Untitled Journal

What's the story, morning glory?

Category: Event

Aidilfitri This Year

There’s nothing quite like this time of the year.

The days off from work,  the absence of emails and phone calls. The havoc of getting the kids to stand still for a decent picture, the laughter of your kid running around on the fresh mowed lawn. The look on your parents’ eyes and that constant smile on their faces.  The food consumed, the content in the bowls on the tables that get you excited. The thought of it took one month of fasting to lose a kilo and 3 days of Raya to gain two! The traffic up north and God forbid, the traffic down south soon. The catching up with the ones you rarely met, the conversations with the ones you regularly see.

Yeah. Nothing quite like Aidilfitri.

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Wishing you an awesome hari Raya. Maaf zahir batin, as usual!

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A Day On A Birthday

My 31st year on earth started just like any other day. Woke up, showered and on with the jeans & shirt. I giggled thinking of the night before when the clock struck 12 midnight and my face got wet with kisses from D & F. “Happy birthday Mama, love you Mama” they’d say while I shoved their faces for blocking me from American Idol.

Drove to the office and rescheduled a meeting – I wanted to take the afternoon off. F wanted to buy me lunch, a nicer lunch from the usual Monday ones we would have. So we went to Bangsar, because I also wanted to check out an outdoor shop I just heard from a new acquaintance from climbing gym yesterday. And not just any random newbie climber, a Millet ambassador apparently. Watched her climbed few times and didn’t even wonder why she was chosen to be, she was so impressive and fearless on those walls. I on the other hand had been digging the last few stocks of Millet rock shoes around town ever since I got my first pair of Millet last year. Apparently they are rare breed and I feel I climb better with Millet on my feet than any other brands. Even the shiznit La Sportiva.

My phone rang from WhatsApp. Le sister from Oxford sent a video. Can she be any more nerdy than she already is? As if learning architecture wasn’t hard enough, she had the time to learn some chords on a guitar! I think this one tops everything. The crème de la crème of all birthday wishes that day. And that made me sorely miss that big baby.

 

It was raining when we got out. Not heavily, but someone without an umbrella would need a shelter from it. Went to Shell for a refill when I noticed a man sitting on the floor next to the door of the Select shop. He had big bags filled with keropok around him. It was a pretty normal sight, we do get a lot of people came up to us while we eat selling stuff. Sometimes we even had this prejudice that it might be syndicated. But I had none of that at that moment. He looked tired and seriously sleepy. His head nodded a few times from it and I stared from a distance in the convenience of my car, sheltered from rain and even air conditioned comfortably. I couldn’t bear it, I checked my wallet for cash and decided to buy. He was physically unfortunate, I have no idea how he carries around those big, heavy bags with him. A bag of uncooked keropok for RM20. Could’ve gotten for a tenner at Tesco or Giant but what the heck. I felt relieved.

Bangsar was congested when we arrived during lunch time. I was so famish I could chew my strawberry tasted lip gloss when I put it on. And then I saw this sign. Never saw it before and first saw it on this day, my birthday.

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The big fonts, not the small ones. And so I shall, I thought.

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There I was, standing outside this shop that I probably passed hundreds of times but never realized its existence. As soon as I saw that dude hanging on the rocks, I knew I was going to find my birthday present in there. And I wasn’t wrong – there was a last pair, their last stock of rock shoes ever, in my size going for half price. I always get really superstitious with this kind of thing. This is called, Shaliza’s this-is-meant-to-be shopping moment. Millet, last stock, my size, half price with F offered to contribute a bit. The stars are aligned. I did not think for another nano minute.

Super psyched with my purchase, we walked back to the parking lot through Bangsar Village, thinking it would be a harmless stroll by the shops while getting back to the car. Naively I went in Zara. People, I haven’t bought anything in Zara since August 2011. Suffice to say since I started climbing, I haven’t been my old self. The fashion bargain maniac who filled up her wardrobe with junks. But that was about to change when I put these mustaches on.

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It was the last pair, final reduction, and totally goes with whatever I had on at that time. F came over to see and didn’t hate it. He usually would on something like this. So again, what do you call this people? That’s right – this was meant to be.

My phone only had a bar left by that time. I never had my phone almost died on me by midday. Must been checking those birthday wishes I’d been getting everywhere. Abah who normally doesn’t text, did today:

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There’s something about that date that he typed at the end of the text. It touched me. 2013 today. 1982 then. They must have felt like it has been a long time.

