Friday, December 28, 2007

i'm sorry for you son

gazing on the piece of paper he looked perplexed and in sheer disbelieved. 'mamaaa, this can't possibly be my results' he lamented. his eyes were red with tears glistering over the sclera. i could sensed his uttermost despondence over his pmr results. both of us could not help feeling so sorry for our dear son. in between his sob, we faintly heard him murmuring... 'i was hopping for straight 'A's like most of my classmates'. but then exam is always an exam, you might have think that you've done well only to realized that the results were otherwise. well, i realised years ago that there are 'unsangkarable' elements in exam.

it took us 2 days to convinced him that that's not the end of the world. this is only the begining and you still have a long path to persue. academic excellence alone does not guarantee one success in life. frankly speaking, i never achieved excellent results for my LCE (pmr), nor for my MCE (spm). i cannot recall any of my classmates or close friends who are successful and earning in excess of 500K a year were straight 'A's students. in fact, a classmate who is currently an advisor to the prime minister on economic matters was a second grader. during our recent alumni pot pet pot pet, a former classmate, MZ (one of the other second grader then) was asking MH (our top MCE student with an aggregate of 6) how much was he earning now as a director in JKR. 'is that all'... exclaimed MZ. that's only 2 days of my income, says MZ. judging by his brand new 7 series and a newly acquired 5.5 million bungalow in tropicana, MZ must be on a 6 figure salary.

though AF have regained some of his self esteem, the sombre look is still evident on his face. i suppose he must had felt very sorry for letting us down. but then, in a family, we have different skillsets and flair. when it come to sincerity, honesty and love you're tops above the rest. having said that, of course we also have full trust in our 2 daughters.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Salam ldul Adha

salam idul adha buat semua keluarga serta kawan kawan. ribuan maaf pada baba tersayang kerana tidak dapat beraya di kampung. terasa sayu dan sidih bila memikirkan baba yang keseorangan di kampung. sejak pemergian mama, baba banyak menghabiskan waktu beliau di rumah anak-anak di kuala lumpur. hanya minggu lepas baba insisted nak balik beraya di kampung bagi menguruskan hal hal korban. nasib baiklah dapat ticket mas (airasia agaknya mesti dah fully book).

seperti setiap musim perayaan, banyaklah sms yang diterima mengucapkan salam kesejahteraan. yang terkilannya seperti masa masa lalu ada pengirim sms (yang tidak tersenarai dalam phone book) terlupa menulis nama mereka, maka tergaru-garuslah kepala ini cuba membayangkan siapakah gerangan mereka. apa-apa pun ribuan terima kasih atas ingatan kalian.

antara banyak-banyak sms yang diterima, satu menarik perhatian saya .....
" satu perhimpunan akan diadakan pada 20 disember ini. diharap semua orang melayu islam BERSEDIA!. anda haruslah membawa senjata seperti parang, pisau dll yang tajam! PERHIMPUNAN BERDARAH ini bertempat di masjid kariah anda. SELAMAT HARI RAYA KORBAN "

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Desperate weekend

back from office on saturday afternoon, she stormed, ....abah, i'm not sleeping at home tonight. for reasons only known to her, adik was very sore with her brother. i just can't stand the sight of him, she declared. i hardy see her lost her temper. and confronting the guy, the cool young man said .... alah biasa jer. adik tu sensitive sangat !

so there we were - 5 minutes from home on the 23rd floor of the Le Meridian. Not a bad idea , at least i could refresh myself after an exhausting week. the last couple of days were fairly hectic. i was summoned to the the emergency department in the wee hours of the morning on a few occasions. on second thought, apart from burrying my head into the pillow, i had better things to do ...........

so i brought along this two books to accompany me. by now, i'm almost finish with growing up in trengganu (GUiT). rather slow and behind schedule i must admit, partly because of too much distractions. following that i hope i could concentrate on zahrah de tigris, a book written by one of my blogger's friend.

