Monday, April 30, 2012

The Influence Of The French

Vietnam has its own uniqueness. Why did I say that? Let me tell you what I knew and understood .... Ok? When I touched down the airport runway, my mind was running like a programed computer. I started to have negative perceptions. Especially about cleanliness, disarray of city, the uncivilised people and many more. Perhaps my uninvited thoughts because what we percieved the people of Vietnam leaving in Malaysia being as hard labours and general workers.

Went I went along the road to the city, as expected there were many motorcycles with estimated of half the population of Hanoi i.e. 3.7 millions. That is an incredible number. That means for two Vietnamese they share a motorbike.

I met a Malaysian yesterday while having lunch at Nisa Restaurant. He told me all colonial buildings are considered heritage and painted yellow. This to include all goverment buildings. Oooo.....I took note on that. No wonder there are many colonial buildings along the street next to each other. It was very French. You could identify them from the design of the pillars, windows and the facade. I thought only old buildings appear to be french architectural design.

Today on the way to Ha Long Bay, with 4 hours journey, I attempted to sleep. The road was bumpy and the shaking and twisting of my body made it impossible to sleep, plus the cramped leg room made me twisted left to right after few minutes interval. I said to myself better enjoy the scenery along the road. I was surprise I could see many houses along the road are very french in nature. Not the old houses only but the new houses architecturally very french. My first thought was it should be more like pagoda design due to their culture and neighboring to China. I was completely wrong.

For your information, French conquered and rule Vietnam for 50 years. Today they celebrate their 35th Independence Day. By the way I like French Architecture.

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Souvenir From Hanoi

If you come to Hanoi or Vietnam particularly, you will amaze with their handy and delicate craft especially embroidery work. You can find embroidered items such as table clothes, duvet covers, drawings and many more. You would admire their quality of art works at a very reasonable price. The motives normally ranging from flora and fauna and also sceneries and object. As for me sometimes there are hard to repudiate and you are tempted to ask the price and lastly inevitably you must have one.

I bought few table clothes for table of six. One I am going to present for my mummy and one for my mummy in law. I wanted to buy an embroidered duvet covers but I could not make up my mind. Tomorrow is my last day to shop and hopefully I will make a correct decision.

I was lucky to have a chance to observe the embroiderers making some painting works using glossy treads with beautiful colors. For a potrait they took for months to complete. I admire how patience they were to remaind focus and concentrate to complete the design. In fact few of them were handicaps employed by few generous hearts. You can look at the product attached. They are gorgeous, magnifecent and incredible.

I love embroidery and I could claim that I am good at them. Nowadays time just not permit for me to focus for my wonderful hobby. Sometimes I feel that if the price is so cheap why I need to do on my own again.
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Paper Craft

Last night we took a long walk in the night market. The weather was humid and from time to time we were swept by a gentle breeze. It was a relex atmosphere to stroll around.There were so many people out there especially tenagers, the tourists which to include me and Ubai. You want to know what did I buy? Yes, I bought paper craft greeting cards. I am not sure to give to anybody perhaps for my best friends' birthday. It was not expensive and it was good to park into your memory lane.
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hungry Like A Beast

After roaming around the Old Quaters and purchased few embroidery table clothes, we went straight to the hotel. Our phase one tour halfly completed. I bought few smocking dresses for Sarah but nothing compared to the one that I did. I am not praising myself about the quality but it is reality. I bargain for usd5 ( due to the fact the quality is not good enough) a piece and I purchased five. No wonder people came her to buy cheap goods and then sell them at a higher price back in Malaysia.

Back at the hotel we need a proper rest before going out for lunch. This was another problem! I browsed the internet to find halal muslim restaurants and found five of them. I decided to go to Nisa that serves Malaysian food. For a time being we ate sandwiches that we already brought from Malaysia. After performed our musafir prayers we went down to the counter and seeked for the direction. Luckily the restaurant only about 1 km away from our hotel and a straight direction.

