April 2009


April 24th this year marked Iris’ first travel with MasWings. The aircraft is small the journey took 2 hours to reach Kuching. With Boeing 747, we us usually arrive in one hour’ time. I was excited about the flight; what if we are placed next to a passenger who tend to keep to him or herself? And my daughter loves to grab people’s things, stranger or no stranger. Not as anticipated, we were really seated next to a gentlement who wore a serious look and my daughter as usual was in her usual mode: happy, curious and couldn’t care less. She was already trying to grab that gent’s newspaper the moment we settled in our seat. I scanned for empty rows and soon after, we shifted to the one at the back. The air stewardess was kinda blurred that day; a mother carrying a daughter with both arms is not trained to balance her backpac on her head! That might be true for some tribes exists in one part of this world but definitely not for someone who comes from any urban part of Sarawak! So, I had to demand her to help me carry the backpac to our newfound seats. That MasWing aircraft was not even an Airbus, so she could have seen my desperate attempts to negotiate my way around. Apalah!

As I said, the flight took two hours, and made a transit in Sibu and then straight to Kuching. During the first part of the journey, she was restless. Mainly because there was an old lady next row who kept on responding to her. Apa lagi, makin menjadilah budak tu… She wanted very much to sit on the aisle. Of course I said NO. We paid for the seats not for the aisle. I could have paid cheaper (perhaps RM3.40 instead of RM34?) if she gave me the indication.  The nenek across must be super thankful that her grandkids didn’t give her THAT much trouble when they travelled by air. No, it was not because my daughter is sakai. Mind you, that was her 9th air travel. She just had too much adrenalin pumping in her that very moment.

Her own seat with her own seat belt

Her own seat with her own seat belt

Her momentum persisted until we landed at Sibu Airport. And we waited fo 30 minutes for the newly incoming passengers.  That was when we had to go back to our original seat. I was elated to see that stern-faced gentlement ended his journey in Sibu. Both seats for us, yay! Anyway, the second part of the journey was so much quieter and more peaceful as she decided to sleep, and it lasted all the way until we landed in Kuching. What a remarkable achievement! I finally had my pack of Milo (they serve it on the plane) and finished one chapter of “Pandora’s Daughter” by Iris Johansen.

Tired after the massive excitement

Tired after the massive excitement

It was not as bad as I anticipated. I learnt a valuable lesson that day. Worry not, as things will come around once you are in that situation. We can always find a way around it. Trust me.  😉

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For almost a year now I stopped playing my two favorite racket games. My heart and soul was used to be badminton until I discovered a new passion: squash. The reason being so was because I can play this game anytime of the day; not to worry about the weather. The court is FOC and the ball lasted for at least 6 months for a price less than RM10. Although the initial investment was rather pricey but that was only one time. Whereas badminton, you need to book the court (the one in Uni is always occupied with exams and functions) and a tube of good shuttles cost about RM60 and each shuttle lasted 2 games at max. We did invested on cheaper brands (Cap Ayam) but they either shoot like blind rockets or go distorted in a funny way. We saved money, yes but that spoiled our mood. You tend to spend more time cursing the balls and regretting about the “bad investment”. After several trials on different brands, we decided on one specific brand that required us to pool money almost every time we hire a court.

Another reason for the migration was because it was difficult to gather enough quorum to play badminton. It is a fast game and looking at our age factors, we could not last so many games like it was in our younger years. To utilize the hired court at its fullest, we need at least 6 persons to come together, otherwise the court will be left vacant for a while as the players were too tired to drag themselves onto the court. Squash only requires 2 person to execute, however the shortcoming is that it is not a very popular game so you’ll need a regular partner. I had two regular kaki (YP and Pang) until I had this small monster, who made me her regular “kaki” for every occassion.

The Borneo Game for badminton is coming up in June and I was asked to take part in the selection round scheduled tomorrow. The phone call was two days ago and the notice was extremely short. Coming to think of it, I still won’t be able to make it if the call came in months before solely because my little partner needs tending and there is no way to bring her to the court during those games. She’ll be either crying because she wants her mommy, or the environment is overwhelming and I definitely do not want to put her in that situation.  The game can wait for another year, and am sure the team will be doing fine without me. In 2007, I didn’t participate because I got married and was due for a conference in Banjarmasin; in 2008 I was heavily pregnant with Iris and this year I had to decline again because my new role doesn’t give me an advantage to do so.

I am not crossing out the game or any games that may come along in the future. It will be nice to be in my running shoes again burning all those fat effortlessly but for now it has to wait. After 5pm, I am her father, mother and nanny. Therefore, like I mentioned previously, my daughter’s needs is my top list priority.

