Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Date a Girl Who Reads

specially dedicated to my beloved husband, who, 7 years ago, made the smartest decision of dating a girl who reads, and eventually marrying her. i wish we had met in a bookstore as per my fantasy haha, but in reality, i would not have it any other way.

the rest of you have GOT to read this piece, particularly for the book nerd in you, people. i found this floating all over tumblr and it’s way too cool not to be shared.

enjoy. and prepare to be swooned.

* * *

“..Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

~ Rosemary Urquico

* * *

from google, i found out that rosemary urquico is a gorgeous young writer from the philippines. thank you for your moving piece, for your truth in its simplicity.

“..Girls who read understand that people, like characters (in books), develop. Except in the Twilight series.” haha. priceless!

and yes, honey we will spend our kerepot days backpacking across petra in jordan spewing wordsworth and dressing up to watch the royal shakespeare company on stage…

* * *

thank you to my mr. khairul :

  1. for shipping ALL my books from malaysia to dubai
  2. for buying me a nice ikea bookrack to put all my books in. there are some more. we need another bookrack. or a bigger one. hihi
  3. for so many books you bought me – for birthdays, for delivering your sons, to read during pantang, or just because it’s wednesday
  4. for looking after the boys, feeding them cereal bars, sitting on some sofas, flipping through superbike mag while i’m lost between the shelves at borders
  5. for saying, “get another one lah,” when i said the books are on sale, or when i said i can’t decide between two books
  6. for breathing down my kneck, saying, “kenape? kenape? best ke?” when you see me so engrossed in pages of a book that i’m currently reading
  7. for listening to me go on and on about the exciting plot of a book that i’m reading though it bores you to the bone
  8. for willing to spend A LOT on books. mine, and the boys’. hihi. (well, would you rather me spending your money on ferragamos and jimmy choos? hah!)

this girl who reads loves you very much!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Let’s Stay Positive About Smoking

sarcasm at its best. happy ‘world no tobacco day’!



Yeah, we’re just wondering, why don’t you tell people there is arsenic in cigarette smoke?
And why don’t you . . .
All just focus on the positive?
Cause positive’s the way you oughta be?
Why don’t we all stop being so derogative
To the big tobacco companies!

We asked “Is nicotine addictive?”
We told you that it’s not.
Okay, then maybe everyone just likes it a whole lot.

So why destroy the research?
You think that they’re afraid?

Naw, we’re just getting ready for a tickertape parade!

Owh, let’s try to focus on the positive!
Sure they may kill 4 million folks a year.
But let’s stay focused on the positive-
There’s plenty of us still here.

So what if we remove a lung
You shouldn’t be depressed.
It’s really for the best.
It’s something off your chest.

And, yes we know that tobacco causes cancer of the bladder!
It doesn’t really matter-they make diapers for adults!

His tumor was malignant
But look-he’s not indignant!

He knows-
You’ve gotta . . .

Just stay focused on the positive.
Every 8 seconds a smoker dies – it’s becoming routine!
But let’s stay focused on the positive.
Those 7 seconds in-between.

Know what I mean?

We’ll just stay focused on the positive.
They’re not marketing to teens, they’re reaching out to our youth!
So let’s all focus on the positive.
We’re positive-positive.
That’s the truth.



lawak kan lagu ni! what a punch in the face for smokers! but you know what – i bet they don’t even care. i bet they’re not the littlest bit affected. i bet you can pass a law that says ciggies are as expensive as petrol, and they will still buy.

i think they need to get to the root of the prob. how does someone actually START smoking? i’m worried for my boys. when i do catch them smoking one day, what will i do? i don’t have brothers, so i cannot see how my abah or mak would have reacted to a sibling who smokes.

I HATE SMOKERS. but i love you honey that’s why i want you to quit!

  1. they’re killing us with second-hand smoke
  2. they’re blowing yucky smoke into my beloved air
  3. they throw ciggie butts all over the place – cigarette butts are the most common litter ever
  4. they throw ciggie butts from car windows so when i’m driving behind them i will get the hisses of burnt ciggie across my windscreen!