There were not much food left but it just enough to fill our stomach and we found new friends that would like to share about Hanoi.
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The Hassle of Hanoi

The hassle and buziness of Hanoi is yet to start. But the honking of cars and motorbikes are already echoing inside the hotel lobby. This scenario brouht me back to Calcutta when I was there 25 years ago. It make no different the traffic condition in Egypt and it could drive you crazy for a while.

We just had our breakfast and ready to 'boggie' hehehe. We better move early and snap few nice photo shoots before traffic starts to build up like a pest. Ubai....take your shower now!
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Already In Hanoi

Our flight delayed for 10 minutes.due to late arrival the flight from Phuket. Surprisingly the flight MH 756 was fulled of passengers. I never thought that people would like to travel to Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a smooth riding and without bumpy of air pockets. I tried to sleep but my eyes and brain just refused to totally shut. Hhhmmm...let me continue to read the news paper.

About and hour later the meal came. This was not good at all. Can you imagine they serve me with roti canai and curry ayam? I never experience before having this kind of meal during my numerous flights. Come on MAS you should maintain your reputation as a first class service for aircraft cabin. Dont let us down....

We arrived the Hanoi airport about 4.15 local time. The airport was relatively quiet which reminded me of Turkmenistan. After settled our baggage we straight away took a taxi and ushered to the New Vision Hotel at Old Quaters. It was so different where you can see motobikes on the road like a group of bees.

It took 45 minutes to reach the hotel and it quite a long journey. What intrigued me was the building is quite slander to the top rather extend to the sides. After checked in, performed our prayer we are ready to roam around the city.....yiiihaaaaa......come lets join us!
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We are having lunch at Mc Donald. Waiting for another hour for departure. Make doa that we will have a smooth journey. Havent have any definite program but let see when we arrive Hanoi. Chauuu.....
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Leaving for Hanoi

Next week I am not coming to office. I got one week leave. Wow....what a happy moment for me to refresh and rejuvenate myself to become a younger person. Hahaha...just kidding. I dont think that I am going to become younger and even never young at heart. Let it be just me!

Tomorrow I will leave for Hanoi, Vietnam. This is my 30th country that I am going to visit. I bring along Ubai with me and it is a travelling of a father and son or I may say my best friend? At first I thought to take him to Bali but I changed my mind at the last minute since I have been to Bali for three times.

I thought to fly with Airasia but when I checked the price, it was about the same with MAS. It is better to fly with MAS for comfort and convinient. We will depart from KLIA by 1.45pm and ETA at Hanoi at 4.15 pm local time. We have not planned what are our activities but will manage once we arrived.

Hanoi, here we come!
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Returning From Kerteh

Driving to Kerteh from my house was about 4 hours. We arrived at Awana Kijal Resort and Golf Club about 9pm. Luckily, Ubai drove all the way from KL to Kerteh. The assignment was posponed from morning to afternoon. If they informed me ealier, I would rather catch a flight from KL and return in the afternoon. Yeah...there are few clarification have to resolve. Hhhmmmm......I am not going to write something related to work. I hate it!

On the way home I called Tengku for a short meeting at Kemaman. He will fly back to South Sudan the next day. When I reach the bourder of Kemaman, I called him again to fix the meeting point. We met at one reataurant that I already forgor the name for an hour before I continue my journey. We talked about the past and current situation of South Sudan.

I just wonder, shoul I be in Kerteh during construction period? Hhhhmmmm......let me have my second thoughts.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plumeria Addicts

One day when I opened my face book, I was invited to joint the group Plumeria Addicts. Then I went to the group and there were many members who were already addicted to Plumeria Frangipani. Wow....we are sharing our common interest and hobby. This must be very nice to know many people around the world and get few tips from experienced breeders. When I checked the list of members, as expected, I saw the of Che Mat already there. Can I be considered as experienced breeder? I am not sure about that. The problem that I am facing right now is the space.

