Sunday, 19 June 2016

A 486 days break

Today, exactly 16 months ago, I posted my last excitement.

I really missed my blog..

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

An antique wooden van

I came across this very interesting looking van this morning
...or pickup...
or whatever you call it..

It is so irresistible, I have to take the shot.
Love it!

Don't you think it is a beauty?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Hello winter!

The last time I remembered myself feeling cold and numb  like I was being stuck deep inside a freezer was when we visited Melbourne for a family vacation in 2012. It was only April, the snow queen was still fast asleep, but the island down under has already felt the impact of the cold weather. Heaters have to be turned on 24/7 whenever we were indoor, else mom would start her lecture on how we should be grateful that we are born and raised in a moderate weather of Malaysia. Of course at the end of every lecture came the common question of when we are going back to Kuala Lumpur.


So last year, when Mr.Hubby and I decided to go to Hong Kong and Shenzhen for Disneyland and shopping experience, we warned mom that the weather there can be as nasty as Melbourne's. Indeed we were right, for the weather was all wet and windy. And mom definitely made the right decision not to follow us there, or I could have produced a 100-page guide on how to survive 'cold lectures'. Hong Kong was not as cold as Melbourne, yet the strong winds that blew persistently chilled us to the bones. Nevertheless, the children were happy, so we forgot all about coldness.

And now here in Riyadh, the weather has changed itself from being fiercely hot in August when I first stepped on this land to a chilling December. Yup, there's no snow in winter for Riyadh, but the coldness here at times can be similar to a winter in Leicester. Oh! I do miss the city!

One good thing about winter in Riyadh is the colourful blooms that emerge almost immediately everywhere and turned the city alive. Here I find flowers that I have never seen before and they are all very beautiful!

When I first saw this strange flowers from far, I thought that the gardeners are planting cauliflowers around the university! Unfortunately, they are not cauliflowers....

I don't know why but every time I look at this flowers, it reminds me of pomegranates....

It's hard to really concentrate and observe if there is any bees troop close by, but I do believe this is the best time of the year they get busy with pollination.

People take advantage to stroll along the park, some joining their children in a ball game or two. And the best moment I'd be looking forward everyday is when I could snuggle comfortably in a blanket in front of the TV, watching good movie alone after the children have gone to bed.

 That reminds me of a student's advise this morning at the office...

"Doctor, you need to buy a winter abaya, seriously. The one that you have could not warm you up in winter. You will freeze."

I looked down at my abaya and only realised that the girl was right.

Should I go shopping?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Sending friends off to hajj

Two days ago my husband and I went to the King Khalid Grand Masjid at Umm Al Hamam to see the Malaysian pilgrims residing in Riyadh depart for Makkah to perform hajj. Whilst the atmosphere was filled with joy, love, excitement and eagerness, I can't deny that deep inside me my heart felt heavy and empty. I have longed to be at the Masjidil Haram once again to devote myself to my Creator. Unfortunately the opportunity is hard to grab, considering I have just arrived in this country for only a month. So close, yet too far away.... but I am grateful.

I have sinned, yet Allah loves me still.
I have forgotten, yet Allah constantly reminds me.
I have gone astray, yet Allah leads me to the right path again.
Too much love shower from Him, alhamdulillah. It was His love that brought me here in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia.

May Allah make it easy for all the pilgrims who are now gathering in Arafah. May Allah grant them good health, strengths and determinations to continue their worships. And may Allah return them safely to their families after their long journeys. Ameen.

My turn will come, insyaAllah. Until then, I'll work extra hard to strengthen my imaan and keep making lots of duas to Allah the Almighty. May He grant my wishes. Ameen.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

KSA's National Day celebration

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates its National Day today.  This means a day off from the university. There were so many things to settle before I leave the office last night. Alhamdulillah, I have managed to finish almost 90% of the administrative works piled up on the desk before signing off for the day.

Earlier, we had a mini celebration situated at the lobby of the main building where students and staff joined together to organise various activities in conjunction with the National Day. There were booths providing varieties of fantastic local foods (which names I don't know and I am still learning to identify them), a booth offering a service to draw beautiful designs on the palm using henna (there must be a specific name for it but at the moment I can't find it), the university also provided drawing blocks, water colour paints, beads, glitter dusts, glue, scissors and other drawing accessories for anyone who wish to express their happiness and excitement through the work of art.

