Thursday, January 28, 2010

From 12 to 15 to 21 !!

I came back from my 2nd 21km solo run, happy that I managed to cover the distance again. Showered and decided to write about it, but I wanted to read Haza's blog first. Been waiting for it!! Her report
about her SEVENTH full marathon, done in style all the way in Dubai, running the same race with the great Haile Gebrselassie! I was totally immersed in her story and was in awe of her achievements and suddenly my report is err .. nothing compared to hers. So, I didnt write this the same night hahah .. But she is in a league of her own and I am well .. in no league LOL. Anyway I guess I can write for people like me :) (please read mine first before u click on her  link for u may not come back here hahahah)

Two mistakes. One,  I didnt eat enough (eer breakfast was nutrient shake, noon was 3 pieces of bread dipped in oxtail soup- yummy :) and an apple, all before 3pm) that caused many kilometres of cramps. (well I wasnt planning to do 21 but 12, somehow it got reversed!) Two,  I went on a new route that I have never tried before and its a main road that didnt have pavement and had to walk many more kilometres for fear that the next name up in the casualty list would be mine!

Started well, with alternating pace of 6'24/km, 7'24, 8'06/km. For my standard its good. Once I was out of my kampung I've already decided to do a 15km which meant I have to go all the way to the Balai Polis Trafik Klang (7.5km) and turn back. I was pacing good and not out of breath. Went up and down the pedestrian overhead bridge that came my way (3 of them), and when I reached the end I was feeling good. So I thought why not? Decided to go for 21 and instead of turning back I went on to the main road facing oncoming traffic heading to the Klang General Hospital.

BIG MISTAKE. No pavement (which I didnt realise till I am there) only road curbs. Its narrow and bumpy and had holes every few steps. I had to walk and oncoming cars were really fast. Its after office hours and people were trying to rush out of Klang before the jam gets really bad. I couldnt cross to the other side either cos of traffic and one car honked at me furiously. The road had a bent and I guess he was startled to be greeted by me standing so near to the road edge!! I managed to cross over but now traffic was behind me. Its bigger on this side but its all grass and wet. It just rained heavily two hours ago. I decided that safety is more important than keeping my time (I was hoping to do better than my 1st 21 attempt) so I brisked walk, and jog whenever I could. This was about 2km and then the turning into Jalan Batu Unjur area. (you must be wondering why I didnt just turn back and take my route again? honestly I wondered about it too LOL)

Better, I can run on the side and its a big lane. But my toes started to curl and tightens, ouchh .. and I could feel the strain coming up the calf. Oh no, I am still a long way home. So I pressed on the toes and walked on, painful but bearable. It went away after 1km or so  but then my right toes decided to do the same. So I walked with toes all curled up. Walked and jogged and jumped up and down. People watching me wont be blamed if they thought I was crazy! 3km of walk with my toes giving me hell. I am lucky the strain on the calf did not start to twist! I nearly wanted to hail a cab. Then I asked myself, would I have quit if this was the actual race? Hell, NO. So I limped on.

By the time I reached my jogging place, I was reaching 14km and my cramps were gone. It was still sore but gone. So I started to slow jog. It was already past 7pm and not many people left. I needed to get 3.5km here before I could start on the road to get back home to get my 21km. Passed the poor guy that got teased because I said hello to him during the 15k run. He was already cooling off and ready to leave. Not bad, I could still jog. One down, two more to go. As I started on my 2nd one the guy called out and asked if I was still running? I have to do two more I said. He jogged up to me and I told him of my  "mission" and he was concerned cos it was getting dark. I will be ok I assured him, will be taking the main road pavement on my way back (and only 100 metres of dark stretch near my place, info that I kept to myself)  And he introduced himself, Choy. (we've been hellos and hi's and nodding friends before this). And he said that he will accompany me till I finish there. I was glad for the company. Didnt even attempt to stop him, selfish, but it was getting dark and the jogging area was already deserted and could be dangerous. I am sure it was a walk in the park for him doing the slow jog with me but he didnt say anything. We simply jogged not talking. We finished the rounds and he offered me a ride home and told me I had done enough. I thanked him but told him I have to finish this 21. I guess he understood. He drove behind me while I got out on the road and we parted ways at the traffic light. I must get him a few bottles of gatorade next time to say thank you! (he always ran with one in his hands), cant very well ask him out for a drink can I ?? Major scandal! Our society is such.

