Friday, August 31, 2012


I am just speechless.

*thanks to Ms Faz Abas, a friend's friend on FB for the feed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


"Earth laughs in flowers."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

bougainvillae collection

After the intense heat in Ramadhan and the heavy downpour during the early few days of Syawal, the plants at home start to bear flowers, and in abundance. It is best to capture the beauty of the colourful blooms before they wilt.

Once in a while, I am feeling as if I am in the midst of the spring season, but with the heat and humidity.

"janda kaya"
translate: rich widow
the king of thorns
names unknown :)
I hope I can operate a nursery after I have retired. But I will have to add in more plants into my collection.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The buntings found in front of a bakery in TBS were no doubt colourful and attractive but reading the description of the muffins really broke my heart (exaggeration, again). I wonder whether this is the result of direct translation or the usage of "Google translate". There are a lot of errors for you to spot. Enjoy!

nice to see


pandan is a demanding flavour?

you will not feel any sugary :)
the topping is jelly-like but crispy
the aroma can be molten into the bun?

the content is hilarious

another demanding flavour *sigh*

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


sentimental value - the personal value of an object, derived from the personal memories associated with it.  WIKTIONARY

There should be a certain item people associate you with. Your shoes, handbag, spectacles, water tumbler etc., for instance. You will be identified just by looking at this item. I know many people realized that I had been wearing the same watch for many years. An ex-student pointed out this fact when he came visiting last week - the fact that the watch had existed even when he was still in school. I am the type of person who will not buy things unnecessarily - why need a new one when the old one is still functioning well. This watch was bought in Kuching, Sarawak, back in 2002 when the school's cooperative shop organized a trip there. All this while, I just had to change the straps when the plastic material was torn. Unfortunately, last Saturday, one part on the body of the watch was broken and it was a major damage beyond repair. So I guess it was time to say goodbye to my Casio watch after being a humble servant for 10 long years and travelling around the world (exaggeration) with me. [The moral of the story: buy original product] It was hard to let go, because of the sentimental value, but I had no choice.

I am already wearing a brand new wristwatch now, another Casio, and let's see how long it will last this time.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I went to a wedding reception hosted by our school Principal for her daughter and met a few colleagues there. As the venue was not that far from my house, to my delight, they decided to come over for a visit. Two birds were then killed with one stone.

theme: stripes are back

the senior teachers
That was so far the end of only the first week of the Eid celebration and everybody is going back to school and work. Thing will slow down a bit and will continue with the coming of the long weekends in just a few days..

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The first guests of the day were Puan Zainab Mohamed, a colleague and family friend, and her family who used to be regular visitors but they were unable to make it for the past fe few years. By now, the kids have really grown up. The last time they came visiting, one of the boys would feed my hamsters with bean sprouts from the "laksa Johor" dish prepared, which my sister remembered very well.

The next visitor who came visiting was an ex-student, Mr Shafiq Suhaimi. I taught him English in the tuition class held in his school,SMK Kempas, when he was in form 3, back in 2002. He is one of the few from the group whom I meet quite frequently lately.

How time flies, it has been a week of Eid celebration already and there are another three more weeks to go.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


In the afternoon of the sixth day of Eid, a group of twelve ex-students from SPM batch 2006 came visiting. They were one of the batches that never fail to turn up for the regular visit even though the number of the members has been decreasing slightly. (A few of the members had come earlier in a smaller group.) These people are either still studying or have already worked.

May we could still see each other for many more years to come.

Friday, August 24, 2012


If you like romance and adventure, this is the one book you must read. It is an autobiography of Marguerite van Geldermalsen, a Kiwi of a Dutch descendant who fell in love with a Bedouin man, Mohammad, and chose to live among his tribe. She had in a way ran away from civilization to live in a cave in the hill where there was no electricity and running tap water. How she managed to adapt life so well, to be able to blend with the people and their custom, culture, tradition and religion was a wonder.

The book opened many doors and one of which is how happiness and success are defined - large screen LED television or touch screen smartphone or luxurious car is definitely not needed to make one happy. Life was much simpler for her and she had a great life living among the Bedouins. It should also change the perception towards the Bedouin. We always perceive them as people who are rough and uncivilized when they are actually ordinary people like us. Marguerite was accepted into the community and she was loved by Mohammad's family and almost everybody there. She was not forced to follow the common practice of the society like wearing the head scarf and fasting but she willingly did that on her own.

This is a love story in its purest form. The main reason she was there was because of him and when her husband passed away, she decided to move to Sydney. And the final paragraph of the book tells it all:

But I wasn't in Petra for the mountains or the history - not even for the culture. Without Mohammad to hold me I am no longer married to a Bedouin and, despite all the things we have accumulated, I have become a nomad once again.
A book worth spending sleepless nights reading. And I will not be surprised if you might end up crying reading it.


