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Thursday, 27 March 2014

From One To The Big Five O

Hello all!

My deepest heartfelt condolences goes out to the families of passengers and crews of MH 370 which went missing on the 8th. March 2014. It has now been confirmed that the plane went down into the southern Indian Ocean.

Come May, I will turn fifty one. Officially that made ​​me half a century woman. Sounds ancient  but that's a fact. So today I'm gonna list out fifty things, be it trivial or significant, to mark my life as someone who made ​​it this far in this big wide world.

1) Born with nothing, I grew up to live till this day.

2) Terribly a shy person. Years ago I cowered when scolded by my superiors. I was that weak.
    Too afraid to stand up for my rights.

3) I wanted people to like me so much that I'd go to great extend to accommodate the feelings of others,
    most of the time forgetting my own bruised heart and feelings. 

4) Being raised as a country girl, I didn't have much time to care about my looks. I was rough and 

5) Growing up, I was much more comfortable being around the boys rather than girls. I got tongue-tied 
    and a wee bit quieter whenever I am with my own species. To this day, I still act the same.  

6) I only gained my confidence and self assurance upon reaching my twenties. Probably because I started
    to live away from home and had to fend for myself.

7) Finding a boyfriend was a great task for me. I was an ugly duckling then what with my dark skin and zero
    skills of flirting.

8) I was forever grateful to the first hotel that took me in as a receptionist. While there I polished my English 
    and my communicating skill.

9) I also learned my table manners and how to behave around people while there.

10) When I was young, we were told to respect the elders without question asked. Now I taught my    
       children to respect elders but make them respect you as well. It works two ways.

11) I used to think, women were the weaker sex.  Now I beg to differ. Women were much as good as, if 
       not better than men. 

12) But I still prefer to be in men's company rather than women. That didn't change. Men tend to be 
      themselves without much hipocracy.

13) My best and smartest boss was a Japanese, Mr Komine. He was a shrewd businessman and he's got 
      good brain. I learned a lot from him and applied some of his business dealing technique to my own
14)  In a quiet way, I am actually a strong headed person.This trait has landed me in deep,deep water rather
       than accomplishments.

15) When I was in my mid thirties, money was my priority. It was never enough even though both of us
       were doing very well in our respective jobs.

16) When we started to have children, my priority reversed hundred and ten percent. I changed role
       from being a career minded woman to a typical mom.

17) If a few years ago, I was a shy and timid little girl, by the age of thirty five, I became a new person.
      I was more vocal and bold.

18) I was raised by my beloved grandmother who was a deeply religious person. She used to be a frequent
      mosque-goer and I followed suit. Years later, I dropped the practise. I am now slowly picking up the
      habits which I left off consciously.

19) Ever heard a phrase: follow your heart? In my case, I had many dreams or things I wanted to do.
      But as I said, family was my priority. That being said, I have no regrets whatsoever.

20) I used to look good in jeans and T-Shirt. (I was an athlete once you know) But now, I dread to see my
      reflection in the mirror.Oh I got a few packs on my body but not on the right track.Get what I mean?

21) When I was in my thirties, I thought whomever in their fifties were just old and cranky. Now that I've
       joined the wagon, I don't feel fifty. I am still what I am years ago.Well, the youthful looks has long gone!

22) To remind me of my current age, I wake up with creaking knees and back bone aches. That was like
       you've just been thrown with a bucket full of cold water. It says, wake up, you're no longer young!

23) I truly realize that there's no turning back in age when I saw my hanging jowls some time ago.

24) I don't look forward to receiving calls. Most probably the creditors.

25) Receiving calls at night was not for partying anymore. It was either deaths or other emergencies.

26) No matter how much money you waste, your skin still lose it's elasticity.

27) I once was a dare-devil driver. I've toned down a lot, thanks to my age.

28) The privilege of being in forties or fifties, shop assistants tended to you with full enthusiasm in contrast
       to when you were in your early twenties.

29) Now that the children doesn't depend too much on us financially, we been able to splash some money
      on ourselves even if it means one dress per month.

30) From someone who knows nut about cooking, I can now pat my shoulder for being able to cook
      for up to thirty people on my own.