…but what a wife to do? nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag nag. and nag. nag some more. nag nag nag… nag.



some of the most coolest ‘stop smoking’ and ‘smoking kills’ advertisement on the net. with all this going around, i wonder what a smoker would feel like looking at them…


Anti Tobacco Advertising

Best Creative Anti Smoking Ad Campaigns

Best Creative Anti Smoking Ad Campaigns


* * *



death does happen to us all. but if i don’t simply go in the middle of the road to be run down by a car and die – why do you need to light up, polute my air, exposing yourself to all sorts of cancer, and eventual death?

quit now. before your time runs out.

Hot Summer : Air-Cond in Dubai Bus Stops

it’s summer again in dubai, which means hot, scorching hot, blazing hot and can-fry-eggs-on-the-tar-road hot. i remember a dubai friend of mine adzlin described dubai summer in her blog as, (i’m paraphrasing) heating up an oven, opening the door, and peering your head inside the oven. yes, THAT hot.

well, NOW it’s not THAT hot yet – but it’s going to be! presently, i would assume it’s just as hot as a regular noon in malaysia.


a bus stop in dubai


thankfully, dubai is considerate of its people who takes the bus day in day out, and the bus stops here are equipped with air-conditioned all season long. best kan?

i think i’ve written about this before, but i just want to share it again since 1) i found an interesting picture of how the bus stops look like in the ‘olden’ days of dubai, and 2) it’s that time again when i’m really grateful for the invention of air-cond!


the back part of the bus stops 



now back to the bus stops –

open the door and the whiff of chilly air will welcome you into a soothing, cooling exterior. it’s really great – especially during summer! the inside is designed simple but sleek, with metal chairs, clear glass panels, and bus route and other information on the board behind the seats.

aku dah try dah, memang seronok tau tunggu bas sambil menikmati air-cond. kalau masa sekolah dulu ade bus-stop macam ni kan best. gile berjam-jam tunggu bas rapat setia tu!


* * *


…but dubai hasn’t always been this awesome when it comes to bus stops! the picture below shows how the old dubai bus stops look like. it’s just by accident that i came by this picture. the old dubai bus stop is rather a small enclosure, isn’t it? which doesn’t help when there’s a large crowd waiting for the bus on a hot day.

i wonder whether these bus stops are still around… i’ve never seen one myself!



…and even dubai has this classic stand-alone metal post with the ‘bus’ symbol. you know, in school, when the teacher asks us to draw a bus stop – this is what we will draw right?


Bus Stop, Dubai, Dubai Travelogue, photo, picture, image


well, as of today, it still reads 40 celcius or so here in dubai, so *ENJOY* it while you can before it goes up to 49 and 50 celcius! and hey, i’m grateful that the days are still accompanied by cool winds, so the heat is not so bad.

well, look on the bright side (pun not intended!) – dubai summer sale is starting 22nd june till 31st july! get your shades out, your umbrella untied and *enjoy* the sun, people! or err, just head on straight to the malls and shop! hihi…

(all images : google)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sugar Daddy’s Cupcake @ Jumeirah

i'm not a fan of cupcakes. the icing or frosting on top is too much compared to the size of the cake. ‘the frosting : cake’ ratio is so off that i don’t enjoy the combination. i LOVE looking at them though, especially those that are elaborately decorated. they’re so adorable, but so NOT my taste.

gimme old-school triangle-shaped slice of cake anytime.

however, my sweet-tooth boys are crazy about them, so one fine weekend, we went to hunt for cupcakes at ‘sugar daddy’s bakery’ in jumeirah.


our choice of cuppies from sugar daddy’s bakery


* * *




i first saw the adorably pastel sugar daddy’s bakery branch in dubai mall. but the one that we went to was in the village mall at jumeirah 1, along jumeirah beach road. if you don’t know it, it’s that building with shakespeare cafe at the entrance.


khaleef tak sabar nak masuk


look at the entrance. look at the transparent wall. look at the sweet stripey pastel green wallpaper inside. look at the pink polka dots. so sweet kan? you just wanna go in and check it out, right!

the wall decor – pink blocks of shelves with polka-dotted round boxes – looked like it came straight out from a doll’s house. adorable.





