Friday, July 30, 2010


If there's one word I don't want to hear in the next three days, it's WORK. No doubt I have some pending still but I guess, it can wait.

I'll be away over the weekend. Will be on the first flight out to Jakarta this morning with bff - Muni. No definite plans in mind but we just want to stay low for a few days. In my travel notes I have names of spa, malls (this should go without saying) and my not-so-long shopping list.

So, chill is the attitude for the weekend. See you next week folks :) Take care.

An earlier chill session today - pre departure chill time with girl friend Naz and TM in Cyberjaya.

Have fun with the children tomorrow Naz... :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"They Don't Care About Us"

It sounds like that MJ's song, doesn't it? Precisely, that's how some of us felt today.

We had good vibes that we could finally close this chapter on our delayed completion claims with a housing project developer. When receiving the notification letter of the tribunal hearing date, we had this in mind, "Ahh finally someone is doing something to help us."

Well, you see I had bought this property near my old office some years ago. Reason being...dekat dengan my office, and I wouldn't have to travel so far from SA to Sri Kembangan. The developer, an established company had superb delivery records. We checked them out and we tracked their performance like a policeman. In fact when we asked friends who bought from them, there was not a single damaging complaint about them. No delays no glitches.

Anyway to cut the story short, the property was due for completion in 2006. But during our periodic visits to the development site, hardly any progress was seen. Then we heard in the news that the developer was slapped with some legal tussle. You know lah the usual crap - no funds, legal suits...bla bla bla...

Then the long silence. And the construction site became an abandoned eye sore. We inquired, but we were told to be patient as the project would resume soon.

Well, it did. And late last year we went to collect our house key. Everything was in order. No major complaints on the finishing of the house. But there is just one thing which is not right....its completion was way, way delayed. And as per stated in the S&P, we could make monetary claims for the late delivery.

So we did....

We went to the developer's office to file our claims. Personally, I am very skeptical on this. But Abe said since it is stated in the S&P, we have the right to claim. Okay lah...since you are the paymaster, WE claim lah. And when we calculated the amount came up to quite a handsome figure (me already thinking of cruising the Mediterranean with that money...heh heh)

When we got to the office, we were told a different story. Our numbers and theirs did not tally. IT WAS MUCH MUCH LESS!!! (aihhh...apakah?? And bagaimanakah cara your calculations?? Guna calculator chap mancis api eh?? )

Okay, I was still cool about it and so was Abe. We asked around and were told that we could file our case at this government unit - the tribunal pembeli rumah. And we did and finally today we were called to present our case. Hope floats again... (read: sunbathing on deck to Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence, Nice, Marseilles.....)

But what happened at the tribunal was a different story. We were told that the developer now has a court protection from having house buyers making claims from them. It's like a restraining order on the house buyers and the developers have become the untouchable ones!! Errr...excuse me, we were the ones who had to still service our loans even though the property did not show any sign of materializing. We were the ones experiencing the delay and they get to hold on to their money still. Apakah?? What happened?? And please explain the logic... Yes, maybe I am buta legal jargons, but in simple English when I read (again and again..) the SPA, it was stated that we can make claims from the developer should there be a delay in the completion of the property.

Bad...bad wolves they are!!

So what next? We wait till the court order ends which will be sometime late August. For the record, this court order was the FOURTH one. If I read the crooked minds of the developers they want to wait till the S&P agreement to become null and void after the two years is up. Jahatttttttt nyaaaaaa!!!!

We were not the only ones at the tribunal this morning. There were others as well. There was a guy who bought an apartment from the same housing project. Unfortunately, the building of his apartment was scrapped as the land was taken for the building of MEX highway. He was supposed to be compensated, deposit returned etc etc...but till now he has not seen his money. kesian nya. I hate to imagine what goes on in his home - schooling kids, wife, car loan etc. And I believe, he had the same hopes like we did to. point lah, thinking about the lost money too much. I always believe rezeki ada di mana-mana. The house is ready pun and we have rented it out. At first we did consider moving there, but after all the hassle, we decided that we should just stay put in Shah Alam. Kids are happier here...sekolah dekat, my office pun dekat dah. Never mind lah if we don't upgrade ourselves into that semiD house, well for now at least. Had we moved, rasa tak larat jugak nak start all over again - furniture hunting and working with contractors on house renovations.

