Monday, May 25, 2009

A Road-Trip With Mom

I've just came back to KL from Alor Setar. I had to drive all the way there just to pick up my Mom, who has declared herself unfit to travel on her own to KL, either by air or by bus, even with her maid in tow. So, she requested that,.. no, let me rephrase that... she ORDERED that one of her children must come all the way to Alor Setar to pick her up and take her to KL.

So, being the only one without much commitment, it had to be me.

Leaving Alor Setar with Mom and her maid this morning, I finally understood why- Mom had stuffed the trunk of my car full of not only her luggages for her Umrah trip this Friday, but also a whole lot of coconuts, bananas, daun palas, all sorts of leaves and ulams, tapioca and even 2 baby coconut trees which she is planning to plant at my sister's house.

Luckily the rambutans are not ripe yet, otherwise she would've cleared her entire orchard and chucked everything into my car!

The 4 hours drive was smooth, thankfully. It rained here and there, but it wasn't all that bad. The only thing that bugged me was the fact that Mom and her maid could not stop eating during the entire journey. First it was sunflower seeds, then it was goreng pisang, then peanuts, then some kuihs. It didn't help that I had to make my usual stops at Bukit Gantang and Tapah to buy fruits and some pau, so they went ahead and chomped on those too.

Did I ever mention how much I dislike people eating in my car especially when I'm driving?

The smell of food is distracting, the sound of sunflower seeds being cracked open is distracting, the sound of people munching is distracting, the passing back and forth of the food packets is distracting. Everything about the whole thing bugged me big time. But of course, I couldn't say anything to Mom, lest she give me that look that says, "My daughter wouldn't let me eat..."

So, I just kept my mouth shut and threw a little tantrum inside my head.

I took her straight to my sister's house in Bangi, where, upon arrival, Mom announced that we are not having lunch as we had already eaten. She must've forgotten that I was driving all the way and didn't even have a sip of water.

So, I took the one remaining pau and called that lunch.

By the time Mom remembered that I hadn't eaten, I had already been sulking for a while and so I declined any offer for food and went out to play with my nephews' cute little kitten named Bob.

"Hi, I'm Bob!"

Bob is sooooooo cute, he calmed me down right away, so I'm not even sulking anymore now.

I'm going back home tonight, to my own cats who must be missing me like crazy. I'd have to come back here in Bangi on Friday to send Mom, my sister, my bro in law and my nephews to the airport.

Mom already told me that she'll be praying in Mecca for me to be a better person, be a better Muslim, wear the tudung, find a husband, bla bla bla....


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beraturlah Wey!!

Yesterday, I was at a certain government office to submit a form on behalf of my client. Whilst waiting for my number to be called up, an Ah So sat near me and asked for help to fill up her form. So I assisted her with pleasure.

After the form is completed, she asked me to submit it for her, since my number was coming up soon and hers was a long way to go. I politely declined, saying I have waited for my turn, as did everyone else, and she should do the same.

This Ah So insisted again and again, “Only one form, meh....How can cannot? I don’t want to wait too long lah!”.

Now, there is a line between helping people and letting them walk all over you, and I wasn’t about to let this Ah So walk all over me. So, again and again, I said no.

Disappointed, she sat up and walked away to another corner of the waiting area, perhaps looking for someone else to bully.

She didn’t even thank me for my help earlier.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

There was a time in my life when I thought my mom was a superhero.

Then there was another time in my life when I thought my mom was totally cramping my style.

It wasn’t until many many years later that I realized that she is just another normal human being, capable of making the wrong decisions, and are often-times misunderstood.

Orphaned at a very young age, my mom was raised by her eldest brother who, despite treating her well, had caused her to lose her harta pusaka entirely. Yet my mother had never once blamed him for the loss and she remained devoted to him till his last days.

Before she turned 20, my mom married a young widower and businessman with a very promising future – my dad, and was blessed with 5 children. Alas, the orphan girl finally found some happiness of her own.

Then my dad died when she was 35.

I do not remember or even know how she picked up the pieces and moved on, but I know that she managed to do just that and brought up her kids well.

As a single mother, obstacles and challenges were aplenty, including fitnah (slander) that follows the stigma of being a single mother in our society, a typical malaise that exists till today.

I remember the days when I came home from school and saw my mom sobbing in the kitchen. She would hide her face from me and pretended nothing happened. I learned much later that some very nasty lies had been spread about her by some jealous individuals, causing her many sleepless nights and a lot of humiliation. Being so young, I wasn’t able to do anything at all save for wishing that I could wring those people’s necks and kick their sorry asses to Padang Besar for all the heartaches they had caused my mom.

But, as cliché as it sounds, the truth prevailed in the end. Being an all around nice person, my mom has many friends who supported her and stood up for her. So she persevered, and she won the battle.

A lot of things that have happened to her throughout her life have shaped her into who she is today. Strong, independent, bossy, pushy and very critical of others, these are the traits that clash with me so violently.

I can’t say that she is the best mother in the whole world. And quite frankly, I can’t say I am the best daughter in the world either. We both have our differences. I have always found it difficult to see eye to eye with her on a lot of things. Many a time, I just feel like screaming my lungs out in frustration everytime I talk to her. But in the end, I am just the child to whom the mother would yell “Because I am your mother and I said so!”. So I would hold back my tongue and play along, and then go back to doing things my way when she’s not looking.

Despite all her imperfections, my mother is indeed a strong and independent woman, and as much as I hated it, I have to admit that I am very much like her in a lot of ways (although in me, it is considered stubborn and recalcitrant).

That aside, she is who she is, and nothing can change that. And if I can choose another mother from a long list of very fabulous women, I would still choose her and no one else.

She is my mother, and simply for that, she is special.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Of Chok Keria & Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme has just opened its first outlet at Berjaya Times Square, so I'm told. L said it is divine, W couldn't wait to get her hands on some and R (or P, :-P) couldn't stop raving about how she had been waiting for years and years to taste it again.

Big deal, I said. The last time I ate a Krispy Kreme donut, I thought it was sickeningly sweet. So I never really cared for it that much. Besides, I pretty much prefer donut of the keledek variety, ie; kuih keria, or chok (cucur) keria.

Chok keria is one of my favourite Malay kuih, next to karipap, and kuih talam, and buah melaka, and pulut udang, and bingka ubi, and seri muka and... and...

Oh hell, I like everything, what can I say?

Chok keria is a kuih which I can never get tired of. It is simple, and it is down to earth, and it is simply yummy.

As far as donuts go, I have a thing for it every once in a while, but even so, I prefer the local flavour, like Duren Duren from Big Apple Donuts (Durian-lah, what else?). I love that yummy creamy durian filling, I can eat a whole dozen of it.

Sometime late last year, I practically binged on donuts day and night. It lasted for about 3 weeks, after which, I hadn't had a single donut since.

I'm sure I will have a craving for some more donuts pretty soon. I usually have this every few months. So, when the time comes when I can no longer sleep without thinking of donuts, donuts, and more donuts, maybe I'll try Krispy Kreme again to see what the fuss is all about.

But until then, I'll just enjoy the Chok Keria that I have in front of me right now. Yum-yum!