Friday, August 22, 2008

A Woman Over 30

A woman over 30 will never wake you in the middle
of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She
doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 30 doesn't want to watch the
game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does
something she wants to do. And, it's usually
something more interesting.

A woman over 30 knows herself well enough to be
assured in who she is, what she is, what she
wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 30 give a
damn what you might think about her or what she's
doing.

Women over 30 are dignified. They seldom have a
screaming match with you at the opera or in the
middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you
deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they
think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often
undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

A woman over 30 has the self-assurance to
introduce you to her women friends.
A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because
she doesn't trust the guy with other women.

Women over 30 couldn't care less if you're attracted to her
friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.
Women get psychic as they age. You never have to
confess your sins to a woman over 30. They always
know.

A woman over 30 looks good wearing bright red
lipstick. This is not true of younger women.
Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over
30 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll
tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting
like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you
stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 30 for a multitude of
reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For
every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 30+,
there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a
fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whilst Right Here Waiting

Sementara menunggu ketibaan flight EK352 with The BF on it, saja isi masa to write this entry. Tumbuhan dalam gambar di atas ni aku nampak dijual di pasar malam Philippines semasa aku di KK baru-baru ini. Aku macam tak percaya bila my brother in law beritahu bahawa tumbuhan ini sebenarnya spirulina. My brother in law bought it at a price of 50 cent selonggok. Rasanya pada aku tasteless tapi syok bila mengunyah biji-biji seperi anggur itu. Untuk menambah rasa dicadangkan dicicah dengan jus limau nipis dan cili padi. It has to be eaten fresh dan memang tidak boleh disimpan.

Aku dulu pernah makan pil spirulina yang dikatakan baik untuk kesihatan dan boleh membantu menguruskan badan sebab seseorang itu akan merasa kenyang selepas mengambil pil tersebut. Mungkin betul sebab aku yang sebelum itu lapar terasa kenyang selepas meratahnya....no dinner that night.

Untuk mengetahui dengan lebih lanjut tentang kebaikan spirulina ni, click here

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Orang Baru

Selalunya aku tak berapa ambil peduli dan tatak heran dengan the so-called auspicious dates ni but pada tahun ini tarikh 08.08.08 mempunyai makna yang besar buat keluarga aku. Seawal pagi Jumaat pada hari tersebut aku terima sms dari my brother in law di KK, kembar aku telah selamat melahirkan baby boy tempat pada pukul 0720. Kalau sebelum ini kedua-dua anak kembar aku dilahirkan secara normal birth, anaknya yang ketiga kali ini dilahirkan secara Ceaserian. Ini setelah dinasihatkan oleh doktor kerana kecederaan di tulang belakangnya akibat jatuh 2 minggu sebelumnya.

Tepat pukul 2125 malam pula, aku dan mak terbang ke KK. Sampai sahaja di airport, sudah tidak sabar untuk menatap wajah ahli keluarga baru kami ini lalu kami terus ke hospital walaupun waktu melawat sudah berakhir. Wajahnya saling tak tumpah dengan anak buah lelaki aku, Noah semasa kecil. Pada hari Ahadnya, kembar aku dibenarkan pulang. Dapat aku menghabiskan masa dan memandikan anak buah baru aku sebelum aku pulang ke KL pada malam harinya. Sempat juga dia kencing atas aku semasa menunggu air mandiannya siap.

Buat masa ini, belum ada nama yang ditetapkan walaupun ada beberapa cadangan telah diberikan. My brother in law mahu mengekalkan nama Noah di pangkalnya. Jenuh perah otak memikirkan nama yang sesuai. Aku jokingly cadangkan nama Olympus Benji sempena dengan hari pembukaan Olimpik 2008 yang sudah semestinya ditolak mentah-mentah. But seriously aku proposed nama Noah Queshairy sementara ada yang cadangkan nama Noah Naquiyuddin, Noah Ilham dan Noah Esfahan. Terpulanglah kepada the parents to decide. So for now we all panggil dia baby ajelah. Kalau ada sesiapa yang nak cadangkan nama untuk anak buah aku ini, you are most welcome.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

4 Days 3 Nights : Hanoi & Halong Bay, Vietnam

Hasrat ke Vietnam yang sudah sejak tahun lalu lagi dalam perancangan akhirnya menjadi realiti. Pada 18 Mac lalu dengan menaiki penerbangan pertama Airasia, aku tiba di Noi Bai International Aiport, Hanoi untuk percutian 4 hari 3 malam di sana. Untuk percutian kali ini aku tak perlu pening kepala buat flight and accommodation arrangement atau mengatur itinerari kerana segalanya telah diuruskan. I was told to just pack my bag and go. Main objective bukan untuk menjejak tourist spots but more untuk bersantai. Walau bagaimanapun, buku Lonely Planet tetap tidak ditinggalkan and proven again to be useful there.