We simply love it here, the place where we first set foot some 20 years ago. Just love the closeness to the big blue mosque, to my abang jual ayam at the market, the makcik jual vege, the rojak man, the pool to go splash into whenever I fancy, and 1001 reasons just to stay put.

What's most important is that we are comfortable and contented in our present crib.

But to those big bad wolves this is what I have to say.........

Monday, July 26, 2010

HSM Rockin' Saturday

"Five, six, seven, eighttt.... and turn!!"

That was her routine for the last couple of days. Last week, she even had to skip sekolah agama to attend practice session in school. She felt bad about not going for mengaji but at that age, nothing could stop her from jumping up and down doing the choreographed steps.

It was last month I think when she called me at work and informed me that she wanted to take part in the High School Musical My School Rocks cheer leading competition. My first question was, "You wanna dance?" She said, "Yes!!".

Nissa isn't exactly the athletic type, but she likes dancing. And the influence of Disney and the boys and girls from High School Musical has made her very, very keen to try her luck in the cheer leading competition. That's how it started. The next thing I knew, there were three other lil ones doing spins, splits and turns in the house together with her.

The foursome - Alia, Nissa, Raja Nur Samira & Alyssa

Nissa and friends passed the school audition with flying colours and to move to the next level which was also the selection round held in Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) last Saturday.

Some sisterly aid here....Farah doing up Nissa's hair

Practice makes perfect

Alyssa the smallest of the four did the finale pyramid

Stiff competition...the elder children at practice

All in action on stage

Interviewed by the host....apparently the audition will be aired on one of the Astro channels

All four with their teacher/coach

What a relief after the show.....mommy pun legaaaaa......

With Zac & friends

Done for the day.....exhausted and sleepy, mana tak nya she was already up by 5.00am that Saturday morning.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Caller Ringtone

Guess the new BB owner is leap-frogging his familiarization with the new toy. Got the emails set up and synced. Even the BB Messenger is up and buzzing. Sudah bagusss!!

What's next? FB? Looks like after this I'll have to cook up a new FB fear factor storyline *wink*

And...the new toy now has a new caller ringtone!! Check this out, it's Mizz Nina's top hits.

The girls' reaction - You rockkkk, Daddy!!!
My reaction - Aihhh....Pak Aji....apakah?? But kasi chance larrr *wink*

Monday, July 19, 2010

Farewell Dear Dalilah

"She's gone."

I was just about to settle down at my table when that text message from Kak Puteri came in. It was Dalilah she was talking about.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.

I BBMed Kak Teh in London. She was just about to perform Subuh prayers. Like all of us in the blogsphere who knew Dalilah or Raden Galoh, we are all saddened by this news. Tears were streaming down and many in the office must have wondered, why the gloom look on me.

My colleague KB wrote this on my FB wall.

Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us every day,

Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.

Both my sister TM went to Dalilah's mother just now to bid our final good bye. It was indeed a sad day for all. But I'm glad Dalilah suffers no more. Rest now dear now.

Moga Allah permudahkan perjalanan mu saudara ku. Moga dikau tenang di sana dan moga roh mu ditempatkan dikalangan orang-orang beriman. Moga kau diberikan Jannah...InshaAllah.

Takziah dari kami to her husband MH and her two lovely boys and other members of her family. May Allah give you comfort and patience and steadfast during this trial....InshaAllah.

*picture was taken during our visit to Dalilah's place before she left for umrah end May 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Colombo - Part 5

Abdul Rahman our tuk tuk driver finally managed to win my heart. His sweet talking about the gem factory was slowly getting the curiosity out of me. And he could sense that.

