Thursday, December 22, 2005
Dont you just hate guilt feeling.........especially when you are not even sure if you are guilty or not. Today is one of those days. Big Boss (BB) is in town...supposed to set up a meeting for him with a client but it didnt happen, couldnt happen actually because of some new interventions. Meeting supposed to be today (it was a tentative thing), but Dr Jeez & me told him at dinner last nite that plans has changed. BB seem cool about it, and said we'll meet at the office today at 2. We were there waiting in the meeting room....nothing, then Dr Jeez saw him talking to the 'Judge'. So we thot he'll look for us after that. We were busy working while waiting.
The next thing we know, he has left the office; and going to the airport.
And I feel guilty....guilty coz meeting didnt happen, guilty coz didnt try to find him to ask if he wants to talk to us......and why should i feel guilty when Dr Jeez (THE PROJECT MANAGER) couldnt give a hoot.
I thot posting this would make me feel better, but i still feel guilty...;-(
Monday, December 19, 2005
I miss my little apartment
I miss my TV
I miss my manual car
I miss daily conversations with Mak
I miss the picture on my fridge (oh so much!!)
I miss conversations with nekbat over tall latte with whipped cream
I miss era.fm and astro tv
I miss the hot sun
I miss HOME
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Today is Saturday, the beginning of the working week in this part of the world. It feels weird. I was mumbling why people at the KL office didnt reply my email when Dr. Jeez reminded its the weekend in KL.
I was hoping this would be a quite day...we'll leave work early so that i can prepare for my outstation trip tomorrow. (ya, i'm already out of my station obviously). Che-Ah (the nickname i have given to the beautiful arab lady who is in charge of this project) had to invite Dr Jeez and i to join her for a talk about Gender Equality after work. Supposedly the institute organising it is close to our apartment. Dr. Jeez of coz wont give up such "exciting events". Predictably boring stuff delivered by a sweet looking japanese lady approaching retirement age..after what felt like 5 hours of monotonous speech..surprisingly the Q&A got pretty exciting with the pak arabs in their jubah having their say of the matter heard. I thot it will never end until the MC got up to apologise- no more questions from the floor; thank god. Nope too good an ending. Dr. Jeez had to put up his hand, and the MC was apologizing nicely that the speaker is tired and its late........but he blurted out so loud, like tak faham bahasa "You want to hear experience from MALAYSIA???"...OMG, i wanted to dissapear...at the time, they were about to present a gift to the speaker. I can hear people at the back in chorus saying "NO" to Dr Jeez....
With Dr Jeez around, you pray for an uneventful day. Tell me, am i overreacting????
He's driving me to the airport tomorrow morning......trust me i would get a cab if that is an option.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Last weekend Dr Jeez decided that we must do tourist stuff before the workload gets really heavy. So, early Friday morning we drove the ends of the island, away from much civilization – well, if I don’t count the oil refineries as civilization- in search of the Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life is a living tree in the middle of the desert…I am sure there’s more to the name but I have yet to discover it. This is not a tourist friendly place and signs are really lousy, only on the main roads and then nothing….
The sign to the tree of life from the main road took us on a right turn into the desert. Do not imagine the sights of modern refineries in Port Dickson or Trengganu, but more conventional ones – pump looking things. There were many small camp sites here and there, I presume private oil wells (don’t take my word for it – there were no signs or nothing).
After driving aimlessly, Dr Jeez decided to stop for directions (MANY TIMES)….( I think he was enjoying it a bit too much) We ended up at an Oil Museum, which was closed. We waited for a while in case the museum caretaker would come back and hopefully the person speaks English. He never came back, so Dr Jeez decided to drive further…..
Lost in the middle of nowhere
We came across another camp, similar to the one in the above picture. This time an English speaking Arab gentleman kindly offered to show the way. We followed his jeep into the winding tar roads, until he stops, point to a tree in the middle of nowhere, and told us to make our way to the tree. We gratefully thanked him. We drove towards that direction until suddenly the tar road came to an end (there was a sign saying RESTRICTED AREA). I told Dr Jeez to turn back…..nearby there was another camp about 200 meters away, there was a guy standing there alone in the desert. Dr Jeez said I want to go talk to the guy. I said don’t, we don’t want to end up in jail, it says restricted. He mumbled something like I am a coward, non adventurous…..I was still protesting when he turned the car into the desert sand, and before I could say S..T..U..P.., the car stopped and sank into the sand. And then he turned to me and said I think the car is stuck. (HELLO!!!!!)
