Thursday, 28 June 2007

Related to me?

I have a big pack of relatives. That's why I wrote that day about mak long and manners in handling the relatives. However I have a confession to make; eventhough I have numerous relatives I am only close to a few. Mak long is one of the closest relative who is also my close friend. You may wonder who is mak long. She in not one of my parents sibling. She's actually the wife to my mother's cousin, pak long who had passed away some months back. Mak long is some 10 years my senior!All these years that I have been close to mak long, but I was not really close to the late pak long. However pak long and my husband could get along very well.

When we were newly married, my husband used to take me to visit his relatives and mine. Some years later we became very busy with our jobs 'cari' makan, that we could not do a lot of visiting. There are some relatives who do not reciprocate to our visits ie they do not come to visit us. There were also misunderstanding with some of the relatives and there's a few that you should'nt disturb their peace. That is talking about my more senior and titled relatives. As for me if my anak buah come a visiting I'm always happy to welcome them. So if you think you are related to me do come around. If you give a tinkle may be I can serve you my delicious mee kuah, laksa johor, koay teow or nasi merah with curry darca! However even if you are not related to me by blood or marriage you can still come if you call me Mak Teh!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Good Manners must be taught

My dear anak buah, I am sorry I have to 'tegur' and educate some of you on good manners and Malay custom. Firstly, you must greet your relatives when you meet them. 2) You must salam them by clasping their hands, bend down your head and kiss their hand if they are your elderly relatives. If you do not kiss their hands you may just bend and lower your head to show respect while doing the salam. However you are not to kiss your own hand! ( I have noticed several young people doing that) 3) You are to dress appropriately when relatives come to your house or when you visit them. 4) Treat your relatives graciously, just like you treat other guests by offering them food and drinks.( if guests drop in at meal times, you must offer them to lunch or dine with you. They may politely decline the offer).5) When close relatives or friends drop in (especially if they come from far), be ready with a small present 'buah tangan' that you may give them when they are leaving.6) Invite them to stay overnight if they come from outstation. 7) Make them feel at home by showing them a room where they can use to rest or do their prayers. (offer them towels, prayer materials etc) 8) Send them off when thay are leaving and with the salam utter words of thanks for their visit.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Don't go missing

Dear girls, please do not go missing especially on purpose. Pity your poor parents. This morning I read from the other blogs, the case of the missing Siti, a final year bio-med student. Thank goodness she's safely home now. I would have fainted many times if I were the parents. I had that real life experiece when my 8 year old son went missing some years back. Till today I still do not know what made Alan left the house at 2 am. He went missing for 12 hours. We found him later in the shool compound with camping equipments. As for Siti, since she's a big girl, I hope she can explain to her parents what really happened. I always cautioned my girls not to go out alone. These days it is not as safe as when I was a student. I am more worried when Uda go to K.L. alone these days. Funny thing I am less worried when my girls were in U.K. Lia presently in Jordan had reported she is safely back in Irbid after visiting Turkey with a group of friends. Yana in Egypt had just messaged that she is now on the way to Siwa after visiting Matroh 7 hours by bus from Cairo where she resides ( She's taking a group of Malaysian friends on vacation, her former schoolmates who are studying medicine in Ireland). You see I could not be over worried about my girls who are overseas because I could not watch over them everyday. So I resorted to 'berdoa' say lots of prayers for their safety everyday and 'tawakkal'alallah' ie leave their safety in the hands of Allah.I would not stop them from visiting places because I know they have the adventurous spirit like their mother!

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Food for thought

Hello girls! Few days ago a celebrity announced that she has cancer. I sympathised with her. We do not know what really cause cancer. I am not a medical person nor a scientist, but I believe it may be due to the food we eat. One of the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) had said (which means) that a lot of diseases originate from the stomach. So we should take care of the food we consume. Several verses in the Al-Quran had asked us to eat only good food along the same ayat as the prohibition of specific food. So it means that we should not eat 'the not good food'. So what kind of food are not good and we should not eat them? I may be able to enlighten you a little on this from my experience, observations and reading.

Below are some suggestions that you may take note: 1) Do not eat artificial food, eat only natural food. 2) Do not eat animal produce that has been injected with too much hormones. 3) Do not eat processed food that has been laced with chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavours, food colorings and plastic.4) Do not use in your cooking, artificial flavours eg oyster flavoured sauce. 5) Do not use plastic utensils when preparing your food especially hot food. 6) Beware of vegetables imported from China, it may be enhanced with chemicals. 7) Beware of processed fried onions and ready to eat keropok, some had been fried laced with plastic to ensure they stay crispy ( tak masuk angin) 8) Some manufactured biscuits use something that make them extra crispy and lasting.