Immediately after that, I wanted a cake. Had always been intrigued by the rainbow cake they have at my favorite cake shop Bisou. It’s RM12 a piece, that’s why I never got it. Even the super crazy delish Chicago cheese at Coffee Bean costs less. But F got me one anyway. For some reason they call it Dream Come True. I kept telling him get me the rainbow cake, rainbow cake. But then he said to the cashier with his usual seriousness, “Can I have one Dream Come True please?”. It sounded soooooo funny I laughed and snorted like a pig.

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Got D some stuff too, some books I can story tell her and a Tinkerbell dvd. Only because whenever I get home now her first questions will be, “Beli apa tu?” even though I have absolutely nothing on my hands. Wanted to give her a reason to jump around at the door when I get home. Later cooked those two dinner and now am writing this telling you how my day was.

Alhamdulillah. Thank you God for a great day and a blessed life. For another beat of my heart and the air I’m breathing. For everything gained and nothing so far lost. I just got to say.

photo (2)Its my party and I’ll buy two shoes if I want to.

To My Sister

It has been more than two weeks gone since I hugged you tight in front of the bus door and told you nothing else but what you needed hear, that I love you. I won’t tell you anything else but that, because on everything else, I’m quite sure you know what to do. You know that you should pray 5 times a day, take care of yourself and study like a geek you already are. OK, maybe you don’t know how to do your laundry yet or cook a good sambal like I can but I’m pretty sure in time you will do.

You need to know that this needs to happen in your life. This phase where you part from all of us, from your comfort zone, from your little bubble must happen as a turning point of your life. It’s scary, its horrifying and there’ll be times when you need us to be there but we won’t be there for you. But you’ll get through all that and when you do, it will be life altering and soul founding like nothing else. You’ll realize there are strength you never knew you had and you are not the same person who left me crying a bucket at Heathrow Airport the other day. So remember to endure, all the hardships that you will face and the study you must finish.

Endure. With positivity, the love you have and the strength you possess. And you must finish. Whatever happens, no matter how hard and how hopeless it seems to be, you must finish.

I’m glad that Allah has destined this to happen to you because you will be able to relate with what I went through. Maybe not the exact experience but its great that we can relate to each other much more than we did before. I admit the 10 days that I had to separate with Daisy & Fakhrul was really, really hard, suffice to say not something I’ll consider doing again. I went anyway because you needed me to carry the burden of going off alone and the heavy load of your many luggage.  But mostly I’m also very glad and thankful I had another chance to properly catch up, revisit and reminisce with the place and people I was so fond of at some point in my life. If it hadn’t been for you, only God knows when will I return back to Oxford, eat at my favorite places, meet all of my friends, sit in South Park or take a drive around Headington. For that chance, I have to thank you.

So go ahead and have a great next two years of your life. Enjoy the travels, the extraordinary encounters, the people you never knew existed, learn the stuff you won’t know if you hadn’t gone and especially enjoy the occasional lucky moments of finding unbelievable bargains at the shops. When you do, don’t forget to buy them for me.  To miss you is a serious understatement. Just come back when you’re done as we are all already waiting for you to be done with it.

Syawal 2012

Salam second Syawal everyone.

I have been so absent here I even skipped the whole Ramadhan without writing anything. Honestly, it was ignorance. Or maybe the busy work schedule or the personal turmoils in life I had to deal with since I last wrote made me lost for words. And maybe for a start, maaf zahir batin for not writing in awhile? Forgiven? Settled then!

Last Ramadhan went on in a blink. I don’t think I had time for anything, not even stocking up baju Raya. I only have two this year (alhamdulillah, at least) and even those were thanks to online shopping. I wasn’t ready to go back to Kedah last Thursday with unfinished works in the office. But nevertheless, here I am. I love giving Fakhrul a hard time whenever we have to go back to Kedah but deep down inside he knows I love it here. I enjoy my time being at his home, listening to his childhood stories whenever we pass somewhere and the peace and tranquility I get when he takes me out for a drive at those picturesque spots.