Last Sunday I received my mail order from EP. There were 4 cuttings altogether. Three I ordered and one was given for free. Thanks EP for your prompt sevices. Firstly, I thought the orders will arrive in a poly bag. But they were cuttings and I need to plant them immediately. I knew that the cutting can last longer but only for the hardy one that about to turn into a woody branch.

Now I have the additional colours or species called Bridal White, Bali Whirl, Kaset Slip and Reddish Orange. If I were to have a huge land I might be a serious collector. Now what am I going to do is propogate the plants and sell them at the market. I believe there are many enthusiasts that like to enjoy this hobby out there.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Shopping At IKEA

I have no definite plan yesterday where to go apart from sending my daughters to a piano lesson. The class will end at 10.00 am. Finally I decided to go to IKEA and visit my old friend that I have lost touch for more that 15 years. I asked Ubai and Kiss to accompany me as well. Lets we have a wonderful week end and see how the world would offer us. Oooo....oooo....I haven't got my salary yet and this month already over budgeted! Never mind not to worry about it.

I normally go to IKEA early morning to avoid overly crowded with window shoppers. Hhhhmmmmm......there are people going to IKEA buying nothing! Sometimes they bring along their grand dad, grand mom, untie, uncle, small children and toddlers roamung around the whole sectuon of IKEA. You would feel it is just another festival, especially during the week end.

As for me, I would grab the one that I planned to buy and straight to the counter. But sometimes ( actually most of the time....hehehe...) you got attracted to the displayed items unnecessarily. Finally it would burst your budget! When you bring along your children it would become worst. You have to pay the amount you never expected!

You know what did I buy? I bought few sets of dinner plates, to replace my casserole bowls that I used to serve my guests that I bought in Bradford, England for the past 20 years. I need a change in style and a change in presentation. It will look more lively and entertaining when you serve your guest.
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Fresh Tortila

The mexican calls it tortila. The Indian calls it chapati. And there are varieties of bread (as I call them coz they are liok a like) and quite similar to one to another. I still remember when I was in India years ago, I used to order garam chai ( hot tea with fresh milk) and chapati ( it was white and thin like a tissue paper) before I performed my fajar prayer at a small restaurant in front of the mosque. The restaurant open for 24 hours to serve the people that come and go as regular as it could be. introduction of my tortila is driving me to India! Few weeks ago I told my wife what tortila was. And I told her the recipe that I found in the internet. She was delighted and keened to try and prepare for us. For her first attempt the taste and texture almost perfect. She filled the tortila with chicken and salad, and dressing with mayo and chili sauce. was fantastic. My children liked them very much and she had tried for few times with different version of filling.

When my mom came to my house, my wife served her tortila and she was delighted and happy to eat it. Infact she asked for the recipe...... (it was always like that....asking for recipe and never do it). After tortila what is the next new recipe? Let we do some wafers for our children. It must be very interesting!
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Breakfast

Just sent my daughters to a piano class just now. While waiting for them to finish their lesson, I took Ubai and Kiss to have breakfast at Papa Rich at the corner. Actually we already had breakfast at home. My wife had made kue teow goreng for us. Just a simple drink here will do.

Looking at the menu, oh yes, we would like to eat everything. The food looks very nice and temting. With my favourite mee curry, asam laksa and many more noodle dishes, dont you think we are defeated and could not resist the temtation? Yes....suppress your desire for a while and eat when you are really hungry.
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Grand Daughter

This is my third grand children and my first grand daughter. But she is not my real grand daughter but my niece's daughter. If I were to have my own grand child, I have to wait Ubai to get marry first. It is still a long way to go. May be I have to wait at least for another five years.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Way We Were

Memories light the corners of my mind

Misty water-colored memories of the way we were

Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind

Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then

Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again

Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember

We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter we will remember

Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were

I heard the song repeatedly, again and again this morning through my smart phone. It was such a nice and charming melody. And the lyric was so simple and delivered....would we...could forget?
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Vibrant Colours

