Tuesday, July 29, 2008

27.7.08 (Sunday) - No Durian Orchard Trip This Year...sob...sob...

Starting from this year (and probably the next two or three more years), there's no more durian orchard trip for me and my family...which means no luscious durian kampung for us in Dubai this year...huwaaaaaa. To imaginarily fulfill my crave for the king of the fruit and the wonderful trip to the orchard, I could just replay our last year's durian harvest...........

This durian orchard belongs to my mother-in-law's family which is located further in a jungle in Rembau, N.Sembilan. Since my parents-in-law are the nearest to the orchard, they are the ones who always help manage the orchard. Furthermore, my green-fingers father-in-law is a very hardworking Minangkabau man.

My father-in-law even built a small hut for the family especially the grandkids to rest. Since this was Apit's (he was two then) first trip to the hilly durian orchard, the climbing up might've been slightly arduous for him that he might want to take a break before his intriguing durian harvest started. Hubby and my mom-in-law were also there accompanying Apit

Yeay...yeay!! Apit's first durian for the day...and his life ever!

Wow...darling hubby got a lot!! He was so strong carrying the whole basket by himself...I like! hi hi hi

"Yess...I got it, I got it!!", Ain said.

Suddenly, the jungle-awakening scream heard that made everyone panicked. Heyy...what happened???

Leeches got into my sock!!! Huwaaa...!!!

My father-in-law pushing a trolley full of durians down the trail.

Satisfactorily happy after getting the harvest of the day.

26.7.08 (Sat) - This is my cardddd...

During the ladies tea party yesterday, before departing the ladies were busy exchanging business/name cards. Well...all of them are career women. They are QS, Planner, Designer, Assistant Manager as well as Manager. Zaida and myself were looking at each other... Sorry gals I did not give you all my card that day. Being a Domestic Engineer so, here's my card and keep it please....

p/s - Jangan jelez kad I lagi canggih. Tak main pas-pas kat tangan...apa kellaasss kannn. Kad I main online je...jangan marra he he

Saturday, July 26, 2008

15.7.08 - 24.7.08 (Tue - Thursday)

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN for exactly 10 days! Husniyyah's wondering...? I've had lots of ideas to write but like I told you 'kabel putuihhhh...' serious! (shall explain no further...he he).

So, as promised more happening things will come (hopefully)...and more pics of the kids that you miss (I'll try my best, Husniyyah). Anyway, a recap for the last 10 days :

15.7.08 (Tue) - Along way busy trying on the new handset with camera that Ayah had just bought for her. Almost everything that she and her siblings did she wanted to capture. She even recorded Apit singing in the bathroom!

16.7.08 (Wed) - Seeing Along busy taking photos with her new handphone, my three and a half-year old Apit would also want to show his hidden skill. "Ibu, Ibu, Apit nak ambik gambar Ibu. Ibu senyum eh" Dia pegang handphone Ibu terbalik , so this is the result...he took his own photo and he didn't even notice it! he he he...cute je.

17.7.08 (Thu) - Ayah couldn't afford to buy a 'Blackberry' for himself...yet. But, he bought this blackberry for us. Along, Ain and Apit love this fruit but it's a bit sour.

18.7.08 (Fri) - Hubby just arrived from Teheran this morning at 2.30 am. This was our breakfast this morning roti sosej with cheese (on the left) and without cheese on the right. The kids love the one with cheese. Anything cheesy would tempt Along and Ain for sure.

19.7.08 (Sat) - When hubby's around, God knows how happy I am though for only two days before he has to go back to Teheran again tomorrow.

20.7.08 (Sunday) - Yang ditunggu-tunggu telah pun tiba. Curious to see what's inside...

Hmmm...rempah kari ayam, daging dan ikan, rempah kurma, rempah rendang, rempah sup bunjut, rempah sup ikan, asam keping, asam jiwa dan semestinya belacan.