you can even see the kitchen crew working hard through a glass panel. it’s like a little factory! a factory full of sweet goodies!



one interesting thing about sugar daddy’s bakery is the funky names of its cupcakes. it’s not just boring unimaginative names like chocolate delight, or cherry dream, or sweet vanilla – how about eating ‘fake blonde’ (vanilla cupcake), ‘pink cadillac’ (with strawberry frosting), ‘too sneaky’ (choc cupcake with peanut butter frosting and snickers!)

gile cool nama cupcake diorang kan?


a very excited me looking at the colorful cupcakes


asked what is their bestseller, the staff quickly named ‘red velvet’ (no need introduction!) and ‘chocoholics anonymous’ – chocolate cupcake with rich chocolate frosting. i took those two without pause, and continued to pick another four.

“i want anything with cream cheese frosting”.

and the staff suggested ‘24 carrot’ (carrot cupcake) and ‘monkey business’ (banana cupcake) – see their cute names! then mr. khairul just picked some nutty ones for himself.

oh, the price for each cupcake is 12dhs. (sekali-sekala ye honey hihi)



while mak was busy choosing cupcakes, the boys had no trouble making themselves at home at the plush leather sofas. i should do this at home – plain, boring sofa, and garnished it with uber bright cushions.




kotak kecik je, but when the staff asked whether i wanted a paper bag – yes, please! because the paper bag is so cute! lalala, seronok bawak paper bag comel. hihi.


* * *



‘24 carrot’ (carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting) & ‘cookies n’scream’ (choc cupcake with oreo frosting)


‘chocoholics anonymous’ (choc cupcake with choc frosting) & ‘monkey business’ (banana cupcake with cream cheese frosting)


home at last! time to devour the sweet cuppies from sugar daddy’s bakery! my verdict :

red velvet – very, very disappointing. even at the bakery i was suprised that it had sugar frosting instead of cream cheese frosting, but i bought it anyway because it’s their best-seller. the red velvet cake itself is delightfully moist, but the sugar frosting spoils it badly. it would be perfect with cream cheese frosting.

‘monkey business’ (banana cupcake with cream cheese frosting) – my favorite. i love banana cake, so this cuppie is just great to eat with its cream cheese frosting. perfect combo. i’d buy this one again.

‘24 carrot’ (carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting) – the taste is superb, but the texture of the cake is too moist that it became too soft. there should be a difference of texture when we bite into the cake together with the frosting – but this one just lump together in one mushy goo. delicious, but could be improved on the texture.

‘chocoholics anonymous’ (choc cupcake with rich choc frosting) – strictly for fans of chocolate. it’s SO chocolatey. dark, heavy, rich chocolate taste. i get muak with just one bite, but you choc-freaks out there might like it.

i didn’t get to taste the other two - ‘nuts about you’ was for mr. khairul, and khaleef finished up the oreo cupcake.


red velvet. moist cake. taste good. BAD frosting.


i’m still not a fan of cupcake. but you gimme that small freakish cake in a cup with a generous blob of cream cheese frosting, i’ll gobble it up in minutes.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Al Mawlid : Soul Brothers Singing R&B Nasyid

have you heard them sing ‘belaian jiwa‘ dedicated to Rasulullah? yes! lunak, merdu, memang membelai jiwa! i LOVE r&b songs. it’s the only genre of music i can tolerate! imagine nasyid in r&b – awesome!

i’ve been (and still is) a HUGE fan of innuendo. i love their songs and the way they sang is just mesmerizing – definitely a malaysian boyz to men. listening to the way they sang, you’d never guessed they’re a bunch of malay dudes.

now innuendo has teamed up with little brothers from r&b groups VE and ruffedge to form a spiritual singing group – al-mawlid. awesome, awesome!


