Wednesday, February 1, 2012


... and it is officially no longer my birthday.

Had a big surprise at home today... a surprise birthday party that is :) Siap dgn balloon, banner etc. Baru je a few days ago I made a remark to a friend during another friend's son's birthday party... that I've only had one big birthday party. And that was when I was seven!

And voila... as I turn 37, another party. Albeit just with family members. It was meaningful nonetheless. They kept the secret well... I didn't have a clue. The only thought that crossed my mind was when I smelled food as I entered the house today.

So terharu that Ina and Abang actually took leave to prepare for the party. Apparently they've been planning it for several weeks. I am blessed with wonderful siblings :)

At the office, celebrations started early with a birthday lunch on 30/1 with HRH, NAMN, MM and Mr B. The other Reggies couldn't make it. Lunch was at Saffron and we had rich, lovely red velvet cake courtesy of HRH.

And on 31/1, there was breakfast at the department to celebrate all the January "babies". But since it was on my birthday, I had the honour of cutting the cake :)

Wishes came in via SMS and FB from near and far. Don't you just love how technology helps bring ppl together :)

So I am now 37. I don't feel like I'm 37. Well, maybe body is older but inside, I think I've not really aged. As the fridge magnet that I bought in Scotland say "Young at heart (other parts slightly older)" ;)

Thank you Allah for blessing me with a wonderful life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

gaji mati...

Printed out my salary increment letter yesterday and was unpleasantly surprised to discover that I have reached my gaji mati :(

Memandangkan gaji puan telah mencapai gaji maksimum kumpulan jawatan puan, bagi menghargai sumbangan puan, Bank akan membayar kenaikan gaji puan dalam bentuk bayaran ex-gratia dalam tahun 2012 seperti di atas.

So this means, no more increments moving forward. If I'm lucky, I'll get ex-gratia payment. But that's it. There goes any hopes of buying that piece of property. Have to wait until I settle my WUU loan before I can start entertaining any thoughts of purchasing another property.

Sure I can do so now, but that means lesser amount put aside for savings and less travel. Ermm... not quite ready to give up on that ;)

I didn't expect this to happen so soon... after all, I've only been a DD for about 5+ years. Why so cepat reach gaji mati??

As I see it, there are only two possibilities to continue getting a raise...
1) If there is a salary adjustment for my post
2) If I'm promoted

Unlikely for 1) to happen in the near future. And I definitely do not want to be promoted anytime soon. Too much responsibility. I'm already struggling as it is in this post.

Of course there is that 3rd option... If I move out and find a "greener pasture". But the thing is, that is not my goal in life... that's not the reason why I work.

Having said that, it is still tak best to be in a situation where I can no longer look forward to naik gaji :(

see you soon...

Decided to send WUU to the workshop today. The adjusters have not called, but seeing that my schedule will be packed next week onwards, it would be quite hard to just "keluar kejap to send the car".

Has been a week since I last drove WUU. She has been resting under an old bedspread. Masuk je kereta, the leather smell was exciting. Holding the steering wheel was even better. But alas, it was just a for a short drive from Kg Sri Delima to Jln 222.

The C&C consultant said that it might take 2-3 weeks for the adjuster & insurance processing to settle. Plus 2 more weeks to repair. That's a long time away from my WUU :(

We'll be together again soon... and we'll go vroom vroom again like we used to :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


It was 11:03 pm... driving Abang home, together with Ina. On the radio was "All by myself", when Ina asked "Kenapa lagu ni lelaki yang nyanyi?"
"Because they are the original singers... Air Supply", I replied. "Ina ingat Celine Dion yg mula2 nyanyi ke?"
"Ha'ah... coz dia nyanyi lagu ni famous giler"
"No lah... dia nyanyi balik. Langsung famous balik. Before this masa Air Supply nyanyi pun famous gak. But Celine buat jadi re-hit"

A pause...

"Hahahaha... re-hit", said moi.

Abang gelak sikit. Ina diam je.

"Ina... did you get the joke? Re-hit mcm reheat", I asserted.