Thank you Angah. May Allah bless you and family. She also included 6 Malay story books and 3 magazines for Along, Ain and Apit. Not forgetting 3 mags for me too.

As soon as they saw the books in the parcel, without wasting time Along, Ain and Apit took one each and got engrossed with it. Tengok Along masih dalam telekung lagi tu lepas solat Maghrib...tak nyempat-nyempat.

21.7.08 (Mon) - Ooo...mentang-mentang masih summer break, sampai pukul 3 pagi layan buku cerita...takpa, takpa kasi chance sampai hujung bulan Ogos.

22.7.08 (Tue) - As usual when Ayah is not around working in Teheran, Apit and Ain like to help Ibu doing the housework. But, usually Ibu has to resweep and remop after that...he he. Better something than nothing at all, right. Ayah balik nanti jangan kata Ibu dera pula ya Sayang.

23.7.08 (Wed) - Alahai rajinnya anak bujang sorang...Apit loves to help Ibu washing the dishes, at least washing his own favourite mug with the picture of a car on it. He would cry and even yell if Ibu said no when he wanted to wash his mug. Ok I let him but...not to mention the pool of water collected on the floor! Aarrgghh...

24.7.08 (Thu) - After one and a half month living in Dubai, I noticed that eating a very soft Gardenia is really heavennnn...Here, you could never find bread as soft as Gardenia! And, the eggs...I have the schemata that white eggs are duck eggs but NO here. The chicken eggs are white! What kind of chicken that lay this kind of eggs, I wonder. What I know is that they are grade A or AA eggs. Don't care as long as they are healthy and the kids love them.

p/s - Hubby's coming back from Iran today...yeay...yeay!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

14.7.08 (Mon) - Girls For Sale...?? (In Ain's Drawing)

After a week of no assignment in Teheran, hubby had to go back there since yesterday. It's Monday and the 'domestic engineer' 'comes on duty' as usual...dealing with the kids.

This is my seven-year old Ain's drawing. She loves drawing. Nothing could be more precious to her than getting a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. She draws girl or princess characters most of the time.

What is this that she's drawing? Girls' headshots with dirhams on top of each picture...Girls for sale?? (recalling a scene from P.Ramlee's movie, Ali Baba Bujang Lapuk, depicting a man selling a slave by mentioning this dirhams.

A close-up of Ain's drawing. Can see the girl on the left written 500 dhs and the one on the right 10 dhs only...that cheap?

When I asked her, why are you selling these girls?? She said, "Ni bukan jual. Ni harga gunting rambut la!" Ha ha ha...Aku tertipu oleh kekreatifannya! Kih kih kih

Why do I love drawing a princess? Becauseee I always dream of being a princesssss.....! Mak Long Yati sometimes called me 'Princess'. I like!

Day 31 (13.7.08 Sun) - Interesting Facts About DUBAI...After A MONTH!

"Ibu, hari ni 13hb, genap sebulan kita kat Dubai kan?", out of nowhere Along asked. I suddenly remembered "Yup". It's been a month since we first stepped foot in this desert land. When we arrived, it was scorching summer in Dubai and it still is until end of August. Never mind the scorching hot climate because summer in Dubai means Dubai Summer Sale! (Yes!!)

From a month observation, what I could say about this cosmopolitan city are :

1) as I said in my previous blog entry, you will encounter more Indians and Pinoys here than you do the Arabs. There are times when you feel like you're not even in an Arab land.

2) Dubai is a cosmopolitan city. Due to that, it is a mere lie that coming to Dubai you must wear hijab (headscarf). (also Islam Hadhari...??)

3) If you want to have the feel of actually being in an Arab land, go to the government offices or big shopping malls where you will see many Arabs!

4) You don't have to know Arabic in order to survive in Dubai. English is the first language here.

5) Despite the extremely hot weather out there, we are wearing sweaters in our house! Most (I think all) houses are air-conditioned. It's colder in the daylight than at night where people would reduce the temperature.

