Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of all the things we did last weekend...

Thursday (May 28th) - Hubby landed in DXB in the afternoon. Dubai Airport Expo was our destination for the night. There was a Grand Book Sale and we wouldn't want to miss the book fair like last year. At the basement car park, we sensed something was amiss as the car couldn't start after several times trying. Hubby gave me the kind of look that I could understand right away. Y-e-s, I did not start the engine while he was away...not even once since he left for Tehran five days ago! The comfort of being in an air-conditioned room made me so lazy to come down to the car park to start the engine, as hubby told me to, especially during this hot summer. (It's not a valid reason though as the car park is only at the basement...). He was staring at me again. I met his gaze and I dropped it....not because I was shy but because I knew I was guilty! Needn't be defensive, I admit it was my fault. I'm sooooo sorry Yang. Will you forgive me...??? ;-)

Friday (May 29th) - Things became worse when all car rental shops were close on Fridays and workshops were only open after Friday prayer. All our plans had to be replanned with certain activities had to be cancelled. We planned to join MY UAE activities at Safa Park this morning but it had to be cancelled including the order we'd placed for mee tomyam and chicken rice. If not for the important meeting (MY UAE EGM) that hubby had to attend at 4.00 pm today, he wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere. He was just not in the mood...worrying about the car and wondering what could go wrong as we had just changed the car alternator and battery not long but just two months ago. At the same time, anticipating the threat of having to have the untimely big hole in his pocket...sigh...

That evening, a cab sent us to MATRADE (Malaysia Trade Centre), the place where the meeting took place. I accompanied him in order to give moral support especially when he was in the midst of a 'headache' regarding the car, other than to give moral support to MY-UAE itself. Luckily, hubby could hide his worry throughout the meeting. Well, he had to. Being the acting Secretary, he had to be all ears in order to be able to take the minutes. It wasn't just any ordinary meeting okay, it was an Extra Ordinary Meeting held purposefully to approve the draft of the constitution of MY-UAE.

Saturday (May 30th) - Alhamdulillah it was a Saturday...which meant all car rental shops were open and therefore, we could go to the destinations we'd planned...which also meant hubby could send our car to the workshop. No wrongly put, our car could be sent to the workshop. It couldn't start at all even after three times being jump started. So, the car was towed to the workshop at Umm Ramool.

With the car rented, we proceeded with our plans...first, a potluck lunch at Arabian Ranches. Due to the car problem, our intention to cook and bring soto ayam to the potluck lunch turned out to be plucking some grapes and 'baking' Tiramisu at Spinneys supermarket. Syukur Alhamdulillah and thanks a zillion to the generous host for the delectable prawn meals made from some fresh prawns that swam all the way from kolam peliharaan terbaik di dunia in Saudi to Dubai.

Right after lunch, we sent Along to her classmate's swimming pool birthday party at Al Wasl and then headed straight to the Grand Book Sale at Dubai Airport Expo - the place where I told hubby by hook or by crook, come rain or shine, we should go this time hihi...(since we missed one last year). Yesss!! Alhamdulillah we made it this time and look what we'd managed to grab here...

It cost me just 60 dhs to get five books of Jeffrey Archer! (when the usual price for each is about 42-49 dhs old or new). It's really worth coming to this book sale for those who love collecting books/novels of their favourite author. Nasib baik tak sempat pegi the non-fiction section, kalau tak mesti lagi shopping buku tak hengat...

Too bad I only managed to explore the fiction section since hubby dah mencuit to leave the place as we had to fetch Along from the birthday party. Most importantly, we had to return the car by 7.30 pm before the car rental shop closed. If closed before we reached, that would cause hubby having to waste money paying for another four days since he would be leaving for Tehran again early the next morning.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Facebook maniac...??

If the word 'maniac' only refers to 'a person who has an extremely strong desire or enthusiasm for something', then I would dare to call myself a Facebook maniac at the moment. But if it brings the meaning of *'a person who has an extremely strong desire or enthusiasm for something, to an extent that other people think is NOT NORMAL', then I'm not! ha ha ha...

