Definition

Define stress:

When a person with a phobia of driving almost as a birth right, was asked to drive in Kuala Lumpur’s after office hours peak traffic, in the heavy rain and in the midst of lorries and school buses.

Stress symptoms:

Extreme stomach crunching which produced the intense urgency to fart, but suppressed for fear of killing the driving instructor, which in turn manifested in the urgency to poo, pee and puke all at the same time. All along driving in the heavy rain, in the midst of heavy traffic and alongside big lorries.

Post stress coping mechanism: Fever

Date of the dreaded: Monday 19th September 2011

Current anxiety level : 12.5 /10

Meeting the one with a Funny Accent

As far as possible, I would try to keep my online identity as it is, an online identity. Hence the very lack of my personal photos in here. Blogging has given me the opportunity to meet really some wonderful personalities online who share their lives with me from a distance. Sometimes I learn from their experiences, sometimes they inspire me and sometimes, we share a good laugh and shoulders to cry on–all online of course.

A few days ago, I met one such blogger whom I have connected with through this blog and hers for a few years already. We share a common passion for reading, a couple common friends in real life and I guess, a passion for writing (otherwise we won’t be blogging, right?).

I knew how she looks like. She has been generous in posting pictures of her athletic self on her blog and her well-toned biking body. For someone 2 generations ahead of m, that is simply admirable. I don’t know if I have that kind of stamina or discipline to train that much once age is catching up on me. We arranged to meet at KLCC. She called me from DOMES. When I arrived, I knew who to look out for. When I saw her, dang! It was as though we have known each other forever. Actually, that was actually our ‘first date’.

Kak Siti, it was a nice meeting. Thanks for sharing all that you shared. You are simply inspirational!

With or without you…

First of all, I love Kina Grannis duet of U2’s With or Without You with err, I cannot remember who. But it can be found on YouTube and it’s lovely. And speaking of with or without you, it has been 24 hours since I have gone without ‘you’ whom I thought I couldn’t part with: FB and Rice.

I had the taste of not connecting to FB for two weeks while doing my umrah and it was not so bad. I am beginning to think that I could do without these social networking distractions. But then again, sometimes I do want to connect. It is a want. Not a need. And since I promised myself I shall try and romance the holy month of Ramadan fully this year, one distraction has got to go.

And rice? I am jawa through and through. Anak jawa mana boleh tak makan nasi? I sometimes eat rice 3 times a day. But now in my 30s, I conceded defeat. My metabolic rate is not getting anymore hyper so if I do not wish to look like a tong beras because of my addiction to beras, I better start weaning of slowly. Ramadan, I guess is a good start. So far, it has been 24 hours without rice and I am not cranky–yet. Let’s see how long this can last, shall we?

*ps Cranberries concert. Did anyone go? If not for Ramadan, I would be back home in Singapore, Ode to My Family and Zombie hey hey hey what’s it your head? They were awesome weren’t they?

 

Ya Kareem!

I am back from an interesting weekend in Melaka, in which we went to the mystical Pulau Besar. I will write more about that later when I have the time, but right now, let me wish whoever who reads this Ramadan Kareem. May this Ramadan be better than the previous ones and may the blessings pour on all of us. When making our prayers, let us not just think of what we want and what we need, but also for the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters in this humanity in Africa, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, the families of those bombed in Norway and everywhere else where people are grieving.

One thing I would and must remind myself is that, Ramadan in the fasting month and not the feasting month, so kindly, if you are praying, please send a lil prayer that myself and many others (in Malaysia especially) would remember that and forgo all these wasteful Ramadan buffets, set to let us forget the true essence of Ramadan.

Ramadan Mubarak!

