The Momok of Chow Kit
I’m sure the name Chow Kit is not unfamiliar to Malaysians. And most of us have been to Chow Kit or at least know of the song by Sudirman Hj Arshad, Chow Kit Road. For me, Chow Kit is like my playground. Spent more than 10 years in its vicinity as a student and as a career woman. However, am still apprehensive about the momoks lurking in Chow Kit devil.

Last week (or was it the week before?), hubby bought a new pair of trousers. And it needs some alterations; the length of the pants need to be shortened. And as usual, it’s my job to send it to a tailor. Yeah… I don’t have a sewing machine nor do I have the skills to alter the trousers. Simple task like sewing a button, yes can do. But complicated sewing like altering trousers or zipper repair, I’m raising white flag. Not that I don’t want to try, but I’m afraid the long pants will be transformed into a short pants once I’m finished with it..winking

Anyhow, there’s this little alteration shop within walking distance of my office, situated near the Chow Kit market, that I often go to. The name of the shop is ‘Kedai Ubahsuai Pakaian Yuen’ or something like that. Yuen, the owner, works in the shop with her brother. It is a very small shop. Barely has room for more than 3 people. 2 sewing machines. 1 table and few stools. But business is more than OK. On the walls of the shop are plastic bags hanging from nails or whatever that a plastic bag can be hanging from. One plastic bag equals to 1 customer. There are a lot of them. More than 50 maybe. And 1 plastic bag does not necessarily contain 1 garment. Try figure that out. The price is reasonable too.

However, to reach the shop which is located at the back alley of the Chow Kit vicinity, there are a few momoks that I have to go through. Not a real momok in the true sense of the word, but momok all the same. It may materialize in various forms:

Snatch thieves

Must be very careful with the purse/handbag/jewelry. Lots of cases to date that end with deaths, not the culprit’s death, but sadly the victim’s death sad.

I’m not implying that all foreigners are momoks since Malaysians can be the worse momok sometimes. But I tend to be very wary with them. And I think the feeling is shared by everyone throughout the world when meeting strangers and foreigners.

UFOThe shop is situated on the lower ground of a flat. And you never know when will an Unidentified Flying Object came flying from the flat units above and landed at your feet or worse on your head. And believe me, it won’t be a bouquet of flowers.

I practically have to hold my breath at certain areas. It is such an insult to the olfactory nerves and sometimes intolerable sick. And if you happen to go into the wet market, the smell will surely cling to your clothes.

All kind of vehicles trying to pass through the narrow road which is made worse by food stalls, tudung stalls and people parking as they wish, is one of the momoks to look out for.

Having said all that, Chow Kit provides almost everything I need within walking distance. Despite the momok, I will surely make a trip down the alley again and again..

Jalan Haji Hussein of Chow Kit. Straight ahead is the Chow Kit market. The alteration shop is located at the lower ground of the flat building facing the back alley.
The Perfect Match
This post has appeared in my FB some time ago. So this might be old news to some. But even the TV channels feed us with re-runs, so why not blog post..happy

"Some found theirs early,

Some found theirs after a while,

Some search for theirs,

Some don’t bother at all,

Some met theirs after a date,

Some require more than a date,

Some claim it was love at first sight,

Some need to develop the love,

But how perfect do we want our match to be?

When we are imperfect in so may ways..."

I have 2 elder sisters. The younger of the two is 9 years older than me. I remembered quite well how she took quite some time to settle down and get married. Not that she’s not pretty. In fact, I think she’s prettier than me. (…err… or maybe as pretty as me la.. he he..)

The Malays have this superstitious thing related to finding a life-partner. Once a Muslim baby is born, the placenta will usually be buried. Some Malays believe that the location where the placenta is buried will affect the baby’s fate in marriage, especially baby girls. It is said that if the placenta is buried in front of the house, when the baby has grown up, she will be noticed and will get married early. But, if the placenta is buried at the back of the house instead, she will be sort of hidden from people’s view and may take years for her to find someone and get married. And I remembered a conversation in my family many, many years ago about this superstition when discussing about my sister’s difficulty to find her perfect match. (Even though I’m reluctant to believe the old saying, but when I have kids of my own, I remembered mentioning it to my hubby and instructed him not to bury the placenta at the back of the house... he he… tak percaya konon..rolling eyes)

Anyhow, my sister got married eventually. And then I got married soon after. I remembered a remark made by my late brother regarding me getting married. He said, ‘Yang ni cepat pulak..’. He’s comparing to my sister la tu..laughing. Well, dah jodoh.. what can I say.. But I’m glad that my sister is 9 years older than me so she had ample time to meet someone and get married or else… I would have langkah the bendul..big grin.