Ketibaan di Hanoi disambut dengan cuaca mendung dan hujan renyai-renyai as expected around that time of the year. Sebaik menaiki teksi, pemandu tersebut terus berkomunikasi dengan aku dalam bahasa Vietnam buat aku terpinga-pinga sekejap. Aku geleng kepala and said "I don't understand". Dia ingat aku orang Vietnam ke apa. Sukar juga pada awalnya untuk berkomunikasi dengan pemandu teksi tersebut kerana dia tidak fasih berbahasa Inggeris. Aku terpaksa menunjukkan peta dari buku Lonely Planet (never travel without it) untuk memintanya membawa kami ke hotel penginapan,
Intercontinental Hotel yang terletak di Ho Tay atau Westlake. A few times aku perasan dia dok perhati aku dari cermin hingga akhirnya dia bertanya asal aku. Apabila mengetahui aku dari Malaysia, dia terus berbahasa Melayu. Rupa-rupanya dia pernah bekerja di sebuah kilang di Puchong selama 2 tahun.

A few things I instantly noticed about Hanoi or maybe Vietnam ialah kenderaan utama di sini ialah motorsikal, there is no proper traffic flow sebab kenderaan datang dari semua arah making crossing the road ala kamikaze ditambah pula dengan bunyi bingit daripada pekikan hon oleh pengguna jalanrayanya samada kereta atau motorsikal. Walaupun tiada halangan di hadapan pun, mereka akan membunyikan hon, it's like telling others "I'm coming, get out of my way". If you think Malaysian drivers are bad, here is even worse making me drew to a conclusion, if you can drive in Hanoi, you can drive anywhere else.


Tempat pertama yang dituju ialan Ngoc Son Temple yang terletak di Hoan Kiem Lake. Tempat ini became a landmark everytime we tell the taxi driver to take us from the hotel to the Old Quarter. Dari segi struktur, this temple looks like any other typical temples tapi suasana persekitaran temple ini yang dihubungkan dengan jambatan yang dicat merah memang menyamankan memandangkan ia dikelilingi ioleh air dan pepohon hijau yang rendang. Terlupa sebentar we were actually in the middle of the bustling city of Hanoi. Seterusnya kami ke Municipal Water Puppet Theatre yang terletak tidak jauh dari Ngoc Son Temple untuk menonton water puppet show. There was a note at the ticket counter that tickets were sold out until March 23. A little dissappointed but we decided to stay in the queue and tried our luck. We were advised to come back for the next show just in case there was a no show.

My creation

Next on the agenda, kami menyusuri streets di Old Quarter, the best shopping area in Hanoi, yang menjual pelbagai barangan terutamanya silk, paintings, lacquereware, embroidery, handicrafts dan macam-macam lagi benda yang menarik. We agreed not to buy anything that day tapi cuci mata and recce dulu aje. Kesempatan itu juga diambil untuk singgah di one of many travel agencies there, Halong Travel untuk inquire dan membuat booking for Halong Bay cruise. Nasib baik tak buat apa-apa booking sebelum tiba di Hanoi kerana kalau buat booking di sini ada lebih banyak pilihan untuk buat price comparison dan harganya lebih murah. Harga yang diquote semasa inquire sebelum ini was USD100 more than what was quoted there. Tambahan pula semasa tu low season, chance to secure a reservation memang tinggi, kalau peak season mungkin sukar juga. Pilihan pertama kami ialah menggunakan boat operator Annam Junk dengan harga USD140 per person tapi sebab sudah full we had to settle with the next best option which was Bhaya Cruise dengan harga mahal sedikit iaitu USD180 per person termasuk transfer to and from Hanoi.

