THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Monday, 29 September 2008

Seloka Hari Raya

AMARAN:
Tengok kartun tak masuk akai
Ini pantun tak boleh pakai!


Di alam siber kita berjumpa
Perkenalan kini memesrakan kita
Hari Raya menjelang tiba
Ramadan kini meninggalkan kita

Asyik melopong tengok kerenah Pi
Merepek saja tiap-tiap hari
Balik kampong naik keretaPi
Balik kerja tentu liat sekali

Tanam betik tumbuh papaya
Tanam pisang tumbuh banana
Pergilah balik berhari raya
Keluarga tersayang menanti di sana

(Deii!! Apa punya pembayang daaa....)

Puasa sebulan sekilo turunnya
Raya sehari naik dua
Eratkan hubungan di hari raya
Kunjung-mengunjungi amalan kita

Masak ikan untuk berbuka
Dimasak asam dan juga kari
Maaf bermaafan sesama kita
Jangan berdendam sesama sendiri

Terlajak perahu boleh berundur
Terlajak kereta boleh gostan
Tersalah nahu boleh ditegur
Tersalah kata harap boleh maafkan


Kepada semua…
Maaf dipinta... ikhlas dari hujung rambut (yang dah beruban!) sampai ke hujung kaki...






~SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI~

p/s
Tengok kartun lepas sekolah
Dah baca pantun balas-balaslah

Friday, 26 September 2008

The balik kampong drive

As I had expected, my drive to KL yesterday wasn’t much of a problem – traffic wise. However, as I was heading towards the Damansara exit, there were so many lorries on the road.

As planned, immediately after my mother’s appointment at Putrajaya Hospital this morning, we didn’t stop anywhere else; we headed straight to the expressway to balik kampong.

Considering it was a Friday, there were considerably more cars using the expressway, but the drive was smooth nevertheless. I managed to drive at an average of 110 km/h almost throughout the journey. With the exception of one or two Alonso-wannabes, the other drivers on the road were quite disciplined.

Ahhh… lega… no jam even at the Ipoh toll. My balik kampong trip was smooth after all (but if we had waited until later to make a move, we could have been involved in the jam at roads leading out of KL).

Then, we got to the Ipoh Selatan exit.

Alamak… IPOH DAH MULA JAM!!!

To those who have not started their balik kampong journey… drive carefully and stay out of trouble ya!

My office is closed for the whole of next week. I will be pretty busy these next few days but one raya posting coming up on Monday… so look out for my SELOKA HARI RAYA… ;)

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Balik kampong... o-o-o... balik kampong...

Ever since end of 1992 when I came back to Ipoh to stay with my mother, I never had to go through the trouble of having to balik kampong when Hari Raya or any other festive seasons approaches. I am already here in my kampong so where is there to balik to?

So, why am I bringing up the topic of balik kampong this time?

Because this year I get to balik kampong!

Huh? Does that mean I have moved elsewhere? Not at all! Actually my mother’s appointment at Putrajaya Hospital is this Friday morning. Yes, Friday – when school and university Raya holidays start. Chances are we too have to be involved in the balik kampong rush after that. To avoid the possibly madder rush, we’re making sure we’re heading straight home immediately after the appointment – which I hope will finish early.

Anyway, speaking of balik kampong, I remember the balik kampong rush I had to endure during my younger days (Oh, I’m still young now… those days I was just much youngER!).

My balik kampong experience began since I was 13 when I got into a boarding school. Most of my trips home then were by train although there were a few times when we took the bus home. Mind you, the train services back then were not at all like what we have now although I have to admit it has been ages since I took a train ride – I stopped taking the train (keretapi) ever since I got myself a car (kereta Pi)…

Back then tickets were simply sold and it was on free seating basis. No numbered seats! During the Raya balik kampong and balik sekolah/kerja rush, we were considered lucky if we could get a space to stand inside the train coaches. People standing at the door steps of a moving train were a normal sight and sometimes to get into the coaches, some had to do so through the windows. During raya season, some would even stand in the toilet throughout the journey.

