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Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Street Smart & The Book Smart

Happy New Year Everybody!

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It's not too late for me to wish all you guys a very Happy New Year!

What's my resolution this year? Nothing.. I am not interested to come up with yet another resolution but never seemed to achieve it. It's better for me to stay as I am now and take it day by day. In any case, I am going to be fifty three this year, so what's the big deal?

My four children? I don't know if they have one. Whatever they may desire, the best I can do is to pray for their success.

Many a time, I sat down watching them (unknowingly to them) if they have what it takes to be a successful, intelligent yet tough, as in street smart tough.

Sophie once asked me, "Ma, who do you think is better? A book smart person or a street smart?" I think for a while and said both because we need to have these two elements to live in today's sadistic and cruel world.

I Google-d to find the meaning of street smart. I quote some of the phrases I found. It says, " A person who has a lot of common sense and knows what's going on in the world. A person who has the experience and knowledge necessary to deal with potential difficulties and dangers in life in an urban environment."

What about book smart people? It says, "The stereo-type of a book smart person is someone who is upper class and well educated but less knowledgeable when it comes to handling important situation in a bad neighbourhood.

'The more extreme and negative stereotypes are that book smart people are naive, easily manipulated and have bad judgement in bad situations while the street smart people are unintelligent and incapable or achieving a higher education.'

Both stereotypes aren't always true. Period.

I am sure many of you had gone  through some unpleasant incident at one point that was way out of your skills and means. Somehow you managed to pull it through and solved the matter on your own.

Scene 1) You're trapped in an old underground railway tunnel. What do you do? The book smart in you would automatically advice everyone there to stay calm and not to panic. It will only weaken the body system and losing oxygen unnecessarily.
The street smart in you would scour around the area looking for a tool to find the way out.
Thank God if we were to get stuck with these type of people, we still had the chance to live and recount the traumatic experience to those who cared to listen. Imagine if we're stuck with none of these people.

Scene 2) You were in a shopping mall clearing their year-end stock. One handbag item displayed $250.00 less 30% discount.
The book smart would probably calculate it 250 x 30/100.
The street smart would most likely calculate it this way: 10% out of 250 is $25, so 30% will be $75.00.
Both got it right. Amount to pay was $175.00.
Sara is genius when it comes to maths but when it comes to this type of calculation, I got the answer before she does!  I am the  latter, Sara is the former. Now you know that I am the street smart gal. And for once I beat her in maths! But only in this case.

Scene 3) Your car broke down in the middle of a busy street. The book smart may come up with, we don't know what's wrong with the car, let's call for help.
The street smart said, use your charm to get some help from the passers by. (You think the passersby won't stop when they saw a damsel in distress was sweating it out during midday?)

Those were some instances that may occur to you once in your life time. What we never realized was that each and every one of us got this animal instinct, that we automatically have, the sense of gut feeling telling us what to do.

Last month when I was sending Sophie to the airport, we stopped by at one of food stall for our lunch. It was pouring heavily when we arrived. Finished lunch, we paid and ran towards where our car was parked. It was still raining but not as heavy as just now. As soon as I started the engine, nothing happened. There was no sound whatsoever. Damn! Not now, I thought. The three of us looked at one another. I tried again but still nothing happened. I was quite sure it's the battery since there wasn't any sound when I ignite the engine.
I told the girls (Sophie & Sara) to get down and push the car while I tried again. At first it didn't work. They pushed again the second time whilst I turn on the engine again. Miraculously, it worked. My engine revved up and we made our way to the airport safely.

It's the same when I am in the kitchen. If the menu that I was about to prepare didn't work out the way I wanted it to be, I improvised. Let's take the simplest situation. Rice. Sometimes my rice got under cooked. You know it's under cooked when the rice slightly grainy.
What I did, I switched off the switch and let the rice cooled for about 10 minutes. Then I switch it on again, pour in some water and press cook. Your rice would turn fluffy and soft.