31) Birthdays were celebrated in a quieter way.

32) Birthdays only reminded you that you're a year closer to the next destination.

33) Being fifties means your next frequent visit is the hospital.

34) Sicknesses and diseases soon will follow you wherever you are.

35) Nowadays I don't go around trying to win people's hearts. I don't need to. I am happy the way I am.

36) You feel good when you saw the guy you once had a crush on has totally turned into a typical fifty year
       old man.

37) Got my first shocker a couple of years ago, when a young girl greeted me warmly with Hello auntie
       greetings. My first thought was, holy crap, I am old!

38) We cherished the memories and thoughts of our youths more precious than our newly acquired

39) I still walk with my back straight. Not giving in to the force of gravity easily.

40) I keep my sprightliness alive, that way I don't give in to feeling lousy and self pity.

41) Be grateful that you've reached the ripe ol' age of fifty, many didn't make it that far.

42) When you look in the mirror and thought you looked hideous, open the old album and find the picture
       of you when you were in your early teens.

43) I don't have to work twice as hard as I did before.

44) I have turned into a contented and graceful person much much better than I used to be.

45) I looked around and see the jumbled life of another human being, I can sit back and smile cause
      I wasn't that person anymore.

46) I now have luscious time to utilise according to my convenience.

47) My advise was taken much more seriously that it did twenty years ago.

48) I do things according to my preferences.

49) To all my fifties buddies, throw down your worries. It's time to let go of yourselves. Be who you wanted
       to be.

50 ) I won't say that I won't trade my fifties with any other age group, but I am pleased that I was able to
        embrace this age with an open arms.

Happy reading people,
28th.March '14


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Dumpling Udang/Ayam

Assalamualaikum semua,

Lama sungguh saya tak update blog masak ni. Malam tadi kami tinggal dua beranak saja, Sophie dan saya. Si Sara balik Langkawi sebab nak ambik result SPM.

Jadi, atas permintaan Sophie, saya buat salah satu jenis dim sum. Saya buat dumpling pakai udang dan ayam.
Sangat mudah dan elok untuk diet kita. Tak terlalu berat sebagai makan malam.

Jadi,jom sama-sama kita tengok bahan-bahan yang diperlukan:

10 ekor Udang segar (dibuang semua kulitnya)
2 ketul isi ayam (anggaran tapak tangan kita)
Sikit garam
Sikit lada putih
1 sudu makan gula
1 sudu makan sos ikan
Segenggam daun ketumbar
1 packet kulit wantan

Kulit wantan
Kita mulakan dengan mengisar udang dan ayam dulu. Disebabkan ayam lebih padat isinya, lebih elok di kisar ayam terlebih dulu .

Kemudian baru dikisar udang bersama dengan daun ketumbar tadi.

Sekarang campurkan semua bahan-bahan seperti lada putih, garam,gula dan sos ikan. Gaul sehingga mesra dan sebati.
Cuba rasa dulu, sekiranya kurang masin, boleh ditambah sikit garam, kalau terlebih masin pula taburkan sikit demi sedikit tepung jagung sehingga kurang masinnya. Kalau agak keras, tambah sikit air utk melembutkan semula.

Sekarang ambil sehelai kulit wantan, letakkan dalam bekas yang mendatar. Ambil sesudu (sudu yang bersaiz sedang ) dan letakkan diatas kulit wantan.

Tarik dua penjuru dulu dan pegang, kemudian ditarik dari 2 belah penjuru pulak dan pintalkan.
Dah siap.

Di atas dapur, panaskan steamer kita. Kalau ada bakul dim sum macam di dalam gambar boleh pakai bakul ni. Kalau tak ada pun tak apa, masukkan terus ke dalam steamer kita.

Bila air dah mendidih, letakkan satu persatu dumpling kita dan tutup. Biarkan selama lebih kurang 10 minit.
Bila dah masak, angkat keluar dan dah boleh dihidangkan.

Saya juga ada menggoreng sedikit daripada dumpling ni. Biasalah, orang kita kan suka makanan bergoreng. Juga sangat sedap. Jadi bolehlah kita mencuba kedua-dua versi. Pilih mana yang lebih kita suka.

