Friday, 30 December 2011

Pot luck

Every year it is our annual affair. Mama always look forward to the meetings because on the last day, it is our(unspoken) tradition, to have a pot luck brunch or lunch. We would have a wide selection of food and delicacies to choose from and we (including Mama) will gain extra inches either at the waist or some other places. Ahem!
After a stressful 3-week of doing our 'assignments', it is no wonder we celebrate the last day of our meeting in style.
Mama has been with this group since 2000 and since then, the members always change; some will go and others will come to replace them. But they are Mama's second family. We share our joys and sometimes sorrows with each other, not to mention a lot of gossips too. We only meet once a year, and when we do, there are always a lot of catching ups to do. It is a marvellous feeling and somehow throughout the years, we have established closer relationships and warm camaraderie.

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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Missing Person

Did you see him???? Lost in the train while travelling from Kota Bharu to Johor last week . If you happen to see this man, please bring him to the nearest police station or contact Helena Yeo 012-9833989

Her comments on her FB (19 December 2011):
Thanks to my concerned relatives and friends. We are going all out to locate him. We have made 2 police reports Johor Bharu (JB) and Kota Bharu (KB) and coordinate with all the railway stations along the way. Search and rescue operation has been out since yesterday. My son is moving from KB to Musang, Lipis, Jerantut and ended in Mentakab last night and moving towards Bahau this morning. My brother Lee Suang has gone to Kluang and now in Gemas. I also get the help from police friends in KB to contact the police stations in the states that we suspect he is in. To my mum, dont keep blaming yourself. You have done so well to take care of him all this while. We understand it is not easy to take care of a senile husband.
Her comment on her FB (26 December 2011):
‎8,000 flyers of my dad photo were placed in the newspapers the day before yesterday in Gemas and Segamat. Tomorrow another 12,000 will be distributed out in Kulai. Today printed another 15,000 to be sent to Lipis, Jerantut and Mentakab... ....what do I do next?? I have reached a breaking point....sad, disappointed and unbearable pain...I want my dad back...

Let us pray together so that my friend's father is safe and sound and will return home soon. Amen.

Update: Her comment on her FB (9 Jan 2012): My dad's body has been found in Kampong Pisang, Jerantut today. Wish to thank everyone for your kind assistance, concern and care. May his soul rest in peace.

May her father's soul rest in peace.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Xmas to my Christian friends and readers!!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Memories are made of these...

Sometimes we prefer not to dwell on some memories lest they bring heartaches and tears. Mama always try to avoid all those familiar places that Mama and Abah used to frequent because they always remind Mama of him. Mama is only human and sometimes Mama dreads of going back to Abah's kampung (hometown) because the place and the people there always reminded Mama of Abah's absence. It has been nearly 3 years when Abah left us but to Mama it will always seem like yesterday.
Today Mama went back to Bukit Abal, a place in Pasir Putih to visit Abah's mother (Mama's mother-in-law). After Abah's death, she went to stay with Abah's youngest sister (a teacher)and her family in Selangor, another state in Malaysia. So we only get to see her once or twice a year, usually during long public or school holidays or during the Eids. She's well into her 80s and her sight and hearing have deteriorated over the years, more so after Abah's death. Abah was his eldest child and Mama guess his death has taken a toll on Siti (all the grandchildren call her by this name, the Arabic word for grandma). While Mama was there at Bukit Abal, Mama went to visit Abah's aunt who lived next door( Siti's younger sister).She suffered a stroke early this year and is wheel-chair bound. And she could not see or hear well at all. You either have to shout or to whisper in her ears.
Later on Mama brought Siti back to Kota Bharu to pay a visit to the new addition to the Bakri clan. It is Mama's first time stepping into that house after Abah's death. The sight of his red car ( Mama thought it has been sold) brought a lump in Mama's throat. Abah breathed his last in an ambulance but that red car was the car he drove that day when he had cardiac arrest.
However, Bro H and Sis A enjoyed themselves very much, running here and there playing with their half-sister and barely acknowledging their nephew. The new parents seem to be adapting well to their new roles and still have the time to entertain their half-siblings.

