Akan Datang

It is exactly a month now to Rihlah 2013. Excited much, can?
To be in the presence of Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Afeefuddin Jilani, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Imam Afroze for a solid 8 day spiritual retreat.
My thirst for their knowledge has reached the desert temperature parching my soul.
I long for their wisdom, their guidance, their knowledge, their adab, their teachings and guiding of the sacred knowledge of the deen.

May that day come safe and blessed. May Rihlah 2013 Malaysia be a success.


In reality

I like watching reality shows and when I was studying Psych, we used the videos of reality shows to study body language and do character analysis as part of our group discussions during tutorials. I liked Survivor but after a while I got tired of following season after season of it. Then I followed Amazing Race and Amazing Race Asia. I loved them! I love watching the couple dynamics and see how each character either grow or regress at the end of the season. Currently, I am following Asia’s Next Top Model. It is tame, in comparison to the American version but the 14 competing girls seriously gave me a galore of character studies I wish I am back in Psych school to write a paper!

There is Kate Ma, my all time favourite. She represents Taiwan and she is half Taiwanese and half Brazillian. Kate is hilarious. She is loud. She is active. She is crazy. She is so ‘selambe badak’ that she reminds me of one of those beautiful girl next door who can get along with just about anyone, even the ahpek and the pakcik at the kedai kopi. I love her crazy-simple-no-issue persona and her hilarious deadpan humour. She is in the top 3 and tonight we will know if she wins the title.

Melissa from Malaysia reminds me of my secondary school friend who was a plain Jane but works very hard to get what she wants without once having the need to trample of anyone’s shoes. Maintaining her nice girl personality throughout, like the typical Malaysian girl that she is.

The girl from Thailand Jessica also stands out, the quiet beauty who is an epitome of natural elegance and class without having to work hard at it. She maintains her steady character throughout and while some of the girls were busy bitching about the other girls in the model house, she sits quietly and minds her own business while working hard to improve herself.

Helena Chan stands out from the beginning not because of her striking half Chinese half Swedish looks, but this girl, seemingly really sweet nice girl from Hong Kong really caught my eyes. She started out super confident, (a bit too much that she had no humility), then she started putting others down, then manipulating other girls against each other, then looking down on others saying ‘I can’t have a decent intelligent conversation with the other girls’ and then whine in her signature primadona-spoilt-brat-diva pout. She must get her way and she must win, otherwise she wouldn’t say to the camera that she didn’t perform, but her competitor ‘looked so awful how could she win the challenge?’ . And when someone else worked hard and won, she sulked and started finding fault with that girl. She is constantly saying that  she is pissed with this and that. Oh gosh, she is an expert at making up stories, appearing sweet and victimised in front of the camera interviewing her but vicious to the other girls in the house. In the end, the judges saw through all these and tried to advise her about her attitude. She couldn’t accept it and got pissed at the judges instead. In the end she got eliminated, with the parting shot by Nadya Hutagalung’ We think you are good enough on your own without having to resort to all these!’ S

When I watched Helena, I suddenly became very wary that I am upset. For a long time I wondered why I was upset until it suddenly hits me. Helena Chan reminded me too much of my ex-ward who came to stay with us- characteristically. Both of them are girls who are sweet with good hearts and a lot of potential but don’t realise that they have attitude problems. They also do not have the humility to accept ‘teguran’ or advice for them to change and be better, and everything that goes wrong is because the world is so wrong and anything that does not work for them means they have the right to be pissed, even though it is from their lack of efforts.

This is my favourite episode so far throughout the whole season. The most dramatic episode where Melissa was eliminated and Helena was scolded by Nadya in front of everyone. Nadya’s stern quiet scolding of Helena and her words on attitude problems brought back some quite recent memories of myself in the not so distance past, scolding Helena junior…

Cabbies glory

Just now, my husband and I watched the movie Taxi! Taxi!- A Singaporean production based on the once famous blog of the (Phd) Professor of Microbiology, who lost his job and became a taxi driver in Singapore, where as a local, he became too expensive to be employed and where younger and cheaper ‘foreign talents’ are preferred. The movie has it all, the comedy, the sarcasm, the didactic ‘heroic’ speech, the intensity of the real ‘heartlander’ Singaporean issues and the poke at the government’s foreign talent policy, which seems to be the never ending grouse on just about every Singaporean’s lips right now. It was all so hilarious for me, who understood the Singlish lingo and also the context in which each scene was played out, while the husband was a bit clueless at some jokes and punchlines which are exclusively Singaporean.