I remember once when we needed to go back to school after Raya. By the time the train reached the Ipoh railway station, there was no way we could get in. You wouldn’t expect our parents to push us through the windows, would you? Especially us girls wearing pinafore/baju kurung! Since we students just had to go back no matter what, the station master told us to wait for a while as he’d arrange an additional coach for us once the other passengers made their way inside the coaches. Waaah… so manja like that…

So we waited for a while and the additional coach finally came… it was actually a cargo coach smelling of anchovies. Ahh, at least we got space to sit down. It didn’t matter that we had to sit on the floor (gerabak barang where got seat lah!) as long as we didn’t have to stand/sit under anyone’s armpits! I prefer the smell of anchovies anytime!

Then during my university days, I remember one particular trip home by train. By then there were numbered seats and so I didn’t have to worry about rushing to grab a seat. But as I sat there at my seat not bothering anybody, I noticed 2 ladies sitting across the aisle; who kept staring at me and whispered to each other. Needless to say, I became so conscious of myself. I didn’t know why they stared and what they were whispering. Nasib baik pakai sunglasses

I finally found out why they stared when one of the ladies opened up her mouth to ask, “Adik, adik, tumpang tanya sikit…” (Ahhh, those were the days when I got to be called adik. Nowadays it’s either kakak or makcik!)

Then a totally unexpected question came from the lady… “Adik ni pelakon drama kan?”

HUH??!! Pelakon drama???! Biar betul… ada tokoh jadi pelakon ke muka macam ni??

When I told them I was not and that I was never ever involved in acting, not even as an extra, they had that “I think you’re lying” looks on their faces. They probably thought I was trying to hide behind those sunglasses so that people wouldn’t notice who I was. (The sun was glaring lah, which was why I wore sunglasses meh!).

Until now I still don’t know which actress they were thinking of. I wonder who they had in mind. (Before you too start wondering, this was in the 80’s mind you… so forget Fasha Sanda and those yang sewaktu dengannyaMUAHAHA!!!)

Ah, those were the days…

Anyway, those of you who are driving to balik kampong this coming Raya, drive carefully ya?

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Another house visit

I think I am done with my pre-Raya house visits this year. After the visit to Fuzi’s house on Wednesday, on Thursday I called up Zainab to ask if she’d be home on Friday afternoon. I can only go visit her at home when she works night shift. Her husband Zaki who works as a night security guard would be home during daytime but what would the neighbors say if I went to visit Zaki at home when Zainab was not around…

I had to call Zainab a few times that Thursday. Everytime I asked if she’d be home on Friday afternoon, the line gets cut before Zainab could answer. It happened a few times. So finally I just sent her a text message. And the reply came saying that yes, she’d be home. Apparently it’s their hand phone that’s giving problems – they can only talk for a short while before the phone turns off by itself. Ah well…

Anyway, upon confirming that Zainab would be home on Friday, I took the last hamper from my NGO center and left it in my car so that the next day when I went to work I wouldn’t have to go to the center again.

So on Friday afternoon after office (I work half day), I immediately headed to Zainab’s house which is quite near my office. When I got there, Adik, Zainab’s younger daughter was already at the door, holding a pack of chips in her hands. The moment she saw me carrying the hamper in, immediately she gave the pack of chips to her mother, saying, “Tak nak dah…” Ahah, she saw something else more interesting than just a packet of chips!

When I got in and saw Kakak, the older daughter, I was relieved to see her back to her normal self. The last time I saw her, her face was still bloated due to her kidney problems.

There was a skinny little kitten sleeping on their settee then; and Pi Bani being Pi Bani the kaki sakat, I pretended I was going to sit on that particular settee where the kitten was. Adik immediately rushed to the rescue, grabbing the little kitten into her arms! Zainab and Zaki laughed looking at their little girl being so kelam-kabut! Muahaha… she actually thought this naughty makcik was really going to sit there and crush the poor little kitten which Adik and Kakak just picked from the streets that day… (The kids love cats and cats seem to love them too.)

