Saturday, January 31, 2009

Let's Go Dubai Marina Mall

it's dsf -
dubai shopping festival!

embracing the call, we went to dubai marina mall to check out the place. we've never been there since moving to dubai marina. we were waiting for the mall to fill up with shops and makan place.

The Dubai Marina Mall - as written in my posting on dubai marina

see our neighbourhood mall? just like OU to the peeps in damansara and taman tun, dubai marina mall would be just a stone throw away for us living in dubai marina. it opens just recently - in fact it opened on the 22nd, a day before kahfi's birthday. it's quite a mall - complete with cineplex and children's entertainment area. so if you guys come over, we can head on to marina mall to check out stuff, eh?



it's a 'simpler' mall compared to the larger mall of emirates, dubai mall and less decorative in its interior unlike ibn battutta mall or madinat jumeirah. it serves the basic needs of shoppers - a few branded shops here and there, adequate stalls in its food court and ample space for khaleef to run around. besides, it has a cinema! ok lah tu!

i don't need much from a mall; good food, good entertainment. i could hang here!

i was excited to see that the parking space uses the light system - where a light on top of the parking spot goes red when there is a car parked, and green when it's an empty spot. makes it so much easier to look for a space.

however, mr. khairul anticipated a problem once the mall reaches its full capacity and people would start coming in there might not be enough space! the design of the mall is such that it has a big circly part and that takes up space in the carpark. you make full use of space when you arrange the boxes in straight lines, rather in a circle, right? hopefully the management has counter measures...

one of the guards looking all important and on the watch-out to see if khaleef would spill his drink

we saw lots of boarded up spaces - booked for retails shop opening soon. another thing to notice if you guys go there - are the guards! mr. khairul remarked cheekily that we were at bank negara - the guards, all in dark blue, were all around, many of them, looking alert and straight-faced, watching our every move. you would think the mall is filled with million-dollar items and they're afraid that one of us would scoot off with it - or it looks like a vvvip is coming to dubai marina mall and they're on the look-out for possible assasins.

takde keja lain kot?

before and after

we got an awesome 'entertainment' while we're there - i didn't notice it at first until pointed out by mr. khairul (men and models - >rolling eyes<) the models on the platform are real people, not mannequins! we stood staring for a good few minutes just to catch them moving but these gals were really good. macam betul!

the make-up job is excellent too, with the right amount of shine at the right places to bring out the mannequin effect on the models. a lot of other amazed shoppers were taking shots too.

good job dubai marina mall for an interesting display!

we can see parts of the jumeirah beach residence and the marina

this is one of the best thing to look forward to when you visit dubai marina mall - the marina view. it's a long stretch of balcony with tables and chairs that overlooks the marina. it opens up from the foodcourt so you can munch and lunch while watching yatchs pass by or just enjoy the sunshine reflects on the rippling water of the marina. at night you see blinks of lights from nearby apartments, especially the imposing jumeirah beach residence - a great sight!


caught this piece on our way out to the carpark. notice the third one '..refrain from any public displays of affection.' hmm. oh, shoot. and i was about to make-out on the balcony...

>snickerin<

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sport Spot @ Mirdiff Park

what a great way to spend a weekend.

movies - cinema or dvds at home
malls, shop, malls, shopping
marketing @ spinneys, giant, carre four

park?

  • healthy getaway - you sweat, you lose some pounds, breathe fresh air, you get acquainted with the morning sun and nature at its best
  • free of charge (if you exclude the tol, the petrol and croissant bought at nearby bakery because it's too late to have breakfast at home)


so earlier today mr khairul forced us out of bed in a cool, oh so cool morning to join him and other malaysians for a sporty sessions of volleyball, tennis or simply jog.

we went to mirdiff park.

this million-dirham park is really nice. nice here means clean with wide-open space and a lot of sections and stuff to do - wanna play sport? ada macam-macam court. wanna let your kids play? ada playground. wanna just sit? ada shading seating area. wanna jog? ada track. there are toilets available, clean and comfortable to use.

it has sport areas for football, basket-ball, volleyball and tennis. take your pick! i'll pass. not particularly sporty since forever! mr. khairul had fun reliving his zaman kegemilangan, while khaleef just glad to get out of the house, run around like crazy and screamed every time he had to run after the ball.