To be frank, I've been more easily accessible at Facebook since the last couple of weeks, as compared to my blog or emails. Too bad that I just couldn't balance my leisure time between facebooking and blogging just like my SIL and a few other friends did. I'm telling myself that I should improve on this, ok.

I will still blog as I need some non-human channel to pour out my feelings, my heart, my mind, my keep me sane and this is it.

This FB craze did not leave me for nothing. I got to be in touch with many long lost, old friends in Msia, UAE and also other parts of the world (especially those who are currently struggling their way towards getting a doctorate). What makes you hooked up to this is that the moment you send a message, you'll get a reply/replies within seconds, sometimes from several friends at the same time.

Through this FB, I also got to know that...when I envy those friends who are currently doing their Phd overseas (because I do not know if ever I have that opportunity too hmm..), to my surprise, they envy me too! (not all). Hmm this cikgu tidak bergaji is being envied ke...hmm...

p/s - To friends who asked, you can reach me at FB by keying in 'Ziela Salih' and country 'Dubai, UAE'. (Sorry friends, lambat inform)

* Taken from Oxford University Press

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm proud to say this...

Tidak ada guru yang tidak bangga bila membaca puisi hasil karya Allahyarham Usman Awang ini...
Guru O Guru
Berburu ke padang datar
Dapat rusa belang kaki
Berguru kepala ajar
Ibarat bunga kembang tak jadi

Dialah pemberi paling setia
Tiap akar ilmu miliknya
Pelita dan lampu segala
Untuk manusia sebelum menjadi dewasa.

Dialah ibu dialah bapa juga sahabat
Alur kesetiaan mengalirkan nasihat
Pemimpin yang ditauliahkan segala umat
Seribu tahun katanya menjadi hikmat.

Jika hari ini seorang Perdana Menteri berkuasa
Jika hari ini seorang Raja menaiki takhta
Jika hari ini seorang Presiden sebuah negara
Jika hari ini seorang ulama yang mulia
Jika hari ini seorang peguam menang bicara
Jika hari ini seorang penulis terkemuka
Jika hari ini siapa saja menjadi dewasa;
Sejarahnya dimulakan oleh seorang guru biasa
Dengan lembut sabarnya mengajar tulis-baca.

Di mana-mana dia berdiri di muka muridnya
Di sebuah sekolah mewah di Ibu Kota
Di bangunan tua sekolah Hulu Terengganu
Dia adalah guru mewakili seribu buku;
Semakin terpencil duduknya di ceruk desa
Semakin bererti tugasnya kepada negara.
Jadilah apa pun pada akhir kehidupanmu, guruku
Budi yang diapungkan di dulang ilmu
Panggilan keramat "cikgu" kekal terpahat
Menjadi kenangan ke akhir hayat

Usman Awang, 1979

Yes, this is not the only poem exists concerning teachers...but this is the most moving of all. I've 'fallen in love' at first sight when I first came across this poem years ago. More than words can explain how I feel everytime I'm reading it.

May 16 - Happy Teacher's Day to all my friends out there and all teachers wherever you are. I'm really glad and thankful that I am still being remembered despite being far, far away from my homeland. Thanks for all the HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY messages I've received through sms from my (ex) Boss, a non-teacher close friend, two ex-students (Fariza & Rifa'at from USIM, thanks dear!), a colleague and not forgetting from my other colleagues and friends through Facebook.

As I said before, I may not be a very good teacher but when I'm being remembered, it does tell me something...

p/s - ...and I'm proud to say that I AM a TEACHER.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

May 5 - She got a bump on her head on her 8th birthday!

Apit spilt some water on the floor. Wasting no time, he ran to get some tissue papers before Ibu chewed him out. Ain was on her way to get some snacks from the fridge. The moment I turned to warn her of the spilt water, she was already lying on the floor. Her head hit the floor and she cried in pain.

