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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

An old game

One fine day in Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga, a group of kids sat around in a circle and put their fists on top of another, and began to sing....

to to tumbok
to tumbok
mok yae di di (with pounding act)

pecoh sebutir
pecoh seghemo (palms quickly flattened)

so ighing
duo ighing (at this point, they began to swirl their arms around with palms still on top of another)

so makok

ttemung taik ayae keghing
cak pelok ddado!!! (quickly pulled their arms and embraced their bodies)

then, simple rule applied: the fastest won and the unfortunate slow one lost.
they continued....

the winner: kong kong kong kayu ggapo?
the loser: kayu ___ (normal choice would be 'jati' or 'cengal')

the winner: ado atu ko tak dok?
the loser: ado / takdok!

the winner: nok ggaji ko nok kapok?
the loser: ggaji / kapok

upon that answer, the winner would proceed to break the folding arms from the loser's body by using his/her hand mimicking the selected tool (i.e. ggaji or kapok).
then, who knows what happened? teka...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

fun day

sun came out... nice day
> to the park nearby:

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Bumi Dipijak Langit Dijunjung

With the current hu-ha on the widely-known-recently-exposed rapid destruction of our tropical rainforest, recent climate condition and indeed the World Water Day on Tuesday 22nd just gone.... remind me of an article/story beautifully written by a very respected and almost mystical person I've met a number of times.

Read it here.

Hutan Belum

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Once upon a time in Salor

I learned about the recent dog attack incident via Abe Dib's blog. Poor boy, with 180 stitches, he must be scared for life. Thank God that so far, I've not encounter any physically challenging dog, only playful ones most of the time; came running with stick in their mouth asking you to play, kind of thing. On the other hand, it reminds me of stories told by village folks of my great grandfather.

Tok Sohok Gajoh (Ishak The Elephant), as he was known due to his towering figure and enormous strength, the son-in-law of Mat Ali Tok Pendekar (Mat Ali The Warrior), brought many jaw-dropping tales. They told me how he could simply carry a big tree trunk by himself; his main job was jungle clearing for plantation or new settlements. He travelled to places like Perak, Penang, Trengganu via the thick tropical jungle for his work and had wives in those places (our extended family).

One day, a man came running to him asking for help. The buffalo destined to be the main dish for a village bekwoh (big work, kenduri) was rampaging across the field and no man could even went near the hissing and charging beast. I guest the animal knew his fate from the shiny golok spotted from one man's hand. Anyway, when Tok Sohok arrived... he instead went charging towards the amoking buffalo.

Closing at arms length, he gave his famous slap to the buffalo’s bottom, and booommm... the beast went down to the ground and trembled. The watching village men came running and slaughter the animal before it had his last gasp of air, coz a dead buffalo (instead of a slaughtered one) is not to be consumed by Muslims.

A village lady among the story tellers then added, when they cleaned and chopped the meat, they had to discard the section where Tok Sahak strike, as it was all black and blue, and hard (daging mati). They said, Tok Sohok was also able to produce fire or sparks by rubbing his two palms together, an ilmu (mystical knowledge) called 'Tampar Lanun' (pirate's slap). I guess this ilmu sits in the same league as 'Kipas Senandung Dalam Senandung'... a blow that was taled struck Bruce Lee at Hong Kong Airport in 1973. I heard, whoever received it had 44 days to ask for forgiveness from the person who unleashed the jurus, otherwise.....

Another man continued with another tale.
One day, a shepherd came panting to Tok Sohok. Out of the blue, a tiger came from the jungle nearby and attacked his flock of cows. One was unfortunate and went down between the tiger's jaw. As the king of the jungle was dragging the dying cow back into his kingdom, Tok Sohok stopped him. Watching from afar, the shepherd saw the tiger left the cow and went behind the nearby bushes at the edge of the jungle whilst Tok Sohok quickly slaughtered its prey. Then he proceeded by cutting the meat and took half of it away. The beast then, re-emerged and quickly grabbed the other half and disappeared.

Apparently, the storyteller said, Tok Sohok gave the tiger an ultimatum. Took the whole lot, and I'll hunt you down... or let me slaughter this cow and you'll have half of it. Not wanting to put his life at stake, the king took the later option. It was a win-win situation indeed.

How I wish ....

