Thursday, November 22, 2012

At peace

A lot of people wondered when I decided to take my 6-month break. A lot of people thought it was drastic; I had passed my Part 1 (though still unbelievable) and had just been confirmed as a UD52 (man, I feel old) so, career-wise, it was chugging on smoothly.

Not many realise that I had been on the verge of quitting altogether. Having had a short break post Part 1, I had a lot of free time to contemplate my life and what it lacked, despite me personally thinking how blessed it has been. I know I didn't need the money, I don't hunger the power nor fame (what fame?) and am only mildly disturbed by the fact that I may be receiving orders from specialists younger than me - one can only embrace aging gracefully, I say.

I started seeing things that needed to be done. They became my priority. At least that's what I thought. So, I talked to my boss and he suggested I take a break rather than quitting altogether. I smiled politely and made the necessary arrangement. At that time, I was sure deferring was only prolonging what was certain in my mind.

I left abruptly and left my good friends there shocked, to say the least. I was touched when they called and asked why. It showed me that they cared. Intermittently during the 6 months, a phonecall or an SMS would come me by, informing me of the latest department gossips and I appreciated that.

I loved being the little housewife - I learnt to sew (and quite well too, if I may say so myself) and set up home. I learnt that I love seeing my plants grow and thrive. I have a red frangipani growing on my front lawn and cannot wait for its first bloom. I realised, that despite being an able cook in the kitchen, that I am a lousy baker. I can throw random stuff into the pot and still come up with something edible but even following a recipe to the tee cannot guarantee me a perfect cupcake.

For once, my laundry stayed folded and ironed in the wardrobe. Abg only had to decide and pick out what to wear for work rather than rummaging through and picking out something decent from the laundry basket.

Of course, a lot of things also became sidetracked. I had wanted to go for cooking classes but became ill on several occasion which left me housebound for weeks at time; and of course the Eid celebrations took a portion of my time off. I enjoyed Ramadhan or perhaps Abg enjoyed it more because now that I am a housewife, I had no excuses for waking up and preparing sahur.

However, despite being all Martha Stewart-y, occasionally life felt it lacked something. I missed my friends. I missed being in the OT. As time went on, I began to look forward to returning.

To tell you the truth, I am seriously excited about going back. I look forward to seeing and talking to my friends and catching up on the latest gossip. I can't wait to be back in OT but I know I would have to reacquaint myself with managing cases now that it has been months since I've seen patients.

Now that our home has been set up, I do feel a little sad about leaving it. Every little thing had at least a tiny bit of thought and memory behind it but I do realise that life is about sacrifices and this is only a minute one.

So, I am glad I took this break. As I told my friend Kumar, it was something that I needed to get out of my system or else I would constantly be feeling uneasy and have 'What if's hanging round my head. I learnt to let go of certain dreams - perhaps some things really are not meant to be - and accept the fact that life is totally fine without it.

I may or even may not complete my training - as far as I know myself, I can be pretty fickle minded - but at least I am at peace with the decisions I made so far and one can't ask for more than that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

We can't save them all


People who know me, know for a fact how much I love cats. I love cats so much that I actually prefer their company rather than a human's (Abg being one of the few exceptions). Cats are so resilient - they don't whine or wail when they are sick and my (fur)kids always know when I am sad or depressed.

I just can't bear seeing strays begging for food, being covered in mange or being kicked by non cat lovers. I always wonder what the cats are feeling: are they hoping the next garbage bin they rummage through will have a morsel for them to eat and not get splashed with hot water for making a mess? Are they wondering if they'd have somewhere warm and dry to sleep at when the rain comes?

Recently, I had gone to visit a relative and had witnessed a road traffic accident. There was a body lying on a police stretcher, all covered up and bloody. Looking at the state of the Hilux, it must have been a bad one. On the way back, we witnessed this horrifying scene of three small kittens who must have rolled out from underneath a moving car and was ran over mercilessly by the other cars. The body of the man left me unmoved (after all, this was a normal scene working in a hospital) but I kept imagining the helpless kittens and still thought of them two days afterwards.

I hate going to markets because instead of looking at the produce, I am often distracted by the stray cats. Some seem pretty healthy and I am happy at least some kinds souls are feeding them. I see tiny kittens playing underneath tables, pawing at bits of string - their eyes crusted, their hip bones showing and their fur matted - and my heart goes out to them. I would look pleadingly at Abg and often he would ignore this silly wife of his; if she had her way, all the cats and kittens would sleep on the bed! I know though that he feels the same way but we also know that we can't save them all.

A few months ago, we were at the weekend market and a car was blocking our exit and as Abg was looking for the driver, I spied a little kitten just sitting with his head down by the drain. Without giving Abg a chance to say anything, I went out and scooped him up and brought him into the car. All throughout the ride home, his head stayed down and didn't make a sound. He barely fit in my palm and looked ill. Tani pulled through, thankfully and will never leave my side if he can help it.

Often I would drop by KTAJ's adoption page and pray for the cats looking for their forever home. At least the kittens are snapped up quite quickly but the adult ones are usually less popular and most of the time would just be re-released to become strays again. I wish I could take them all but I suppose I have to be realistic. If I could take care of ten cats properly, i.e. vaccinate and spay/neuter them and get treatment for whatever illness that comes - then, that is better than having 30 which are ill and mange covered - but that's just my opinion.