Panic-stricken, I smacked Apit on his hands for causing Ain to fall on the spilt water. But I didn't help Ain to get on her feet, I scolded her instead for being careless. I knew I shouldn't have done those and I felt very, very guilty! Pity Apit. I took Ain in my arms, kissed her and rubbed her head. Who doesn't feel worried when her child falls and hits her head on something hard. I was very worried especially when her father was not around...what if something bad happened...

Within 24 hours, I watched her closely for any sign of fever or vomitting. Alhamdulillah none except for a swelling at the back of her head. Hubby said tuam that swelling part just like our mother did when we were small, so I did. She was absent from school the next day as she was still complaining of the pain at the back of her head and dizziness. But only one day...the following day, she had to come to school as it was her birthday. Furthermore, Ibu had prepared something for her to share with classmates on her special day.

Ain when she was 3 1/2 years old. With a very fair skin, didn't she look like an Amoi?

This Amoi is now eight years old. She was called Amoi since baby especially by her grandmother and aunties because she looked very much like anak Cina. Luckily she was born at Pusat Rawatan Islam (Az Zahrah, BBB), if she was born at Hospital Kajang, we would surely have thought that we had mistakenly taken an anak Cina from the hospital nursery...

For Ain's birthday, these are what Ibu had prepared for her to share with her classmates and class teacher.

Goodie bags with snacks and balloons inside. Strictly no chocolates with traces of peanuts included.

Ain's classmates and teacher said Ibu's first homemade choc chips muffins were delicious...auuwww!

Our eight-year-old Nura'ain Nabilah memang suka bergaya...

Ibu dan Ayah doakan Ain akan menjadi anak yang sholehah dan membanggakan Ayah dan Ibu.

p/s- While Ibu was in the OT, anxiously but excitedly, welcoming Ain to come into this world, Ibu didn't know that Ayah had experienced a suspenseful story while waiting outside the OT!! Check it out here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

On This First AGM of My-UAE Pro in Dubai

I've attended several AGMs (Annual General Meeting) or Mesyuarat Agung before. Mesyuarat Agung Persatuan Penduduk, Mesyuarat Agung PIBG sekolah and what not...but nothing like this AGM of My-UAE Pro (the society of Malaysians in the UAE). This AGM that was held at MATRADE (Malaysian Trade Centre) in Dubai on the 1st of May last Friday was neither too formal nor too informal. One thing for certain, it was...meriah!. And this was my first time ever attending AGM abroad.

A few pics of that event...

First from left: The former President of My-UAE Pro was giving a speech; 2). Pengerusi tetap -Prof Dr Rani in his welcoming speech; 3). Consulate General - Tn Syed Hasrin giving a few words; 4). The three ladies in scarves - Kak Aishah (the wife of the former President), Zaida (green) - the 'second' lady and Suraya (black) - our new First Lady hehe...; 5). Proses pengiraan undi sedang berlangsung dengan disaksikan pemerhati-pemerhati tidak rasmi; the biggest pic - Refreshment time, while waiting for the results of the newly elected exco members to be announced (ada nasi lemak sedap...).

The newly elected exco members of My-UAE Pro 2009/2010

2nd from left: Tn Hj Affandi (red) - our new President, Clinton Ooi, KP, Haza Hilmy (ehh dear hubby pun ada...!), Firdaus, Ms Chan, Putri, Rozana, Afza (Treasurer), Yusree (Secretary), Imran (Vice President), Hasnoal, Mushil and Nik.

To all exco members: Congratulations and selamat menjalankan kewajipan kepada agama, bangsa dan negara. Semoga My-UAE Pro semakin proaktif bawah pucuk pimpinan baru.

p/s - Yang, even though you used to be the exco member of our Persatuan Penduduk before, and used to be the President of Malaysian Students of Sacramento, CA long time ago, this one could be different and could have different challenges. I just hope that you can give your very best and do it sincerely, ok Yang.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu - Circular To Parents

Along and Ain brought home this circular from school yesterday. Although this is just a note of caution following the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and US, this pandemic disease has got victims in other countries as well such as Germany, Costa Rica and Austria.

