I hv my family all over the world. Some in NZ, some in Australia, some in US, some in Europe.
Sometime after the birth of my 3rd child it dawned to me much as I love Malaysia, it is time to move on. The Malaysia of my childhood and the Malaysia, now is two different world. There is no way I could raise my kids the way my mom raised me… ie without prejudice. When I wanted to register my kids to school, I wrote in the race column Malaysian and the school administrator told me, much as she agrees with me tht my kids are Malaysian, I MUST fill the race and religion as it is a rule by the education dept. I don’t want my kids to be raised thinking tht they are malaysian chinese, Malaysian indian, malaysian kadzan or whatever. Here in Canada, they are just plain Malaysian. Simple fact. Nobody asks them their race/religion. Which is a personal matter. I agree with the great writer who said the chief cause of human troubles are the prejudices picked up in childhood. There was no way I could raise my kids without prejudices in Malaysia. It is inherrant in every aspect of Malaysian society. Did I make the right choice? I don’t know. My cousines kids raised outside Malaysia hv much broader view thn the ones raised in Malaysia. Most still hold their Malaysian citizenship, but I know it is a matter of time they would relinquish tht.. but then again whose fault is tht? As for my kids, I hope they will never let go the red passport..but they do hv the option now
I hv been hving the problems most of my life. I am more addicted when I am away from Malaysia. It is something I know will ruin my health. But like all addiction problems, this too is something really hard to break free. Ofcourse I can try counselling, but the problem is I hv worked as a counsellor many times and I know exactly wht the counsellor is going to say. I could try group therapy, but to find another specimen like me…hmmm tht is hard.
You might be wondering how could I be an ignoramous and hv addiction problems. Well, wht do I say, it is part genetics, part cultural, part my apathy, But then again which Malaysian U would find not addicted to food? and I don’t mean junk food. A nice bowl of laksa, a few pieces of Roti canai with yummu yummy sambal or my all time favourite.. Kway teow goreng.
I am not at all interested in the hotel restaurent food. It is the hawkers in Malaysia tht makes my heart miss couple of beats and my knees go weak.. I hv travelled 45KM one way(on a weekday too) to eat dinner.. from KL all the way to kuala selangor so I could hv the best steamed fish.. I hv attended every single seminar in Penang, not because I wanted to learn something, it was more like the need to eaat the penang Laksa. And the best of all was u can hv a discussion with any Malaysian and even argue as to where u can find the best hawker selling a certain dish. I hv a friend who calls me up in the evening (after 10PM normally) asking me whether I am working tomorrow( which is normally the case) and invite me for supper, as she has found this perfect place where they sell this or that dish. If I am busy, she will tapao(take away) the food and we will eat at home while watching the latest movie(pirated vcd ofcourse!!)
Now in vancouver, the wallet is empty, so eating out is not an option. I hv decided to cook all my favourite food, and if u r a Malaysian, then u know the list can be loooooong. I made waffles for breakfast, i ate it with nona’ kaya and butter. Then I was still a bit hungry, so had a packet of Maggi mee. Then I made nasi biriyani for lunch, didn’t feel it was complete, so made spicy sambal too. for Snack I made waffle again.. to be eaten with kaya and butter. For Dinner I made kway teow soup… the problem is..In one month I hv gained 5 kg. I know I am depressed… who wouldn’t be, if u love something and don’t get it… I love Malaysia, always will
This morning the grass around my house was frozen. It was really beautiful. Autumn is turning to winter. The only thing tht I ever liked when I lived in england was the autumn season. It was colourful and magical. it reminds me of my Budhist teacher, who always saw the other end of everything. He taught me to look at a leaf and see the two sides. It makes food for the plant and then becomes the food at the end. I am sure there is a purpose in everything, but what am I doing here? When the land of my birth is soooooooo far away?
I am sure winter blues are already setting in my head.
How did my ancestors survive in a country, where the custom and everything was so different? I am sure it was the resilience in them tht helped them to pull through.. and where did my resilience go?
Oh Malaysia, I miss u so much, I miss the people, the weather, food…. everything
It is a month since i landed in Vancouver. I asked myself what do I miss the most?