Do you know what are these? What?? Can you mention it again? ...... Sorry....your answer is wrong. These are my new socks that I bought from uniqlo the Japanese apparel. Just to try the new taste and trend instead of having darker colours. Another reason is it would make it easier for me to choose the sock according to what day. Perhaps if Monday I would wearing maroon. If Tuesday what colour should I wear? it makes my life difficult. Never mind I always can alternate the colours!
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My Exotic Plumeria

When I reached home yesterday, I saw my new frangipani already blooming. But not in its full bloom yet. May be I got to wait by this week end to enjoy the full bloom. I didnt know what to call it but my fb friend Exoticmatahari Plumeria wrote to me it is to be called Pinang Peach. I think yes, bcoz refering to the layers of colors it demostrated the similarity of it. Infact I have ordered few exotic species with different colour and shapes from my fb friend EP but are yet to arrive.

I never thougt that we never have a club for plumeria addicts. It just a coincidence that I love the plants because of its vibrant colours, shapes and fragrance and sharing the hobby and interest with my few friends. Today EP tagged me to join the fb club called Plumeria Addicts. Now I may have a new pool of plumeria addicts to share our same interest.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Got To Fix It

Oh nooo....... My tyre punctured as I parked my car nicely at the underground parking space. I wasn't sure when it actually happened coz I dont feel anything while driving. I was really lucky. If it happened in the middle of heavy traffic, it probably soaked in a heavy resperation. Never mind, we fixed it later.

Ustaz Tuhairom came to visit me from Kucing and had a night stay in my home. I told Ustaz to wait for me at the lobby while I am going up to my office to send my bag. When I came down I got a call from Ithnin asking to have breakfast with him. He is going to have a training at the Hilton on how to become a trainer.

I brought both of them to the food court for breakfast. As usual not many choice except plain nasi lemak and roti canai. All of us were having roti canai and teh tarik ( I always prefer nescafe tarik). Then I asked excuses to get my car fixed.

Luckily, Ithnin came along and fixed everything for me. Thank you very much Ithnin for your complete assistance. Today on the way home I have to stop at the workshop to get my tyre repaired and fixed.
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From Bali, Indonesia

It started to bloom after almost one and a half years. What can I say? Yes, I am so delighted to see this wondeful flowers and its fragrance. But where should I plant it with my limited space? I have to explore my creativity and make the best out of it. Possibly, I should graft with other matured species to it and creating additional vibrant of colours.

I bought only the cutting when I was in Bali in December, 2010 with my children. On the way to Ubud and the volcano site we stopped at the plant nursery where I asked an indon lady to make a cutting for me to take home. You can follow my story in my blog earlier. I knew my children were getting bored when I took much time to haggle the price. Anyway this is not the exotic species and just an ordinary colour and shape to add up to my collections.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Going To SOGO

Yesterday was a last day sale at SOGO. At least you can get discounts for few percents and save some money. It is not easy to budget the expences coz so many things you need to buy for your family and lastly for yourself.

I asked my wife whether she needed anything. I said if you needed anything just followed me if not we have to wait for the next sale. On the way we picked up my daughter coz she wanted a pair of new shoes. I took Ubai along so that he can take care of Sarah and Yusuf. I bought two pair of trousers for Yusuff but nothing for Sarah.

I did not think that I need something to buy. I just wander around like window shopping whether there are new things around. I went to gents shoes and look around if they have the design that I would admire. I can say that the design was not sophiscated or not many choices to what I experienced in Istanbul or Europe. The majority of the shoes have a round and square shapes that look so old fashion. Am I a fashion concious? Hhmmmmm......not really but I have my own taste and style. I have bought few leather shoes earlier from Istanbul. The quality and design almost similar to clark shoes that I used to have from UK. Another problem when you buy shoes, you have to really check the mark which parts are real leather. Some of the shoes dont have the mark and it is difficult to determine they are really genuine leather.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sri Petaling Mosque

Years ago, I used to come to this mosque every week. If I was too buzy or lazy, at least I would come her every month. After I left Malaysia to work abroad, my visit to this most grafually disappeared. Actually I have no excuse not to.attend and listen to the sermon of a learned ustaz.

