Monday, August 31, 2009


In less than two months, I was back in Singapore again. This time with my friend, Mr. Razib. Despite the fact that it could be a scorching hot fasting month, it was an offer that could not be easily rejected, especially when we were going to Geylang Serai this time.

Wak Tanjung Mosque

Geylang Serai is synonymous to the Malay community in Singapore and is very well known for its Ramadhan and Eid ul-Fitr bazaar. Tents were seen along the stretch of roads and it seemed to be endless. You could already breathe in the air of the celebration of Eid although it was only the beginning of the second week of fasting month. You could find almost everything under the sun there; from carpets to curtains, capal (traditional Malay footwear) to cookies, ready made dresses to imported dates.

At the entrance of Geylang Serai New Market. Beautiful Malay architecture is being preserved.

in front of a stall selling colourful head scarves

The place was already crowded with people by 6:00 p.m. as they started to buy their food to break fast. It was intoxicating in a way - with vibrant colours surrounding you, loud music blaring from loud speakers everywhere and the smell of food being fried or grilled filling the air; those could be the reasons for people to be spending money unconsciously. But for me, too many things, too little money. *sigh*

the tourist guide and I

We were so engrossed with the items on sale without realizing it was already time to break fast. We settled for kebab and a bottle of sugar cane drinks each, sat down on the pavement and ate with other strangers. This was what we called a simple pleasure in life; satisfaction without any remorse and no complaints whatsoever. Then only, we took the MRT and headed to Mr. Razib's in-law's house somewhere in Tampines.

Well, it was an excursion worth going, at least I know an option of where to go and what to get from there. Thanks Razib, and next time shall we go and explore other part of Singapore?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Yesterday I went to have a late supper with a school buddy, Razib. This time it was Senibong, a famous place for seafood in JB, because he had a craving for grilled fish. It was too early for sahur though (an early meal taken by fasting Muslims most of the time before the crack of dawn) but the exchanges of updates were more important. I don't have that many real close friends from school; I wonder if I do have any. I don't keep in touch with friends from school. I don't know whether they will still know me or whether I do exist in their lives after all. That is a disadvantage of being a not-so-famous-one in school, it is either they like you or they just don't care. Nevertheless, I have this one kind soul who has been, shall I say, considering me as an old friend from school all this while, right after a few years after we have finished university. Although it is not a frequent get-together as he is working in Qatar, when he comes back for his breaks, it has been regular meetings in mamak restaurants, McDonald's or Siamese seafood outlets. And we have been doing this over a number of years. As long as we can talk and eat, that will be just fine. So I would like to thank Mr. Razib for his kind gestures to be more than just a friend from my Facebook or Yahoo group, you are real!

Friendship remains and never can end, as long as it doesn't involve borrowing or lending money.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


gazing into the future

Already my fifth time taking the PTK exam, the third time for TK3 (competency level 3) but thank God only one paper this time. Anyway, knowing the type of questions that were about to be asked, the only word that can describe me sitting for the exam is nonchalantly (definintion: behaving calmly and not seeming interested in or worried about anything). Even my friends who were there looked too happy to come for the exam which was unbelievable. Just keep my fingers crossed but no high hope.

all's well that ends well


I decided to have my tuition class for my form 5 students during the day as I need the night time for the tarawikh prayer. As a result, two sessions of a 4-hours stretch had to be done. Surprisingly, no one fell asleep during the whole class and we just focused on the novel section, and everything had been covered thoroughly. So, I hope they can get high marks from this particular section for the upcoming exam. Something has to be done to award them for their determination to come to class for half a day during the fasting month. Isn't taking photographs everyone's favourite pastime nowadays?