But the truth is, each one of us has our own match out there. Whether it's perfect or not, it depends on how receptive we are to our partners' deficiencies and just accept them as they are. And if we fail to meet our match in this world, there's always the afterworld, InsyaAllah happy.
We are wayyy... from perfect but I don't think anyone else can stand my eccentricities..winking
The Mentor Legacy
It was in the year of 1985 when I got separated from my family and went to the boarding school down south. Only God knows how my heart wrenched when I watched my dad’s car leaving the school compound. It was drizzling at that time but it was a blizzard in my heart sad.

Being the freshie in the school, all of us, the Form Ones, were assigned a mentor from the fifth formers to help us adapt to the school life. A pick-sist it was called back then. Short for pick-sister. I remembered, all of us were gathered in the school hall one night. We had to go up on stage one by one. There was a big bowl? big basket? big box? confused I don’t remember the details. That 'thing-that-I-don't-remember' was filled with the names of all Form 5 students, and we, the first formers, had to pick a name from that 'thing'. The person would be the pick-sist for a year.

Even though the contract was only for a year, and even though I hardly go and meet my pick-sist, the fact that I have somebody to turn to in case of trouble was comforting enough.

Then I turned 17. I was one of the unlucky (or was it lucky? winking) ones not having a pick-sist since there were more of us (Form 5) than the Form 1 students. But throughout the years, there were pet-sisters (pet-sis) relationships being established. Was it mentor-mentee-like relationship? Sort of la… But at times, it was just 'in' and 'cool' cool having a pet-sis (or maybe 2 or 3). And at that time, the word mentor or mentee was so foreign.

Pic is from here.

During university days, I was blessed to have several superb supervisors mentoring me throughout my studies, especially the research part. I was so awed (and intimidated at the same time) by one of them. He is so brilliant. He has a lot of students doing research under his supervision from various fields. But during every meeting with him, he managed to get in tune with my work and never failed to give some insight on my work. I respected him a lot for that and wished I can become like him someday. Well, the fact that it's a guy does not influence my perception batting eyelashes coz I have been supervised by a female supervisor as well and she is just as great.

Now, I’m at the stage of my life where I am the mentor. And I’m supposed to continue the legacy that has been passed on to me these past years. But do I have what it takes to be a great one? Will I be the mentor or the tormentor? Look like this mentor needs mentoring as well…tongue
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Getting wet at Lata Lembik, Raub
During Eid ‘ul Adha celebrations recently, my family went back to my hometown, Raub, Pahang. And we spent some time to picnic at a place called Lata Lembik which was in the Batu Talam area of Raub, about 1 hour drive from Raub town.That was our first time going there and we were lucky that there were not many people around.

The scenery was superb and the water was deliciously cool. The kids had fun. Notice what they were wearing? Yup.. they were wearing their PJs. The picnic was a spur of the moment kind of plan so we were unprepared. Baju tidur, pun baju tidur la… janji rock… eh no… janji boleh mandi…. BTW, only 3 of these kids (3 in the middle) are mine. The other 2 are my nieces.

The river and the rocks made excellent formation for sliding. Of course, I won’t recommend this to small kids. The water current is quite rapid at the bottom and small kids tend to get carried away by the current. My kids had an-almost-carried-away experience themselves… Scary… (Note: that was my husband showing off his skills sliding down the rock)

However, in some parts, the rocks and the water are quite mild and quite safe for kids. But don’t ask me how it felt like to slide down the rocks since I was only wet up to half of my calves. Ha ha… Even if I got myself all wet, I don’t think I have the guts to slide down the rocks. Well, maybe the mild one…blushing

In terms of amenities; praying room, toilets and changing room are available. However, the changing room may need to be improved a little bit. But boleh la, daripada tak ada… Maybe the one thing that is lacking is people selling food. There is only 1 food stall and is only opened at noon. But overall, love the experience of going there. And the kids were reluctant to go back. The name Lata Lembik (weak) fits the kids’ descriptions, the kids were all lembik (weak) from exhaustion and all were fast asleep within minutes during the ride home …sleepy

I do wonder how it got its name though, the Lembik part I mean. Must have a story behind it. Just like the Raub name, that has an interesting story behind it. But that’s another story for another time…happy
Colorful Malaysia
Malaysia, with its colorful people, is matched with its colorful cultures and traditions. In every stages of life, traditions and cultures exist. From birth (even from conception) until death.

I saw this interesting Chinese funeral procession in front of my office the other day. I have seen similar processions before but this particular procession piqued my interest.

