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

Friday, October 07, 2005
PIBcast Primer

There is also a PIBcast version of the post below, that is, we recorded the post as a videoblog. It is part of our internet broadcast beta-testing, and should be aired as soon as the clever girls and boys at Asiastream have the site up and running. Which I'm sure is soon, because chief website developer, Lily, is almost due -- she's about 36 weeks pregnant -- and she's not one to leave her work unfinished.

Now, the exciting thing about our broadcast is we're calling for videoblog contributions from you. Yes, you. You too can shamelessly be the centre of attention. Just send us a clip of anything (except porn and snuff) and we'll put it up, when we can.We're also thinking of having a place where you can send in your Hari Raya greetings, sing Dendang Perantau, wail out your ex- boyfriend's name, that sort of thing. So please visit Suhaimi's blog for more updates. Pester him if there are none. Me, I'm off to some conjugal duties in Jakarta. Hee.


Jakarta Jam

By the time you read this post, I would probably already be in Jakarta – oh the joy- I’m leaving Friday morning on the 11 o’clock flight. Well, it’s not really something I should be happy about, what with the bomb alert and all, but I’m willing to risk that because you see, my husband Saiffuddin is in Jakarta.

I'm excited to see him, but I feel sorry for my kids because I don't think it's a good idea to bring them along when there's the double threat of explosives and epidemic. I’ll miss them very much while I’m gone, but the fact that they’ve been very naughty today has helped ease the feeling a little.

I’m visiting Saiffuddin primarily because he has to be based in Jakarta for quite some time, and he needs to find a place to stay. I don’t trust him with houses. If I let him, he’d be living on top of a wartel somewhere, just because it’ll save him money. It’s that Javanese streak in him.

For the past few days I’ve been studying the map of Jakarta and going through all the iklan baris in Kompas and Jakarta Post and such, so that he might find a nice place to lay his hat, not that he wears one. Preferably, a place close to his office so that he doesn’t have to go through the infamous Jakarta macet.

At the moment the office is at Jalan HR Rasuna Said, in this area called Setiabudi, which is in Jakarta Selatan or Jaksel, as native denizens of Jakarta call it. As it turns out, residences in Jaksel, are very very expensive. Although he will have a housing allowance, I have no idea if it covers an arm and a leg.

My husband thinks I’m going over because I miss him terribly, which is not entirely untrue, and he thinks this is some kind of conjugal visit. Apparently, he has bought some prophylactics in anticipation.

But to be totally honest, apart from the house thing, I’m really going there to check if there would be good-looking women among his staff, or in his building, or anywhere within a 100 metre radius of where he would usually go.

Okay I’m silly. But some of my friends have told me that no husband should be trusted alone in Jakarta, and with women looking like this, I’m not taking my chances. (This paragraph sounds sillier when it is written down. Saiffuddin's a good boy, kan? Kan? Kan? I should give him some credit, he's been absolutely faithful before. Besides he has no teeth, so that should scare off some girls)

At the moment, though, my husband's too busy to think about philandering, as he is working on two bids at the same time, with only three people to help him. I thought it might be a good idea to buy something for these overworked souls, but I can’t figure out what to buy because everything nice here, seems to come from Indonesia.

I asked my maid for suggestions and she told me to buy, of all things, Appollo cakes. Seems that it's the most popular request for relatives coming home from Malaysia. She said some of her neighbours go to Kalimantan just to buy Appollo cakes. Cheap layer cakes. Who knew?

So this afternoon, I dragged Shazwan, my No 2 husband (tak payah main one) to Tesco and bought Appollo cakes, and some lepuk durian, some Brahim instant stuff, and Haw flakes. I thought it was a nice sampler of Malaysian junk food.

