25 Jan 2008

Some good reads

Its been some time since I've written anything - mainly becoz there's no internet connection now in Melati. So I have to wait until I'm back in Malacca before I can do anything online. Anyway what's new? Not much has been happening - just finished reading Mr Knightley's Diary. Not bad actually - it follows Jane Austen's style about Emma but seen from a man's viewpoint.
Another one I'd like to read is Mr Darcy's Diary by the same writer.
Reread The Far Pavillions and even though I have already read it (more than 10 years ago) it still caught my imagination and glued me to its pages. I fell in love with Ashton (all over again) though I now see his faults too. I realise now that MM Kaye does not really develop Anjuli's character. We hardly see her - we only see her as a child at first and then as Anjuli the bride and later as Ash's wife but she is always behind a curtain. What I really enjoy about the writing is MM kaye's depiction of British India, the events that took place as seen from the eyes of someone who was there and the life of the people of that time. Its makes great reading and has a depth that is seldom seen in many novels today. I'd place this book on par with War and Peace and Gone With the Wind anytime.
Other books that I've been reading at the same time include Judith Michael's A Ruling Passion and re reading Pygmalion. I think I also have to take a look at Wuthering Heights again. That's the problem with me- I love re reading so many of my old books I don't have time to read the new ones. Still haven't touched the ones I bought this year with Shasha - the ones at the warehouse sale in PJ. There are some good ones there too.
Tonight we had our dinner with my brother in law and niece, at that place in Batu Berendam. Its a really scenic place - Tomyam Klasik- maybe about 2 km from Taman Ekhsan in Batu Berendam. It feels like its on a lake but actually it's on stilts and surrounded by a big pond. Lots of koi - and big ones too. The food was excellent, though Repin thinks its Asam tetel should be accompanied by sambal belacan and cincalok!! I specially liked the chicken in Mongolian sauce - something spicy yet is sweetish sour.
WE hardly eat out when in Melaka so when anybody asks me where is the best eating place in Melaka I usually dont know what to say. Well at least now I can safely say that this place is well worth looking for. Its not too far out of town - its in Batu Berendam and to go there one needs to go towards the old airport past the NS factory, the TM Point and on to the Munshi Abdullah High School. Take that road - on the right after Petronas and go on for another two km maybe. Its a big place and if you go at night its all lighted up so you can't miss it!

22 Jan 2008


Sarah is in Paris now and seem to be having a great time. Just hope she takes care. Looked at her blog just now and she seems to have gone to all the places of interest there. Tomorrow she'll be in UK and from there to Berlin. My girl really knows how to move around.
7 February
Sara has returned to Nizny, thank God. I always worry about her when she travels - I know that she is a savvy traveller, street smart and all that but I guess as a mum I'll always worry about her. Not that Nizny is any safer - but at least she's in a familiar place. Imagine she was in Paris, then Edinburgh, London and finally Berlin. My girl really knows how to make use of her student days.
Thinking of my girl brings to mind another little girl - Sharlinie - who still hasn't been found. I just hope she'll be found soon - and alive. What kind of monster can keep a little child from her parents and worse still kill them I don't know. When will all this end? So far three children have been kidnapped, two have died and in the past three years so many children have been raped and murdered. What kind of world are we bringing our children into? Malaysia is no longer the safe place we thought it was. I think places like London and even New York seem safer. I was in New York a long time ago and I remember once travelling in a taxi to a restaurant that I did not even know. The taxi driver, a young Jew from Israel, was also new to New York and after driving to the wrong part of town managed finally to take me to the restaurant. He refused to accept the full amount for the cab and said it was as much his fault as mine for being ' lost'. I thought it was really kind of him. At first I was scared though, thinking he must be taking me for a ride!! Can such a thing occur nowadays, I wonder. People are generally less trustworthy, more cruel today than twenty years ago.

19 Jan 2008


Today all the kids except Sarah are with us in Malacca, which is something that does not happen often enough. I wish they are all here - especially Sarah. Mother made ketupat and I made rendang ayam so we had that for lunch today. Wan came last night - an hour after we arrived. Rizal came this afternoon, with Pohling and Sophia. They're going to a wedding tonight and taking Sophie with them. I wish they wouldn't but Rizal wants to show her off to his friends I suppose. I'm not really in favour 0f taking babies out at night- it makes them tired and after that they will have a tantrum or a crying jag. Anyway its their baby. Let them learn.
Sophia is already six months old and can already crawl. She can also sit by herself and although cries if she's tired or frustrated about something, is generally a happy child. I hope she stays that way.
My quran reading is improving - I can recognise most words now and can more or less read on my own. I only have problems with the kaf and pha as well as nun and ba, both of which look alike except that one has a mark either at the top or the bottom. If I can finish reading Al Baqarah by the end of this month I'll be very happy. Must finish the whole quran this year!!

12 Jan 2008

Just thinking

Its almost two weeks now into the new year and already so many things have happened. Another little girl has been kidnapped, a five year old Malay girl from Kg Medan in PJ. It seems she was taken screaming in front of her older sister. And yet nobody saw? Nobody helped? I wonder...

I just hope that she will be found and it does not end up like the two other girls before her. What kind of society do we live in that little girls are not safe, even in their own backyards? I remember Shasha saying that in Tokyo, a large city with millions of people, she could walk home from the underground safely, even at night. In Singapore too it's safer than here in KL. Every year we hear of young girls being raped and murdered, or like little Nurin Jazlin last year murdered horrendously and trashed in a bag.
Is Malaysia sick? The things that occur here reminds me of that line from Hamlet -"something is rotten in the state of Denmark". We have one of the highest accident rates in the world, little girls get kidnapped almost regularly then murdered, little girls raped and murdered just meters from their home, children committing suicide because they cannot face failure...babies being killed by adults who may either be their own parents or relatives... what else can happen?
What kind of year do we expect? On the political front we will be facing the polls soon but I think the government will not change. It would take a real miracle for us to get a change of government, not an election. It's not that I have lost hope in this present one - I never had much hope in the beginning. I think Dr Mahathir got it correct the first time when he said (albeit too late to effect any change) that he wanted Najib for PM. But the trouble is will that have any effect? I doubt it. In fact it might have made things worse. The problems are too entrenched for Najib to make much of a mark. The corruption that is endless - either under the table or blatantly...and so many other things.
Talking of Bangsa Malaysia - can we ever have a bangsa Malaysia? I doubt it. The disunity is too deep, the unity too farcical. Of course it would be very nice if qwe could really think one nation, one race. But the Malays love their political power, the Chinese their economical power and the Indians? Dunno lah what they want. I want to believe that one day we can have one nation and one race but the distrust of the other races I think is not easy to overcome. We have to be fair - not just seen to be fair, not only in education and the economy but also in politics. Are we ready to do that?

7 Jan 2008


Went to see Sophie today at the house in Parkville. Heard that they may move house sometime in March so I thought might as well make the most of it while they are still here in KL. Once Sophie goes to Singapore it wont be so easy for me to visit probably. She's slightly more than 5 months now and can sit on her own too! She moves with a cute bunny half hop with her hands and short fat legs up in the air a bit. She's a nice weight I think though if I remember correctly Sarah was bigger - and taller. But she is fast for her age - to be able to sit properly n ow is really fast I think. She grabs at anything within reach and it will go first into her mouth. This is her being angry...