for some reasons, i really enjoy GUiT. like brother wan, i also spend much of my yesteryears in my hometown kuala trengganu. reading his accounts of the yesteryears, evoked my own childhood memories. as i still could recall the trengganuspeak, i find it rather emotional when brother wan recalled the long lost words and phrases of trengganuspeak. the last memorable words of trengganuspeak that i conversed was when i had dinner with mak ku, the king's auntie some 2 months ago. recalling words like air cor, bibir jjueh, buoh ggarek and ketek ttunga triggers smile on my face. and of course, kedai mok mek and kedai pok loh yunang are the 2 pots i frequented during my younger days. how could i forget pak loh yunang as one of his grand daughter is also a fellow consultant clinician at my work place.

back from the hotel, we dropped by at the dataran merdeka where pesta masakan warisan was held. unbeknown to me, there were foods from different regions in malaysia with all the weird names and funny look. the best part is one get to sample the various traditional foods for free. and i must confessed, some of the foods felt a wee bit indifferent and fail to rouse my taste buds. by the way, i'm amazed that the serawakians are so inventive - they even cooked gelatinous rice in a 'periok kera'

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Iran Trip - part 2

the traffic was horrible and we were dead worried that we'll miss the local flight to isfarhan. upon checking in we're told that the flight was rescheduled an hour latter (unfortunately there was no official flight delay notice on the information board). nevertheless, they were very apologitic and handed us a lunch pack - a packet of faily large size kebab, local fruits, salad, cookies and a can drink (by my standard, a very heavy meal indeed!). at the airport, met a fellow malaysian, a former MAS engineer, now a part time consultant with air mohan, the second iran airline. few of his fellow workers at mas, mainly senior flight attendents are also with the airline training the staffs. onboard the fokker 100, we're again served with a fairly heavy lunch (kebab as usual). again i keep thinking, why are they so generous with food. minus the budget airlines, all other airline will only serve some refreshment for a 35 minutes flight !.

the traffic in isfarhan was definitely much better and within 20 minutes were were at our hotel. en route to the hotel we passed by the kuala lumpur avenue, a street name after kuala lumpur following a special colloboration between the 2 cities ( there was this jalan isfarhan, near the sogo shopping centre in kuala lumpur). the hotel was stategically located in the city centre and facing the river zayendeh. unfortunately the hotel charged usd 5.00 for an hour of internate connection.

(the city of isfarhan)

i'm amased as i soon found out that this is one city with so many beautiful ladies (young and old alike). honestly i have never seen this phenomena ! even a middle age beggar with a young daughter (the only one i saw on the street) was beautiful ! the young people were also extremely friendly. knowing that we were visitors to their city, they would give you a welcome smile and would initiate a conversation. by the way, there were not many tourists in this city. through out our stay we only met 2 brittish couples from birmingham and stoke on trent and an eccentric australian gentleman from brisbane. most people that we met were excited to know that we were from malaysia (they call it malaysium). kuala lumpur have make quite a reputation in the city as a numble of young people we met were looking forward to further their studies in universiti islam antarabangsa, multimedia university, or universiti putra malaysia. there was also this young lady who proudly told us she'll enroll in islamic studies in university of malaya in january.

(a cute shy little lad of isfarhan)

(even the ladies in traditional chador are approachable and very friendly. they even invite us to their house for tea)

the people in this city just love to go out in the park and have an open picnic. the picnic area on the hill slope over looking the city was packed with people on a friday afternoon. of course i was quite surprise to see so many gentleman at the park at that particular hour ( or do they take friday prayers lightly !)

(an isfarhan family who insisted that we join them on their outing)

Apart from the iman square with an old palace of shah abbas, the grand bazzar, the mosques and the historic bridges overlying the zayendeh river, there are not much attractions for the visitors to the city. and like tehran, this city of 3 million people are also full of shopping malls and high street stalls. as friday is a public holiday, one will find that the city is fairly deserted on a friday morning till late noon. the activities started again after 4.30 pm when the businesses resumed and will last late into the night.

the indigenous people of isfarhan are natural and skill craftsmen. within the city there are numerous craftsmen putting their skills in the numerous gallaries specializing in carpet making, silverware and copperware.