Unlike the other houses that I visited where the children would wait for me to leave before they opened up the hamper, at Zainab’s house, the temptation was just too great for Adik and Kakak. When I said, “Bukalah, tak apa…” they excitedly pulled off the cello tape and tore off the plastic wrapper to get to the food stuff. Adik held on to her favorite – the mango pudding. Ahh, now that I know she loves pudding, the next time I visit I know what to bring (until she gets bored with it lah…)

The family seems to be doing okay. Now that Zaki is working, at least they can share the household expenses instead of being totally dependent on Zainab’s salary.

I just hope this time Zaki will stick to his job…

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Naughty son, lousy mother?

Just as I had planned, today I went to visit Fuzi. It has been more than 3 months since my last visit to her house as compared to monthly visits previously. Fuzi is more independent now that she is getting sufficient financial assistance. The way I see it, she’s putting the financial assistance to good use.

Ijam, her infected son, seems to be doing okay. Unlike previously when it is so difficult to get him to take his HIV medication, nowadays it is already no big deal. Fuzi herself has been given the 3-in-1 pills instead of 3 different types of pills for her own HIV medication. She claims the new drug makes her feel nauseous.

Iwan, her youngest son, as usual, was the “jinak merpati” type – he’d smile at me from afar but wouldn’t come near.

Wani, Fuzi’s eldest daughter and Faiz, her son, were not home when I went to visit today. According to Fuzi, they went to town to buy some necessities.

Fuzi’s problem with her Narathiwat marriage cert looks as though will be solved soon, but not without having Fuzi to part with another huge chunk of money. But Fuzi doesn’t care – as long as things can be settled for the sake of her children, she’s willing to part with her savings.

Hmmm… looks like they are doing okay.

Or are they really?

I guess there are always problems for everyone. Fuzi’s main problem now is Faiz, her 10 year old son who always seem to be getting into trouble for being naughty. Just recently Fuzi had to pay for her neighbor’s car windscreen as they claimed Faiz was the one who threw stones at their car, breaking the windscreen. Faiz denied it, but Ijam saw his big brother doing it and told his mother the truth.

Last month, Faiz’s school teacher called Fuzi to school. Faiz and a few of his friends had to go through some counseling as they were caught smoking! Yes, these are 10 year olds and they were smoking cigarettes! I wonder where they got the cigarettes from.

Within the neighborhood, Faiz is now well known as the budak jahat. Anything goes missing, it’s his doing. Anything breaks, it’s his doing. Well, it may and it may not have been him being the culprit, but he is, I have to admit, a very naughty boy.

Nowadays the neighbors are accusing Fuzi of being a very lousy mother who doesn’t know how to bring up her son. It doesn’t matter that Fuzi has 4 other well-behaved children. Her 2 daughters are in fact very responsible children – and this was evident during the Deeparaya do held at my NGO center last year when they actually washed the dishes without having anyone telling them to. To them it was the right thing to do.

But no, the neighbors don’t seem to see the other well-behaved children Fuzi brought up. They only see the bad things done by Faiz. To them, of course Fuzi is to be blamed for Faiz’s bad behaviour… she is the “orang Indon yang kawin dengan orang kita di Siam… lepas lakinya meninggal boleh mengandung lagi… dia kata kena rogol… entah ya entah tidak… dah tu dapat HIV – memang sah dia yang jahat. Macam mana nak jaga anak!”

Well, the neighbors don’t know that Ijam too is infected. They don’t know that Fuzi had got the virus earlier – from her late husband. Fuzi doesn’t want to be telling people that part as it would mean talking bad about a dead person (her late husband) and exposing the fact that Ijam is infected. If they find out that Ijam too is infected, chances are the neighbors won’t let their children go anywhere near the poor boy.