Something about that “space” in the my house. Will be up next once I found the appropriate picture to furnish the description of this “space”. Juria, Nyda and frens, tunggu je lah.. Hehe.

Since am now too occupied with marking and I just discovered those evidence, the pictures speak for themselves. The reason why I retained that space is because I wanted to “kandang” Iris if she gets too naughty and out of control.  Hehehe… We need to plan far man! No planning means planning to fail. But now I don’t have the heart to proceed with that intention so Juria and Nyda were the only TWO persons that was ever imprisoned in that space. Alah… bukannya lama pun. Not come to 10 minutes.

Hey girls, I really enjoyed our long conversation about the UMBC (Uni’s most boring couple). I still remember “rambut macam daun kelapa”, “muka pakwe scratch bila angin bertiup…” dan macam-macam lagi! Korang zalim aaarrr… Btw, I do bump into them once a while… Korang tataplah gambar mahal nih. Hehehe.

Juria: Kena kandang pun kena ada style! Nyda: Aku menangis ala-ala ketawa... Style la tu.

Juria: Kena kandang pun kena ada style! Nyda: Aku menangis ala-ala ketawa... Style la tu.

Kejap lagi seekor ular lidi akan dilepaskan ke dalam kandang tu.. Muahahahaha!

Kejap lagi seekor ular lidi akan dilepaskan ke dalam kandang tu.. Muahahahaha!

And also some photos we captured during our small reunion, when I was over 90kgs! What the heck, I’ll just post them here.

Mamat nie pernah bercita-cita nak kerja basuh pinggan dulu.

Mamat nie pernah bercita-cita nak kerja basuh pinggan dulu.

Musa: Mdm, kmk dah jumpa serainya! Haslina: (Ish...)

Musa: Mdm, kmk dah jumpa serainya! Haslina: (Ish...)

Muka-muka ayu yang bakal bermandi keringat...

Muka-muka ayu yang bakal bermandi keringat...

Mimi, jadik supervisor ke?

Mimi, jadik supervisor ke?

Gelagat organisasi: ada setengahnya yang kerja bersungguh2, yang selebihnya makan bersungguh-sungguh

Gelagat organisasi: ada setengahnya yang kerja bersungguh2, yang selebihnya makan bersungguh-sungguh

Mek, why is the dodol so green?

Mek, why is the dodol so green?

And some ppl are just bad cook: ketupat instant pun bole hangus??

And some ppl are just bad cook: ketupat instant pun bole hangus??

Now that the things about food and cooking is done, let us go to the eating part.

Muka 'high' lepas dapat merasa lompat tikam setelah sabar menunggu 15 tahun! That explains the weird smile..

Muka 'high' lepas dapat merasa lompat tikam setelah sabar menunggu 15 tahun! That explains the weird smile..

Group photo while some are diligently working at the back. Hehe!

Group photo while some are diligently working at the back. Hehe!

Obviously they have never seen their Madam in fake eyelashes and heavy makeup... Hmm.

Obviously they have never seen their Madam in fake eyelashes and heavy makeup... Hmm.

Bye bye all... After a hearty meal and a sesi umpatan yang kaw kaw punyer.. Ahaha.

Bye bye all... After a hearty meal and a sesi umpatan yang kaw kaw punyer.. Ahaha.

Note: I was informed that our beloved Anchih now is a team leader at the Gent’s section at Servay Miri and Nyda is a kindy teacher. Yang lain-lain? Update pls. Miss you all and wish you guys all the best.

Last month, I was assigned to KK to probe further into the glue sniffing activity among female youths in one of the largest settlement there. Among them is a young mother aged 17 who has a son aged 1 year plus.  She is married and both husband and wife are glue sniffers. I was informed by her friend that the child was conceived after they had their dose of excitement. Suffice to say, they had two doses of excitement that fateful day and nine months later, she is a mother. During our first meeting, she received phone calls from one particular person repeatedly.  By the tone of her conversation, I guessed it was from her mom who pressured her to get back home soon to take care of her son.