It would certainly be the morning market near my home. It certainly was the most vibrant place I hv ever known. Before I leave for work, I normally go to the market, buy vege and fish and most of the time my breakfast. I hd the choice of freshly made Roti kosong, nasi lemak,wan tan mee,kway teow goreng,keropok kelede, dosai and of course pao…. I never ever had to eat the gardenia bread!!! For those of u who think about healthy breakfast, what can be more health than a nice plate of nasi lemak for breakfast? Rice gives carbohydrate, timun for vege, egg and peanuts for protein… (we shall ignore the lemak in the rice…) So ideal break fast..
Also at the market, there was the personal service, most of the traders( and their children) hv been there since my childhood. They hv known me through my single hood to parenthood. They know my kids name. The nasilemak trader knows tht my kids like their sambal packed separately. Lady selling dosai knows my kids love ghee dosai, and the pao trader knows tht each time I would buy 4 tou sa pao from him and I never hv to tell them anything. It is a known thing for them. For me tht was the most personalised service ever on earth. The market is filthy, but the people..they make it worth ur visit.
Rather i should say teacher’s are back in school doing what they are supposed to do… Teaching.
My older one is in grade 2, before coming here, she was studying at a private school in KL. The difference between the school in KL and here is she has no home work… absolutely nothing. In KL she needs atleast an hour to finish her ‘tons’of homework..But there is a difference in standard of education. She was in grade 1 in KL and in grade 2 here. Wht she learns here is wht she learned in KG in KL. She is kind of bored.
Now I need to find a Mandarine teacher for her. She was good in her mandarine and enjoys language lessons. She wants to learn Chinese calligraphy.!!! Alamak how to teach her tht, where am I going to find a sifu who can teach her the traditional stuff??
I am also a world class idiot, who had a swimming pool at home and never taught the kids to swim. I didn’t really have the time and at times procrastination was the motto. Now to send them to the pool, it would costs me 690CAD/yr just for the family membership to use the pool and additional costs for the lessons. I think I now learned, u never know wht u hv until u lost it.. Had a beautiful pool at home and never knew the value of it till i don’t hv a pool and now desperately needs it…
It started as a normal trip to walmart. I saw this young mother struggling with her baby. My younger one likes to play with kids and she said hello to the baby which led to the mother of the baby saying hello. She asked me where I stay and how long I hv been to Canada. She stays 2 blocks away and we exchanged out number. (I was glad as my younger one, who is going to be 4 and was attending school in Malaysia, is now home alone and needs a play mate!!)
This lady has been calling me up since insisting that I follow her to this wonderful opportunity to make my millions. This MLM is sooooo good, it pays all her bills, she and her husband are planning to retire in 3 yrs.!!! I hv nothing against MLM. Each to his own, but I as a person also hv a choice to say NO. She just won’t take no for an answer. Belum cuba belum tahu attitude.
Yesterday she and her husband decided to visit ( without making any appointment) and decided to insult me. They wanted to know wht am i scared of? ie meeting new people, public speaking etc… and they were too baffled as to how I can be a dead wood in the head to pass up such a wonderful money making opportunity…
They told me how the economic bubble in N. America is going to burst.. How we should be prepared..
They even had the audacity to tell me tht I don’t know how the Canadian system works and tht they hv been here longer and know wht is better for me.
I told them in plain simple english tht I don’t want to join. Guess wht they were angry with me and went off in a huff..
I lived in the golden triangle of KL, and it is known as city of lights. I never liked to see putple and green light lit tress whenever I drove near Jalan parliment. some junctions even had fake palm trees made of lights.. Grossly ugly( ofcourse some council yoyo thought why plant a palm tree and maintain when u can hv a “light” tree..)
Anyway.. the city was always bright and I loved the lights hanging down like weeping willow leaves infront of the Istana.. and there was something nice about it.