Friday, 23 December 2011

PMR Results

From Wikipedia: Penilaian Menengah Rendah (commonly abbreviated as PMR; Malay for Lower Secondary Assessment) is a Malaysian public examination taken by all Form Three students (15 year olds) in both government and private schools throughout the country. It was formerly known as Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP; Malay for Lower Certificate of Education). It is set and examined by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate (Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia), an agency that constitutes the Ministry of Education.
This standardised examination is held annually during the first or second week of October. The passing grade depends on the average scores obtained by the candidates for this examination.
The results are released in late December every year to all candidates through the relevant schools. The grades ranges from A (excellent) to E (failure), or even T for non-attendance (Tidak hadir). The grading scores may be slightly readjusted based on general performances.

Today Mama went to school to see the PMR results. It was a long wait. Mama arrived at school around 9am and the results came in around 12pm. The teachers (as you can see from the photos) were nervous ( More than the students, I think!!). The best students (the straight As and the ones who scored 7As and above went on the stage to get their result slips) from the principal. The teachers' fears were founded afterall.It seems that this year the performance of Mama's school has declined slightly. The number of straight As students is also fewer compared to last year's. Well, colleagues and staff, be prepared for visits from the PPD (District Education Office), JPN (State Education Department) and KPM (Ministry of Education) officials next year. Time to pull up our socks!

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Splash-ing Time

Yeah, being a career woman and a single mother is really taxing. Sometimes Mama feels guilty leaving the children at the preschool cum day care even though it is the school holidays. Mama still has to work during the school holidays, unlike what some people think. Like other parents, Mama always dreams of having a break from work and routine. Bro H and Sis A too haven't been on a vacation for such a long time. It's easy to please them at their age. Anything out of routine IS a holiday for them.
Look how happy they were this evening. Right after fetching them from the day care Mama brought them here. At first they were quite timid, sitting on the steps. After other kids started joining them, they had a splashing time, splashing water everywhere. Kids easily make friends (how I wish adults are the same) and after nearly 2 hours in the splash pool, Mama practically had to drag them out. Brrr.. it was cold today. It was really windy since early morning and Mama had to order hot tea (and chicken chop) to keep herself warm (and Mama didn't get into the water at all!).

Friday, 16 December 2011

Budding Artist?

Bro H and Sis A love to draw.. well, to doodle or scribble to be exact. Wonder where they get the interest from. Mama is so not into drawing and painting. When Mama was at school, Mama was always stressed during the Arts & Design class(Mama's school didn't offer the regular Art Education classes) and was always at the bottom of the class. Urghhh.. Mama is still stressed thinking about it although it was more than 30 years ago.. hikhikhik.. Sorry Cikgu Alias (Mama's former teacher). Mama loved you, cikgu but she hated arts and still do.
Anyway, back to these sweethearts, they will always find places/things/papers to show off their artistic (or the lack of it)skills. Sometimes Bro H will draw while mumbling stories about the picture. Sis A is more secretive and hates it when Mama takes a peek on her unfinished drawing. "Close your eyes, Mama' and when she's done, she will say,"Tadaa... now you can open your eyes, Mama'. Anyway, Mama love you both so much. It doesn't matter if your drawings are not a masterpiece; Mama will still love you, warts and all.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) Programme

Last Saturday Mama had to report for duty at school along with several other teachers and support staff. The reason? We have to distribute the BR1M forms to people living/staying/working/holidaying near our school. BR1M is the short form for Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (1Malaysia People's Aid) The people started trickling in since 8am and when Mama finished her shift at about 2pm, people were still coming in droves. The Malaysian government is giving the one-off RM500 monetary aids to people / families earning less than RM3000 per month and the response was overwhelming. On the first day itself (Saturday), almost 1000 forms were distributed at Mama's school and imagine how many forms had been given away to people throughout the country?
It was fun watching the people and they came from all walks of life. One elderly single mother repeatedly thanking Mama after Mama helped her filling up the form (She was illiterate) and one elderly couple also sought Mama's help (They could not read the questions clearly due to old age thus needed Mama's help too). In Mama's opinion, these are the people who really need the aid.
We were tickled (and Mama was a bit shocked too at this man's audacity) when a man came and asked for 3 forms. He has 3 wives (and how on earth he manage to support the wives if he earns less than 3K permonth unless the wives support him? Hahaha) and each wife has to fill in the forms separately.
All in all, things went smoothly on that first day and until today people still came to Mama's school either to get the form or to hand in the completed ones. You see, the penghulu or the village head was there too to accommodate these people (To validate the completed forms).