Yes, looking at strays can be heartbreaking but sometimes you just have to be strong and let nature make it's natural selection. It may sound cruel but that's how it has been done for all these years. So I look longingly at the small black kitten at the fish stall and tell myself, 'We can't save them all' and despite the heaviness in my heart, walk away.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Need for rant

I don't rant that often on my blog - that's because when I do, I really let loose and no one can make a mistake over who I am angry at.

On top of that, I tend to say things that I regret and once it is laid out there, no amount of deleting will ever really get it out, you know?

I had been in a really bad place recently. Bah, I suppose I can brush it off by saying I am only being human but then, that is the truth. I knew what I felt and did (or did not do) was wrong but I was certain that time would give me the strength to do what was right.

I don't know how a few sentences can make people who read it instantly know what I am really thinking or feeling - and not one bothered to ask me to my face. Just because I don't share what I feel does not give you the fricking right to assume.

Suddenly everyone is an expert at what I should be feeling and how I should act. Haven't it occurred to you that what you see on the surface isn't a representation of what is really happening? Or that all I need is for some time to let it heal?

All I needed was some understanding, patience and above all time - yet no one could give me the benefit of the doubt and give me the things I most needed.

Thanks a lot.

Invincible no more

What is it about youth and how it can make one feel invincible? It does, doesn't it? You feel like you can do anything, stay up all night and still be up for a 5-hour shopping marathon the next day - though in my case, stay awake for 36 hours doing oncall and still able to hold a decent conversation at the end of it.

I was someone who rarely got sick, even as a child. Apparently I ate a lot, but rarely became ill - and as far as I can remember, I would maybe get the sniffles once a year and be out of it after just a couple of days. THIS, despite eating junkfood and not exercising.

Now, with my advancing age, even with eating better (can't say I have improved on the exercising part) - I keep getting hit with one thing or the other: first it was the cough which lasted for 4 ridiculous weeks then of course there was the ongoing knee pain and back pain which comes and goes as it pleases.

I have been down with the worst ear infection for the past few days - it was so bad that I was practically sobbing because of the pain. One night, I actually took two Panadols, one Voltaren and two Celebrex (in other words, a lot) before I could have two hours of pain free sleep.
The world feels like it's shrouded in cotton balls. Everything seems muted. You don't really realise how much you take your five senses for granted till you lose one of it, do you?

Even being home makes you jittery because you know you can't hear it when people come to your door or that you may miss the whistling of the kettle on the stove. All I wanted to do was get myself cooped up in my room and surf the net where it is safe.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rest In Peace Tuah

I thought moving to this new home would be a new beginning in my cats' lives. I had always hated leaving them in cages all day while I went for work. However, since moving here, I have lost Pirate, Vico, Minnie and Jiji - I still imagine them strolling through the gates one day, without a single care in the world - or at least hoped someone else is taking care of them. The alternative would have been painful.

I did start to suspect that they had died from being poisoned when a neighbour about 5 houses away asked if we are missing some cats. The picture he showed us wasn't one of ours but he mentioned a cat which turned up dead foaming at the mouth which fitted Jiji's description.

Tuah had always been a favourite. He just showed up one day at my car while I was going home and survived a major operation to correct his diaphragmatic hernia. He was the sweetest thing. Just last night, he was nuzzling against me as I read the newspaper, pawing at my hand as I turned the pages. Little did I know he would be gone today.

I hope whoever left the poison out is happy now.

Rest in peace little Tuah - you will forever be missed.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The end

Lately I find myself often thinking about death. Must be the age. You wake up with aches and pains in your body and you realise you are not as young as your brain thinks. Waking up from a night's sleep feels the same as when you went off to bed. Your motor response aren't as fast and you don't remember things as well as you used to.

Do you, like me, wonder how your end is going to be? Will it be painful, I wonder? Will it be sudden or will it be slow and miserable? Who will be with me when I go? Will people care enough to see me go, be it happy or otherwise?

I was reading this blog about a husband who is currently taking care of his bed bound wife. In one of his entries, he said, he remembered being asked by the wife whether he would remarry should something happen to her? I turned to Abg and asked him the same. He said he didn't know.

I understood. One can never know what one will really do unless one is faced with the reality. You can say A or B or all the letters of the alphabets but only when the truth hits you in the face will you know for sure what your actions will be.

After a while, Abg said, "Well, if I were to go first, I would like you to remarry" - to which I harrumphed so ungraciously and said, "Takde dah orang nak kat saya [No one would want me]" but in truth, what I wanted to say was "I was lucky to have found you and I don't think I would be lucky again".

Then I look around my beautiful home and think, all this would be unnecessary and absolutely useless when I die. I guess if people thought about their demise more often and with all seriousness, less people will be greedy or materialistic. As it is, I find greed so abominable - to think that it can make people so self centered and selfish. Life would be better if people started thinking about other people.

and what about my cats? I look at Spicy, my three legged madame who, despite her handicap, has no problem climbing up to the dinner table to lie by my arm as I am writing this. Who will take care of you when I die? I hope you have been happy staying with me. God knows what kind of suffering you have gone through before I found you mewing sadly in front of the mamak stall.

I guess you will never know when death will come unless it is staring you right in the face. Whatever end HE has in store for me, I hope HE will be merciful and all caring. Amin.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


...I just want to give up on certain people.

and it's shite when 'certain people' are some of your family members.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

An inspiration

Having gone halfway through my break and totally loving it - I found myself watching a lot of programmes on YouTube.

