Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kuatagh81 Get Together

Not many know that I once went to a boarding school. Yes, I DID. But this disarrayed budding teenager, at that time just couldn’t keep herself in the compounds of the prestigious academic body for long. Well, it simply meant that I left, chickened out, fled, vamoose, cabut after the first academic year ended.

MRSM Kuantan, Alor Akar, Kuantan (pic courtesy Rosdi's FB)

Nothing was wrong with the academia there. The unsettledness came very much from within me. And obviously this took a toll on my studies and had caused a lot of unhappiness in my dad. I recall putting a fuss about the whole thing but dad was adamant with his decision. In the end, I consented and I must say that was one of the wisest thing I’ve ever conformed to. Guess fathers know best huh??

I missed my boarding school friends during the early days after my transfer but being in a day school did seem to offer new adventures to this newbie in town. Mana tak nyer, after school I had to rush alongside with the Georgian boys (the KGV boys lahhh….they were huge and good looking too..heh..heh) for a seat on the public bus. Siap panjat ikut tangga belakang lagi. And the usual trick was to throw the school bag into the bus and that would automatically “chop” me the seat. By hook or by crook I had to get onto that first bus home as I had to rush for tuition classes later in the afternoon. Nak makan lagi, nak tido jap (wajib wooo..) and nak cycle to the class lagi. No way I was going to be left behind to take the “bas belakang”.

That was just a teaser bit about the my life story during the five years of my secondary studies in a day school in Seremban. If I recall now how it was back then, well, I just have this to say, “The experience made me what I am today.”

There were ups and downs, of course, and they came in many forms. But the one that almost freaked me out was the expectations of a first born and being an anak cikgu (those days anak-anak cikgu were the talk of town…so and so dah poi England buek medic..etc..etc..) God is GREAT (and must have been the doas of my dad) and Alhamdullilah, I did pretty okay in my SPM exam. Thus, dapat lah naik kapal terbang (a real big deal at that time) and go to the States to further my studies. And the rest is history. You know, I know and no need to cerita so long winded anymore.

So that was a quick blast to the past.

Now enter the Broadband, Internet, social networking era. Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, Picasa and the whole cyber networks come into the picture.

The whole very ceria bunch (pic courtesy Sam's FB)

It must have been during my early days in Facebook that I did a search on that boarding school that I went to some thirty one years ago. I almost fell off my chair when some familiar names began appearing. OMG…OMG!!! Talk about jejak kasih the cyberway.

Dr Norintan & Marini

I did the first move lah kan by requesting to be friends with those names that were familiar to me. One friend led to the other, and as the name says it – social networking, Facebook did most of the connecting. Nasib baik lah, after years of doing the disappearing act, my boarding school friends could still recognize me and were kind enough to accept me into the circle. Thank you guys, this meant a lot to me.

Thus, when the invite to a get together last Monday night came, I prompted a positive response. Never mind what the turn out was going to be like, but I was sure going to make an appearance. The venue selected was a popular Kopitiam in Bangi. Errr….tak familiar lah pulak with the Bangi area. Anyway after checking for directions with colleagues who reside in Bangi, I was pretty much confident I would be able to find the place.

And what happened when we met?? Lots and lots of “ooosss….”, “ahhhhssss….”, “oh my god…..” Biasalah girls with our overwhelming blasts of emotions. The guys pulak…cool je. But one thing for sure we were one very noisy lot. Lucky thing we were not thrown out by the kopitiam folks!!

Che Fuzlina & Batman

“Anak you berapa?”, “You kerja kat mana?”, “Stay kat mana?” were the so familiar exchanges of information going round the table. After 31 years, and upon doing quick homework at flicking through the ole school album earlier that day, I remember most (errr almost, truth be told) of the girls. But the challenge was in establishing the face to the name of the guys. Gosh, I was one embarrassed soul when trying to recall who’s who. But now, since dah kenal, I’m sure I could spot them from a distance…heh..heh.

Helium Class beauties and brains (of course..) L - R Standing Oat, Dr Norintan, Azidah.

Seated L - R Linda & Mimi

L - R Mimi, Dr Norintan, Azidah & Moi (pic courtesy - Dr Norintan)

It seemed like we could talk the whole night but like all good things, it had to come to an end. It was way past midnight when I excused myself. Jauh gak nak drive from Bangi to Shah Alam in the wee hours of the morning. Plus takut juga what if orang di dalam nanti tak mau buka pintu (ni bukan case aci-aci bukak pintu…but ane-ane…please don’t lock me out!!), or worst still “license minum-minum di kopitiam” kena tarik ker…Hahh, yang ni lagi haru!!!

