Monday, October 27, 2008

A Day in Singapore

Adlan, Hakim & Adlina by the river

The residents of Danau Kaseh spent Sunday in Singapore & we had so much fun & adventure!

We took the MRT to Raffles & walked over to the riverside. I've never been to this part of Singapore & it is so pretty & wonderful. Walking along the promenade by the river was a perfect way to wind down after a hectic week. 

We spent some time at the Asian Civilization Museum, which is just by the river, & the kids had a good laugh trying out costumes while learning about the history of the many cultures in Asia. 

A Chinese Princess flanked by 2 fierce Guards!

The museum is set in an old mansion called the Emperor's Palace & the wooden interior is beautifully preserved. The whole ambience in the museum is stunning. There is a temporary exhibit on display called "Neither East Nor West" which is a collection of old black & white photographs taken in the 18th century & early 19th century of people in Malaya. The photographs are truly amazing. It captured the spirit and nostalgia of the era where wealthy Asians were so westernized in their outlook and the way they dressed. I was so taken by the photo of the Sultanah of Johore who was the 4th wife of Sultan Abu Bakar. The picture was taken before World War I. The Sultanah was wearing a full gown, very similar to the ones worn by Queen Victoria of England, except that the material used was songket. These are rare pictures indeed. If you are in Singapore for a few days, do make a trip to this special place. I really recommend it.

Outside the museum

Walking out of the museum, we met an ice-cream vendor on a motorbike (exactly like those in kampung-kampung) selling Roti Aiskrim (a slice of Magnolia ice-cream sandwiched in light pink & green bread). The last time I saw this type of bread was more than 25 years ago, seriously. It was just as delicious as I remembered & a perfect snack for a hot day! 

Roti Aiskrim - Yummy!

One of the many bronze sculptures by the river

Walking back, we discovered quite a few bronze sculptures along the river, some abstract ones made by famous artists, & others depicting scenes of bygone years. They all add to the character of the promenade. I just wish that we had more of these in Malaysia..

When I asked Anas what was the best part of the day, he told me that it was riding on the MRT!! Haha :-)

What a great way to spend a family Sunday!


Thursday, October 23, 2008


I have a confession to make. I just discovered Online Scrabble last Friday & have been hooked on it since! So much so that I have stopped looking through all the news websites (as I normally would do first thing in the morning at work), stopped watching TV (even Ugly Betty & Desperate Housewives are not so exciting any more!) and neglected my blog (sorry for not updating!!).

Well, there is this thing about Scrabble that is very special to me. I was never good at sports in school. Apart from being in the school tennis team (I was at best, mediocre. Really), I was what people would call "kaki bangku" in school (Note: I would fail miserably in all the sports means test except for long jump). Memang betul-betul hopeless. 

Then I discovered Scrabble at university. I started playing competitive Scrabble & won a few tournaments. The ones I remember most were the inter-university competitions & the Malaysia-Singapore Games. I had so much fun & finally I found something that I was quite good at (not excellent - but not too bad either). But unfortunately I stopped playing Scrabble since I left university. That was 16 years ago.

So, when I found Scrabble Online last week - I got so excited!! Macam budak-budak dapat PS2 Game baru. You can play with anyone in the world! Wow! There is immediate verification on words & you can check all the 2-letter words available. You can invite friends to play, challenge anyone from anywhere & they keep statistics on all your scores! Wonderful!

Well, I have gotten over the excitement of discovering something new with Online Scrabble. Now I just play with my friend Ramona who used to be my room-mate when I was doing A-Levels in England. I couldn't have chosen a worse person to challenge: Mona is one of the smartest people I have ever met in my life: She did a Math Degree in Oxford University & she is now working from home as a translator. Read: English Translator (working with words every day. I must be crazy!). She has won 2 of the 3 games we played. We are on the 4th game & she scored 50 bonus points with her first word (when you use all your 7 tiles at once, you score 50 bonus points). Sigh... Wish me luck!

Why don't you try out Online Scrabble! It's in Facebook. I highly recommend it!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

MBSB Raya Openhouse

I've made some very good friends in MBSB having served them since 2002. Meeting up with Raha, Noraini, Razak & Zai is always a pleasure & yesterday was no exception. To me, they are friends first, and clients second.

Footnote: Linda tolong jahitkan manik on my baju (& Raha's too) & I gave her such short notice to do it. This is her work after less than 24 hours. Thank you so much, Linda. She has a sweet little boutique in Melaka & you can see some of her work here. Ni nak tolong promo kawan ni... :-)

Linda's special touch

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Datuk Shah Rukh Khan

It is with deep regret that the State of Malacca has found it fit to confer the award of Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka which carries with it the title of "Datuk" to someone who doesn't even know the exact location of this State in the map of Peninsular Malaysia. It is just so unimportant and insignificant to Shah Rukh Khan that he didn't even bother to attend the acceptance ceremony last Saturday. 

When I first heard this ludicrous news last Thursday, I seriously thought it was a joke. Then I later realize that this tragic news was true. I felt so angry and disappointed. How could this have  happened?

