Awang Goneng and the Irish setting

March will be a month of romancing for me. The first would be with Awang Goneng, who romanced with his past growing up in Terengganu. What started out as a blog ,led to a book that many are talking about, and still talking about.

I love Terengganu. I could never get enough of it. The sea, the long beautiful beaches, the songket, the beautiful kampung houses, the satar, the cottages with artist drawing on batiks, the ikan celup and fresh young coconut juice. I can go on and on and each trip to Terengganu would always be different, as we explored the nooks and corners, the different kampungs– away from the hustle and bustle of the area where we are staying. Where Rm 2 still gets you a full meal in the kampung for really delicious Nasi Kerabu. Where the seafood is eaten fresh on the long sandy beach and songket can be made to order and where we can buy freshly made batik from the artist’s cottage. Where we watched children fly wau in the evening.

So when Awang Goneng wrote Growing Up In Terengganu , I knew I have to read it. I missed several of the book launches he had when he was here but reading GuiT is something I know I wouldn’t want to miss. Not especially when Mrs Awang Goneng, the very adorable Kak Teh— kept on reminding us that she sprinkled love dust on each of our shoulders when she sat in between us at that fateful dinner function where hubby and I met, in Singapore. That was back in 2002.

Now, her hubby – Mr Awang Goneng is going around sprinkling the Terengganu love dust all over via GuiT. After just reading the intro, I am love-struck. Hence it will definitely make it to my March‘s reading list.

From Terengganu to Ireland, the current bestselling book P.S I love you has been intently recommended to me. About a married couple where the husband died due to brain tumour and how he helped his wife to move along with life with the letters he had prepared for her. The letters are sent to her through different sources and each one ending with P.S I Love YOU. Known to be a tear jerker, I shall read it near my pms time, to feed the melancholic mood even more.

And on that note, I find Harry Potter 5 which I started reading last month is very draggy. I am contemplating whether to just hop on to March’s reading or persevere and bewitched by this bespectacled prepubescent wizard. Or finish all 3 this month.. ?

The Leap of Fallacy

Thanks to the fallacy of the Gregorian calendar, the leap year babies can only celebrate their birthdays once every 4 years.

Many times I find ‘civilizations’ strange. When something is not right, but because they discover it against the discovery of the ‘other’ civilization that produce the right one, they will die-die stick to it, although they know in some cases it will menyusahkan orang.

And the funny part is, the descendants of the civilization who got it right, choose to use the not so right one, not so accurate one, because everyone else is using the not so right one. And because to be a part of the ‘everyone‘ is good. And because that civilization who is not so right tells everyone that they are right no matter what. And because they are better than everyone else and hence they have to be right no matter what.

And hence, the birth of a third civilisation materialised. And this civilisation is called…


Beyond My Wildest Dream

Some years ago, to even attempt to cook was beyond my wildest dream. Everything changed in early 2006 when survival was imperative and that the husband prefers home-cooked meals more than anything else. Hence the laborious effort of metamorphosis of myself from a Kitchen Goondo into a Dewi Dapur took place. With much success, I might pleasely add… 🙂

I used to loathe going into the kitchen during my bachelorette days. But now, give me two days of no cooking and I will yearn and long to be in the thick of things in the kitchen. I now believe that cooking is an art, no ?

But Nigella Lawson I am not. ( yet, I hope ). But really, beyond my wildest dream, I have learnt the art of cooking and loving it to bits !


My Pesto Rosso Fussilli

Ayam Lemak Cili Padi

Just to name a few … 😛

Kebab Connection

It’s Wednesday night and once again it’s time for German Film Festival at University Malaya.

This time it’s a comedy : Kebab Connection, about a young Turkish boy in Hamburg who idolises Bruce Lee and wants to be the first Kung-Fu Film maker in Germany. He did come to a certain success, making Kebab King commercial for his uncle’s kebab shop using Bruce Lee inspired stunts— until his German girlfriend announced she is pregnant with his baby and wants to keep it. Then story then revolves around him dealing with the inter cultural issues, dreams versus responsibilities issues, friendship issues etc.

As funny as it is meant to be, I felt uncomfortable within the 20 minutes into the movie. The main character, Ibo or short for Ibrahim represents the young Muslim 2nd generation migrant in Germany and how they have been swept with the desire to be ‘Europeanised’ that they hardly ever know their roots any more. The whole movie, although undeniably funny and using witty dialogue, I find that the director, a Turkish himself, was trying to portray much more than just a comedy about Kebabs and the Turkish boy. The way I see it, he was addressing the issue of the identity of the migrant society, who they are, what are their issues and what the generations who grew up without knowing much of their ‘old country’ and their identity in this ‘foreign’ land that they were born in.

Somehow after coming out of the theater with the film still fresh in my mind and my German teachers all around asking if I had enjoyed the film, because they did and they found it funny, I felt a lump in my throat. My mind wandered back to sometime last year when my MIL had made a passing suggestion to the hubby that he should consider going back to Germany and to claim his rights and benefits of a German, which can be quite good financially and educationally for our kids ( if we have any ). I kept quiet when that suggestion was made back then. Other than the winter, I find that Germany was quite a nice place to stay in. I was so-so about the idea.

But after watching the film tonight, I somehow feel that there is more to worry about should the husband decides he wants to go back there after he hands in his thesis here. And by then, it’s no longer the winter that I will be worried about…

Cleansing Ritual

I bought this Healing Through Juices book sometime late last year and since January 1 this year have been religiously following the recipes in there for detoxifying purposes. The one that we never miss everyday is the Watermelon+Strawberry combination. The recipe is simple, blend watermelon and strawberries together. Add ice and make an ice-blended juice if you like. Then drink a cup a day.

Watermelon is rich in antioxidants and fiber. Strawberries are a good source of the different kinds of vitamins. Together, they make a lethal detoxifying potion. Every Sunday I would buy a whole big seedless watermelon and a punnet of strawberries. On Sunday nights I would blend all that together and bottle them into five1 litre bottles. I drink half a bottle each day and the other half would be for the hubby. After about an hour or so, the toilet would be calling for a real good poo time ! So detox it does ! And effectively too 🙂

Kesimpulannya, it’s a comic relief…

Today, my tuition kid handed in his assessment book homework from last week.

Subject : BM.

Topic : Simpulan Bahasa.

Arahan : Isikan tempat-tempat kosong dengan simpulan bahasa yang sesuai.

Berikut adalah jawapan yang diberikan oleh pelajar darjah empat tersebut.

1. Pengantin perempuan itu kelihatan cantik macam burung parrot.

2. Norizan tidak jadi membeli kain batik itu kerana harganya mahal macam hotel.

3. Kuih lapis yang dibuat oleh ibu itu manis macam gula-gula.

4. Apabila mengetahui keputusan peperiksaannya gagal, muka Adnan masam macam limau.

5. Adik tidak mahu makan ubat yang pahit macam kopi itu.

Kesimpulannya, saya sebagai guru tidak tahu jika harus ketawa atau pun marah dengan jawapan yang diberikan. Justeru itu saya menanyakan kepada murid yang berkenaan, ‘ A, awak jawab macam ni, awak rasa cikgu marah dan akan menjadi garang macam apa ?’ ( konon nak last kopek, tanya dia dengan simpulan bahasa yang mudah sangat untuk dia jawab )

Dan jawapan yang diberikan, dengan selamba— ‘Garang macam daddy saya cikgu ! ‘


…..susah jugak mengajar bahasa ni ya… !


Something that I chanced upon from the wonderful 80s. This song was a hit when I was in early primary school I think. I’ve always like the Jamal-Ogy combination and of late, I’m into comfort music ( read:80s and early 90s ).

I wonder why… hmmm.

The other one I like is the Jamal Abdillah and M. Nasir combination singing the song penned by arwah Loloq.