I've always loved Masterchef and hope one day I will gather enough confidence to participate in the Malaysian version - but anyway, I have recently started watching the third US season and right at the end of the first episode, they showed this little oriental lady and I bawled like a baby.

This is Christine Ha, she is 32, she is blind, she cooks and she was on Masterchef!

What's your excuse?

p/s: Christine is in the Top 2 and the finale will be shown in the US next week.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The worst thing...... happen during Raya is to get sick...or have your kid get sick, - or anyone get sick for that matter.

Bleurgh. My head is throbbing, my chest feels tight and my throat is as dry as the desert. I've shooed Abg and let him enjoy the festivities. I wouldn't be around me if I were him.

So, Ramadhan has left us. We managed to get through with not a single visit to the Pasar Ramadhan. Impressive or what, eh?

At first I was so enthusiastic - cooking twice a day and having freshly cooked rice and 'lauk' even for sahur. But after 2 weeks, I had to rack my brains to think of what to cook. However, we only went for fastfood (the downside of having Pizza Hut just two seconds away) twice! Which I personally think was amazing.

Anyway, I'm going to crawl into bed and try to get some sleep now. Eid Mubarak everyone.

Friday, August 10, 2012

When the young die

I received news that an acquaintance had lost her 9 year-old daughter recently.

My thoughts and prayers are with her. How a parent deals with that kind of tragedy is beyond me. They say nothing is worse than having your child die before you and I sincerely believe that is true. Because a parent will always have the highest hopes and dreams for their child. They nurture their kid so that he/she will have a long fruitful life in front of her, to maybe achieve more than her/his parents did and hopefully to be a better person.

How does one console such a tragedy, what does one say?

How can one go on with life remembering the exact moment your child was born, when he/she first smiled and what her/his first words are - and know there will never be another first for him/her. No matter how strong the parents are - I cannot imagine coming home and looking at your child's room and imagining her/him running towards you with that cheeky smile of his/hers and know that that will never be possible?

I guess the only way to get through it is to have faith in Allah for HE has HIS ways and who are we to question what they are. In the meantime, be strong and gather courage from each other. Tears and time will heal all, eventually.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

When tears come

Despite our childless state, it had never crossed my mind to put the blame on anyone. Period.

There was nothing nor no one to blame. I told myself, Allah has HIS ways. HE has blessed my life in so many other ways that sometimes I feel so guilty about not giving thanks enough. My husband, my health, the almost constant contentment that I feel, the joy I get from friends and family, the ability to derive happiness from simple pleasures like seeing my cats wrestle each other - the list is endless.

Part of the plan for my hiatus was to get some professional help to change this. Our home is so beautiful that it'd be more wonderful with pitter patter of tiny human feet - rather than little paws.

However, when certain attempts prove to be futile - I find my optimism waning. I don't want to play the blame game, much less when I am beginning to blame HIM.

This month has been exceptionally difficult - mainly because we were really trying. Before, it was - kalau ada, ada lah, kalau takde pun takpe [if it is to be, so be it but if it isn't, that's ok too] and I was happy with that. In fact, in the later years, I had totally accepted our fate. I told myself that at least I am spared the headaches of parents.

But then, I start to think, what exactly is wrong with us that HE feels that we don't deserve kids? Am I so bad that Allah doesn't feel that I deserve it? If there is a hikmah in this, please tell me soon what it is because consoling myself can be heartbreaking.

Then the tears come - I cry for not being able to become the wife that I am supposed to be, I cry for not being able to feel how much love is too much when it comes to loving a child - I cry for my arwah son (yes, he was a boy - we named him Muhammad), I cry for Abg because he may never have the opportunity to cry the Azan or to recite the iqamah in our child's ear.

Most of all I cry for my own weakness, for even beginning to be mad at Allah for my fate. As I wipe my tears, I resolve to not let myself be weak and to have more faith in HIM. I tell myself that we have a good life - an exceptionally good life that I rarely think the grass is greener on the other side. The grass has always been greener on my side of the fence and I don't think I'd want to change that.

But I know the tears will come once in a while and I will pray that even in the state of most sadness that I will never forget that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Occasionally I do miss it.

Being at work, cutting up patients and sewing them back together - roaming the quiet corridors when I am oncall reviewing cases.

Yesterday I was trying to make chek meks out of this bag of keledeks I got while on holiday in Johor. Ma had warned me that they aren't suitable for that purpose, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway and of course it was an epic fail. Despite pouring in about half a bag of flour, it was still too mushy to be shaped. Trying to air fry it didn't help either, I guess.

So as I looked at the big lump of keledek-flour mix, despair came over me. Why oh why did I leave something that I am good at and do something I thought (but in reality am not) I am?


But then, I get phonecalls from my friends and they tell me how stressed they are with presentations and thesis preparation and I suddenly feel all better again. I may have to face all that in 4 months time but for the time being, I am just going to lie back and relax and figure out the secret to fantastic chek meks (preferably air fried ones).

Monday, July 23, 2012

It may be wonderful.....

...but it doesn't fry cucur udangs, no sirree.

I recently acquired this gadget which is supposed to let me eat fried food guilt free (not that I ever felt much guilt, anyway) as it claims to use 80% less oil or something like that.