Sigh…

But anyway, I brought along a hamper and a bagful of old storybooks for the children today. I know Fuzi’s children love books. And the hamper would make them happy too.

As I was driving back, I saw Wina and Faiz on a bicycle on their way home. They recognized my car from far and started waving frantically. I just honked to acknowledge.

It’s always nice to see the smile on the children’s faces.

Monday, 15 September 2008

House Visits

I managed to do some house visits this Ramadan... finally!!

Since none of the new volunteers were able to join me, I went alone. There were hampers at our Center that needed to be distributed and I can't really afford to change my schedule as I may not be able to fit in other days to do the house visits, so yes, off I went yesterday to visit 3 different clients in 3 different towns and managed to get home within 3 hours! I just made sure that each visit was just a short one. Aiya... tunggu lama-lama pun bukan dapat minum kan? :)

I had to go to my NGO center first to collect the hampers. Then off to the K's. It had been quite some time since I last visited them. I didn't bother calling them first - after all most of the time that I tried to call them, I couldn't get through (the phone is on and off at the kedai pajak gadai!). The house seemed quiet when I got there, at first I thought they may have gone to balik kampong or something. Then I saw their 6 year old daughter looking through the windows... oh good, they're home! Mrs K opened the door for me but I didn't go in. I just put the hamper at the door and their little girl was excitedly trying to carry the hamper (which turned out too heavy for her). Baby K was just about to go to sleep but woke up upon hearing my voice (haiya, kacau only la this makcik!).

Anyway, during the short visit, I managed to ask Mrs. K about their last visit to IJN. They did manage to find the welfare office and while they still had to pay, they only paid the minimal amount. Their next visit will most likely be in February next year, but they're supposed to wait for a letter first confirming the date.

Next up was Shila's house. I wanted to go to Hana's house as well and since Shila's house is on the way, I might as well go to Shila's house first so that I could use the expressway to go back after the visit to Hana's house.

I didn't inform Shila either that I was coming. She seldom goes anywhere so chances were she'd be home. Shila's house too seemed quiet when I got there but when I gave the salam, I could hear someone answering my salam. And it was Shila's voice. Her daughter Laila was at another house playing with her cousin. Shila recently had to postpone her hospital appointment because her leg got bitten by her cat (don't know what was wrong with the cat then... menopausal symptom maybe? Hehehe...) and Shila's leg got really swollen. The leg looked much better when I saw her yesterday.

shila The road leading out of Shila's kampong.

I was at Shila's house for only a few minutes. Then off to Hana's. Hana was the only one of the 3 clients whom I called first to inform that I was coming. I had to check with Hana to make sure she was home as she works on shifts and sometimes she has to work on Sundays. Thank goodness yesterday was her off day.

hana The climb up to Hana's house.

Hana was waiting for me to come. She had wanted to pass me some warning letters from the GH asking for payment for her late husband's hospital bills. While she is poor, the hospital authorities wouldn't know that unless they are told. But people like Hana doesn't know how to go about. All they know is when the warning letters come, she will have to pay by hook or by crook even though she can't afford to.

I took the letters with me and will pass them to my colleague who is handling clients' welfare.

These next 2 days I may be visiting Fuzi and Zainab. Zainab's house is quite near my office so I can just drop by after office. The only problem is I am not sure when she's on day shift and when she's on night shift. I will either have to call her first or I may just pass by her house to see if she's in. As for Fuzi, most likely I will be visiting her this Wednesday. After that I may be too busy tidying and cleaning up my own house before the Bani Hashim clan come home for Raya... :)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Apa mau jadi?

11 days of Ramadan have passed – wow! How time flies!

And guess what? I haven’t gone to visit any of my PLWHA clients yet! But I do plan to go this weekend. I already have with me some Raya hampers to be given to the families. The plan is to first go to visit Mr & Mrs K; then if Lin is discharged from the hospital, over to her place first before crossing over to another town to Jah’s house, followed by Hana’s house in the same town. Then on the way back, drop over at Shila’s house.