The non English speaking ‘desert guy’ tried to help, first he and Dr Jeez thought they could lift the car with their bare hands, while I slammed on the accelerator in reverse gear. It only made the car sink in further and caused a sand storm. The desert guy went to get a small shovel, didn’t work either. Dr Jeez of course was asking the guy questions like, got car? Help pull?…. He then told me we that we still have 5 hours till darkness. (comforting thought, duhhhh..)
Despite this near life threatening situation, I decided this would make good pictures for my blog.
Sinking into the sand
Desert guy digging out sand with bare hands
I asked Dr Jeez what was his rescue plan – I was pissed coz he got us into this stupid situation. I was just praying that the car will eventually reverse out if the sand but it just won’t budge. His great plan was to call the car rental company (yes the mobile phone reception was good)…I know it wont work coz we don’t know where we are, and they guy wont be able to find us, unless he called for a helicopter search operation.
After a while, a jeep passed by, and Dr Jeez waved like crazy to get attention. The jeep stopped, and they strike a deal in sign language to pull out the car for a whopping 10dinar (that’s RM100). Except there’s no rope of cable. The desert guy ran into his camp (pity him …quite a distance) and came back with a short, thin rope – the one you use for your “ampai kain”…No good. The jeep guy signed that he will go find some better cable and drove away.
While waiting for the jeep guy, Dr Jeez decided to ask desert guy to take him on the tour of his camp – and I was left alone in the half-sunk car (pissed). The jeep guy came back (alhamdulillah), and the car was towed out of the sand.
The jeep guy asked us to follow his jeep, he will guide us to the tree of life and show us the way back to the main road. (I think in the desert guy and jeep guy’s minds – stupid people!!!) He took us thru winding roads leading to god know where, and he stopped. Dr Jeez paid guy the $$ and he pointed to us the tree of life. (The funny part was it’s a different tree from the one the other guy showed us!!!!, except this time it’s the right one!)
All the trouble...to look at a tree!!!
End of my bogus adventure.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So what’s qoing on back home these days???
Last weekend we went jalan2 a bit (we means me and Dr Jeez). There's nothing much for tourists over here, ada lah some historical places. The other day we went to the museum, how boring was that. There are some stories and pictures i'm dying to upload in the blog.(baru belajar how to post pics from dora, so watch out for the next posting) Something so stupid happened, out of Jeez's stupidity...maybe not fair to call him that what with his PHD and all, but he's not very smart, in a street-smart sense....i have formed that opinion sometime back, but keep telling myself that's not nice to judge people like that, but the weekend smack-in-the-face prove my sentiment.
There's a cyber cafe in our apartment building, i have not checked out the rates yet. Everything here costs a bomb when we convert to RM. Makan lunch or dinner is between 1 to 2 dinar, which is 10-20 ringgit. Last nite a top guy from KL came so we went out for dinner at a Thai Restaurant....buffet costs 12 dinar per head i.e. 120, and tak sedap pun.
Dr.Jeez gets on my nerves a lot especially last week. He makes this sound with his mouth that irritates like hell, when driving (sssssssstetetetetettttttttt – try that for sound effect) . We take turn driving by week, this week is my turn, no wonder i'm not that irritated)...he purposesly takes wrong turns and we get lost, and it gives him the kicks.
When we order food, sometimes i get embarassed. You see before we arrive he told me we will share food coz the portion is plenty (and also pricy). He said all dishes comes with bread, and sometimes both bread and rice. Experience so far proved otherwise unless the menu is somekind of set meal. In every restaurant, when we order nan/ bread, he will ask...you give curry, then the waiter will say you can order seperately (per menu), then he will ask...then bread eat with what, no curry? God, the first 1-2 times takpe, after a while i cant take it. There’s more…I’ll save some for myself.
And it gets too much that day in day out there's only me and him. I get so excited when we have company for makan or something.
Oh ya, nak ngadu ni...can you believe it office ni takde surau for ladies. Men only. I asked the project manager (pompuan) kat mana ladies pray,. dia kata takde, diaorang will balik rumah. Note: Here lunch hour is 2 hours - ada a few yang sembahyang kat store kadang2, tapi dia kata macam susah lah. kita lagilah susah kan , dengan telekung, nak ambik wuduk kat mane. So, i terpaksa qada lah agaknya, until I figure something out. Prayer times pun very different Suboh 4.30, Z 11.30, Asr 2.30, Magrhrib 5, Isyak 6+.....