At the lobby entrance, two beautiful ladies served the Arabic coffee and dates to visitors. Tasbihs, national flags, cup cakes and 'pop cakes' (tiny cake covered in icing sugar attached to a stick that looks like a lollipop) were also distributed as souveniers. MasyaAllah, this was an interesting event that took me a step closer to learn the Arabic culture. I enjoyed my day.

And oh! By the way... for my dear friends and blog readers who had not known of the big family and I have moved to Saudi Arabia and now we live in Riyadh. I took the offer to work at the Prince Sultan University, College for Women. I am now an assistant professor attached to the department of Accounting, College of Business and Administration. Alhamdulillah, we have been here since 28th August 2014 and we are happily adjusting our routines at the new place. The children are going to an international school just four blocks away from our apartment. At the moment my husband is converting himself to become a house-husband and he likes the idea of quickly settling all house chores including cooking meals in the morning so that he can have more time for his internet thingy and tv and friends in the second half of the day.

 Like I said earlier, all of us enjoy living in Riyadh. Alhamdulillah...

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Prime Minister's press statement on MH370

24 March, 2014

This evening I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data. Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370’s flight path.

Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow with further details. In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity. We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation.

Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development. For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking; I know this news must be harder still. I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time.


Oh MH370... what ever happened to you? 
How come such a big plane simply vanish just like that?
Only Allah the Almighty knows it

Oh Allah...
Please mend my broken heart
For it shattered into million pieces
Blown by wind to the ocean so deep
Where all hopes lie within

Monday, 17 March 2014

MH370, please come back...

I recite this ayah everyday when I leave home for work. And I have strong faith in Allah, for it is indeed undeniable that my life is in His hands. 

The mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian aircraft MH370 Kuala Lumpur - Beijing has entered the tenth day. Regardless of all the speculations made by many parties on the beings of the plane, I kept praying that it had not crashed anywhere, be it on land or in the sea. May it landed safely somewhere and that the passengers and the crew members are still alive.

Please come home, MH370. We eagerly, but patiently, wait for you.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Can someone help me?

I kept wondering why my mobile phone has been so slow in responds lately. It takes several seconds before the required application appeared on the screen, which is turning to become very annoying to me, because it used to pop up instantly. This should not happen to a Samsung Galaxy Note II, ya?

Then I saw that the picture gallery was loaded with over 700 pictures from the blog alone. Not to mention other folders full of pictures sourced from whatsapp conversations, screenshots, videos and the ones I snapped myself with the camera.

Thinking that I might have overloaded the phone with too many pictures, I started to transfer some valuable pics and delete the rest I think not important. SO I DELETED ALL THE PICTURES IN THE PHONE. Never had I thought that the pictures in my blog will be wiped out as well because the accounts are synced in my phone!

I lost all the pictures in my blog! OMG! OMG! Where's the panic button when I need one?

Can someone help me retrieve back my pictures for the blog?

I am feeling like crying now...

Friday, 10 January 2014

Mr. Billu Barber

Muhammad Aiman has always hated to visit the barber. This is evidenced from his curly-murly hair all long-grown and blondish.

The first time we took him for a trim, he cried hysterically when the barber started to cut his hair.

The second time we took him to meet our friendly Mr. Barber, he started crying when we entered the shop.

The third time we decided he needs a hair cut, Aiman started to cry the moment he saw the shop building from very far

Perhaps Mr. Billu Barber should disguise himself as Spiderman, paint the wall bright and colourful so that it looks like the Hi-5 studio and put candy bowls by the window to attract toddlers like Aiman to come and have a hair cut. With mind at peace, of course...

Well, it has always been an adventurous trip, as usual.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Contradicting statement...?

This is taken from my LinkedIn account.

Statement before I add someone into my professional network.....

If I ask you to join my LinkedIn network it is because we share colleagues or a similar group interest. I also may see that you have interest in hearing about new career opportunities or we may have worked together in the past. LinkedIn is a professional network and my intentions are for professional use. If you do not wish to join my network just hit the "Ignore" button. By clicking on the "I don't know them" button causes restrictions on my account and just limits my ability to connect with others that would benefit from my Automotive Manufacturing Opportunities. Thank you.

Few hours later, he sent me this message...

Hello Angel...