See the three pictures up close and try to identify who was the photographer for each of the picture. Have fun!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Ramadhan is here again. Every time this month arrives, I would always remember my late father and mother. I had started fasting as early as before I started primary school. Back then, fasting was not an easy task. To wake me up early in the morning before dawn for sahur was not an easy thing to do. And to make sure I could stay fasting is another thing. For a small kid, to abstain from eating and drinking must have been no small matter. I can always remember what my father would do to make me stay fasting until the end. After coming back from work, he would bring me to Pantai Lido (Lido Beach) in his car. Pantai Lido was not like what it is today. Back then it was still unpolluted. So we would sit there by the seaside, watching people digging the sand on the beach, finding a kind of sea shell, which were clams I think. They only used spoons or ladles they brought from home to do that. Or we would simply be enjoying the scene of the sea with Singapore Island on its backdrop. When the sky had turned its colour from blue to red, then only we would make our way home, ready to break fast. And most of the time, my determination to stay fasting until the end would be rewarded with ice-creams bought from a Chinese vendor. Oh god, how I miss those moments and how I miss breaking fast with my parents around. Before I left home for boarding school, I had not even once had break fast without my parents. It was like a family matter, it had to be done with everybody present at the dining table. And that would be one of the happiest moments of my life.

The moral of the story: make sure you enjoy the moment with your parents when they are still around.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I grabbed today's edition of the New Straits Times as early as 6:45 a.m. to find out that Puan Rozana Sani had indeed featured my blog in the Tech&U pull-out. How many times in your life would you have the chance to appear in a newspaper with 1/6 of your photo covering its page and the other 1/6 with story about you (or rather your blog). So I would like to thank Puan Rozana Sani for liking my blog (I hope) and also for all her effort to put me in her paper which is an experience of a lifetime.

New Straits Times, August 17 2009, Tech&U page 14

Nevertheless, I think not many people are reading the NST or the Tech&U section as nobody seemed to notice about this historical event except for a group of librarians who were waving me the newspaper from the opposite block in front of the library. So I waved back at them, like a newly-crowned Miss Universe. Thank you, there were people who knew! I am still famous.

You can try and see the NST online version of this article at but I am not sure how long this page can be accessed by public.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


We have been having quite a number of schooling Saturdays so as to allow extra holidays for festive celebrations like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Deepavali. Based on previous experience, not many students would turn up for replacement school (what more with the heavy downpour in the late morning and the H1N1 scare). We had planned for another pot luck for two reasons: to bid (early) farewell to our two trainees who will be leaving the school during the fasting month and to celebrate the month of Ramadhan itself.

with the two trainees, Fadhlun and Lim, and our new conselling teacher, Mr. Punithan

This time the theme chosen was food from the east coast so we had dishes like Nasi Dagang, Laksam, Puteri Mandi and for the drinks we had refreshing coconut water. As expected, not many came to school so we had the peace and harmony for the rest of the day.

enjoying the food and the chit chat

Even in class, light activity such as reading was carried out and that left us plenty of time to have photo-taking session. School on a Saturday was not that bad after all.

in the classroom, with the form one boys

and the form one girls
half of my form two students who did not go missing

Friday, August 14, 2009


Guess how I was feeling at this moment?

Another course for me. This time it was about KPI (Key Performance Index), don't ask me what it is because I am not sure whether I have understood it well. With the present things that have to be done, I am getting so much doubt about any new things getting in my way. Unfortunately, the session was quite short; it ended in about 3 hours. So we did not have time to gossip with each other which should be the most exciting part. I could not get too many pictures as I was the photographer and the one posted on top was taken using the timer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I am proud to announce that I have finished reading this 616-page book even though it took ages for me to do so. I remembered buying this book from Miri on June 29th, an achievement for me so far! This is what you would call a good book written by a good writer. A good book is one you can't get rid of and wish that you have the whole time in the world just to finish reading it. The story centralizes on the protagonist, Danny who was convicted with a crime which he did not commit i.e. killing his own best friend. Sent to jail, he befriended two people and managed to free himself from the prison walls and planned to take revenge on people who had conspired against him earlier. It is a series of stories that take place almost everywhere, in the courtroom, in the prison, in a rich man's world and back to the courtroom; it is a tale full of conspiracy, lies and deceits. Knowing Archer, there are just too many twists in the tale that makes reading more exciting. I wonder if the Americans are going to make this into a movie. Nevertheless, I have another Archer's in my collection waiting to be picked up.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


One of the most memorable time in my life so far is when I was studying in UPM for my TESL programme. One reason is that I had fun and interesting friends, and that they never change. That is why I am always looking forward to any gathering when I can always meet them. The reunion gathering has become like an annual event so this year Shazreen was kind enough to organize the get together at Equatorial Hotel, Bangi.

