Monday, August 31, 2009

Berbuka + Merdeka @ Jumeirah Beach Hotel

for our national day celebration in dubai, we were invited by the dubai business council for iftar plus merdeka do at one of dubai's famous landmark, the wave-shaped building that's nearest to the 7 star burj al-arab hotel in the world - the jumeirah beach hotel.

it's one of the pioneer hotels in dubai, being the 9th tallest building when it was first built in 1997 - at present it did not even make it to the top 100 tallest buildings in dubai what with the speedy sky-scraping development done all over for the past 10 years. yet, jumeirah beach hotel remain an icon in this tanah arab.

the lobby

we dined at 'diwan al-khayal', a hut-like one-storey wooden building that is separated from the hotel but offers the fantastic view of the burj al-arab. punya la malehnya pak-pak arab kot, there's a buggy service that takes you from the hotel's main building to the 'diwan'.

ala, jalan kaki je lah! bukan jauh sangat...

as we brought a stroller along, we had to pick seats at the far back for easy access. you see the seats were combined with one another in a long line like a canteen table, which makes it difficult for someone to squeeze his or her way if they're sitting in the middle lane, and impossible for one with a stroller. i don't know whether the seats were arranged like that because there were too many of us, (thus the need to accomodate more tables) or because that's just the way it is which sucks.

but sitting at the back has its merits - we're the nearest to the burj and everytime i turned to khaleef to check on his eating (and table manners - or lack of!) i would see the burj al-arab changing colors in the dark of night. gorgeous!

the burj al-arab in the evening (at the top), near senja (below it) and at night with the colors yellow and then purple

the food? i honestly didn't expect to be greeted with malaysian dish all over! i really thought it'd be nasi arab, and roti arab, humus and segala macam makanan arab lah!

when i saw satay i was already jiggly! then i saw asam laksa stall beside it. wah! walking further up, a nasi lemak stall and the best was a stall with freshly made roti canai and murtabak - made there and then! awesome!

i quickly grabbed a bowl of laksa first, followed by berkeping-keping roti canai (as i had a bad experience back in malaysia with MUHSIN restaurant yang kata roti canai fresh baru buat tapi bawak balik tengok roti keras and nampak sangat dia panaskan je!) anyways, that's the last that i'd mention that coz i got my yummy roti canai already!

mr. khairul started with two helpings of bubur lambuk as he said it was really one of the best he'd tasted. me not a fan but i tried a few spoonfuls from his bowl. not bad!

khaleef had nasi lemak and roti canai. i made him eat the savoury ones first before telling him there's actually a kid's counter with bananas in pajamas plastic plate, and sugar-glazed doughnuts, cookies, muffins and ice-cream served on knee-high tables!

i dunno bout you, but i love looking at how the buffet is arranged - the special plates, pots and pans that they used, the decor, the placing of food, the unique looking bowl they put dips and sauce in - and in this particular buffet i found the chicken and fish curry placed in woks on stoves! cute!

my, my. no wonder the malaysian dishes were scrumptious - just like home - it's made by our very own team of malaysian chefs! patut la roti canai sebijik macam kat mamak, roti canai macam makcik pagi-pagi kat giant and ayam percik macam kat pasar malam rapat setia! it was fun meeting the very friendly malaysian chefs. tetap dapat lepas rindu merasa makanan malaysia walaupun baru seminggu lepas ade di sana!

after a hefty buffet meal, the malaysians took time to socialize, mingle, renew ties and make new ones. hardly anyone was sitting down unless they're still eating (or have two boisterous boys to take care of!) - most were standing around catching up and chatting amongst themselves.

i met the new trade commisioner for matrade who is a nice, friendly man with years of experience on his back.

at the back of the hall, a poster was ready on a stand that proudly say - 'national day celebration 2009' with the jalur gemilang on it. as the night drew near to the end, the chefs brought out a cake! a fantastic looking chocolate cake with bushy hibiscus (our national flower, bunga raya) and our jalur gemilang in sugary-glossy finishing!