Abe was cool about it. He had not shown any facial signals nor body gestures indicating interest on the gem place. But he lembut hati after I said, "Gi je lah...bagi lah this guy his commission cut for today."

So we agreed to go look look.

The Lanka Gem & Jewelery Exchange was located in Colombo 3, not far from the museum actually. Abdul Rahman took us on a somewhat longer route. Okay by me coz I got to see the more of city as well.

When we arrived at the place, we were greeted by an elderly man. "Assalamualaikum Madam...please come in and take a seat." he said. I wouldn't call the place a factory, it was more like a gem stones showroom. And then the lesson begun. We were shown one stone after the other. Banyak lah.....topaz ada, sapphire ada, aquamarine ada, cats eyes ada..... The list went on and on.....(teringat one fall semester in UW when I took geology. Rock recognition was one practical assignment I had to do. Sampai sekarang pun couldn't tell which is which...)

Anyway...cut the story short lah kan coz I'm sure you guys nak tau if I bought ke tidak lah kan. This weak-at-heart-for-anything-that-glitters sure lah akan beli kan..... Since the sales person took all the trouble to explain the so many different rocks and their compositions, kesian pulak nak leave the place empty handed. Plus the stones they had were pretty unique.

And you know these guys were really superb salesman (kalu bagi pangkat grade, harus grade Jusa kot!!). And why do I say that? Read on...

Initially, I had gotten two pendants for both Farah and Nissa - one was an deep coloured onyx and the other was a green & purplish rubylite. Just as we almost completed the purchase the sales person (a guy by the way....sebab tu lah I boleh tercair dgn pujuk rayu dia!!) mentioned this to me.

"You know Madam, you are so sincere about your buying, " he said.

"Why do you say that?" I asked again.

"Instead of getting something for yourself, you got for your daughters first," he replied and looked me in the eyes. Duhhhh.....terpanah terus ke lubuk hati..... Rasa nak menitis air mata there and then. I could only remain quiet for a while. I never expected anyone to have observed me in such a manner. So hati sudah sangat, sangat vulnerable and if he had asked me to buy a big diamond chunk I think I would have given him my card and swiped my life away...heh heh.

But thank God that didn't happen. He did manage to coax me into buying something for myself. No need to cerita lah what it is (takut timbul riak la pulak). But I was one very happy person when we walked out the door.

In fact I wasn't the only happy person. Abdul Rahman was too; his commission awaits him. Alhamdulillah...rezeki for him and his family.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Queen V

I was reorganizing files my portable hard disk and I came across pictures taken at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

Queen V's statue a prominent landmark at the memorial

Victoria Memorial is a memorial building dedicated to Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom. Located in Kolkata, India, it currently serves as a museum and a tourist attraction.

Nissa (then 5) was initially afraid to look at the statue. So fierce looking, she said.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Colombo - Part 4

It's been a while since my update and I couldn't help feeling that my Colombo stories are beginning to sound rather stale. With this new work assignment that has just come in, I hardly have time for anything else but go “spaced”. I hope to explain what I am doing someday. As for now, things are still in the development stage and I am not to reveal any info on what I am currently working on. Once our contract with the client is signed, like always we have to abide to the NDAs - lips are tied till project completion.

Now back to my corat coret Colombo. I am still at Day 1 of our visit….bila lah nak habis cerita ni??? When I was there I learned that Colombo is divided into 15 numbered areas for the purposes of postal services. So, adakah nak cerita sampai Part 15?? Harus Desert Rose pengsan nak follow penceritaan bersiri ni coz it no where matches the Korean soap series yang boleh membuatkan jiwa kacau, bengkak-bengkak mata leleh and usage of excessive klenex.

Anyway, I believe I stopped at the museum in my last posting. The Sri Lanka National Museum had a good collection of items during the ruling of the Portuguese, Dutch and the English. In many ways, there are similar stories of how the island received these three great explorers. Search for spice and more land got the East India Company to set sail all the way to Goa, Ceylon and Malacca later. (This little I know lah…more detailed, have to check in the old Tawarikh text; history was never my favourite subject.)