My father retired from his job and became a full time taxi driver upon retirement. He keeps saying, in his taxi, he sees life and the world. The same thing the Gurmit Singh character said in the movie. My husband and I also have a good friend in Sydney, Yoshi –who is officially a Phd candidate at UNSW but drives taxi at night on the streets of Sydney to provide for his family. It is an interesting business, Yoshi told us– where he met all sorts of people one can ever imagine.

Here in Malaysia, I don’t drive at all. I go anywhere and everywhere in taxis. I cannot function if there are no cabs around as I could hardly rely on the public buses and trains are far from my place. In my own little world, taxi drivers are my heroes and I always make a point to tip them, even if by just a few lose change. Like the character played by Mark Lee said in the movie, ‘Why are you ashamed to be a taxi driver? You think if there are no taxis, Singapore can function?’. This reminded me of a friend back in secondary school. She was ashamed of her father being a taxi driver that she lied to us that her father was a businessman. I had always wondered why she was ashamed. It was not as if her father was a pimp or a secret society member. He was a decent taxi driver, one of the most interesting jobs in the world, I think.


Take two

January is gone. It was a month of a lot of work but of adventures as well.

1. I got my spouse visa to stay here renewed and even given the forms to apply for PR.

2. I got my passport renewed at the Singapore High Comm here, my very first dealings with them since I have been staying here.

3. I forgive and move on. I deleted some negatives from my contact list too. Life is too short to dwell on negativity and to deal with hypocrisy.

4. I took note of everything that I ate, in the name of losing weight. So far still maintaining and producing results 😛

5. I tried acupuncture (not acupuncture bekam, which I  am used to) but the real acupuncture deal with them needles stuck to me for a period of time while I am on the bed. Surprisingly I enjoyed the entire experience.

6. I had an amazing time at Langkawi with the husband.

7. I wrote 3 articles all published in the magazine.

8. My best friend and partner in my company (based in Perth) spent time with me here in PJ. We had awesome time.

9. Another ex classmate from Sec 1 all the way to JC2 also based in Perth was here and we had rolling good times.

10. I finally found a house which I like very very very much during one of our numerous house viewings here but out of budget. But never mind, if it is meant for us, it will be. Ameen!





I wonder what February has in store for me. I hope it is all good. Insya Allah.

Bila ajal dah datang

I have been keeping myself updated about the horrific accident which happened the day before yesterday, involving two young boys and a cement truck.

Firstly, the accident was too close to my former home, which is at the junction at my parent’s house. I used to cross at the junction to go to work daily and I still do, to walk to the coffee shops/grocery shops etc whenever I am back in Singapore.

Secondly, at any point of their lives, at least a couple of my friends had taught them, as they went to the neighbourhood school in that area and I happen to have plenty of teacher friends from that school.

Thirdly, it serves as a good reminder to me. Life is precious. We can go at any point of time, not just when we are old or sick. These two kids were coming back from school on their bicycle, innocent and carefree.

Granted that there had been a few accidents at that particular junction before. Two years ago, a makcik was killed there, also in a similar accidents. Many other non fatal accidents had happened there for as long as I can remember. I blame the traffic lights. The green man signal for pedestrian crossing often changes too fast. Either vehicles speed to beat the yellow light, or the pedestrian run to get across quickly. And in freak timing, one could only guess what could happen. But all these are just asbabs (causes). When we were 4 months old in our mother’s tummy, our lifespan and how we die had already been written for us. We just do not know when and how.

With that, I pray that the parents of Nigel and Donovan to be given the lightness of heart and to know that all Tampinesians are grieving with them.