After being a teacher for some time, and after you have taught or known your students of different batch and generation, there will be time when they would come visit you with their parents and other family members. Encik Ismail and the children are one of the families who come to my house during every Eid every year without fail - even my sister would be expecting for their visit. Now they have already become our family friends. One person from the family had been missing for two consecutive years and Mr. Harith was not here this time as he had to work at the hospital, and I will try to persuade him to come over later.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Another group of ex-students who came visiting was from SPM batch 2004. They were Abdul Hadi, Assyakirin, Hisham, Lutfi Afiq, Mohd. Zaki and Nazary. I could see how they have actually grown up, literally, really well. I don't know whether gathering like this could be possible as a few will be tying the knots real soon. Or perhaps, the number of people coming will be smaller.

The next visitor had to come after midnight accompanied by his two other friends (who were here earlier on the second day) so I did not have to entertain two groups simultaneously. I guessed Mr. Suhaizie from SPM batch 2006 did not have much choice as he had to go back to Kuala Lumpur the very next day.

The visiting activity during Eid has actually reunited people and it is amazing how we can suddenly meet someone after being apart from each other for quite some time, or even a long long time. I am still expecting more visitors - this is just the beginning. Knowing how people here celebrate Eid for a month, I am looking forward to seeing more people.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


It rained heavily for a few hours. Finally, there were people who came to visit after the "Maghrib" (prayer time after the dusk). 

Mr. Rashid and his family were our family friends. They used to be our neighbour before moving away to stay at their own house but we still remain good friends the way we were before. Good neighbours are difficult to get nowadays. And it is a pleasure how the children have grown up and I started to see them since they were very very young, and knowing that I don't have to give away "money packets" anymore. How time flies. I must make the effort to go and visit them at their home before the end of Eid celebration.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


... and the tradition continued on the second day of Syawal. Ex-students, friends and relatives came over to wish "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri" and to catch up with the latest development. Let's just see a few groups who were at my place today.

Shafiq Shahmi and Mursyid Hidayat from SPM batch 2004

Dr. Hayati Ismail, my ex-coursemate and family from Putrajaya

Solleh, Faiz, Zahari and Aminuddin from SPM batch 2006, and Syahir
who's taking SPM this year

Another about 27 more days of visiting and entertaining people.

Monday, August 20, 2012


The long awaited day was finally here. Muslims celebrated the day of Eid ul-Fitr to commemorate our success in completing a month of fasting and to make full use of the month of Ramadhan to cleanse the soul and purify the heart. Hence the name  "fitr" - getting back to the pure original form like when a baby was first born. 

I had my first visitor for this year's Eid and it was the family of an old friend, Puan Janariah Othman who hailed from Kuala Lumpur. I had to force them in a way to drop by, even though it was quite late and they were already tired from travelling, as today was the day when they would have the chance to sample our special dish for the celebration. By tomorrow, they would have to eat only the cookies. 

Thanks a lot to Puan Janariah and all her family members for coming over. It has been such a long time we last met each other - it was too long I couldn't remember when. I was glad that I had the chance to meet up with the rest of the clan too. Hope to see you some other time in the future again.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


One of the many things that we can do on Facebook is to post inspiring quotation or words of wisdom online. It is very interesting though, despite the good intention, sometimes the meaning has totally changed because of the grammar error that is found in it.

This is just one example of the aforesaid issue. Theme: the end of Ramadhan and the arrival of the month of Syawal.

I wonder what will "shaitan" (satan) be releasing? The writer must have some problems in passive sentence construction.

Friday, August 17, 2012


With just two more days before the arrival of Eid, everyone is already busy. The list of things to do seems endless and the priority may vary. One of the must-do will definitely be spring-cleaning the house and lucky to those who either have a small space to manage or a lot of people to do everything together.

The process of cleaning and decorating may take some time and this is just a step-by-step example of how things are done. (And I was only in-charge of the cleaning part.)

stage 1

stage 2

stage 3


the final stage, almost

I have to get back to work now. *sigh*

*WARNING: The entries of the coming few days will be related to the celebration of Eid. You have been warned

Thursday, August 16, 2012


 "A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money"
~ John Ruskin ~

WEDNESDAY, 15th August ~ Today was the last day of school after the Education Ministry allowed us to take extra two days of holidays which will be replaced later. The air was filled with the spirit of Eid celebration and those who would be going back to their hometowns were the people who looked more excited.

Ramadhan and Syawal are the months of charity and giving - and I went home with goodies given by colleagues, parents and students. I would like to express my gratitude to the kind-hearted individuals for all the gifts for the Eid celebration and only god will repay all your kindness, and I can't thank you enough.

A hamper from a form 2 students' (twins) mother;
"samprit" cookies from Pn. Nadzlina; 
and dried jelly from Pn. Noraliza
"rempeyek" from Pn. Zakiah; tarts from Pn. Zuerdiana;
goodies from Ms. Grace, a PIBG committee member

Cake and cookies from Mr. Mustafa Kamal, Pn. Nor'ashikin and
Ms. Amalina; chocolates from Ms. Safia and the Ng family

greeting cards from the Principal and the Chairman
of PIBG; money packets from a student's mother
and the prefects

a wrist watch from my Chinese colleagues and Mr. Narasimman
The celebration has not actually started but it is still not too early to wish everybody, the Muslims and non-Muslims alike, a joyous celebration of the Eid - "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri" and enjoy the 11-day school break while you still can.

And I have 3 days to get things ready. *sigh*