"Ye lah...", Ina replied, "Mcm reheat food".

My attempt at making a joke fell flat...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Yesterday, 17/1/2012, WUU turned 1... and as a present, I got into an accident.
Kat Jalan Kuching, while crawling home, just before the Caltex station... dah nak sampai rumah dah :( My fault really... I was sleepy and dozed off for a mere few seconds and BAM! Hit the black Savvy in front and in turn it hit the Honda City in front.

The "crunching" sound as I hit the car will remain in my sound memory bank... it was surreal!

But I was surprisingly calm. The first thing that crossed my mind was... there goes my NCD. Tak rasa panic, sedih, takut... nothing. I do feel sorry to the two ladies who were affected by my carelessness though.

It was an accident waiting to happen. This was not the first time I drove home sleepy and frequently catch myself dozing off. It happen often. Hopefully this will be the last.

I was lucky... it wasn't a bad accident (although the lady in front may not agree with me). We were after all "crawling". I have in the past caught myself on the highway at high speed terlelap. Nauzubillah...

Dalam tak teruk tu pun, WUU punya "injury" was quite severe.

So this morning was spent to figure out how to put WUU back to shape. Since it is a Mercedes, I'm not taking chances with just any workshop. WUU deserves the best, and so I ended up sending it to Cycle Carriage Bintang's workshop. It is an authorised workshop for Mercedes Benz. First went to Mutiara Damansara to find out more, then off to Jalan 222.

Last night, Papa & Amt estimated that it would cost about RM10k to repair. Dalam hati I thought "wow... banyaknya". But today, upon inspection, the consultant (tak main lah panggil mechanic... this is Mercedes after all, hehe. Honest... that's what he is called) kata it will take approximately 2 weeks to repair and roughly about RM50k. What??? RM50k??? That's enough to buy a car! But again... I was surprisingly calm. Not even a spike in heartbeat. I guess it is because I'm not paying... hahaha. That's what takaful/insurance is for after all. The only thing that crossed my mind was... yup, you guessed it... there goes my NCD.

According to the consultant, the "surgery" will involve:
- changing both side panels (since they're made of aluminium, cannot ketuk)
- replace hood
- replace headlights
- replace compressor (although not bocor, it was dented when a lever knocked into it)
- change the front bar... can't recall the proper name, but it is the bar between the bumper and radiator
- change the grill
- 50/50 whether the bumper kena tukar or not.

2 weeks to repair, but it can only start after Etiqa (that's my takaful company... they will not be happy with the bill) gives a nod to proceed. Meanwhile kena tunggu:
- Adjuster to make assessment
- Adjuster to make recommendation to Etiqa
- Etiqa to process
... baru boleh dapat approval to repair.

This couldn't happen at the worst time, since next Monday is Chinese New Year. Unlikely that the adjuster will take up this case with only 3 more days to the weekend. Next week definitely cuti. Week after lah baru adjuster tengok. God knows how long for him to do paperwork and submit to Etiqa, and berapa lama lagi baru Etiqa decide.

So looks like I'm car-less for at least a month... if I'm lucky.

Nasib baik WNN ada. The ever dependable WNN who has been sidelined for far too long. I still love you my dear :) Time for me too shower some lurve on you...

Cerita sampingan a.k.a. spin-off...
Cis!! That was my reaction when Ina kata "Hehe... dulu ingatkan kereta Honda yg takde ong... selalu langgar/accident. Rupa2nya Along is the common factor". Tapi cakap dalam hati lah... sambil tertanya2, betul kah?

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review... Travel: "trouble seems to follow"

Kakijalan travelled far this year: 4 new countries, 3 return visits. Alhamdulillah I've been very fortunate.