these courts are surrounded by jogging tracks.

when we went last year

the jogging track that surrounds the courts is 325 meter long with an indicator everytime you hit 50 meters. when we went there last year, i really enjoy the long walks i took along the jogging track - i was still carrying kahfi inside me - and believe that long walks would ease labor. guess so!

i'm not much into sport (not at all - i was just trying to be polite) but jogging, i'm up to it. i remember niraku wanted to fit into her kebaya by graduation day (seemed so long ago now that she's doing her phd already!) so she asked me to join her for a jogging session at padang polo, ipoh every weekend. i went but ended up jogging for awhile, and walking for the rest of the time. hey, i'm still burning fat, aren't i?

fuzzy fun time with dad

in an adjacent fenced field, there is a whole other area with wider greens and shaded sitting areas, where the kids playground is. this one also has a jogging track, supposedly for the ladies. there are palm trees and colourful flowers, a really calm, cozy place to hang out with the wife and kids. however the door that connects the two areas was locked, so we had to go all the way to the other side to enter the playground area.

the playground is really something. unique items for play, with sand all over the play area. like the kind on the beach. khaleef was bare-footed as the sand was too irresistable!

the items at the playground are not the typical ones you would see in any other playground. for one, there's the 'rock climbing' thingy - which khaleef was forced to try out. and instead of a normal see-saw, there was a yellow thingy that functions as a see-saw but doesn't quite look like one plank balanced on one rock in the middle.

in fact, the only familiar item was the swings. khaleef loved the swings. and any panjat-panjat thingys.


breathe in. hold. breathe out.
repeat.

not bad.

mr khairul layan sports with the other malaysians.
khaleef played football.
kahfi was basking in the morning sun.
i was just happy my boys had a great day out.

why don't you take a time out and head to the nearest park this weekend?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Muchos Gracias

@ dubai airport

mr. khairul's mom and sis, teh left for malaysia yesterday. it has been a fun one month with them and certainly a great help esp. with kahfi and the aqiqah. khaleef would definitely be the one who misses them the most.

khairul, syigim, khaleef and kahfi would like to thank the back-up unit from malaysia:

our thank you list
  • all the yummy lauk-pauk
  • all the tips of taking care new infant
  • preparing tungku and mixture of kapur and limau for the bengkung
  • packing for the moving in - from the big stuff to the littlest item
  • making sure the aqiqah runs well
  • ..and for laughing at your eldest son's silly jokes to keep him amused

khaleef's thank you list
  • playing hockey, tennis, baseball, bowling and football with me in the house
  • taking me for a bicycle ride while in bur dubai
  • making chicken porridge specially for me
  • spoon-feeding me
  • watching cartoons with me
  • being my fan whenever i sing esp. anuar zain's "..mencintaiiiimuuuu..!"
  • for manja-ing me like crazee!

kahfi's thank you list
  • bathing me every morning
  • singing Quranic lullabys when i cry
  • keeping me company when mak is busy
  • hand-washing all my clothes and mittens
THANK YOU!


it won't be a long wait.
God willing we will be back middle of this year.
see you then!

p/s: sempat seludup nasi mandy tak dalam hand-luggage?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

3rd Largest Mosque in The World


do you know which is the 3rd biggest mosque in the world?

with mr. khairul's mom in front of the Grand Mosque, abu dhabi


let's to abu dhabitoday would be the final day to jalan-jalan with my mom-in-law and teh. they will fly back to malaysia tomorrow. mr. khairul suggested a big bang, climatic end to his mom's cuti-cuti dubai by going to Abu Dhabi, one of the 7 emirates, and the capital of UAE. abu dhabi is right next to dubai - just like a drive from kl to tapah, perak. dah datang dubai, rugi lah tak pergi!


me outside the mosque. note the first pict - the makam diraja - no cameras are allowed near that enclosed area


big mosquewhat better way to remember a trip to abu dhabi than visiting the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Grand Mosque, the 3rd biggest mosque in the world. mr. khairul really wanted to bring abah to this mosque when he was here but it had been a tiring week and abah just wanted to hang back and relax without traveling too far, too long. maybe on your next visit, ye abah?