Abe was very much absorbed in what he learned in the museum. Me…?? Well, I was busy making friends with the museum's tall, dark and kinda good looking assistants. There was one guy who came to me and asked if I was from Malaysia. I said yes, and he reverted by saying, “Malaysia bagus.” Errr…okay, if you must say so.

Apparently he had worked in a steel factory in Klang many years back. He spoke some words in BM and told me he really liked working in Malaysia. Money was good, food was easy, good roads etc etc. Okay lah…I get your point. By then, Abe was giving funny looks at me…. Ohhh tak suka ke I dok peramah sangat?? Tak tau la pulak.....M.E.N…….

It was a nice day to walk around actually, not too hot plus it was very breezy. I must have been so admiring the courtyard of the museum that I didn’t realize I had dropped my travel notes – a very important document as it listed out the names and addresses of places we intended to go to. Most importantly, the list had names of shopping places which I had earlier searched on the Internet. Pucat…pucat….kejap!! How to shop if names of shops and where to head to pun tak tau. Red alert…red alert!!!

Abdul Rahman our pre-booked tuk-tuk driver was already waiting for us. I told Abe, I got to go find my notes. I was pretty sure I had dropped it somewhere in the museum courtyard. Dia kata, “Gi lah cari…good luck lah….” Duh….tak kesian kat I pun….bayangkan all the hopes to shop gone!! But never mind, if there is a will there is always a way kan (sambil pujuk diri masa tu and quickly strategizing plan B).

So…off I went to look for my folded notes and I was very, very sure I had dropped it when we were looking at Queen Victoria’s statue located close to the museum gardens. Tapi….so jauh to walk lorrr….dah lah letih and nak jalan lagi??? Ohhh…demi “N” ku gagahkan jua…..

Luck was really on my side. Wanna know where I found it? On a wheel borough used by museum gardeners for collecting litter. It was put nicely on the cart and it was the only supposedly litter the workers had picked up. Happy, happy, happy when I found it and there was colour back on my face!! And I actually didn’t have to walk that far into the gardens, fuhhh…thank you God kerana memahami hasrat yang tersirat di hati terhadap “N”.

The gardens across the museum complex.....provided good shade for those who want to take slow stroll.

Blossoming in the museum gardens...beautiful....

Standing tall statue of Queen Victoria. We have seen a similar one of her in Kolkata during our visit couple of years back.

Abe asked if I wanted to stop for local ice cream. Uhhh...ada berani ka?? With my 3rd hand stomach, I bet I'd be running to the loo minutes after the ice. I'll pass...tak sanggup sakit perut while traveling.

By the entrance of Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo's largest and most elegant and attractive green space, you'd find local artists exhibiting their work.

We just couldn't keep our eyes off this beautiful work by Naomi (pic) on pole fishing. Managed to get it for a steal and hati melonjak-lonjak gumbira :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Plus and Minus

Stories from Colombo trip will have to wait a bit longer. Let's keep the guessing going; did I or did I not go to the gem factory? And if I did, what was the damage like "wink*. Wahh, sudah boleh buat drama bersiri my corat-coret Colombo....heh heh.

I'm still awake and still faithfully waiting for Orange to take centre field. Somehow after my FB chats, the eyes are wide awake and meddling with this new toy is making me forget about sleep for a while.

Yesterday, we celebrated Abe's birthday. Yang ke berapa??? Yang ke banyakkkkk!!! When I got the cake, I mumbled on my words when the sales person asked me how many candles I needed. But I guess budak-budak ni are so well trained to decipher mumbled words and sounds and have them translated into that secret code - the age.

Nissa merajuk coz was awaken from her deep slumber to sing Daddy that birthday song.