(image : google) 


my sister syidot was the first to share a link to their video clip. i was literally ternganga listening to the beautiful rnb-ized nasyid for the first time! praises for Allah and our beloved prophet Muhammad stylized in rhythm and blues to perfection.

pot innuendo’s sweet sound, lah VE’s beautiful croon, azan ruffedge’s fierce passion, plus the rest of the soul brothers – what a combination! take a listen to the ‘belaian jiwa’ below, given a religious twist. it’s absolutely wonderful to hear.



here is another beautiful song by the talented young men. mendayu-dayu yang sangat best! suka sangat! truly full of love for our beloved Prophet.



can’t wait for more songs, especially pop songs turned into spriritual ones like what they did with ‘belaian jiwa’. you know – like how whoppie goldberg’s character did in ‘sister act’? how she changed the pop songs ‘i will follow you’, and ‘my guy’ into gospel songs?

we can turn our malaysian popular songs to fit spiritual and nasyid feel to, so that youngsters can relate better! anuar zain’s ‘lelaki ini’ pun boleh ubah sikit sebagai lagu untuk Rasulullah kan…hihi

and i hope there are no hati busuk people doubting their ‘pilgrimage’ to this fine image and songs. if they remained this way, or continue singing their previous pop r&b songs – who are we to judge how they are di sisi Allah, right? cakap je alhamdulillah! Allah knows best!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Which Movie Props Do You Want to Own?

they’re selling all the stuff in the house used in ‘home alone’. read more here. what’s so WOW about that house? all i can remember is it’s just another american home with lots of christmas decor. it’s nice but not unique or anything.

but if you were to ask me what movie props i like to own – well :

* * *

the one ring

cammon. this goes without saying. i don’t wear jewellery apart from my wedding ring, so this will be just the coolest! i just hope it won’t lead sauron to dubai!


* * *


the entire stuff in monica and rachel’s apartment. oh, and why stop at the ‘stuff’ in the apartment. i even want to LIVE in that cool purple apartment!



the cool aquamarine kitchen cabinet, the cute mis-matched dining chairs, the fluffy comfy couches and the lovely drapes – even the new black and white chequered bathroom tiles that joey helped put out!

of course all those moments shared between monica, rachel, phoebe, chandler, joey and ross make the place much more memorable…


* * *


the delorean in back to the future


one of my all-time favorite movies! i can watch it over and over and over again. one time i was watching a ‘back to the future’ marathon on dubai channel this one night, and the next day there was a repeat, and i still wanna watch all three ‘back to the future’ again!

i feel like writing a brief what-it’s-about, but as i am typing, i can’t believe there’s anyone out there who hasn’t seen this movie!

the time machine used in this movie is a delorean, with car doors that open like wings. it was freakin awesome when i first saw a car like this. i want one! (and it’d be useful if it actually IS a time machine! haha)


* * *


filem melayu? takde props yang aku suka lah. mungkin aku nak baju puteri perak yang amy mastura pakai dalam filem ‘puteri impian’, atau kaset yang sudirman beli tapi takde player dalam filem ‘kami’ atau pejabat nanu baharuddin dalam filem ‘cinta’ – gile lawa office dia!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Khaleef Folds His Own Uniform!

my facebook friends may have heard – but yes – my eldest son folded his school uniform all by himself, without me asking, without me ever having taught him!

as a mother, it was such a sweet surprise for me! my boy is all grown up!


photo boxer pun dia lipat sekali! hihi


normally, every night before, i will lay down his clothes on the ironing board in the next room. every morning after he takes his bath, he knows where to get them. however, last night, when i went to prepare his school uniform, i saw that they are already nicely arranged on the ironing board – all neatly folded!

imagine my surprise!

he puts his plate and cup in the sink after every meal, sometimes he washes them if they’re plastic plates or cups. he clears the front hall at times without me asking, keeps his toys neatly and now he folds his uniform.

i’m so proud of you, khaleef!


* * *


khaleef at work


kalau ada anak lelaki, jangan ajar macam-macam sangat, nanti isteri dia yang untung.”

haha. ye ke?

being a daughter-in-law and a wife myself, i know how lucky i am to have a hands-on husband. ladies, you know what i’m talking about, huh? one who can change diapers, make the bed in the morning, can cook a yummy meal and occasionally washes the dishes, periuk belanga semua.

insyaAllah one day in return, i know one lucky lady will be thankful to khaleef’s mak! *wink wink*

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mr. Khairul in Algeria

it’s travel time with mr. khairul yet again. this time, it’s algeria – the second country to experience the pang of middle east unrest after tunisia, and before egypt. it has since recovered well, and business seems to run as usual, alhamdulillah.



sigh, that tie again


in between handling exhibition, business meetings and market visits at a foreign country, it’s only natural to take advantage of what the country has to offer a curious, adventurous tourist as mr. khairul.


