About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A 40 something dad of five and a half wonderful kids with amazingly different traits and temperament from whom he wants a break from at times, yet wish they never grow older.....and be with him always.....(howzat possible?)and now wishing that he can be a stay at home dad......

15 January, 2008

Kupang explored

(Images in this post are courtesy of Khadijah)

This trip back to Kedah was different from our usual quickie trips of the mandatory hi's and byes. We actually stayed there for six days and five nights! It was over the Eidul Adha and Christmas period! We planned it months ahead but fate had it that wifey and I had to work right till the eve of Eidul Adha - we had to cut short the trip to six days rather than eight days planned.....Man proposeth, God disposeth!

Kedah or to be more specific Kupang, Baling is wifey's parents' hometown. Wifey was born there but grew up in Penang, Alor Star and Kuala Lumpur.

I remember the first time visiting Baling post married life. Then, I was still working in Johor Bahru and father-in-law insisted that we went back as a couple for the rituals of meeting wifey's both sets of grandparents...Drove up to Kuala Lumpur alone one Saturday afternoon after work as wifey was already residing in KL (yes we were a weekend couple for close to the whole time of wifey's pregnancy with our first born, Khadijah!) and father in law drove us back to Kedah upon my arrival from JB....Then, there was no Seberang Jaya - Kulim highway..So the journey took us close to seven hours from KL! My first thought was - this place is so remote and rural. I didn't enjoy the journey at all since it was all dark the whole of our journey. We arrived at the wee hours of the morning!

I had a rude shock of my life when I discovered that their daily routine started as early as 5 am...So there went my usual 12 hours of beauty sleep for my weekends! I practically didn't sleep that day!

Wifey's paternal grandfather was the imam of Kupang...hence the need for him and the whole clan to be up and perky that early....Imagine having to take our baths and be in our best at this ungodly hour! Picture this.....water fresh from the perigi (well) was the source of our bathing water and outside temperature, then, could be as low as 17 degrees! The old folks of Kupang believe that they are sitting on a mine of tin ore, I was told, and that is the reason why Baling can be very cold at night and during the early hours of the morning!

You can imagine how black and blue our lips and extremeties were during our baths at that time of the day but definitely refreshing! The perigi is gone now because it's extremely hazardous to the peghak city-born-and-bred great grandchildren. But water supply to the house remains sourced from an underground spring up till this day with the aid of an electric pump!

After the getting to know sessions, we actually returned to Kuala Lumpur on the following day after we arrived! The trip was so short and quick that I didn't realise that there are paddy fileds just right behind Tok Wan's house! My first trip to Baling, to say the least, was very boring and uneventful. And first impression really lasts (however cliched this may sound) - i.e Baling is a really boring place hence explains our whirlwind trips there over the years for Hari Raya! My wife and I has been married for 14 years now and it's not until our last trip to Baling two years ago that I realised how beautiful and pristine Baling is!

This time we had a lot of activities planned apart from visiting relatives like picnic at the waterfalls around Baling/Kulim/Sik area, Ulu Legong hot water spring and dipping ourselves in taliaiar (irrigation canal) at the paddy filed, shopping at pekan Ahad, pekan Rabu, pekan Sabtu etc amongst others! But our time was so tight that we only got to visit one waterfall (Lata Hijau) which is near to one of wifey's aunt's house and one pekan Sabtu at Lubuk Merbau, Jeniang (we had the best apam balik in the world here!)!

Tok Yam served us the best meals we could ever had. Since it was eidul adha beef was aplenty. We had fried beef and gulai kawah served with air (or ayak) asam, slightly salted fish of different sort (fresh from being dried), all sorts of ulam (I had for the first time water hyacinth flower buds [see picture below] as ulam. My kids, unbeliveably, survived without burgers and sausages! Yusof could finish two plates of rice with just salted fish and ayak asam!

I really miss Tok Che (wifey's paternal grandfather) though. He passed on a few years back. Visting him would mean a session of kahwa (a type of plant which the leaves are sun dried and brewed like tea) drinking with him! I must find out what the name of the plant is when we go back next!

