web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: May 2005
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Blog Fatigue

Yes, I have blog fatigue. I don't know what to write. The fervour which once imbued my blogwriting has since dissipated into garden variety journal-keeping. Oh, are you still here? Then I apologize for the droll drivel you've been enduring for the past weeks (Or has it been months?)

Okay, I promise I'll write something interesting. Let's see. Nope, can't write about that. Or that. Not that either. The problem with me is I am notorious for self-censorship, I keep thinking of consequences. If you knew me personally, you'd know that I have an opinion about everything, ranging from the insanity of sanitary services, to the triviality of government. But it takes a lot for me to put to print what I think. It's those years in the newsroom, I guess. Or it could be the discovery that the Bukit Aman IP does pop up on your stat counter once in a while.

I'll tell you what. We'll do this slowly. Let me gradually immerse myself in courage and free speech. Here, in random order, are things I am allowing myself to tell :

I haven't been regularly reading the newspaper or watching the news bulletins for about a year now because I just cannot stand the amateurishness of it all. The spin is amateurish, the presentation even worse. The people running the media are not amateurs, so it does make me wonder what the hey is happening.

Also, there is very little real news to sink your teeth in. During my time, most news is just spin and propaganda, now it's little more than government circulars. (Oh, I'll get it now)

I think the country's economy is going into a tailspin, despite what Deutsche Bank might say. Inflation rate is climbing, there is no work going round, and there's a rumour that there will be another hike in petrol prices. Oh yay. The Malaysians with the money? They're investing them elsewhere.

I was just telling my sister the other day that it's almost like the country's at war, because all of our husbands and our friends' husbands (no guessing, all engineers) are abroad, fighting for jobs and contracts and tenders or completing some. If you see a man walking down the street in KL today, it's very likely he's an accountant or an IT guy, or a TV producer. The engineers are all rolling up their sleeves in the Middle East or Africa.

Saiffuddin just left for Syria at 6 pm today. Oh yay.

I have seriously weird friends. We were having an early dinner today, and the phone rang. One of the parties at the table had a call from a guy who wanted to have phone sex. (And this is like, nearly waktu Maghrib) . He gave the phone to one of our friends, who proceeded to entertain the man, right at our table. I shooed the friend away, because Suhaimi was having pasta, and it's not right to eat spaghetti while listening to heavy breathing and moaning and very descriptive conversation. The friend dissapeared for a length of time. We were told later that the caller had imagined himself ejaculating over my friend's face. And said thank you.

And this is like, the umpteenth time that he had called. And had ended his call with polite gratitude.

I wish they'd sort out this microbilling business soon, because we ought to be charging.


Thursday, May 26, 2005
Mr and Mrs Harold

Can I be totally juvenile, (or mokcik, depending on how you look at it) by saying that I think Bo and Carrie are so right for each other and that they should get married and have children? Look at them, and tell me that I'm wrong :

I would so love to have them sing together, *sigh* it'd be just like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers all over again. (And you kids don't say anything about roast chicken)


Wednesday, May 25, 2005
On Being Civil

Adam has Civics exams today, and I was going through his lessons, last night. I didn't know Civics is all about conforming. We did a few sample test papers, and the questions go like this, for example :

Mengapakah kita perlu membentuk kekuatan diri?

A Supaya kita tidak dibuli orang lain
B Supaya kita disenangi orang lain
C Supaya kita I can't remember what
D Supaya kita boleh bangga dengan diri sendiri

Now, Adam, naturally thought the answer is A; because the reality of primary school is, in fact, all about avoiding getting maimed by a huge twelve year old named Bob. I thought it was D, so that you'd have some self worth. But I was surprised to find out that the right answer, according to his workbook, is B. And here I am, telling him, almost daily, not to care about what other people think.

