Cooking Up A Storm

I love to cook. To me, nothing beats the stress away on a weekend than cooking. But, it would greatly help to have a nice kitchen too. You know, with the double deck oven, 4 burner stove, the obligatory microwave to create that killer nachos in a few seconds….

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The still empty kitchen.

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Countdown To New Place

In less than a week, I will be shifting to the new place where the number of bedrooms will be one notch higher, the space to walk between the dining table and the washing sink will be at least a few meters away more, and there are steps to climb to the bedroom! Plus, instead of being contented with the micro space between the staircase and main door of my current condo to love my green plants, I would have at least a better space to hang a few more pots of the money plant.

Stuff to pack, furniture to dismantle, synchronising between the movers, cleaners, a Gen Y who is busy with college life plus a career to juggle, could prove to be a bit too much sometime.

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When My Dad Is Just A Thought Away

I wrote a piece on my Abah way back last year in November. It was on his birthday. My cousin, Ghaz picked the blog and wrote something of his own story on his dad and mine.

While I was driving to work this morning, the pair of radio DJs were accepting phone calls from listeners and wanted to hear their stories with their dads and what message do they want to convey.

One lady listener called in. She said that her relationship with her father had never been described as close. They never talk longer than a few minutes. Her father never read her bedtime stories neither had he discussed what her ambitions are or anything that resembles an effort to get to know her better as a person. Before she hang up the phone, she said her love for her father despite all these. And she cried.

I reflected on my own relationship with my late Abah. There was a phase in my life when we were strangers and I regretted it although I did try to make up for the lost time after that after I got married. I am glad I did.

We had wonderful Father’s Day celebrations during the last final few years when he was still around. And birthdays and Eidil Fitri too. They were not much, could be some simple home cooked meals that I prepare for him. He was happy enough to invite his friends to come to the house and enjoy the food as well. I was a very flattered daughter. Content even, to make her dad a happy man. He enjoyed cooking.  And cooked he did with my daughter. In my kitchen things will ended up misplaced or missing after their kitchen-escapade but I didnt mind at all. Afterall, the happiness I saw on his face was irreplaceable.

And oh! The cakes he baked! Weird ones sometimes – rose syrup butter cake, savoury cakes, Milo cake, Horlics cake. Whatever fancies that came to his mind. They all ended up eaten anyways.

It has been more than 8 years since he passed away. I used to keep his mobile number in my phone but since then deleted it. I found myself calling the number whenever I wanted to talk to someone. I always did when he was still alive. He never said much but had always been there for me to listen to all my rants. I went to him when I first felt the hint of trouble in my marriage. I didnt know what to do then and figured that since he himself had gone through all the pain as a divorce man, wanted to hear his side of the story.

He didnt advocate divorce but emphasized that happiness can only comes from within. What works for others may not work for me. And he gave me all his blessings in whatever decision that I may decide from there onwards.

If he were still around for Father’s Day, I’d like to take him to have his favourite makan – steamed fish Thai style and fried kailan with salted fish.

I miss my dad and this Sunday, I am going back to the hometown to visit his grave and offer him some prayers from this daughter of his.

The Favourite Hour Of The Day

If someone asks me what would be my favourite hour of the day, I must say that it is dusk. When the sun just about to set and the day changes to night, the sky bursts with all the bright colours of the day, orange, red, blue as if saying goodbye for the last time to the bright sunny day it was.

It is as if time stands still to witness this event.

If you sit still enough, you can almost feel the day slips quietly…..just as when the first star comes out from the sky.

Earlier, as I stepped out from my car to head to a favourite cafe for my early dinner, I looked up to sky. The sky was of brilliant orange. I could hear the muezzin’s call to the faithful to perform the maghrib prayers. So tranquil, so peaceful, I thought.

I realized also that most of my travel pixs would include the obligatory sunset pixs, wherever I may be. Maybe unknowingly, I was trying to capture the exact moment that trip had given. I dont know.

I feel blessed for each day that I could witness this.

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Puking Over Online Love Scammers

Online love scammers are everywhere. They haunt the Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, you name it, they are there.

And I am getting sick of receiving messages from them. But then again, looking at things, maybe they can become a source of humour. I mean, look at these messages that came via my hardly-used-account of Myspace:

A message from a dude who called himself Eddie Johnson. Looks like a middle aged western guy.

