Pic above shows the aircraft which will take me there.
The craft had just arrived from somewhere and luggage are being emptied from it.
Be back home tomorrow insyaAllah.
My family and I arrived in KB from Ipoh this afternoon having picked up Emak from Kampong Kepayang.
We are now having dinner at PCB. Off to Kuala Terengganu tommorrow, insyaAllah.
I am now in Melaka - with the family in tow - for a leadership training course.
I've been to so many training programs before. But this one is rather different. It is a leadership training course with emphasis on mind development.
But this is no ordinary mind development course either. For it is based on the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) methods. It is quite a heady stuff which includes talks on self-awareness, the meta-physics and spirituality.
As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on this approach to leadership training. Nevertheless it's quite intriguing.
I am here to present a paper and represent Putrajaya in the 2nd Asia-Pacific Mayor's Forum.
Paper already presented, I'm now whiling my time away whilst listening to other speakers.
Located on the south-east coast of Korea (facing the Sea of Japan) Ulsan is only Korea's seventh largest city. But it is its premiere industrial city bar none, boasting the highest GDP of any Korean city. It is home to the world's largest automobile assembly plant operated by Hyundai and the world's largest shipyard operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
It being autumn, the weather's nice with temperature hovering around 20 celsius outside.
Be back home this Saturday, insya-Allah.
Two days before Hari Raya I made my way to Parit. That is where my late father hailed from in Perak.
Parit generally refers to the area in the mid-Perak region, straddling both sides of Sungai Perak and its vicinity, stretching from Parit town to Kampung Gajah downstream. People from this locality are thus referred to as “orang Parit”.
In reality the “Parit area” comprises numerous small towns and kampongs sprinkled all along both sides of Sungai Perak. My father’s very own kampong was called Kampong Selat in Layang-Layang Kiri.
The “Kiri” here denotes the fact that this place is located on the left bank of Sungai Perak if one were paddling the sampan upstream during the old days. And whenever there’s a Kiri, there’d always be a Kanan settlement. Thus, we have Bota Kiri and Bota Kanan, Layang-Layang Kiri and Layang-Layang Kanan, and so on, dotting the banks of Sungai Perak.
Parit was a backwater of sorts. It still is, to a certain extent. That my father managed to get a good education and continued his studies in Liverpool all those years ago still amazes me no end.
My trip to Parit this time was for the specific purpose of visiting my Opah Chu in Padang Tenggala, about 10 kilometers from Parit town.
Opah Chu is Salamah binti Alang Pintal. She is my late grandfather’s youngest sister, and the last of his surviving siblings.
Ever since I was small, I always remember her to be one very kind lady. But what I remember most about her is how much she loved her favourite nephew – my Apak – whom she fondly referred to as Amat.
Whenever Opah Chu meets Apak, she never failed to grab Apak and gave him a loving peck on the cheek as if he was still a toddler. That my Apak was now all grown-up with five kids of his own was never a cause for concern in the slightest.
As a small kid, I was so touched by this gesture. Especially so at the sight of my big and macho Apak looking sheepishly at us after being hugged and kissed by his aunt right in front of everybody.
Even when Apak passed away, despite having problems with her knees, Opah Chu still managed to pull herself right up to Apak’s bedside to give him her last kiss on his forehead and a peck on the cheek. She then raised her hands and ran her fingers lovingly over his face.
That Apak loved her aunt, too, was obvious. I remember whenever we visited Opah Chu during Hari Raya, Apak would always look forward to his Wan Chu's lemang, rendang and dodol.
And as he sampled Opah Chu’s festive goodies, he would never fail to urge us to have a bite ourselves, saying “rasa la, sedap ni Opah Chu punya lemang”.
Opah Chu is now in her mid-eighties. Her knees are giving her problems – osteoarthritis, I suspect. But otherwise she is still healthy and alert. She still remembers many stories and details from her younger days. Especially stories about Apak and stories with her Yop (her eldest brother – that’s my grandfather).
Opah Chu has eight children, all daughters. She is now staying in PadangTenggala with her third daughter, Sabariah.
As I left her that Friday morning, I shook and kissed her hands and wished her Selamat Hari Raya. Quite un-expectedly, Opah Chu grabbed me and pulled me close to her and planted a kiss on my cheeks just like she used to do to Apak.
I almost got teary-eyed.
May ALlah continue to give my Opah Chu good health and the best of iman.
Some of you would remember the Perak-born comedian, Os singing,
"Oh kome, deghoyan dah berbunga...".
Well, durian dah berbunga indeed at Kampong Kepayang Fair Park, my kampong.
