Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Syawal in Penang : Over the New 2nd Penang Bridge

mr. khairul’s mom is from langat. and his bapak has a thick perak accent. so where did that penang accent come from the way he speaks? well mr khairul was born and raised in penang – so while all his other siblings seem capable of speaking with a perak accent, mr khairul is utagha through and through.

on that note, that is why it’s like mandatory for us when we come back to malaysia from dubai, to visit his old playground – the penang island.



the boys were super excited. this was their first ever ferry trip and even more fun to share this momentous occasion with their atuk.



of course, a trip to penang is incomplete without enjoying a plate of nasi kandar at his favorite spot - ‘line clear’. me, i don’t understand the obsession with nasi kandar. it’s basically just curry and fried chicken. so? haha but the magic is in the curry campoq, and the crispy crunch special flour-marinated fried chicken. i cant remember having nasi kandar while growing up – i only ate it more often since married to this penang boy!



my sis-in-law with her scrumptious plate of nasi kandar. mr. khairul loves it so much! no time for selfies or pictures! dig in!


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this is also a must-stop. chendul teochew – soft fat beads of green cendol, in a pool of cool coconut milk with a drizzle of gula melaka. heavenly when you slurp it on a hot day, especially after a huge mountainous plate of nasi kandar! that’s khaleef in 2014, and that’s us in 2005 with the family friend tato.



us & the boys


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went to penang by ferry, went back to kg lalang through the new 2nd penang bridge or its official name, ‘the sultan abd halim muádzam shah bridge’ (the sultan of kedah, and the reigning yang dipertuan agong). totalling 24 km in length, it will take motorists around 20 minutes to cross the RM4.5 billion bridge from batu kawan on the mainland and batu maung on the island. it is the longest bridge in southeast asia!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Things I Love About Syawal 2014



cuddly cousins on malam raya. the boys with their cousins on mak’s side : from left kahfi, sufya, kazim, icha & khaleef


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what goes on instagram – and what actually happened. haha. our family potrait at abah’s front lawn in ipoh on 1st day raya morning. father and son both donning the unmistakable quad-colored mckk sampin.


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..when kids line up for duit raya!


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siblings fight! normal scene. keep walking. nothing to see here.


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 5 hulubalang berkaca mata yang berjaya menawan bunga-bunga dari taman larangan haji sharifuddin. huhu. sitting down : faiz and din. standing behind them is eldest son-in-law abg mat, nash & my mr khairul. you’ve got good taste dudes. haha.


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2nd raya : think green!


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ipoh family! complete set of 5 daughters & 5 sons-in-law, 10 cucu. alhamdulillah!



kg lalang family! we’re missing ateh who was celebrating raya in cairo with newly-wedded hubby pawi. 5 kids, 2 daughters-in-law & 5 cucu. alhamdulillah!


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love this photo! the boys with their cousins on bapak’s side. each character shining through – the serious no-nonsense big bro. the loud 2nd-born kahfi. the cheeky kazim. the princess-y wafa. and the ever adorabs khairy.


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…and to top it all, the cherry on top – a classic shot of us in our raya best, on an old wooden staircase back in time. selamat hari raya aidilfitri 2014, maaf zahir batin.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pre-Raya Clean Up @ Kg Lalang : Lessons For My Boys

before last year’s raya the whole family went balik kampung to kampung lalang, padang rengas, perak – the home of mr. khairul’s grandma on his dad’s side. though she is no longer with us, every raya mr. khairul’s dad and family, and siblings would still converge here for a raya reunion. noone lives here now so to celebrate raya there’s understandably a LOT of work to be done! the cleaning and scrubbing and washing and mopping – and that’s just on the inside.

the outside lawn needs a lot of work too. wild shrubs overgrowing. rotting trees need cutting. piles of leaves needed throwing away. and alhamdulillah there was an abundance of rambutan fruit up in the tree that needed picking!

the grown ups had their hands full, but who had the most fun? the kids! my boy khaleef, kahfi and kazim, along with their cousin sis wafa and lil bro khairy tagged along.


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lesson #1 :  the value of hard labor

if you want something done, sometimes there is no easy way about it – cut it out, and just cut it! so many people out there do not have the luxury of an office job – plush cushion seat, air-conditioned cubicle and scrumptious meals during lunch time. the construction worker, the garbage collector, the gardener, the rubber-tapper, the farmer (tapi pakcik goreng kueyteow ngan apek sayur pakai singlet kat gunung rapat tu lagi mewah kot. rumah je rumah papan tapi keta mercedes hihi rezeki orang rajin). these people know all too well what hard work means – and my boys learned that first hand.

khaleef and kahfi followed bapak around looking for trees to cut down. then they labored on, carrying the dead barks of trees to a corner. any dead twigs around must be collected and put away too.

looking around at a clean, clear space would be the testimony of their little manly sweat and tears, and a wonderful bonding session with bapak!