some of the early birds

I was the among the early ones to arrive, and found Shazreen and his wife. I was not sure at first whether 20 people could make it this time as there were a few who pulled out at the last minute. But people started arriving slowly, there were lots of hugging, kissing and screaming. The calm atmosphere of the dining hall had somewhat changed to a merrier and people started to chat loudly. I felt like I was a teenager again.

the more, the merrier
Basically what we did was we ate a lot and chatted non-stop. We made a lot of noise in the coffee house, just like the good old days. Just hope other people were not distracted by our presence but judging by the volume of laughter, I bet that was not going to happen.

with Fairuz Leman, my best friend since 2nd year of TESL programme
The hi-tea should end at 4 but we continued sitting and talking, and there was no sign of anyone leaving the place until one of the hotel staff politely asked us to go away, and that was at about 5. The conversation then dragged on at the hotel foyer where more photograph sessions were done and people could pose like they used to do before.

Dr. Fauziah Hassan, the one and only lecturer who turned up for the gathering

one last pose before leaving

Standing back row: Aliza (Liseh), Rozana Sani (Anasan), Maizurfidar Anum (Anum), Jashireen (Jash), Rozida (Ida), Hayati (Radio), Marina, Mariati (Achik); Sitting first row from the back: Christina, Salmiah (Salmi), Dr. Fauziah Hassan (Kak Jie), Zainal, Hazlina (Bob/Jaws); Sitting second row: Azlan (Jerangkung), Shazreen (Aboy), Zefri (Jepp), Aida, Azman (Toba). Fairuz Leman and Maslinda (Amoi) went off already by the time the pic was taken.

All in all, it was a day and money well-spent. The food was superb and I enjoyed the company of old friends the most. I think we need to do this again some other time and hope many more people can come.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


1st August - The plan to go to Tanjung Pinang on Pulau Bintan, Indonesia was finally executed. Although there were only 12 people going, consisting of colleagues and family members, it was something we had been looking forward to. We all met at Stulang Laut Ferry Terminal and took the 9:30 am tickets and arrived at our destination 3 hours later.

Tanjung Pinang Jetty

at the hotel entrance

We could not check in yet as the rooms were not ready so we decided to get lunch and then went shopping straightaway. We went to a nasi padang restaurant which was quite an experience. We were served with rice and varieties of rows of dishes in small plates which mainly consisted of meat and chicken. The food tasted similar to our local dishes but quite spicy. 
in a Nasi Padang Restaurant

The excitement began (especially for the women) when we arrived at the bazaar. Some of the items that were cheap included telekung (clothes worn by Moslem women when praying), tudung (head scarves) and other types of women-related fashion products. There were not much things on sale for men and there were not a large of variety of local products that attracted me. So I just had a look around first because the next day we had planned to do shopping again before going home. One of the difficulties encountered throughout the trip was using the currency. Everyone was practically a millionaire, we carried around more than a million of cold hard cash. We had to get used to paying thousands of Rupiahs to things which you can only pay RM1 here in Malaysia. The rate is something like Rp1000=30 sen, Rp10000=RM3.00.

the quaint town of Tanjung Pinang

We had dinner at one place where there were many stalls which offered variety of food, some we were not familiar with. So I settled for a bowl of Chicken Soto (and a plate of plain rice) and tried avocado drinks which made me feel beautiful after drinking. The food was Rp13000 and the avocado juice was Rp3000 and it sounded I had spent so much money only on food but I was still living as a millionaire.

Dinner under the sky

2nd August - The second day was spent on Pulau Penyengat, an island which is historical in nature. We took a boat from the jetty and toured the island on motorbiked trishaws and went to places like Makam (tomb) Raja Ali, a prominent figure of the Malay Language, Balai Adat Melayu and Sultan Riau Mosque. I liked the Balai Adat very much, it was as if you were in one of the plays during the Melaka Sultanate era. The hall was decorated with so much pomp and ceremony.
Balai Adat Melayu Indera Perkasa (outside)

a new and wise king in the making (inside Balai Adat)

Sultan Riau Mosque

Again, before leaving Tanjung Pinang, a few more hours were spent shopping at the marketplace before we called it a day. Safely arrived at Stulang Laut Jetty Terminal at 7:00 pm, and we were planning to go somewhere further in the near future and hopefully there will be more people coming.

One final pose before taking the ferry back to JB