It was a simple celebration with cake at midnite and followed by dinner later in the evening. Abe is still recovering from his cold, and Nissa was starting not to feel too good. Anyway, Mommy's driving semua orang could lena till we arrived at the destination.

From Kak Ezza and a few other blogger friends, I have been hearing raving remarks about this ikan bakar place in Pekan Jeram - a small town after Kapar and just before Kuala Selangor. Jauh juga took us about an hour to get there. When we arrived it was almost maghrib and the restaurant was already packed with patrons. We were lucky that we managed to get a table fast.

Siakap tiga rasa - my rating 5 out of 10.

Wait for the food was long - not at all surprising when looking at the hungry faces all around us. When our food finally came, everyone was ready to attack!! I don't think it's fair to be a food critique on the dishes we had, when it's my first time there. I liked the siakap tiga rasa, but Farah said the one at Famous Thai was tasted better (yarr lorrr..and how much pulak the same dish in Famous Thai??) But all in all we were happy with our dinner.

Then came the surprise - Abe's present. The girls and I went looking for something which we felt he really needed. A few items came to mind - a watch (nooo....coz last two years dah bagi dah), shirt (also noooo coz he has banyak yang he has not worn...thanks to my buying spree), DSLR ( tak cukup budget nanti nak gi RT with friends). was so tough getting his present.

After lihat sini sana, and with me so exhausted being driver for the girls, we decided to get him a new phone - a replacement that would put the N80 to its final resting place.

On Friday, I was joking with my boss in the office, asking him what's the cheapest Black Berry. His reply was, "Napa nak cari yang cheapest??? Cari lah yang latest!!" Everyone thought I was looking for a new BB, little did they know that I was getting a device for someone who is not so tech savvy (unlike me!!! cheh...puji diri sendiri)

Anyway, when I went to my favourite mobile outlet in SA Mall, the sales person showed me the new Bold2. Ohhh...macam cantik pulak...and berkenan jugak. So malas nak think much, all of us girls unanimously agreed that the ole man should be transformed into someone who is tech savvy. Nissa said she's gonna give Abe only two weeks to master the phone, or else the BB will be hers!!! Duhhh...punya lah demanding and strict nya this girl.

Guess what it is Daddy. No clues from Abe coz Farah had wrapped the phone in Astro old bill (recycle mahhh...)

Laaaa....hadiah bungkus guna bill recycle je. He must be thinking of that.

Tadaaaaaaa........your BB Daddy!!

Abe's reaction when he got the phone?? Kerut-kerut kepala nak accept Nissa's challenge...heh heh. Anyway, a note to Abe, chill lah okay. BB is not rocket science, try meddling with it first. If you really can't cope, we'll return your supposed to RIP N80 back to you and Nissa gets to keep BB, mau?? I can assure you, college calculus with all the triple differential equations yang three semesters kena buat dulu lagi susah nak pecah kepala!! The key word is CHILL :)

Well, that was the PLUS - Abe's age is plus 1 from last year's number. Wishing you all good health, rezeki yang melimpah (so that boleh selalu jadi penaja my RTs!!) and dirahmati Allah selalu.

The MINUS on the other hand is that my all so reliable, faithful relief supir has returned to Uni. Faris left this morning to embark on his degree program in the same Uni he completed his diploma. he went to Melaka. But as Zen, a fellow blogger put it on FB - life goes on and I know I shouldn't be harping on this too much. (But I did feel like a hop on hop off bus driver yesterday when making drop off and pick up of the girls for their Saturday activities.)

We wish you all the best too Abang. Hope you keep up the good work as you had done in your diploma studies. Three years is not up and down Shah Alam - Melaka and before you know it, you are at your final semester.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Aaaaaa Chooooo!!

Awww no!! I am down with a cold now. Last week Abe was knocked out for several days, coughing and sok-sek-sok-sek with Kleenex in hand, clearing his nose. Awwww.....dah berjangkit lah ni!! Tak suka nya, not now, not when I have a million to do (then again...bila nya yang I don't have tonnes to do kan??)