It complements my kitchen well, with its black sleek outer shell. The physics is that, it circulates hot air which cooks your food and since most food has natural oil, the air fryer uses this oil in order to, well, fry. It is heaven sent for people who love buying and stocking up on frozen kuihs and Ayamas drummets. Not only do you not use any oil, but excess oil gets removed as well!

I have been using it quite a lot in my little housewife adventures but I have to admit, it won't fry a decent cucur udang nor a chek mek molek but I still haven't given up on that so watch this space!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Bree Adventures

We have both agreed that we wouldn't be going to any Pasar Ramadhan if we can help it. It is only during Ramadhan that suddenly everyone feels they can be the next Masterchef and open up a stall. Most of the time the food would lack taste and often, we would end up with nearly spoiled items.

In the past, and I am embarrased to admit to this - Abg would be the one waking up to prepare sahur. Since he is his own boss and doesn't have a punchcard, whereas I would have to drive to work at 7 - I figured it's only fair that he wakes up early because he could always have a lie in after Subuh. Fair, yes?

So, now that I am on unpaid leave, Abg has gleefully left the job of preparing sahur unto me. Which I have wholeheartedly embraced. Thankfully Abg isn't choosy about what I feed him and thankfully too that I am a rather decent cook.

I have been cooking everyday since the beginning of Ramadhan and enjoying every single minute of it. It has been chicken soup, keli bakar, baked macaroni and fried kuey teow complete with homemade pickled chillies, just to name a few.

Perhaps I would be bored and be begging for a trip to the Pasar Ramadhan later on but for the time being, here's to my Bree adventures!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


I remember back when I was a giggling medical student and in between practising examining the cardiovascular system, talking to my mates Ching Yin and Chantal - about how all I really wanted to do in life is to be a housewife and take care of my family.

I proceeded to become a doctor and went on to work; I had just completed my 9th year in service late last year. I love working, yet time and time again, I would dream of being Bree (from Desperate Housewives). I would go to Tesco and linger at the the household products aisle and scrutinise the merits of the different cleaning material. I look at recipes and wish I could whip up a batch of scrumpilicious cupcakes, on top of the ayam percik and kerabu pucuk paku for dinner.

Last year I became unsettled. Work, if you could call it that (I was doing attachments at that time) became such a chore. I didn't look forward to getting up and driving to where I was attached to. I was grumpy and unhappy.

So, after much discussion with Abg, I decided to take a short break from my Masters and work. I spoke to my HOD about deferment of my training programme. I had to take a long look at my financial status to see if I can afford taking time off work. Having acquired all those properties amounted to a considerable paycut and I had to make sure that my savings could cover that. Thankfully I had a decent amount tucked away which made my decision so much easier.

It has been a month now and I have never been happier. Setting up home has taken the majority of my time; being away from work gave me time to make countless trips to textile shops to choose the right colour scheme for the soft finishings. I sewed all the curtains in the living area and the master bedroom and learnt to make cushion covers. Even as I was preparing to go to sleep, I was mentally arranging my tableware in the various drawers and shelves.

The only downside to being a housewife was being so lonely during the day. I could talk to my cats but one-way conversation isn't much fun.

But I certainly do not miss not being oncall, taking 50 phone calls from junior MOs who only wanted me to check whether they read the xrays correctly. Bah. Isn't that what your ED/A&E Specialists are for? MO A&E nak jadi polis trafik so pakar korang ketua polis trafik lah?

I do miss being in the OT though and hope my suturing skills haven't rotted by the time I get back.

Till then, here's to taking breaks and loving it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I long for the good ol' times

I hate reading the news nowadays. All I seem to be reading is about underaged girls being abducted, locked up and raped or helpless makciks being robbed in the broad daylight. What is our world coming to?

Of course, I am only reading what the papers were reporting but what are girls as young as 12 following 20 something males to whoever's home? Don't you know to never trust strangers?

Friend who are parents tell me that parenting nowadays are a challenge compared to back then. Back then we didn't have the internet or handphones and it was so much harder to go behind your parents' backs but shouldn't the basics be the same?

On top of that, is it me or is our world becoming increasingly unsafe? I remember when I was a kid, we would go cycling to the 'longkang' where water from the abandoned mine flowed to. I loved trying to catch tadpoles to bring home and back then, that was on a lonely stretch of road. Of course I think Ma was still working at that time and the baby sitter was probably happy she could get rid of us for a few hours but I don't think anyone worried about us getting abducted.

But more importantly, what kind of self worth do these girls have or don't have that they are so willing to put everything at risk for some guy they just met on Facebook or whatever social media platform that is the fad at the moment? How unhappy can your home life be that an hour with some scumbag can appear to be better?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


When I look back into my past, most of the time I tend to remember only the sweetest and nicest things. One of the sweetest times I had in my past was my later secondary school years and till this day, I only have the warmest regards of the time I had back then.

It was my first experience being in a boarding school and to this day at times I wish I am 17 again, young and carefree, not a care in the world except finishing homework.

I remember joyful friendship - there was one weekend when most of the students had gone home and the school was exceptionally quiet. We decided we would take this opportunity to 'learn' tennis. What I finally learnt was tennis is hard, okay! Instead of lobbing the ball gracefully across the net, we spent the hour falling all over ourselves and laughing at our dismal game. We were still laughing as we made our way to the Dewan Makan for the weekly nasi lemak.