Raya here was the usual drill – major iftar on the last night with all types of meat you can find (seriously, the amount of meat consumed by this family is scarrry!) and cooked anyway you could think of. The next morning was the rush to Atok’s house in Aloq Staq (that’s how they spell it on the map, right?) for in-house Raya prayer a very quick salam-bersalaman. I mean like literally after the prayer they all went to each other and wish the standard thing – “Selamat hari raya lah noo, maaf zahir batin” and they’re done. No queuing nor kneeling, no drama nor sobbing thinking of the past sins. His Pak Usu even joked to his wife, “Halalkan makan minum Abang lah nooo..”. I don’t know whether they’re going to do the real one behind me or when nobody’s seeing but that is kind of the thing for Raya, nooo? Or maybe Raya to them is more than just the show. His newlywed cousin came alone and when I asked where was his wife, he just said “Oh. Dia ghaya ghumah mak dia tahun ni. Besok dia mai lah..”

There’s something about them Northerners. I don’t know how to put it nicely in a way that if they read this they won’t be offended but they are really, truly simple. OK, maybe not just the Northerners – but people in kampungs generally, I guess. Its refreshing to experience that once in awhile I must say. And wouldn’t it be great if Fakhrul had picked up that thing his newlywed cousin has? Hahaha.

After the “formal” photograph sessions we all continued eating and napped because it is really hot during midday here. We took a walk at the back of Atok’s house as every year because of the beautiful background it has – the bendang, the sawah padi, the usual greens and occasional yellow color it brings to our backdrops. I know we go there everytime we came to Atok’s, but it never look the same everytime anyway.

A good Raya after a very testing Ramadhan, I must say.

Abah Unwell

There are two major events happened last week; in case you haven’t been following me. I mean, why would you want to follow me anyway right? It’s basically that I went to Bali again, and that soon after I came back, Abah was admitted to the hospital. Since Abah is way more important to me than Bali, here’s about that first.

Abah has never been hospitalized before.

In the beginning we all (even the doctor) thought it wasn’t anything serious. My mom was telling me that he didn’t feel so well since his brother passed away when I was in Bali (wait, that makes 3 major events right?) and I thought it was just some grieving or depressing phase he had to go through. But my first night at home, he seemed to be in a lot of pain and couldn’t urine properly. I didn’t even had the chance to show him this awesome painting I got for him in Bali. The urologist thought it was the swollen prostate; which is common for men his age. But 2 days on just before he was about to operate, it actually wasn’t that. It was appendicitis and another doctor took over and did an emergency surgery late last night. The thing was about to burst anytime soon, and since appendicitis only occurs to young people, the doctor feared there’s a relation to cancer.

My knees became weak everytime I hear that word. ‘Tumor’, ‘cancer’ or ‘CA’. Even the doctor said the chance is only 5% I still could not fathom the possibility. Could this be real? He had always been healthy with his golf at least twice a week, limiting all the fatty food intake and insisting on fruits as desserts. So when this happened, we didn’t quite know what to do.  Abah had always been the traditionalist when it comes to parenting. Its like “I was afraid of my father and my children are damn well going to be scared of me..” And so we did; at least for me. I didn’t know how to react to this other than joking about how he must’ve held a lot of his pee at the golf field, or naughtily giggling when he puts on the hospital gown. I mean, that is all I know on how to act around him. Whether talk about work or making fun out of each other. To see him lying down and walk around with a bag of urine attached to his hand is just plain weird. Luckily my baby sister who had always been the closest to him knows what to do. She had never left his side since day one and I really don’t know what we’d do without her.

Then it dawned on me.

I mean, I had always knew that people around me will never last forever. That there is a higher power above that can desire the undesirable to happen. The thought of losing my parents forever has crossed my mind before, but I never really wanted to think about it. I think I’d be hysterical if it happens sooner than I anticipate it. I really don’t want it to be a sudden one, but like everything in life we never know what’s going to happen, how or when it will be. Have I got enough strength for it, will I be strong for others? I don’t know. But I know I got to.

Eventually the operation did go well and the doctor said he doesn’t think it was cancerous. That’s all I needed to hear for now and the rest of the time waiting for the test result to come in will intervene with lots of prayers which I couldn’t do since the last few days! Abah is recovering well and I guess for now my days will be trips to the hospital and missing his voice singing ‘ABC’ with Daisy.

All I know is I want him back in the house. To nag me about double checking the doors before I go to sleep, to sing more nursery rhymes with Daisy and to talk about work at the dinner table, which I usually hate.

Get well soon Bah!

Update: Abah has been discharged today (Thursday 15th) and alhamdulillah, looks healthy and just within days to be back to his old self. Thanks so much for your thoughts & prayers.

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