Monday, February 28, 2011

Rabbit tears|| Rabbit Funland Broga Semenyih

Last Saturday we set off to Semenyih to see some rabbits. The kids were super-excited and had been looking forward to it all week.

When we arrived, I was a bit skeptical, it didn't look like it was very well set up. Entrance fee was RM5 per person (children under 2 years old enter for free). However, there was no shortage of free hopping bunnies to keep the kids entertained. They had an awesome time chasing after the rabbits who were co-operative enough to stay quite still until the very last minute. Even though they didn't manage to catch any rabbits, they had a fun time trying.

There were other animals there too in little pens, goats, deer, cows, ponies and monkeys. The PA system blasted with non-stop love ballads. Listening to "Endless love, How do I, For the rest of my life, Nothing's gonna change my love for you" at full volume was really tugging at my hearts-strings and melancholic mood. I actually broke down in tears in front of the monkeys. Watching the poor little creatures tied by collars with short chains was enough of a trigger to start the waterworks flowing.

All in all it was a good trip. The rabbits were so cute. They sold rabbit satay there too but I couldn't bear to eat any (plus the HALAL sign was not the official JAKIM one). Oh, beware of the biggest trap of all, rabbit pens at RM5 each (of course, I had no choice but to but 3).


Mawi & Zafirah

Dari setinggi & seluas kasih sayangMu, Kau limpahkan rahmat jua keampunanMu kepada pengantin suami isteri. Sesungguhnya pertemuan ini adalah dengan izinMu, kurniakanlah keduanya ketenangan, kebahagiaan & jiwa yang tabah mengahadapi setiap dugaanMu. Mudah2an perkongsian hidup yang dibina berkekalan hingga ke akhir usia & kurniakanlah kepada mereka zuriat yg soleh dah solehah. Dengan taufik dan hidayahMu beruntunglah kedua2nya dalam kehidupan di dunia dan lebih2 lagi di akhirat. 


Friday, February 25, 2011

I never cry at weddings

(pic source)

I never cry at weddings
Full of joy instead
Happy for my friends
The life they have ahead

I never cry at weddings 
What reason could there be
Love ever after is in the air
Joyous people surrounding me

I never cry at weddings 
And that is exactly why
The tears you think you see
Just something in my eye

Monday, February 21, 2011

Say Cheese! || Lense of Aishah

It seems that all kids go through this phase. The "borrow my handphone to take pictures" phase. By now, Yousof can already take some really good photos. Aishah has also shown an interest. Her favourite model, of course is Hamzah. Here are some of her masterpieces. Pretty good eh?

Oh, there were many pictures of the carpet, lights, toys, chairs and other inanimate objects too. Thank God for the digital age, I remember a cousin who came back home with a whole roll of film developed to reveal 36 snapshots of grass once. Her son decided to play photographer :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Two cakes and presents (well, sort of)

Hamzah couldn't stop saying "Wah! Cake.."

I totally forgot to write about the day that I came home to 2 birthday cakes. (I know, I know it's already February and my birthday was last month but it's a sweet story so I wanted to share). 

"Happy Birthday Umi"

Yousof is the resident cake cutter

My family doesn't really celebrate birthdays. Growing up, my parents preferred to give us presents after end-of year exams. Birthdays, were the days when we got to decide the dinner menu. I would always ask my mother to cook her special Nasi Ayam (because hers is the best on the planet - I can eat 4 plates without pausing for breath). 


My presents :)

Anyway, since having kids of my own, we still don't celebrate birthdays as grandly as other people might (like having themed birthday parties), but I usually by a nice cake for them. They love the sense of wonder at opening the cake box, singing Happy Birthday and cutting the cake. Of course, the eating part too. The best part is when everyone has had as many slices as the want (usually 2 each), we divide up the cake and deliver it to our neighbours. Surprisingly, the kids look forward to this short trip across the road to share their good fortune with the neighbours as much as eating the cake itself.

My smaller cake
Which we had the next morning for breakfast ..hehe

So this year, I was pleasantly surprised to find in addition to the birthday cake I had bought on my way home, a much bigger cake already waiting for me at home. Plus, the kids had asked their grandmother to tie a ribbon around some 'baju kurung' that coincidentally had just arrived from our tailor. So each of them gave me my own 'baju kurung' as a present. Truthfully, the gesture was so sweet that I was as touched as if they had sewn the clothes themselves..hehe.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

Basic plot

In a quaint Irish town called Rossmore lies a the answer to everyones prayers and wishes, well, sort of. Deep in Whitethorn Woods is a well dedicated to St Ann (mother to Mary/grandmother to Jesus). Many people believed that the well was capable of making the wishes of the townsfolk come true. Almost as many as those who thought it was just a load of superstitious pagan nonsense. The town is split in half when a new road set to bring progress is planned to go right through Whitethorn wood and St Ann's Well. The lives of the people of Rossmore and their stories are full of surprises, and the well, may be magical after all.

What I liked about this book

To be honest I picked up this book for 2 reasons, firstly, the beautiful front cover (yes, I do judge a book by its cover) and the fact that it had the words THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER in caps under the title. After struggling through the sleepy first chapter (which served mostly to introduce some of the characters and the well itself), I was more than pleasantly surprised. The book is actually a collection of short stories, told in pairs, namely 2 narratives of a central theme or incident. Each story was quirky, funny, sweet and its sister story was its complement, a twist to the tale and a refreshing new angle. The people of Rossmore all have an interesting story to tell, some truly heartwarming.