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fazren Rafiqie bin Faiz Faisal

This adorable boy is the latest addition to the Bakri family and so far, is Bro H and Sis A's youngest nephew. The children and Mama went to visit the mother and the baby last Friday (the new mother is in confinement and now stays at her mother's house). Surprisingly there were two newborns there and Mama was like, errr.. they have twins and they forgot to inform me? Hahaha.. It seemed that two boys were born only a month apart and the older boy belongs to the new mother's elder sister.
We were served Pulut Kuning (yellow glutinous rice) garnished with stripped colourful omelette and chicken curry.

Mama googled and found this website:
It explains how to prepare the Pulut Kuning in detail and also other Malay traditional fares as well.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Atok's Siblings Came A-Visiting

Atok was so happy yesterday because all of his younger siblings paid him a visit. They came back to Kelantan (from Kedah, Kemaman & Kuala Lumpur) because Tok Su , (Atok's aunt) passed away a few days ago. Atok's youngest brother, Pak Su Aji bought Laksa Kelantan from the Siti Khadijah Market. From Wikipedia:

Kelantan laksa (Malay: Laksa Kelantan) is the easiest laksa recipe that is famous among peoples from the town of Kota Bharu of the Kelantan state, located at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The main ingredient of Kelantan Laksa's sauce is 'ikan kembong' or round scad mackerel that are boiled and minced. The minced fish are fried with onions, garlic, ginger, datil pepper, belacan, 'kantan' flower, Vietnamese coriander or 'daun kesum', lemon grass and dried tamarind slice. Coconut milk will then be added as the final ingredient and stirred until it is all mixed up and becomes thick. Kelantan Laksa is served just like the Italian spaghetti by adding 'ulam' (raw vegetables) and blended chilli on the side. Another variable of Kelantan Laksa is 'Laksam'. The sauce's recipe are exactly the same but the noodles are a bit bigger and flat.

Pak Su Aji also bought Jering Rebus (which should be taken together with grated coconut and sugar) And guess what, although Mama is a true blue Kelantanese, that day was the first time Mama tasted it and it was not bad.. The jering was soft and tasted good. Mama's uncle said that it was quite difficult to find this traditional dish nowadays. Here what Mama got after she googled 'Jering Rebus'.

Jering rebus is a novel way the kampung folks prepare kind of a cheap breakfast. However jering rebus are only done on matured jering, i.e the jerings are left to sprout (jering cambah), only then it will be boiled and eaten with sweetened grated coconut. These sort of jering are quite hard to be eaten raw, hence boiling them makes it easier to consume. The common jering fruit are very much tender (jering muda), these are usually consume as ulam with sambal belacan. During jering season the fruits are aplenty, being creative are the normal traits of our kanpung folks. Yes they can be nice to eat, but BEWARE when taken to much will kind of block your part of your colon which is refered as KAPIT, meaning your anus just refuse to open and your bowel movement is halted. Can you imagine the feeling.. of wanting to but it just refuse to budge? It seems jering is high in starch,therefore sticky.

Ermm.. for those last few lines, Mama was thankful that she took only ONE jering that day.. hahaha..

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tadika Mata Hati's 3rd Convocation

A few weeks ago, the kindergarten cum nursery held its 3rd convocation. Bro H was supposed to be on stage with others for choir & prayer recital. Sis A was supposed to take part in the catwalk. Well, Sis A was so enthusiastic about it and kept asking for 5 things: hat, umbrella, spec(tacles) aka glasses, (high-heeled) shoes and 'hand'. What is 'hand?' I asked her.. Then I realised she'd been asking for gloves.. hahaha.. a 3 year old who already knew what she wanted... So both of us went shopping for the items.. sorry Sis A, Mama could only buy the spec, and the dress..
On the day itself Mama had to leave them and pretended to go to Mama's school. Mama had breakfast in the car and went to join the crowd of parents under the tent (trying to be hidden from view).
But Mama is an avid photographer and couldn't resist taking pictures. Bro H saw Mama first and refused to get on the stage, preferring instead running here and there and making Mama grit her teeth. Then Sis A saw Mama while she was singing (in the choir - she's the only girl who did not wear the kindy's uniform) and after that she refused to get on the stage for the catwalk.. Well, so much for the enthusiasm weeks earlier.