This is my layman conclusion: It seems that the body system do not know how to deal with these chemicals so maybe thats where they disturbed the tissues, the cells turned crazy and caused to be cancerous.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Hello single girls!

Hello sheeda, irene, oan, erina and matahari, you lovely single young ladies out there! Sorry! for the past few days I have been talking about maids and you single people complained that its sooo boring. I know its not your cup of tea. So today I shall talk about single girls' interest. Firstly, I had noticed that you all have a very good dress sense these days going to office in that beautiful and 'sopan' attire. Don't worry, if you haven't make a catch yet. The mr right is somewhere out there! I know these days there are more mr wrong than mr right ( what with the mat rempit and mat dadah making a big statistic) So naturally it is very difficult to make a good catch. Nevermind, 'biar lambat asalkan selamat' ie better to be late than to be sorry! These days there are a lot of broken marriages. Mary a person only because you want to live with him. Don't say "yes" just because everybody around you is tying the knot. You are o.k if you are single, you make wise decision and be happy. What say you?

Thursday, 21 June 2007

What you should do to groom your maids

Hi there! Here is the list of what you should do to groom your maids; 1) First make them feel welcome by showing them to their room and introducing them to the family members, then allow them to rest ( as some of them had taken many days journey to arrive to your house!) 2) Next give the first briefing; tell them the nature of their duties and what you expect of them,(tell them what they can do and cannot do) teach them hygiene and personal cleanliness. 3) Give them necessary items for their needs ie toiletaries, towels, prayer clothes (telekong and sejadah) and some good used clothings (not yours!) for them to wear daily for working, better ir you can provide them uniform. 4) Teach them how to use all the gadgets in your house one by one, when they understand one item eg vacuum then you move to the next one. Give them few weeks to master all. ( tell them strictly not to touch anything they do not know how to use. This is to avoid them spoiling or damaging your gadgets) 5) Give them a contact person or a phone number where they can ask for help in times of emergencies.6) Teach them manners and our customs on how to treat guests. 7) Give them good clothings to use when serving guests or at functions. 8) Make sure they have enough food to eat daily.(they work hard and they need a lot of food) 9) Buy for them presents once in a while, something they can use, especially if you go outstation. 10) If you buy special food, make sure there is a portion for them as well.

If you do all these that I have listed down, I can assure you will have good maids, who will work hard, respect you and loyal to you. If you were given not a good maid material, you could see that within a few days, so you could ask your agent to exchange for another one! Happy homemaking!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

How I manage my maids

Welcome! Today I shall give 4 more tips to 'good maids management'; 7) Do not invite them to eat with 'ibu' and 'bapak' at the main table. 8) Ibu and bapak must not lounge together with the maid watching t.v. 9) Do not let the maids sleep with your children. ( the small children should sleep in your room, the bigger children should sleep in their room, the maids should have their own room). 10) Do not allow the maids to have handphones. (you will be inviting trouble very soon if they have handphones). These are the main list of don'ts, tomorrow I shall list out the dos.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Good maids management continues

Next, 4) never allow your foreign maids to call you 'kakak' and your husband 'abang'. They should address you as 'ibu' and your husband as 'bapak' or 'puan' and 'tuan'. If they call your husband abang, they will soon feel that they have the same rights as you in the house and will treat you as their 'madu' (they began to 'khayal' (dream) that they are one of the wives). 5) Do not communicate with them in their language, you should teach them to use your language; eg they will use the word 'aku' teach them to say 'saya'. 6) Do not allow them to speak in a voice tone louder than yours. If you allow that, soon both of you will be shouting to each other. You, young madams have to be brave and firm, show them who is boss! When they know you mean business, they will not dare step over the line. I seldom have problem with maids except the very stupid ones or the 'gila' ones.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Good maids are made not born!