mr. khairul called it the white mosque. made entirely out of white marble, i guess it is pretty fitting. looking so majestic from far away, made more resplendant with the setting sun. the dim sunlight, reflecting upon the white marble gave it an ilusion of being built on white clouds. however, driving closer, you might be disappointed by the unfinished landscape - and a lot of other parts of the exterior still under construction.

it is newly opened during ramadhan 2007. obviously it is named after the founder and the first president of the UAE, who is also buried there in a specially built marble makam diraja. Quranic recital can be heard emanating throughout the royal mausoleum.


right outside the prayer halls - notice the floral marble design beneath my feet?


it is illegal for non-muslims to enter mosques in the UAE, but here they are able to enter with proper clothing and headgear which can be provided at the entrance of the prayer halls. this leniency is given in order to promote cultural and religious understanding. it is also an architectural marvel that should be shared irrespective of religion.


see the one of the minarets and the floral-marble-paved courtyard


a vast courtyard awaits once inside. surrounded by the prayer halls, 4 very tall minarets on the 4 courners of the mosque and bulbs of domes - 57 domes of 7 different sizes to be exact, covering the outside yard and the main building. standing at the courtyard, i can really see the domes popping out on top of the majestic mosque, like cendawan lepas hujan!




colored floral marble and mosaics paved the courtyard of the mosque - simply wonderful! the pillars stretching across the mosque also has the floral marble design.


world record
the mosque also has
  • the largest carpet
  • the biggest chandelier
  • the largest dome of its kind in the world


it does remind of the taj mahal - but it also has its own pure charm with its white shiny marble and the immensity of its size. visiting this beautiful mosque also got me thinking of my state's beloved mosque, Ubudiah Mosque in kuala kangsar which is a quaint mosque with interesting belang-belang design on the minaret. also, feeling guilty for not having visited the Crystal Mosque in terengganu.

we may not have the biggest mosque in the world, but they are equally unique and amazing in its design.




oh, and guess what we saw at one of the roundabouts in abu dhabi?
coolness.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Amazing Atlantis

the atlantis.

plato wrote about atlantis as a legendary island that sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune". it is said to be a lost island, but with a civilization of advanced technology. many men have seek this mystical island, never found - it lies beneath, along with the secrets of the deep blue sea.

i'll have you all know that i'm a sucker for crop circles, theories about the stonehenge and the curse of the pyramids. that kind of crap. did you read eric von daniken's 'chariots of the gods?' man, i had goose-bumps!

atlantis is the name of dubai's new landmark - a hotel only comparable to burj al-arab - The Atlantis at Crescent, Palm Jumeirah.

the atlantis at night - when mr khairul took me with my parents

despite the mysterious tale behind its name, the intricate detail of the interior decor and the architectural marvel of the building, one thing struck me as well, out of place - when i came to dubai with my parents, mr. khairul took us to the atlantis. but it was at night and we didn't go inside. the lights gave the new dubai landmark a fantastic look, hiding the gaudy paint color! right, so my point is - why is atlantis painted yucky pale pink or salmon or that color?

mr. khairul took me on a second visit to the atlantis with his mom and sis

with mr. khairul's mom and sis we went again, this time to have a good look inside the much talked-about hotel where beckham and pak lah stayed on their visit to dubai. we dressed up like makcik arab and strut our stuff into the posh hotel, pretending to be potential guests. it was fun!

"dive into an aquatic adventure inspired by a mythical age"

that was the catchphrase presented as soon as we enter the official website of the atlantis. true to its name, the interior decor boasts sea motives and ornaments. from the sea-shell lamps to the oyster fountain - there is even a sea horse lamp inside the individual cubicles of the restroom! i want that in my living room, and they put it in the toilet! everything has deep sea ocean written all over. even the colorful mosaics on the walls and ceiling.

you'd feel like you're in king triton's ocean kingdom, the dwelling of the merpeople!