Her name is Wani and she started sniffing glue at a very young age. With the kind of environment she grew up in, I won’t be surprised if her son takes after her.  How is it possible for one to turn away from that vicious cycle if that act is an accepted norm in the community?  Wani’s stand doesn’t help too when she still abuses substance. The following night, we met up with them again and we specifically requested them to demonstrate how they get into the act. The location was a small playground located behind a row of shophouses. It was open. Wani had a difficult time concentrating as she used to do it in quiet spots alone. She relied on the substance to ease her tense and she does it occasionally. Which means that she is not hooked heart and soul to the substance, yet

At first I guessed she decided to turn up that night was because of the money we promised the night before (if they are willing to perform the act for us). As she is jobless and comes from a poor family, she can easily use the money for her child’s expenses. I was touched for that was the sacrifice she did for her child’s welfare. I changed my mind shortly when she asked for the extra can of glue. The reason she gave was because she wanted to enjoy it with her husband.

Now I am unsure if she ever put her child as the first priority.  Maybe I am too quick to judge but I perceive that a sensible mother will never involved in such behavior if she is serious of becoming a mom. With both parents engaging in substance abuse and do not plan to quit, I can imagine how the kid’s growing years will be like. He might be neglected, and will he ever get to school? With such rampant  illness taking place before his eyes, will he be able  stay clean?  It is not impossible, but he needs his parents to show him the right path.

Until then, I am firm with my assessment that the moment a child is born in that settlement, the odds of him turning into an addict is a good 70% – 80%.

Today marked Iris’ 8th travel by air. We were travelling on MAS from Kuching to Miri. Again, it was for work purpose. I make it a routine to park my daughter with my mom and dad whenever I have to travel north.  The trip before this was a month ago, I was assigned to KK and I lost count of how many times I travelled solo with her. For the first trip I remember, I specifically bought a baby carrier hoping that I will ease our movement. The result, traveling was relatively convenient but I suffered backache and shoulder ache for several days! That was the last time I used it. What a waste of good RM! I could easily purchase a fat and juicy goat with that kind of money.

That explains why for the subsequent travels, I carried her in my arms and switching her from hip to hip. And that girl is not shrinking, she has grown so much ever since her first air travel when she was only 2 months old. Now her size doubled and the last reading on the weighing machine recorded 9.5kg. So, how does it feel to carry a 9.5kg baby?  Imagine carrying a bag of 10kg rice… That is the load that you have to bear.  A pleasant load, definitely  🙂

I wasn’t sleeping the night before as I was rushing to finish evaluating a group of tasks given to my students and they were eager to know their carry marks. And there I was in the airport, red eyed, fatigue, drowsy, kinda floating and at the same time negotiating my daughter. Despite all that, it was a BIG relief to have that load taken away from my shoulder.  I don’t owe my students anything now.

So, an hour later, we were in the aircraft, making ourselves comfy at seat 20C. And 20A as well as 20B. Yay! It was not a full flight which means I can lay her down to sleep on the seats instead of utilizing my lap which is already too short for her lengthy body. My happy bubble burst halfway thru the journey. The flight usually takes 1 hour and she will sleep during the first or second half of the journey. However this time, she decided to greet everyone: left, right, center with her loud noise.  She screamed, cried, smiled widely at those strangers who sometimes return the smile. As for those who chose to ignore her, I felt like spanking them for playing deaf. After all, my daughter made it clear to everyone that there is a noisy baby girl in that vicinity.

Today’s flight was somewhat extra “long”.  Partly because I was tired, and Iris on the other hand, utilized her energy at the fullest. It was like she absorbed adrenalin from the atmosphere for immediate usage. Every time when I made her lay down on the seat, she will protest with a long off pitching scream. Obviously, she was not annoyed, instead she enjoyed every milisecond of the “tune”. In an AF scenario, she’ll be among the earliest to be kicked out.  Pray hard she has good look so that she’ll survive longer in fake academy despite the horrible singing. OK, you got me there.  I am not a big fan of AF and will never be.

Finally the aircraft landed and people were gathering stuffs to disembark the plane. Iris was less noisy then. She was observing her surrounding with full of curiosity. She was losing her audience, as if.  I sat and waited while other passengers passed us. And then one makcik said “is she the one who made so much noise?” and another chipped in “she can really tahan ah, no need to sleep one…”.  I hurried off the plane. That’s it, I am bringing plaster next time!

As we strolled towards the arrival hall, she was again excited at the flow of the other human beings with us. I did mention that she loves attention, ya?  So she screamed and greeted everyone left right and center again for the second round. She was saying Hi to a chap behind us but he pretended his name was not “Aahhh… aaahhhh!”

It was a great relief when I saw my mom outside the arrival hall, anxious to meet her grandkid. I passed Iris to her as usual, and went back inside to collect our luggage. We have two separate bags, mine is brown, the bigger one and hers is blue, slightly smaller. Both are Polo made. She is stuck with that bag until she enters Uni. Until then, any demand or pleas for pink, fashionable, overpriced Barbie luggage bag will not be entertained.