For those of you who haven't seen the flower of a durian tree take a good look at the pic above taken this morning in front of my mum's house. Beautiful, aren't they?
There are three durian trees at Mak's house. Looking at their flower blooms, there's a good chance that this Hari Raya we'll be having durian for breakfast, pulut durian for lunch, and bubur durian for dinner.
I think I began to develop this love looking at airline advertisements featured in old magazines and in the newspapers. One such magazine was the Asia Magazine which was distributed free of charge with the New Sunday Times newspaper, Apak's newspaper of choice. Another one was the Readers' Digest.
Syafiq’s campus at UiTM Seri Iskandar has been closed due to swine flu outbreak. At least 10 students have been tested positive with the flu.
So Syafiq is now with his Opah in Kampong Kepayang, safely away from the virus. He did complain of having a slight fever and a cold earlier this week. But alhamdulillah, he was cleared by an on-campus doctor as having just common cold.
Swine influenza virus is said to be very common throughout pig populations worldwide. But swine influenza was first recognized to be a disease related to human influenza during the 1918 flu pandemic.
The 2009 H1N1 form of swine flu is one of the descendants of the strain that caused that 1918 flu pandemic.
The H1N1 outbreak began in Mexico when it was first identified in April 2009. It led to the closing down of most of Mexico City’s public and private offices and facilities in order to contain its spread.
And, in early June, the virus spread globally. Malaysia is not spared, of course. Yesterday saw the first H1N1-related death in this country.
So everyone, please take extra to avoid being infected:
1. Practice good hand hygiene: wash your hands with soap and water often, particularly after travelling on public transport.
2. Use anti-bacterial hand gel: this is said to be better than using soap.
3. Use tissues: cough or sneeze into a clean tissue and throw it into a bin immediately.
At 18, he's a grown up young man now, Syafiq. Standing at 5ft 10 and half inch, he's far taller than I was at that age.
But to me, he will always be the ''manja'' one.
Not that my three other children are not manja, of course. It's just that Syafiq is always the one who'd go to great lengths to call attention to himself.
Since finishing his SPM, he was a constant presence at home. He made himself useful by becoming the ever-willing un-official family chauffeur, my riding buddy and being the man-about-the-house (whenever I'm outstation). So, I will miss him a lot, now that he's in college.
But don't worry about Abah, Syafiq. Instead, cast your views to the future. Pursue your dreams of becoming a successful landscape architect.
Draw useful lessons from your five year experience at your MRSM. And take it to the next level.
Remember, excellence comes with hard work. As you always like to say yourself: NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!
All the best at UiTM Sri Iskandar, my son. Diiringi do'a Abah dan Ummi.
We love you very much.
Pic taken using HTC PDA, blog posted direct from PDA
I'm still on the mend from a broken metacarpal.
My right hand is cast in a ''back-slap''. And I've been advised to reduce movements of the hand (especially the fingers and areas around my palm) to the minimum.
And the boredom; its driving me crazy.
So to cheer myself up, I bought myself a present! A new Nike Air Max Run.
My partners in crime were none other than my son Syafiq (the driver) and my daughter Sakinah (the chaperone).
We slipped out of the house at about 11.30 hours. But that was not after my Mem Besar had left the house first to bring the mother-in-law to her kursus haji...hehe, crafty, eh?
This is the first time I've bought a Nike. Previously, right from my student days, it had always been Adidas plus one very nice Fila. But yesterday, upon the advise of Syafiq (he can be very persistent and persuasive, Syafiq) I opted for a Nike.
That's well and good, Syafiq. But now, what excuse can I cook up and give your mum for breaking the quarantine?
Yes, how timely and convenient.
Whoever first thought of the Father's Day celebration you're a genius. Thank you. You made my day.
He is also, usually, the more serious, less emotional and less talkative one of your parents.
But let not his serious demeanour fool you one single bit.
For deep down, a father's love knows no bound. He will sacrifice his wealth to see you succeed. And he will sacrifice his own life to protect yours.
Fathers the world over, they are a special breed.
Another reason is because they breed easily for they do not lay eggs, but rather they are livebearers.
My family started our ''project guppy'' two years ago.
It didn't get to a good start. We wasted quite a few of them. But after a few months of trial and error we finally managed to rear them quite successfully.
We have two bowls of them. The above is a big earthenware bowl which is located in the patio. Another is a small (2 litre) clear glass bowl.
Guppy rearing can be a very relaxing hobby as we can while our time away watching the guppies swim happily. Every once in a while you get some pleasant surprises too when scores of little guppies are born.