Wordless Monday


A Father Figure? That Figures

It has been said that most women tend to look for partners who resemble the personality of their father, be it strong or weak personality. It also said that whatever decisions we made when we go through our adult lives depends on how we were in our childhood.

My Teenager, I think has somehow found this revelation. She found herself drawn towards a partner who has many of her father’s traits. My daughter is a very spirited and feisty young lady. Her partner is a total opposite who feels uncomfortable outside of his comfort zone, who refuses to go travelling to another state simply because he doesnt know what to expect. All these are scary for him. My Teenager boards planes on her own when she was young, and has no issue in taking the inter-state express buses to visit her cousin. Just like me, she feels comfortable watching movies or having a favourite ice cream alone. Her current boyfriend doesnt know how to navigate the traffic and remembering buildings in the city as “they are very difficult to understand”.

I realized that I have left a lot of me when I first got married to my first husband. I allowed it to happen thinking that if I didnt, I might lose his love. As years progressed in the marriage, I lost myself. It was difficult to regain it back; not without making him reminding me how things were and how “happy” we were when things were left undisturbed.

When I was young, I told my dad if I were ever to find a husband, I would look for a man who is like him. In my eyes, he was a gentle guy who was okay with everything. He was a kind of a guy who didnt want to stir things up and let my mom to decide what to eat, what to wear, where to go for holidays. You know, practically a lot of daily things. The differences between them were like heaven and earth.

What I didnt see at that time was the fact that my dad had his flaws also . His soft traits had been misconstrued by my mother as being a mere follower.Those were the same traits I found in my previous marriage. It was a whole life cycle all over again. I found myself making most of the decisions in the marriage when my then-husband was contented to follow. I hated the fact that I was beginning to feel the burden of being the only one who make decisions without any input from my partner. In return, he had this knack of making me feel guilty concious and leaving me feeling unloved and not respected. Still, I stayed on and allowed myself to wallow in self pity.

I told my Teenager she can change this and no, it is not genetic that all of the marriages in the family ends up in divorce. Maybe it scares the hell out of her. My great, grandfather had his own marital issues. My grandmother, when she passed away a few years back, had gone through some really bad patch in her second marriage which was to my grandfather. When my grandfather passed away a few years after that, he left 2 wives. In his life, he had marry 4 wives and divorced his 28 year old fourth wife months after marrying her. Then, there was an uncle who divorced his first wife, proceeded to fill in his corum of four wives thereafter, then divorcing each one of them except the second wife. But all of his nieces and nephews are always at each other’s wit to speculate our uncle’s “latest collection of aunties”.

My own parents were divorced three times to each other. My mother thinking that another child could save the already-damage marriage, proceeded to get pregnant after the second marriage. I could never figure out that one. But now I know why I stayed on in my first marriage despite that fact that it went downhill. I didnt want to repeat the same divorce cycle as how my parents were and thus decided to stay on.

When I decided that I wanted my life again, I also knew then I will not settle for a half baked, half loaf of bread kind of relationship. It was easier said than done. You tend to veer of-course once in a while because you have been conditioned from the start, at an early life, to accept a half baked, half loaf of bread kind of relationship. Life is like that, right? Or so I thought.

Life can be different as you always have choices in life. Noone can make you feel sad or angry, but only if you allow them to. Sure, it is difficult but with time, you will see yourself progressing in controling these things.

When one door closes, there are so many other doors open for you. You just need to look. Fairy tales do come true too. You wanted your white knight to come galoping with his horse to save you from the world’s miseries, get on his knees and propose to you infront of the whole wide world.

You dont look for a father figure in a partner. You look for a partner in a partner.

Milestones In 2009

Way back in January, the landlord to my apartment confirmed that he was extending my lease for another year. On the 30th May, I received his text message informing me he was revoking the lease and giving me 30 days to vacant the unit. I was flabergasted and angry at the same time. How could he do this to me? I was a good tenant and never failed to pay the rent. Negotiation didnt yield any result. He was adamant to move in by June with his two wives, claiming he sold his other house and had nowhere else to go.

In between all these, Lyn entered her college life. I was a happy mom knowing that I have raised her well. It was a proud moment for me when we both were at the lobby of the college on her first day. She has grown up!

Back to May 2009. I decided not to waste anymore time and started to look for a new place. I wanted a house now instead of an apartment. A house where I sit on the porch in the evening and sip my coffee while contemplating the day’s work. A house close enough to shops, cafes and main road so that The Teenager can negotiate her day without me worrying leaving her at home while I travel. It would also solve transportation problem to her college.

Lyn and I love butter crabs at Bangsar Seafood. We have been patronizing this restaurant for the longest time. We spent Mother’s Day’s dinner there.