Well, THAT is my plan for the moment. Hopefully nothing else will crop up.

Fuzi’s house is totally the opposite direction so the visit to her house may have to wait till the next public holiday, ie on Wednesday.

Most of my clients (with the exception of Mrs. K) have not bothered me for the past month since they knew I was busy taking care of my own mother. Other than the day of my mother’s knee operation when Mrs. K called me from KL, last week I received a text message from her – asking if she could borrow some money… giving all sorts of excuses why she needed to borrow and promising to pay by such and such a date without saying exactly what she needed the money for.

My answer to her was a clear NO. They had their chance. We helped them to get back on their feet – they did not make use of the opportunity. They instead took for granted that there’s always someone who will be helping them when the need arises. They don’t plan for their future. Ada duit pakai, tak ada duit buat muka kesian. I do pity the children but I have to be firm. What made me even mad was the fact that they told my colleague (the one handling clients’ welfare) that they have decided against moving to the flats with very low rental rate my colleague had helped to arrange for them.

Jual mahal for the chance of getting a place to stay at a lower rental rate… yet trying to borrow money at the same time? The way I see it, they want to live an easy life – that’s why they finished Mr. K’s EPF drawings within just weeks (which they got right before Raya last year and so they raya sakan!). Ahah, I bet she wanted to borrow money to spend for Raya…

I will still observe their needs, particularly the children’s educational needs and I will still visit them from time to time, but no way am I going to let them take advantage of me or my NGO!

On another note, remember in my earlier posting here, I mentioned that Yah had been flirting around with an army guy? Well, she was afraid to tell me the whole story – just like she was afraid “Nanti Kak Afizah marah” if she did not wear her tudung during the Family Day trip to Taiping recently. You see, she told my colleague she had actually been sleeping around with that army guy – without telling him that she has HIV. Somehow the guy had not been feeling well lately and someone actually told him about Yah’s HIV infection and that he should get tested for HIV. Well, the army guy got mad and told Yah that if he is tested positive, he’d kill Yah!!

Adoi!!! Apa mau jadi sama ini minah? Getting worse and worse each day! I think I may need to send her for a complete overhaul!!

Thank God for my other clients who are better off now after some initial assistance from us. I think if Mrs K and Yah were the first 2 cases for me to handle, I would have already given up on this voluntary work… SIGH!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Now what shall I do with this thing?

My sister and I were doing some spring cleaning over the weekend and we found lots of "disimpan tak guna dibuang sayang" kinda things. But we had a good laugh when my sister found this...

Meet my first ever hand phone!!

If you're not sure of the size of that phone, take a look at the following comparison...

On the left-most is one of the present-day simpler and cheaper models available; and the one in the middle is the hand phone/pocket PC I am currently using.

Oh, let's not forget to compare them sideways:

Now, imagine putting my old hand phone inside your pocket!!

Hey, don't laugh la! When I bought that phone, that model was considered canggih already (there weren't that many models to choose from anyway as compared to now). At that time only 010 and 018 numbers were available other than 011 for those bigger and bulkier mobile phones. No SIM cards. No SMS. Definitely no cameras. Just making and receiving calls.

Yeah, just calls. (and the phone had to be that big, huh?) Yet, it was more expensive than my current hand phone.

I suppose my first hand phone is another of those "disimpan tak guna dibuang sayang" collection of mine. Not that it's totally useless. I can still use it as a weapon. Hey, if it hits someone's head, can pengsan I tell you!!

So, what shall I do with it?

Thursday, 4 September 2008

New clients, old clients...

When I woke up for sahur yesterday morning, I noticed there was a message on my hand phone that I had not read. The message was from the telco informing me that there was a missed call from a particular number at 4 pm the day before. For whatever reason that call didn’t even get through; otherwise I would have noticed the missed call on my hand phone and if the number was registered in my phone I would have immediately known who the caller was. But because the missed call notice came in the form of a message from the telco, only the number appeared. The number looked quite familiar but I couldn’t for the life of me remember whose number it was.