What I disliked about this book

Like any collection of short stories, some are better than others. I also think the the central character is was strangely, the most uninteresting one. Thankfully he was only in the beginning and the end :)

A quote I liked from this book

And I smiled the first real smile for weeks. Because now I knew it was settled.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My father, My Hero|| Anugerah Maulidur Rasul 2011

My father, Prof Dr Ismawi Hj Zen (3rd from left) with the other recipients of Anugerah Maulidur Rasul 2011

When I found out that abah was one of the recipients of the Anugerah Maulidur Rasul 2011, I was very happy and proud of him. A few moths ago, he also recieved one of the Anugerah Maal Hijrah (Sarawak). 

He came from very humble beginnings and worked very hard to be the man he is now. Growing up, he was quite strict with my brother and I, and really stressed upon us the importance of the quest for knowledge. He was also very firm about never forgetting our roots. I used to love hearing stories about his life in Gedong, and all the hardships he faced as a child. Like almost having to drop out of school at the age of 13 to support his siblings and not having proper shoes to go to school. I also remember how hard it was for us, when we were in edinburgh for his PhD. How we could only afford second hand clothes and my mother had to clean people's houses to help support us. But through all this, we (my brother and I) never lacked anything. I will never be able to place into words the love, respect and gratitude that I have for this man (although I used to dream of writing his story, when I was younger). All I can say is, I am grateful that I have such wonderful parents, and I hope that one day, I can also make them proud of me.

A link to one of his greatest achievements: Arkitek tempatan cipta sejarah di Mekah

Monday, February 14, 2011

Old news

A few weeks ago, we went to Memori Corner at the Mall for lunch. The ambience was quite nice, with a 'kampung boy' feel, cartoons on the walls and nice decorations. The food was okay, not amazing but okay. 

Last Thursday we surprised Zil by celebrating her birthday (which was on the previous Monday) a day earlier than our planned Friday birthday lunch. Venue was the Pavillion FoodRepublic. (Note: The Korean BBQ chicken that day was slightly off, usually it's nice but it was strangely sour that day). We had a grand time distributing slices of cake to all the lecturers that afternoon. (They must think we keep having birthdays all the time..hehe).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Basic Plot

After the shocking news of his estranged niece's horrific murder, on his birthday no less, Detective Alex Cross vows to find her killer. The investigation leads him into the elite party scene, where every fantasy is possible as long as you're important enough to make the guest list. Can money and power buy everything? Even the life of another human being? When the shadow of suspicion falls over the highest of places, unmasking a murderer may lead to unimaginable consequences.

What I liked about this book

High-class call girls, a S&M freak with a God-complex named Zeus, a woodchipper turned body disposal unit and a White House scandal- need I say more?
What I disliked about this book

I'm no sure if it's because I've read and seen too many 'Whodunnits' but I had the murderer pegged even before the body was found. There was a weird sense of de ja vu surrounding this book, for some reason I kept thinking.. "I've seen this movie!". Another thing I disliked was that there were characters and subplots that were totally irrelevant (namely his girlfriend & family). The chapters dedicated to them seemed totally disjointed and out of context with the main plot.

A quote I liked from the book

I was starting to get real sick of people pretending that none of this was happening.

Rating: 3/5



Latest post for MBP is out. Click here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CNY holidays Part 3: Wedding in Mersing

Finally it was Saturday. Time for the wedding. After a last dip in the pool for the kids, we headed off to the bride's house. After gathering up the whole clan, we marched accompanied by the thunderous sounds of kompangs. It was a happy occasion. The food was amazing, the iced cold honeydew drinks was heavenly. The couple were radiant and happy. It was a great to meet up with my relatives. 

To Azhan & Shikin --> Congratulations, may your life be filled with joy, laughter and love.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CNY holidays Part 2: Splashing through Mersing


From Melaka we decided to head straight for Mersing on Friday to make sure that we were already settled for my cousin's wedding on Saturday. Once again half the population of Malaysia decided to escort us on our trip. Thankfully, despite the heavy traffic it was a smooth ride to Mersing. Sort of. We took the Melaka-Kluang-Jamaluang-Mersing route, which basically consists of many palm oil estates and a winding road with hair-pin turns.
See how confusing it was? No indication that it was possible to turn left that could be seen until you actually turn left

Tired and slightly stressed out from the journey we arrived in Mersing and headed to Hotel Seri Malaysia Mersing. Unfortunately, the signage to get there was horrendous (the normal route was completely blocked by an expo), we kept going round in circles for almost an hour. It was frustrating since we knew we were already in the vicinity. In the end, it turned out that HSMM was just down a road that we had passed at least 5 times but did not turn into due to a very stupidly placed ONE WAY sign (which actually served no purpose because every oncoming traffic could go both ways at that junction) that was very confusing.

A little more timid
Everyone got a turn in the big pool but Hamzah enjoyed it the most

After finally reaching the hotel the kids were delighted to see that there was a swimming pool. After a quick late lunch and meet-up with other family members, they got to splash around with their Tokki playing lifeguard duty. One thing is for certain, my youngest, Hamzah knows no fear.

We also managed to sneak off to Air Papan beach for a brief windy interlude. Amazing scenery and great kite flying weather. 

All in all a great day in Mersing. By the way, if you ever go to Hotel Seri Malaysia Mersing, I recommend the Soto Ayam. It's the cheapest dish on the menu at RM7 but the soup is amazing and the portions are huge (with ample chicken and nasi himpit), the sambal kicap was also nice. Probably the 2nd best Soto Ayam ever (the best being the one in Jasin). 

Dunno where Yousof learnt to take his own pic
Yeay! I love holidays


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