In June, we settled into this double storey link-house. The kitchen was a dream. Lyn brought back friends. I played hosts to close friends on weekends. In early July, George and I decided we want to officiate the relationship. Within weeks, we were preparing for “something important”.

Amidst the chaos of house shifting, work and whatnot, I managed to escape all these by going on a short weekend trip with Myza and a few other friends. 5 cars, 8 friends and 6 dogs went on this trip. In the depth of Perak jungle, we put up the night at a budget jungle lodge. We lounged on hammocks in the evening. Went picnicking at the river but not before riding on this four-wheel drive jeep passing through the most amazing tree-lined secondary road right in the jungle.

I also decided to drive further up north-east after camping was over. Pangkor was the next destination.

I told myself this would be my last sunset alone without George. I knew then how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

I could never forget 23 July 2009. My groom looked dashing in his baju Melayu. The Teenager helped to prepare the “hantaran” together with her friends. My friend, Eda and her husband Megat was gracious enough to open their house for our wedding. Right after Maghrib prayers, I became Mrs Bohlender.

Life seems more interesting, livelier, brighter. We went for shows, had dinners, entertained friends, organized barbeques.

23rd October 2009 was also The Teenager’s 18th birthday. We organized the first barbeque at home as a family.

But not before having dinner at Chili’s.

The Razaif-Bohlender household celebrated the first Eidil Fitri at home, minus George who was still away. Next year, God willing, will be celebrated together.

The Mahmudians and MGS girls’ class 85/86 reunion was held at Saloma Bistro, Jalan Ampang. 20 old friends met after 23 years of leaving our alma mater.

2009 is coming to an end in a few days time. It has been snowing back in Canada. George told me it was -30 today. We talked just like any other day for the past one year. Time flies and we have been together for more than a year. The Teenager just got back from Langkawi a few days back. It was so difficult for me to let her go travelling that far, but she did. And came back a happy Teenager. Next year, we plan to go travelling as a family, just the three of us. I hope they both dont mind Airasia’s flight. I really wanted to see Angkor Wat. The Teenager wanted to be in Bali. And my husband dearest wants to have his quick weekend gateway to the kampungs and enjoy the sunset at the beach.

Whichever destination we have in mind, they all are looking good.

I can feel it in my bones.

The best is yet to come…


I have come to realize, the older that I get, that material things just aren’t that important in life – not that they ever have been for me. It’s all about QUALITY OF LIFE. Quality of life, for me at least, is found in the companionship and love of a soulmate and my/our children, creating good family memories together, a comfortable living environment, and the mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance of the Creator. So bring on 2010 and the next half of my life and let me live it with quality, respect, and honor, being ever mindful of my duty to Allah who brought me into this life and who has given me so much…

Someone Wants To Make Me Rich!



Apparently through some sophisticated system ever devised by someone, my banking file is sitting on the table of a Minister named Dr Mansur Muhtar in the Ministry of Finance of Nigeria. He said that because of my lack of cooperation, I have not been able to receive my payment.

Payment for what? I have no idea.

Let’s see how this email looks like….

fromDR.MANSUR MUHTAR <atmcardepartment@terra.com.ve>

date16 December 2009 16:01

hide details 16 Dec (3 days ago)
Dear Sir/Madam,


This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract payment.Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately.

After the Board of director’s meeting held in Abuja, we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem. We have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America, Africa and Asia Pacific; this is part of the mandate passed by the Senate in respect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling. And also the  Nigerian Government is using this mean to rewards all the citizens of the United states and all part of Europe including Asia, Australia, South America, Canada, Antarctica e.t.c and all those who have lost their funds in either scam, or an uncompleted business, or otherwise, You should know that if you are interested to receive your ATM card which will be credited with $5,000,000.00 united states dollars before it is been sent to you direct to your doorstep through the FedEx courier service, you will have to respond to me with your full information’s, After your response you will be directed to the FedEx shipping courier representative whose name is Mr. Edward Edwar

He will send you your ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world, and the maximum daily limit is Fifteen Thousand United States dollars ($15,000.00). And also note that the Nigerian Government has taken care of the shipping fee of your ATM card, so if Mr. Edward is requesting for another shipping fee, you will have to report him to me immediately. When you receive your ATM card, you have to alert me so that we can give you process of how to activate and make use of your ATM CARD.

If you like to receive your fund this way, kindly contact me with the following information’s below.

(1) Your Full Name
(2) Full residential address
(3) Phone and Fax Number
(4) Occupation.
(5) Personal Identification. Driver’s license or International Passport.
(7) Age
(8) Marital Status
(9) Sex

This message is supported by the Nigerian Government.

Thanks for your co-operation.