There's no such case reported in Dubai yet but it's quite alarming when this circular issued by the school where our children are studying, especially when there are just too many expats in Dubai including those coming from the two badly infected countries.

Just want to share the important piece of information contained in the circular:

We parents can help educate our own children by taking these common sense measures to prevent against infection, as stated in the circular:
* Wash your hands frequently.
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue upon coughing and sneezing.
* Use appropriate gel or foam hand sanitizers (As most food courts at many Dubai shopping malls do not provide sinks to wash hands, I'll make sure that I will not forget to include hand sanitizer in my handbag apart from lipstick and lip gloss).
* Stay away from work or public transportation if unwell.
* Avoid people who might be infected.

The circular also warns parents of a suspected case of Meningitis in a Dubai school (though not yet confirmed by the Health Authority). So, those parents whose child has not received a vaccine for the past 3 years are advised to get their child a Meningitis A&C shot.

As far as I know, none of my children has taken such an injection because if I'm not mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong), in Malaysia it is not included in the series of injections that a baby has to get especially in a government clinic. Now I understand why some private clinics, while we were in Malaysia, strongly advised parents to get their baby an injection for Meningitis.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bekwoh Gulai Kawah di padang pasir

I've heard of gulai kawah before, I know it's a Kelantanese dish but I'd never seen or tasted it. When I heard there would be a bekwoh gulai kawah in this desertland, I surely wouldn't want to miss the opportunity of seeing and tasting it.

For this gulai kawah, we came all the way from Dubai to another emirate of the UAE, that was Ajman, on Friday last week. Gulai kawah was not the sole purpose, the main reason of going there was actually to attend a farewell ceremony of our My-UAE Pro President (it's a Malaysian society in the UAE).

Berbekalkan dua bilah pisau pemotong serta anak-anak berbekalkan bantal-bantal busuk dan comforter, maka menujulah kami ke destinasi yang dituju. Tengok tu budak 3 orang ni kalau nak travel jauh sikit mulalah buat kereta tu macam bilik hotel bergerak. Apit siap bawa kengkawan dia Bumble (bunny) and Eddy (the blue elephant). Hmm sukahati laa...
Mr A and Mrs S's abode. Thanks so much for your hospitality. (Maaf baru perasan gambar rumah ada, gambar tuan rumah lupa nak ambil)

So, the gulai kawah together with fried chicken and fish were prepared through gotong-royong just like a kenduri back in our kampung - from cutting the meat up to serving the food. Being far away from home, it was really great watching the gotong-royong spirit among Malaysians here.

Whike the men were showing off their hidden cooking talents, the ladies were busy in the kitchen cutting fruits and kuih-muih. There were just many, many fruits and delicacies brought by other Malaysians who came. Each and everyone did not come with tangan kosong. Name it what Malaysian local delicacies that were not there - karipap, kole kacang, putu ayu, kuih koci, bubur kacang, puding jagung, agar-agar pandan, agar-agar kacang merah, kuih sagu dan seri muka - all heavenly irresistible especially for those who live abroad like us! Dapatlah hilang rindu pada kuih-muih tradisional. There were also carrot cake, puffs, donuts and chocolate cake.

At the end of the day, the serving tables were more than full with many varieties of yummilicious Malaysian dishes and delicacies. Ikan masin, petai dan jering pun ada...jangan marra...So, that's the delicious gulai kawah. Now only I know gulai kawah tastes like beef curry but a little bit sweeter and undeniably delicious.

Sesi makan-makan dan penyampaian cenderahati to Mr President and another Malaysian who are leaving for good.

These are only some of those many who turned up that night. It was real fun!
p/s- Errr what is bekwoh anyway?