I had to look through the whole list of phone numbers listed in my hand phone and finally found it – it was the number of the couple referred by SN to me in July. I had called them earlier and they promised to call me the next time they were coming to Ipoh.

So yesterday morning I returned the call. The couple was on their way to the Ipoh GH for their appointment. Ahah, so they’d be in Ipoh – a good chance to meet up and get all their details! But I was not on clinic duty yesterday and after having to take so many days off from work before this to take care of my mother, I felt bad about leaving the office just to meet up with them. Since 2 of my fellow volunteers were on clinic duty yesterday, I told one of them to meet this couple and get all their particulars. I also gave my colleague’s number to the couple so they could contact him.

Today I went to my NGO center. My colleague is usually there every Thursday afternoons so I took the opportunity to find out more details from him on what transpired the day before at the clinic.

Yes, my colleague got to meet the couple… Samsul and Suhaila – a young couple with a 4 year old son. Suhaila doesn’t work, while Samsul does odd jobs to feed his wife and son. Their own families have deserted them due to Samsul's past drug addictions and especially so after they found out about the couple’s HIV infection.

According to my colleague, the couple was quite reluctant to talk as there were so many people around and they asked if we could visit them at home so they could be more open. Well, they stay in the same town as Nuri and Ani; so maybe some time soon I may just visit them all in one day.

My colleague also told me that they (the 2 buddies who were on duty yesterday) had decided to assign me to another new client – a rather “peculiar” case. I was thinking… what lah these people, any complicated or peculiar cases they’d always pass to me!! Anyway, the new client is an orang asli lady in her 60’s who came to the clinic yesterday with her step-daughter. As to why my colleagues mentioned the case was rather peculiar, they said it was because the lady seemed to just sit there like a zombie. It was her step-daughter doing much of the talking.

“Are you sure she wants a buddy? Maybe she’s reluctant to have a buddy… that’s why she didn’t talk much?” I asked my colleague.

According to my colleague, it was the step-daughter who requested that a buddy be assigned to the mother. Ah well, I guess I will just have to give it a try then. Coincidentally, this lady stays in an orang asli settlement in the same town as Nuri, Ani and Suhaila, so I guess I don’t really have to go out of the way. Just visit them all at one go! The problem now is just to find the right day…

Oh, my colleague also told me that he met Yah at the clinic yesterday. Yah actually came to the hospital together with Mr Darling! Aiyo… I thought Yah’s days with Mr Darling were over! First Mr Darling… then with the engineer whom she caught red-handed in a hotel room in Kelantan with another woman… then I was told Yah was flirting around with an army guy… and now she’s back with Mr Darling??? Ayoma... ini kasanona getting worse lah! Ahh, lantak pi dia lah… I malas want to pikir already…

Anyway, Mr Darling told my colleague that he just went to visit his ex-wife Lin at the ward. Huh? I thought Lin was already discharged? I did send her a message earlier but there was no reply. According to Mr Darling, his ex-wife “dah teruk”. Alamak, I was thinking the worse when he mentioned that. I must, must, must make it a point to visit her. So I called the daughter’s number. The daughter is back at the nursing college where’s currently studying. She told me her mother was still in the same ward, but a different bed.

I headed right to the hospital after I left my NGO center. As I entered the ward, I saw Lin’s other daughter (the one who’s studying overseas but is back in Malaysia for holidays – I met her earlier during the family day trip). Thank God the daughter was there. If Lin was alone I wouldn’t have recognized her!! She looked totally different! No wonder Mr Darling said “dah teruk”. Her skin, her bloated face, her swollen lips… probably Mr Darling thought Lin was already at her “end stage”.