our malaysia ambassador to the united arab emirates, dato' yahya and wife, datin saerah were asked to officiate the ceremony by cutting the merdeka cake.

before that, our consul general, tuan syed and wife madam sarah joined them in the singing of our national anthem 'negaraku'. it was a goose-bumpin moment when the crowd gathered around the cake, standing up, ready to sing. when we first started, khaleef instantly started singing too.

but he sang 'happy birthday' instead!

and of course, after dato' yahya made the first cut in the cake, some took turns to take pictures with the lovely merdeka cake before the chefs cut it out into pieces for the guests. of course we had to join in!

everyone was too full for the cake, or too busy chatting. so the chefs prepared a few containers, cut up the cakes and placed them inside for guests to take home.

the only person - only person who ate the cake there and then at the hotel, even before the chefs finished cutting up the cake - was khaleef.

"uncle, cake please?" and one chef became his personal maitre de! cuting a cake specially for him, take a plate for him, bring him a fork - and upon seeing his difficulty in using a fork - had actually gone away into the kitchen looking for a smaller tea-spoon in exchange for the fork. and when khaleef insisted on sitting at the high chair at the bar, the chef carried him up, making sure he's all comfy before leaving him to munch his choc merdeka cake. all for tuan khaleef. haha!

then it was time go home. we saw this adorable fat cat right outside the makan hall. actually susah tau nak nampak kucing liar kat tanah arab ni!

..and of course, the night would not be complete without a family potrait against the majestic sight of burj al-arab. nampaknya ini macam shot menarik untuk hantar kat salam perantau. amacam? hihi.

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia!

Perjuangan Yang Belum Selesai

Sesungguhnya tidak ada yang lebih menyayatkan
dari melihat bangsaku dijajah

Tidak ada yang lebih menyedihkan
dari membiarkan bangsaku dihina

Air mata tiada ertinya
sejarah silam tiada maknanya
sekiranya bangsa tercinta terpinggir
dipersenda dan dilupakan

Bukan kecil langkah wira bangsa
para pejuang kemerdekaan
bagi menegakkan kemuliaan
dan darjat bangsa
selangkah beerti mara
mengharung sejuta dugaan

Biarkan bertatih
asalkan langkah itu yakin dan cermat
bagi memastikan negara merdeka
dan bangsa terpelihara
air mata sengsara
mengiringi setiap langkah bapa-bapa kita

Tugas kita bukan kecil
kerana mengisi kemerdekaan
rupanya lebih sukar dari bermandi
keringat dan darah menuntutnya

Lagi pula apalah ertinya kemerdekaan
kalau bangsaku asyik mengia dan menidakkan
mengangguk dan membenarkan
kerana sekalipun bangganya negara
kerana makmur dan mewahnya
bangsaku masih melata
dan meminta-minta di negaranya sendiri

Bukan kecil tugas kita
meneruskan perjuangan kemerdekaan kita
kerana rupanya selain memerdekakan
mengisi kemerdekaan itu jauh lebih sengsara

Bangsaku bukan kecil hati dan jiwanya
bukankah sejak zaman berzaman
mereka menjadi pelaut
malah penakluk terkemuka?

Bukankah mereka sudah mengembangkan sayap
menjadi pedagang dan peniaga
selain menjadi ulama dan ilmuan terbilang?

Bukankah bangsaku pernah mengharung
samudera menjajah dunia yang tak dikenal

Bukankah mereka pernah menjadi
wira serantau yang tidak mengenal
erti takut dan kematian?

Di manakah silapnya hingga bangsaku
berasa begitu kecil dan rendah diri?