After dinner just now, I gulped down actifed, hoping to clear the nasal congestion. It works so far, but my eyes are so, so heavy now.

We were at Subang Parade earlier. There's already a party organized at the car park area of the complex.

The blue bears dancing to the "Wavin Flag" tune. So adorable...especially the orange bear :)

Awww...this is so not good, not when the final kick-off is only hours away. I do want to watch team Orange play. Hopefully the cup will be theirs this round.

Looks like I have to catch the replay if I miss the game later......coz I can't afford going all nite long aaaaa choooooing away!!

Enjoy the game folks...

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom, just like a wavin' flag........

Friday, July 9, 2010

Colombo - Part 3

Just like in any other countries, I have visited, tourist traps are many in Colombo. I read in a Tripadvisor forum thread, many tourists got ripped off when taking the three wheeler or better known as the tuk-tuk in Colombo. A lady shared her experience when she was tricked into seeing an elephant parade in the city. Approached by a soft spoken tuk-tuk driver she ended up in a place where she had no intention of going to in the first place. And it wasn't just the destination, the tuk-tuk driver demanded that she paid an unbelievable amount for use of the tuk-tuk.

Lesson learned - always be careful when using the service of tuk-tuk drivers; this I paid extra caution the entire time I was in Colombo. (A similar incident happened to the three of us - Jupe, Muni and I when we were in Bangkok some time ago. Will blog about this next time.)

In the city of Colombo, there are so, so many tuk-tuks. There is no waiting time or queuing of these three wheelers, which most of the time are ever so willing to be at your service.

As we walked the main street in Colombo, hoards of these tuk-tuk drivers approached us. Each one has a story to tell. One guy wanted to take us on a tour of the city and promised good rates for using his service. There was another one who said that we should go to the local handicraft factories. Such great selling skills and so much determination.

After covering some distance in the city on foot, we decided to take a tuk-tuk to Sri Lanka National Museum located in Colombo 7. (Notice the distinct difference in my travel itinerary when I travel with Abe, compared to when traveling with my friends. With Abe it's museums... museums...museums..... but when I am with my girlfriends it's till you drop)

It was tough getting a good and trustworthy tuk-tuk driver, I must say. Some couldn't understand no go with him. Some had really unpleasant dispositions, like those crooks seen in Tamil movies. Also no go.....takuttttt!!!

My interview with Abdul Rahman, our tuk-tuk driver that afternoon

We took our time in getting a tuk-tuk. I can't remember how many we flagged down in such a short time span. In the end, we settled with a big sized guy who greeted us with a salam before taking the liberty to explain the routes he was going to take us. In his explanation, he told us that we should go visit a gem factory. Ahah....I smelled fish already!! We insisted that we were not interested in buying gems. He was smart with his reply. He said, "No obligations Maam. No pay to look." Smart huh? And so cleaver playing with words to a person whose heart was already at the shops. Anyway, it's the museum that we want to go visit. My firm insistence made him give in but he did say, perhaps after our museum visit, if we still want to go visit the gem factory, he would be very happy to take us. Okay lahhh...when he put it that way, I sensed the honesty in him. Plus in my heart meluap-luap juga nak pi gem factory as I tried my level best to hide the excitement from Abe.

After bargaining how much we should pay for the trip (yessss...U MUST BARGAIN, else dia akan bagi rate yang suka hati dia je and bargain before you sit in the tuk-tuk), we got into his tuk-tuk and headed to the museum.

The museum established in 1877, was founded by built by Sir William Henry Gregory the British Governor of Ceylon at the time.

Directions to the various section in the museum

School children on an educational trip

All girls museum visit...notice their school uniform - all white!!

Side shot of the museum. Photography is not allowed in the building (errr...boleh but must pay, a common practice in India too)

In the museum gardens, one can find huge trees like this one.

The bus - a mobile museum

Dah penat....lepak bawah these huge rooted trees