the main centrepiece is my favorite

the atlantis has
  • a waterpark called aquaventure - slated to be the biggest in the world
  • the lost chambers – where you can journey through a labyrinth of chambers to experience its fascinating underwater world with an impressive variety of marine life including sharks, eels, rays, piranhas, hundreds of exotic and tropical fish.
  • see underwater ruins ala the lost city of atlantis - seen the animated feature voiced by michael j. fox?
  • dolphin bay - lush tropical setting modelled carefully so the dolphins feel at home in atlantis. we can even meet these graceful charismatic creatures. perhaps have a swim together too?
when kahfi is older, i'd definitely want them to mingle with the dolphins!

ice-cream in winter?

ha! an ice-cream place at the atlantis! let's!

so we had ice-cream at cold stone creamery - MUST come again because we missed taking picture of a fantastic showmanship of the ice-cream dude! you see, as usual we were asked to choose the flavors - it was plain choc and dark choc. then teh chose the toppings - oreo, cashew nut and white choc chip.

what he did next:
  • he plop the chunk of ice cream flavors on board
  • made a hole
  • put the chosen toppings in the middle of the hole
  • crush 'em and mix 'em nice
  • made everything into a ball - ice-cream and toppings
  • THREW the whole daymn thing into the air
  • ..and caught it with a medium size ice-cream cup

>clap! clap!<
the atlantis is situated on the crescent of the palm jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world. the island is visible from the poolside of our new apartment in dubai marina. see the 'palm leaves' part of the island? that has all the exclusive villas, and the 'crescent moon' part at the top of the 'leaves'? that is where the atlantis is.

perhaps when you guys come over, we can make a day of it - pack some sandwiches and juice - or karipap, bihun goreng and teh o, shoot up to the poolside, hang back and enjoy the view.

jom!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Honey, Anyone?

apart from being addicted to mandy rice, mr khairul and i also discovered another addiction - a must-have breakfast - toasted waffle with butter and...honey! the tasty pleasant-smelling sticky syrup intertwined with the salty juicy butter, melting over a hot piece of waffle - freaking good morning!

so when we went to dubai global village yesterday, it was just as nice to find Yemeni Honey - said the be one of the best produced honey in the world. beekeeping is deep-rooted throughout Yemen's history. it survived through time like an inheritance. beekeeper takes bee business seriously over there! mr. khairul took his mom and sis to experience it. they loved the place too. read my first dubai global village visit here.

a taste of yemeni honey

the yemen dude lets us try all sorts of honey - just like trying out ice-cream flavors at baskin robins before you finally decided on one. he even dipped one in the 'honey for kids', and casually placed it gently upon kahfi's lips! as a mom i was like 'what the..!" but kahfi seemed indifferent and just wiggled in my mom-in-law's arms. apparently you can feed honey to little babies. huh.

i tried the one for 'mothers after giving birth' and it tasted heavenly. like jam. like candy. like melted ice-cream. like sugary sweet but not sickeningly. i like!

the sight of the gooey yummy honey was so intoxicating, as he poured the honey so expertly into the jars


'the whole of Yemen is a land of honey'.
~ egyptian historian al-Maqrizi (d.1441),
author of one of the few Arabic treatises on beekeeping

made in yemen
honey made in yemen is raw and pure - the method of beekeeping is traditional. no chemicals or drugs allowed. no machinery used - all are done using their hands, a little smoke (from dried camel skins) and knives. the honey is then poured, unheated and raw, into containers, thus preserving its vital live enzymatic constituents.


honey is good
  • honey differs in their content, thus has different benefits
  • which flower the bees took the pollen from, the climate when the honey is being harvested and soil are all key factors in determining its flavor, colour or aroma and its quality
  • we can follow the sunah of the Prophet (SAW) who had spoonful of honey in the morning diluted in water, three times a month, said to avoid catching serious diseases.
  • yemeni tradition prescribes honey together with melted butter for consumption by mothers immediately after childbirth.

honey kept in plastic containers, with assortment of labels from 'for children', 'only for married' to 'diabetic patient'

Sidr honey of yemen
mr. khairul finally settled on the sidr honey for himself; a thick gooey dark-colored honey. said the be the most highly esteemed of all honey for it is the most expensive in the world, being harvested only twice a year. the honey is from bees who feast ONLY on the pollen of the Sidr tree - considered many to be a holy tree.