Apakah angkara penjajah?
Lalu bangsaku mulai
melupakan kegemilangan silam
dan sejarah gemilang membina empayar

Tugas kita belum selesai rupanya
bagi memartabat dan
memuliakan bangsa
kerana hanya bangsa yang berjaya
akan sentiasa dihormati

Rupanya masih jauh dan berliku jalan kita
bukan sekadar memerdeka dan mengisinya
tetapi mengangkat darjat dan kemuliaan
buat selama-lamanya

Hari ini, jalan ini pasti semakin berliku
kerana masa depan belum tentu
menjanjikan syurga
bagi mereka yang lemah dan mudah kecewa

Perjuangan kita belum selesai
kerana hanya yang cekal dan tabah
dapat membina mercu tanda
bangsanya yang berjaya

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad Mei 1996

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bazaar Ramadhan Dubai

ramadhan in dubai is a first for me, and the second year for mr. khairul. last year i stayed back for puasa and raya with the family in malaysia before joining him here. he said last year's ramadhan and raya in dubai were just as meriah as in malaysia.

meriah tak meriah? malaysians here ran their very own *bazaar ramadhan!

*what is bazaar ramadhan?

i don't know about other countries, but in malaysia, the bazaar ramadhan is one of the most anticipated events for malaysians, muslims and non-muslims alike, during the month of ramadhan. you can find hundreds of stalls selling varieties of mouth-watering food and drinks for the breaking of fast everywhere in malaysia from 1st right up to 30th. it's really a festival of food as far as the eye can see!

correct me if i'm wrong but the longest recorded line of stalls in a bazaar ramadhan is in medan gopeng, ipoh (only walking distance from abah's house!) and only in taman tun dr. ismail's bazaar ramadhan can you find people lining up just to buy putu piring or popiah basah. disiplin sungguh orang-orang tmn tun ni!

here in dubai, malaysians continued the tradition of our people by having our own bazaar ramadhan. it's held every friday from 4pm to 6pm at the compound of the consul general's house; tuan syed and wife madam sarah at villa 25, 19B street, al-barsha.

it may not snake till hundreds of meters like the ones in malaysia, or sell anything and everything imaginable to the palate - but a few stalls here are enough for malaysians to feel back at home.

nasi kerabu and nasi tomato; ayam percik and ketam butter, tepung pelita and kueh lopis, cendol and air soya - take your pick. there's always a good crowd here in bazaar ramadhan dubai and food always runs out by the first hour!

also, you can still see semangat 1malaysia here in dubai. malay, chinese, indians - all came to meriahkan the bazaar ramadhan.

when i came last friday, i had a mission - to get nasi tomato, tepung pelita and ayam percik. khaleef loves bread and hotdog so a stop at fida's stall was a must! she sells homemade bread that's fresh from the oven.

then i got tepung pelita from eiyda and nik's stall and their tepung pelita is yummy eventhough it's not in the usual boxed-up daun pandan. next week i'm getting that again!

another delicious find was the green kuih lopeh (my mak's favorite kuih) at nyta's stall. it was 1/4 of its original round size but the taste was just as good. partnered with the sweet gula melaka and you got a classic kuih that taste just like what tokcik makes. another kuih that i will look for again!

what about mr. khairul? his mission was to get any lauk, any lauk which his wife aka yours truly, would never ever cook. result? he bought perut masak lemak. i don't eat perut but i love kuah lemak - delicious and memang naik selera!

see, kat dubai pun ada stall jual macam-macam lauk kampung! if i'm not mistaken gerai lauk ni belongs to mr. huhuhu?

..and finally, before leaving the vicinity of CG's house, we bought the craved ayam percik. looking at the picture it looks more like roasted chicken but when dipped in their special white percik sauce - absolutely delish! i dunno about you but i've never seen a white percik sauce. selalunya peach or orangy color kan? but it still tastes nice. try it on your next visit!

oh, and let me remind you again that the food here sells fast so do come early so as not to miss anything! see you there!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fish & Chips for Ramadhan Supper

this posting is dedicated to my chipmunks chip and dale; pinky and the brain; timon and pumbaa - my sisters syidot and azot with a message, "korang datang kang kita gi sini jalan kaki je!"