Now I am sure there is something wrong here. people like to live in dark dingy rooms. Average bulbs in households are 40 watts. Can u imagine how dim those lights are?? My neighbour doesn’t use any light at all except one small light in her study. My landlord watches the TV in the dark. Our friends hardly turn the lights on.. and I am going crazy. I need light. I hd to seach high and low for day light bulbs in the mall.. They only had soft yellow lights. How do u survive with such low light power.?? I miss home…
I have waist length hair. All the while in Malaysia, there was never really any hassle having long hair. Even when i was in England, my hair never gave any trouble. But the last few weeks, i am going through a tough time. I can’t even comb my hair. it is a fine mess of knots. How it happend I hv no idea. i still use the same shampoo and conditioner( imported all the way from Malaysia!!!) I hv lost so much of hair, while pulling the knots off(I know it is silly and I shouldn’t pull the knots, but if u sit down and after 30 minutes still haven’t managed to unknot 1/10 of the knots, then u will pull the knots in frustrations like i do)
This morning I decided to apply oil to my hair. When I was a little kid, my grandma made herbal oil for hair. I don’t remember the exact recipe. But it is done this way
Place 150 ml of coconut oil in a kuali and heat it slowly. after 20 minutes add 2 table spoon of dried black pepper and two pinches of cumin seed.. they will start popping.. continue warming the oil, after aanother 10 minutes add a spoonful of dried basil leaves, cook for another 10 minutes. Herbal oil is ready. Warm the oil a bit and apply on hair.. My knots are gone.. Only if i had used it earlier, i wouldn’t hv lost so much of hair…..
I took the kids to Stanley park on saturday.. from where I stay, it is abt 35 KM away.. First thing I noticed, there were no toll plaza’s on the way… At the park I hd my wallet ready, to pay.. and was mentally calculating..hmmm three kids and 1 adult, surely would cost me at least 30CAD for entrance fee.. Alamak… there were no jaga there and no counter to pay.. I think Canadians are not intelligent.. when so many people visit the park, they should charge no?.
Younger one wanted to pee, and I took few loonies and toonies with me..just incase the lady there doesn’t hv enough change.. there too nobody wants u to pay.. and u know something.. they hv tissues too.. Aiyyah.. these people.. don’t they know economics? free entry to toilet and then free tissue too…
The park is so huge… i thought I will lose my way.. And u know something.. with water front property, sure u can build atleast 50 condos and and a 100 bunglow lots meh… sure can make money meh… I tell u.. Canadians are not at all using their brain.. they must make a field trip to Port dickson and see how u can DEVELOP such plots in to money making ventures…..
Then i noticed the amount of trees… aiyah… why r the tress still standing.. don’t they know there is money in the timber(ask osu of sabah!!!)
After my mind opening trip to the stanley park.. i heard three little voices asking me.. mama why don’t we hv parks like this in Malaysia… My heart wept..
Before I begin I must say electric stove sucks.. it takes so long to get warm and then it is bloody hot..It does remind me of someone..hmmmm
Any way, I got all the stuff ready..put my dancing kuali on top of the burner..(before Vancouver, I lived in England and had no problem with the kuali and stove, we had the similar gas stove.. here it is the flat burner and my sexy kuali dances each time i stir anything)
It was taking a long time to get heated so i placed the knob on full setting and then added the oil.. I spend the next few minutes chopping the garlic to tiny bits and placed them in the kuali.. i really don’t know what happend, before i could open my eyes, the garlic had morphed to something that is not what it should be, and hoping to save the garlic i broke the egg in to tht and stired.. I manged to get a brown pudgy thingy and heard a small lousy voice from the living room”is something burning in here”. Tht was enough for me. i cursed the guy who invented the electric burner and his wife. I threw the whole hot thingy in to my bin, then there was different smell of plastic burning and found that the bloody burned stuff has melted the plastic lining of my garbage bin and in my rush to save the bin, i tripped on the bin and found myself in the midst of garbage ie left over food, egg shells etc. I ws so damn angry, more so after my daughter came in to the kitchen in the nick of time asking me what am i doing. I wanted to scream, but then i knew my Alaskan land lord will not be too happy..
If u think my trouble was over,, well not exactly.. After throwing the mush in to the bin, i had placed the pan back on the fire. i had forgotten to turn it off,, which resulted in the rest of the food stuff becoming coal. Now i remember reading somewhere coal under pressure becomes diamond..May be i should pressure cook the pan..
everyone ate peanut butter sandwich for dinner..