I’ll be glad if she decided to go for backpacs like her mummy. I am saving my maroon, fake Adidas made for her. Alahai, kesian anak aku!

I received one email this morning that contained a video that displays how a maid abused a toddler (age 3 I suspect) while under her care. The video was recorded by a hidden camera placed by the parents obviously to monitor happenings around the living room.  What they saw at that material moment was really heartbreaking and might release the most ferocious Satan from a devoted believer. She was caught red-handed and I hope she didn’t get unhook easily.

It started with this maid preparing to feed the little brother when this poor child entered the room perhaps requesting for something. Instead of entertaining to her need, the evil maid kicked her away! She flung onto the floor, faced down, and then again repeatedly kicked and stepped on by the person who was supposed to protect her.  The maid didn’t stop there.  She pushed the child in her attempt to stand up, she fell down again and received additional several kicks as bonus. With such attacks, the child must be terrified and bruised heavily.  Towards the end of the video, you could actually see the child was rather disoriented.  You don’t know if there is internal injury.

I hope the parents punished her hard. So hard that she regretted she ever applied to work as a maid. If I were the parent, I would have slammed her head on the wall, give her a few blows of punches that she will never ever forget in this life, and throw her out for good. But that of course will land me into jail.

The most rational thing to do is to confront her, lodge a police report so that she will thrown into prison and I’d pray really hard that her female prisoners will molest her.  Then she is screwed up big time.

Note: This platform (this blog) is sacred to me. Therefore I didn’t include the video here.

Whenever 4yi-po is in town, mummy will be very busy, usually from fetching 4yi and driving her to various destinations in town. Last week, I was assigned to drive her to KPJ for her knee check up since it has been bothering for quite some time now.   It was the specialist’s advice that she went thru MRI as well, so I waited 45 minutes, almost dozed off on the bench.  Plus I was sleep deprived for the past few days, so the hard wooden bench located at the main entrance to the x-ray room was a very tempting sleeping spot. After all, I had no problem sleeping on a wooden bench outside Subang Airport few years back (was stuck there 3 days 2 nites, where else I could go?).  On second thought, better not. My aunt will slap me real hard should she caught me doing that.

After visiting the bakery, we headed straight home and as usual, that melon was waiting. This time she was rather excited that an extra figure came home with her mommy. If only she knew how close that my aunt to me, who is like my own mother. We joke around and tease each other a lot, and she is a good sport.

Before she entered the house, I warned her to stay away from my fridge! My mom and she have this habit of rearranging my fridge according to their liking. In one particular months not so long ago, I remember, my fridge went thru total makeover twice! And since there was no discussion with the owner of the fridge, the new “format” was really hmmmm…. un-user friendly, resulting me to rearrange my fridge all over again! I was adamant to put a chain over the fridge if she intended to lay her hands on it.  WooooOOOOO, sounds dramatic!

The best thing about 4yi coming over for visit is that she always bring along the special vegetarian “Chang” from Sarikei. It is second to none, and full of aroma. When I had this supply of chang, I took them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I could eat them 3 days in a row without growing tired of them because THOSE CHANG ARE REALLY GOOD! But since she had moved to Saratok, I hardly had the chance to taste those juicy, aromatic, full of texture Chang again. Sigh… However, I have no issue letting her open my fridge to store the Chang. It serves my interest as well so if that is the only concrete reason for my beloved aunt to touch my fridge, so be it.

Iris had a fine time with her. She warmed up easily to her 4yi-po, probably because she resembles her popo in Miri. Maybe they have this kind of smell that runs in the family, and it so happen that only babies under 1 year old can detect it?  Or maybe my daughter is friendly, therefore there is no problem for her to mix around with others? I’d prefer the later one. Sounds less harmful to me.

iris-and-4yi-po1

When she’s happy, I am happy. That night, she slept so much later than usual. She becomes active at the presence of another person in our tiny nest.  Like I said before, she loves attention and she figured out that attention from two individuals shouldn’t be wasted.  She was in her best “performance”, showing off all those little things she was capable of.  And when she was eventually dragged into the room, she was knocked out almost immediately as if I had given her half a tablet of Piriton.

Finally, I can talk to my aunt in peace. We shared stories as usual.  By then, our conversation didn’t manage to stretch far as we were too tired and eventually we floated into dreamland.

Still, she is forbidden to touch my fridge even in her dream.

This entry is dedicated to my 4yi who guided my a lot in my life. She means a lot to me. I won’t become what I am today if not because of her. Thank you.

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