'the fish & chips room' is situated at a corner of the jumeirah beach residence, facing the main road, not the beach. we were looking for something light to munch one late night, and found that this place opens up to 4 o'clock in the morning. dah lama pun tak makan fish and chips!

it's a small, narrow cafe with seats enough for just about 3 families on the inside. there are ample seats outside but i doubt it'll be filled on this hot summer time.

the leather seats are yellow, surrounded by white walls and silver tables. so you kinda see yellow and white all around. there's a square yellow 'pillar' around the middle where there is a list of food served. i think without the pillar the place would be more spacious and can accomodate more seats. then again, that's the decor of the place.

the counters are right along the wall opposite the seats, with choices of fish fillet and other fried seafood to choose from.

the menu is really cute in size and shape. just look at it! choices range from the typical fish and chips - pick from hammour, haddock, red snapper and cod. also available is calamari and prawn, served to our liking - with their special batter or bread crumbs.

if you want to try a little bit of everything, get the set which can be pricey but worth it if you're really a fan of seafood.

we ordered hammour, as we're told it's the local fish and therefore guaranteed to be super-fresh. we ordered one first, as mr. khairul was still deciding.

when we received our order, we're glad we didn't order another plate - because the serving is huge! cut into half, the hammour was still big enough to feed one, with mountain of chips to share between us three - mr. khairul, khaleef and i.

we also ordered a portion of coleslaw which is a simple mix of cabbage and carrot but tasted so good and fresh. our meal was served together with a very generous portion of a rather thick and yummy tartar sauce which is an essential part when eating a dish of fish and chips.

i say 'very generous' because most of the fish and chips store - anywhere in the world - seem to be really stingy with their precious tartar sauce. worse, some make customer pay if they ask for extra tartar sauce.

with every bite of the hammour that we ordered, a recognizable fishy taste greet our taste bud. not the processed kind, but it was as if they took the actual fish and fry it, instead of a fish fillet dip in batter and fried. while purist of fish and chips might like the sharp fish taste, i don't prefer this acute taste of fish, but the tartar sauce saved the day as i dip bits of fish in a whole lot of tartar sauce. yum!

syidot, you must try this!

these are the seats outside the fish and chips room. empty during summer time but i bet when you guys come (syidot and azot) during winter, we'll just hang out here alright?

here's where it's at - around the corner in one of the many buildings of jumeirah beach residence, right next to umi sushi. cepatlah datang, korang!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dubai Wet Market

when pressed for time, we shop for chicken, fish and vegetables at spinneys (it's like giant or tesco) but given the gift of the hour and also, whenever we're in the neighbourhood after a yummy mandy meal at al-tawasol, we stopped by one of the wet markets in dubai.

this one is in karama, downtown dubai. it's quite a distance from where we're staying, so we try to make the best of every visit here. chicken, assortment of fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables - you can find it here.

look at the floor! dubai market is super clean. of course it's not without the fishy smell but it's clean than most markets, sans murky puddles and stenchy drains.

each store is enclosed and air-conditioned. some storekeepers speak bahasa melayu! "mahu kangkong? pisang?"

storekeepers would sit outside when not attending to customers, luring them in with their calls and suggestions for the day's buy.

nways, after 3 weeks of orang bujang staying at our home, naturally we had to top-up the fridge yang kering kontang tu. and now that mr. khairul's lovely and super-hot wife is finally back from malaysia, she's ready to whip up yummy dishes just for him!

here's khaleef holding a big prawn, as per requested by his bapak. tsk. tsk.

well, i bet we're gonna be back buying a lot of chicken and such soon, in preparation for the coming raya. to the market, people!

Monday, August 24, 2009


ok listen.

today is already the 30th. yes, the date up there may have passed.

you see i was sick.
not in the pink of health for the past week. i blame the horrible experience i had with the emirates airline (which i do not care to elaborate).

i had no strength to blog. no mood to update. but i had this terrible urge (being anal too about blogging on the right date) to not leave any day or a week gap out of my blog just because i wasn't in the mood to write. so what i did was, each day i simply 'save' a title in the 'new post' for whatever is happening that day, so that when i'm up on my toes, i could just fill in the 'saved post' with my writings. and then click 'publish'!

so expect a sudden burst of 5 to 6 postings in a span of 2 days or so. that's just me. *smile*