The kids had fun and the best part was when Yusof (background : Yusof was the one who refused to go back to Kedah and objected that we wanted to have a long stay there) commented "Kedah ni best rupanya!" - Wifey and I just smiled....... (A little bit of background - Yusof is a typical city boy who hates nature. He's the one who objected vehemently to this longish trip! He volunteered himself to stay back with his cousins in KL which we flatly refused, naturally!)

I will post, if time permits, on the khenduri, gulai batang pisang later!

Wifey, Ib and Hajar right after eidul adha prayer.

First thing we did upon arrival was to explore the paddy fields behind Tok Wan's (wifey's maternal grandad) house

Enjoying the view of Gunung Baling

Tok Yam (wifey's maternal grandma) with her youngest (for the time being) great granddaughter, Hajar

The house which Tok Wan built and handcrafted

Tok Wan's head-shave

One of the paddy plants not harvested or rather got missed from being harvested with water hyacinth next to it.

Cofeee beans being sun dried...Tok Yam used to make her own coffee powder through the process of drying the beans over a period of time then hand-pound them...Brilliant (although I'm not a coffee person). She used to make her own cooking oil too - coconut oil (not cold pressed, though!). Now wifey's aunts would supply her with home made coffee powder and coconut oil or just buy them off the shelves.

14 January, 2008

2008 Olympics

I thought this is rather nasty and irresponsible.... - on how Beijing Olympics 2008 got its emblem which was circulated via email. Read here for the true explanation of the Dancing Beijing

11 January, 2008

Photographer in the making?

(one of her self-portraits)

Readers of my blog from day one would already know that my daughter Khadijah aspires to be a professional photographer.
Well, she received an email from an established publisher based in the tiny red dot country down south yesterday exploring the possibility for them to use one of her images from her flickr account (not for gratis by the way - they wanted to know her editorial rates bla bla bla) for next month's edition of an in-flight magazine of an airline based in that country who made the first Airbus A380 commercial flight last year! She was jumping up and down, naturally (dad wanted to join in but had to retain his composure....But joined in eventually!).
The downside of it was, they wanted a reply on the day they sent her the email which was the 7th! Dad and Mom has this policy of no internet access for the kids during weekdays and limited access during weekends of school term and public holidays! She actually missed the boat of what was supposed to be an embellishment to her curriculum vitae! Well.....I was visibly more disappointed than she was....But hey....there will be loads of other opportunities for whom who seek!

08 January, 2008

Umar's 5th birthday

I'm still busy......But I have to wish my dearest Umar a happy fifth birthday today.....
"My Dearest Umar,
May your life be filled with people who love you for who you are and with barakah from Allah swt......
Loads of Love : DAD"

02 January, 2008

Happy 2008

Welcome two jelo jelo fatt (two zero zero eight)!
Loads of things to update....Apologize if I have not replied to your comments...(will do soon!).
Many things to tell...! Well my law professor used to say....points form will suffice if time is not with you. So here goes :-
  • Ib's starting school tomorrow...Paid all his fees. He's super kiasu. Harassing me to do all sort of things like wrap his books....label his clothings etc etc...Yusof is totally the opposite...(we have not been able to keep up with the school's co-op opening hours...So no books for him yet...sigh...tomorrow will be settling this; fees settled) - "Owh...still no books for me....Does that mean I don't have to go to school tomorrow..Yippee!"- that's Yusof for you). Khadijah is more or less settled...Good news is that she's promised to work extra hard since next year will be PMR...(***butterflies in stomach***, ***panic..panic*** - BTW this is how dad is feeling!). Need to settle Umar's fees tomorrow!
  • MIL had a horizontal fracture to her toe...It warranted an insertion of 2 K-wires...
  • We had fun over eid-ul-adha holidays...Man, I've never seen so many khenduris in my entire life! Life was total bliss with crisp air, padddy fileds stretching as far as the eyes can see, water supply from underground springs, pristine streams and waterfalls etc..etc...(will be posting pictures on this)
  • Drove down to Port Dickson right after arriving from Kedah to sned my kids for my parents and siblings to baby-sit (sans Hajar and Umar)..Took the opportunity to have a dip in the pool and sea
  • Watched fireworks of 6 different venues from my brother's new abode....Kids had fun (minus wifey who was too tired to go)..Had cramps in the pool while fooling around with my sons, daughter, nephew and niece; luckily it was a five feet pool in depth!
  • One of my partners at the office left and hence "very the busy".

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly