Some things just gotta go

Multi-tasking seems to be the mantra of many women, especially in household matters. I used to wonder upon wonder how my grandmother brought up 13 kids single handedly in a single income household, which means whatever my grandfather brought home was enough to feed the family– maids were unthinkable.

I used to think that I could be like her. Raise a brood of kids and be on top of it all with housework done at the snap of the fingers. But, I have to admit. I can’t.

We do not live in that big a house. A terrace with mezzanine floor. But we do have many children, none of whom is our own. Because most of my waking time is either teaching these children or cooking for them, by the time night comes, I am too exhausted so I let the mess be. And messy house gets on me. But then again, I am tired too. The husband helps around. But he too is busy. And we have aikido training 3 nights a week. So the house?

I am quite anal when it comes to doing housework my way. I have a certain system of washing the clothes, of putting my utensils, of arranging the bathroom etc. But I heck that all when I realised that it is better to pay others to do it for me while I rest a bit more. They may not be done the way I want it, but it did get done, the house is clean and tidy hence my nerves are not stretched. So far, having 2 cleaners coming in every week seems to work for me. I am less volatile ( I don’t nag, but I have short spurts of outbursts ) where the house is concern. So delegating, I figure, works for me. I can’t do everything. That, I have to remind myself. I am no Wonder Woman, no matter how much I found her big hair with the red star hair band, her scarlet red bustier and blue undies objects ofย  wonder ( forgive the pun ) when I was young.

Today I slept the whole day. I cancelled all my teaching today, actually to attend a book launching event, but instead, my head was spinning till now. I woke up for lunch. And then for dinner. And in between that, for prayers. My body is telling me to slow down. It has been telling me that many times already, but I am an Aries, I was meant to be stubborn. However, today I finally listened.


Before we got married, we told ourselves one day we would want to have a family business together. Books seems the natural choice for book geeks like us. We cannot afford to franchise MPH or BORDERS or TIMES or what have you, but baby steps have to be taken.

So on behalf of the husband, we present to you… our bookwell. ๐Ÿ™‚

So..err.. drop by?

Of Life and Aikido

We have been asked several times, out of curiosity perhaps on why we both chose to learn and practice Aikido, amongst all other things.

Aikido teaches the harmony of body and spirit, of the yin and yang and of non resistance but going with the flow… while being in one with those who oppose you, or things that oppose you in a harmonious relationship.

Islamic spirituality or tassawuf/sufism teaches all that in a tauhidic way. And as we are both learners of tassawuf and ( trying to ) practice sufism, we found that Aikido reinforces all that perfectly.

So that’s why.

And I am enjoying it really. My sensei has commented while I need more work on my other techniques, I am really good at the sword part ( using the ‘jo’ ). I am not sure whether it is because I still berangan/berfeeling Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, or of the fact that when I was young I loved watching the monkey god in the Journey to the West serial.

Hantu Tetek, Hantu Kom Kom and Little Children

I don’t mean to be crude but I am watching the 3 boys I am homeschooling having their 15 min break. They decided to play hide and seek or ‘menyorok’ in Malay.

Suddenly I had to giggle. I remember, back then in my hometown, in the place I grew up in, Jalan Eunos in front of the ‘tangki air’, the era where there was rampant tales of Hantu Tetek, Hantu Kom Kom, Orang Minyak and what have you in the Malay ghost world. I remembered wanting to play ‘menyorok’ /’sembunyi-sembunyi’ with my childhood friends, Budin and Norman, only to be yelled at by Budin’s elder sister, Zuraida with ‘ Ehhhh tak boleh main sembunyi-sembunyi nanti korang kena tangkap hantu tetek baru tau eh !!!’

Now, this is the tricky part. The image painted on the famous hantu tetek was that of a super buxom-perhaps size triple D material, whose job was to catch children, kidnap them and crush/suffocate them to death in between her ( its? ) cleavage. Oh.. those were the days before the late Anna Nicole Smith made the idea of big boobs appealing. So the idea of a big breasted ghost was perhaps not such an erotic idea, but rather, a scary one for both children and women ( especially- for whatever reason there may be ).

Since then, my gang of childhood friends and I, naive at mere 4 years old— decided not to play hide-and-seek at all, because it was not cool, to us at least to die suffocated in between a ghostly cleavage.

Then there were also talk of the Hantu Kom Kom. We were not allowed to go out of the house during dusk. Maghrib is the time Hantu Kom Kom would come out hopping around and kidnap children. So again, we obeyed and maghrib time was time for washing up and getting out those rehals and muqaddam, for the ‘aaa eee uuu, baa bee buuu, taa tiii tuuu’ ( belajar mengaji ) session.

Looking at these kids now at present times, I think even their parents are not bothered scaring them with any hantu stories. They seem to be afraid of bigger things like war, petrol hikes, no PSP/PS2 to play– you know, the works.

Up to this day, I still wonder how in the whole wide world the Hantu Tetek came about, how the Hantu Kom Kom was coined and how in the whole wide world it could send shivers down my spine at that time. Or the most bizarre thing is, WHY were we, innocent children of that era scared off with such an image. And why the Hantu Tetek and Hantu Kom Kom wanted only children ? They don’t want adults? And why must it be Hantu Tetek? I mean it could be Hantu Hidung or Hantu Mata or Hantu Kaki, Hantu Kepala ( with each I have a mental image of what it may look like..hehe ).. but nooo. It HAD to be erotic. Hence Hantu Tetek it was.

But now, with the fact that Anna Nicole Smith had died, probably the term hantu tetek brings about a whole different perspective, to me at least.


Food Works

I am always, always fascinated at how in the whole wide world the Sarawakians do it. Their cake lapis I mean.

So intricate the design. Must be tedious…!

To my family back home,especially the aunties, if you are reading this, fret not, I have already placed my orders for each and everyone of you, yes.. yes.. no need to put up your hands.. all the 13 households of you. On me. One cake per family. I’m coming back on the 3rd day raya insya Allah, so see you all there. For anyone else, who wants to order these lovely yummies, I ordered it here. They do gift deliveries too.

P.S, my Aunties..they used Golden Churn Butter, not margerine, and MOM said it was good. Since the SIFU kuih dah cakap sedap, I went ahead and ordered for you all. Jumpa raya ketiga nanti kat rumah Bapak ok? And please, this year, please spare me the questions of what is happening in Malaysia politics. Nak tau, baca berita harian online. Hokay ?

Right or Wrong?

These days in the morning, I will always browse through the papers for the medal count of the on going Olympics in China.

This morning I caught myself when I realised I have been doing something quite peculiar these past few days. It suddenly occurred to me that , while looking out for the medal count, my eyes as if on auto, would straight away look out for Malaysia and the jalur gemilang. Like eh, I would have thought I would be on a look out for my own hometown, but without realising it before, I didnt.

Has my own hometown turned into a mere bright red passport I am carrying, or is it just an island harbouring my family and friends?

Actually to be honest, I’ve lost touch with all the domestic news of the island other than what I am getting from the media here. I don’t even know who are wearing the national colours of the island for this Olympics. So as a buffer to safeguard my utter ignorance about the on goings down south, I look out for that Jalur Gemilang... boleh kan?