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Malaysia Oh Tanahairku

at the time of writing alhamdulillah i have arrived safe and sound on the land of burj dubai, the would-be tallest building in the world.

at klia, abah, umi and my youngest sis azot sent me off, and my in-laws came by too to kiss goodbye their cucu sulung, khaleef and cucu dubai, kahfi. hihi.

in light of the h1n1 spread, we all wore masks. even khaleef who was very excited to wear one since it probably made him feel like a masked superhero. but to my observation, not many people donned the mask, eventhough being in a building where people from all over the world come and go in all directions.

my mom in law came armed with a few more goodies to bring back. i have 3 bags absolutely filled with nothing but food - ikan bilis, keropok ikan and such. i kid you not!

khaleef was alright leaving his atuks and opahs, uncle and aunties. i guess he was pre-occupied with the idea of going on an aeroplane!

saying goodbye is never easy. not only leaving family and friends (that goes without saying) but to leave the best place on earth - my home malaysia. the people, the places and the food! never can i find satay kajang in karama. or goreng pisang makcik bawah in al-barsha. or durian in spinneys.

a shout out to my 1malaysia team in my old office - dora, jo, jennifer, mohana, haida and ms e - i apologize for my absence on that satay-konyaku jelly-truffle day. you guys know i would definitely have tried to make it if i could. i love you guys!

until we meet again, here's an old 2007 clip of visit malaysia year, with our beloved songbirds the aziz sisters crooning 'malaysia truly asia' in the background. the shots are just gorgeous. enjoy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Meeting Miss Marissa Marha

at first there was haiqal, then haqeem. after that khaleef came, followed by sufiyya. after awhile husna came into the picture and kahfi joined in. recently, or to be precise - on 21st of august, a new member of the 'cucu podin club' signed in. sister of sufiyya shafiqah, and the 2nd daughter of my younger sister syimot. she is marissa marha.

welcome, lil missy!

kecik-kecik dah kasi pakai tudung ye hoho

congratulations to the proud parents and new kak yong sufya! she is gorgeous, red red red and adorable - the splitting image of her sister sufya!

the most amazing thing about her birth was that my sister's due date was supposed to be a week after i leave for dubai, but manusia merancang, tuhan menentukan - she came out early - 2 days before i was scheduled to fly! little marissa really wants to see her auntie gim and cousins abang khaleef and abang kahfi!

we met syimot at her home where she lepak a bit before moving to her berpantang station at her mom in law's house. naturally, we took pictures of the 2-day old shleeping marissa. it was just a few hours before i need to make a move to klia, catching a flight back to dubai.

thank you my little miss marissa, for coming out early so that you can be touched by your auntie's charm. hihi. i'll see you again when you come over to dubai!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan Al-Mubarak

ramadhan datang lagi.

banyak kenangan yang aku teringat bila bercakap tentang ramadhan. cerita-cerita menarik masa bersahur, kisah-kisah yang tak kan dilupakan masa berbuka serta adegan-adegan kelakar masa terawih!

aku bukan la membesar kat kampung; bersahur dengan lampu pelita dan sebagainya. tapi kenangan sahur tu tetap menarik, sesuai dengan perkembangan teknologi masa aku muda remaja dulu, di mana setiap seorang anak-anak podin dah ade handphone masing-masing. aku ingat sangat mak aku call je handphone kitorang bila nak gerak sahur. ye lah, payah jugak nak naik turun tangga gerak sampai 2-3 kali anak-anak yang malas bangun sahur ni hihi.

mak aku dulu memang akan bangun 3-4 pagi nak siapkan hidangan sahur. setiap hari ramadhan, tanpa merungut, tanpa jemu. gerak anak-anak memang mesti. kalau tak bangun masa sekali gerak, mak akan cuba gerak kali kedua. maksud aku, call kali kedua. hihi. kadang-kadang kami anak-anak minum air je pasal terlalu mengantuk nak makan, padahal mak dah panaskan pelbagai lauk yang berbuka malam tadi. ish ish. kesian mak dah readykan semua susah-susah. hmm, budak-budak!

