Boosting the Nation's Economic Growth
In conjunction with the National Day, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. So this is what my family and I did.
It started even before the month of Ramadhan. At Sogo. There was a big sale.

               

And there was a swarm of people especially at the kids section. That was our destination too. So, what to do, redah je la. Hiyahhh!!!

               
Finding a suitable pants for Along and Angah can be very difficult, especially Angah. Had to select one with a few sizes bigger than her age to compensate her quite plump waist. So, we ended up with pants that are few inches longer for her and require alterations. And no way we can just buy the pants without having her trying it first. And when all 3 girls went into the fitting room, it was ages before they came out again. Giggle, giggle, giggle...chat, chat, chat...


          

Then Ramadhan came knocking. And we still have a few errands to do. We checked out the range of clothes at Jusco, Wangsa Maju.
             

The kids love to play hide and seek in between the hanged dresses. And I wish I have eyes all around my head so that I can see where they were hiding and not to stray too far from us.

On another day, we explored Ampang Point. We just could not finish the task in one day. Hypoglycemia and shopping with kids are not a good combination.

                    

In Ampang Point, there are quite an array of choice for baju kurung, for both kids and adults. Now Along can no longer wears baju kurung of the kids' sizes. Had to buy the smallest size from the adult range for her. And that made the price for her baju kurung shoot up a bit. It won't be long now before she can borrow one of mine. Hmmm.... that works both way actually.


                
We also paid a visit to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Every year, when Ramadhan approaches, there will be wayy too many people applying for vendor lots along the back alley of Jalan TAR. And only a bunch of people got the spot. And lots of politics involved I'm sure .


Anyhow, hubby and I went there twice during this Ramadhan. The first visit was in the early days of Ramadhan. Orang shopping pun tak ramai lagi. In fact, yang jual pun tak ramai lagi. There were a few lots still empty. The second visit, half way through Ramadhan, things were heating up in the alley. Dah ramai yang jual and lots of merchandise to feast our eyes upon. Such as these rows of baju Melayu.


Brooches


Head scarfs


Table cloths


And not forgetting items that were named after a celebrity or in this case, a TV series.


 
Bargaining is a must if you traveled down Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. But the sellers were a bit 'jual mahal' when we asked for more discount that day. But I recalled one Raya Eve some years ago. Hubby and I and my mother in law went to Jalan TAR the night before Raya. The crowd was unbelievable. And at that time, the vendors cut down the prices of their goods gila-gila. But then, who on earth wants to do last minute shopping like that? Of course, the price will be much lower but to find a size that fits you or a color that you wanted may be impossible. Ada berani? Tak de baju raya nanti.

So that's it. The things that I did for my country...
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Me and PaRam
Okay, before anybody starts to make any speculations, let me clarify. PaRam = Pasar Ramadhanbig grin.

There's a PaRam near my office. Near the Hospital Kuala Lumpur 's staff quarters to be exact. 



And often enough, I used the route along the PaRam to go back home. And because of that, I was sometimes delayed in reaching home. Mana taknya....


Cars are slowing down to look for parking, I assume.
Cars are slowing down to feast the eyes on the range of food on sale. 


People crossing the road sesuka hati winking.
People walking down the road (a little bit to the middle of the road) dengan gaya itik pulang petang winking.
And there's this woman-driver busy clicking on the camera batting eyelashes.

Upon reaching home, I will encounter another PaRam.


Just a few meters from my home. And again, I expect some delay before I can safely ease my car into the porch.

Again cars slowing down.


Again people crossing the road sesuka hati winking.
Again people walking down the road bagai itik pulang petang winking.
But this time, the woman-driver with the camera dah insaf tongue. Instead, she subcon the job of capturing the photos to the hubby.

These colourful jellies are so mouth-watering.

And this Uncle Bob sounds too good to be true happy.

Selamat meneruskan ibadat puasa. Quoting a banner that I saw on a roadside somewhere, 'Gemukkan Iman, Kuruskan badan' happy.
Drive safe, walk safe, spend wisely, jangan membazir and watch out for drivers like the woman-driver mentioned above big grin.
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What candles are for?
According to the box, these candles are to be used for:


  • black-outs (tapi jangan letak kat tepi langsir or dekat sangat dengan tilam, nanti dengan diri sendiri pun black-out jugak winking)
  • emergencies (walaupun boleh digunakan pada masa kecemasan, penyalahgunaannya boleh mencetuskan keadaan kecemasan pula happy)
  • camping (best kalau layan cerita hantu bila pergi camping nail biting)
  • carols (untuk penganut agama yang berkenaan sahaja happy)

Hmmm.... they should add in another line for its usage (albeit a yearly thing):

Fire crackers!!! At this time of the year, the kids will ensure the father to have some candles in stock. Kalau tak, time tu jugak kena pergi beli...d'oh




Note: Adult supervision is required for the above activity.
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The thought that counts
It was my husband's birthday yesterday. And as usual, we make it a point to have a family dinner outside. So we had iftar cum birthday dinner at this restaurant: Deen Seafood Restaurant, located at 8 1/2 mile (or something like that) of Jalan Gombak. Very near to the International Islamic University (UIA).


We had tomyam poktek aka white tomyam. I was told that some times they add a little bit of coconut milk or milk to make the soup thicker. So I was a bit skeptical at first raised eyebrows. Sedap ke?? But surprisingly, I liked it. There was an assortment of seafood inside the soup: Prawns, squids, crabs, fish and mussels.



We also had sea bass cooked 3-flavoured style.



And fried prawns dipped in batter, tumeric fried chicken, fried kailan as well as complimentary dates.



To wash all that, I had a watermelon lychee drink.



Yummy...thumbs up

Apart from the dinner, I also got a birthday present for hubby. And getting a present for him has been a yearly dilemma for me.

I've known my husband since I was 18 years old. I met him during matriculation (pre-U) and even though we have never been in the same class, I guess the attraction was very strong. Chewaahhh... But true, kalau dah jodoh, duduk lain2 benua sure bertemu juga big grin

Since we were 19 we have started exchanging birthday gifts. I have given him lots of things for his birthday since then. From T-shirt to sweater to watch to perfume to pen to pen holder to remote control heli etc... Once, on his 21st birthday, I even gave him 21 things. Small, inexpensive things like pencil, ruler, eraser and all sorts of things. Each one wrapped individually. I'm sure he was as thrilled to open up each one of those little presents as I was thrilled in wrapping them up. Kalau tak thrill pun, dia penat sebab banyak nak bukak balut hadiah tu laughing.

Anyhow, years passed by. We have been married almost 12 years. And each year, the question of what to buy for his birthday will haunt me. I'm out of ideas. I know of his passion for techie/gadgety things such as laptops, notebook, handphones but then for those kind of things, I'll just leave it to him to buy. For he will know the specs and the details and the comparisons. On the contrary, if I were to buy one of those things, I will surely simply go and buy out of the shelf. And yes, most probably, not something that he wanted at all.

It won't be any good asking him what he wants either. He will simply said, he wants nothing. Well, I guess, we have reached the stage that it does not matter anymore. Any gift is special. 

So this year, again, I was at a loss. Well, I did bought something eventually and wrapped it and put it in this box. I'm not sure whether he likes the gift or not. (too late kalau tak suka, dah bagi dah pun...) Or whether the gift is expensive enough. But each step that I made to the store to buy the gift is bouncing with love. Each word that I wrote on the card is composed out of love. Each minute and second that I spent wrapping the gift is filled with love. And the gift of love is by far superior to what's inside, I hope.


Well, the box can even be empty, right? After all, it's the thought that counts winking.

Happy birthday, Abang love struck.