(an typical isfarhan craftsmen hard at work)

the best carpet from iran, be it the normadic or city type usually come from qom and isfarhan. and as expected there are numerous shops and gallaries selling carpets in the city. visited a few of those gallaries. really fell in love with this particular masterpiece .... but then it was beyond our mean. A hefty usd 20K for a piece of 6'x9' size carpet !. wow ! i wish i had that amount of money to spare ...

and again what i like most about this city is the many nicely decorated restaurants.we just can spend hours in the restaurants admiring the deco !

but alas, despite the numerous and varied decos, the food is a real set back. unlike in malaysia, we're bless with numerous selections to choose from.

(a typical lunch consisting of local pita bread, salad, kebab of chicken or mutton) and the 'masam' soup). and despite that, i survive very well on the menu in our 10 days trip to iran. and i proud that i didn't need to open any of my maggie mee pack !

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Iran Trip - part 1

Are you sure you're going to IRAN ? no kidding ? exclaimed my wife when i first told her of my intention some 2 years ago. yessss, i'm obsolutely sure i'm going to visit iran. yes, i've to visit the persian state before the yankees destroy it (just as they did to iraq). we registered with a leading tour agency for the trip in late 2006, but that was cancelled as they couldn't convinced others for the trip. still very much amused about the trip, we registered again in early 2007. unfortunately it was cancelled on the eleventh hour as the ground handlers in tehran felt that it was not safe to visit the city then in view of the threat from the texas cowboy.

Lady luck striked. 3 weeks before the departure we were contacted by the agency that we'll soon be on our way to persia. There we were, on iran air enroute to tehran in late november 2007. it was a pleasant 8 hours journey. though the 747 was not equipped with personal lcd screen and on board entertaiment, the food was superb and plenty (sorry to say, they are more lavish with food than our own malaysian airline). though the immigration clearence was rather slow (anyway definitely much faster that in jeddah or cairo), one does not need to fill any embarkation form. that really makes sense as all they need to do is to look at your pastport and key in the datas into their computer.

tehran in late fall .a very pleasant weather with a temperature of 5 to 8 C. the city is very scenic with a background of snow cap mountains in the north. the streets were straight and lined with maple trees by the side. unfortunately the traffic in tehran is a real nightmare. the congestion was unimaginable. the cars were barely 6 inches apart. if one think traffic jam in kl or jakarta is bad, wait till you visit the city. crossing the road takes a lot of courage and skill. despite sanction from the west, there are abundunt shopping malls and high street stalls selling imported luxurious and branded goods. if not for the signs written in parsi, those high street stalls resemble those in the uk.

the iranians are generally well dress and very charismatic. unlike in other arab countries (opss, the iranian does not wish to be labelled as arabs), the gentlemen on the street are very comfortable with suite (like those in the west). and underneath their traditional chador, the ladies were smartly dressed with designers outfit. the iranians are also were hospitable and extremely friendly. having travelled half the globe, i've not come across any homeless people on the street of tehran (shame on you new york city!).

with more than 14 millions people, the city is really congested. as the public transport is inssuficient, the tehranians had to use the own cars to commute. and with no 'entertaiment outlets' except for the state owned cinemas, naturally the city dwellers pass their time shopping or dinning. restaurants are abundant and nicely decorated. unfortunately shopping in tehran (or in iran as a whole) is not cheap !. traditional or grand bazaar are generally packed with shoppers. changing currency in grand bazaar is easy as a lot of money changers (usually young men holding stacks of iranial rial in their hand or tied up to the seat of their motorcycle).

(one of the many stalls in the traditional bazaar selling dry fruits and nuts)

the highlands, an hour drive (exclusive of the traffic jam) north of the city is worth visiting. with it's snow capped mountains, it's just fantastic and scenic. we headed to the dizin ski resort but it was closed to all skiers due to unexpected snowstorm. anyway, it was not too bad as it was only -2 C. well, after all i survive the russian winter of - 38 C.

and thanks to our friend hossein hatami and his dear family for hosting us.