It was very long, consist of lots of people, wearing various, colorful traditional costumes, some in vehicles while others walking. Included in the parade were some interesting characters. There were men walking on stilts. And some were riding on unicycles. At a glance, it looked like a circus parade or something. But listening to the music being played and the drums drumming, I know there was a death in the family and even though they looked like they were having fun, they were mourning inside.

As for every cultures and traditions, I'm sure there are explanations and reasons behind it. You can read further about customs relating to death in Chinese here.
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One of the many trips to the Lake Garden
The other day I took the day off from work. And as usual, the kids were ecstatic whenever I do that. And as usual, they love to go for a trip to the Lake Garden, Titiwangsa Lake Garden to be exact. Well, that’s the only place that I dare to go on my own with 4 kids tagging along. Plus, parking is quite easy especially during weekdays when other people are working their a** off… . So, off we went for the umpteenth time.

The kids enjoyed themselves to the max. Riding on the swings, going down the slides, crossing the hanging bridge, up and down on the see-saw, playing hide and seek etc etc etc. And as always, they asked for an ice-cream break before starting on the rides again. And not to mention several stops to drink some water. It was very hot that day.

Next, when they have exhausted themselves, they asked for burgers. One with chili sauce and mayo. One with only chili sauce and another with no chili or mayo. No vege for all. Yang jual burger tu pun sure pening. In fact, he had to jot down each order…whew!

Then, the final stop before heading home. The toilet. It was no surprise, after all the water and ice-cream being consumed. The kids are very fascinated with the automatic toilet. Put in 20-cent coin, the door will automatically open. Go in, do your business. And just take note that the door will automatically open after 15 minutes. I hate to imagine if someone has a very severe case of constipation…winking. But of course, there’s a buzzer that goes off 1 minute before the door opens. So, ample time to finish the thing you started… ha ha…

Going home…. the kids asked for chicken rice some more… Where did they store all of that food I wonder… Must have evaporated with their sweats la… How I wish I can do that… I'm sure, if I stuff myself like them, I'll be eligible for the next Biggest Loser Asia, I tell you...tongue
A tale of two blogs
In chronological order:

I enjoyed reading some people's blog and sometimes ended up commented on what they wrote. Some times signed with my name but most of the times anonymously ( segan konon).

Sept 2006
Reading people's thoughts and experiences impelled me to write myself. And I started to have a blog of my own over at Yahoo 360. Why Y360? Well, I don't give a damn actually which blog site at that time but it just happened that I need to have a Y360 account in order to comment on one of the Y360 blogs that I read. So, alang-alang dah register, I started blogging. And I enjoyed every minute of it, especially when people actually read what I wrote, commenting on it and liking it (maybe la... kalau tak suka, org tak baca.. ha ha.. riak sungguh )

Towards the end of 2007
I found that the blogging activities occupied too much of my time and I decided to stop blogging (for good, I vowed). However, I still keep the Y360 account coz it is such a pity to delete all the blog entries (more than 100 entries at that time). With the termination of my blogging, I ceased to read other people's blog as well. Sort of, kau dah tak baca aku punya, aku pun malas la nak baca kau punya..he he..

My determination to stay away from blogging was still rock-hard. Even though there was the itch to start tapping on the PC again, I refrained and sometimes I let some of the steam out by writing email-blog-lookalike in my yahoogroup subscriptions esp the mozacgroup. Poor them who are in that group for having to read my ramblings .

End 2008
Suddenly, there was this hype about FB and people has been inviting and bugging me to join the FB. I maintained my stand and ignored all the invites.

March 2009
I finally joined FB
. Hard-rock determination konon... Anyhow, I'm glad I joined coz I get to re-connect with long-lost friends. And hey... I can also blog..'s called notes in FB, but basically, the same thing. However I am not blogging or note-ing (if you wish to call it that way) as avid as before.

June-Dec 2009
Y360 announced that it will be closed for good. And I transferred my writings to the new place of Yahoo: Yahoo profile
. But it is not as ummpph and as nice as the previous Y360. So it sort of dampen my spirit to write again in there. Thus, my focus is only on FB. And I leave the Yahoo profile as it is. But, knowing me, I can't let well enough alone. And I started to consider moving the blog entries from Yahoo profile to elsewhere: blogspot is an option. And voila... my gmail is created and followed by my blogspot.

But the thing is, how on earth do I move my Y Profile blog entries to blogspot??? Sheesh.... I'm clueless and not even Haji Google can provide me with the answer. So this is my tale of 2 blogs (and not forgetting FB) and I'm sure this is how it felt like to be a man with 2 wives and a mistress.. ha ha...