Coming soon: Part 2: About that stupid something…..
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Sorry for the late reply......reasons i have explained in my previous posting.
About Doha. I didnt really have a good time there, my routine was apartment - office - apartment from early morning to midnight, so i didnt really get to see much. The easiest way to get around is if you rent a car. The part of Doha where i stayed was really crappy, but there are some nice areas with nice view of the sea up-town and around city center, which is more modern and cosmopolitan looking. The city is growing and the development in progress looks pretty impressive.
Food was difficult while i was there because it was Ramadhan and shops are closed until about 8p.m. Expect briyanis, kebabs and curries. There are supermarket like Carrefour in the city center. The exchange rate is almost dollar to dollar, 1 Qatar Riyal : 1 ringgit. There are souks (bazaar) which should be good for tourist shopping - i didnt get to visit any though. Generally everything is expensive, though i was told clothes are slightly cheaper than KL at stores like Zara, MNG. ( i did buy a few Zara stuff ;-) ). There's a Dessert Safari which is supposed to be a must-see.
My experience in Doha and Bahrain, they are not as tourist friendly as Malaysia. Language is not a big problem as most of them understand English, just be patient coz the "slang" of malaysian english and arabic english - message gets lost along the way.
Qatar is quite a strict islamic country, but you wont find any problems. I find them very female friendly.....banks has special counters for ladies, airport immigration has special queues and waiting lounge for ladies.
Post a question if you need to know anything else, but like i said i didnt get to experience much of Doha except for the 4 walls of the apartment and office.
I came back a week later, sort things out for my trip to Bahrain. Yup i'm now in Bahrain for work. Arrived on 16 November, so i've been here one week to be exact. While we are on dates, let me announce to the cyber world - TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!! Never mind the age......Stuck here somewhere in the middle east, on my birthday..No one here knows of course, and i'm not gonna spill the beans coz if i mention today is my birthday, they are bound to pop the how old are you, and you are still single question..
Drop me comments, guys. I so need to hear from home. Work n life here enough to drive me nuts.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Ramli MS a.k.a Cikgu Ramli for the AF fans is proposing that we come up with a new song, to make it ours, truly Malaysian. I don't know. Mamula Moon or not that's the Negaraku we learnt by heart, that we sang at all those school assemblies. Can we overnite just announce...look people, here's your new national anthem. While I can appreciate the rationale, i think i'll stick to the familiar; tho i kind of like the "pakar IT, pakar ekonomi" song.....wakkakaka. imagine if that is our national anthem.
What do you think?
Monday, October 17, 2005
It's just my personal opinion that forking up about RM50 to have a feast is against the spirit of ramadhan. I guess there are exceptions, like kenduri for orphans and the needy, but just to satisfy your "nafsu", .............doesnt seem right when there are people who dont even have enough to eat. Anyways, I'm not the best company for a buffet spread coz my "tank" reaches max. capacity pretty fast, then you have at the back of your mind I paid that much money, i have to eat my $$$$'s worth....i'll end up feeling sick after.
Nothing against people who enjoy the buffets, i'm sure they all have their own reasons...but for now, me & dora shall stick to our campaign...altho i heard wind that she's having a feast of her own at home!!! ahaks.....
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I ask myself........am i packed for the trip of a lifetime? Nope! Are you??
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
My bulan puasa routine about 8.10 - 8.15p.m., I will leave my place and walk to the surau for terawih . You see i'm blessed coz my apartment has a surau building within its own compound (super convenient, alhamdullillah). I always go alone - for obvious reasons (kan dora). The night before (kelmarin lah), while walking back, 2 ladies were walking in front of me-also back from surau. Lady no.1 is the indon maid of the young couple who live at the corner unit, and lady no.2 is the girl who lives with her family opposite to my unit. I don't know them by name, but we have over the years exchanged polite nods and smiles. I noticed that they are terawih buddies this year.