Hello,
True friendship is forever and lasts for more than a while ,don’t think about saying never, just look around and then smile. True friendship will stand the test of time no matter what people say or do,and one like yours and mine are proof that it’s all too true to be given a trial.
I know we had to meet cos in this search for love we could be meant for each other and there is only one thing in life which is to love and be loved. I will like you to keep this friendship alive so you can contact me with my e-mail address eddyjohnson2008@yahoo.com
Eddy Johnson

Verdict? Bleagh!

Another came in by the name of Wellington Ehonwa. He looked like a western guy but with a name like that, you can never tell huh? Read his message:

Hello pretty angel,
how are you doing?i hope an guess you are fine..babe i must say you are fine.God what a wonderful illuminating smile that has a way of driving it ways into a mans heart.sorry that i am saying all this but its the truth and only the truth i will tell you.i have gone through and i would say its nice but i dont judge
a book by its cover.i believe there is a someone for everyone and no matter how long it takes to find that person its what it.i really want to know you more
and build a solid foundtion with you as that is the first step to friendship.i believe honesty and sincerity should be our watch word.its hard to talk about
once self but i think i will try.distance shouldnt be a barrier as true love cares not about boundary because its endless. i would relocate for my perfect woman.
Full Name: Mr.Wellington Bostonw
Height: 170 cm (5’7″)
weight:146LBS
Eyes: hazel
Hair Color: BLACK,
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Toss-up between Rock Lobster Tails and Jumbo Prawns sauteed in
butter and lemon juice
Favorite sport to watch:golf and Tennis
Favorite sport to participate in: golf and Tennis
Favorite recreational activity: Fishing with my friends but it would be fun if it is with my family
Favorite place in the world that I have visited: newcastle
Favorite place in the world to visit on holiday: any fine beach with the woman i love
Family members: Mother and uncle, , A younger brother
Favored hand: Write, eat, play golf right-handed; swing baseball bat right
right handed; kick with left foot
Favorite time of day: Morning; it sets the mood for the whole day
Favorite music: Southern Rock (Lenyrd Skynrd, ZZ Top, etc.) Country (the upbeat stuff:
Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels, Alabama, etc.) 70’s oldies, Blues and majorly RandB(R kelly)
Favorite movie of all time: The Wizard of Oz (really!)
Hobbies: Computers, golf playing,slow dancing, reading books
What I like in people: Random acts of anomynous kindness, generosity, courtesy,
politeness, selflessness and sincerity
What I dislike in people: Rudeness, cruelty, inconsiderate behavior toward others,
selfishness and staining your nicest jacket with a cup of tea.
i am so so sorry if i have bored you with my email,i would like you to send me an email to my private mail box(ehonwawellington@yahoo.com) till i hear from

you do take good care of yourself and keep that angelic smile of yours,because people around you needs it and i for one also needs it.
Wellington Bostonw

Verdict? Yeah! Right! I am surprised he didnt add his junior high school spelling bee contest result.

Stacy James looked every little bit like a guy in a cowboy film but ended up on a beach. Read his message:

Hi Friend,
how you doing? am new in this site and am looking for a friend to chat
with.my name is Stacy James,am 40 of age,based in uk .it realy will be my plessure charting and getting to know you more better. if you wish to know more about me you can contact me via mail or you can still add me with my email address which is (tbaby4love39@yahoo.com) be exspecting to hear from you soon.

thanks alot.
Stacy James.

Verdict? He needs to go to school. Again. Badly. Badly!!!

Zacki Clinton looked suave enough. Maybe the real guy who owned the picture was really suave , but not the scammer who used it. His message was titled: I love you cat….hmmm…he loves my cat? Right…

His message:

Hello dear, How is your day? hope it was great, i hope you have a very civilised atmosphere. It was really good spending my time with your profile on-line. I would like to have some chatting conversation with you, i knew there was something very special about you because you have captured my mind and interest.

I think and i have come to realise that our meeting on net is a destiny that will soon come to pass. The net is only but a mediun for us to meet each other due to the great distance separating us. More so, i would like us to keep in touch always.

I wish you could understand me better and know how deep i adore, admire, and want you. i really want to have a good relationship with you, do let me know your opinion concerning my proposal to you, Hope to hear from you soon.

Have a lovely day.
Zacki..

Verdict: He wished I have a civilised atmosphere…and that he had a good time with my profile online? What does that mean? Did he do something that I think he did? Hmm..

Progress On House Shifting

Finally, the waiting game is over.