5) Most importantly, you needn't be so sceptical about food or food products here as compared to in our own Islam Hadhari country, Malaysia! Starbucks Coffee is a normal hang out place for the Arabs, who are always clad in their traditional Muslim white robe and turban (the men) and in black arbaya (the women). It's convincing enough for us to have a cup of Caffe Latte or Capuchino in that cafe here as compared to in the same famous-brand cafe in Malaysia. We'll only be extra careful when we see food products that are made in Phillipines.

- Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri...

East West, home's the best.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 30 (12.7.08 Sat) - Burjuman...Here We Come

What an enormous breathtaking mall! Unfortunately, I was not able to enclose any photo of this Starhill-like mall because I dared not snap any pic of it. A friend who was busy taking pictures of this shopping mall was frustrated by a security guard who asked him to delete all the pics taken. For a security reason...? I wouldn't know.

Saja je ambil gambar kat tepi kolam ni konon-kononnya nak ambil gambar family. Sebenarnya, nak curi-curi ambil gambar latar belakang dalam Burjuman.

What I know is that Burjuman is the biggest shopping mall in Burdubai (one of the districts in Dubai, where we're living). We'd wanted to come here since two weeks ago but only today it did materialize. People say it's like Starhill in KL but I've never been to Starhill so, don't ask me for any comparison between the two.

However, when I saw the Arabs with a handful of four, five bags of Gucci, Dunhill, Burberry, Guess Kids, (and ntah hapa-hapa brand yang tak reti nak sebut), then I knew what it meant!

One fact in Dubai, you'll encounter Indians and Pinoys more often than you do the Arabs. If you want to see more Arabs, go to big shopping malls like this! I bet I could see even more Arabs at Wafi (much bigger and more happening) and Mall of the Emirates (the biggest in Dubai...wait till I come!).

Kalaulah Ayahku banyak duit macam Pak-pak Arab tuh...!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 29 (11.7.08 Fri) - 'Pertandingan Sape Pandai Masak...' at Al-Attar Escala (The New Gold Souk)

A 'cooking competition' Sape Paling Pandai Masak was held at Al-Attar Escala (The New Gold Souk) recently. Here are the perticipants with their cooking:

Kak Ina cooked Fried Meat (masak apa tah, tak dapat dikenal pasti) and the handsome but graceful Aidid turned up with his supeb Pecal and Gulai Lemak Udang. Mas came with her Sambal Sardin and Laila, the host, came up with her lavish Tomyam and Ikan Tilapia Masak Sweet Sour, not forgetting a pot of rice.

Me, he he, with my mixed vegie plus a pot of rice to back up the host's rice. My dear hubby, who didn't want to be missed in the 'cooking competition', cooked his favourite Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Api.

There were also desserts: Kak Ina brought her home made yummy delicious chocolate cake and Kuih Buah Melaka @ Ondeh-ondeh (mak mertuo seyy kek Rombau panggil kuih kelopung). As I love desserts, I cooked my favourite Bubur Kacang (kalau ado durian tak pun lompuk, sodaaap ehhh...)

Day 28 (10.7.08 Thu) - Proud To Be Malaysians

We went to Raffles International School yesterday by taxi. The Indian taxi driver was very friendly unlike some taxi drivers that we'd met. The quite good looking taxi driver is the fair type of Indian (maybe coming from Karala or Chennai, India) who reminded me of Mr Nagaya, the Senior Assistant of Co-curriculum, in my previous school SMJK Yu Hua, Kajang. He acted like a tourist guide telling us about the buildings or famous tourist spots in Dubai that we passed by.

Why was he so friendly? Firstly, he was probably a naturallly friendly type of person. Secondly and interestingly, we are MALAYSIANS!

