Saturday, December 15, 2012

Unusually Loud People

Some people just want to make themselves heard, by everybody around, irrespective of place and even though we don't have ears for them.  I was at the hospital last Wednesday taking my cucu for his medical.  (Adam was diagnosed with a thyroid problem at birth and has to regularly meet up with his endocrinologist).  It was a hospital setting, crowded, what more being in a paediatric clinic.  Due to the long wait, some kids were dozing-off whilst some were screaming their heads off.  Indeed we have enough noise as it was.

Then there had to be a particular lady who was really loud.  Loud to the point of distraction and being a nuisance, let it be talking to her partner or talking over the phone.  I was really pissed off as my cucu was dozing peacefully.  No amount of stares could make her understand.  Wish I could tell her off but refrained to save my regrets later.

Seemed that this kind of people are everywhere in a crowd, let it be hospitals, bus, train, cafe, clubhouse....just name it.  I call this noise pollution and an infringement of other's auditory space and privacy.  It should not happen in a civil society but I guess we have a long way to go.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Nur Damia Darwisyah

A neighbour's only child turned one today.  A celebration it was but not with the normal cone caps and birthday chorus.  For one it started with a doa selamat led by the neighbourhood surau imam followed by a nasi minyak feast and the dig into pulut kuning.  There was also a continous stream of guests near and afar.  It turned out to be quite a neighbourhood function.

With the reception tents erected, one could easily
mistake the occasion as an 'on-the road' wedding reception! 

The door gift for the guests would easily beat 
the ones offered at most wedding receptions.

What I love most is the garden setting.  The mom should be congratulated for her creativity and the opah for maintaining such a beatiful garden.

Opah's blooming garden.  A welcome sight indeed.

Happy birthday Nur Damia Darwisyah Zulkifli. 

Sorry no pics of the birthday girl.  She tired out and was fast asleep when we came.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I am a big boy now - Adam

Remember me?  Mami Tok had been too busy these days to show me to the world.  I knew she had been snapping my pics.  I flourish well and had a full run of Tok Abah's house with my walker whenever I am back during the weekend.  I know I have been an armfull (no hands can handle me now).  At 9.7 kg, Ayah Cik (Nazim) did compare me with the 10 kg rice pack!  How cruel of him.  But I know I'll melt him with my grin (toothless yet).  Nothing can stop me now, except for the boundaries set so that I would not fall down those steps.  Can't wait to see if I can just launch myself through.

02 May 2011 @ our Banting home
12 May 2012 - Tok Abah came visiting and up his lap I'll be
11 Jun 2012 - They posed me with quite a problem to solve
Yey.....nothing can make me happier with all worldly problems solved
09 Jun 2012 - As wet as a marathon runner can be

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My father's age

I was summoned by my father to be home over the weekend over some unsettled family matter.  So it was a quick balik kampung weekend trip for us.  AirAsia did come to mind but thinking of the travelling hassle later, we chose to drive.  Without the normal holiday crowd on the highway we did arrive early at my father's.  The Kajang-Kuala Kangsar-Grik-Jeli-Penglima Bayu route took us just 6 hours using the SKVE-Elite-NKVE-PLUS-Kuala Kangsar-Grik-Jeli highways!

We expect to settle the matter fast.  However, going to the Pasir Mas Land Office and a quick look at the land title by the attending officer we were told to have father's IC verified by Registration Department Head Office at Putrajaya.  For that we have to go through the State Registration Department, Kota Bahru.  Seemed that my father's ID on the title has the KN prefix.  This could be for the population of his age group.  Apart from filling the form provided by the Kota Bahru office, we have to provide a photocopy of my father's ID card.  That was when I realised he was born in 1934.

I made a mention to him in passing, calculating his age.  He laughed it off saying that that was not his real birth year for he was already able to read in 1933!  The date was a random date picked during the ID registration excercise then.  Who knows how old he is.  I figure he is in his mid 80s!