Speaking of which, we were at Sungai Buloh just now. I’ve always associated Sungai Buloh to be the place for Luncai Emas, M. Nasir‘s studio and his Sungai Buloh residence. Well. We didn’t get any glimpse of him unfortunately. Just bought lots of flowering plants for our garden where the nurseries are just lasting kilometers long selling dirt cheap plants and pots and other gardening tools. The whole shebangs of gardening I must say. And we got ourselves a whole lot of pretty flowers and cactus that we are set for spring! ( yeah right.. I wish ! )


It’s 1.50 am on a Sunday morning and I just woke up. I mean I did go to sleep but somehow was awakened and now tried as I might, I could not go back to sleep. My mind kept thinking of the play we attended just now at Istana BudayaNyonya.

Written by Indonesian playwright Wisran Hadi and a line-up of theater’s who’s who – Juhara Ayob, Melissa Saila, Khadijah Tan, Tania Zainal and Yani Mae, Nyonya proved to be a worthwhile watch.

Story set in Indonesia, I love the way the play opened with rich keronchong music sung in Javanese. In fact the whole Malaysian cast carried the Indonesian dialogue very well indeed, although the Javanese peppered dialogue left some audiences wondering what they were talking about. I guess those who were sinetron addicts would not have any problems at all with the play.

On the surface, the play was a hilarious anecdote of a wife, Nyonya -played by Juhara Ayob, whose husband was in the hospital due to tongue cancer. The plot weaved around how she was harassed by a persistent antique furniture salesman and her husband’s 3 nieces fighting for his wealth, insisting that Nyonya was hiding the family’s inheritence.

The dialogue was so rich in personification, metaphors, imageries and connotations that it took me quite a while to digest what the themes in the play were; colonialism, trust, honour, family feuds, greed and illiteracy. It was a very skillful product by artistic director Rosminah Mohd Tahir especially the way she sent many intense messages across in a light hearted and wacky way.

Apparently this round of performance is the second round to be staged. The first round in 2004 toured around Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Arts and Culture. First time for me seeing Melissa Saila up close and not on TV. She’s tiny…


I have always been very proud of where I come from and the identity associated with that nation. I beam whenever I have to make an introduction about my country, its positive qualities and what it has achieved to be proud of.

But of late, I become more and more terribly annoyed, embarrassed even, of my own countrymen’s behaviour when they come here as tourists. Very ‘meluat’. Grossly translated from Malay it generally means the nauseated feeling at the way they criticise just about everything, compare everything to ‘back home’, walk with a nose high up in the air I swear it could have poked the ass of an unsuspecting flying crow, complain about everything—- and yet still want to come here.

Maybe I have just been ‘un-gahmenised‘.

In any case, looking at ‘home’ from the outside for 2 full years already, I feel less in touch with my pride in associating myself with the pride (and arrogance) of their ( notice I use ‘their’ now instead of ‘our’ ) achievements.

Tiny Red Dot

I reconnected with a secondary school friend whom I sat next to when I was a hormonal 13 year old clad in green uniform. Where else if not for FACEBOOK. Seems the whole world is in there right now.

Anyway, through FACEBOOK we could see the location of the rest of our classmates. Almost half the class are out of our ‘clean and green’ ‘fine city’ island by now, either through marriage like myself or because of work. Which prompted her to say, ‘ Waahh jealous ah… everyone seems to be away and all over the world when I’m still stuck in this tiny red dot.’

Somehow, I felt offended.


As offended as I was when my husband’s late grandfather from Germany expected a yellow-skinned and slit eyes granddaughter-in-law when I was first introduced to that side of the family after hubby told them where I come from.

As offended as I was on the morning of Chinese New Year two weeks ago. I got a CNY sms greeting all the way from my ex-uni mate in Toowoomba, and when I explained to her I don’t celebrate CNY cause I am not Chinese, her incredulous reply of, ‘You mean you are not Chinese??? But you are from…..’

I read that a very long time ago, the late President Sukarno had this vision of unifying the whole of Nusantara again, not unlike the olden times Majapahit empire. Perhaps, his vision was quite alike what European Union is now. Probably, if he had been successful in that vision back then, would things on that ‘tiny red dot‘ be seen through slit eyes as it is now ?

I wonder. :s

Now where is the red dot again ?