Thursday, October 25, 2007
To start with, its not as hot as I thought it would be...the rain has made Malaysia cool enough a place. And there are air condition everywhere! In fact, in the classroom where my course is conducted it got so cold that I complained, drawing wondering comments why orang baru balik from Swiss tak tahan sejuk!
Can't write much coz am at Kak Sham's house at the moment and this amounts to ignoring the tuanrumah! So, I'll try to get to a computer at ILKAP tomorrow and write some mo, K.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
yes...banyak hal lah of late ni! Lots happened..happening..should be happening..will happen...where do I start?
Musri was my classmate - way back in 1983/4 - form 4 and 5 kat SMS Muar Tanjung Agas. And yesterday was the first time we met again after leaving school!! i.e. after almost 23 years!!! He emailed a couple of weeks back, saying he'll be in Geneva for a day, I emailed him back with my phone numbers and voila! there was a reunion..a very rushed and short one as he had to go back to Zug (somewhere dalam Switzerland ni lah jugak..donno exactly where though...) and due to meetings, I could not meet him earlier. There wasn't time to dwell on the past as we rushed from one tourist spot to another. It was just as well that I had my camera with me so..this is Musri and mumsie...don't you think he looks older than me? kan..kan?
4. Parent-teacher conference
We went to see Kak Ngah's teacher - Ms Denis Liew. As usual...we hear only praises for Kak Ngah. I missed the one with Kak Long's teacher but Abah said she received puji-pujian as well. Thats what i like about teachers kat sini...they only focus on the positive sides of your children and hopes to build on them. I think it works. I think children tends to work harder when they know they'll get appreciation at the end of it...well...come to think of it, adults pun perform better when they receives pats on the back from time to time...ye dak?
I forgot to whip out the camera in the classroom but we did take some pictures in the school lobby..they were getting ready for halloween....
5. More raya pictures...courtesy of yati and rashidi..tapi kecik arr...
6. More pictures of Geneva..taken when I was taking Musri around town...
BTW, the picture of the 3 legged chair is actually of a sculpture of by a swiss artist called Daniel Berset. He named it The Broken Chair. Apparently, it is a symbol of the fight against anti-personnel land mines and the lost leg symbolizes what so many land mine victims suffer. The Chair can be found right in front of the UN building.
and I leave this posting with a picture of a view which greets us whenever we leave the apartment in the mornings....when weather is good lah!
i think its the range of Mount Jura....siggghhhhh.....
Reuters - Tuesday marks World Food Day, with aid workers warning that war, weather, disease and deepening poverty leave more people hungry and in need of food aid each year just as rising prices make feeding them more expensive.
Below are some global statistics on food shortages and aid and a summary of some of the world's current food crises.
-- 854 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat, more than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union.
-- In the 1990s, global poverty dropped by 20 percent, as the number of hungry people increased by 18 million.
-- Every five seconds a child dies because of hunger.
-- One in four children in developing countries is underweight.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO -- widespread shortages persist despite the end of Africa's most destructive civil war, with the U.N. unable to reach a third of the 300,000 people newly displaced by renewed fighting in the east.
ETHIOPIA -- as Ethiopia's government fights a counter-insurgency campaign in its ethnic Somali Ogaden region, rebels accuse the government of "man-made famine" and aid workers say delivery of food aid to 600,000 people is patchy at best. The Red Cross and aid group MSF have both been expelled from the region.
LESOTHO and SWAZILAND -- the two southern African kingdoms are suffering drought, soil erosion and some of the world's highest HIV rates and have suffered serious shortages every year this decade.
MALAWI and ZAMBIA -- having suffered years of repeated shortages from drought, the impact of HIV and deepening poverty, both countries have reported a surplus this year after better weather and improved access to inputs such as fertiliser.
SOMALIA -- ongoing conflict and the worst drought in years combined to restrict access to aid agencies and commercial supply of food, particularly after the closure of the main market in the capital Mogadishu. The U.N. says there have been 13 deaths at WFP food distributions this year and the number of incidents is rising. Maritime aid shipments run the risk of piracy.
SUDAN -- despite growing insecurity aid workers continue to feed some 4 million people in need of assistance in Darfur, as well as others affected by the now ended conflict in the south and recent flooding.
UGANDA -- widespread flooding in northern Uganda, home to people displaced by conflict, has led to WFP airdrops of food. Some 250,000 people in camps did not receive their September rations because of flooding.
WEST AFRICA -- after serious shortages in the Sahel in 2005, West Africa is seen as having had a good agricultural year but aid workers warn pockets of shortage remain in countries such as Niger, which remain vulnerable to massive crop failures.
ZIMBABWE -- drought, HIV, economic and agricultural collapse have hit harvests and the U.N. sees food aid needs rising from a current one million people to 4 million by the end of the year.
AFGHANISTAN -- despite ongoing conflict, Afghanistan has seen its best grain harvest in years.
NORTH KOREA -- still recovering from a devastating famine in the 1990s, North Korea this year suffered floods that damaged nearly a sixth of arable land. WFP is providing flood emergency food rations to 215,000 people.