Lost in my own world

I thought I was up and about with technology and current happenings.  It was until I was helping my youngest with her class assignment that I realised I was still living the life of the dinasour era.  She is in Form Two and had been assiged to come up with a group play and has asked me for a likely topic.

Play, theater, broadway, drama...what immediately came to mind was Shakespear.  SMASH did come to mind too.

For class fun and laughter, I suggested Taming of the Shrew.  The script came easily googling the internet.  They even have children's version of it.  I had it printed out for her to share with her group to have the initial idea of things.  Alas, she came back with a long worried face for none in the group understood what the classic was all about, far from appreciating it.  I promised them an abriged version giving them just the main story line.  Still no takers.  I am lost for words.

The lot draw in class got her group as the first to be presenting.  All were panicking as they were yet to come up with an agreable story line and script with only the weekend to come up with the play.  They volunteered to be on their own but seek permission to group at a friend's place to discuss the play, in a matter of life and death.

They came up translating a song video clip to a play.  I salute their ingenuity and more importantly, keeping up with their time.  It was presented to the class getting accolades for their effort.  Another job well done.

Where does this leave me?  I have to move with their time to be with them.  Bye-bye Shakespear, welcome 'modern' literature.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Will you marry me?

Was at a nephew's engagement ceremony Saturday last (May 5, 2012).  With my husband (as always) we have to be at the meeting point earlier then scheduled.  "Let us do the waiting, and not let others be waiting for us".  To him being late for an appointment is a crime.  Lucky for us the point was by the Kelana Jaya PKNS Club and a soccer match was on-going.  So we have the game to while our time while waiting for the other family members to arrive.

With the full family members assembled, we made our way to the host's home.  We have to park quite a distance away as the place was already jam packed with relatives, friends and other guests.  We walked in the searing sun bearing the engagement gifts.  Hope nothing melts.

We were cordially received by the host and directed to the sitting area and the gifts laid out.  Then the negotiation starts with appointed representatives from both sides.  The host has a nephew as the spokesperson while we have a family friend.  I wouldn't call it a negotiation really as most issues have been pre-discussed and agreed upon.  What matters was both sides have agreed that they be officially engaged on the day with the nephew's mom menyarung cincin on the bride-to-be.  The wedding is set to be in a year's time, sometimes in March of 2013.  Quite a period to be engaged by today's standard.

Then it was the engagement lunch.  More of a feast to me as food was laid out much to everybody's satisfaction.  We said our thanks to the host and bade our goodbyes soon after.

This is the simplest engagement ceremony I have ever attended, yet some questions beget answers.  Since most of the agreement have been under cloak, I feel that it would be much simpler to have it Western style, with a gift box bearing the engagement ring and the groom-to-be asking, "Will you marry me?"   End of business and making it a real private affair between the two of them as they wished it be.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What If

What if DBKL had allowed the Bersih 3.0 gathering be held at Dataran Merdeka, would still there be chaos and the need for the police to use the tear gas?

What if the police had been rakyat friendly and facilitate the Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest (after all it was just a sit-in), would there be the need to have them in doves in KL on 2804?

What if the present government not fear the rakyats' democratic expression asking for a clean election, would the present ruling party be displaced come GE13?

What if Bersih 3.0 not be hijacked by the few highly ambitious individuals, would the calm dispersion of the gathering and the carnival atmosphere be maintained come day end?

What if the electoral rolls be cleaned up thorough, would there be voices claiming that it is still rigged and dirty?

What if those in power recognise the rise in people's power, would they drive towards a fair and just election?

What if those in power recognise that they are getting obsolete, would they readily pass-on the baton?

What if the present government concede to all Bersih 3.0 demands, would Bersih N come up with other demands?

What if there no longer be corruption, the crave for power, the greed for more, can we really dream of such a scenario?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Introducing Wan Amirul Asyraf

A brand new family member joined us today (April 14, 2012), Wan Amirul Asyraf, a 3.32 kg baby boy to our son Wan Mohamed Nazim and wife, Nor Sherliza.  He came in early in the morning at about 3:40 am via cesarean.  The C cannot be helped as his heartbeat was getting irregular and no longer in synchrony with the mom's.  So rather than risk it, a C it was.  Alhamdulillah, he came out healthy pink.