and i just found out that bees of a certain hive make 37,000 trips just to make half a kilo of honey (daymn!) but bees fed solely on the nectar of the Sidr flower die after making about 3 trips! the weaker bees cannot withstand the potency of the nectar of this remarkable tree.

gee. sorry barry benson!

the sidr tree

introducing the Sidr tree
  • the Sidr tree is an ancient tree.
  • the Jujube fruit was the first thing Prophet Adam (pbuh) ate when he was made to descend to earth.
  • the tree was used during the time of King Suleiman (pbuh) and the Pharaohs to build palaces and temples.
  • this tree is also mentioned four times in the Qur'an; one of it 'as a paradise tree (Sidrat al-Muntaha).
  • Allah has mentioned this tree to emphasize its beauty, strength and grandeur (surah Saba 15,16; Waqia 27-33; Najm 7-18).
  • it is a sturdy and deep-rooted tree which has withstood the devastating floods of Eram at Ma'arib (surah Saba 15,16).
  • all of its parts have medicinal values.

what we finally bought

we bought 3 of the smallest jar - we want to give it a try first - and i labelled them once home. for 'bapak', for 'mak' and for 'khaleef & kahfi'. i feel like i'm the mama bear in 'goldilocks and the three bears'! and it's honey! talk about irony. yum yummy yemeni honey for breakfast now!

oh, did i mention that honey is also an excellent aphrodisiac?

>wink wink<

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aqiqah for Kahfi

it was a day of celebration.

celebration of a new life.
celebration of a new home.
celebration of a new year.

doa selamat.
so that the new life, new home and new year - semuanya selamat.

khaleef enjoying the space

aqiqah for kahfi
we woke up that day excited to welcome guests to the *aqiqah of our second born, kahfi khairul. this makan-makan doubles up as a house-warming too since moving to dubai marina. early morning my mom-in-law, teh and mr khairul were ship-shaping the house with furnitures moved against the wall to make more space.

*aqiqah is defined as the animal that is slaughtered on the occasion of the birth of a baby.

This was reported in Abu Daud where the Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) said:

"A young boy is cleansed with his aqiqah. An animal is slaughtered for him on the seventh day, his name is given and his head shaved."


the purpose of aqiqah
there are many benefits in the performance of aqiqah:

  • announcing the blessing of Allah with the birth of a baby. to show gratitude and joy to God for this great occasion, an animal is slaughtered and the meat shared amongst friends and relatives.
  • khabarkan. to tell others that a baby has been born, to inform friends and relatives about the new member in the family.
  • promoting kinship and friendship by giving meat to family, friends and neighbours.


where's kahfi?
remember the buaian besi thingy that we got from a malaysian chinese family living in our old apartment? my mom-in-law put some ribbons and hang the sarong and voila! we got a buaian ala-ala cukur jambul ceremony. just for fun. i korek-korek and managed to find some ribbons used (guess when!) during my engagement to mr khairul! punya lah lama! the theme color back then was red and white - which conveniently matches the sarong used as the hammock for kahfi.

anyone recognize the *sarong* by the way? sigh. some people just can't leave his school boy days...

what happened?


  • at 230pm the al-tawasol dude sent our anticipated mandy rice.
  • a minute later we were gobbling up the mandy rice - hunger - plus it's easier to focus on the guests later on!
  • guests started arriving half an hour later and piling by the minute.
  • about 10 families came (singles, couples with kids) to me, fair enough crowd - just nice for the food and space
  • my mom-in-law opened with some warm welcoming words
  • reciting of the surah Yaasin
  • jemput makan! guests ate our yummy mandy rice
  • mr khairul took some guests to the pool side to enjoy the view of the palm island and the marina
  • lepak-lepak sipping tea

the men - reciting doa after reciting Yaasin

guests enjoying the food

thank you for bringing warmth to our new home, and teh for babysitting kahfi during the event

presents galore - thanks for the presents, and a yummy coffee cake

post-mortem
it was a relief and joy to see guests taking 2nd, 3rd helping of food served. seeing the ladies walking up and down to the kitchen, already making themselves at ease, at home. hearing the giggles of the girls and playful wrestling matches of the boys in the next room.