SRI LANKA -- the resumption of civil war in 2006 restricted both commercial food deliveries and aid flows particularly to rebel Tamil Tiger areas in the north and east. The government-held northern Jaffna enclave has been effectively cut off for over a year, with rising prices and malnutrition rates.
IRAQ - food distribution in Iraq is difficult due to widespread violence, and AID agencies find it hard to reach the 2 million displaced within Iraq. Another 2 million people have fled mainly to neighbouring Syria and Jordan.
PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES -- some 2 million Palestinians receive food aid either from WFP or from the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency, which works with Palestinian refugees. Food aid has been allowed through Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip since the takeover by Islamist group Hamas. With Gaza unable to export, food stalls are unusually well-stocked but with the economy collapsing many are too poor to buy.
COLOMBIA -- with years of war giving Colombia one of the highest rates of displacement in the world, WFP feeds half a million people displaced by conflict.
SOURCES: United Nations World Food Programme, UNRWA, Reuters
Copyright © 2007 Reuters
so folks...you reckon anything we can do??
Monday, October 15, 2007
BTW, the last picture is of my carrot cake...got quite a few praises for it...kembang kuncup i youuuu...
One place deserves a special mention, though...the house of a young diplomat named Azril...sungguh cozy, canggih and nicely(very) decorated..he managed to shame the kakak2 and auntie2 who went visiting...here's some photos..but these doesn't really do justice to the apartment...i should have taken some pictures of the bedrooms, his own lepak area and especially the dressing room!! Like we told him yesterday...bertuahlaaa bini ko nanti!!
The cooking and hidangan was by the tuanrumah..done alllll by himself!!
the abang-abang..memperagakan the living room....
the girls and uncle azril...simply having a good time...
p.s. sorrylah azril, anak2 i pecahkan meja you tu....
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Then, here's some autumn pictures around our apartment -
OK..i end this posting with some pictures of the girls with their favourite kakaks in Geneva ...
and their buddies in crime...
So..what to cook..what to cook?
Sambal udang - must find the big ones, baru kick!
rendang kicap daging
ayam masak merah
kari dhall with daging
cakes...cakes...and more cakes!!!
ok...i think i'll cook everything listed in moderate amount...
so folks, SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI...MAAF ZAHIR BATIN...FROM MUMSIE and GANG...
Well...its almost Raya but I still haven't figured out what to cook for that special day! The procastinator that I am, I'd probably decide the night before!
As for baju raya...the girls would have to do with last year's dresses coz mummy knew this would be our last raya here and somehow thought there was no point to get them new ones. Tak per...mummy promise..next year we'll do the works! Everybody will have new dresses to wear for the whole first 7 days of raya!!! haha...kalau Pak Lah give bonus laaaa....
OK folks...gotta go bake some cookies...or NOT!
Monday, October 8, 2007
1. So soon? But you just got here/got yourself settled!
2. Your husband must be very happy!!
Let me tell you why people make those remarks -
For reaction no 1 - Overseas postings are usually for at least 3 years. We've been here slightly more than 2 years.Then, in the setting that I work in - WTO - people like me, from a developing country... muslim...pakai tudung...mummy of four...it takes a while to be "accepted", so to speak. I think, with all those "baggages" I had to work harder to be taken seriously and to be included in professional and social events. In my mind..I have managed to do so...but only after almost a year! Thats why my working colleagues from other countries felt that they've just gotten to know me! Well...too bad for them, I suppose...sapa suruh judge a book by its cover, kan!
Still...its been good for me. ALL my life I've wanted to work overseas..in international setting and this posting was most definitely a dream come true. Professionally, I've enjoyed every minute! The meetings..the negotiations...the working and non-working lunches (especially!!)...they were good experiences ...
So, I patut bersyukur coz I was given this chance..albeit for a short time...to taste my dreams...and at least dapat rasa duduk overseas and get to see bits of the world with Abah and the girls...still...
For reaction no 2 - Abah has made known to ALL who'd listen that coming here was a mistake, as far as he is concerned. Well...minus all the trips that we've taken! He (and I) discovered that being an at home dad 24/7 is definitely not his cup of tea... or coffee...or milo! He's been miserable but stuck with us because of the commitments he made..and his promise to support this decision and my career whilst we are here. Still...
So...Abah's misery is about to end and to a large extent, I'm happy for him and I thank him for the sacrifices he made...Still....
Ahhh..there's also a 3rd reaction - one that i like the best -
"we'd have to arrange a farewell do for you"!! yay...free makan!!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
to put off intentionally and habitually.thelifeprescription.com/glossary.html
the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or defering an action to a later time
dilatoriness: slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Procrastination is the deferment or avoidance of an action or task to a later time and is often linked to perfectionism. ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrastination
well..well! i like the last definition..and would like to associate myself to it! haha!
I must be one of world's worst procrastinator...nothing gets done on time...even if it meets any deadlines (datelines??), it would be at the eleventh hour...but you see, I consider this trait a luxury..that I take time to do things so that I have the luxury to do those other things that I'm not supposed to do! E.g. blogging during office hours when I should be doing alllll those reports!