Hello I come

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My quip collection

We had our hotel assigned for our Mekkah stay.  But as always, one should never be too sure when dealing with these people.  Either they are a confused lot or never get to understand the word 'reserved' and 'paid for'.  Just because a new somebody offered to pay at a much higher rate, come the day the unlucky ones would have no place to lodge.  That was what happened to our jemaah during our recent umrah trip.  Good for us that our travel agent is experienced and has been through such treatment before.  So there goes our abode that was meant to be close to the Al-Haram.  Our mutawif is never without humour.  Though to take it as a test (dugaan) we were warned not to blanket our condemnation but be specific.  So no such saying as, "tak guna punya Pak Arab", we are to limit it to, "tak guna punya orang Saudi!".  The caution is that the Holy Prophet was also an Arab and he remained an Al-Amin to the core. 

For the Mekkah stay, distance matters a lot as we would prefer to be at the Al-Haram Mosque possibly for all the five prayers.  While on the bus towards Mekkah, we were told that the new abode would be a 5-Star establishment but slightly further away compared to what was previously reserved for us.  The mutawif again humorously warned us, 'It's not that far from Al-Haram but it'll be near to the eyes but a slight distance to the feet (dekat di mata, tapi jauh di kaki!)'.  Indeed it was a 15-minutes walk one way in the dusty heat amidst the umrah crowd.

As always one of the trips that we took while in Mekkah was the one to Arafah.  There was much improvement in physical facilities compared to on my last visit about 10 years back.  While my son and daughter took to conquering Jabal Rahmah, we walked around at the foot of the hill.  Our mutawif again came up with tales how jemaah were immediately rewarded for their prayers.  In the heat, one is bound to ask for rain and rained it did.  Upon scrutiny the rain was from the time relay sprinklers rather than from the sky.  What matters was that it was a prayer answered, a respite from the blistering heat!

We have nine year-old Ikmal in our group.  He did OK in performing two umrahs but was pestering to be assisted in the third do, especially in performing the saei', the seven round Mount Safar-Marwah walk.  The mother was full of encouragement and narrating the difficult time that Siti Hajar was having and for him to have the willpower to do likewise.  His response, "I have the willpower but I need the wheelchair more!".  It took our mutawif to pacify him and walked he did.  Great boy Ikmal, just that no way was he going to shave bald his head for the tahalul.  "My head is already small, I don't want to look funny".  Vanity won the day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Latest.....Closure of the Ottoman Empire (Yahoo News; April 4, 2012)

Twice-exiled former Ottoman princess dies

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Neslisah Osmanoglu, an Ottoman princess who married an Egyptian prince and was twice forced into exile when both royal households were abolished, has died. She was 91.

Neslisah Sultan, or Princess Neslisah, died in Istanbul on Monday, according to her nephew, Abdulhamid Kayihan Osmanoglu. He didn't give the cause of death, but new reports said it was a heart attack. A funeral ceremony was being held Tuesday for the princess, who was the oldest member of the Ottoman dynasty.

Neslisah Sultan was born in Istanbul on Feb. 4, 1921, two years before the Turkish Republic replaced the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled Turkey, parts of the Middle East and eastern Europe for 600 years.

Her grandfather, the last Ottoman Sultan Vahdettin, and all other members of the dynasty were sent into exile in 1924, and the princess spent her childhood and adolescence in Nice, France, before moving to Egypt.

"When we were in exile we lived longing for the country," she told historian Murat Bardakci, whose biography of the princess was published last year. "My mother had friends who would go to Istanbul. I would ask them to bring me back a bit of soil from Istanbul, but none did."

Ottoman princesses were traditionally married to members of Muslim royal families, and in 1940, Neslihan Sultan married Egyptian Prince Muhammed Abdel Monem. Prince Monem headed a regency committee that ruled from July 1952 to June 1953, when the new rulers of Egypt turned the country into a republic.