*I’ve disabled my FB account for this month so as to minimise distraction, if there is a need to contact me for whatever reasons, I am at percicilan@gmail.com

** For the Nablus soaps, we are having Ramadan specials. Buy 4 get 1 free and you get to choose your free flavour. To order, kindly email to al.nablus@gmail.com

Gimme hope

Right at this moment the song Gimme Hope Joanna is ringing in my head because I’ve just experienced something which gives me hope for this already crappy world. I got a call from Maybank Damansara Utama asking me to collect my debit mastercard from one of its counters. Like huh? Only when I checked my walled, holy freaking sh*ts, I didn’t have it in my wallet so that means it was err, missing? I traced back my last usage of the card and it was to deposit some money from the sales of the Green Charity Bazaar we went to sell our Organic Nablus soaps at.

Someone must have found it (I have a habit of leaving things on top of the atm machines) or the card was left at the atm machine itself and it swallowed back the card or whatever. I was one nervous wreck in the cab on the way to the bank, like what if ALL the money in there had been spent? It is after all a debit card. When I arrived, the officer attending me was nice and sympathetic. He found my card amongst a whole stack of cards which suffered the same fate as mine (ramai jugak orang careless dalam dunia ni ye?). His colleague then checked if any transaction since my last deposit had been made and there weren’t any. Alhamdulillah. No foul play, I got my card and my money back.

As trashy as the world has become, there are still a glimmer of honesty lurking around and that gives me hope.

Kancheong Tahap Dewa

I marked today’s date as the date I drove on Malaysian roads with my L plate. Being like a typical ‘lembu’ driver, my kancheong-ness surpassed worldly order. Kancheong tahap dewa. On the record, I knocked down a road sign, dented the school’s car a teeny bit–much to the chagrin of my instructor, let go of the steering wheel when I saw cats crossing in front of me and I think had I not been a bit more careful, the Indian uncles on their bicycles cycling to people’s houses to cut grass may jolly well be my victims too. And I was going at a mere 30 km/h.

I told myself. Nevermind. Pelan-pelan kayuh. Man man lai…

 

Grinch is here

Last night we went to watch Super 8. A typical Spielberg movie where kids get the adventure of their lives. A modern day ET, sort of. It was entertaining alright. Right after the movie, I was mentally reminding myself to prepare for today’s lessons for my students. And then something hit upon me.

When I was young, I grew up in the ET film, Smurf and Transformers cartoon era. Add to that the favourite fiction of Enid Blyton’s Faraway tress series, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Famous Five and Empat Sekawan. My friends and I were always looking for ‘adventures’. We had plenty of time to re-enact the scenes from the books we read and from the film ET. We had plenty of time to fantasize about aliens and faraway adventures. We had our own tree which we pretended was our magic faraway tree, just like how we read in Enid Blytons. When we grow up, we often said one another, we want to be He-Man or She-Ra or Superman or that bloke in V. Or drive cars like we watched in Mask. Or even own a bumble bee ala Transformers. Life was fun, carefree and full of make belief dreams which we enjoyed fighting over. We were not unlike the bunch of kids in Super 8.

Alas. My students back home and here, plus my younger cousins and children of my cousins don’t seem to have this kind of childhood. There is no element of play and make belief in their lives right now. They are not even playing so to speak. Most of their time are spent catching up with enrichment classes or with stacks of homework to aid in their schools’ national ranking. Most of the time, they are busy being occupied and busied by their occupied and busy parents. And their teachers who need their ranking as well. When they grow up, at least according to the essays I have collected, they want to be ‘professionals’. IT consultant, doctors, lawyers, curators, TV artists– you name it. It is all so real and so focus.

Not that I am saying that there is anything bad in preparing the kids for the realistic future. It’s just that, after watching the movie yesterday and after connecting with it on a personal level, I feel as though a childhood grinch had slowly but surely been around, actively stealing away childhood from children of affluent societies. That’s kinda sad.

Ms Red Morris

I took this picture 2 Saturdays ago in front of Coffee Bean at The Curve. There were about 20 over Morris Minors on convoy, from the MM club Selangor for the Petaling Jaya Day celebration. This one here is my favourite. Red and cute. I can imagine myself driving this one. IF I finally pass and get that Lesen lah… Which I will frame up to remind myself daily that if I can get over this big.. no.. Huge fear of driving, I can do anything else.