kami 5 beradik perempuan, jadi paham-paham la setiap ramadhan pasti ade hari-hari yang seorang-dua dari kami 'cuti' berpuasa. namun, bangun sahur tetap dimestikan, bagi menghormati adik-beradik lain yang berpuasa. lagipun meriah bangun sahur kami 5 beradik bersama mak dan abah!

yang paling best masa sahur ialah jika hari itu hari cuti minggu dan kami semua tak payah ke sekolah. lepas sahur dan solat subuh, kami adik beradik bentang tilam depan tv dan pasang video (masa tu takde vcd, dvd oii) cerita p. ramlee ke, atau 'back to the future', atau ape-ape saja filem kegemaran bersama. sambil tonton tv, sambil tidur nyenyak hingga ke dinihari. haha.

mak dan abah aku agak liberal dalam menitikberatkan soal berpuasa ni. tidak dipaksa, namun kami sentiasa digalakkan. aku memang takde cerita-cerita pasal curi-curi minum air masa mandi atau pegi balik pokok makan biskut senyap-senyap - sebab kalau aku tak larat, aku bagitau je lah kat mak aku. takde nak sembunyi-sembunyi! hihi.

jadi aku masa darjah dua ke satu - aku ingat lagi aku puasa 2 hari saje! hari pertama ramadhan (sebab masa tu semangat berkobar-kobar nak berpuasa) dan hari terakhir ramadhan (sebab masa tu dah balik kampung, jadi nak tunjuk ek depan cousin-cousin yang turut berpuasa) hihi!

satu lagi cerita kelakar pasal tak larat puasa - aku masa tu darjah-darjah. aku dah beli aiskrim ni, tengah pegang. masa tu boleh lagi pikir nak bukak puasa ke taknak. padehal aiskrim tengah cair kat tangan tu!

masa yang amat dinantikan oleh budak-budak masa berpuasa (bukan budak-budak je!) ialah berbuka! segala macam makanan sedap masak dan beli. yang paling best kalau mak aku masak nasi lauk-lauk dengan bihun best dia sekali. bihun mak aku simple je. tomato, cili, daging, sawi dan telur. simple sangat tapi itu yang kami suka ya amat! masa bukak puasa mesti kami adik-beradik ambik nasi dan bihun sepinggan.

satu yang kelakar masa berbuka ialah mak aku yang tak pernah-pernah masak mee goreng, akan masak mee goreng untuk juadah berbuka. jadi mee goreng ni amat magis - pasal ia muncul setahun sekali je! hihi.

kalau pasal kuih, (kalau tak beli di bazar ramadhan) mak aku akan buat popiah daging, popiah sayur, cucur udang atau karipap. kuih mak aku sedap gile tau - popiah, cucur dan karipap yang tersedap di dunia! (sebagaimana korang-korang akan rasa kuih mak korang yang paling sedap la kan? alah, mak-mak punya sentuhan ni lain sikit!)

lagi satu yang mesti ada masa berbuka ialah tembikai. tembikai, tembikai, tembikai. padahal aku pun tak suka makan tembikai! apsal abah aku tak beli pisang ke, epal ke. hihi.

aku adik-beradik ada tugas masing-masing bila nak bersedia untuk berbuka. tugas aku senang je (pasal aku tak reti masak) iaitu tukang buat air. sape-sape yang 'cuti' berpuasa hari tu akan jadi tukang rasa. senang ade adik-beradik 5 perempuan ni!

namun, cakap pasal tak reti masak - mak aku sorang je yang akan masak semua lauk-lauk juadah berbuka. s e m u a. memang kitorang cuma teman mak bersembang di dapur. mak akan buat semua, dan masak semua yang sedap-sedap.

masa tunggu waktu berbuka, ada iklan 'cordial saga' yang mana ada suara perempuan yang konon-konon klas dan elegen berkata, 'corrrrdial saaaaaga'... ala korang biasa dengar kan iklan tu? hihi.