Sosnya saya padankan dengan sos siam. Kalau tak ada, ini cara termudah untuk membuat sos manis.
Kita perlukan cili merah, bawang putih, cuka, garam, gula, air dan sikit minyak zaitun. Panaskan minyak zaitun tumis sebentar kemudian masukkan semua bahan dan masak sehingga sos menjadi pekat. Mudah kan?

Jadi buat semua, selamat mencuba!

Salam dari saya,
20th.March '14

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Nak Buat Bisnes Apa Selepas Pelancongan

Assalamualaikum semua,

Dah dua bulan setengah saya menetap di Selangor ni dan saya dah semakin familiar dengan keadaan dan suasana disini.

Sophie yang membuat latihan praktikal di Media Prima pun dah tamat tempoh latihannya. Begitu juga dengan adik nya Sara yang bekerja sementara di toko buku MPH di One Utama. Sara ni tak nak sambung kerja sebab kakaknya dah tak bekerja disana lagi, jadi dia pun nak berhenti. Dia ni jenis tak tahu nak bercampur dengan orang, kalau dengan saya atau kakaknya, bukan main murai lagi mulut dia.  Lagipun result SPM dah nak keluar lagi 3 hari, jadi dia perlu balik ke Langkawi untuk mengambil keputusan SPM tu. Abah dia masih disana, jadi senang la kerja saya. Tinggalkan saja di airport. Biar dia balik sendiri, sampai kat sana abah dia pulak yang tunggu. Selepas tu, dia orang berdua akan balik kesini bersama.

Sementara tu, saya dan Sophie akan berada disini. Sophie sekarang dalam cuti semester (selepas habis latihan praktikal) dan semester baru akan dibuka pada bulan April nanti. Kami ada banyak masa terluang bersama.

Semasa diLangkawi saya dan suami bekerja didalam bidang pelancungan. Seperti syarikat pelancungan lain, kami juga membuat tempahan bilik, airport transportation, tour dan lain-lain lagi. Rasanya kalau dihitung dan dicongak, dah lebih tiga puluh tahun jugak saya dalam industri pelancungan ni. Waktu muda-muda dulu, saya didalam sektor perhotelan, begitu juga dengan suami. Bila dah berpindah dari Pulau Pinang ke Langkawi ni dan dah beranak pinak, saya bertukar angin dan masuk ke bidang agensi pelancungan. Mula-mula kerja dengan orang, bila dah pandai sikit selok belok perniagaan ni, saya kongsi dengan ex boss saya, si Jepun tu dan buka sendiri. Ingatkan panas sampai ke petang, rupanya hujan di tengah hari (berdrama lebih sikit), separuh jalan dia tinggalkan Langkawi, baik ke Jepun dan tinggalkan saya dengan hutang piutang yang teramatlah banyaknya untuk saya menanggung. Agaknya tu sebablah saya dapat cancer dulu tu kan? Terlalu risau.. haha.. apapun ini adalah salah satu hikmah yang Allah Taala bagi untuk menjadikan saya seorang hamba yang lebih kuat dan tabah.

Disebabkan dah terbiasa dengan dunia perniagaan ni, saya tak boleh duduk diam. Saya dah mula merangka dan merancang nak buat apa disini. Ikutkan hati, rasa nak duduk saja dirumah dan menghabiskan sisa-sisa umur ni dengan bersenang-senang hati dirumah dan mendekatkan diri denganNya. Tapi bila difikirkan balik, lebih elok buat sesuatu supaya otak saya sentiasa cergas dan tidaklah mendapat penyakit lain pulak disebabkan  malas nak bergerak dan kurang menggunakan otak. Takut nanti jadi nyanyuk sebelum waktunya.