Saturday, March 19, 2005


The past few days have been great, weather wise I mean. Yesterday particularly, it was around 20C. Yet, it's a bit gloomy today, around 16-18C I guess. Early spring beauty has come out around my rose stalk in the big pot...

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Yesterday we went to pick up Kakak after her show at the Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton. She was really exhausted this week. Next show > York Grand Opera House at the end of the month.

Friday, March 18, 2005


hari ini di tahun tunggang terbalik....
di tanah serendah sekebun bunga,
atok dilahirkan.

thanks for all the wishes.
dinner was at the yellow river cafe ....yum yum

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

st. patrick's day

Hari ini adalah hari cuti umum di Republic of Ireland dan Northern Ireland, sempena St.Patrick's Day. St. Patrick ialah the patron saint of Ireland. Sambutan hari ini agak besar di sana, dan juga di USA yang mempunyai ramai rakyat berketurunan Irish. Atok akan menyertai rakan sepejabat ke Irish pub lepas kerja.

Kakak di Northampton sejak Selasa. Last weekend, we decided to buy her a mobile phone so that we can keep in touch easier. Panggilan hanya boleh dibuat antara jam 2-6 ptg, kecuali di hari mereka ada matinee show (semalam). As mentioned before, Kakak is doing this for 6 months pasal the regulation on child performer license limits to that period on a single license issued. Last week, all kids in the touring party were invited to continue with the tour for another 6 months, i.e. to the end of the year.

So much enjoyable and beneficial (in many ways) to Kakak the tour has been, continuing to the end of the year is a difficult matter. As I wrote initially, her headmistress reluctantly let Kakak join the tour but 'warned' us that it would be the one-and-only dispensation she would give. Mmm... tricky.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

segala macam...

Semakin lama semakin 'ketinggalan' blog ni. Atok nak update daily pun tak larat, penat. Balik keje and after dinner and settlekan hal anak-anak, nak rehat lah. Lagipun tak ada banyak cerita.

Weekend yang berlalu, ada a few rakan yang ajak bersama mereka ke Manchester; ke Carnival Malaysia sempena lawatan TPM. Tak pa lah, nak rehat with family. Lagipun atok rasa, it was more of a personal political campaign of someone than a grand gathering of fellow Malaysians. Baru je di akhir tahun sudah, sepasukan guru dihantar ke seluruh pelusuk bumi Inggeris untuk menyurahkan hikayat hadhari, lagi sekali telah 'dilancarkan' cerita ini. Mungkin rata-rata masih belum faham konsep yang digarapkan. Regardless, so much dosh spent. Tak apa, bukan duit depa pun....

Di hujung minggu yang lalu juga, berlakunya suatu yang bersejarah di dalam sistem demokrasi Britain. Perdebatan ke atas undang-undang baru bagi menyekat 'pengganas' telah berlangsung selama 36 jam sebelum berjaya dimetrai. Atok tidaklah ingin berkata berkenaan dengan 'bill' yang diperdebatkan itu, cuma agak terpegun dengan kecekalan mereka yang dipilih dan berkuasa di kedua-dua House of Lords dan House of Commons. Perdebatan siang malam telah memaksa mereka tua muda bermalam di pejabat dan tidur di lantai berlapikkan 'coat' masing-masing. Sessi debat berlarutan hingga ke pagi esoknya. Inilah demokrasi di tangganya yang agung.

Tidak dapat dibayangkan ini berlaku di negara tercinta. Usahkan lantai, sofa empuk pun tidak mungkin dijadikan tempat berlabuh. Hotel lima bintang dan kereta menjalar berpemandu adalah syarat paling kecil. Sessi singkat hanyalah dipenuhi dengan angguk-angguk and sorak riuh. Yelah, terlalu ramai saudagar mimpi yang menunggu untuk ditemui....


ada kawan bersembang.
di tanahair, kan dah biasa, bila mengisi borang, selalunya ada item bangsa dan juga agama yang perlu dipenuhi. katanya, kalau nak borang diproses cepat, tang agama tu, kena tulis islam hadhari.
tambahnya lagi, budak-budak sekolah dok banding membanding; "dia islam, saya islam hadhari".