Dr. Mansur Muhtar
Minister, Federal Ministry of Finance

Me-time On A Saturday Afternoon

As I type this, the minute on the wall clock just strike 12.00 midnite and in a few heartbeats, there will be 11 days to go for 2010.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the movie theater watching James Cameron’s latest offerings – Avatar. Awesome movie with lots of breathtaking visuals especially when I saw the the “Hellilujah Mountains” where mountains practically just floated in the sky creating that amazing effect on the screen.

Hunky Sam Worthington played Jake Sully who turned into an Avatar, a blue creature created by human to be planted amongst the Na’vi. He then fell in love with Neytiri (the hot Zoe Saldana). The movie was pretty predictable but who cares when the effects all throughout the movie was just so amazing? The flip side of my movie watching this time around was the fact that I went alone and picked a wrong seat. The group of young men to the left side of me was chatting incessantly and the whispering among them wasnt exactly whispering. Not until I gave them a sharp look. The couple to my right wasnt exactly quiet either. The girl, I think, had a serious sinus problem and kept on snorting. That was so gross…

But all and all, it was a great movie. Dont mind going for a second round afterall.

2012 with John Cusack is another movie I really dont mind having a repeat just to enjoy the cinematic effect. I know the movie has attracted a lot of debates recently but hey! This is end of the world according to Hollywood!

Remembering My Favourite Things

A year ago today, I posted a song – My Favourite Things by Julie Andrews. I cannot remember for the life of me why I was feeling sad on that particular day. It could have been due to a lot of things, it could have been the festive season as well. You know how that is. You walking alone in the mall looking at all the bright colours coming from the mall decorations, the people who go about shopping and carrying their big bags, the festive songs that fill the air.

You really dont want to be alone on that particular day.

A few days ago, the office had organized an early Christmas party. We had someone brought in the Christmas roast turkey and trimmings. Someone else brought in sausage caserolle, pasta and cookies. I brought some mash potatoes that went well with the lamb stew I made the night before. Then it was present time! Everyone got a Christmas gift. Such fun time. They sang Christmas carols while I stood next to one colleague and enjoying the holiday spirit. I never had this experience before in my working experience. I like festivities mode and this came right into the working space in my new work place. What a wonderful concept.

Miss J invited me for dinner a couple of nights back. We decided to go to Aryan in The Weld. We ordered the nan (leavened bread), some dhall, chicken dish and a vegetable. We have not seen each other for more than 6 months. Miss J and I went back a long way together when I first started working in Kuala Lumpur sometime in 1991. I enjoy meeting old friends like that as there are so many things to talk about.

So, it could have been a bright copper kettles and warm wollen mittens, a nice dinner with an old colleague, Christmas party and exchanging gifts, of my wonderful husband and Teenager, these are my favourite things. And remembering all of my favourite things will not make me feel so sad.

Life Is Never A Mistake

That was what I learnt in a motivational session today which was organized as a finale to the HOD Meeting of my company.

Such a powerful statement, and so true.

All of us get to where we are today after going through our life journey thus far. All the decisions that we made at that point of time in our life were right, at least at that point of time’s perspective. There should not be any regret.

And then we move on. Older and hopefully wiser.

The ying and yang of life brings the equilibrium in our very existence. The negative is balanced out with the positive. If we dont experience hardship, we will not understand wealth. If we have not experienced failure we can never truly appreciate success. 

If we dont experience heartbreak, we wont know what love means.

There And Here

When my husband is experiencing -30C at where he is at the moment….

Here I am in Kuala Lumpur, with a high 34C and raining cats and dogs with the occasional cows thrown in between…

Aidil Adha 2009 And Reunions

This year’s Aidil Adha came and went. It was a quiet festival for us as George had gone back to Canada on the day before to sort the other household’s practicalities. Time seems to fly faster now.

The mood changed somewhat on the second day of Aidil Adha when about 40 odd of class 85/86 of Mahmudians and MGS, Raub had decided to celebrate the holy day by organizing the second reunion of sort. The first was organized by a group of us a couple of months back and the turn out was pretty good considering that the majority of the communications were done via Facebook, emails and phones.

Saloma Bistro in Jalan Ampang became the location of choice for the first reunion due to its strategic location in the city. 20 old school friends who had not met for the past 23 years arrived on that Saturday. Tears of happiness and hugs went around freely. We even had a video conferencing with another ex school mate who is now residing in the States.

The second reunion saw more ex school mates arrived. A friend of ours had generously offered his parents’ house to host the “back to kampung” reunion. The food was generously sponsored by one of our friends who is now a dentist. Typical kampung dishes of Raub-origin was layout including the famous sambal hitam, rendang daging, gulai masak lemak rebung with mackerel, all the ulams and a few types of sambal.