Banyak jenis perniagaan yang saya fikirkan. Suami nak saya buka kedai makan. Saya rasa dah tak larat nak masak secara pukal ni. Bukan apa, kerja memasak ni, sangat time consuming. Dari pagi sampai malam tak habis2 kerja dia. Saya pun bukannya sihat sangat macam dulu-dulu, jadi saya tolak ketepi idea ni. Terfikir nak sambung balik buat pelancungan disini tapi rasanya saya dah tersangat jemu dengan pekerjaan ni sebab dah terlalu lama. Lagipun dah tak larat nak melayan kerenah pelancung-pelancung terutamanya dari India. Sakit jiwa! Jadi idea ni pun saya tolak ketepi. The best ialah idea Sophie nak buat bisnes kecil-kecilan jual kain-kain tudung ni. Pertama modal tak banyak. Kedua, saya tak terlalu stress sebab lebih senang nak handle disebabkan Sophie akan membantu saya. Ketiga, saya agak confident boleh mendapat pelanggan tetap (walaupun sikit pada mulanya) disebabkan Sophie masih di college dan In Sya Allah Sara pula akan memulakan first semesternya bulan Mei ni. Boleh la dia orang promote kat teman dan rakan masing-masing.

Jadi saya dan Sophie dah bersepakat untuk membuat perniagaan online menjual kain tudung sebagai permulaannya. Sekarang ni kami giat mencari pattern atau corak dan jenis kain yang nak digunakan untuk memulakan bisnes ni. Hari ni kami nak keluar meninjau tempat yang menjual kain termurah dan cari corak yang sejuk mata memandang.
Saya bercadang nak jual dengan keuntungan yang minima supaya dapat anak-anak gadis yang masih belajar dan yang belum bekerja membeli sambil berjimat.

Seperti biasa, sejurus sebelum membuka apa-apa jua bisnes, banyak kerja yang perlu dilakukan. Tapi macam kata pepatah lama, alah bisa tegal biasa. Saya pun dah sangat biasa dengan alam perniagaan ni, jadi tak rasa serabut sangat. In Sya Allah, rasanya saya boleh buat kot sebab nak buat ni pun bukannya secara besar-besaran. Kalau dulu saya boleh buat, (agensi pelancungan) takkan lah sekarang saya takut pulak nak buat dalam skala yang lebih kecil, kan?

Nak buat kerja apapun, kita harus berani. Kalau setakat ada duit saja tapi tak berani nak ambil risiko, baik tak payah bukak bisnes. Jatuh bangun dalam perniagaan ni perkara biasa. Kalau kita selalu takut kerugian, memang kat tahap tu lah saja kita berada. Kalau ingat nak simpan duit takut kerugian dalam perniagaan pun sama juga akibat dia. Duit bukan boleh beranak pinak. Duit yang ada ditangan akan selalu kita gunakan. Kita tak sedar pun, kita fikir "Ahh.. tak apalah. Aku pakai seratus saja hari ni."
 Esok pulak kita tak cukup duit nak bayar benda lain, kita guna lagi duit tu. Jadi duit kita makin berkurang.  Tak ada jalan langsung duit nak masuk dan bertambah.
Walhal, bila kita buat bisnes yang walaupun kecil, sekurang-kurangnya kita dapat juga sikit untung. Kalau dalam sehari, (semasa permulaan bisnes) kita cuma dapat untung bersih dua puluh ringgit sehari. Kita darab dengan tiga puluh hari. Dah dapat RM600 sebulan. Kan dah terlepas sebulan punya sewa rumah?

Jadi moral of the story, kalau ada duit, buatlah perniagaan apa-apa pun walaupun berniaga goreng pisang asalkan halal dan jangan terlalu memikirkan dan mengambil untung yang terlalu besar. Itu dah jatuh haram jadinya. Lebih baik kita berniaga dengan niat nak menjaga keluarga dan seterusnya mengikut sunnah nabi yang menggalakkan umatnya berniaga. Lebih afdal gitu. Bersyarah panjang pulak saya!  

Saya mohon doa teman-teman pembaca agar prancangan saya ini berhasil. Rasanya sampai setakat ni lah dulu tulisan saya buat kali ni. Dalam dua tiga hari lagi, saya masukkan pulak entri masakan. Jadi tunggu ya!

Salam hormat dari saya,

17th.March '14

Monday, 3 March 2014

My New Life in A New Place

Hello all,

Believe it or not, I am still missing Langkawi? I still can't get adjusted well to this new place called home. I mean, I like the house all right, but it's just not my old home. I missed the sound of the ocean wave and the green of the mountain that I am so used to.