I remember whispering in the dark past lights out, talking about how cute Boy A and Boy B was in the full splendour of baju melayu and sampin. My room was conveniently located by the covered way the boys would walk by on their way to the mosque.

I remember of infatuations and of puppy love - glancing longingly at the boy I had a crush on as he passes by the window of my class and I remember wishing that he would glance at me as I walked by. I remember the butterflies I felt in my stomach as he would smile at me, no matter how harmless and of no intention that smile would be.

I remember wishing the holidays away, counting the days when we would return to school because then would I be 'reunited' with the apple of my eye - and of crushes I had many! There was that shy kampung boy with his green school bag, the playful class clown, the wise-beyond-his-years city boy and even the school's tai-ko. Sigh, the times when we were young! But the heart can be as fanciful and as fickle as it wants to when you are youthful.

I recall my teachers: Cikgu Norlela taught us Chemistry. She has this high pitched voice and would get the boys who failed her subject to wash the toilet yet we all loved her. She acts all 'garang' but I am sure she shed more than one tear when we left. The soft spoken Biology teacher who was so proud when I scored an A1 in Biology. The many wardens who acted parents to us all - I am sure we were the cause of many headaches.

Some people would look back and remember the ragging from seniors - I remember being called to the compound and being given the dressing down and seeing my friends cry but I couldn't care less. To this day I still have a little bit of a problem dealing with authority. I was also never the ass kissing junior who would go out of their way to buy 'dedications' for seniors (my senior roomates doesn't count), a habit which have followed me to my professional career.

How times have changed. Occasionally I still think I am 17 - don't we all? - and wish life could be as uncomplicated as back then. Looking back, I remember even something as trivial as having a huge pimple on your nose can be earth shattering but as an adult now, I'm thinking how silly we were - life is so much more complicated than that. If I could go and see the younger me, I would tell her that there is more to life than not having someone special to dedicate that apple to.

I guess as I am approaching another crossroads, I tend to get a little emotional. Having all this free time isn't helping either. I am beginning to get an an inkling of how boring life would be without my my job. Of course I wouldn't think so if I could get off my bottom and start doing work!

Here's to a productive day, people.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

What if....

When we started our 5-month elective period, June seemed so far away. Furthermore, I was doing my elective posting in a department which didn't pique my interest so much and I spent much of my days just standing around, seemingly observing but in reality planning my holiday abroad in my head.

Now that the holiday has passed and we have gone on to the second posting, entering second year seemed more of a reality and it is starting to hit me slowly. I realise that I will now have to keep my head down and start reading journals and practice long cases and spend afternoons on short cases with my lecturers. Acck.

The fact that I am back in Kelantan and cleaning the house and buying plants and moving furniture - did not help at all. In fact, the last few weeks I had been moaning, whining and lamenting the fact that my Masters programme might have been a mistake afterall and I HAVE ALWAYS wanted to be just a housewife and that becoming a doctor was a fluke. Heck, I was even talking to my Cempaka Telur plant while I was replanting it!

Why is it that we always want what we don't have? Whoever coined the saying 'The grass is always greener on the other side' was a genius because there is no truer saying than that.

But, wouldn't it be nice to spend your mornings leisurely sipping coffee while reading the newspaper (online of course) and then going to the garden for a spot of weeding before it gets too hot. By noon I would have had my dinner menu planned out, complete with a freshly baked cake - and now that I am a lady of leisure, I would even squeeze in an hour of embroidering. When Abg drives in into the driveway, I would be at the door greeting him with a smile and handing him a glass of juice (freshly squeezed) before I peel off his socks. Haha.

In reality though what would have happened is that I would wake up late, get online, insist that hubby iron his own shirt and trousers before sending him off to work - NOT before he buys me nasi berlauk first of course! I would then continue surfing the net and bloghopping and leaving unnecessary comments in forums, not even bothering to shower and then bug hubby with questions of 'When are you coming home?' when it isn't even two pm.

Maybe I am exaggerating but the point is, we would always think that we would be a better person if we were to be in another situation. 'I would be more hardworking' or 'I would be doing more aerobics and eat healthier meals' - but once we are in that different situation, of course, we would look longingly at another person's life or worse, the life we just recently left and think the same.

A few years back, Gwyneth Paltrow was in this movie where they showed what would have happened should she have taken one route instead of the other - you know when you are faced with a crossroad and you wished you knew what would happen if you had taken route A rather than B? I don't remember what happened in the end - I do remember it's theme song though, a rather catchy tune by Aqua which is playing in my head right this instant and would likely be stuck there for the rest of the day no doubt.

Wouldn't it be great if we could choose the course of our lives like an algorithm, see what the end result is and being able to pick out the one that we liked best?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I had been spending the day decluttering - going through my drawers and mercilessly throwing things out. It's the only way to keep my home clutter-free; if I had not used it for the past year, out it goes.

So I found this CD and had put it on the laptop to see what was on it and found this already forgotten picture of my parents and grandparents.

We lost Tok Ayah last year - he had been bedridden for quite some time. It was a trying time for everyone but I suppose no one felt his loss more than his spouse for more than 60 years, my Tok.

We lost Tok recently. I hope she is at peace now.

Monday, April 09, 2012


I consider myself as blessed. Other people might not think so. Some say I need to lose weight, others say my life isn't complete without a kid and previously, some think I should strive further than just be content with being a medical officer.