However, we had a different so sad experience coming back from Raffles. Just as we got the offer letter for the kids, hubby called a taxi to take us home. After more than half an hour, the taxi didn't come. The security guard, who's an Arab, told us to ask the staff at the reception counter to make a call. So, we did. In just less than a minute, hubby got a call saying a taxi near Burj Al-Arab, just a few metres away, was on the way to fetch us. We were so puzzled then because when that mat saleh with her British accent called the same number, the taxi came in no time! Did we sound like a Pinoy on the phone? That's why the taxi people took our call for granted?! How could they....

To tell the truth, the people in Dubai, including the generally Indian taxi drivers (as if they are so good...), kind of look down on Indonesians and Pinoys (as the Philippinos are being called here). If you meet any Pinoys here, you can always mistaken them as Malaysians. So, we have to be careful before giving salam to any Malaysian-looking guy. The only difference that I can see is the way they dress. We don't see Malaysians with short pants here and the women, Alhamdulillah I'm wearing a headscarf! They don't, of course, as they are always seen with quite indecent outfits. Some Indonesian women wear headscarves too but you can easily tell that they are indonesians from the styles of their headscarves. (Just imagine the maids you see in Malaysia). So, I'm safe I guess.

I managed to capture the pic of this taxi driver tapi nampak sebelah telinga je la. Padan muka eksyen sangat. Dia ingat aku Pinoy ke? Chehh!

Back to Dubai taxi drivers, who are conquered by the Indians, usually the first question that they will ask is "Where are you from?". If we answer "Malaysia", then only they will start a friendly conversation with you. If they don't ask, meaning they already assume that you are Pinoys and don't even like to talk to you except for the question "Where to?"

To the taxi drivers (and even the Arabs here), Malaysia is a developed country, as compared to Philipines and Indonesia, which they say underdeveloped. That's why they look highly on Malaysians, especially when they know most Malaysians who come to Dubai are professionals. The Indonesians and Pinoys mostly come here as labours, salesgirls/boys, counter girls, nurses and maids (some even involve in the 'meat' business).

This scenario is the same in Holland. My brother, who's staying there, says that the Dutch also look highly on Malaysians as they say Malaysia is a developed country. The Malaysians there too are most of the time mistaken as the Indonesians whom they say coming from an underdeveloped country.

The moral of the story is that the people here in Dubai look very highly on the Westerners. If you're Malaysians, they will also look highly on you. So, if you happen to come to Dubai, proudly say to the taxi drivers driving you from the airport and everyone here that you are Malaysian! Don't you feel proud to be Malaysians? (despite the infamous oil price hike and dirty political stories! Oooppss...)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My First Arrival In Dubai

I landed in Dubai at 3.15am (local time) or 7.15am Malaysian time. 35 minutes earlier than the time arrival stated. About 100 metres walking out of the plane, the five of us Laila (Amin's wife), Along, Ain, Apit and me were greeted by a 'marhabah' (an assistant hired by Sony) to assist and guide us to the visa counter, baggage claim and lastly to Marhabah office waiting for hubby to fetch us.
At the baggage claim conveyer, two strong men (also hired by Sony) helped us with all the big bags and Laila's many boxes. Without the two men, I just couldn't imagine myself and Along had to carry all the four big bags and one box ourselves..! This is actually the biggest worry of my parents and parents in law. Alhamdulillah...with the help of the 'marhabah' and the men, everything went very smoothly and in less than an hour, everything was settled. Instead of being waited, we had to wait for hubby for about 20 minutes. They (my hubby and Laila's hubby) didn't expect that we would be ready that early.
The 'marhabah' took me to the money changer to get dirhams to pay one of the porters (15 dhs). The other one was free. When hubby came, after the hugs and kisses, then my life in Dubai will start...

Sempat posing upon arrival at 4.30 am in front of our apartment Al-Attar Escala (The New Gold Souk)

Previous Blog Entries From June 13th 08 & Photos...(12/07/08)

My previous blog entries starting June 13 are all in THE NEWLY HIRED DOMESTIC ENGINEER and the photos too...click here to view them.