* * *



algiers (pronounced al-jeerz; arabic: الجزائرal-jazā’ir; is the capital and largest city of algeria. the country has a strong french influence, which can be seen in its architecture. (yup and khairul came back as a french <---- ayat ni dia yang tambah hihi)


* * *




this is the grand post office, built in 1910, by voinot and tondoire. this construction of the neo-moorish type is in full centre town of algiers.


* * *

 SNC01590 who doesn’t love lasagna?


stopping at the many, many italian restaurants all around algiers, mr. khairul tried lasagna at one local italian restaurant @ woody woodpecker. i LOVE lasagna, but this one doesn’t look that appealing. however, mr. khairul said it’s probably THE best lasagna he’s ever tasted!


* * *




satay in algiers? yeap! the way they fan the charcoal to burn faster and constant, the meat on sticks – the method used is the same as ours in malaysia. however, they served them without the spicy peanut sauce, and can be eaten on its own.

also one difference – while our malaysian satay is sweet and juicy, the algiers satay is salty.


* * *




this is by far, how petrol station in algiers look like. small, minimal and plain. there are no huge petrol stations complete with a drive-through kfc, or a well-stocked mini-mart. just plain and simple stop-over for petrol and any basic vehicle maintenance.


* * *


saving the best for last. now THIS is a MUST-GO when you’re in algiers.

a kasbah (arabic: "القصبة") or qassabah is a type of medina, islamic city, or fortress (citadel).

it was a place for the local leader to live and as a defense when the city was under attack. a kasbah has high walls which usually have no windows. sometimes, they were built on the top of hill to make them easier to defend.

UNESCO declared the ‘casbah of algiers’ as one of the world’s heritage site in 1992. so naturally, mr. khairul had his eye on this place to visit. it’s basically an old neighbourhood in algiers, populated as early as the 17th century and still is inhabited. it consists of houses built very close together, joined by very sempit walkways.

the walkways are so many, so narrow and winding that it’s almost like a maze. why was it made like that? like the quote above, this casbah was originally used as a ‘defense against foreign attacks’.

the casbah (of al qasbah , “the citadel”), is founded on the ruins of old Icosium. it is a small city which, built on a hill, goes down towards the sea, divided in two: the high city and the low city. there are masonries and mosques of the 17th century; like the ketchaoua mosque (built in 1794). in the kasbah, there are also labyrinths of lanes and houses that are very picturesque; and if one gets lost there, it is enough to go down again towards the sea to reposition oneself. ~wikipedia



one of the maze-like winding walkways inside the casbah. (image from google)


this ‘casbah’ is so infamous for its mysterious winding narrow paths, that a 1938 movie was made with casbah as its main setting, aptly titled, ‘algiers’.

pepe le moko, a thief who escaped from france with a fortune in jewels, has for two years lived in, and virtually ruled, the mazelike, impenetrable ‘casbah’, "native quarter" of algiers.

click here for more awesome pictures of the maze-like casbah of algiers.

mr. khairul himself had a very interesting and unforgettable experience when he went there, but he asked me not to divulge any information or stories in my blog. that’s how classified the story is! wanna know, ask him personally and he’ll tell you the story himself!


* * *



isn’t it nice to meet a fellow malaysian in a foreign country? a stranger turned new-found friend bonded by nationality? a wonderful host, engaging story-teller and informative tourist guide!

mr. khairul thanks abang zakaria and family for their warm welcome and delicious home-cooked meals of good ‘ol malay food. terima kasih la sebab jaga makan minum suami tercinta hihi. kalau datang dubai, singgah la ke rumah kami pulak!


* * *


as usual, thanks for the chocolates, honey! (bukan nak pesan suruh beli pinggan mangkuk kristal ke, kain ke atau household item – mintak belikan chocolate from airport je! hihi)

well, where to next, sir?

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