Lady no.2..i.e. the girl, to my judgment is a bit "special"...As in anak-anak istimewa. Not physically, but by demeanour, not too obvious, but may be a little. My guess is she's in her 20s. She appears to me very withdrawn and shy, she stays at home most of the time. (of course this is all my presumption and judgment- if i'm wrong, GOD, forgive me). Well that night, she waited for me at the corridor as i was walking to my door. She asked, in a childlike manner "Esok, pergi tak?". I said yes. She then asked "Kol berape?, boleh pergi same?" I said yes.
So last nite, as i was locking my door i was looking out for her. No sign of her , i waited for a few minutes...until azan no sign of her. Camne ni? No choice i have to go. You see my habit is to leave my specs at home if i go to terawih, i am short sighted. So rabun-rabun also ok coz just a couple of minutes walk. While i was rushing down the stairs, i noticed a pink "lembaga" at the girl's kitchen window - of course i can't make out if its her or someone else -(note: makcik & kakak she lives with tak friendly sangat). So i stopped in case she calls out (even if she gave hand signal, i couldn't have seen it). No sound, so I hurried to the surau. I figured since azan is loudly calling, and if she saw me rushing down, she would either run after me or we meet in the suraulah.
Isyak prayers about to begin, no sign of her; before terawih, no sign of her nor the indon maid. I was more convinced then that the pink shadow was her. Throughout prayers, tak sedap hati betul. I can hear the imam, but my brain was racing with thots of the girl next door. I figured the indon maid cant make it tonite that's why she wanted to follow me. Maybe coz she's "special", she's scared or shy to go/ walk alone, maybe she's not allowed to go without chaperone. She might be thinking i'm horrible, running past her like that, i didnt wait for her..........i have to find her today, i have to tell her i waited for her, i have to tell her i wasnt wearing my glasses. I should have rang her doorbell (silly me!). I want to say i'm sorry.
I still feel bad for her, i have to make it up tonite, even if i have to ring the door bell of the not-so-friendly neighbour to ask if the "adik" want to go to terawih with me tonite....
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Pagi tadi lepas sahur teringat pulak bulan puasa 2 tahun lepas....masa tu anne kerja di sebuah syarikat pengangkutan nun jauh di Pelabuhan Klang. Memanglah tak seglamour mana tempat tu, takde bangunan pencakar langit pun. Staf pun takde yang "glamour" sangat macam kat KL, biasa-biasa je....majority adalah pekerja kolar biru. 4 tahun anne di sana adalah tahun-tahun yang paling bahagia dalam working life anne - setakat ni lah. Mula-mula tak biasa, tapi dah lama-lama baru sedar di sana boleh belajar menghargai manusia dengan sejujur-jujurnya......stop, stop - topik ni anne cite hari lain lah. terkeluar topik plak....
Setelah dekat 2 tahun kerja di sana, anne dikenalkan dengan Warung Kak Gayah. Sebelum ni bukan tak nampak warung ni, seberang jalan ofis je. Memang ramai pekerja2 kolar biru berhenti kat situ. Warung ni buat dengan papan je, kat tepi jalan. Tak ada tingkap pulak tu, ada pintu je....mungkin Kak Gayah tak nak habuk masuk. Memang anne tak pernah tefikir nak ambik tau pasal warung tu. Disebabkan kawan ajak anne ikut je. Itulah detik pengenalan anne dengan Kak Gayah. Kak Gayah memang "bubbly" and "friendly", suka "speaking" pulak tu.
Suasana dalam warung memang tak seburuk luarnya. Ada beberapa meja kayu dilapik tikar getah warna-warni untuk orang makan. Nampaknya macam ada silent rule di mana orang lelaki je "eat-in", ladies semua take away. Lauk-pauk dihidang dalam periuk atau besen tin yang warna-warni (ala macam kat kampung dulu sebelum besen plastik tercipta). Walaupun berlantaikan tanah je, bersih. Menu tengahari Kak Gayah memang best, untuk orang yang suka home cooked type of food.
Typical menu (almost tiap-tiap hari) Pajeri Nenas, sambal tumis sotong, Ikan kembung/ Ayam/Hati goreng "kak gayah style", Tempe goreng (best gilerr), ulam2 segar dan beberapa lauk lagi yang variable. Tapi yang anne sebut tu mesti ada. Tak tau apa rahsia Kak Gayah makanan dia sentiasa panas-panas walaupun Kak Gayah takde pakai food warmer atau microwave. Lauk kak gayah in general memang sedap-sedap, rasa macam makan kat rumah. Entah apa yang Kak Gayah campur dalam garam kunyit untuk goreng ikan dan tempe. Sedap giler...crunchy pulak tu, walaupun bila dah sejuk.