It has now been two months since we moved up here in Selangor. Both Sophie and Sara are still working. Sara is doing a part time job at one of the leading book-stores in Malaysia while Sophie is still under intern ship at one of the T.V networks. Both of them are in the same building. Both of them start at 0900hrs and end their day by 18:00 and 18:15hrs respectively. I had planned it in such a way so that I can send and fetch them all at one time.
The distance from our home to their working place was about 28 kilometer and if we were still in Langkawi, that will only take me about 20 minutes (normal driving). But now, here in this city it will take at least forty five minutes and if it's Monday, it's worse. Twice we got stuck in the massive traffic for more than two hours. And I am driving manually! I can't pulled my leg at all from the clutch.
And I am telling you, every morning we left home at 06:45am in the hope that we won't get stuck in the traffic. Well, we can keep on dreaming. So, to keep ourselves sane, we usually sing out loud incoherently or we make fun at other road users just to keep our morning bearable. And for breakfast, I usually prepare some light meals at home and placed in two separate lunch boxes for them both with a thermos that I filled up with some hot tea. They will either have it inside the moving car or if we are lucky enough to reach earlier than usual, I will park the car under a shady tree and they will have it there.

There was one time when we were caught in a flash flood while on our way to fetch Sara from work. Sophie had a day off on that day. At first we thought it was the usual traffic congestion but I slowly began to realize that we are heading towards the flood. No wonder little cars were easing their way out of the main stream. It was too late for me to ease out as we were sandwiched from both sides by the lorries and the MPVs. We braced ourselves and hoped for the best and... we did it. We passed through the flood unscathed. That was quite a scary moment, for us at least.

Many had asked me what do I do at home now that I am at a foreign place with no visible job whatsoever. Everybody was wondering how I spend my day at home. My answer is, first of all, I am enjoying every minute of it and second I don't have much time left to feel bored. I always have something on hand that required my attention. Plus, I get to see my big sister who lives twenty minutes away from me. She's usually free on Monday. After dropping off the girls at their working place, I drove straight to my sisters' and I will have my breakfast at her place. She's got a huge back yard that got all sorts of herbal plants and spices. I got my supplies from there.
On any other days, I drive on my own trying to skill myself with routes and different directions around my area. I even get to visit some of my long lost friends who reside here since they moved out from the island.
On some other days, I will be on my way paying utility bills and on most days I stay at home cleaning and cooking for the three of us.
Our little tourism business is still going on and I have to keep updating all the paper work via my computer.
Not forgetting my blog writing. Though I lapsed for the last couple of weeks or so due to my mood swing. Even now as I am writing this, I thought of penning off but Sara who was sitting next to me was quick to point out that I was being lazy. It's not so much of being lazy alone, it's the heat as well. For the past one and a half month, some states in Malaysia is experiencing a hot spell that threaten to stretch out until end of this month. As if the heat wasn't enough, we had to bear the haze that is rising to an unhealthy index.

If I were to describe my daily routine, I would've say I have no time to sit back and relax, instead I am much more occupied than I ever was while in Langkawi. Oh, there's something else that I am proud of.  Myself I mean. I drove all the way into Kuala Lumpur, the cosmopolitan city, on my own. How's that for a fifty year old woman? Yesterday, Soffian was going back to Langkawi (he was here visiting us for a week), so I had to send him to the airport. On our way back home, Sophie had to meet up her friends to discuss something about their college projects in the heart of Kuala Lumpur itself. By the way, I can't use the GPS as it's broken. We drove following the road signs and later dropped Sophie at one of the light train station. From there Sara and me had to find our own way. We looked out for parking signs for KLCC ( one of Kuala Lumpur's prestigious malls) and guess what? Yeap, we found it and with not so much difficulty. I was so proud of myself. Later on Sophie joined us and we went to shop for some shoes and blouses for Sara who would be starting her days as a college student this coming May.

We got home exhausted and a little sick (due to the haze). I suddenly developed a sore throat and a blocked nose. Today, both of them are with me and we stayed indoor throughout the day.

Okay, that's all for today. My body is getting weaker with the flu and I am ready for bed. Till next time. Good night all wherever you are.

3rd.March '14