Adam had mumps last week, and was told to stay home. Instead he came to my office, where he allowed Shazwan to colour his hair a coppery blonde. Parts of it anyway. On Monday night, we tried to dye it black again, because he had visions of his headmistress, Cikgu Latifah, caning him in public, and caning me, too for good measure. It didn't go as well as planned, but the hair did turn a lovely chestnut. Adam was petrified.

On Tuesday morning, everyone on the bus could see that he had done something to his mane. According to Aiysha, two girls, from Standard Six, have started calling him Zahid. Adam related the incident to me with mock horror, but I think he secretly enjoyed the attention. So, who cares what other people think?


Thank you for the Kind Words

It's been a little hard to get around, but otherwise we're ok. Don't worry, we'll figure this out. Thank you so much for all your advice and well wishes. We've decided to bail out the Unser, give it a proper farewell, and then sell it off ourselves.

It's boring to talk about finances, don't you think? I'm giving this a rest.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005
The Unser,My Friend,is Blowing in the Wind

Please accept my apology for not updating sooner, although I have to say, this time, I have a very good excuse. Last week, our financial troubles finally caught up with us. We had, shall we say, a little visit from the repo man. Our beat-up car is now gone, taken away, confiscated, and now languishing in a warehouse somewhere in Kajang. Unfortunately, since they hotwired the vehicle without our knowledge, while it was parked at my husband's office, we were also unable to retrieve my gym bag, which was in the back seat. Ah well, can't go to gym then.

Being fat, of course is the least of my worries.

We sat ourselves down, and weighed our options. We have one month before Shylock, *cough*I mean, kindly financial institution, would auction off our car at G-Mart or the like. We could pay all outstanding monies to the bank, and get the car out, or we could sell the car before the deadline is up. Or we could ignore the whole thing, and kindly Shylock be damned , and allow our well-worn Unser be sold-off to the highest bidder. We have been advised to do the last, but it feels rather irresponsible. Of course, it's sanctimonious to pretend at being responsible -- if we were responsible we would have kept up our installments.

In the meantime, we have this problem of not being able to travel, save for taxis and trains. It's proof that being poor is more expensive. Thanks to the timely hike in the price of petrol, and the revised rates for taxicabs, Saiffuddin and I end up paying, like 20 bucks daily, just to get to work. So we decided, we should get a car, just for the time being, until things have settled down and I could take another loan.

We were not in the market for anything expensive, that was obvious. We trawled through the bargain sections in Motor Trader and AutoWorld, peeled our eyes for deals in The Star Classifieds. Nothing more than 5K. We braced ourselves to be seen in Honda Civics with flaking paint, and Toyota LE's that's had more than two owners. We could do this, we thought -- we've had old cars when we were students, and we certainly can do it again. Our benchmark was Mr Chong's car. Mr Chong, who lives next door, drives a rusty Datsun station wagon with doors that won't close properly. But then, Mr Chong is a socialist, so an oxidised Datsun is probably a badge of honour.

*Please note, Mr Chong is an intellectual who publishes brainy tomes on the current state of affairs in the country. He is a genuinely nice man. If you know Mr Chong, I beg you, don't tell him what I said about his car.

We went to check out a bone-shaker in Rawang, going for a song at 3 thousand ringgit. The car, unfortunately, wasn't humming. It wasn't totally bad, but still, we recoiled. We couldn't picture ourselves in a 3 thousand ringgit car. We shook the seller's hand, said thank you, and walked away. Years and years of living in middle class suburbia has made us soft, I'm ashamed to report.

So now we're looking for a car that we can keep, something the kids would like. My children miss the car the most, and would point out longingly to any Unser that we happen to pass by.

"Mummy", said my seven year old, Aiysha, " do you remember when we took all my teachers to the Yusuf Islam concert? They could all fit into the car, remember?"

It's a good thing Saiffuddin now has regular employment or else something like this wouldhave been devastating. Ah well, time to get a new car, do new things to remember.

