Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lost in Melaka Town

"Jalan terus aje, nanti nampak TNB belok kiri, lepas tu, kat roundabout, belok kanan. Lepas tu, nanti jumpa traffic light, belok kiri. Lepas tu nanti nampak jembatan lama tu, yang ada jam besar, dah sampai lah tu."

The instructions were given to us by the sweet girl who served us at the food stalls, opposite Hotel Equitorial, Melaka. It was near midnight, after exploring Bandar Hilir, and we wanted to go to Jalan Hang Tuah before heading back, because Mai needed to bank in some money at an ATM there. Ok, that sounds quite manageable. And so we got into the car, Mai, Pink, Teddie and me.

As we moved off, I realised, "jalan terus" is not as simple, Just 200 meters ahead, this road is split, and both ways can be defined as 'jalan terus'. That's when we started going around Melaka town for the next 1 hour or so, trying to locate where Hang Tuah once walked, and then that particular ATM machine on that stretch of road and it's alleys.

But it was fun. We made quite a few U turns and almost ended up in some spooky dead end. That night, it was like we're playing treasure hunt in the town of Melaka. After we found Jalan Hang Tuah, we still had to find the ATM machine. And rupanya bukan KL aje menjerit. Melaka pun menjerit jugak kat Jalan Hang Tuah tu.

When we finally located that particular ATM machine at the corner of an alley, at the end of Jalan Hang Tuah, everyone in the car felt relieved ;p , kind of proud, and thankful. Alhamdulillah!

Then at the ATM machine, Mai realised that she had left her ATM card at Titah's house.

Itulah dia.. one of the many stories yang fun & kelakar pasal our weekend in Melaka.

The whole trip was very fun for me. So fun, Subhanallah! Alhamdulillah! Mainly, because I got to drive on the Malaysian highways and in Melaka kampung areas. I love it!! Love it!!

Too many things, but I want to jot it down. I want to remember this trip.

Ok let's see.. we left on Friday 'morning morning' (as Titah wud say =D) from my house. 7 pax in all, including me, and 2 of my girls. Pink almost couldn't make it, because she couldn't locate her passport. But Allah nak kasi dia pegi jugak. At quite the last minute, she found her passport and called me, and so we waited for her.

The journey to Melaka, itself was enjoyable. Tahulah kalau dah among girlfriends. Especially for me, driving down the highway, with nice music turned on and the girls chatting, joking and looking after my children behind, as I ignored them and enjoyed the scenery, Allah's creation. Subhanallah! The little pleasures in life. (I think by now, you'll begin to know how much I love driving.)

Hmm.. I think I'll try to fast forward.

Titah's houseSampai sana, had lunch at Kak Noi's house (Titah's sis) - , which is near to Titah's house. After that, balik rumah Titah, spring clean rumah Titah, which she visits about once in a couple of month. The tahi cicak collected from sweeping the whole house, was enough to make a small bowl of bubur tahi cicak. But we didn't.

While we were cleaning the house, my girls changed into their swimsuits and played in the big portable pool, at the verandah of the house.

Lepas tu, apa kita buat eh.. Oh, we went to Tesco. Titah nak gi Tesco, although I would have preferred to go to Jaya Jusco instead. Then at night, we had ikan bakar. Titah's house is in Serkam very near to the ikan bakar place.

Masjid Jami' SerkamOh yes, and Titah's house is also directly opposite the mosque. Every 'morning morning' before subuh, you can hear the Quran being recited over the loud speakers, followed by the azan shortly. How best to start the morning. Then we got up, washed up and donned the telekong from home. Then crossed over to the mosque in the early dawn to go for subuh prayers. As I'm jotting this down, I feel somewhat elated and sad. I'm missing that experience already.

Oh yup, suppose to fast forward. The sawah near Titah's placeThen, after subuh, we changed into our jogging shoes and jogged down the kampung to get to the sawah, which is about 15 minutes from Titah's place. I had a wonderful time photographing the sawah, nature and the kampung sceneries. Alhamdulillah for my Olympus.

Then, we drove out for breakfast at one of the warong kampung which serves the 'best' roti canai in that area.

Shopping at the pasar malamAfter zuhur, we went to Mahkota Parade for shopping. We managed to have lunch and shop a little at Mahkota Parade. Then we had to go to Kak Noi's house for early dinner before rushing back to Titah's place, to explore the pasar malam very near her place.

We were going back the next morning already, and the 3 anak dara, felt that they have not had enough of shopping in town. And so, we decided to go back to town after the pasar malam exploration. My girls stayed behind with Titah at home, to watch some cartoon VCDs we had just bought. And I DROVE them back to town. This time we continued shopping at Mahkota Parade and explored Bandar Hilir. After that the Hang Tuah and ATM incident.