I AM happy. Sometimes I think I am too happy for my own good. I used to think again and again whether I am too content for my own good. I see friends achieving many things in their married life and career that once in a while regret will start to seep in and regret can be an evil evil thing, I personally think.

Regret can eat away at your soul and turn it the darkest of blacks and happiness may never drop by ever again.

Okay, I am being dramatic but surely life is too short for regrets. Afterall, no amount of regret can change what has been done, yes?

I don't want to be rich - though wealth is such a subjective matter. I just want to be comfortable and that means a roof over my head, an air conditioned room at nights and not scrutinizing the price of one brand of cereal over the other just to save a few cents.

When we started building our home, people loved asking how many rooms it has. I am surprised when many commented "Oh only three rooms? Why don't you build a house with more rooms?" - and more than one were actually disappointed by the size of it as they expected a couple of professionals like us to build mansions. The fact is, I don't NEED more than that, and the rooms that I do have is equivalent to two in your house anyway. As much as I love mopping the floor (in the Kuantan house, it seems like I am incessantly mopping the floor), I would like to maintain housekeeping at a manageable level and surely a small house would be easier to keep?

It used to be that people were concerned when we were not able to conceive after some time being married. I am lucky in the sense that to me, when they asked, it was with genuine sympathy rather than highlighting my 'defect' for the rest to see. I know now that some advice were in my best interest though perhaps at that time I was too preoccupied with my own insecurity to take it so.

Some say I should get help to get a child because Abg may leave me if I don't - and at times of dark depression and self doubt, I have given him the option to do so. But surely, my value as a woman doesn't lie solely on my ability to bear children? Would it be right for him to reject me as a wife just because of that one thing? Should Abg leave me because of this, then shouldn't it reflect badly on him as a person as well?

-and then what about those who have taken on a second wife despite having a beautiful, educated wife with many beautiful perfect kids? What are their excuses then?

More often than not, people like to see rezeki as having monetary value when in truth it is more than that - and it is amusingly so that people tend to label rezeki on things that they don't have rather than the things that they do.

No kids - takde rezeki lah tu.

Didn't get the job you want - takde rezeki lah tu.

So much so that people forget to see the rezeki that are so abundant around them - the ability to taste food, to be able to breathe easily, to sleep soundly at nights - getting home safely after a day's work, seeing your baby smile for the first time.

So, despite other people not seeing myself so, I believe that I am blessed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why can't we have this in Malaysia?

I am in the midst of planning my holiday abroad and have been booking hotel rooms, buying advance fares for trains - the usual things one would do when travelling.

There were a few instances when I thought - this would NEVER happen in Malaysia - especially when it comes to their customer service.

I had booked a room at a hotel a few weeks ago for a certain rate, after being assured that this was the 21-day advance super saver what not. Recently, for lack of something better to do, I dropped by and made a mock booking at this same hotel chain and was surprised that the advance rate has dropped by about 25%!

Of course, I understood that hotels have the right to set the rates according to the projected occupancy but I personally thought that it was unfair to me as I had done my booking well in advance. I would have understood if they said there was nothing they could do but I thought there was nothing I could lose in asking.

So I did - I emailed the manager and asked if they would consider giving me the cheaper rate as I had booked so much earlier. Afterall, if I had known this would happen, I would have left all the room bookings till much later. The reply came about a week later and he actually gave me the cheaper room rate!

The next instance concerned train travel - I had bought advance fares for travel from Liverpool to York but then discovered that we would have to delay the trip for a few hours. The website states that no refund can be given for advance tickets but for a fee, one may change the date and time. What they would do is give you a refund for the old tickets after you had purchased the new tickets. The two ways that you would be able to do this was by calling the help line or turning up at the train station.

Now, these websites usually would have chat lines for people to ask questions in real time. I immediately contacted one of the officers and asked whether I would be able to do this via the online chat?

She then rattled on about how this can be done by phone yada yada yada - and I was telling her that the cost of a phonecall would probably not make it worth my while and if I leave it till when I am in the UK, there wouldn't be any cheap advance fares left so I might as well forget about getting some money back and just purchase a fresh set of tickets.

She duly agreed and I was about to disconnect and was saying thank you when she suddenly said, However, as a gesture of goodwill - if you can purchase your new tickets and give me the reference number for this new trip, I would be able to put in a request for a refund for your old ticket.

I was speechless with shock for about 2 minutes not believing my good luck and proceeded to do as she had suggested. She even waited online as I completed the transaction. So instead of losing GBP33 and spending a further GBP27 for the new tickets, I managed to get a refund of GBP13, making the cost of my two new tickets only GBP14. On top of that, she said I would be able to get my money back by the end of this month.

I am still waiting for my airport tax refund from a certain airline after 5 months of emailing back and forth.

So how about that?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

When it is not fated...

I was at a hardware store in Selayang Bharu recently to buy paint when my ears caught the sound of pitiful mewing nearby.

Abg was in the midst of a conversation with me when he noticed that I was not paying attention. I just pointed out quickly which ones I liked best and went out to look for the kitten.

It was a tiny little thing - a tabby about 6 weeks old - and it was hiding behind the back tyre of the car which was parked by the road side across the street from the shop. I tried to persuade it to come out but it just looked at me with sad eyes and continued mewing.

It sounded like it was looking for mummy cat. I hear it all the time with my kittens. The difference is, with my kittens usually mummy would be running in a flash but no mummy came for this little one.