Kerana terlalu leka melewati dari satu kedai ke satu kedai, tidak sedar waktu makan tengahari sudah lama berlalu sehingga perut mula berkeroncong. Bermulalah misi to locate several halal restaurants yang aku googled sebelum ke Hanoi antaranya Shalimar Restaurant, Nisa Restaurant dan Malaysia in Hanoi. Mula-mula tu confusing juga mencari arah tetapi we noticed the road name signs and just followed it based on the address I jotted down di samping bantuan dari penduduk tempatan. Walaupun berjaya locate the first 2 restaurants, tetapi kedua-dua restoran tersebut telah ditutup. Hendak ke fast food restaurant pun, samada McDonald, Pizza Hut atau KFC memang tiada. Perut pula sudah terlalu lapar, jadi we decided mengalas perut dengan vegetable pizza dan tuna sandwhich at a cafe near Ngoc Son Temple.

Water Puppet

We went back to the Municipal Water Puppet Theatre and got lucky when were told there were seats available. Walaupun terlepas the first 15 minutes of the show, it was good enough for us. The show went on for the next 30 minutes. Ada persembahan yang aku fahami which was based on the giant golden tortoise of Hoan Kiem Lake dan juga everyday life of the local farmers etc. Yang paling aku tertarik ialah lagu yang didendangkan sepanjang persembahan, walaupun dalam bahasa Vietnam, memang asyik mendengar lagu-lagunya.

Keesokan paginya, seperti yang dijanjikan tepat pukul 8.00 pagi, transport untuk membawa kami ke Halong Bay tiba. Perjalanan ke Halong Bay ditemani oleh 3 orang pelancong wanita dari Australia dan UK. Perjalanan memang tidak membosankan kerana mereka memang ramah ditambah pula dengan co-driver juga tidak jemu melayan kami. Sepanjang perjalanan, kami dihidangkan dengan pemandangan petani-petani yang gigih menanam benih padi dan yang klisenya terdapat banyak kilang-kilang sedang dibina atau beroperasi di antara sawah padi. Ia sebagai tanda Hanoi sedang pesat membangun dan menjadi tumpuan untuk manufacturers menjadikan Hanoi tempat ideal untuk beroperasi mungkin kerana kos operasinya dan tenaga buruh yang murah. Kami singgah sebentar di sebuah pusat kraftangan dan terus menuju ke cafe di situ memenuhi kehendak perut yang minta diisi. Kerana waktu persinggahan singkat, tidak sempat untuk meninjau barangan yang dijual di situ but I suspected that the price is much much more expensive than Hanoi.

Halong Bay

Selepas 3 jam setengah, kami tiba di Halong Bay di mana kami dibawa menaiki transfer boat menuju ke junk yang berlabuh tidak jauh dari persisiran. Being in Halong Bay was a total change from the bustling city of Hanoi, total peace and quiet. It was pretty chilly tapi the view memang magnificient beyond words. Our 2 days 1 night itinerary whilst cruising amongst the small islands in Halong Bay included exploring the Cave of Surprise, visiting the Van Gia Fishing Village, cooking demonstration by the chef, kayaking and at night watched a romantic movie called Indochina yang difilemkan di Halong Bay. The rest of the time, we just sat at the deck enjoying the view and the sunset. Yang bestnya, the number of people on the cruise tak ramai, cuma ada 5 couples sahaja inclusive. Aku juga sempat had 30 minutes of shoulder and back message at the deck for only USD15. Semasa cruising near the Fishing Village, there were a few small boats which approached our junk with the locals especially children selling shells and sundry goods. They were very relentless menimbulkan rasa kasihan dengan mereka. We just gave some money without buying anything.

Sekembali ke Hanoi pada lewat petang, kami bertukar angin menginap di Somerset Westlake pula. Selepas freshened up, aku menyambung mission untuk mencari halal restaurant and my only option was Malaysia in Hanoi Restaurant. Alhamdulillah, rasa lega apabila panggilan telefon aku dijawab oleh pemiliknya bernama Aspalela. Tidak sukar mencari restoran ini kerana ia terletak berhadapan dengan Truc Bach Lake. Malam itu aku makan sepuas-puasnya Nasi Goreng Kampung with Spicy Beef yang dimasak oleh tukang masak dari Malaysia siap kena perli, "do you want a takeaway". Memang authentic Malaysian cuisine. Sempat juga beramah mesra dengan Kak Aspalela sambil mendengar kisah bagaimana dia membuka restoran ini pada November 2007. Sesiapa yang ke Hanoi bolehlah singgah di restoran ini yang terletak di 136 E, Tran Vu, Truc Bach Lake, Ba Dinh, Hanoi atau hubungi di no. telefon (844) 715 2512 atau e-mail malaysia.in.hanoi@gmail.com.

