30 August 2007
21 August 2007
Meeza: Mummy, why do you have to blog?
Me: Same reason as you do 'friendster' - expressing myself, reaching out.
Meeza: Ooohhh (with narrowed eyes meaning 'I see').
Me: Would you rather I do 'friendster'?
Meeza: Oh no, please (eyes widened)!
19 August 2007
The family's favourite is the ubiquitous nasi lemak. The nasi lemak is part of the Malay psyche as ingrained as the adobo of the Filipinos and the curries of the Indians. It has some variations too. It can come with a choice of chicken, beef or fish cooked in curry or soya sauce or simply fried (pre-marinated by turmeric, chillies and salt). It can be accompanied by the exuberant egg, peanuts and pieces of cool cucumbers. I like mine unadorned so you would see me take out the cucumbers and the half mooned egg.
The omnipresent bilis or anchovy gives the nasi lemak its crowning glory. Whose pantry does not include this magnificent silvery fish with the big taste? A nasi lemak with just the anchovies and the sambal can proudly stand on its own. The fiery sambal and the nutty taste of the fragrant rice which is cooked with the "all food" coconut milk combined with the lovely pandan taste gives the nasi lemak its definitive place in the hall of fame of Malay cuisine.
My aunt who is a compulsive chicken eater and who bases her writings on the "chicken and egg" cycle would love this paper (or leaf) -wrapped thing of a food accompanied by her favourite fried chicken. What inspiration might she have gotten!
17 August 2007
So, Mr Norman Holton, cry out loud! The 'justice' we know, will never fail. The big fish sometimes can't eat the bony small fish.
I wish to tell of an unbelievable act of miracle, I know only a mom can do for her child. Hjh Lunak is my new found masseuse, my new heroine. She uses the traditional 'urut', the one that breaks your body because of its ferocity and then mends you to become whole again.
She said she learned traditional massage two decades ago when as a young mother, she coped with her daughter's Down Syndrome. She would give this daughter a whole body massage twice in a week after learning from the doctors that the toddler will never be able to walk like a normal child. With the resilience of mind and dexterity of fingers, she became the nurturer 'per se'; the light beacon; the hopeful one; and after eight years the ultimate healer-mother. I could shed tears over and over again with this story. It tells of hope and triumph; of mind over matter; of miracles of love; of the meaning of 'ibu'.
08 August 2007
I like the look of bullets in a write-up. When I went back to school (for the nth time) two years ago, a few lecturers wanted our answers to exam questions in bullets – much like – enumerated items. I found an excuse to make some bullets in my blog, and I thought of one topic: No Substitutes (guaranteed limitless bullets) and one method: a survey. I asked friends and relatives about one thing in their lives that can’t be substituted. I had an image of a long list of answers in BULLETS.
- mother’s milk (too overstated)
- a child's hug
- a security blankie
- an old teddy bear named Koko
- chocolate that melts and oozes in the mouth
- seri muka
- nasi lemak
- an antique kebaya/antique watch/antique table/antique……
- a photo of a dead pet
- Marsha of Akademi Fantasia (???)
- home-made pancakes
- a best friend
- a guy who picks up the tabs (no dutch treats eh)
- a little girl’s French beret
- Harry Potter book
- beloved amah
- honey stars
- Lancome’s Blanc Expert (did I get that right?)
- credit cards
- dora the explorer (so cute)
- a hole in one
I got my wish – BULLETS.
P.S. I conclude without hesitation that my adult friends and relatives are foodies and/or materialists and/or credit laden. The children are more sentimental and found attachments in valuable/non-negotiable/irreplaceable possessions.
07 August 2007
Bate, bate chocolate (pronounced tso-ko-la-te)
Uncle Borja ta bate
The above one was taught by pompous older cousins. Several years later, when we were adults, we learned that the particular rhyme was quite a salacious one. In our innocence, we recited them in front of adults during merienda cena, when hot chocolate made traditionally using a wooden mixer was served. What I vividly remember were the chuckles and the giggles that came from the older people who were present. Poor Uncle Borja (may he rest in peace)! I just could imagine his discomfiture as we chanted those lines through the whole merienda scene.
This one was simply racist and very stupid. We chanted it when in an angry mood or when boisterousness possessed us:
Ta kaga na paya
This was sort of a social reaction on our part; a retaliation for endless taunting (children can be unmatched in cruelty); and a salve for broken egos. Well, we hope that we are forgiven and have learned our lessons. It is very ironic that, as an adult, my best of friends are Bisayas. Moral of this story - listen to what your children are chanting; for all we know, they don't really have a grasp of the connotations of their chants nor the effects they can have.
05 August 2007
On a lighter note, birthdays are always the happiest days of our lives. My immediate family has enjoyed our birthday parties for their naturalness in gaiety and giving; the painstaking preparations for food, flowers, hair (the girls’), and most appreciated of all - my husband’s loving keenness to make us – wife and children – happy. We’ve said this before and will say it again for the many years to come, happy birthday!