It wandered out as soon as I left and I looked at it looking around the rubbish dump. I crossed the road again and again it hid under the car.

We even tried to coax it into coming out with a handful of keropok - but all we managed was get weird stares from the barbershop across the road. We left after a few minutes - it was not the kitten's rezeki to be rescued by us, I guess.

Keep well little kitty, and be safe.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Dust covered snippets of my life

Recently I was going through a box of stuff which I had brought over from Ma's house. As I opened every single dust covered envelope and card, I was transported back about 20 years ago. Every word brought back a different memory, a different stage of my life, someone I knew quite well but not anymore - even moments I thought I never had.

How could I have forgotten these bits and snippets of my life? Every single one of those people and memories made me who I am today.

The boy with the green canvas bag whom I would look at longingly everytime he passes by my class - every Saturday I would listen to his voice as he shouts commands at the cadet team that he was in; it would be the same voice that could recite Quran verses so beautifully as he leads the girls in jemaah prayers during the fasting month.

The lanky Indian boy who would make it his life calling to come over and ask how I did in my English tests because before I came, he was number one and suddenly this girl who just transferred from Sarawak is beating him. He can be annoying as hell and was made fun of constantly by the rempit Malay boys in my class but we became friends eventually and I am sure he is doing well nowadays.

My senior roommates were three girls who were as different as chalk and cheese yet made us feel so welcomed. I had a roommate who cried every single night for at least a month, apparently having never been away from her mother. She is now a teacher, happily married with at least four kids. I don't think she has any separation issues nowadays.

I remember peeking mischievously through the curtain windows at 'baju melayu'-clad boys as they pass by on the way for Friday prayers, - I am now almost 100% sure that the shouts of 'Kantoi skodeng!' was just acts of random, and not because they really saw us doing it.

I must have been a fair senior in the second year of maktab, judging from the amount of cards I got and kept. I had never understood the concept of seniority and how that gave you special privileges and had never practiced it myself. Of course, I was never pretty enough or daring enough to be considered a threat and I basically kept a low profile and concentrated on my studies so I was never called into a senior's room for the purpose of being 'taught a lesson'.

But, I am making a presumption. When we were juniors, we would hear about girl A or girl B being called to see a certain senior allegedly for making eyes at a certain male senior. Occasionally it was because her school sarung was way too short or that she had failed to wear a chemise that her bra was showing. But it was all hearsay - I was never close with girls like A and B and have never cared if what I heard was true but this was what everyone was saying at that time.

At school I was the serious one. I looked at lessons as a way of venting out my feelings, if you could call it that. We moved around a lot and sometimes would end up in less than desirable schools - I don't regret it, as I said, every single experience made me the person I am today - and doing well in lessons gave me options to bring myself out of it. Though I have to admit, learning did not come hard to me - I enjoyed reading and learning so I never found it a chore.

Being in maktab gave me the opportunity to put down roots, it gave me a sense of belonging. I represented college with pride even when we lost in the 2nd round. I had the most wonderful friendship - we shared joy, tears, anxiety and laughter and sorrow. Those two years were among the best times of my life.

So, I went through every card and every small token I was given and smiled as each brought back a different memory. I try to remember every single person who passed by my life and made it what it is now and I wish them well.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I just want what is mine

It may be just money, but after months of numerous emails and phonecalls, I am finally getting back what is mine.

Some people may give up, saying it isn't worth the hassle. Some just accept it as how things are done but no, no one should be allowed to take your money! and especially not because of them being lazy and inefficient.

The bank I had applied a loan from to buy a property had been very late in processing several payments to the developer, which resulted in me being charged late interest. I pay the bank on time, on the dot first of each month, is it too much for me to expect the same from the bank?

I don't think so.

Today, I got my money back. The amount isn't important, it's the principles.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


...if you really think about it, we live in such a screwed up world.

The older I get, the more aware I am of how screwed up we are. When I was younger, all I wanted was to finish my homework, not make a fool of myself in front of the school crush and see my friends. Perhaps there was more to that but age has given me selective memory storage it seems. I am sure life was as complicated then than it is now.

I woke up early today and read about yet another celebrity getting divorced. I hate reading about divorces. Maybe 'hate' isn't the right word. 'Amused' would be conceived as cold hearted; 'sad' may be thought of as me being dense - divorces are such a normal occurrence now that sometimes I don't see the point of people getting married.

I like attending weddings - they symbolise love, happiness, hope and a new beginning. Weddings give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, nothing to do I'm sure with being overfed with nasi minyak and ayam masak merah. I look at the newly married couple and I remember how excited I was that I now get to go home with Abg at the end of the day. When I thought of my wedding - it isn't how beautiful the hantarans were or how many came but I remember thinking, 'I will never be alone now.'

I send the newlyweds with silent prayers that their marriage will always be blessed with as much love and joy - I hope that they remember how much they loved each other on their wedding day, though it may not seem that way when things are bad.

As simplistic and as naive as that may sound, being 8 years ago and not knowing what may happen; some will say 'you still don't know what is going to happen in the future, woman' - I felt extremely comforted at knowing that Abg has taken a vow to be with me no matter what and where. Eight years ago, I looked at him and truly believed that we would grow old together, no matter how badly he snored or how fat I got.