i love being a host!


mr. khairul and i would like to thank all who came to color our home that day with hues of bright yellow, exciting red and calming blue, with a little splash of pure white and fresh green. it means a lot to us that you guys came to meriahkan our boy's aqiqah.

we apologize if we left some people out. with pak lah coming and the oman trip, we assumed some of our friends are tied up with the prep and such. no fret! there's always so many other times you can and visit. raya, perhaps?

jemput datang ye!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meeting Pak Lah in Dubai

arriving at shangri-la dubai

much has been said about the 5th malaysia prime minister, datuk seri abdullah ahmad badawi. and sad to say, most of what's out there is in the negative.

so why was i excited to attend this dinner with the 5th PM?

  • i consider it a romantic date with mr. khairul - just the two of us
  • i consider it a big maiden outing after my pantang
  • i love fancy dinner (but that doesn't mean i'm not a mamak or cendol tepi jalan person!)
  • i just enjoy meeting famous people!
  • suka hati la!

hey, i'm a fan of dr. m but when i saw anwar ibrahim at a wedding one time, i was pretty psyched up too - you know what i mean?

pak lah & datin seri jeanne so excited to take pict with me! ;)

datuk seri abdullah ahmad badawi or fondly known as pak lah was in uae for a 2-day official visit. definitely incomplete without a mesra-bersama-rakyat night, hence the dinner.

venue
held at shangri-la hotel, dubai - i was hoping atlantis or burj al-arab!

food
there was yummy nasi lemak! and the fried meehon was nice too. lauks include daging rendang, gulai nangka and the only one i took - ayam panggang berempah. for delicious sweets i took choc and cheese cakes plus slices of honey dew and strawberry. sigh!


chronology
  • we came
  • we were seated at a table right up front, just a table apart from pak lah's table
  • tan sri muhyidin yasin arrived
  • pak lah arrived, gave a speech
  • makan! dinner! buffet! *fav part*
  • PM went 'bermesra bersama rakyat' going from table to table
  • took picture with PM
  • took picture with PM's wife

berborak with datin seri jeanne abdullah

video

she was just the sweetest, so pretty and radiant. and so warm and approachable. and i even had a brief chat with her.

"no matter how far you've travelled, nothing is like home (malaysia)." datin seri said.

trying to be cute i said, "yes, i can't even find a good char kuey teow here...i've tried so many places.."

"then you learn how to make one.." alamak, kena balik! "..you go back you duduk mana? kat malaysia? where are you from?"

"kat malaysia? oh, ipoh.."

"kat ipoh? ipoh is the best place to get char kuey teow...should be easy for you to learn.."

and that was it. we laughed together in that brief, peaceful moment - away from the ugly stories of her husband and all political crap. it was just about that night. the night i met the prime minister of malaysia and his wife.

and it felt great.

well, like i told mr. khairul - one day when i'm a grandma, i will take out my pandora box of junks and historic memorabilia - take out two photographs - the one with my fav PM, and the one with pak lah. i can tell my grandchildren,

"this is wan (what i want my grandkids to call me) with 2 PMs that made history.."

i bet most of my cucu would immediately recognize the first one.

"this is wan with him during one UMNO general assembly. this one when he came to UIA where wan did my degree. and here's us at a buka puasa do with uni students in putrajaya. he is the greatest malaysian prime minister of all time. he's the reason we're on the map. and he was PM for 22 years, the longest anyone ever served as PM!"

and i will see my grandchildren's faces beamed in awe of their cool grandma.

"..and here is another historic PM. he was PM in the shortest while. and i met him while i was staying in dubai with atuk. he was very friendly. warm smile."

and that's just that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Abaya, Not Kebaya


i wore an abaya, for the first time since in dubai.

yes, it sounds like our malay kebaya, but it is actually orang kita panggil - jubah.

well, first time since anywhere actually. my abah and umi bought this abaya when they went here way before. so i've had it for quite some time yet i've never worn it - it's not the abaya. it's me - i couldn't carry an abaya. i just found it a little out of my character.