Anyway, thank God none of the above happened. But I did take the wrong exit and that caused me to detour like some 4kms from my actual route. Obviously, it was difficult trying to doze off that night. Culprit?? One, the coffee and two, flashbacks by the masses of the good days in Kuantan.

MRSM Kuantan Batch4 (1977 - 1981) (pic courtesy Sam's FB)

So to all kuatagh81, I am so, so glad we met that night. Moga diberkati silaturrahim yang dijalin and berkekalan sentiasa...InshaAllah.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Alamak..Terlambat Sudaa....

This visual presentation was to be featured on our anniversary - April 11th. Work on the video started sometime back. However, my busy schedule didn't quite permit me to make the final touches onto it. It's still not quite what I want. Heck, let it be, at times you've just gotta let your hair down and just let things be as is.

To ABE, here's to another year to create precious memories together, another year to discover new things to enjoy about each other. Another year to build a life rich in love and laughter and most of all another year to strengthen a marriage that defines "forever". InshaAllah.....
And...thank you for the lovely present too. It is really STORMing my life now :)

Update - video is no longer available for viewing

p/s yes..yes...I'm the hopeless romantic. So boys and girls at T*B, if you happen to hop into my space here, it's not zee boss yah. It's me zee wifey who's so smitten. And because of that too, this video will be available for viewing for just a couple of days.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easy Ride

This was a weekend where I somewhat managed to catch up with my own personal stuffs. Yesterday started with the long overdue facial, followed by the ayam kampung lunch with Nissa and ABE. This lunch was indeed a reward for my accomplishment in going for a rice free week. All the traveling and merry eating left me with added gramage, something I’m to deal with in these coming weeks. Oh dear….looks like it’s back to brisk walking and bike riding at the gym after this. No pain no gain huh??

After the marathon work madness, I told myself that I’m not going to bother much about work over the weekend. No email checking and no report writing. They can all wait till Monday morning. Boleh pulak kan…and the sky didn’t fall and boy…I am impressed!!! Perhaps now it’s time to slip into free gear and allow myself to drift for a little while.

Nissa woke me up from my nap this afternoon with a loud cry. I dashed out to see what the commotion was all about. Rupa-rupanya she wanted me to see her cycling acts. Ohhh dah boleh ride a bike rupanya!! She’s been practicing all these while and finally today, she was ready to show off to me.

Bravo Nissa, good job!!! Mixed feelings I had when seeing her peddling away. For now, she’ll be riding around the neighborhood showing off her new skill. Next thing I know, she’ll be sitting for her driving test and driving away to college. Ahhh, I hate to think that my baby will be all grown up . And at the rate we are going, this will probably happen faster that we can even imagine.

Oooppss..slow down Nissa!!

Furry, the ardent supporter

I managed to snap some pictures of Nissa on her bike. I figured if I couldn’t be there to catch her when she falls, capturing her precious moments would be the next admirable and noble thing I could do for my little girl.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Final Posting – Apa Khabar Orang Kampung?

Negeri speak would sound like this “Apo Koba Orghang Kampung?”

And I’d add a few more lines to that, the familiar utterance at meet greet casual conversation of the kampung folks.

“Baru balik motong ko? Apo nak masak tongah hari kang gak eh? Poi tangkap ayam kek rghoban tu. Kang kito gulai, campo an ngan maman. Cili api tu biar lobihan sikit, baru lah sodap!!!”

(Translation : Baru balik dari menoreh (getah) ke? Nak masak apa tengahari ni, agak nya? Pergi lah tangkap ayam di reban tu. Nanti kita masak gulai, campur dengan (sayur) maman. Cili api nya biar lebih, baru lah sedap)

Not easy to do a live shoot

Say Yeah are on tv!!

Anyway back to the AKOK event. It went well. The launch was simple but very meaningful to the kids who took part in the program. YB Zainab bt Nasir, a member in the Negeri Sembilan Exco did the launch which was aired live on tv9 that morning (haa…masa part ni yang yours truly ada lah terkeluar muka skit.....kejap aja…)

Pre school kids during the telematch

Parents pun join sekali

Kids just wanna have fun... (and adults too :))

One of the food gerai at the tapak expo

Yang ni have to letak lah.....SPONSOR :)

I hung around at the event place for a while. The kampong folks were so absorbed taking part in the telematch and other activities organized by the sponsors. By noon I was ready to make my move. Next destination was Mom’s house in Seremban, lunch and a good rest before I headed back to Shah Alam.