I noticed your profile on this site and you sparked an interest to me. If you have a chance, look at my profile and let me know if you would like to continue communicating.I am interested in finding true love,a woman that has a big heart,ready for a serious and honest long term relationship,a woman that believes in a one man,one woman kind of relationship,a woman that has true moral, cultural and family values i saw your profile and it caught my attention and i like to know more about you.                                                                                   
Please send me your email address and phone number so i can add you to my messenger. You seem like a very lovely person.i would love to keep communication with you. Do you have an email account, that we could communicate through..

Please let me know if you do.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A new day has come

2014 is here.

I would like to wish all readers A Happy and Prosperous New Year. May we achieve our dreams this year. I mean,  ALL OF OUR DREAMS!!!   Ameen.

I anticipate that this is going to be a very busy year for our family, considering that Irfan and Irdina are going to sit for important exams in schools and that my applications for 2014 research grant at the university have recently been approved for two independent projects.

So, darlings, surrender all your gadgets to mommy and let's start the knowledge seeking process immediately!  ;-)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


So how do I start writing again after such a long break?

I'll start slowly with something short and simple, InsyaAllah. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The silliest laws of the world

I am currently reading "The World's Best Book", one of the books I bought at the Big Bad Wolf book sale last year. This book, authored by Jan Payne and published in 2008, amuses me with lots of unexpected and unthinkable things that had ever occured on earth related to people, things and places. It's a selection of the best, biggest, bravest, worst, weirdest, wildest, funniest, flashiest, furthest, hottest, highest, hairiest, longest, lowest, loudest, deepest, darkest, deadliest, smallest, smelliest, strongest, most expensive, most venomous, most popular..... and the list continues.

Let me share with you one of the hillarious content of this book:

  1. In Ohio, USA, it is illegal to get a fish drunk. 
  2. In the UK, it is an act of treason to position a postage stamp bearing a king's or queen's head upside down. 
  3. In Victoria, Australia, it is an offence to wear pink hotpants after midday on Sundays. 
  4. In florida, USA, it is illegal for unmarried women to parachute on Sundays.
  5. In England, drivers of black taxi cabs are required to ask all passengers if they have smallpox or the plague.
  6. In China, you are not allowed to rescue anyone who is drowning because it is thought you are interfering with their fate.
  7. In Switzerland, after 10pm, a man may not pee standing up.
  8. In California, USA, it is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting licence.
  9. In the city of Joliet in Illinois, USA, a woman can be arrested for trying on for more than six dresses in one shop.
  10. In the UK, any person found breaking a boiled egg at the sharp end can be sentenced to 24 hours in the village stocks.
  11. In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon.
  12. In Milan, Italy, there is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except at funerals or during hospital visits.
  13. In Kentucky, USA, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon that is more than 1.8 metres long.
  14. Kissing on French railways is forbidden, and in Greece, if a man is caught kissing a woman, the death penalty can be enforced.
  15. In England, any boy under ten years old may not look at a naked shop dummy.
  16. In Beijing, China, you could be fined if you stop your car at a pedestrian crossing to let someone cross the road.
  17. In Alabama, USA, it is not lawful to flick snot into the wind.
  18. In Cester, UK, it is legal to shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow, as long as the event occurs within the city walls and it is after midnight.
  19. In Alabama, USA, it is illegal to drive a vehicle while blindfolded.
  20. In Vermont, USA, women must get consent from their husbands before wearing false teeth.
So what do you think about these laws? Whilst it's funny to come across silly laws like these, they indicate that there are many ridiculous behaviours in this world that need serious attention!

Fancy a pink hotpants, anybody? Smile!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

A week experience in school

2013 has already reached its 24th day.

That means baby porcupine has been to school (I mean real school with serious teachers writing serious stuff on the whiteboard) for 21 days. And since the very beginning of her school episode I have been worried sick on how she will cope with her new environment. It made me feel insecure from within, knowing that she has never been parted far away from me for many hours a day. I should have not worry because I know teachers will look after her. Of course they will, because I am the only mother who went to see every teacher available in school irrespective of whether they teach my girl or not and came up with a long list of do's and don'ts for them to remember.

On the first day of school all first year pupils sat for a simple
reading, writing and counting test. Aida scored 4/70 and was
really happy about it.... *scratch head*

Nevertheless, Aida is calm and happy in school. It is I who made her looks like she's so fragile. That's how my dear hubby assess the situation.

"She is no longer a baby. You'll feel better when you stop calling her baby porcupine" he tossed my head and smiled.

Perhaps I should admit that I have overreacted. But Aida will always be my baby porcupine. Full stop.