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lesson #2 : learn about malaysian fruits!

in dubai, believe it or not, rambutan and mangosteen are luxury items! they are expensive! and to think that back in kampung lalang we only need to shake the trees and some will just drop down on your head, ready to be eaten. alhamdulillah!

the sight of the wonderful rambutan tree, lush green leaves with little dots of heavenly red – you can almost taste the sweet juicy rambutan flesh in your mouth. delicious!


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my youngest bro-in-law asrar up in the rambutan tree. oh the red rambutan! what a sight!



that’s mr. khairul’s tok abah & pahyang’s house in the background. hari raya is totally incomplete without a visit down to her house – an all classic melayu papan house. a fantastic backdrop to our hari raya shots too!



another classic wooden house. all surrounding mr khairul’s kampung house with no picket fences. all living harmoniously.



this is just a smidgen of rambutans from the hundreds of thousands that we collected! ok tak la sampai ratus ribu haha tapi memang banyak berbungkus-bungkus! we collected SO MUCH that i can still take a lot more to bring to ipoh my abah’s house AND still be able to divide the lot to my sisters! THAT MANY! Ya Allah Kau murahkan rezeki keluarga pemilik pokok rambutan ni, dapat menjamu berapa ramai orang ni tak terkira!



here is khaleef climbing up the mangosteen tree. lama gile tak makan manggis (dan juga lama gileeeee tak panjat pokok huhu. the last time i climbed trees was probably the mango tree in front of my old house in rapat setia. it was so long ago that even the tree has since been chopped off).



khaleef said he felt so awesome to able to climb trees as high as he went, and to be able to help his opah collect the manggis. priceless, man. you can’t get this experience in dubai.


10433140_10152911610983606_4666581705684936558_n this was quite frightening for a mother to see – he might fall, get scratches, bump his knee? but i know deep down, that scars, bumps and bruises are the order of a day in kampung. you're not living it if you don’t have those. scars, bumps and bruises are badges of honor! haha. seeing khaleef climb up a tree was nerve-wrecking but i reminded myself that when i was younger, i had this advantage. i had fun climbing trees. my mom never stopped me and never make a huge fuss, so why should khaleef be denied this? and then he went HIGH up until i can only see his hand waving somewhere up the manggis tree – and that’s when i hyperventilate. hahaha.


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lesson #3 : we are not alone

yes, we are not alone. this phrase usually refers to the fact that there might be extraterrestrial beings out there somewhere in space trying to contact us human being. but here, i mean we are not alone – we share this planet with so many other creatures of God’s creation! in the metropolitan dubai, you hardly see any creatures – seriously, semut pun susah nak nampak and i’m not exaggerating! (well, got a bad cockroach infestation a while back at our dubai home, but they are long gone and never before seen again after the pest control.)

so here in kampung, you got all sorts of animals to be seen in their own natural habitat – from goats, chicken to tiny little catterpillar on a leaf.



here’s kazim spotting little ms caterpillars on her lunch. literally.


for 3 young boys living in the metropolitan city of dubai with skyscrappers as far as the eyes can see and (neck can crane), a tree-filled kampung is heaven-sent. it beats ferrari world. so many flowers to smell and fruits to taste, animals to chase and insects to inspect.

yeap. chasing chickens is the norm here. sorry, chickens. run and hide when you see the dubai boys coming! (no chicken was harm during the clean-up!) they’re not bullies mind you, and far away from being abusive to the animals! they’re just a bunch of typical curious kids, who enjoy exploring an unfamiliar territory. let them be!


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lesson #4 : lead by example!

when atuk did hard work, the grandkids followed. atuk made it fun, atuk made it less of a chore and more of a game and sing-songs. atuk made them laugh, but atuk also made them work! smart atuk. hihi.



atuk’s little minions helping him pick up this huge branch to be collected at the side of the house. i can almost hear “heigh ho heigh ho from home to work we go-“ the grandkids helped their granddad.




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siapa masih guna penyapu lidi? i hardly see one in dubai, and i doubt any shop is selling them. and this is when you see all sorts of ‘çleaning devices’ including the classic penyapu lidi, made from coconut leaves.



and here is mr. khairul’s little nephew working his way with a penyapu lidi. funny lil fella!


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my boys in front of istana kenangan


balik kampung padang rengas means jalan-jalan to the royal town of kuala kangsar just minutes away. a pit stop at the istana kenangan (remembrance palace) is a must. built in 1926 for sultan iskandar shah’s official residence. now it’s the royal museum of perak. the most significant aspect of this palace is that it’s made entirely out of wood and bamboo – without the use of a single nail. nada. nope. no nail. mind-blown architectural feat! also, when seen from above, the palace is designed to look like a sword in its casing. magnificent!