Before driving back to Seremban, I took out my phone text a message to ABE. Bila tengok date on the screen…..alamakkkkkkk it’s April 11th!!! It’s OUR wedding anniversary.!!! Ayoooo…how lah boleh slipped my mind??? Called ABE and mentioned to him that we’ll celebrate when I come home later. Guess that’s what happens huh… as the number increases and it’s our 22nd this year (aaahh that number I remember well……)

Yang ni...siapa kenal?? Especially to my kids...this is dung okay. Watch out for them, nak-nak in the mornings..heh..heh...fresh from the oven :))

Part 2 - Apa Khabar Orang Kampung?

The drive from the office to Gemencheh that Friday afternoon took me almost 2 hours. It was easy driving on the North South highway till the Simpang Ampat exit. I’m pretty familiar with this route as this is the same one I’d take when ever to go I send Faris back to college.

From the Simpang Ampat exit, I drove towards Tampin and then up to Gemencheh. In no time, sights of kampong houses in the Tampin and Rembau areas were in my view. Ahhh…it always felt good to be away from the hustle bustle of the city. I however wished the trunk road was bigger. It would make travel faster and safer. Heavy laden lorries were crawling on the road and over taking them had to be done with extra caution.

The program was supposed to start at 3.30pm. When I got there, my colleagues who arrived earlier to set up the training equipment and test the online tool were already waiting for me. They too, were very relieved upon seeing my presence and when I walked into the room I felt like a celebrity. Mana tak nya….. all eyes were on me. The group was different this time, there were both adults and children.

Junior learners

I must say trainees enjoyed learning how to use the online communication tool. Now they could blog – write postings about their activities in the kampong and exchange news with the other online communities on the Portal. Well, that’s the wonderful part about being in a cyber community. So near, so close and distance is NOT a factor anymore (kalau tak percaya, the Makcik Bloggers can vouch for this..heh…heh)

The adults group

Halfway through my session, it poured!! It was so heavy and making myself heard was a real challenge. Fuhhh…I have never employed so much of my lungs and diaphragm in projecting my voice, ensuring that it was loud enough to fill the entire room. Terasa macam dalam kelas vocal Cikgu Siti Hajar in AF pulak. Lontarkan suara….lontarkan. Semput dibuatnya lepas tu.

Intermittently, in my explanation, I used the Neghori speak. Ahhh…lagi suka lah the kids. Cikgu eh, buleh speaking!! Har..har…kau jangan main-main jang, cikgu kampong kek Pilah yo, naik motosika pun buleh sampai. Ontah-ontah omak kau pun cikgu kona :) And that got the kids roaring with laughter!!!

It felt great having to share knowledge and seeing the participants enjoying themselves, such an opportunity didn’t come often I guess. And this was also the reason I agreed to doing the session. Nothing beats seeing the satisfied looks on the children’s faces. Strip off my corporate title, the management position, I’m just another teacher, wanting to impart the knowledge that I have. And this was just what I love doing.

The training session finished at about 6.00pm. Because of the heavy rain earlier, we didn’t get to go for the tea break. I haven't actually had any food intake since breakfast and my good ole tummy wasn’t too happy with the way I was treating it.

Two exemplary senior citizens..age is not a deterrent in knowledge pursuit

Before wrapping up the day's work, I did a quick brief to the client on our deliverables and they were happy with what they saw earlier. Legaaaaa……

I was to put up at A’Famosa Resort that night. But Nissa had called me earlier saying that Mercy was not well and she wanted me to come home that night, tak kisah lah how late. Since everyone in my team was like lapar giler, we decided to go for a quick bite at the near-by kedai makan. Hujan, lapar…yours truly telah habiskan one plateful of fried kwaytiau!!! Dah kenyang I was ready to head back to Shah Alam. The next day, I was to drive down again for the launch. Haiyaaa…jadik PLUS ronda lah nampak nya :(

During my drive home, I called Faris and asked if he wanted to come back to Shah Alam with me. The poor boy was actually on his way to do a test and he said if I could wait till he completed his test, he’d come accompany me home. I drove to UniKL and did my solat at the mosque. I was so tired that I dozed off while waiting for him.