The abaya (Arabic عباية, plural abayat عبايات) is an overgarment worn by some women in parts of the Islamic world. It is the traditional form of hijab, or Islamic dress, for many countries of the Arabian peninsula such as the United Arab Emirates, where it is the national dress. ~wikipedia

traditionally, an abaya is black, with intricate designs on the sleeves and up the front or at the bottom - beads, embroidery or diamonds glittery thingy. but azi kept pestering me to get a colored one because her best friend had gotten one that looks really nice. i'm still on the lookout!

so mine is a black number - and i wore it because it's fun to dress up like the people in the country we're staying in (man, what if mr. khairul got transfered to a zulu tribal area? tiger skin and coconut shells? sheesh!) plus, teh was also wearing it too - so ade geng! i wore a long red skirt underneath, matches the little red flowers on my abaya.

we went to ikea that day and i actually had fun wearing the abaya, strutting my stuff around the makeshift rooms and kitchens.

  • it's black - a flattering color
  • matches any tudung, handbags or shoes
  • it's flowy - covering the muffin tops and lumps of fat buldging in unnecessary places
  • mine is cut at the front - giving it a certain regal feel whenever i walk and the sides flap open ever so gracefully
  • wearing an abaya at least lowers the possibility of people mistaking us as pinoys!
now i'm all for getting more abayat!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Joys in a Job

are you one of those people who hates your job?
do you wonder why you are doing this mundane work day in day out that gives no satisfaction and joy?
do you hate mondays just because it's back to work?

get out while you can! the perfect job for you is out there.
i found mine.

in my last job, i look forward to work - every single day. i simply love my job. i have to read books in my job. stories. articles. i can wear my spongebob squarepants t with my levi's to work. i listened to the darnest things kids say everyday. i love it. i'm not kidding. i wake up, and i can't wait to start working. heck, the final weeks before leaving to dubai, i had already resigned - but where did i go? - back to work. just for kicks.

no kidding.

currently, i'm a full time housewife. homemaker. stay-home mom. orang rumah. suri rumah. permaisuri dapur. call it whatever you want. i mean, i'm not complaining - i'm enjoying my l-o-n-g holiday, being able to watch my sons grow without maids or having to drop them off to a nursery, try out new recipes and catch up on my reading and writing.

however, i miss my job. i really, really do. i've lectured before doing my masters, did some magazine editing and reporting after that - but none compared to the last job i had, the one i had to leave to go to dubai. when i received news from a very very exuberant mr. khairul about going to dubai, of all the things i really hate leaving (apart from my family of course) is this job, and the people who colored my life there.


i love what i do. what i did. running classes, brainstorming for weekly themes, preparing lesson plans, drawing out mind-maps for the week's theme - and did i mention the classes i handled comprise of kids as young as 5, with the eldest group being around 13? the fun i had for the past years i was there was more than words can say. so as the experience gathered and the lessons learned.

having a great team behind it all really helps. mohana, dora, jo, jennifer and haida - we're a great bunch. let me just say that even mr. khairul envied the dynamics of our team. he admired the fact that we were able to become so close in understanding each other, respecting one another and everyone just - can masuk-masuk la. we just - belong.

  • mohana the gossip girl - keeps the team together. she's the youngest yet age is not a factor to this spunky don't-mess-with-me girl. her determination to reach for her dreams is an inspiration to us all
  • jo teaches me that laughter is the best medicine - i miss teasing her! i remember she joined us as someone with more experience in this job - yet her humility humbles me
  • jennifer is the definition of 'silence is golden' - if 2 words will do, don't give 5! i will always remember her as my *senior* - the one who teaches me all the ropes in the nicest way
  • haida's character screams out "live life and seize the day!" even in her cool composure - we're both adventurous - in very different way! i miss our heart-to-heart talks
  • dora seemed gullible and naive - but i think she's stronger than she looks. firm in her views and i admire her zest to do anything to uphold what she believe is right - "..maybeeeee.."


oh, and how i miss our makan-makan. missing so many visits to mcd, kfc and domino's. remembering tons of lepak session at the mamak in the morning, chatting over roti canai and iced milo. or banana leaf rice for lunch while borak-borak with the ane from india. reminiscing the 'classy' luncheons we had at italian restaurants and indon makan place.