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Petang semalam, projek yang atok dok sibuk for the past months telah melalui majlis handing over. Rata-rata semua pihak berpuas hati. Marston Ferry Sports Centre akan mula beroperasi pada 4hb April yang akan datang. Alhamdulillah, walaupun masih ada beberapa hal kecil yang belum settle.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Mutha's Dey

Yesterday was the Mothering Sunday here in the Blighty island. Though it's also known as Mother's Day, Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent and has no connection with the American's Mother's Day celebration of which other countries follow suit. I once send my Mama a Mother's Day card, forgetting that Msia celebrates the day in May as in the States (and probably the rest of the world except this omputih land). Surely, she must be puzzled.

cardAnyway, Kakak made a card for Mummy. She acted as a waitress, took order and brought breakfast to the bed. Daddy cooked nasi goreng cina and 'pulled' a jug of tea. Plus a full bowl of nice crispy khepok gote.

Later in the afternoon, we went to the annual Woodley Festival of Music & Arts, which was in its 33rd successful year running. Kakak and her yearmates formed a choir and contested in the '8 year and under' category. They sang two lovely songs, and won the competition. Well done girls!

choir Then, in the late afternoon, after our tea, went to the River Thames' bank; a stone-throw away from our house to feed the swans and ducks, as we always do now and then. It was cold, so we didn't stay long.....

Dah habis weekend.... kejap sangat.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The miserable lot

At the end of last month, the City & Guilds of London Institute published its annual Happiness Index, a survey to track the satisfaction of the country's workforce.

And the winner, i.e. the happiest lot, are the Hairdressers !!!
Then, followed closely by the Clergy, Chefs/Cooks, Beauticians, Plumbers etc etc....

at the very bottom of the league, i.e. No. 39, are:

The survey shows that vocational jobs are more satisfactory and rewarding than white-collar works. Of course.... to change a 2p screw would cost one's lifetime saving if he/she ask someone to do.

Well, the result wasn't a surprise to us in the office. A couple of years or so ago, the popular weekly magazine on built environment, BD (Building Design) headlined 'Public blackout architects', after a survey among the public found out that only a minute percentage of them could even name a living British architect. And this week aj's (the architects' journal) article on the published Index says:

Members of the architectural profession have chosen the most miserable career, according to a new research results revealed last week.

Only 2 per cent of architects are 'very happy' in their professional lives....

.... which showed that architects are also caused high levels of stress by their employment.

Indeed it is true, particularly in this country where the profession sounds rather glamour, but only just hat, no little more. In reality, contrary to the public perception, we are indeed scrapping the bottom trying to earn a descent living, whilst being used as slaves by the industry, especially the payers (clients). Small fees and tons of works seems to be a norm. In addition, over the past years, most of the role architects used to do have been robbed by others.

A few months ago, a friend's son who was deciding his career path and university course asked my opinion about going into achitecture, one of the fields he was interested to explore. Even before he could finish his sentence, i said ... 'no'.

So, yes... it is true > we are the miserable lot.

[ Well done to my fellow countryman architect friend who jumped out from the wobbly boat and opened the successful Malay-Thai restaurant in Manchester, Congrat kawan! Another architect friend is also looking to go into food business ]

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


So, what happened since.
Last week:

Monday was 'You Talk, I Talk' in the City of Dreaming Spires when two now-rival Nusantara jaguh went head-to-head with their separate talks at the same time; one at Christ Church College, the other at St. Catherine College. Too bad, it was during office hours and I had deadlines. Otherwise, I might have gone to one, as invited.

Tuesday was busy at work....arghhh.

Wednesday had to drive up to Cambridge which took me nearly 3 hours in a cold snowy morning. The refurbishment project just started on site with demolition well underway. It was b****y cold. At about 4-ish, left the site for a meal at friends' place. Been planning to visit them since they arrived 3 years ago. Now, they're packing their stuff as she has finished her PhD.

Thursday morning, rushed to another site nearby in Oxford. Marston Ferry Sports Centre refurbishment is 2 week to the completion date and everyone is working like mad on site. It's looking good. [Kakak returned to Eastbourne, and straight away did 2 shows; matinee and evening].

Friday; yet another list of drawings needed updating for Building Regs submission.

Saturday night; went to see Chef Shawal al-Haj at Holiday Villa. He showed some flood pics and gave us a bottle of Zam-zam water. As always, a full tummy from the buffet; nasi beryani was among served.

Sunday; Kakak returned home. Next show: Northampton 15-19th March.

Monday; back at work.....