We arrived safe and sound in Shah Alam around 11.00pm. Half way during the journey, Faris took over as the driver. I was too tired and could hardly open my eyes. Tau-tau je dah sampai rumah….hai, entah macamanalah budak ni pecut agaknya….mentang-mentang Mama dia dah terlenaaaaaa…….

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Part 1 - Apa Khabar Orang Kampung?

Apa Khabar Orang Kampung or AKOK is a festive carnival like community get together event organized by a local television station. Frankly speaking, I have never heard nor watched this program before. Apparently, this event has traveled all around the country, touching folks from all walks of life – the farmers, the fishermen, the village heads, from near and far. Multiple agencies both from the government and corporate sectors have teamed up in putting up a good show. With live telecasts and the opening gigs graced by prominent politicians, this event has been a hit, I was told. And when I appeared puzzled on site last week, obviously I had a lot to catch up with and to do it fast.

Yup…that was how it started. Even when I was in Jakarta, text messages came in non stop on my mobile, bearing the AKOK title. Ishhhh…tak senang kita nak bershopping tau!!! My girl at the office explained to me what was required by the client. Such a simple do, I thought to myself and my staff would be able to oversee the task assigned to us. We have been asked to carry out a training session to selected school children from the Kampung Tengah, Gemencheh area. Simple mahhh…nothing my boys and girls in the office couldn’t do.

So there I was enjoying myself in the streets of Jakarta – mall, spa and bajaj hopping, savouring nasi padang till I could feel my pants tighten on the waist line. Little that I knew, pressure and duress over AKOK were sputtering back home, both in my office and the client’s.

When I got into the office on Thursday (was away from Monday till Wednesday), I was not even at my work station yet, when my girl hijacked me and spilled out everything I needed to know about AKOK’s development. Rasa nak melenting ada, rasa nak pi serang orang pun ada. But, I must have been on cloud nine still after my retail therapy. No one got any shelling and after a quick meeting with my staff, things became pretty much under control. Tasks were reassigned and everyone was smiling again.

There was one issue still pending though; who was to go do the training in Gemencheh. In my email, I proposed one of my junior trainers to conduct the session. Unfortunately, it was no deal with the client. They wanted yours truly jugak untuk turun padang. Reason being, this was a big do, it was to go live on national tv and the Yang Berhormat was to do the launch. Ohhhh….penat travel to LA pun belum hilang lagi, have to go to Gemencheh pulak?? All that 150 kms? Nak buat macamana kan, client first, self second. Well, at least, that’s how my life has been revolving in the past few weeks. Leaving me with no choice, it was unquestionable that Gemencheh was my immediate destination for the weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Me on TV

I went live on tv9 this morning. Am posting this from Kg Tengah in Gemencheh, NS. Apo kobar org kampung? Kobau tu leh tambek tak?

Monday, April 6, 2009

On The Move Again

I'm back!!! Yes, I'm back, and so glad to be home. Although the trip was just for four days, it felt terribly long. I guess it must be due to the long journey - by air, land and water to get to the work place. Many must have known by now that I was in Lubok Antu in Batang Ai since last Thursday. Wasn't involved in the election campaign or what not. I was in one of the schools doing an ICT training program for the school community, both teachers and students. I could have gotten my trainers to do the program. But, LA was no ordinary turf - language challenge (most kids speak Iban), minimal or zero ICT knowledge and skills plus not to mention the distractions from campaigning for the election. So, kena turun padang lah nampaknya. Just like the country’s top leaders, everyone wants to be seen in LA. Interesting place and I must admit, I've never been so up close and personal with nature before. And during this trip, nature was just within reach.

Hilton Batang Ai Long House Resort

The long corridors, just as what one would see in the long houses

Lampu...woo..have not see these things for the longest time!!!

I have many stories to share about this trip and there are many pictures to post in the blog too. However, those will have to wait till I return from ANOTHER trip. Yessss....I'll be on the move again. Penat travel gi LA pun tak habis lagi, dah nak travel lagi esok. Busy nyer lah kan....Our new PM pun, I bet you doesn't have a travel schedule as hectic as mine kan??

Long house on the hill...pit stop to catch breath, plus pic stop

I've just finished unpacking the luggage I took to LA and packed a new one for tomorrow's trip. So esok gi mana pulak??? Ehem...ehem.....nak bagi tau gak ker???