January… The interrupted trip of a lifetime to Egypt.
Planning began 5 months earlier. The plan was KUL – Luxor – Abu Simbel – Aswan – Cairo – KUL... Complete with side trips to Abydos, Dendara, Edfu, Esna and a hot air balloon ride. But fate intervened...
Arrived in Luxor (albeit later than scheduled due to a missed connection in Doha… God must have been trying to tell me something) to the news that the anti-Government protests in Cairo has escalated into a full blown revolution. But things were calm in Luxor. The only signs of unrest was that almost every Egyptian were glued to their radio or TV waiting for the latest news from Cairo. But as a non-Arab speaking tourist who has a tight schedule, I was blissfully ignorant (which is a blessing!). The other tourists also seemed unfazed. So I went along my merry way to visit Karnak temple, Luxor temple, Valley of the Kings, Tombs of the Nobles, Hatshepsut temple, Ramesseum, Colossi of Memnon etc. They were amazing!
But a few days later, the mood changed. Ahmed (the owner of the tour guide company that I used) and Mohammed (my driver) had a worried look in their eyes. My early morning hot air balloon never materialise as the air force had shut down the airspace. Internet was down. Unknown to me (since my room didn’t have a TV), there was chaos on Tahrir Square, people had died, Mubarak was toppled, the police had abandoned their post. My driver told me that the police had even freed thugs from prisons which led to curfews and enforcement of martial law. With no police, the public had to fend for themselves.
The villages around Luxor organised a rukun tetangga to protect their families. I saw men with senapang, parang, sabit, cangkul, belantan by the road side guarding the entrance to the villages. Our car would get stopped every now and then. Obviously Mohammed, who is a local, knew the men from the villages, so except for the frequent stops, we didn’t face any problems. Mohammed himself had a shift to jaga kampong the night before.
Somehow, despite the display of weaponry, I never felt threatened. Mohammed and Ahmed continuously assured me that they will do all they can to keep me safe, even if it meant that I will have to stay with their family. The staff at the hotel where I was staying also repeatedly asked how I was, whether I am ok. They too reassured me not to worry because as a sister in Islam, they will be there to protect me. Alhamdulillah! Despite all the of the problems that the rest of the world was witnessing on BBC, CNN, AlJazeera etc, I had a totally different experience. I saw the strong sense of community and care amongst penduduk Luxor, genuine concern for a lone female traveller in a foreign land, the friendliness of the Egyptians and the beauty of a simple life.
Fortunately (for me anyway), all the “excitement” were in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities near the delta. The media as works, portrayed as if there was huru hara throughout the country. So, families and friends were rightfully concerned. With phone lines and internet down, they couldn’t contact me. When they finally did, I could sense their fear. SMS masuk menderu2... ppl were posting on FB “Uji... are you ok?” followed by “what were you thinking going to Egypt?” ;) Since I couldn’t proceed with my travel plans, Ina helped me book the earliest flight home (thanks Ina!) which was 2 days later. So, I still managed to squeeze in a road trip to Dendara and Abydos... shared the van with a retired Canadian teacher. Dia lagi kelakar... “I wish I was in Cairo where all the excitement are”, from the look in his eyes, I knew he wasn’t kidding. On the way home, had a 12 hrs layover, so sempat singgah to meet up with Adderi & her family, plus a quick tour of Doha (thanks Adderi!).
But I’m not done with Egypt... ;)

to be continued...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 364, 1 day left in the year...

No blogs this year... mainly because I've been using FB more frequently. But re-reading old blogs made me want to start writing again.

So with 1 day left in the year, I will write about the happenings in 2011... but it will have to wait until office hours ends ;)

Monday, January 18, 2010

what?? it's already 18 january?!?

Goodness... how time flies. This year the days went by so quickly! It's only the 18th day of the year and I'm already exhausted... And it's already the 18th!!

In a few days, it will be genap sebulan since I'm back from hajj. I'm behind on many things that I've set myself to do... astaghfirullah. Trying my best to keep the momentum going. It's all with me... whether buat ke tak, I have no one else to blame but me. Ya Allah, give me strength and persistence.

I wish the days would slow down a bit... tercungap-cungap nak keep up.

Not quite liking how things are right now... need to institute some change.

Friday, December 25, 2009

as another year draws to an end...

There are only 6 more days left in the year... where did the rest go? Hmm... each year time flies faster, as if there is a race. Maybe there is a race... towards the Day of Reckoning. It is said that time moves faster as Qiamat draws nearer.