..but, of course a drive-around in kuala kangsar town is incomplete without stopping by the malay college kuala kangsar (mckk); the iconic school that has brought up many prominent malay figures such as tengku razaleigh hamzah (ku li), datuk seri anwar ibrahim, tan sri zam of telecom, tan sri halim saad and tan sri azman mokhtar; among others. oh and not forgetting awesome alums such as my super abah sharifuddin and my mr. khairul. my eldest boy khaleef next?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Borong Kerepek @ SS Kacang Putih, Manjoi

aku suka kerepek dan keropok. siapa yang tak suka? bole makan kudap-kudap sambil tengok tv. bole makan sambil tengok wayang tgv (seludup je dalam handbag). bole jugak hidang kat org datang ke rumah. laku weh.

bercakap pasal hidang kat orang, masa raya, kerepek memang laku kan. ye la ko nak bersembang pungpang pumpang dgn acik pipah ko yg dah setahun tak jumpa mesti la lama kan. banyak mana la london almond ko nak telan masa berborak tu. jadi kudapan paling best masa datang beraya dan tak muak semestinya kerepek.

masa kat ipoh, yong aku bawakkan ke satu kedai ni – SS kacang putih kat manjoi. katanya kedai ni memang super famous, org jauh pun tau tempat ni.



kahfi, cousin adam & kazim


kalau nak tau owner dia start bukak kedai ni dalam 10 tahun lebih kot. berbekalkan rm10K simpanan sendiri je buat kecik-kecilan kat rumah dia sampai la dapat bukak kedai yang popular ni. siap ada kilang kot.

mula-mula dia ade 15 jenis je kacang putih – sekarang sampai dah berlonggok-longgok tak tau nak pilih yang mana satu. memang bermacam jenis – nak yg klasik kacang putih ada. nak yang macam jenis keropok macam keropok roda tu ada. yang manis-manis untuk bebudak pun ada. semua sekali dalam 50 jenis dah sekarang.

sempoi je letaknya. takde penuh kabinet pun. kacang-kacang dah siap pek bior je dalam kotak tu atas lantai. ade saiz kecik dan besar. ok je tak nampak serabut pun. asalkan ada sistem, kemas dan orang ramai senang nak lalu-lalang pilih kacang.




btw kome takyah was-was ok. insyaAllah, muruku, kacang-kacang ngan kepek ubi pisang sume ade sijil halal. pegi la manjoi nak borong kerepek. takyah tunggu raya pun. bila-bila bole pegi borong untuk kudapan harian. huhu. tengah tergendala dalam traffic jam pon kome bole makan kan?

satu lagi fakta menarik, owner SS kacang putih incik sandera juga adalah pengerusi persatuan kebajikan penjual-penjual kacang putih perak! fuyyoh. .



kakak sulung aku yong yg comel bertudung pink gigih beratur sambil menjinjing bakul yg penuh dengan kerepek dan kekacang. kalo teringin, silalah ke manjoi!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Anak Abah : Ramadhan 2014

our annual photoshoot. 5 sisters, at abah’s front yard. we’ve worn jeans and white T. simple baju kurung. tudung ropol and colorful jubah. this year we were all blacks, juxtaposed with our colorful rainbow shawl – brought all the way from dubai.

special thanks to my bro-in-law faiz for this photoshoot – but the picture below is taken by my eldest boy khaleef.




now think about the theme for next year, people! hustle up!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Glow-in-the-Dark Golf @ Tee & Putt, Wafi Mall

wanna play golf 18 hole – in the dark? head on to wafi mall, top floor near the foodcourt area. won’t miss it.




MINIature golf is simply that – golf, in mini size. each hole has its own design and difficulty, but all centered around the theme space. so the setting is super cool – mainly space theme with astronouts, spaceships and aliens.



from the wafi mall food court, you come down an escalator straight to the counter. pick your golf clubs, balls and start hitting ém!





they also cater for parties and even corporate functions – so company gile-gile yang nak treat staff diorng to silly rounds of mini golf in the dark with space theme – you’ve found the place!




for the first few holes we had the tee & putt mini golf all to ourselves and we can leisurely play and take our time. however if there was a group which started playing after us, we need to hustle a little bit knowing there are people catching up to us and we don’t want to hold them back.




mr. khairul is more into golf that i EVER will (although, of course mr khairul is into most sports MORE than i do) but i did try a few rounds! hihi. well, you don’t have to like golf to enjoy tee & putt mini golf. i was there having fun with my kids and that’s what it is all about.


visit the tee & putt website for more information. click here.

check out these postings too!

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