Well, some of the MBs (Makcik Bloggers) know of my next destination. Siapa dapat teka, kita bagi hadiah...hehe..hehe :)

Sunset from the long house

Okay lah..okay lah, since that day when I mentioned that I was going to LA ader yang almost jatuh kerusi kan?? This time around, you gurls for sure tak jatuh one lah..heh..heh. I know..I know, I could almost hear your question, where am I heading this time???

Boats at the jetty and our boat crossing the dam lake to long house

The correct answer is yezzzaaa....Jakarta here I come (again!!!)'s that time's retail therapy time. April is here and it's our (my girlfriends) retail therapy time. I am so much in need of a breakway, away from the bosses, work stress, deadlines, reports...and the list can be very longggg. I just wanna go enjoy myself for a while and come home felling fully recharged and all ready to venture work in the 2nd quarter.

Haaa...kempen jangan sik campaign!!!

It will just be Muni and I this time. Our other friend, Jupe will not be following us. But she is kind enough to send us to the airport tomorrow morning. (Tak pe eh, Jupe....we'll try do another one in July / Aug OK....if ader rezeki)

No promises if I could post any stories from Jakarta. We'll see how lah OK. Ohhh eyes are almost closed, and before I go type anything funny or non comprehensible, I'd better go get some sleep, esok have to be up early jugak.

So....enjoy your week girls, I'll be back on Wednesday.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Greetings from Lubok Antu

Greetings from LA…errr Lubok Antu lah. Cannot play that April fools trick anymore eh :)

Yess…I survived the trip here. Two hrs fright from KL, then 5 hours by van to LA. Sakit pinggang as the roads are winding and bumpy. I pun tak tau nak panggil this place Batang Ai (eee…sounds so obscene kan…takut nak sebut…kot-kot…lepas sebut org pi tengok kat “SITU” je) or Lubok Antu.

I’m posting this from one of the schools here. Nasib baik lah got Internet, if not memang dapat kejutan kot coz sepi Internet for more than a day.

As for LA, okay lah tempat ni….no MALLS yer. Posters BN & PKR are lined up along the roads. Words on the streets have it that it’s 60-40, favouring the MATA. What ever lah…I just wanna do my stuff here and baliikkkkkkk secepat mungkin.

Oh..yes, am staying at Hilton Batang Ai (laaa..batang lagiiiii!!!). Nice resort, Cuma we have to take a boat across the Batang Ai dam lake to get there. Ya ampun….rasa gerun dok cross the big lake. Bujang senang pun ader kot in the pitch mossy green waters. It takes a good 20 mins to get to the long house, okay (cheh…ni mmg kena check dgn ABE polisi insurance ku berapa juta lah ni….).

This will be all for now. Will post pics later. Cantikk lah but me counting hours to challo from here lah. Missing my kids, the cats, ASTRO, Internet, FB and segala tok nenek di rumah.

Take care girls and have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

LA Here I Come

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go… and I’ll be leavin’ on a jet plane. That’s how it is with me now. I’ll be off early in the morning.

Destination this time?? LA folks, mana lagi!!! This will be my first trip and I’m pretty anxious to get there. Mental calculations had it that I would arrive sometime late evening. Sure penat punyer lah ni…..and when I’m too exhausted, I doubt I’d be able to sleep.

I feel a cold coming. I have been sneezing on and off in the office earlier. Ohhh…I don’t want to be sick, not when I have so much to do, and so much to see. Stacked very nicely in my luggage is my medication - the usual stuffs ubat gastric lah, postan lah, plus my good ole Vicks Vaporub.

Luckily me huh? You guys must be thinking, tak de angin, tak de ribut, all of a sudden nak pi LA…heh..heh :)

Chopppp....before ader yang nak jatuh kerusi with envy, forget it. There is no need to do so. LA is Lubok Antu in Sarawak, and that's where I'll be till Sunday. Purpose of this trip, one may ask. Well, it's kinda complicate to explain it here. Suffice to say, it has to do with the upcoming country's important event at the two bukits and one batang on April 7th.

I do hope there is Internet access in Lubok Antu....if not, haiya...mati kutu ler or harus kah nak pi jadi (pengundi) hantu..heh..heh. Ehhh..mana ade, tak main lah dengan hantu-hantu ni kan!!