Selepas dinner, kami menaiki trickshaw for a one-hour ride around Old Quarter. Mula-mula kami diberitahu harganya ialah USD5 tetapi apabila dihulur wang at the end of the ride, kami diberitahu harga sebenar ialah USD5 seorang. Memang terasa tertipu and we decided to pay him additionally 50,000 Vietnam Dong only. Sebelum pulang ke hotel, kami singgah di Highland Coffee yang terletak di tepi Tasik Ho Tay (Westlake). Franchise coffee ini memang kami lihat di merata tempat di Hanoi, kiranya seperti setaraf Starbuck atau Dome di Malaysialah. Kami duduk sebentar di situ menikmati angin malam di tepi tasik over hot latte sebelum pulang ke hotel. Hari terakhir di Hanoi dimulakan dengan melawat Hanoi Opera House located at a more posh area of Hanoi di mana terdapat banyak designer boutiques di situ. Thought that we could watch a show only to find out that it's only on weekends. We decided to head to Paris Deli for breakfast and after that doing what we saved for last, shopping at Old Quarter. Sudah kebiasaan di sini kena pandai tawar-menawar harga but the price memanglah cheap for tourist. Cuma mereka lebih gemar guna USD and kalau guna Vietnam Dong, mesti markup by 2,000 Vietnam Dong compared to the actual exchange rate. Someone shopped more than I did sampai had to pay for excess baggage when we checked in at the airport.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hit The Road, Jack!

This is not addressed to The BF. We are ok and going strong each day in spite of the distance. I am referring to a caller from mobile phone no. +019369xxxx. It all started last Saturday night when a text message from this unfamiliar number came in:-

February 16, 2008
+6019369xxxx : Malam ni futsal tau
Me : Who is this?
+6019369xxxx : Ni orng putih ke..sorry la...! Sy orng malaysia tau (Eh, buat lawak yang tak lawak pulak!)
Me : Ni siapa? Klu x bgtau malas nak layan
+6019369xxxx : Name sy badrul..silap no la! U ni siapa?

At this point, aku malas nak reply coz I don't know anyone by that name. But within the next 10 minutes, there were 3 incoming calls from the number. Aku just pressed button busy rejecting the calls followed by a text message.

Me : Tlg jgn call sy. Sy x kenal sesiapa nama badrul
+6019369xxxx : Ye la..sy tahu 2! Sy pun x knl awak, sy ni bkan suka ganggu org 2 pn kebetulan je
+6019369xxxx : Sy nk tel awak skrg ni leh x! lpas 2 sy x akan ganggu awak tau k
Me : Untuk apa? Jgnlah buang masa awk. Sy x berminat. (This was the last text message from me)
+6019369xxxx : Ape la awak ni! Sy pun mcm 2 jugak tau..lgi pn bkan nk jumpa, cuma tel je salah ke
+6019369xxxx : Bleh la ye saudari..sy tel awak ea.
+6019369xxxx : Ye la sy ankat kaki la..sy ingat awak ni anak tan seri ke d'tuk

Aku hidup-hidup ingatkan dia betul-betul dah angkat kaki but half an hour later around 11 p.m. he called. I ignored the call and let the phone rang until it stopped.

Just when I thought that would be the last time I would hear from him......

February 17, 2008
+6019369xxxx : Askum (An hour later)
+6019369xxxx : Happy morning

Wah...sungguh persistent betul Mamat ni

February 18, 2008
+6019369xxxx : Hi happy morning, have a nice day pls don't get angrey! As a friend it normal. Las pls forget it k by. new friends.

Honestly I don't know what was he talking about but I hope it means adios! But at noon, I received a picture message of a rose from him. ???????

Some people just don't get it. When someone says no, it's a NOlah! I didn't think I misled him or give him the wrong impression. Tang mana yang tak faham tu entahlah. Nak kena cakap NO in 14 different languages ke, baru nak faham! But I have to give him credit for his persistence though he is just wasting his time and money. Kalau aku reply makin galak pula dia, so I am going to continue ignoring his text messages and calls. Hopefully he got fed up and give up.........