Anyway, how can a beginning filled with such joy and love end so easily? What went wrong? What is it that our grandparents and their parents have that make them endure 30, 40 years of marriage? Is getting married serving a different purpose than it used to?

On the other hand, I would totally support divorce in a marriage that involves any form of abuse, of course.

Have we become too independent for our own good?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What I did today

Look, I understand parking at any hospital is horrendous. At least patients only have to endure it once every few weeks or months - God knows if our government had more sense and plan efficient shuttle services to hospitals maybe it can help, but that is another story - we have to deal with it on a daily basis.

Hence, I've resorted to driving to work while it's still dark in order to snap up that coveted space - which is not my story.

I cannot however tolerate idiots who park inconsiderately that you are now blocking other people. At least leave a note lah - or else I will leave a note for you, ada faham?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is it....

...about Malaysians and their obsession with shopping?


Bandung - shopping.

Jakarta - shopping.

Bangkok - shopping.

Jogja - shopping and okay lah, maybe Borobudur.

Solo - shopping.

Chiang Mai - shopping.

London - also shopping?!


Kalau nak shopping, tak yah g London - you can save your flight ticket fare and just shop at KLCC. Setakat nak beli shopping bag Harrods....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

These are my nieces and nephews. I love them to bits. More so because I get to pretend at being a parent when I see them, yet don't have to worry about whether the expensive gift I get them may be psychologically scarring them for life. Kids may say they hate their mummies and daddies when they are upset; I don't think I have heard any say they hate Mak Long, especially one as cool as me!

I get to enjoy them when they are happy and smiling and don't have to bear any temper tantrums or migraine-inducing screaming fits or even silent sulks. Being an aunt rocks!

p/s: Denny is now recuperating at home. He split his lower jaw and has broken both his incisors but at least he's ok.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Blues indeed

I very rarely leave my food unfinished. I guess you can tell by the state of my physical shape, haha. When I go to buffets, I take just a little bit of everything that I wanted to taste and go for seconds if I feel like it. Hence, minimal wastage.

However, this morning, I took three spoonfuls of my laksam and left the shop hungry. It was a sorry excuse for what the dish is supposed to be and the person who made it must have never had a proper laksam in her/his life.

Sometimes, when the dish is bad, I still force myself to finish it, because I think of all the pakcik petani and pakcik penternak and makcik penjual and makcik tukang masak and nothing justifies me wasting this rezeki but that laksam wannabe was just vile.

On a sad note, this is Denny's face this morning as I was getting ready to go to work.

He was fine last night. I am not too sure what happened to him; he's gotten into fights before but never to this extent. His nostrils are clotted with blood that he's breathing through his blood crusted mouth. His face is all swollen and there is an area of skin loss on his chin.

Was he run over by a motorbike or did he fall and hit his face somewhere? He seems to be able to walk so I don't think he has any fractures.

Alahai anak aku.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I am currently doing an attachment in another department for 11 weeks. While it may be refreshing to not be doing calls for the next 2 months plus, there is something intolerable about being functionless.

At least in my own department, I knew where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do. Boredom is a terrible way to pass the time.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Bliss is....

Sleeping with 'daddy' on a pile of freshly laundered clothes.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Jalan-jalan Pekan-Rompin

I love road trips. There is an excitement which is hard to describe, in going through small 'kampungs' and discovering hidden treasures.

During the recent three-day weekend, we decided we would spend it in Kuantan, having gone back to KL the last two, and just thinking about driving to Kelantan was enough to exhaust me.

Since we're only about 40km from Pekan, I googled things to do there. Almost all the websites mentioned decent-enough sites like the Royal Palace, Sultan Abu Bakar museum and the Water Transport museum.

So off we went, cruising along the 4 lane road (passing only a handful of other vehicles, tau la nak pergi Pekan DiRaja kannn) - and in 20 mins we had arrived!

Pintu gerbang pun ada payung

One of the mosques in Pekan

and this was what greeted us:

How come no one bothered to update the tourist information sites that the museum is undergoing renovation? Hel-lo....?

View down the road from the under renovation museum

and across the road, the Watercraft gallery looked interesting enough - on the notice board, it says opening times 9.30 am.

Badly maintained tourist site in Pekan (Royal Town some more!)

It was about 10.45am when we were there and the gate was securely locked, complete with rusted chains.

Locked gates

Undeterred, we drove around the almost -unpopulated town, went round the Palace and the Polo Club.

Gates of the Palace

I especially like this very old building - old building makes me sad, I wonder what history comes with it, but the gates are locked and there are no notices to explain what this building is. Abg tells me it's the tombs for the Royal Family.

**further googling has revealed that this is Sultan Abdullah Mosque next to the Royal Tombs

Royal Tombs, apparently

Severely disappointed but still cheerful, we decided to drive further down to Rompin - apparently it's famous for 'udang galah's.

From Pekan just before you reach Rompin, on your right is an R&R with a prawn shaped statue. There are about 4-6 shops there, all selling the specialty dish.

'Udang' shaped statue, see...?

Anyone who can correctly name the price of these babies gets a mystery gift!

I think it is safe to say that we won't be running back to this makan place.

and finally, stopped by this stretch of road where there are several stalls set up selling pickled fruits, apparently locally made in Muadzam Shah. Bought a small jar of 'buah salak' [snake fruit] and 'sengkuang'. Discovered the salak pickle to be rotten when we got home. Ah well.

I love road trips.