and my ikan keli! how i miss my must-have ikan keli! walking with dora and jo to the malay restaurant and dropping by at 7-11 for a slurpee. it was the best. on a malas day, just ask mohana or jennifer to tapau mushroom fried rice from the thai restaurant next door. on a lagi malas day, just cook maggi mee ramai-ramai!

the best days were those when mohana would bring her home-cooked nasi lemak, or when dora made her highly-acclaimed kangkung belacan, or when i baked my cheese cake. when someone buys breakfast, there's almost always extras for everyone. (man, i miss the nasi lemak near giant!)

mr khairul said, our office has a homely feel. he can come after work to pick me up and be welcomed as one of the gang. heck, he can even casually stroll into the boss' lair and have a chat while waiting for me. the office is like a home. well all of us almost always tapau and eat in the office, sprawling all over the carpet around the - using our own container, mind you. we go green and shun the use of polystyrene to pack food. read my article to the star newspaper here.

i think i left my tupperwares in the office, right girls?

man, even taking the tupperware during lunch was a hoot - the noise we make as we take orders. the noise we make while deciding whether to eat kfc or mcd. the noise i make when i don't get mcd. the noise!

the crazy bunch


the holidays and birthdays were a lot of hoopla too. i'm sure like many working place, birthdays are celebrated and it's no different here. the best memories were dressing up with a theme - it was saris and punjabi suits for deepavali and all red for chinese new year. we did this many, many times - color coordinate our tops, or plan to wear the same blue jeans or an all-skirt day. there was one saturday where we had a 'beach day' where the rest wore little tight tops with beach sarongs. haha. *beach* day indeed.

and who could forget the buka puasa dos that we had? we brought the bazaar ramadhan right there on the table with all the satay, nasi tomato, ayam percik, air bandung, cempedak goreng and lots more! i remember going to bazaar ramadhan with the girls on a super scorching afternoon, armed with a list of yummies to buy. i remember jo, jennifer, mohana and dora also fasted on that day just to get the feel of it, and when berbuka puasa time came, it was more anticipating and meaningful.

haida was not in the picture - she was taking the shot using one of those awesome big big camera

this is one of the many crazy poses i have of us over the years. i love this particular one as it speaks volume of our relationship as great friends and our cooperation and commitment as a working team.

it was not a long time but it was the best of my working experience. coming back from dubai one fine day, i do hope i could rejoin the team and continue to do what i like most - the pursuit of education through educating and mentoring young minds.

i leave my final words of this piece to my boss - the one who puts this team together and mould us into the awesome team that we are. for making the office very homely where we are able to stretch our legs on the carpet while brainstorming an idea. we can laugh together like mad, yet go straight to a level of seriousness when needed. for the breakthrough ideas that inspires. for the interesting writing assignments. for the trust to handle the holiday programs. for the encouragements, criticism and praises. for being a good listener. i thank you, ms. e.

here's something silly i found in the net...just for my gal pals at work :


ha ha. missing you guys so much here. love always!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bowling : Khaleef's Style

hello, folks!

my name is khaleef khairul and today i'm going to demonstrate a game we all know as bowling - but i call it roll-ball-to-alex-marty-melman-gloria-and-skipper.

enjoy.


first, line them up in a reckless, haphazard manner. much like when they discovered they they are actually in madagascar and the animals are don't-wipe-their-butts type of wild. a tip - put skipper, moto moto and gloria right in front because they fall off easily.

yeah, i cheat. so?


next up, position yourself a few meters away from the madagascar characters. oh, don't forget the ball. count to three, or five - whichever you like - and then roll the ball. oh, aim first.


ok, this is intentional - but in this particular demo, notice that i have only managed to hit skipper and gloria (see, toldya they easily fall down) while others were unperturbed by my ball, still standing. in my usual try i can bowl off all of them in well, 6-7 tries.

(well, you try it and see if you're any better!)


this is me sitting on my ball as an act of frustration when melman and marty are still standing despite constant try-outs to hit them down.

ok you try it now, and leave me in my misery.

or

i'll think of another fun game using my mom's tissue collection... ;-)

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