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Heavenly Blessed....


It has been more than a week now since The BF left. Kalau tidak kerana sudah komited dengan boss to work on CNY, sudah lama aku terima ajakan The BF to go with him to Dubai where he stopped on business. Then, we would have a few more days together. But 5 days was what we had and we made most of it, dining at KLCC, Bora Ombak, Starhill and tapao the famous Nasi Beriyani from Taman Tun. After dinner, we caught a couple of comedy movies, Meet The Spartans and Gameplan. Anybody who really need a good laugh memang amat-amat direkomenkan menonton Meet The Spartans. Memang tak kering gusi menonton movie based on the movie '300' ni.

The BF generously showered me with several gifts this time. On the day he arrived, he gave me a traditional shawl from Pakistan, where he is temporarily based at called ajrak. A couple of days later whilst walking in KLCC, he pulled me into a lingerie shop called Inner Secrets and bought me a bra. Macamlah he will get to see me in it. Shop ni memang sebelum ini aku takkan jejak punya sebab harga satu bra aje aku boleh beli 5 - 6 helai bra di La Senza. The last night he was here, he bought 2 similar Starbuck Mugs in my favorite color, orange and gave me one.

Bila difikirkan balik, ada juga baiknya long distance relationship (LDR). Memanglah tak boleh berkepit 24 jam macam other couples tapi bila sesekali berjumpa, the time spent lebih meaningful dan digunakan sebaiknya. Memang tiada ruang nak menimbulkan isu yang boleh membawa kepada perselisihan faham kerana masa yang ada terhad. Those yang nak terjebak dalam LDR haruslah matang, jujur dan saling percaya-mempercayai pasangan masing-masing. Perasaan syak wasangka harus dijauhi sebab kalau dibiarkan merasuki perasaan, boleh menghancurkan perhubungan. Aku bukannya expert tapi pengalaman lalu dan orang di sekeliling banyak menjadi pengajaran dan pedoman for me to make this relationship work and last.


Another lucky gal yang dapat expensive gift is Mak. Tahun ini Mak memang dapat antara hadiah harijadi yang paling mahal, dari getaway di Serendah, dinner at Mum's Place and finally arrived from Dubai, a Louis Vuitton handbag. Aku ke Renaissance Hotel last Sunday to collect the handbag from Liza's friend, a pilot with Emirates. Sempat juga Mamat tu buat lawak yang dia ke Petaling Street beli yang imitation to exchange with the original.

Hadiah ni belum lagi sampai ke tangan Mak sebab Mak baru sahaja a few days earlier pulang ke Teluk Intan. Sebelum ni masa aku bawa Mak shopping, dia dok belek-belek beg tangan tapi aku bagi pelbagai alasan telling her not to buy first. Hopefully she will like this one. Jadi Mak Datin lah Mak aku lepas nih. Doakan semoga anak-anaknya dimurahkan rezeki supaya dapat shower Mak with many more expensive treats.

Background Song : Semoga Abadi by Misha Omar

Friday, February 01, 2008

Two Blissful Weekends

Last Friday my 2 little darling, apples of my eye was in town for 4 days 3 nights. Sudah agak lama tidak berjumpa dengan mereka. Sebelum ini hanya mendengar cerita dari kakak aku their latest antics and peel. Kali ini aku tidak dapat mengambil mereka di LCCT kerana mereka tiba semasa waktu aku bekerja sehingga merajuk Ashin dibuatnya. Sempena dengan kunjungan mereka di sini memang plan nak ke Zoo Negara dan Petrosains tetapi Noah pula demam on and off, terpaksalah batal rancangan tersebut. Sebagai ganti aku pun bawalah depa berendam dan bermain kat swimming pool sementara aku practice my swimming. Saban hari memang tidak jemu melayan keletah dan menjawab soalan-soalan perah otak dari mereka. Yalah, bebudak memang curious segala. Terubat juga rindu dengan kehadiran mereka......

This weekend will be another blissful one. The BF will be arriving at KLIA tomorrow afternoon and will be here for at least 5 day. From this moment, that's another 15 hours to go and counting

Background Song : Get Here by Oleta Adams