Many times I heard my neighbours said that I am lucky to have good maids.I agree with them and I thank Allah for that. However I almost always wanted to tell them that my maids are good because I am a good master (mistress). Through out the years I have acquired the skill of being a good 'ibu'. My foreign maids must address me as 'ibu'. There are a list of dos and don'ts that I abide with in order to groom my maids to my standard. They are too long to list out here. Today I am willing to share only 3 pointers with you young madams out there. First on my list is, never let the maid into your master bedroom until you are sure she can be trusted. (Nevermind if your master bedroom is not done or that you have to do it yourself). Second, never treat your maid like your own relative unless she had stayed with you for many years and you really feel that she's part of the family. Third, never give your old clothes for her use. (She will not respect you as a mistress if she wears your clothes, you can give your children old clothes to her but not yours!)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Sunday Morning

Waking up on a Sunday Morning, I want to feel relaxed & carefree. After the usual dawn prayers and a few pages of Quran reading, I had breakfast with my husband. Then my mind start wandering; where are the children? It seems that Kin had gone for early morning jog with her friends. Husna and Alan coming down soon, two still sleeping upstairs after prayers? Jat and Aly had their breakfast earlier after their night duty at the asrama. After this I will be going to the market and on the way to stop at the bank to send some rm to Hanna who is in Cairo. Alhamdulillah, Lia in Irbid Jordan has stopped asking for money since she got her MARA loan. I think about all my children wherever they are many times in a day and keep counting them so I won't miss any. And you know that I have 9! Only mothers with many children would understand what I am up to.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Mother's Language

My sister in-law was telling me about her 18 months old granddaughter who had learned to talk in mix language of english & bahasa Indonesia. It's not surprising, she has picked up the language from the maid. Her "No!" is expressed as " tak bisa " and her expression of " Look! there's a cow near the pond" is " Lihat itu, ada sapi ditepi kali!" So I said to my sister in-law, "This is clearly not the case of the child pickingup the bahasa ibunda but she has picked up bahasa 'bibiknda'" I do worry in future our children may grow not with our values but the values of the maids. How many hours do you have with your child as compared to the maid who is almost 24 hours with your child. Do the infant know which one is her mother?

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Mata Hari

I visited mak long yesterday. She has adjusted to her present situation. She told me that her sister 'matahari' had asked her to move back to kampung and rent out her She said probably her sister did that after reading my blog labelled 'the weather and mak long'. So I asked mak long whether she's going to do as suggested by her sister.Mak long answered in the negative. Reasons? Firstly she love her house left to her by late husband and secondly her children, grandchildren and friends are all in the klang valley. So she would not leave klang valley for kinta valley. Thirdly of course her best friend and favourite niece is living here ' only few kilometers from her house. If you may wonder who her best friend and fovourite niece is, the answer is yours truly!

Monday, 11 June 2007

on the lighter side

A doctor and a lawyer were attending a cocktail party when the doctor was approached by a man who asked advice on how to handle his ulcer.The doctor mumbled some medical advice, then turned to the lawyer and asked, "How do you handle the situation when you are asked for advice during a social function?""Just send a bill for such advice" replied the lawyer.On the next morning the doctor arrived at his surgery and issued the ulcer-stricken man a $50 bill. That afternoon he received a $100 bill from the lawyer.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Unscrupulous traders

I have been wanting to tell somebody about this group of unscrupulous traders at the market. This is concerning the fresh santan sellers. They are suppossed to sell unadulterated santan. However these days many traders are out to make fast fortune. So I have found that the santan sellers add a lot of water to their fresh santan.Buy any amount of santan at the market and put it in the fridge. When it solidify you will notice half of the packet had frozen into water. So that solve my mystery of why my rm1 santan could not make a small pot of curry or porridge deliciously lemak as it should have been if rm1 packet of santan suppossed to represent 1 whole coconut. This is like the case of selling adulterated milk which is an offence in our country. It also reminded me of the days of Caliph Omar who severely punished those who sold adulterated milk. I am thinking of bringing up this matter to the relevant authorities. But do you think the enforcement people will take action on this apparently small matter since they are facing bigger problems of the present price hikes on sundry goods daily?

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Hi ! I'm back home.

Hi! Im back home, my sweet & simple home. I was back in my kampung, 10 km from Alor Setar for the last few days. It was lovely meeting the old folks who still remember the sight of little me running around the village. There were obout 20 guests that appointed sunday at mak's house. We talked of those days, the happy memories of our young days. We all laughed as Pak Uniong related some of the comical incidents that happened in our chilhood. There were Tok Lang, Mak Mek and Kak Yah present.The oldest resident present was 95 years old Mak Bu. She's the last of grandma's batch being 12 years younger than grandma. Grandma died 26 years ago. Mak was happy to meet her pupils Kak An & Kak Doyah. She taught them Quran some 50 years ago. Mak had taught hundreds of pupils over a span of 6o years. The next day husband & I did a tour of the kampung. I was sad to see my old playground is no more the same, empty & quiet. Where is Idah, Posah, Non, Miyah, Ani, Immah, Noraini & the rest?