The next morning, I missed jemaah Subuh at the mosque. :(( It was my fault, initially I felt like I couldn't get up. So Pink went ahead without me with the house keys. But, as the azan was still going on, especially part "Assolatu khairun minannaum" I felt so guilty, I got up and quickly prepared to go to the mosque. At the door, I realised it was locked and I don't have the keys. So there goes my subuh berjemaah.

After Subuh, we prepared to go home. We went back to Jalan Hang Tuah because Mai still needed to bank in her money. But this time, with Titah the Melaka expert with us, AND the fact that we also studied Melaka roads the night before - finding the ATM this time, was a breeze.

Then had breakfast in town before making our way back to to Singapore. We used the jalan kampung, all the way to Tangkak because the girls wanted to have durians. The girls had their durian, then we were back on the highway.

The highwayFrom then on, it was a quiet journey back. All of them were sleeping. Me... I was driving, down the highway, enjoying the time 'alone', playing my favourite songs and enjoying the scenery of the sky, the vast lands and the mountains around me. *long dreamy sigh*

Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made?
And at the Sky, how it is raised high?
And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm?
And at the Earth, how it is spread out?
~Al Quran, Al Ghashiyah 26 : 17-20

Well I didn't see any camels, but I did see the others and I'm awed. Subhanallah!

Alhamdulillah, for this fun yet safe trip. And I also have to thank my darling hubby, for letting me go on this trip and letting us use his car.

I hope I can do it again some time not too far away.. =D.

More pics here >>

Thursday, June 22, 2006

So CIA.. & my fondness for Malaysia

The internet wind was strong, I was really surfing.. went from one site to another, and ended up at CIA's website. MasyaAllah, they have so much info about one country, in just one page. It's sooo CIA. Here's what they have on Singapore .

And I was also interested in what they have on Malaysia.

Actually I've always had this fondness for Malaysia, even though I was not born there. Perhaps it's because it's a Muslim country. Or perhaps, I still feel like I belong there. I love the kampungs, and their modern cities. My favourite building is the Petronas towers, have taken quite a few pics of it. Here's one.

Petronas Towers

I'm also a fan of the current Prime Minister, Pak Lah. I even pray for him. I pray that Allah will tetapkan iman dia, and that Allah continuously give him guidance in being the honest and sincere leader that he is.

Yes, I also love my home country. And I also appreciate the current government efforts in providing a clean, green, comfortable and modern place to live in. And not forgetting the easy internet access. Although I REALLY do not like the morally deteriorated ways of the media and some people - no matter what they call it - arts? freedom of expression? junk? whatever..

Monday, June 19, 2006

The trip back from PD

Ya Allah, help me get me back to reality. I feel like I'm not here. My body and my concious mind is at work, but my subconcious mind and my soul, they are still on the Malaysian highways.

Perhaps it's because we reached home after 12 midnight, last night and I went straight to sleep, then this morning,I had to rush to work. Didn't really have time to adjust myself to the current state I am in.

Yup, the weekend was a very memorable one. The stay at Avillion Port Dickson was a relaxing one for the adults, and an enjoyable one for the kids. But the journey back, is most memorable for me at this moment.

On the way back, we stopped by at Melaka at Mami Su's new house, 1.5 hours drive from Port Dickson. Then we left Melaka for Singapore about 6pm, for an expected 3 hours drive back to Singapore. 1 hour after we left Melaka, Uda realised his hp was off. He turned it on and checked his voice messages. Then his face changed...

"Oh no!.. Our passports! "
"Yes, what's wrong with our passports dear?" , the calm me, asked..
"It's in the drawer, in our room in Avillion!"
"Oh." I said, still absorbing the fact that has just been revealed.

Then I start to imagine and calculate the time needed, to turn all the way back to that place just to get our passports.

You KNOW, this is not like turning back to Simei from Choa Chu Kang. Even then I don't think I'd turn back, the journey is just too far. But this?! This is like a whole 2 hours drive back!!! And then we still have to go back all the way to Singapore!!! I'm already feeling so tired just sitting in this car!! What more the children?!?! .....Of course... unless we decide to stay one more night there.. But no! no! no!.. I have a meeting on Monday!! Oh man! Can the children take it, being in the car for at least another 5 hours or so!! How could he have forgotten the passports!??!!!!

That was all going on inside my head. Then I turned to my dearest husband and said, "Ok, looks like we need to turn back and get it.", smiling at him.