bila azan bergema je (rumah aku dekat dengan masjid) glup glup glup la! masa aku kecik-kecik aku memang minum 2-3 gelas sebelum makan nasi yang menggunung - alamatnya kembung perut dan tak larat terawih. bila dah besar sikit baru aku mengerti erti sebenar berbuka bukan la nak mengisi balik perut kosong dengan lahap - dan aku mengerti kalau aku minum seteguk dua teguk pun dah cukup menghilangkan dahaga. dan aku mengerti aku boleh makan sikit-sikit sampai la ke pukul 12 tengah malam pun!

aku mengaku aku bukan lah jenis yang terawih tak tinggal tapi kenangan terawih tu tetap ada. masa kecik-kecik dulu aku ingat lagi berjalan kaki dengan yong, jiran aku si ani dan sahabat seperumahan kami, kak saniah. berjalan kaki tu ke masjid yang bukannya dekat! waktu gelap lepas maghrib pulak tu! di lorong perumahan yang tidak la begitu terang. kalau sekarang ni, takdenye mak-mak akan benarkan anak-anak perempuan berempat begitu berjalan waktu malam!

tapi itulah satu daripada kenangan ramadhan yang aku takkan lupakan, berjalan kaki dengan memakai telekung, sambil di tangan memegang erat sejadah dan kain sembahyang.

kalau datang mood nakal tu, kami ke masjid sambil dapat mengintai mamat-mamat kopiah yang datang ke masjid berterawih bersama. abang-abang form 5 yang hensem-hensem dan smart sungguh dengan baju melayu. hihi.

hmm. sahur, berpuasa, berbuka dan berterawih. penuh kenangan warna-warni. sungguh berharga dan takkan dilupakan.

* * *

kini aku pun dah berkeluarga. semestinya bersahur, berpuasa dan berbuka tu membawa seribu satu lagi kenangan baru yang indah, menarik, kelakar dan sebagai. tiada yang lebih membahagiakan dari menyediakan juadah menarik untuk mengisi perut suami yang sudah sehari berpuasa, menahan lapar dan dahaga. tambah-tambah jika lauk-pauk dipuji sedap oleh si suami!

dan aku mengerti bagaimana mak bangun pagi buta saban hari ramadhan untuk menyediakan sahur bagi kami sekeluarga. sebagai isteri, aku pun rasa seronok bangun pagi sebegitu, memastikan juadah yang naik selera untuk orang yang makan sewaktu mengantuk! kemudian gerak si suami untuk sahur bersama. terasa keindahan ramadhan di situ.

bila khaleef dan kahfi sudah bersedia berpuasa, pastinya itu mengundang sejuta lagi memori puasa yang menarik, bila tiba masa gerak khaleef bangun sahur, atau memujuk kahfi untuk berbuka jika dia tak larat. aku tak sabar nantikan semua itu!

* * *

bila dah sebulan berpuasa, tibalah masanya menyambut syawal yang mulia. tapi itu cerita untuk posting yang lain! sehingga itu, saya sekeluarga bagi pihak mr. khairul, khaleef dan kahfi mohon ampun dan maaf sempena ramadhan yang mulia ini - moga kita semua dapat melaluinya dengan tabah, beserdehana dan penuh keinsafan!

selamat berpuasa kepada adik aku syida yang berpuasa di melbourne tahun ini, dan mr. khairul tersayang yang berpuasa sehari tanpa isteri di sisi di dubai. (i nak balik dah ni!)

buat yang lain, selamat berpuasa!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

H1N1 : Do Your Part!

h1n1. now you gotta be outta the planet for the past month not to know of this pandemic that has hit malaysian shores with sad, tragic results. to date, 60 deaths reported - much to my sister (who disinclined to be named) dismay of malaysian's lackadaisical attitude.

according to her, victoria australia was reported to have a higher recorded number of death due to h1n1, way before a malaysian died of it. now they were able to contain the pandemic with only 21 (correct me if i'm wrong) deaths so far, while malaysia's number is still growing. why?

my sister has strong opinion on this. i and i alone, (hihi) also feel that some malaysians are simply stubborn, selfish, ignorants infecting people with their condition despite being sick! the precautions are all over -