The agent called on behalf of the owner and reconfirmed that they agreed to my rental proposal. I guess they also liked the fact that I told them I would never sub-let any of the rooms to anyone else.

The new house is a lovely double storey terrace linked, a few minutes walk to a small park and a playground. There are security patrols all around the clock and controlled entries in the evenings. 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a fairly big kitchen with built-ins, a dining hall, a family hall and a porch that could accommodate 2 vehicles.

I am thrilled to bits!

New Place For Makan

Makan – to eat,

Makan-makan – to eat, gathering of a group of people and with plenty of food served

Time and again, Asians are generally labeled as being a “foodie” bunch. Malaysians in general love their food any time of the day. Breakfast cannot be called a breakfast without the dose of roti canai, nasi lemak, nasi kerabu, lontong, tosei, all washed down with the obligatory teh tarik, kopi or Milo kau.

“Let’s go for coffee” means to have the whole works of the meals – either rice or noodles and the endless orders of drinks. Day or night. 3pm or 3 am. Tea time means a whole selection of kuih muih (sweet meats) and teh or kopi tarik. Fresh fruit juice if the day gets too hot. Add in the ABC and rojak mamak towards the end of the meals, and you get a very happy Malaysian.

Pappa Kopitiam is a not-so-new kopitiam that I have started to love. Not so new because they have been around for a while in the past couple of years but somehow they have started to leave some footprints in all the right places.

For one, service is prompt and friendly although dont expect an extremely intelligent conversation on “what is good on the menu today”. Many of the floor staff sounded foreign, could be from Myanmar. 

 The beverage selection is just totally awesome. The meals are reasonable and they have all of my favourite roti selections. The roti bakar and roti steam are among the favourites. Local favourites such as the nasi lemak, laksa kari and asam laksa are good for what it is worth.

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A friend of mine, Miss M has been going to Pappa Kopitiam for a while and had never tasted their roti steam. She is hooked to it after one fine Sunday afternoon of persuading her to try something new in the menu. She likes the roti steam so much so that she would take the ardous drive all the way from Petaling Jaya to Kota Damansara enroute home which will see her drive another 20 minutes or so in return.

The half boiled eggs here are done just the way I like them – not so hard and just easy. Beverages range from the usual coffee and tea to the whole works of juice and soya milk which is a firm favourite of mine. The soya milk is just right – thick, rich and not so sweet.

On top of all of these,they provide a respite for those who wants to get connected to the net as they provide a free wifi service.

As I type this in one of their latest outlets in Damansara Uptown, I have a steaming cup of kopi cham next to me along with roti bakar peanut butter. The peanut butter is the chunky kind, which again, is my favourite.

Hunting For The House

I have been house hunting since Monday. Some of the agents that I spoke to were crappy. Crappy because:

  • they didnt listen to what my requirements are
  • the “I dont really care” attitude
  • new agents who doesnt have anything in their list
  • agents who tried to sell me something that wasnt fitting in my needs

One guy even had my name wrong and that was even after we spoke for the tenth time! Crappy! Crappy! Crappy!

There are only a few items in my wishlist when I discovered I only have a month to look for a new place and then shift:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Budget

But with the time constraint I find it quite a challenge to find one property that is really convenient for the The Teenager to go to the college. For one, her college will move to a new place somewhere in Seksyen 13 which is right smack in the middle of a mature township. Properties are expensive in the vicinity.

Public transport may pose a real challenge if we decided to pick a location at the outskirt. Kuala Lumpur is not exactly like Singapore where each LRT station is connected to a feeder bus station or each housing estate is inter-connected to a smooth public transport that arrive on time.

Students rely heavily on public transport and it doesnt help that to get connected from one public transport to another means juggling the time. Malaysians generally doesnt stick to time.If the train schedule says it will arrive at 8.30am, be prepared to give at least ten mins before or after the stated time.

I dont necessarily need a big house, just enough to accommodate the two of us (and soon to be three) plus my fur-babies.

However, yesterday I spoke to this agent. Lenny* was good. She listened. She gave feedbacks and explained to me what are the steps that she would take so that we can agree on a timeline. Lenny asked all the right questions too. Then, she emailed me a list of properties that fits into my wishlist. Out of the 11 properties, 7 was a good choice and we agreed to have a look in the next few days.

Amazing. Maybe there is silver lining at the end of the cloud after all.

* name changed.