The royal couple were placed under house arrest, accused of being part of an international plot against the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser, but acquitted and forced to leave the country.

Exiled for a second time, Neslisah Sultan returned to live in France with her husband.
In 1952, the Turkish government allowed female members of the Ottoman family to return to Turkey, and the prince and princess moved to Istanbul in 1957.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the late princess.
"She was the poster-child for nobleness who carried the blood of Osman," he said in Parliament, referring to Osman I, the Anatolian ruler who established the Ottoman Empire. "We remember her with high regard and our blessings."
The princess took the surname Osmanoglu, or son of Osman, along with other surviving members of the dynasty.

"When I go out in the streets, I see that all nice things were built by my grandfathers," she told Bardakci. "I therefore cannot help think that they belong to me. I feel like I am a part of this place and that I belong to this land."

Prince Monem, who was born in 1899, died in Istanbul in 1979.

Neslisah Sultan is survived by a son, daughter and a grandson.
Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Istanbul Experience (Part 2)

Food is no big worry travelling in Turkey.  For one getting halal food is no big issue.  EgyptAir serves all halal food and rice has always been on the menu.  Having rice on the menu is critical to the one particular Melayu totok in the family.  We travelled nights and flying away from the rising sun, so it was dinner after dinner.

The EgyptAir dinner.

Turkish lunch is laden with vegetable and bread with lentil soup.

Else it'll be BBQed chicken or beef.

The Turkish Grand Bazaar.  It boasted of over 4000 shop lots but
 we were  given over an hour to browse the place!
Must understand the rush to get the 'I love Istanbul' T-shirts.
The ceramics on display........

Aiman pride herself with her choice, a pair of hand crafted canvas shoes
 with leather linings.  A delayed purchase after a day of shivering in the cold.

Next stop, the Spice Bazaar.  A variety of Turkish delights on display
apart from the heaps of spices.  Makes you wonder who the consumers
are when nearly every shop lot display nearly about the same thing.

Our final day in Istanbul.  Getting ready for the Bosphorus
cruise enroute to the airport.

Aiman & Abah on the Bosphorus cruise.
Nazim enjoying himself on the cold windy ride.

Relics of the past, the fortresses guarding the old Byzantine empire.

Palaces of previous grandeur.

Ripples in the water signaling the meeting of the Bosphorus with the Tamara Seas.

Nazim was elated to see 'his' Kembara surviving the Turkish winter.

Later build mosques mostly have this vertical character as
land are getting scares within the city limit.

Istanbul is indeed a place to be.  Rich in history for all to enjoy.  Would indeed love a repeat visit should there be sufficient resources.  Erkan recommended that we should plan to spend more time as each locality within the country as one can be very different from the next.  InsyaAllah, that will be our wish.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Istanbul experience

I had always wanted to go to Turkey.  And finally I did, together with 20 others, though it was just to Istanbul.  Five families constituted the party; Hj. Asery & wife (Sabah), Datuk Ibrahim & Datin (Sabah), Hj. Shamuri (7 family members), Datuk Arfundi (6), and us (4).  We all signed up with Poto Travel & Tours to have Hj. Sharom as tour leader.  We grouped up and got to know each other for the first time at KLIA when we were set to fly EgyptAir at 10 pm, 10 March.

My niece was in Turkey some years back schooled to be a hafizah.  She came back with tales of wonders of the place.  This I have to experience.  The opportunity came recently and we took it as part of our ziarah/umrah itinerary.  Unknowing to us and even the travel agent (?), EqyptAir detoured us to Bangkok making the trip to Cairo a tiring 12 hr journey.  After a two hr transit at Cairo we made it to Istanbul Kamal Atartuk International at 11:30 am.  We were received by Mr. Z. Erkan Kayiran, our Istanbul tour guide (I had been calling him Arqam!!!).  We checked into Grand Anka Hotel and were taken for lunch and a tour of Ayasofya Museum after our Zohor/Asr jama' prayers.  Erkan was there narrating us the historical significance of the place.  It was a former church, turned mosque during the Byzantine Islamic era turned museum, thus a potpourri of displays within.

