29 Apr 2008

And we call ourselves educated

The parliament had their first sitting yesterday. There was so much hullabaloo it was a shame, worse because some students from Klang High School were there to observe. They got a real show to remember and one student even said -"I thought I was watching educated adults running the country - wow, this is like drama." There was so much fuss and name calling they had to cancel the life telecast. It started with the Opposition questioning some procedures and got worse from then on. People who cannot talk civilly even in parliament shouldn't be members of Parliament. I thought we had got beyond name calling and abusive language. And we say we are educated! We should be ashamed of ourselves showing a very bad example for the children who were watching the show.

26 Apr 2008

my garden in Malacca

Its almost three weeks since I last saw Sophie - Its so long I'm sure she has forgotten her grandma by now. I do miss her toothy grin, her curious look when she is interested in something ... but most of all her enthusiasm for her food. In fact Pohling says she eats everything in sight - whatever she can get her hands on. Can't imagine it. Heard from Rizal that she's coughing - they took her to clinic this morning.

On the home front - we're in Malacca right now and my roses are all in bloom. Its amazing - even the ones I took from mother's backyard the other week are now in bloom and there are so many flowers. It's really good to see them now - they were so straggly and yellowish when I got them I wondered if they'd grow. But they obviously love the new environment. Well I did give them a lot of nutrients and plenty of good soil so I guess it worked. Just now bought two more roses - yellow this time. I hope they'll grow well too. I love roses - they're just so pretty and so feminine, if you see what I mean. Right now I've got two reds or more vermillion I'd say, one white, two yellow roses and two of which I still am not sure because they don't seem to be blooming. They look healthy though. Maybe they need more sun? But I'm not in Malacca so often I daren't put them in the sun as yet. Maybe once I'm back permanently I'll put them in the sun a bit more and less shade.

Gardening is a passion with me - it sort of relaxes me, takes out all the stress and also is good exercise for me. Just being in touch with the soil gives me pleasure , but roses delight me. I need to be careful though - can't carry the heavy stuff because of my torn ligament. Otherwise it's is really the best exercise there is and you get the benefit of having something beautiful growing after all your hard work is done.
But I really need to work on the pool next. Should get some nice fish and add more water plants.

12 Apr 2008

Class at IPB

Its already the 5th week of my English class - the time really flies, I don't know where it went. I think I have fallen in love with my students - they are really so lovable and even the naughty boys are polite. I think they're naughty because of their high spirits rather than anything else. Aliff has come finally and he is not bad looking. He's one of the naughty ones and I doubt if he was sick the first two weeks that he was absent. The girls are all so pretty and sweet. And they try so hard to improve I never have the heart to scold them if they make a mistake. Especially Nadia Aishah, the prettiest girl in the class and the one most vocal. Why is it that normally the pretty girls are the ones who have the most self confidence? She isnt really that good in the language but she speaks confidently and fluently, if not correctly. She makes mistakes in pronunciation and sometimes even in her sentence structures, but I like her because she tries very hard.
What I really enjoy about them is their enthusiasm - they are always so motivated and given a task will do it with so much enthusiasm the time just flies and before I know it, the class is over. We had Language for meetings last Thursday - and we had a simulation meeting and they showed that they can handle meetings; its just that they make mistakes in grammar! How can I help them improve in 4 weeks? At 4 hours a week? How I wish we have more time, then I'm sure they will improve.
The girls are also so polite - after every class they will come and kiss my hand in the normal salaam of the good Muslim. Even my own children don't kiss my hands except at Idil Fitri.

9 Apr 2008

when you are old...

I've always loved Yeats and a friend reminded me the other day of what he said about getting old. I guess when you are young you don't want to be reminded but old age will creep in whether you like it or not. I don't consider myself old but I'm not young either. I'm just pleasantly comfortable in my skin and wrinkles or white hair does not bother me. These two poems however are lovely and makes you wonder what the poet was thinking about as he grew older. I also like his other poems, especially his Prayers for my daughter.

When You are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread upon my dreams.


5 Apr 2008


Saturday - went with Rizal and Pohling to see the cats at the quarantine area. Pixel was happy to see them but poor Trixie was so traumatised she had to be persuaded to come out of the cage. We spent about half an hour there and then went to Bugis Junction because Rizal wanted to get some pots which were going on sale at BHG. They had some nice things there but we didnt really have time and it was way past Sophie's dinner time so we went to have dinner at Clarke Quay.
I really love the ambiance of the place -the Singaporeans really know how to utilise their assets. This was at the Singapore river, and there were colourful river taxis chugging away on their clean river. Restaurants lined both sides of the quay, some with traditional (Nyonya) themes and some ultra mod, whilst some looked like European cafes with outdoor seating. The place was lively and bustling with people from all walks of life and countries. There were any number of Europeans as well as well-to-do Indonesians, Japanese, Chinese from Hong Kong and Koreans as well as Indians. Quite a lot of Europeans I think from the languages I heard.
Baby was very good through out our dinner. She was loud at times - shouting her inimitable EHMMM but on the whole she played quietly with the bread we gave her or the plastic hanky she kept throwing down on the floor. She's really so cute and charming even with strangers, with her toothy grin that breaks out every now and then when you talk to her.
Actually the more I see of Singapore the more I love this little city state. In the train for example, I love their sensitivity to all the races - there are signs in all 4 languages in the trains and even the announcements are made in all four languages - English, Chinese, Tamil and Malay! And we in Malaysia boast so much of being multi racial. I think we can't say we are truly multi racial because we have only two languages, if that, on most of our public transport. Most of the signs in Malaysia are only in Malay. Its as if we are denying that there are other races in our country! No wonder BN lost or nearly lost in the last elections! I think most Malaysians are so fed up of the system, even the educated Malays. We keep waiting for the government to be more equitable, not just in the economy but also in most things, but especially in the education system. I know its high time we got rid of the stupid quota system! My generation never went through a quota system - we worked our way up, the best person gets the scholarship or the university place and we managed! Maybe at one time the Malays needed the boost, but I think its high time the Malays realise that they have to help themselves. I think ,many do nowadays which is why BN lost mainly in the town areas - to PKR.
Oh well... I hope things will change for the better but I have not much faith in our political system anymore. Even with the change in political party the mentality is the same. To change , there should be a paradigm shift, a total change in our outlook and attitude towards the race issue and towards the future of Malaysia. We have to learn to trust each other and ourselves too.

4 Apr 2008


I'm back in this city state, this time alone. Took the last bus from KL - Odyssey too - and arrived in Singapore at about 12 am. Poor Rizal had to wait for me at the station around midnight! We reached Vistaya about 12.35am so after washing up I went straight to bed. In the morning there was my angel waiting for me. I looked after her for a while in the morning while Pohling went to her aunt's place to send some medicine and then to buy groceries.
She's even more active these says, can stand with support and even take some steps by grabbing hold of anything. She's very fast in her walker. Rizal says she can be very demanding and insists on getting her way when she wants something! Her main utterances when she's hungry - "mamamama..."
By the time Pohling came back I felt utterly exhausted and fell asleep for a few minutes on the couch! Imagine that.