It has been a while since I last wrote... I had every intention to, but fatigue overcomes me. These past few months have just been crazy, bar the past 35 days. Often I have stories swimming in my head as I drive home... wanting to share a story, an experience, an observation... but I failed. Blogging is a way to "capture time"... to have something to refer to in order to recollect. So in a way I'm disappointed with myself.

However, I do have lots of stories to share about what had happened in the past 2 months or so. As it marked a major milestone in my life. No... I did not get married. It was something even bigger. I went for THE journey of my life... Hajj.

I am not eloquent enough to properly describe how it feels... words fail me, and the best way I can describe it is that it was a beautiful, wonderful and amazing experience. I know... that's how many others would describe it, but I'm sure every person has his/her own unique experience. There's nothing like it... to feel so close to Him amidst millions of other worshippers. Subhanallah!

I'm so glad and fortunate to have a spiritual experience as bookends to my year... started with umrah in January and ended with Hajj in November/December. Couldn't have asked for a better year =) And even better, I celebrated Maal Hijrah while in Madinah, after Hajj. What better way to "renew" oneself in a blessed city. I might not have had my family with me, but I was with my other brothers and sisters.

I don't have a new year's resolution, but instead I have a "balik haji" resolution... several in fact. I just hope to be able to keep up with it. Syaitan's temptations and lure is admittedly stronger here, and I'm easily distracted. Ya Allah, save your servant and forgive her for her mistakes, O the Most Forgiving.

Insyaallah... I will write down my to-do list on my wall to remind myself. How can I attain Jannah if I remain the way I am. Terlalu sedikit amalan hambamu ini Ya Allah and terlalu banyak dosaku. I pray that I will be amongst the righteous and be led towards the right path. Ameen...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ramadan stories...

Story 1
Ina and I were on our way home from tarawikh at Masjid Wilayah when we suddenly heard keletuk… keletak… keletuk… keletak…

“Bunyi apa tu Ina?”
“Eh… apa tu?” she pointed at an object on the passenger seat windscreen.
“That’s my shoe!” Kebetulan we were stopping at a traffic light. “Cepat Ina… ambik”
She quickly opened the door and grabbed the shoe, just in time before the lights turn green.

“Macam mana lah boleh ada kat situ…” and we giggled at what had happened.
Then my mind started thinking of various theories. “Maybe masa Ina nak keluar kereta, you tertendang my shoe out kut”. I usually place my shoe on the passenger seat. “Nasib baik ada orang baik letakkan atas kereta”
“Ha’ah… nasib baik tak jatuh and kita langgar sampai patah”, Ina added with a laugh.

Alhamdulillah… my brown Clarks were saved. Berkat bulan Ramadan =)

Story 2
“u there?”
“jom buka puasa at Tamarind Springs… with eVo and G.O.D”
“ok… as long as tak lambat mcm last year”
“ha’ah… takpe, zoe boleh jaga meja”

It was not about lambat buka puasa, but lambat solat Maghrib sampai ter“miss”… makan punya hal.

So… not wanting a repeat, I carefully watched my watch as we devoured the delicious spread. At 7:55pm I quickly left the group and headed for the nearby surau, aided by my trusted Garmin. Itu pun kena reverse 2 kali coz ter miss junction.

As I walked towards the surau, my eyes quickly searched for area perempuan. Seeing a green tabir, I quickly headed there. It was small… very small in fact. Why so small? my little heart wondered. But seeing that it’s already past 8pm, I ignored the peculiarity.

Tengah nak pakai telekung, a young boy approached me “Kak… saf perempuan kat bangunan belah sana” (side note: he called me kak! What a thrill… having being called makcik so often nowadays ;p )
“Kat mana? Boleh tunjukkan?”
“Kat situ” he pointed. “Akak boleh lalu kat sini” as he guided me.
“Terima kasih dik” I thanked him with a smile.

As I walked back to my car, I tersenyum sendiri. Shouldn’t be so gopoh… even if it is to buat benda baik. A good lesson learnt in Ramadan.