During assembly, when the headmistress gave her speech
 to the first year pupils. Can you guess how many of them
 really listen and understand what the headmistress was
trying to convey on stage?

The education systems here in Malaysia is sometimes confusing. There are many different types of schools you can choose for your child(ren). There are Malay-medium national schools, Indian-medium national schools, Chinese-medium national schools, private  schools,  boarding schools,  Islamic religious schools,  excellent cluster schools, sports schools and to a certain extent, home schooling is also made available. I'd rather not explain in detail each of these schools here, just enough to inform that Aida now has quite a tight daily schedule because in the morning she attends the religious school (I refer to this school as the morning session) and right after lunch she goes to the Malay-medium national school (the afternoon session). In other words, she leaves home as early as 7.15 am and comes back only after 6.45pm. In between the two school sessions, she stays at a nursery next to the schools where she'll take a bath, change uniform and eat lunch.

During the first week of school I have been following her to the classroom without her knowing it and kept an eye on her from far away. I watched her when she talked and laughed with her classmates, when she did her work in the exercise book, when she drew a silly-looking elephant and coloured it purple and also when she suddenly fell asleep. I then followed her to the nursery and watched her manage herself quite successfully and prepared herself for school once again. Alhamdulillah. After 21 days, I think she'll do just fine in school. I really need to shed this worries away.

Cried too much that she forgot how to smile beautifully...!

Anyway, let's review some incidents that took place in the first week of school:

Day 1: Cried... cried... and cried... all day long.

Day 2: Lost (or rather, misplaced) her pair of shoes. Lost her chamisole. Teachers frantically searched every inch of the nursery to find them.

Day 3: Lost her pencil case. Came back home wearing another girl's uniform, which has faded in colour and was relatively much smaller than hers.

Day 4: Lost her water tumbler. Found about 4-5 cloth hangers inside her school bag which definitely were not ours.

Day 5: Lost her set of colouring pencils. Lost her exercise books.

Day 6: Gave all her spending money to 'a friend in need' whom she did not even recognise and sufferred from 3rd level hunger till she came home.

Day 7: Lost her panty and survived afternoon session without telling anyone about it.  *faint*

Aida, several seconds before she started to cry again...

My dear child, I leave you under the protection of Allah the Almighty. I pray you'll be safe wherever you go and what ever you do. I believe a mother's prayer is a powerful one and that Allah will always listen to me all the time. May you grow up to become a good-mannered, brilliant and pretty muslimah. Ameen.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The fear factor: Bdellophobia

I have just had a bath and was drying myself in front of a mirror in the bedroom when I saw, through the mirror, a big black spot on my thigh. I took a closer look at the black spot and saw it squirming.

As far as I can remember, that was the loudest scream I have ever made in my entire life. I shouted for help while jumping up and down in the room, obviously forgotten that I was only clad in a towel.
Mom came in to rescue me.  When I showed her the black, wriggling thing on my thigh with my eyes tightly shut, to my surprise, she screamed too! Because there was no one else in the house at that time except for my two younger sisters and a baby brother (my father was at work), we did not know what to do.

“Oh mom! I’m gonna die! I am definitely going to die!”
I cried my heart out, still jumping, while mom frantically tried to find a stick to remove the black spot. It was a leech. A huge one!

After about half an hour or so, the leech was finally detached from my skin. Not because mom kept poking it with a skewer (Yeah, that’s right. OMG!) but because it had drained up all my blood and now it felt a bit dizzy with this non-stop jumping activity of the host so it decided to take a leap of faith from high above and landed a splat on the floor. Looks like suicide to me.
That was my first encounter with a leech. I was only ten then. Apparently, the incident left a remarkably scary impression of a ferocious blood-sucking beast in my mind until… yesterday.

We had a family gathering yesterday at my sister-in-law’s house. We ate, talked and laughed merrily.  The whole night was all about food, politics, movie, gadgets, and futsal too. After some while, my SIL brought out a plastic container wrapped nicely in a black plastic bag. When asked what was inside the container, she took it out and showed the content to everyone – LEECHES. Very alive and aggressive too. The sight of the leeches gave me goose bumps. It reminded me my horrible experience with a leech long time ago.
“Anybody wanna have this leeches suck up your dirty blood and perhaps solve some of your health problem?” She offered.

