Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trip to Phnom Penh - Part 3 (conclusion)

Woe betide! My hubby wanted to go to yet another next museum! I started getting irritated. I got to get some retail therapy in, otherwise I start shivering just like an addict going cold turkey.
Mu hubby relented and off we go to the famous Russian Market. The market is quite big and made me confuse as where to start my attack. After a long walk around the place, I managed to buy a piece of silk cloth. My hubby could not contain his displeasure and forced me to buy about a dozen more of the stuff. “Biar berbaloi lenguh lutut”. So ‘bagaikan orang mengantuk disorong bantal’, I got on with the job. The prices here were really cheap!
Next, I got more than a dozen painted lacquer boards, a few semi-precious stone bangle, some scarves and table runners for my mum and siblings. We spent about 4 hours walking round the place which was not enough for me. And all my hubby got for himself was some old coins….
That night I didn’t talk much, still upset because tak puas lagi shopping. My hubby had to bring me to the Russian Market again the next day. After all the shopping, I felt my trip to Phnom Penh was complete.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trip to Phnom Penh - Part 2

On the second day we got up early, had a good breakfast and made a beeline for the tut-tuts parked just outside the hotel. After fighting off the advances of the riders, we singled out the one who spoke the best English. We asked to rent it for the whole day. After the customary haggling, we settled at ‘suenty dollah’.

First stop: The killing fields at Cheung Ek. The place was frozen in time since the late seventies. The atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge are preserved and labeled for visitors and served as a reminder. Depressions in the field are where mass graves are located. Gruesome skulls are exhibited in the solitary memorial in the center of the field. Incidents of what happened are narrated on hand-written boards. The atmosphere is so sullen and solemn…. We stayed there for a couple of hours to soak in the history, even though it was a bit much to stomach.

Next stop: The Genocide Museum. This is almost a sequel to the killing fields. A bit more graphic, with photos, torture instruments, paintings. I’m sure the blood stains in the three school blocks are not completely washed off. We stayed there for another couple of hours and took almost all the photos of the victims and crazy torture implements.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mak Tok's Seventieth Birthday

This morning, most of our siblings, spouses and children gather at Tropicana. The occasion: Mum’s 70th birthday. By 11am, the florist came through the door, almost breathless. The reason: he was carrying a potted bouquet of 70 roses. They came in 2 colour colours: pink and red.

We recited the Yaasin and had catered lunch afterwards. Of course, Kak Long showed her skills at preparing ‘sarang burung pudding’ and cup cakes. Mak Tok (as mum is affectionately called) helped prepare the pulut kuning herself and of course the famous rendang daging preparation was supervised by Kakraja herself.
Mum was delighted with the gifts she received. Among the gifts she received were perfume and a watch. Hopefully, Mak Tok will be sporting her new jogging shoes tomorrow.
Being the ever grateful human being that she is the phrase ‘semoga Allah murahkan rezeki awak’ is never far from her lips, whenever she receives any gift, no matter how small it is. I know I’ll miss those words. I can’t imagine ever losing her. I really love you mum. It comes straight from deep inside of my heart. You’re the greatest mum in the world! And you are one of my best friends as well.

Here's one from Ayu for mum:

God created a wonderful Mother
A Mother who doesn't grow old
Who has a smile of golden sunshine
And a soul of pure gold
In her eyes, He placed a bright shining star
And her heart with unconditional love
God made a wonderful Mother
And we are blessed that wonderful Mother is ours


Friday, April 17, 2009

Trip to Phnom Penh - Part 1

The journey to Phnom Penh took a mere 2 hours, similar to a trip to Kucing, Sarawak. We had a taste of how expensive petrol is in Cambodia compared to Malaysia. A litre here costs about RM3. The taxi fare to the hotel costs USD9. And that for a distance of 9 km. Imagine having to pay USD80 to get from KLIA to KL!

We stayed at Holiday Villa, a hotel designed by an architect friend of ours. The halal food at the hotel was comforting. We had fusion Cambodian-Western food that night. Cant be having kueh tiau or roti canai here…. Wouldn’t be right.

That night we ventured out on a hired tut-tut, though being warned by the hotel staffs not to do so. No regrets there. The night sights are amazing. We passed through lighted memorials, lighted bars, illegal casinos, public grounds (yes, they really know how to lepak) and the riverside where there’s even a joint here showing documentaries of the insanities of the Pol Pot era.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why 'Secebis Salam'

This was the name of a periodical from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage's "Penerapan Nilai-nilai Islam' programme that my husband was charged with as chief editor during the early 1990s.

The name was borne out of a half-hour long brainstorming session from the committee members of Ir. Ziauddin Abd Latiff, Ir. Nor Hisham Mohd Ghazali, En Bakeruddin (resident cartoonist), Ir Shaharuddin Ibrahim, Hj Zakaria Md Said, Ir Jalil Hassan, Ir. Paridah Anun Tahir and Pn. Rozina Md Zafian. The name sounds appropriate enough at that time.....

The periodical was a testament of what can be done with practically zero budget. Those were the good old days of DID!

My husband just thought that it's timely to pay this tribute to his former cabinet members.