  • stay indoor if you're showing symptoms of a common flu
  • and if you must go out, wear face masks (the face masks is not just for your protection, but also to protect others from your coughing and sneezing!)
  • tak sempat beli/pakai mask? cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough

so just be smart and considerate!

have you got your masks? my just10 galpal anneeza went creative and sew her own face mask based on the idea of another creative blogger. click here to try it yourself!

be smart, be safe!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Selera Desa Tokcik @ Taiping

my travels got me to taiping, the 'wettest' town in the peninsular malaysia, having received rain almost daily! the land of the first museum in malaysia, 'museum perak', and the famous 'taiping lake gardens', taiping also houses the 'bukit merah laketown resort', a beautiful getaway for families and friends.

if you're coming through the highway from ipoh/kl, just drive straight on until you see a pink shoplot, turn right and you'll find one of the famous makan places in taiping - simply known as 'bomba, jln tupai' as it's situated near a fire station.

this makan place is special to me and my family because my tokcik has a food lot here. her kerai makan is called 'selera desa 3&4' one for the lauk-pauk, and one lot for the drinks.

on that day that i saw her, she was still her spunky self, moving hither and tither in her usual fast-paced, no wasted-time manner. tokwan was still the one busy making drinks for the thirsty customers. what an urat-dawai-tulang-besi power couple!

tokwan, tokcik, me & khaleef

tokcik is my mak's youngest auntie. my gramma's youngest sister. orang utara ni panggil nenek, tok. panggil datuk, tokwan. when i was really young i was confused with the name, but naturally it caught on. my nephews and khaleef called her 'tokcik nyang'. at 80 plus, my tokcik and tokwan dah pangkat moyang dah!

she really is the diamond in my family and all of us love her very, very much. she has always been there for all of us - for the good and bad times, selflessly showering her unconditional love. my mom and her siblings lost their parents at an early age so they all looked up to her as their own mother. that's why all of us - my sisters and i, and all my cousins know her as our grandmother.

from the moment my mother and her siblings were left orphaned, to the festive time of celebrating yong's wedding - she was there, the busiest of all. she even sew the curtains and bed decorations for my wedding! she was there to take care of my mom during pantang when she had me, and she was even there to take care of me when i had khaleef! (even as i write this i'm trying not to cry!)

so there i was, visiting my fav gramma tokcik with mr. khairul's mom, my sis in law little sofia and my kids. i didn't know the way so my auntie cik and her husband uncle rosli led the way.

don't get me started on the lauk. what lauk do you have in mind? from the simple ayam masak kicap to the pucuk ubi. from ikan keli bakar to the kangkong belacan. all for your grumbling tummy to feast on.

it was nice to see sofia enjoying the food, choosing her lauk that showcased her taste like orang tua - nasi with kuah lemak, ikan keli and kerang!

khaleef had his favorite nasi and chicken soup, with fried drumstick on the side. my mom-in-law also seemed to be enjoying herself with the ample choice of lauk from tokcik's kedai makan.

me? a must for me is the ikan keli bakar, sohun masak lemak, sayur kacang and of course - tokcik's sambal belacan. tantalizing!

mau minum apa?

drinks station was hosted by tokcik's beloved hubby - tokwan with his specialty - ais kacang! tokwan is a funny dude, in his quiet ways. he's not one to be the life of a kenduri, but when you get him talking one on one, he can be quite a hoot!

below is a picture of my sis-in-law sofia enjoying tokwan's signature ais kacang with melted ice-cream, while my drooling khaleef looked on!

while waiting for the adults to finish their 'business' the kids played see-saw. sampai tercabut tayar getah tu. adoi!

kahfi had fun with uncle abu and his sepet looka-likey uncle umar (cik's sons), and later being terrorized by a certain 'tok li' with a white beard!

it was a wonderful visit - we got to hug and kiss our beloved tokcik, see her new grandson (uncle halim and auntie shila's new baby, hazman) and i get to munch yummy ikan keli bakar.

..then it rained! kalo tak boleh pegi zoo taiping. great taiping trip!

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