Every Saturday night there is a special program arranged by the group so call Tabligh talking about iman and amal. There would be a special speach or bayan by the eldest from local alim or foreign jamat after maghrib and would end up about 9.30 pm. Why we need to be reminded about iman and amal? All are about the life after death or life in the hereafter where all the deeds that we did in the world will be questioned in front of god. Everybody will be resurrected and faced the court of judgement and all the deeds even as small as an uota will be counted. People can never escape especially the mischief and everything including the body, the creation of Allah will become an honest witness. Do you believe it? This is what iman is all about. Telling you the unseen things that exist before your mind. Through iman, the amal will blossom and they are like a pair of wings that in need of each other. I am not trying to convince and preach my readers to belief but this is faith and reality that we have to ponder. This world is a station for a short stop for us to gather and prepare or ration before proceed to a very long journey to final destination which is eternal.

Yesterday, I went to Sri Petaling Mosque with Ubai and his friend Azran. I missed this place so much and the last trio was two months ago. I was feeling guilty due to my entanglement with duniawi I was unable to spend time here. Insyaallah I would make every efford to come here again fortnightly. After Isya I smsed Bro Qasim to have teh tarik with me. Almost two years we havent met and he is the one who used to take care of me when I was a student abroad.

This world is temporary. One day we will leave whether we like it or not. We will bring nothing when we are sent to the grave even if we are a billionaires.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

He Is OK Now

Yesterday, when my wife dropped Yusuff at the kindergarten, he asked my wife to go home. No need for my wife to wait for him. He is ok now. I think he is enjoying himself learning and playing in the kindergarten with his new friends. It was a joy for me and my wife. Usually he would demand my wife to wait for him and if not he will express his tantrum by kicking everything near him.

Last night he came to me and showed me the books that his teacher gave him. I asked him to read and tell me what was inside the book. It was just a tricky questions I posted to him. Sure he still unfamiliar with alphabets and it would take times for him to recognise and understand. Finally I asked Adah to help and teach him.

Being a parents and also a father, it takes time for us to understand the character of each child. The demand and attention might be different from one to another. You always need to balance up and weigh everything before you conclude any decisions. All you need to do is to remain patience, even you might think that everything is already balanced and equalled but yet there are complaints and comments that you need to judge wisely. I, myself would not know whether I am a good father. Forgive me if I am wrong.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Visiting A Friend

I smsed my friend this morning and told him that my wife and I are going to visit his family after asar. I also told him to prepare mee rebus that I used to eat....hihihi. He replied and asked for a cheese cake. I asked my wife whether she can prepare the cheese cake? Unfortunely there was no cream cheese, instead she willing to prepare cup cakes i.e carrot cup cake. That should be ok.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chocolate Oh Chocolate

I like chocolate very much and I suspect all of you are the same. I still remember when I was a student chocolate used to be in my bag. Those for my lunch and sometimes brunch! Whenever I was free, I would take a train from London to Bradford to play with my nephews. I never forgot to bring along few bars of chocolates for them. They loved chocolate so much and whenever they ate, the chocolate will smear their faces. My sister would scold me and insisted not to bring chocolates anymore. Now they have grown up. This was 25 years ago.

Similarly, all of my children like chocolate very much. Whenever I return home from my travels, I would stop at the free duty shop to buy chocolates. The problem is they can eat and finish them within a day. They are like piranhas. I used to tell my wife to hide few of them but they can sense the location and my wife give it up.

I bought plenty of chocolates recently at Langkawi Island. The chocalates are cheap because of free duty status. I bought all sort of chocolates and hoping that this time around the chocolates can last long. Today I found out that few bars already missing. I asked Ubai to keep them secretly and allowed 2 bars in the fridge at a time and hoping to last for a week. Let see what will happen and how quick it is going to finish.

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