We were in the midst of Turkey winter though told to expect a 11 - 16C by our travel agent.  A google check showed that we'll be in the midst of 2 - 5C (will believe Google the next time around) and were ill prepared for the freeze.  To top it, it was raining most of the time we were there.  The wind from the Bosphorus Sea was no help at all.  Freeze we did.  The adventurous few among us who went out in the nite did enjoy some snow fall.

We had a brief simple itinerary of the Turkey visit, making most of us clamouring for more and promising of a repeat visit to be planned in the spring or late fall.  We have yet to determine the year of return.  The cost sure burn some holes in the pocket.

Our simple enjoyable Istanbul itinerary:
Visits to places of interest
11 Mar,Sunday: Cairo/Istanbul

Ayasofya Museum
Leather shop
12 Mar, Monday: Istanbul

Tokapi Palace,
Roman Hippodrome,
Blue Mosque (Had our Zohor/Asar jama’ prayers here)
Grand Covered Bazaar
Spice Market
13 Mar, Tuesday: Istanbul/Cairo/Jeddah/Madinah
Bosphorus Cruise

I'll let the pictures do the talking from here on.

Adam was at KLIA to bade us goodbye.

Vacation starts right when we leave home. 
Nazim and Aiman enjoying the KLIA Jungle Walk,
accessible to locals only when we go on international flights.

The over 14 hr ardours flight we have to endure after the KL-Bangkok transit.
Us foursome set for the trip.
The airport welcome.
Turks are very proud of their country.
The country flags are forever flying, everywhere.
The hotel where we lodged for the duration of our stay in Istanbul.

Getting ready for the Istanbul tour.

Old Istanbul was fortified by forts such as these
 that ran plenty along the Bosphorus Straits.

The Bosphorus Sea dissecting Turkey into European Turkey and Asian Turkey.

Istanbul common landscape.

Grilled chestnuts along the tourist sidewalks are common sights.
Do not be duped into buying any. 
They paled compared to our berangan goreng dalam biji kopi found back home.

Giant sized promoganates were crying to be haved.

The start of our museum trip.

One will need a ticket to gain entry.

The Sofya ruins retained for historical impact.

Nazim posing by the Ayasofya grandeur.

Aiman in the corridor of Ayasofya leading to the main hall.

The hubby by the imperial door.
Then only emperors were allowed to pass through.

The depression in the marble floor where the guards stood
to honour the emperor! What a task.

Relics of the Christian era. 
Notice the angels painted at the corners of the dome.

The Islamic influence came in full strength.

The visitors in the then prayer hall.  What a shame.

Viewed from the first floor down.

Apart from aesthetics, the cracking panes would serve
as early earthquake warnings for people of the past.

Sign of a caring society.  One of the many water spouts found in public places.
Ice used to be carried from the mountains in the summer months to chill the water.

This is a building that houses such public amenities.

Models parading the leather wares at an exclusive leather shop availed to us.
Yet at the price offered, they were only good to look at but not to pay for.

The giftshop apologies for remaining opened.  Cute.

The shop displays are forever enticing.

At the main fairway of the Tokapi Palace grounds.

O...yes, the tickets as always.

The main gateway with the shahadah greeting us.

Most of the displays of Tokapi Palace are to be viewed off-camera. 
We do have Erkan for details of matters.

The walk in rain at the Roman Hippodrome.

There was much makeover of the Roman Hippodrome
and what remains of the originals are these towering obelisks.

Finally the Blue Mosque.

 The spacious calm interior housing the praying hall. 
To accommodate the ummah arriving non-stop,
solat was continuously held led by different imams.

The incessant rain never let up day long.
It was indeed chilly wet Istanbul.

More pictures yet to come with the next entry, InsyaAllah.