So today, from morning till just a couple of minutes ago, I finished and submitted 4 reports that could have easily been done way, wayyyyy before today! yay for mumsie...
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Actually, I just got the transfer order yesterday - to report duty in KL on 1 December 2007. Later in the day, I emailed my boss in KL, asking whether its possible to ask for a short term extension (I really don't want to go just yet!) and was told in not so many words..."just follow the order and don't do anything foolish!". There you go...thats the end of the matter!
But I don't think the girls realize how difficult its going to be for them...especially where school is concerned. Here, they have it reaaallll easy...Sarah, who is in Year 2, never had any homework except a book to read to mummy and Abah every night. We in turn has to sign a booklet proving that she has indeed read the book for us (and by the way, she reads beautifully, says the proud Mummy!).
Kak Long, now in Year 5, has homework everyday, which she manages quite efficiently ( i.e. done before Mummy gets home from work, otherwise Mummy will just start barking!).
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Last night after buka (menu then was ayam masak kurma, steamed vege cicah kuah pecal, and ikan-supposedly-3-rasa-but-turned-out-1-rasa jer-i.e. rasa sweet and sour sauce!), Mummy asked the girls whether they wanted bubur nasik (lambuk style) or macaroni cheese. Majority voted for the latter. But as Mummy was stirring the cheese sauce, Mummy had a craving for mee soup coz mummy had some home made bawang goreng prepared during the weekend (that makes sense to you? never mind!).
So, after the cheese sauce, i made chicken soup - bodo style - everything dumped together - chicken, bayam, taugeh and tomatoes! Then rebus some dried kueh tiaw coz that was the first thing I saw when I opened the cupboard to look for mee of some kind.
Sahur was simply divine and once again, one is ever so proud of oneself...The girls had macaroni cheese whilst Ma and Pa had bowls of kuew tiaw soup!
Kalau mood baik...(and if they are lucky) the gang may just see a repeat performance tonight!! Otherwise..its back to cereal and toast...
Suffice to say I wasn't at all impressed! But today...almost 3 years on..after living here for more than 2 years..I am sooooo gonna miss the easy, quiet life of Geneva...it may be boring for some, but I love this slow paced life..no traffic jams...low crime rate (I assume..)...good friends...and cold..cold winters!
Oh well! C'est la vie, as they say...I leave this post with some gonjeng pictures of the girls when they first got here...
They are soooo gonna kill me for this!! Kahkahkahhhh....
I also found this...Kak Ngah di zaman gonjeng!! (ampun kak ngah! She'll kill me for this but I'm her mummy, so I do have the right to embarass her...right? Right?!
To be fair..she has blossomed into this beautiful girl...
Monday, October 1, 2007
For me, it started on Friday evening. I attended the farewell reception for my US colleague - George. It was held well before buka time at the US Mission but I like George, so I went anyway to bid him and his wife, Julia, goodbye. The food looked good, dammit! Hinted for a doggy bag but they only laughed, thinking I was making a joke! As if!
Then the gang picked me up at 6.30 and off we went looking for the nearest McDonalds! Aishah's family joined us, making the girls even happier! Dahlah dapat buka puasa kat McD, dapat buka dengan best friends pulak. Bonus, as far as they are concerned. As for me, highlight of the meal was the caramel macchiato...Out of this world!! Almaklum..its been a while since we've had any good (relative!) coffee...With all the excitement I forgot to take any pictures to post them here. Oh well!
Saturday started really quiet. Abah went marketing with Abang Yunos and came back with enough food to feed a small nation! (Come to think of it..we might just as well qualify as a small nation, actually!) I stayed home and kemas, mumsie's style - done every couple of months! hehe ...
Buka was at Aishah's place...and OMG, there was a lot of food!! Macam-macam adaaa...mee kari, nasi with all the lauk you can think of (well, am exaggerating but there was masak assam ikan, daging goreng, hati goreng kicap, ikan masin, sambal sotong, ayam masak lemak, kerabu mangga - last 2 was courtesy of Ita, by the way - and maybe a few more yang i dah tak ingat). Kueh..where do I start? There was karipap sardin (Ita's), kueh koci (beautifully prepared by tuan rumah!), seri muka, apple pie. I brought popiah and my not very exciting pudding. So shy one..I had to bring back the pudding coz no one wanted to eat it, except Nana, God bless her soul! I always knew she is one sweet child!!
Sunday's buka puasa was at Puan Hiswani's place with people from the office. Again, there was a lot of food! Lontong (courtesy of yours truly!), nasi with kari ayam, ayam goreng, loads of sayur campur, kerabu mangga, sayur lemak labu...Aishah brought bubur lambuk, which disappeared within minutes! Kueh...there was yummy lengat pisang (cousins of lepat pisang), ondeh-ondeh, tepung pelita (God Bless Normah!!), bread and butter pudding, currypuffs, cekodok jagung, cucur udang and big yummy, juicy, expensive kurma courtesy of tuan rumah. Me..i modified my left over pudding and still...only Nana appreciates it! siggghhh....Of course, the modification managed to fool Abang Yunos into thinking its part of the lauk so he had some with his nasi!! Silly, isn't it?