I know of so many more deserving Malaccans who have sacrificed so much of their lives for the State & they have not been given any award at all, let alone one which carries the title Datuk. I personally interact with some respectable people who have spent more than 20 years of their lives in the civil service or working in the State agencies, who had contributed so much in enhancing Malacca both socially & economically, and none of these people have been recognized for their tireless efforts. It's a real shame.

It is also unfair to the real-deserving people who have been conferred the award on merit as the title now seems so meaningless. As a Malaccan, I just feel so sad with the situation.

What is wrong with the powers that be in Malacca?

Raya Openhouses

It's been a weekend filled with Raya openhouses. Thanks to KZ & Angela, Encik Mohd Nor, Wan & Asri for inviting us to celebrate Hari Raya at their homes on Saturday. We finally spent the rest of the evening at Eda & Aswad's home for their Raya celebration where the kids had so much fun & frolic with their cousins!

Kids bergolek at Mikhael's room @ Eda's

On Sunday we were invited to Hajar's home & the staffs from Danau Digital gave me a surprise Birthday cake! Thank you so much for being so thoughtful.. I was really touched.. plus I felt old all over again :-) 

Zaharim & his staffs @ Hajar's home

I will upload more pictures later (^_^)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Danau Kaseh Openhouse

The pink kemah was rather sweet

It was really heartwarming yesterday when we received so many guests at home for Hari Raya. Thanks so much to everyone for making time to celebrate Hari Raya with us at Danau Kaseh. Special thank you to Pakcik & Makcik, Raha, Razak & Ayu who came all the way from KL to be with us at our home. 

Ms Hart meets Caramel @ Danau Kaseh;
Razak, in full baju melayu won the best-dressed guest!

I was on my feet from 4pm to 11pm, so didn't have the time to take pictures during the openhouse. Hakim took a few shots, and the rest are pictures that I took this morning, after the event.

Hakim took a picture of his favourite teacher, Ms Harnida

Thanks to Farah for the beatiful cushion covers &
Raha, Ani, Rozila & Razak for the pretty flowers

Linda, I love this floral arrangement. Thank you so much!

All's quiet now, after the chaos yesterday

The lull after the storm..

Been invited to 5 openhouses today... Looks like the 2kg lost during puasa is finding its way back... 


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Zurina, our legal assistant heading the Conveyancing Department is leaving to join Civil Service. She will be inducted into the Syariah law division in the Prime Minister's department. She has been with us since 2002 and it's really sad to let her go.

Zurina chambered in our Firm. She was my first pupil. In the past 6 years, I have had the privilege in watching her grow from a quiet young lady, to a person who is firm and full of self-confidence. Zurina may be soft-spoken but she is assertive and can hold her own. She handles clients well. Amongst the staffs, she is our reference point on religious issues and matters, and some of them even calls her Ustazah as she speaks Arabic fluently. Zurina works independently and would refer matters to me only when in doubt. She was pleasant to work with.

We had a farewell for Zurina during lunch today & tears welled in my eyes when she gave her final speech. Kak Midah (her Kakak Angkat!) was in tears. It was really moving for everyone.

To Zurina, may you soar to greater heights as you spread your wings in your new world. Wishing you every success that you deserve & a lifetime of blessings from Allah.

Farewell, my friend.
Keep well.

Raya Mood

I'm still in Raya mood. Help!! It's so.. difficult to focus on work!!
I can almost feel the pile of files on my desk glaring at me...

Any of you out there working productively?


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hari Raya 2008

Raya must be celebrated with Bunga Api!

Hari Raya is always the most awaited time of the year for everyone, young and old. It's the time to strengthen family bonds & relationships, time to catch up on what's new, time of sharing pains & joys, time to forgive & seek forgiveness, and most of all time to pray to Allah & thank Him for all that He has given us. For the kids, it's time for Duit Raya & to have fun after a whole month of puasa! 

I come from a big family with Apak & Mak having 8 children, 7 sons-in-law & 23 grandchildren making it 40 people, just us. With so many of us & the everyday commitments, it's not easy for all of us to meet together. So, Apak had more than 20 years ago, set a tradition where we all have to gather, normally on the eve of Hari Raya, for a time of bonding. This would be the time where Apak will give a speech to wrap up the events of the year, Mak would remind us of the importance of prayers & close family relationships, we would have exchange of gifts amongst us & give Duit Raya to the nephews & nieces. I can't tell you in words how special this family time is for me, & every year, I so look forward to this day, even more than Hari Raya day itself. This year was no exception.

Apak & Mak sharing their wisdom

Hampers from Mak for her children -
with home-made kueh Raya, telekung & other goodies!

Famous Amos from Kak Mas. Yummy!

Everyone waiting to get duit Raya!

Allah is so generous beyond words. Alhamdulillah for blessing us with such a wonderful Hari Raya 2008.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya

Hari Raya is always special - it's all about love & family bonding. I will write more about the very precious time we had today with the whole family: my parents + their 8 children + 7 menantu + 23 cucu. But for now, here are some pictures of happiness :-)

Mak & Apak <3

Keluarga Kaseh

Getting everyone ready for the shot was tough!

Cucu-cucu semuanya 23 orang!


Anak-anak & Menantu-menantu

Wishing everyone a blessed Hari Raya, maaf zahir batin.