Apparently Lin had just started her HIV medication a few weeks before and all those symptoms were due to medication allergies. According to the daughter, the ID specialist had already confirmed that Lin’s condition was due to medication allergies. So for the time being they have told Lin to stop taking those medications and wait until her condition gets better before they start giving her a new combination of antiretroviral drugs.

You see, there are various combinations of antiretroviral drugs. Some people are allergic to a certain type of drug while some may be allergic to another type of drug. Some may not be allergic at all to any of the drugs. But they won’t be able to tell unless and until they take the medication. That’s why for those who just started medication, the doctors would ask them to come back for another appointment within 2 weeks. Usually by then, if their bodies could not tolerate the drugs, it would show.

Well, Lin did come for her appointment after 2 weeks. At that time, there seemed to be just some minimal swelling around the eyes, but it didn’t look too serious. So she was asked to continue with the medication. Sometimes they may get some effects initially but will gradually go away. But after a while Lin started getting very high fever, her skin started getting very itchy, her feet started swelling, her face and lips looked so bloated; she couldn’t open her eyes and neither could she open her mouth. When she sought the help of her brother to bring her to the hospital, she was actually hoping she’d be warded as she couldn’t take it anymore. When I visited her today, her condition had actually improved, but still, I could not have recognized her if not for her daughter who was there with her.

The daughter has been by her mother’s side ever since Lin was admitted. Lin’s younger children now temporarily stays with their grandma (Mr Darling’s mother). Yes, Lin “looks” terrible right now - I bet even Mr Darling has second thoughts about wooing her back (oooh, I’m bad!). But Lin herself admitted she’s feeling much better. It may still take some time before she gets back to her normal self but hopefully with that positive attitude of hers, she’d be able to go home soon enough. Before raya I hope!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

This and that...

A few members of Buddies attended our anniversary lunch on Merdeka Day. Anniversary? No, it wasn't the anniversary of the setting up of Buddies, but the anniversary of the official "opening" of our center. Prior to that, we had our meetings at the residence of the chairperson then. Ahh, we'd celebrate anything as long as there's makan-makan involved...

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I went to Pasar Ramadan yesterday. There sure are lots of food stuff there. From all sorts of kuih to all sorts of lauk-pauk to all sorts of drinks. From nasi ayam to nasi tomato to nasi kerabu to nasi dagang to nasi lemak. From murtabak to rojak pasembor to satay. And hey, you can even register for Streamyx at Pasar Ramadan!!

Anyway, the kuih-muih were sold at 3 for RM1; or if you don't wish to buy 3, it's one for 40 sen. That reminds me of one or two years ago at the same Pasar Ramadan, on the first day of Ramadan, there was this one particular seller (whom I bet only sells during the month of Ramadan) who wanted to keep up with the rest who sold at 3 pieces for RM1. Proudly written at his stall was...

KUIH-MUIH

1 = 30 sen

3 = RM1

Hmmm... you tell me why I would want to buy more than 2 kuih at that stall?! Even if I did, I'd buy maximum 2 at a time and return again to buy another 1 or 2 or more. The other stalls by the way sold at 35 sen each or 3 for RM1.

The next time I went, the 3 for RM1 was no longer on offer by that particular seller... :-)

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The other day I was at a shopping center and as I was walking past the various shop lots, I got attracted to a sign posted at one of the shops. The sign read:

VACANCY: FULL TIME FEMALE

Hmmm... I am female all the time so I guess that makes me a full time female, right? Now, I wonder if that shop had ever employed a part-time female, and if so, I wonder what became of that person the other part of the time... a male?

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Then there was this banner by the roadside where they collected recyclable goods. The banner read:

PUSAT KITAR SEMULA ORANG-ORANG TUA xxx (name withheld)

Gee, I never knew they could recycle old folks?

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Sorry folks, sounds like I have nothing better to do, huh? Just trying to see the lighter side of things. Actually there are so many matters that need my attention at the office, so I'd better resort to working mode right NOW!!!