Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lest i forget: a new beginning

I was always a bright kid. I wrote the alphabets on my grandfather's wall long before I went to school. My grandfather had a long serambi and the wall became our blackboard. My grandfather had this dates to remember written in jawi on the wall of the "central veranda" or "beranda tengah" of the house. There he had dates of our birth or some numbers written boldly.

I went to learn to read the Quran to at a prominent haji house. I could read the Quran long before I was officially registered "serah mengaji". I was a fast learner and was lazy too or bored as we had to repeat the verses in small groups. As I was the youngest, thus nobody paid much attention to me. I was bored because my small group was very slow to progress. Then the Tok guru started to notice I was missing in the group after I mastered a verse. She had to come over to my grandmother to tell her loudly (for me to hear) that so and so in my group was about to "lintas" me. meaning was to overtake my place in reading. I would then go and made sure I was way ahead a few verses and then 'ponteng' again.

This missing in action went on for a while until I completed the Quran at the age of 10. That was it, I was not into reading the "berlagu" reading. It was like a new grade when you had now to read properly with the proper sing song and the tajwid had to be right. I quit.

My academic was doing great never failed to get top the class every year except the one time I had to share the top of the class in one year. I was aware that I was that good when a group of us were selected to do intensive English classes in order to sit for a special exams at the end of the year. We went to sit for the exams at a school in town as my school was such a remote one. If I remember correctly there were 5 of us. Saleha Mahmud and me and the boys were Che Embi, Razak and Md. Saad. Four of us got selected to go to well known residential schools far away from our little town. Only Saleha the hard working one in my class did not make it. I felt so sorry for her.

I remember well, the day the results came out. The boys results came out earlier and they were jubilant. I thought I was not selected, but one evening my class teacher who worked hard for us cycled to my grandfather's house and told my grandfather that I made the list. I was there too when Cikgu Bakar told my grandfather. My grandfather then asked me "Nak pi ke dak? jauh nun kat Melaka". I did not answer immediately because I did not know what to say. But I remember Cikgu Bakar told my grandfather that it was a good chance to get a good education and it would be sad if a chance like that was to be wasted.

That night my grandfather asked me again if I wanted to go. I said yes. Then my grandmother started to cry. She was going to miss me. In between her sobs she told me I had to khatam my Quran and had to learn to wear the sarong properly as I never knew how to. I was most of the time in my shorts or skirts or a dress. Most of the time I think topless and seluar katok.

Later Cikgu Bakar came and gave us the offer letter from the education department and told us the residential School had moved to Johor Bahru. The school was no longer a feeder school for the MWTC (Malay Women Teachers College) in Durian Daun Melaka. I was going to a spanking new school with students who no longer groomed to be teachers, but to be what they wanted in the new era of the new education policy. Cikgu Bakar said I could excel and go to a university. There had been no one from my village that had been to a university and I could be the first girl to make it to the ivory tower. I could be a role model for the girls in my school to strive hard to get educated.

I must have been a super kid. I played all the games and track for my school. I played netball for the school , played badminton, ran the long distance as well entered oratory competition to the state level, berbalas pantun etc.

I was and still very proud that my grandfather has donated many trophies to the school. I was so proud to see the biggest championship cup in the cabinet in the headmaster's room was my grandfather's.

Then the biggest challenge of my life came. I had to leave for the well known residential school. My grandfather followed the list of things I had to bring very closely. I ended up with 3 pairs of pajamas, 3 pairs of bloomers, 3 blouses, 3 sarongs, shorts, 3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of socks and some toiletries.

Then my new life begun

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lest I forget: My red bicycle

As i was talking with my husband this rainy morning, i was telling him about my red bicycle. I told him that I talked to my red bicycle. I got it when I was in standard 4 or 5 ( I am not too sure) to cycle to school which was about a mile away. The reason for choosing a red bicycle was only known to me till today. There was a new classmate that lived about a mile from my house that had a brand new shining red bicycle that zoomed past my house every morning to school. He was trying to show off I guess, so I thought I should give him a competition. I still remember his name was Osman Che Rose. If his children or grand children happen to read this piece, I want to say hi!.

I had to say good bye to my bicycle when I had to go to a residential school. I talked to my red bicycle telling it that i would miss it and would always remember it. Then years past by and the red bicycle went to my youngest sister and later went to besi buruk buyer. I love that bicycle. If my youngest sister or her son reading this, I am sure she had fun and memories with that little red bicycle of mine.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

When I was away

When I was away painting the streets of New York, my husband went and got himself a new toy.

His toys have filled up the barn. I want to list down his toys

1. A Bulldozer
2. A Backhoe
3. A Little Rhino International tractor
4. A big Pontoon boat
5. A finish mower
6. A Cub 50 inches cut lawnmower
7. A 38 inch. cut lawnmower
8. A 1987 5.0 Ford Mustang (in the garage)
9. And this new Belarus tractor

with all kinds of implements and trailers

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New York, New York, New York

J*o and me with new jersey as the background


Watching the Today Show

Doing New York was great, but being a person from the boonies, it is just not a place I want to have a home. I like visiting interesting mega metropolitan, but to live there is another story.
I like the shopping, the entertainments and the many great buildings, but what is there to do after you have seen them, done them?

Well, I enjoyed meeting J*e there and had a great time walking the miles with him. I was so sorry that I left my cell phone in the hotel. I realised i had not had it well after I was on the 50th street. So that day we were without a great aerobic tourist guide. Walking is an exercise good for cardiology.

After 5 days walking around nyc and doing stuff, i was ready to go home. I felt sad to part with J*e and wished I could be around longer.

Hey, what more can i ask. I was on NBC Today Show shook hand and talked to Meredith and Anne Curry. Had my few seconds of fame.