There was one time when I was driving, a guy on a motorbike was riding in a reckless way. He tried to overtake a moving lorry when he came directly head on towards me. He lowered his motorbike to avoid the accident but somehow  his action dented my car. I came out of the car in horror to see if he's alright. He got up unscathed and pushed his motorbike aside. He then walked towards me and started rambling about how the lorry blocked his view.
Then came the excuses. I knew all these tricks given by these people. They would claim to be poor, got family to support and so on. I was about to fall for the tricks when his next sentence angered me. He said I shouldn't be driving the way I did. I mean, what's wrong with the way I drive? The minute I heard he was trying to put the blame on me, I hardened.
I said to him, "I want you to bear the cost of my front bumper and the scratches."
He said it's too much for him.
I replied, Ok, in that case we file a police report. That way I can claim the insurance.
Again he declined. This time citing the damage was not much.
After a while he gave in. He said he'll pay me up not today but tomorrow.

This is when my street smart skill came in handy. I said to him "fine if you're to pay me tomorrow. Now the time is 12;45pm (approx), I will wait for your call tomorrow until 11:00am. If I don't receive any call from you by then. I will proceed with the police report."
That way he can't run away, either way he had to face me. I jotted down his plate number and ID number.
If he decided not to show up, I'll lodge a police report and I am entitled to claim the insurance. ( I don't know about other countries but in Malaysia, we are to make a police report about vehicle accidents within 24 hours. That will allow us to claim insurance from the other party.)

Since he didn't want his name to be listed in the police list and had to pay penalties, he showed up the next day and paid me much much lesser than the actual amount I had to pay to repair the damage to my car. I guess had strained my energy arguing with him the day before, so I accepted it in goodwill.

You see, it doesn't necessarily mean that if you are a woman, you don't have that street smart skills. It's all inside us. We just need to be more informative, a bit of courageousness and be alert with everything around us.
I claimed myself as a street smart person but I would also like to claim myself a book smart woman. Too greedy you think? Hear me out. I may have never set foot in any colleges or universities but I am good in general knowledge. I am good in word puzzles and I am super good in Scrabbles.
So, what does that make me?

As we talked about the street smart people with a lot of pride put in, never forget the book smart buddy.
They, that is the book smart people, will definitely achieve his goal one way or the other. He or she would almost certainly fared well in his or her lives later on. They worked hard to achieve their dreams, they painstakingly worked their way up through sheer hard work. All they need to do is to blend in a little with their surroundings.

As for me, I strive to be the best in both categories.

Until then people, have a great evening wherever you are!

15th.Jan '16

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Kambing Badam Masala

Salam semua,

Dah lama tak makan nasi beriani. Di rumah pulak ada daging kambing yang saya beli hari tu. Since semua ada di rumah kecuali Sophie, saya buat nasi beriani beserta Daging Kambing Masala.

Banyak bahan yang diperlukan untuk masakan ni tapi berbaloi memasaknya.

Bahan-bahan yang diperlukan

1 kg kambing dipotong kecil
2 labu bwg merah /  2 inci halia ( dikisar bersama)
1/2 cawan tairu atau yogurt
2 sudu teh serbuk cili
1 sudu teh serbuk kunyit
sedikit serbuk ketumbar dan serbuk jintan putih
bawang goreng (diramas hancur)
( semua bahan ini digaul sekali dengan daging kambing) - ketepikan

Bahan tumis :

Kulit Kayu Manis, Buah Pelaga, bunga lawang dan daun bay (serba sedikit)
4 labu bawang besar dihiris nipis

Bahan tambahan :
2 gelas air
Minyak ghee 2 sudu makan & 2 sudu makan minyak masak
1/2 cawan badam yang digoreng tanpa minyak dan dikisar halus
1/4 cawan susu cair
2 sudu makan garam masala
Gula dan garam untuk perisa

Cara memasak :

Tumis bahan tumis dulu diikuti dengan bawang besar yg dimayang.

Bila bawang dah agak kekuningan, masukkan daging kambing dan tutup.

Kuatkan api selama lebih kurang 5 minit. Kambing akan bertukar keperangan.

Tambah masuk air 2 gelas dan tutup periuk.

Biarkan sehingga empuk sekurang-kurangnya 45 minit.

(Tambah air lagi sekiranya kuah kekeringan)

Bila dah hampir empuk, masukkan serbuk badam, susu cair dan garam masala.

Biarkan sehingga mendidih dan kuah menjadi agak pekat.

Terakhir, jangan lupa tambah garam dan gula mengikut selera anda.

Salam dari saya,
3rd.Jan '16