Post Script : Despite having a letter from the bank to say we can recover our belongings, we couldn't do so until today, because the repo company was very, very unhelpful, just as we expected. After several days of going back and forth to Kajang, my husband finally got to the car, and guess what? My gym bag, along with my 350 ringgit Skechers, a huge bag of moisturizers and creams and shampoos that probably cost as much, plus headphones and other stuff, wasn't there. We're making a police report.


Monday, May 09, 2005
Glitter and Shiver

Saiffuddin came home from Syria with what he thought was his ticket to redemption.

It was so not.

My husband bought me a belly-dancing costume, of all things -- a three piece with tinsel and tassels, fit to be worn only in harems, which I guess was the inspiration for the purchase. The get-up consisted of a glittery choker, a bodice that was really a glorified bra two sizes too small, and a sort of wrap around skirt with peaked edges, all black and sheer and covered in strings of tiny gold discs.

Of course, I had to try it on. I understand why it's called a belly dancing costume, because you could certainly see my tummy getting jiggy wid' it. Like jiggy, jiggy. Jiggy, jiggy. My husband, blessedly myopic, or just plainly lying, thought I looked wonderful. No need to imagine, my dears, I can tell you right now : a 36 year old mother of three with the inevitable weight problem does not look good in midriff-baring mode. So, until I have belly dancing lessons or a major liposuction, that outrage will remain in my wardrobes' top shelf, never to see the light of day.

Saiffuddin did redeem himself in the end, and listen carefully, it costed him nothing. A word of regret, kisses on my feet, and all is forgiven.


Friday, May 06, 2005
Not Here

For some reason, Syria comes to me like roadsigns on a lonely stretch of highway. My friend, Suhaimi is doing a voiceover for a script on the ancient history of the country, and its modern amenities as well, and has been practicing the pronounciations of exotic names - Palmyra, Krak des Chevalier, An-Nuereddin, the last of which happens to be a hamam, a bathhouse promising "all the pleasures of Rome".

It lies in wait within the pages of the book I'm reading, a scandal priced at under ten ringgit found in the bargain bins of Giant :
"Now this, Lady Marchmain, is the caravan at Aleppo in the-courtyard of the inn. That's our Armenian cook, Begedbian; that's me on the pony; that's the tent folded up; that's a rather tiresome Kurd who would follow us about at the time. . . . Here I am in Pontus, Ephesus, Trebizond,Krak-des-Chevaliers, Samothrace, Batum -- of course, I haven't got them in chronological order yet."

"All guides and ruins and mules," said Cordelia. "Where's Sebastian?"
I should like to pack my bags and catch the first flight to Damasacus, but not least for reason of ruins or antiquity or even bathhouses for men. You see, for the past week, Syria is where Saiffudin is.

I have been dreadfully miserable.

Of course, I can live without Saiffuddin, I just don't like to. I have borne his absence abominably, and long distance phone calls made fervently at 4 am in the morning, are means for me to channel my sadness, and vexations. Phone calls do not dispense of any relief; especially if you have a husband who seems to say all the wrong things. (What am I talking about? All husbands say all the wrong things)

It's such an oversight that husbands are not endowed with telepathy, the way wives are. (We just sometimes refuse to read the signals) .

Gentlemen, when you are away, the first thing you should say to your wife should she take the trouble to call, is to proclaim how much you pine for her. No other information is as important. For example, I am not particularly interested in the fact that you took a leak at the Jordanian border, even if tanks formed the impressive milieu to your expulsions.

Saiffuddin, like most of his species, did not say he missed me -- until prompted, and even then I am thinking it is his loins that crave me the most.

I am grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. I am irritated to be put in a position where I think of him twenty four hours a day, plus three Greenwich time. He's travelling the length of Syria, through deserts and dead cities, and I wonder if he has sand in his hair and warmth in his clothes. He is tired, I understand, but I am a wife, and therefore unreasonable.

His loins might have to wait one more day upon his return.