“Such as what?” I asked.
“Sinus, migraine, pimples, pus, delicate backache, gout, in short, anything associated with dirty blood”
 [photo courtesy of Encyclopaedia Brittanica]

I have heard about medicinal leeches used in reconstructive surgery, or for treating abscessess, painful joints, glaucoma, and in some cases, microvascular surgery (more information here).   But honestly, I am not sure if this curing method using leeches to suck impure blood as suggested by my SIL would work. Even if it really works, I have doubts that only doing it once will instantly solve the health problem. I believe it needs to be done repetitiously in order to see results. Just like we repetitiously take antibiotics to cure influenza. As a matter of fact, the main application of medicinal leeches in modern medicine is to help with blood circulation and to prevent blood clot during major surgery. So how does sucking dirty blood from a person’s temple help him/her get rid of his/her migraine problem?  *scratch head*
Anyway, with a different objective in mind, I decided to let these blood-sucking slimy squirmy little creatures with powerful jaw sink their sharp, devilish teeth to do what they do best: suck blood! (credits go to Hugh Laurie from House for giving me a lesson or two on using magical sarcastic words!) Not to cure any illness in me, but to overcome Bdellophobia: the fear of leeches.

So here are the pictures of the medicinal leeches sticking at the back of my hubby (always the best model for a photography session!) and sucking on the so called impure blood of his to cure backache.

Also here is the picture of my SIL’s husband who threw a ceremonial feast for the spineless creatures all night long to cure his sinus. LOL.

Just look at the fantastic incision made by a medicinal leech. It has a strong tripartite jaw and hundreds of tiny teeth that cut into the skin in a sawing motion and leave behind an incision mark in the form of inverted Y within a circle. Neat!  

[photo courtesy of Carsten Morkel]

At the end of the session, I figured out that the word ‘fear’ is not so suitable for me because it’s not the feeling of fear of leeches that I felt inside me. It’s more of the disgusting feelings of ‘ewh’ and ‘yucky’ that overwhelm me when I encounter these creepy-crawlies and that include maggots and caterpillars too.

 And oh! By the way, the picture below is the bag of dirty blood from 7 people in the family sucked by about 20 leeches altogether. Can you see the mouth of the leech [enlarge the pic] within the plastic bag?  Yucks!

In conclusion, I am brave enough to say that I am not afraid of leeches after all. But one thing I am totally sure, I am afraid of my creator, Allah The Almighty.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The big bad wolf strikes again!

Thriller. Fiction. Romance. Murder. Architecture. Design. Contemporary arts. Politics. Health. Beauty. Hobby. Marketing. Photography. Bibliographies. Travel. Cookery. Business. Bla..bla..bla.. etc. etc. etc. *sigh*

This happens at The Big Bad Wolf (BBW) book sale held at the Mines International Convention Centre (MICC) from 7th to 23rd December 2012, from 9am to 9pm. This is the second year BBW holds such event. The organiser claims that this is the biggest book sale in the world with over three million book titles offered at unbelievably low prices. Well, firstly, I do believe it. I have never seen so many books in my life. Secondly, the books are definitely cheap! Novels of RM30 to RM40 normal retail price are selling at RM5 to RM8 only! Thirdly, name what you want and you'll find it here!

The best part? For the first three days, the organiser is holding a non-stop 72-hour rally to attract as many visitors to the sale. I went there at 11pm on the first day. There was a massive traffic jam just outside the exhibition centre as people stormed in and looked for parking spaces. Either the car park are limited in numbers or there were too many visitors jamming the place simultaneously.

The exhibition hall was packed with book lovers. Would you believe that many visitors came with suitcases and even supermarket trolleys (where on earth did they get those trolleys from??? arrghh!!!) These people must have experienced the "aura" from last year's sale so they came well prepared this year.

After about four hours wandering in this big area, my legs could not stand straight anymore. Hubby has long surrendered at one corner of the hall, so I assigned him as "the bookkeeper". Hahaha! We were all tired of walking, but even then, we estimated that we have covered only about 70% of the floor area. Oh! This is what I call heaven on earth. I ended up buying 37 books, mostly English novels, each at a flat price of RM8 only. The children got some educational books for themselves too.

We went back at nearly 5am the next day. We thought by that time most people would have gone home but we were wrong. More have just arrived to join the crowd! There were long queues at all six paying counters.

Well, here are what we brought home that morning. Two boxes full of books! Now I am having difficulty to choose which book to read first....

Well, it seems like the big bad wolf isn't so bad after all...


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