Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Salam Ramadhan 1436H

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh...

Rata-rata orang sibuk post menu berbuka. This is my first lonely Ramadhan ever. Last year I welcomed the holy month in Brazil, together with geng Cik Kiah, in the midst of World Cup hype. It was fun, but this is the first time I am all alone. Its the sixth day today, and lets do some re-cap of what was my iftar menu looks like :)

Day 1: I was onsite, lived in a house boat, so makan ja la apa depa bagi, I had rice, fried fish, kari telur (gaya depala), boleh tahan, and raw cabbage with raw carrots, onions and cucumber. I asked for vegetable, but they don't have it, so I asked for salad, to them, that is salad.. hahaha...

Day 2: Got back from site, reached home around 6.30, whereby the Maghrib is at 6.45. I knew I would be late, so I called my nanny asked her to cook me some rice, chicken and some vegetable. I called her at 5pm. When I got back, the chicken was still thawing...aiyo... nasib..nasib.. Last-last pukul 8.30 baru makan nasi.

Day 3: This was the most fun day. We had the progressive dinner planned and I nominated my house for dessert. Starter at one house, main course at another and last stop was my house. The house placement was done by the organizer. We were given direction at each step of the way, basically you don't know what you are getting, until you reached the house. It was kind of interesting. We can afford to do that since we are all living in the same area. My main course was at Madam Sandra's house and she teamed up with Icy, a Pinoy ladies, both of them cooked up a storm! Ada kari ayam, daging masak hitam, buttered prawn, mixed vege (yes, our kind of mix vege..hehehe). I really enjoyed it. Masa nak balik Madam Sandra siap bagi tapau lagi . The daging and udang is still in my fridge.

Last stop was my house, I hosted another group, I served pulut mangga (mango with glutinous rice) with basil and lime sorbet. I included the sorbet on the pre-text that the pulut mangga would be too sweet and rich. Konon pandai la sangat nak balance the flavour. Sekali, mangga tu masam daa... Tak berapa nak manis. So jadila dessert yang masam, apa kes? The pulut mangga was not a hit, cos I definitely miss the mark with the sour mango, but surprisingly, the sorbet stole the show. The guests loved it! Recipe from Jamie Oliver taken from Food Network page. Here is the link.

Day 4: Had some nasi impit with kuah sup and bakso. Hasil tapau from Bu Evi's party the previous weekend. Since its a Sunday, I was a bit rajin, I made some kuih cara berlauk and gave out to other Muslims in the camp. Bu Evi juga dapat, suka bangat deh rasanya :)

Day 5 : Again, had another leftover from Bu Evi's party. A rice dish made by maybe one of the Lebanese ladies. I taught my nanny how to stir fry pucuk manis, the way I like, and I finished up 2 pieces of baked chicken that has been sitting in the fridge for quite some time. I can't remember when I made that.

Day 6: This morning saw an email from Madam Latha. She offered some food for my iftar today and she's even sending some for sahur tomorrow morning. Alhamdulillah! Rezeki murah betul...

Almost a week into Ramadhan, and I have not slaved in the kitchen for even a day to prepare a complete meal. Syukur sangat-sangat. Well, even if I am cooking, at most I will cook some rice, stir fry pucuk manis (paling senang in the world!) and lauk mostly whatever I have frozen in the freezer or the fridge. I still have few servings of frozen pajeri nenas, serunding toksah cakap la..ada ja lagi..

So yes, I am alone, sedih tu ada jugak, but the blessing is, my iftar dish is not complicated at all. Masa kat PD, pusing bazar ja dah setengah jam, yet, every day kena decide nak beli apa..hahaha... I actually have more time for other things. So this year, kena habis khatam Quran okeh? banyak sangat Allah dah mudahkan, kenapa nak kufur nikmat? Ok, InsyaAllah I will.

Salam Ramadhan semua, wassalam. Till next time :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Politik Parti Sosial

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh...

I've been wanting to write about this for the past few weeks, but somehow my laziness gets over me (alasan!).

Here, in the camp, we have limited people that we interact with. You will see the same people on weekdays and weekend. You will also see the same set of people in the bus ride to work. If you are involved in the normal routine activity like fun run, you will see the same group of people, maybe occasionally we have visitors joining the run, but normally its just us.

Last few weeks, a Dutch guy threw a farewell party for himself. His party is all about booze, dancing, free-mixing, so its a clear cut no for me. At these parties, music are always very loud, you can barely hear each other and I am not really a party person. Somehow, Kim decided to throw a get together at the same time as well, but his invite is only to selected few people, whereas the Dutch guy invited the whole camp. I knew from earlier on, some of the Brits were not keen on attending the Dutch guy's party, not sure whats the reason. Most of Kim's guests are the Brits, and I was actually the only Asian invited. He later then revised the invite and extended it to Pak Anton, which I was pretty much sure that Anton would go to the Dutch guy's party.

True enough, I ended up being the only Asian at Kim's house, with the rest of mat and minah saleh (mix of English, Canadian and Australian). I left his house around 11.30 PM while the rest were majority still there. The following day, I had a lunch date with the Asian gang, one last Nasi Lemak session before Kak Rosiah left us for good. And from Anton, I found out that some of them at Kim's house, including him later attended the Dutch guy's party. It must be at midnight then. Crazy white people..hahaha...

The things is, its normal in a community, you tend to have few cliques. Suddenly its all back to high school. Though we are not really different in terms of social status, but we do have some group of people that we tend to be more comfortable with. I know some people that is totally out of my path. There is this two couples, only the husband acknowledge me, i.e smiles when we passed by each other, the wife, simple cast that empty look whenever I'm around. One of the couple frequently attended the fun run, and in that juncture, somehow the wife realized that I existed! Once I was 'established' to her social circle, she no longer gave the cold treatment. The other couple which are still here, no change, I bet they don't even know my name. Well, suit them, I am here to be friends with those that are willing. Pinggan tak retak, nasi tak dingin, orang tak hendak, kita pun tak ingin. :)

I guess it happens everywhere, but the fact that we are confined to one place, makes all these even more apparent to us, well, at least to me. Last year, during my raya open house, I invited quite a handful of people, Some just ignored the invite (maybe they did not read their email). I stopped sending invite to those kind of people. Social gatherings are being held almost on constant basis and one time during the fun run, I overheard them (the mat saleh) talking about a dinner plan at the restaurant, and guess what, one of them forwarded the invite to me later. Its a nice gesture, but declined it. This is not the first time Kim had a get together at his place, only this is the first time I was invited and attended. So does that means, I am now in another circle of social network? Maybe. Its political actually, with no clear mileage, maybe for the sake of future job and acquaintances..

Whatever it is, I need to stay true to myself. I won't go to events that made me uncomfortable. But my fear is, for this year's raya open house, I will have to invite more people. Well, maybe not, it will be during the summer holiday, so maybe not many people will be here .. hahaha.. (kedekut!)

Till next time, wassalam..