Because I felt guilty about my kids, I bought them about a hundred ringgit worth of books, inane ones that I wouldn't other wise buy : Barbie becoming a rock star and such. Free stickers! I bought Adam, Mark Haddon's Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime, which I nicked when he went to mengaji. I read it in one sitting, in less than two hours. Unfortunately, while doing this, my youngest daughter Aliya, ate the Appollo cakes.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Prayer for Ramadhan

"O ye who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you, as it was ordained for those before you, so that you may remain conscious of God" -- Surah al Baqarah : 183

To my visitors who are Muslim, may you always be in God's Shadow during this Ramadhan. Thank you to those who have wished me the same.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My mother left for her umrah this morning, and won't be back until the Third of Syawal. My husband left for Jakarta Monday afternoon, and won't be back till he's built PT Peremba Nusantara.

Hur hur hur. I hate to be independent. Who would tie back my sandals for me, now?



The typical first reaction I get from people who have seen my helming of the National Budget Coverage last Friday, are as follows :

“My God! Who did your make-up?”
“My God! Why did they make you wear that?”
“My God! Why did you look like that?”

Or this classic one :

“My God! What did they do to my daughter?”

That was my dad, of course. Thank God my mother thought the whole Budget thing was so boring she flipped channels to some Latino telenovela.

Yes, yes, I get it, I was a fashion disaster. After the airing of any show, the last question I would ask people, if ever, is whether I looked good on-screen. Unfortunately, that’s the first answer they’ll give me. (And the answer is : no). Listen, I’ll bet you nobody will ever tell Larry King they saw him on CNN, and they thought he resembled a turkey. I’m just hoping the subtext to all this is that people think I actually look better than I do on TV.

For the benefit of the curious, let me explain : when I go on air, representing a TV station, what I wear and what gunk is put on my face, is beyond my jurisdiction. The outfit -- a Zang Toi (yes, really) -- was the subject of such office political debate, but I wore it anyway to appease those signing my cheque. (The alternative was a sleek Edmund Ser, which I’m purchasing for myself, but if I had worn that, I would have caused Inter-Departmental World War III. Right now it’s just skirmishes.) On top of that, the Woman In Charge insisted I wore that serkup thing, which I normally don’t; and it gave me a splitting migraine all throughout the broadcast. Plus, for some reason, the inane Pussycats song was playing over and over in my head : Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t you wish your girlfriend was freak like me? Dontcha? So you see, I was done for, right from the beginning.

Nevertheless, the fact that everyone was distracted by my looks (heh), gave me a modicum of comfort, because my genuine concern was that I would be killed for the rather critical stance I took during the show. It would have been much worse if everyone’s first reaction was like Kamarul’s :

“Congrats”, came his text message, “U singlehandedly overturned d spin of powers that be. Lock car”.

It was not my complete intention to run down the National Budget. In all fairness, it wasn't totally bad, even if somewhat dissapointing. It did not help that I had two guests who were old enough not to care about the ramifications of straight talk, who shredded the document to pieces with their analysis. I swear the Director of News was ashen faced after the whole thing was over. I heard that he did get a terse phone call from the aforementioned "powers that be".

Now, I did agree with several measures, which regrettably I did not stress upon during the show, like the tax cuts for developers to build low cost houses, and the various tax relief to encourage tertiary education. I just felt more could have been done. True, I did say we shouldn't expect the government to be Santa Claus on Budget Day; but it would have been good even if they had been the Grim Reaper -- have the courage to say, look we'll have to do this painful thing or cut back spending on that -- so that at least I know where the economy's supposed to go.

Raising taxes is not always a bad thing. In the late 1800's, when Japan was building her capacity in manufacturing, much of that industry was funded by hefty land taxes. Far from hurting Japanese farmers, the taxes spurred them to innovate, and thereafter pushed the country's agricultural sector far ahead from others in the region. But such a decision would need a government with an iron-cast stomach, one that would look people straight in the eye and say, do this and I'll get you out of here.

If I had said that on air, I would have gotten into trouble for sure. But then again, maybe not, because everyone would be so fixated on the colour of my eyeshadow to notice whatever I said.