Kak Gayah punya personaliti memang mencantikkan warung usang tu. Dia kenal customer dia by name. Lepas beberapa kali anne tapau kat sana, satu hari tu Kak Gayah tegur...oh ni lah anne, Abang Wan ada sebut. Rupanya Kak Gayah isteri Abg Wan, salah seorang wakil pekerja kolar biru satu tempat kerja dengan saya. Saya kenal sangat Abg Wan sebab kerja saya memang selalu berurusan dengan wakil-wakil pekerja.
Satu bulan puasa tu saya kenen-kenen dengan Kak Gayah untuk masak petang, boleh beli untuk berbuka. Mimpi jadi kenyataan rupanya. Sehari sebelum puasa, abang wan dah telefon suruh bawak tupperware, kebetulan Abg Wan kerja syif petang, so di bawakkan lauk, siap hantar sampai kat meja. Memang bahagia anne masa tu.
Tahun lepas tu, anne bawak geng, ramai yang beli dari Kak Gayah untuk berbuka. Dia tak buka warung, tapi masak dari rumah...dengan syarat korang datang ambik. Anne susah sikitlah nak kluar ambik lauk, tapi ada maksanggup yang drive ke rumah Kak Gayah untuk ambikkan lauk semua orang. (jiha, jasamu ku kenang - dengar gossip jiha sanggup ambik cuti untuk berguru dengan K.Gayah). Dalam pukul 11 pagi macam tu, kita orang akan telepon Kak Gayah kat rumah, boleh request tau nak makan lauk apa. Kalau ada barang, Kak Gayah layan je....
Ntah bile nak dapat makan lauk Kak Gayah lagi.....sebelum jumpa Kak Gayah, tak pernah anne suka tempe, kalau makan pun yang dah hiris halus2 kat dalam sambal ikan bilis tu; tapi tempe Kak Gayah memang JAWORLD!!!!! abis. Dan rindu kat orang sana, yang baik2 macam Kak Gayah, Abg Wan dan semua kawan2 masa tu.
Untuk yang tengah baca puasa2 ni dan salivating over lauk Kak Gayah, ampun......
Anne doakan Kak Gayah & Abg Wan murah rezeki dan dirahmati Allah.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Perhaps my editor fren, n****t will find this amusing as well...........
"In Tanner v. DT Kean  IRIR 110, the facts are as follows:
Tanner had been instructed by his employer not to use the company's van outside working hours and had been lent £275 by the company to enable him to buy himself a car. On discovering that Tanner was still using the company's van for his part-time job as a doorman at a country club, his employer had lost his temper and said "What's my f***ing van doing outside, you're a tight bastard. I'have just lent you £275 to buy a car and you are too tight to put juice in it. That's it, you're finished with me." (four letter word omitted). "
[paragraph copied as-is]
....my fren shalimar of late has this fascination about "putting juice" in her new car ;-)
Today is Friday.............oh how sweet the sound. The best news i had all week!!!
I have been out of sorts the whole week at work. Every minute seem to crawl by, i ache in my tiny cubicle, but could hardly focus on work. Maybe there's not much to do in the first place, maybe the new "interest" -only Dora knows- is distracting me, maybe its the "added role" they dumped on me at work is freaking me out......I was at a meeting the whole day yesterday, body only...my soul was elsewhere...
But today, i'm hard at work like a busy bee. I am entertaining client calls and emails with zest and vigour, i've even started on some of 'the things' the powers that be dumped on me. I dont mind.....because its friday.
And i'm also wearing pants. I work so much better when i'm wearing pants (no kidding). You see the powers that be at my office decided that it is not professional for ladies to work in pants. Skirts or baju kurung only. Duhhhh!!! But on Friday, i get to wear pants! Some time back, it crossed mind to start a liberation movement; maybe my good friend down at 5th floor will support me - but i decided against it coz i need to keep this job (for now at least).
How can you not love fridays...............
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Now, i want to start my own blog. I havent really decided on the theme or concept or even what to call it, which is why for now its called my prelude - prior to my "real" blog going live!. You can call this my experimental blog for now.