the Zaytuna Institute. He embraced Islam in 1977 in Santa Barbara, California when he was only 17 and set off almost immediately to study Arabic, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, and spiritual psychology with masters in the Muslim world.
After ten-years of studies abroad, he returned to the United States and completed degrees in nursing at Imperial Valley College and religious studies at San Jose State University.In the early 1990's he began to teach classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and in 1996 he established Zaytuna Institute. Two years later the institute acquired a property in Hayward, California, where it is now based. Zaytuna Institute is committed to inspiring a traditional understanding and study of the core Islamic sciences. In addition to weekly classes, week-long and month-long educational programs, and annual conferences that addresses contemporary issues affecting the American people, Zaytuna Institute has published four small books and several major audio-tape sets of Shaykh Hamza's classes.
What I like about his lectures is his ability to convey them in good English entwined with beautiful words and vocabulary that enhance the very meaning of each and every sentences. His Arabic is no doubt excellent but I still feel that his English helps most in conveying his message.
Please take time to download this videos and listen to each and everyone. May we be blessed with His taufiq and hidayah.
*Note: ....when he was only 17.....(I hope one of my kids can emulate him.)
*Note: ...completed degrees in nursing......(He's a qualified nurse!)
*I got this video from Azleen's blog (Thanks!)
Saturday, June 02, 2007
And Then There Was One….
Friday, May 25, 2007
LAMENTS, LAMENTS, LAMENTS........
One of my crucial task is to discern what a patient really wants, their real intention of seeing me. Are they out to genuinely seek treatment from me or do they have some ulterior motives? Their body language,facial grimaces and vocal intonations, all contribute to aid me in my daily chore. But of course, a doctor must not have any pre-judged ideas about their patients!
One of my main difficulties is to explain to them when an antibiotic is necessary and when it's not. Some, who are overly 'informed' regards antibiotics as a definite no-no and refuse them even if it is very much indicated. When a bacterial infection is at an early stage and sensing that a patient is a staunch proponent of 'anti' anti-biotic, I'd skip prescribing them to safe time and energy getting into a futile debate.
Even more difficult is to convince those who think antibiotic is the treat-all medicine and request antibiotics for the slightest ailment or even worse, for a non infectious disease! I get frustrated when after telling these people that they or their kids suffer from viral infection and antibiotics won't help, they'd put on a face that says: "Don't tell me you're not giving me any antibiotics when that was my essential intention of seeing you?" So how do you tackle these people who won't take the word of a doctor?
Truth is, it's sometimes difficult to convince a patient regarding certain line of management. How many times have I encountered patients who would interrupt me whilst I am deep into explaining the crux of their treatment. Exasperated, I would usually lose interest to continue advising them.
Another distinctive impediment I face when treating patients , is their inability to relate intelligently their symptoms to me. Most of the time, they have limited words to express or describe their pain. Even when I suggest descriptive words like collicky (memulas), sharp (tajam) or boring (senak) for them to chose, they'd end up looking blank and persistently says 'sakitlah".
It's important for one to be able to describe their pain precisely and locate the exact site. One classic example is to differentiate a cardiac and a gastric pain. Both can originate at the same site i.e. epigastrium or centre of the chest. A learned person would be able to say whether the pain is a central crushing pain, associated with sweating and shortness of breath which is typically being described by an ischaemic heart sufferer. Or if he had acute gastritis, he would convey that the pain is sharp or burning in nature, which is accompanied by lots of belching, nausea and even vomiting. He would know that the discomfort is pertaining more to the abdomen than the chest.
Most annoying is when I get tangential answers to my direct questions. "How many days have you experienced those symptoms?" I would ask. "Two weeks ago, I had the same symptoms. They subsided and now they have recurred" Or "My kids also have them", they would answer nonchalantly. And these are not answers from foreign workers, mind you!
Patients have all the right to chose doctors who treat them but not vice versa! Doctors are deemed to treat everyone in need of their professional help, even when these people irritate them to their bone! At times, you see your name or your colleague's appear next to a patient's name, meaning they have requested to see a specific doctor. Once, a patient had to wait long as the doctor she had chosen to see was spending hours on another patient. Finally she gave up and requested to see me. So did I smirk at her? Of course not, hehe. I acted civil and brushed aside when she became apologetic towards me.
So perhaps it's best you prepare yourself (vocabulary-wise) the next time you see a doctor. And if you have a personal opinion against taking antibiotics, tell the doctor early thus sparing her the time form prescribing them.
Quotable quotes: A thought that came through whilst driving home from work, annoyed with the selfish attitude of many road-users : As long as there are reckless lorry drivers and careless motobikers, Ops Sikap should be renamed Ops Siakap
Monday, May 21, 2007
TIME: ONE HOT BALMY SUNDAY
PLACE: KKL/ OK'S STATE OF THE ART KITCHEN
KNEADING SURFACE: A MULTI-PURPOSE PENINSULA TABLE* THAT DOUBLES AS A DINING TABLE AS WELL!
CHEFS: KAK LONG, KKL AND TWO FURRY ASSISTANTS
SPECIAL GUESTS: PANG5 AND GANG
THANKS: TO KKL AND O-K FOR LETTING US USE THEIR LOVELY KITCHEN AND PREPARING US A SUMPTUOUS LUNCH. TO O-K AND IKELAH FOR THE GREAT PICS.
* Planning for an island or a peninsula table when budget permits.