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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Istanbul Chronicle: Chapter 1 - Half globe trotting

Looking back to just yesterday, I remember how I had cold sweat all over me. Our flight was 5 hours away, I hadn't finished completely my review of the "thing" that needed my review. I hadn't finished packing our clothes. My cold did not seem to get any better. And the nurse called the person who came in later than me to see the doctor first ... Urghh!!! By the time I collected the cold medicine & antibiotic, it was already 12 noon.

We ran across to Bintang to get Vit C supplies for the kids, and to exchange some money. No direct exchange to that currency and so we opted for Euro & USD. We rushed home, and I sort of just stuffed my clothes & Ayah's into our luggage. Then I continued with my last minute attempt to review the last few worksheets - unbelievable!

And then my phone rang. The plane did not land in KL last night they said - technical problem. WHAT???

But they re-arranged alternative flight for us, the first 2 options offered I rejected outright because I would have to travel separately from Ayah. Finally they offered us SIA but the flight would only take off at 9.45 pm, transit at S'pore, with stopover in Dubai.

I only heard 9.45 pm departure and both travelling together. And I said OK lah....

What a blessing! I finished off the review which was necessary to ensure our 5000+ staff would be able to smile this month end. I managed to replicate the email & send it by about 4.30 pm. Phewww.... Flight delayed? But expected arrival a few good hours earlier? Ada hikmah disebalik setiap kejadian.

Ayah packed his "gadgets" - travelling parents these days must be prepared with the equipment to stay in touch with the children. So cable check, earphone check, speaker check, web-camera check - except that he was not sure if Abang Idin knew how to log on to YM with webcam. And so a last minute 1-2-1 tuition took place, with Idin meng-iya kan saja apa Ayah dia kata.

I looked at all our luggage. One small luggage for office wear, one medium size luggage for our casual wear, 1 notebook bag each, and 1 very special luggage for her. This special luggage was full of Msian goodies such as Maggie, ikan bilis, jelly powder, brahim ready-to-cook, sup punjut adabi and asam Moh Far Kor to name a few.

Boy have I been away from home once or twice for what seemed like eternity! And indeed the items in her wish list were indeed some of the simple pleasures of Msian "cuisine" that I missed very much those days. So I made sure all the items in the wish list were grabbed from the hypermarket shelves for that dear someone. I also grabbed lots & lots of jeruk mangga until one of the floor managers who walked past whom I knew quite well asked me if I were 'craving'. Well ... at least I thought it must be the asam that made him think that I was pregnant and not my ugly bulging buncit tummy. Craving pun craving was in her wish list and I want to see her smile. The dear someone who is another blogging mom that I only came to know in recent moons by a sheer coincidence really, when I checked out her site, thinking that it belonged to my sis-in-law. Funny how our blogosphering friendship blossomed eversince - common ground of course being mothers of children.

I looked at the bag again and I wondered if Allah would really grant me a chance to meet up with her & her lovely family. The goodies were ready. Actually - I also threw in one non-edible into that bag - tampal koyok cap tiger. HAHAHA ... dunno why!

Ayah saw me daydreaming and gave me the time-check eye brow. And whooosshhhh I hurried to get ready.

That was yesterday.

This morning finally, we touched down on Istanbul - the only city on earth with a foot on two continents which stand proudly at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. "A city which a sheer mention of its name awakes people's fantasies of civilisations and religions, old and new, historic and modern" - this I read and copied from the hotel room brochure about this beautiful city.

Ahhh.... The weather is so nice out there. But Ayah is snoring. So here I am blogging from the hotel room, overlooking the Bhosphorus Straits.

Just you wait
In between work & leisure
We'll roam your streets & straits ...

To my dear blogging sis if you are reading this, hope we would finally meet soon. "Mawi" dah tak sabar nak jumpa you.

To Abang Idin, please do your best in your term exam this week. I'm sorry I'm not around to help you with your studies - but that would also mean you can study in peace, without me nagging behind your back.

Wassalam .....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Mother's Love - by Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

~Helen Steiner Rice~


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lessons from IJOK

That place is not that far away from Rawang!

As usual, Ibu often write in retrospect... looking at things in hindsight.

And if there's one good lesson that's easy like counting 1-2-3 for ordinary citizen and hoi polloi like Ibu to grasp from the Ijok's by election, is that such "by-election" is a sure quickie to get your neighbourhood downtown's main street pot holes covered up with shiny tarmac overnight without the hassle of calling up the 'no one seem to be answering' icy cold hotline, without the need for writing complaint letters which you'd better make sure you make copies in case your follow up query is expectedly greeted with 'boleh fax kan sekali lagi ke Puan?' and without having to climb up and down the ladder of the local townhall to actually re-send the same letter and make sure that the 'oh-we-citizen-are-so-scared-of-you officers' to actually physically acknowledge receipt of the letter in person - and that if the 'person-in-charge' to ackowledge receipt is not outstation, or on leave or out for morning coffee ( but it's almost noon already?!!).

(breathe in....breathe out... breathe in ...breathe out).

Think - if this is the big election - the budget would have been too stretching. Too many pot holes to be covered within the same short span of time. But this was not. This was only a by-election. And Ijok had it all to herself this time.

Ijok - I'm not even sure if that name is mentioned for announcement of breakfasting time during Ramadhan, like some other names I learned from such announcement - Marudu & Kota Samarahan to name a few.

But hey!! A by-election it was, and so all focus gathered on one small constituency. Ijok suddenly gained the nation's attention; being under the lense of a magnifying glass to the power of ad infinity.

I imagine, some of Ijok's concerns that could have turned into quick wins recently could be:
1. Visibility - banners, posters, buntings up? check!
2. Key leaders 'turun padang' to personally chit chat & shake hands with the rakyat? check!
3. Electricity connection for remaining houses without? check!
4. Houses still without T.O.L? Give them now, now, I mean after they agree to cross the right box? check!
5. Trading licences for the side walk warungs approved? check!
6. Meet the 'oh-do-i-really-have-to-meet' rakyat ceramah sessions? check!
7. Kitty bag - just in case some families with children ran out of milk powders and don't have much left to survive till month end ? check!

Ahhh.... after all the above were not mere fishing of votes. Those were noble acts of the rulers for their humble citizens. So dig in Ijok people! Dig in deep, if I were you!

What was this again? A by-election? And how can I have one taking place in my town?

Google, google, google ..... Opppss!! Vacancies arising from reasons of death, resignation or disqualification of my town incumbent MP or State Assembly(wo)men?

Alamak... Though I wish something real quick should be done to the pot holes at my downtown mainstreet, the non existing public library and the malfunctioning traffic lights, I don't want to be so cruel to be wishing for such reasons cited above to be happening. It was bad enough that YB had to be hospitalised after he accidentally caught on fire when officiating Abang Idin's school's sports day... sigh.... kesian YB!

But more importantly ... I personally won't be satisfied with just some quick wins. But how many feel the same? Or those quick wins are good enough for the majority still?

Sigh .....