I explained to my parents, who were in their own car, to head home first without us. So, while they were on their way back home sweet home, we are on our way back to the place far far away. That's how we ended up taking 12 hours to reach home.

But, after everything, I'm still thankful for the things that happened (or did not happen) on that journey back. Yes I really am. I've listed the top 5 things I'm thankful for.

5. I'm thankful that the children did not make so much fuss during the whole journey back. (they were mostly asleep).

4. I'm thankful, that the journey home was safe, no crazy F1 drivers driving trucks or buses.

3. I'm thankful that we didn't reach Malaysian customs in JB, before realising that we left behind the passports.

2. I'm thankful that we didn't lose our passports.

And the no.1 thing I'm most thankful for is that...I'm NOT THE ONE who forgot the passports!! I can't imagine how he would react if it was me who forgot the passports! The barrage of 'how-could-you's from him.. Phew!!! Alhamdulillah.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Batam Trip

No, we didn't go there in this June school holidays. In fact, we have not gone for our June holidays yet. Soon, real soon.

We went in March 2006. I've been meaning to do this clip for a long long time. Just didn't happen. But now, with my new Dell ;p and available time, and sudden mood, I managed to finally DO IT.

The whole video was like 1hour 20 mins, now that has been shrunked to approximately 6.5 mins. I just used the free Windows Movie Maker that comes with Windows XP OS.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Object of Despair, a poem by Fahim Firfiray

I've read this poem few years back. I still remember it now and then. Yesterday I was looking up for the poem, to read it again. Then I tried to google the title 'Object of Despair'. And google suggested..


*sigh*..Well, anyway, here's the poem.


Object of Despair

Emma is a lawyer
And so is Aisha too
Colleagues going into court
At circa half past two

Its 1 O'clock right now
They grab a bite before the trial
They chat about this and that
Conversing with a smile

Aisha is in full hijab
With a loose all over suit
Emma's in her business wear
With accessories taboot

Emma's really quite bemused
At Aisha's godly ways
She looks Aisha in the eyes
And very firmly says

You're a smart girl Aisha
Why do you wear that across your hair?
Subjugated by "man"-kind
An object of despair

Take it off my sister
Let your banner be unfurled
Don't blindly follow all around

Aisha is amazed
But not the least bit shy
She bravely puts her milk shake down
And gives Emma the reply

My dear sister Emma,
Why do you dress the way you do?
The skirt you're wearing round your waist,
Is it really you?

Now that we've sat down,
I see you tug it across your thighs,
Do you feel ashamed?
Aware of prying eyes?

I see the way you're sitting,
Both legs joined at the knees,
Who forces you to sit like that?
Do you feel at ease?

I'll tell you who obliges you,
To dress the way you do,
Gucci, Klein and St. Laurent,
All have designs on you!

In the main, its men my friend,
Who dictate the whims of fashion,
Generating all the garb,
To incite the basest passion

"Sex Sells" there is no doubt,
But who buys with such great haste,
The answer is the likes of you,
Because they want to be embraced......

They want to be accepted,
On a level playing field
Sure, with brain and intellect
But with body parts revealed

Intelligence and reason
Are useful by and by
But if you want to make a mark
Stay appealing to the eye

You claim your skirt is office like
A business dress of sorts
Would we not laugh at Tony Blair
If he turned up in shorts?

His could be the poshest pants
Pinstripe from Saville Rowe
But walking round like that my friend
He'd really have to go

Why do you douse yourself with creams
To make your skin so milky?
Why do rip off all your hair
To keep your body silky?

A simple shower's all you need
To stay respectable and clean
The time and money that you spend
Is really quite obscene

Why do you wake up at dawn,
To apply a firm foundation,
Topped with make up and the like,
In one chaotic combination?

And if you should have to leave the house
Devoid of this routine
Why do you feel so insecure
That you should not be seen?

Be free my sister Emma
Escape from your deep mire
Don hijab today my friend
And all Islam's attire

Avoid all those sickly stares
Or whistles from afar
Walk down the street with dignity
Take pride in who you are

Strength lies in anonymity
Be a shadow in the crowd
Until you speak and interact
When your voice will carry loud

You're a smart girl Emma
Wear this across your hair
Don't be subjugated by "man"-kind
An object of despair

To use your very words my friend
Let your banner be unfurled
Don't blindly follow all around

By Fahim Firfiray, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 10 Rajab 1420

Monday, June 12, 2006

Singapore newspapers should be rated PG or N16

Astaghfirullah!! Sometimes I cannot stand these konon angmoh lah sangat punya 'educated' Singaporeans ni.. who is with the English media. Don't they know that sometimes kids read the newspapers???

