Sunday, 27 November 2011

Beautiful Dreams

I am feeling exhilarating. I was in Port Dickson for another round of diving job expedition for two days and I'm falling more and more in love with ocean. It's such a peaceful feeling being on sea. I've been daydreaming about moving to the beach and dive for a living. Sigh. Don't we all have beautiful dreams that we can't imagine coming true because in reality we don't know if we can handle it if they do? That's one of mine and it makes me smile in my sleep.

Back to Earth, I finally had pumpkin pie after almost two years! An American lady was selling the homemade dessert at the Curve Flea Market while I was thinking of making one. Now that I've had a really good one, that can wait. I'm thinking of a healthy low-fat strawberry yogurt cake instead, hmm. Perhaps in two weeks time. Next week will be a busy weekend with two weddings to attend to and hubs still has his training course.

Last week I thought of a project that I'm passionate about - CNRM (Care-Neuter-Rehome/Return-Manage) stray cats. So what I had in mind was to set up a little cat boarding place in the apartment, catch a stray every two weeks, spay / neuter them, care for them until they're well enough to be released back to their territory. That would be my contribution to society because I adore cats but the emotional attachment that comes with having a pet is something that I don't want to put myself into again, at least for now. Losing a pet is like losing a family member and it's too painful for me. But suddenly mama suggested that I should wait until I have a child so that the act of making another creature barren doesn't put some sort of voodoo spell on my own ability to produce offspring. Now that may sound ridiculous to many people and even though that never crossed my mind until now, it's making me apprehensive. Aiyaya!

Perhaps that will have to be another beautiful dream? Bummer.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Sneak Preview

Alright, my time management went down the drain last week that I didn't get to update the blog but fret not, I've got my rythm this week and with the support of a new reader who's also a close friend (cough, Ayu, cough), I'm feeling optimistic.

Last weekend was spent in Nilai where Rafiee and I attended our first Chinese wedding. The groom was my coursemate in UPM so I got to meet lots of my friends again after three years.

Nothing seemed to change except that they've all been successful in their own way so we exchanged name cards and hoped that we'd see each other again. It's hard to make time due to various commitments but hey, let's try to.

As part of my personal projects, I made a spring onion & spinach quiche and though I certainly shouldn't have put too much milk, I was happy with the taste.

Notice I tried to do some artistic shape on the pie crust end but it wasn't perfect. Well I'll admit it, far from it. But it made me happy and the result looked a little bit like waves.

My book writing is progressing again (it's about time!). I just can't wait to send my draft to the reputable local publisher and see if it's worth showing in public. I'll let you read a snippet of one of my first chapters just because.

We took the plane on 1st September 2009 heading to Paris with a stopover in Sri Lanka for a night. I didn’t think much about it because, this will make me sound ignorant but at least I’m being honest (and honesty is always the best policy right?), I didn’t know much about the country. It was seldom, if ever, featured on local media and I naturally assumed it would be like a smaller version of India (not that I’ve been to India, but it was displayed more on Travel & Living channel so I knew how it was like as much as the next person).

The airport seemed like it had seen generations crying farewell and happy tears with its off-white wall and musty chairs so it came as no surprise to know that it has been standing loyally since 1944 during the Second World War. But that was nothing compared to when we stepped outside to look for our designated coach. It was like entering a portal of time travel, hundreds of steps backwards that landed us right into a war zone.

Soldiers equipped with heavy rifles were scattered and other normal-looking people looked on as if it was another ordinary day. There were two possibilities in my uninformed blank mind, 1) somebody was filming another Black Hawk Down or 2) we were on a wrong plane headed to Afghanistan. But there were no cameras and unless Colombo was also a place in Afghanistan, the likelihoods were odd. And they didn’t look like Afghans.

I was at the time, too oblivious to know that following the civil war between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the soldiers had been deployed to maintain the peace. However, a number of those that the civilians should be able to trust, sometimes were the worst enemy as reports revealed how the battlefront armies killed and raped, and even the children were not spared. The government, however, has denied any involvement with the war crimes.

“Mr. Razak and Ms. Zahidi?” a small dark man approached us while we were still in a daze.

This is really Sri Lanka, I gasped, still in denial that we were not surrounded by firearms. We got what we paid for - extra security.

“Yes?” the husband still had his senses.

“Welcome to Sri Lanka. Come with me.” It sounded so rehearsed and detached, like a deceiving invitation to be shot and buried in an unmarked hole.

There you go, the essence of the book is there - interesting anecdotes, enlightening but not too heavy that it becomes a guidebook or history book. I still can't think of a title so if you have any ideas, I'd love to know!

My reading is on schedule, thanks Better World Books for shipping the books in time for December. It's a different feeling getting a wrapped book in your mailbox than buying it off the rack. I should do this more often. I often frustrate hubs for spending too long in bookstores just like he does to me when he's in the clothing section.

Job wise, I absolutely love my new workplace! Since it's close enough to home, I usually leave at 8.15 am which gives me plenty of time to watch news, go for a run and even have my breakfast with my four kitties (which have gone missing yesterday - hopefully temporarily - after a new neighbour moved in, hmm...). Hubs leaves for work 1.5 hours earlier after preparing breakfast and a flying kiss to his smelly wife who's still in bed. Since he's in-charge of the breakfast, I make his lunch and mine the night before so at least we eat extra healthy for five days a week. I still can't help the food splurge on weekends, Malaysian food is as tempting as Angeline Jolie to Brad Pitt! Well at least we manage to squeeze in badminton almost every weekend with the family so some of the calories are sweat off; I prefer to think positive.

As of right now, our first holiday since Europe may be happening sooner than we thought - Singapore! Some may argue it's quite similar to Malaysia and it's only a short trip, but it's a start and I'm sure I can find something uniquely Singaporean. Next week will be my last full week of the first working month so I'll start sticking to my new financial plan, one more responsility on top of time management. Fuh, life as an adult is surely a serious ride.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Againts the Clock

I forgot how time-consuming things are when you have a full-time job, two families, friends and hobbies. I started my Friday with a to-do list for the weekend, feeling like I had a lot of time to get them done and more and suddenly it's already Monday evening! A small part of me misses the time Rafiee and I spent in Europe; our daily concern was which TV series / movies to watch that day. But a bigger part of me is loving this, it feels like I'm leading a fulfilling life. 

Everything is going well but my book editing is a little behind... alright, like four pages behind so I'll have to work harder. The weekends are full with wedding invitations and appointments that it's not that easy to keep up.

In addition, Rafiee and I have four instant new family members to care for.

They sort of adopted us. One morning I woke up to see the mother with her two-week-old kittens at the door as if she was asking our help so hubs and I found a big box to house the little family outside our door. Later that evening we came home and saw the uncle already moved in so there you go. We couldn't just throw them away so now we've become their providers. I will have to make an appointment with the vet to spay and neuter this family. I believe in this country at least, it's the best measure to tackle the overpopulation of strays.

I probably should've written about the birthday celebration of my baby sister, the first week at a new job, the first Eid al-Adha in Malaysia as husband & wife and the couple badminton match againts my parents, but alas, time is running short and I can't function with less than 7-8 hours of sleep. Perhaps this week my time management will get better and I'll have more time to put my pen to paper, or in this case, fingers on keyboard.