How can they post controversial pictures in the newspaper just like that. Today it's in the front page of the New Paper. Few days ago, a picture of 2 ladies kissing on the lips, on the front page of another stupid English papers. So you see, sometimes these people don't even need to buy FHM, they can sometimes get it on newspapers!

What has happened to these people? Don't they know how to judge already? Good and bad influence? Who their audience are? Or are all these considered 'advancements'? Afraid to be called 'backwards'? Totally no pride with who they are, what their values WERE and where they originally come from. They think that if they cannot degrade themselves as much as the west do, then they are being stupid?

Look who's stupid now. Show violent movies, and wonder why there is a rise violence among kids. Promote shows with boy girl relationship, premarital sex and what-nots, then wonder and worry why there is a rise in pre marital pregnancies and abortions. Children kurang ajar dengan parents, showing no respect to the elders or other people around them, are good comedies on tv - and they wonder why the children nowadays don't respect the elders. MasyaAllah how deaf, blind and dumb can they get?

It is becoming more and more challenging for a Muslim parent now. I am so afraid for my children. May Allah SWT guide me on being the best parent I can be, to protect them from these influences and to pride themselves as Muslims who are constant in our principles, with the Guidance from Allah SWT as our reference. Ameen.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The secret to flawless skin

I see these faces in the magazines, I envy them. I'll be looking at the products that comes with that picture to see how I can get such flawless skin.

And NOW I have found the secret to those flawless skin!

Oh man! I tell you! The wonders it can do!! It can make a dark skin fair, a rough skin smooth and much much more! Check out the before and after photos. Roll mouse, over the picture to see the difference.

The secret? It's called Photoshop.

But they have never ever advertised that in women magazines. hmmm.....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The funeral

Last Sunday, I followed Uda to a funeral at Pusara Aman. It was for Uda's friend's father. The friend, Mohd is from Maldives.The father was here in Singapore for treatment. Mohd and his siblings could speak English, but the elder ones like the deceased's wife and mother, could only speak their native language, Dhivehi. The body language, something understood by most human (e.g. a sympathetic smile, a smile of appreciation, a hand gesture, hand on the shoulder etc), was enough for us to communicate.

It was clear that the father was a person well respected and liked. Imagine, during the funeral, his Singapore Chinese supplier was present with his wife and son, and so was his friend/competitor from Maldives. I was told that when the father was alive but already bounded to the wheel chair and had to always have the oxygen tank with him, this Chinese supplier of his, had brought the father out to Sentosa. And the most amazing thing about it, is that the father did not speak English and the Chinese man does not speak Dhivehi. But that did not deter the man and the father from being that close. MasyaAllah! I am so touched.

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
Al-Quran, Al-Hujurat 49:13

In the car ride home, after dropping off the family members near town, I saw celebration banners on the streets and people going about their daily lives. After spending the whole morning at a funeral, suddenly some of these things I see, doesn't seem to make sense. Death and Afterlife, Paradise and Hellfire, is a sure thing. What are we doing?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Trivial things, good and bad

Sometimes we overlook things that seems trivial TO US. We do it and forget about it the next minute.
But it may make a lot of difference to receiving end, much more than you know. This applies to both the good and bad.

Some of the little things, good.

1. Accepting the pamphlet being given away, to help the pamphlet distributors finish their job faster.

2. Making sure the rubbish you throw, especially when it's small, gets into the dustbin properly, and not outside and around the dustbins, to make the garbage collector's work easier.

3. Acknowledging the tea lady or office cleaner, like we do to our colleagues, to make her feel like a part of our team.

4. Putting back a stuff borrowed from someone, exactly at where it was taken from, so that it's easy for the owner to find it.

5. When leaving a place, making sure that the place is as clean as when you arrived, or even cleaner.

Some of the little things bad, but done almost naturally..

1. Exclaiming somebody's inadequacies or what YOU deem as inadequate. (e.g. "hidung dia senget sey...." )

2. Forwarding an email which shocked you off your seat, so that some other person can experience the shock you had.
(unless you're genuinely happy to have received it and want to share your joy with others)

3. Purposely picking up speed, when a car has signalled to filter into your lane so that it cannot do so before YOU.
And horning or flashing your headlights at the driver, if he/she manages to do so.

4. Ignoring the slipper/shoe placed outside a house/mosque, that you accidentally kicked away.

5. Cursing anybody for whatever reason.

"That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups, that they may be shown their deeds.
So, whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it."
Al Quran, Az-Zalzalah 99 : 6-8