The strain was coming back on my calf so I jogged and brisked walk, alternating. Finally its the turning into my area. Still 1.5km to go and the road is smaller and darker than the main road. I prayed that the cars would see my white tshirt and realised that someone's running before its a tad too late. I  turned into my housing area, passed the dark stretch and reached home. I had done 21.10km, 3:16:30.  6min17secs more than my first attempt. Well I was still under 3:30:00 cut off time in Putrajaya. And considering I walked a lot and a good 3-4km with cramps, I thought this was a better run. I was not that tired, just my calf threathening to twist.

I will eat well this week and next week for the run in Putrajaya. And I will take Haza's advise to sip on ORS at the start of the race. I hope to finish my first official half marathon without any cramps and if possible faster than 3:10:13. I know one thing for sure. I believe I can plod on till 30km. But not 42km. Not yet. And I have time on my hands to reach the mark.

Oh, did I tell you I got splashed? not once but twice!! My Nike+ LunarGlide now is almost all grey turning black.  I think the original colour was, eerr white?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To Tell or Not Tell

I thought I saw my friend's husband walking holding hands with ANOTHER woman. I am not sure it was really him cos it was a glimpse but I thought it was him.

And I wondered. Is he cheating on my friend? Could he? Would he? They have been married for more than 12 years and have 2 simply adorable kids. Would he, really ? Since I wasn't sure it was really him, I cant really do much.

My question is would you tell? or not tell?

I would. If I am totally sure of what I saw. I would confront the guilty partner, confirm the story or my suspicion,  and give him/her a choice. They tell or I tell. Oh yes, I would. AND I HOPE MY FRIENDS WOULD DO IT FOR ME. TELL ME. I WILL ALWAYS BE INDEBTED TO YOU.

A woman deserve to know if her husband was cheating on her. Call me a busybody, call me a home wrecker, call me what you want. My actions could well be the reason of their split. My actions could lose me a friend. My actions could start a string of complicated mess. I would still do it for a friend. If I know for sure I will tell. No woman should be made a fool.

Some man are really good at keeping their affairs from their wife. Its a pity when almost everybody knows about the affair and the only person in the dark is the WIFE. Imagine her going to a function and completely enjoying herself and time with her husband, while people look on and pity her because they know the real truth. And no one does anything, for fear of intefering. Really?

Will  you do that to your friend? Let her go on believing that her partner is all good? I wont. She might not like it, she might deny it, she might hate me for saying it. But for me it is a starting point for her to start asking her husband questions. Who knows it might make him realise his mistake and make amends. It might also cause the break up of their marriage. Am I the reason really? Probably. But if he was cheating on her, she deserves to know and decide what she wants to do about it.

Some choose to ignore, and get on with their marriage and pretend that everything is fine. Some will choose the way out. Some might want to work things out, give a second chance. The point is, you need to know. After that what you decide is up to you. Its your life. I dont have to tell you where I stand on this matter.

If I can be sure that he/she is the partner of my friend and is with someone else in a manner that is not "just friends out having lunch/dinner", I will tell. Hate me, loathe me, cut all ties with me, whatever me. I will have caused hurt, anguish, anger, etc but I will also give a chance to my friend to choose and decide what she wants to do with her life. Stay and be treated like a fool or stand up and fight for her right and get the life that she well deserved.

I am not a good friend if I dont tell. What would you do?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Anti-aging exercises

Why not try this out. The worst thing that could happen is that you actually have a better toned body :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is it a sign??

The other day at the jogging area, I bumped into mp3 adik. She was leisurely walking and meddling with her, well, mp3. I sneaked up behind her and gave her a nudge. She was all smiles and even sang outloud a few lines of the song that she was listening to.

She was on her 2nd and LAST round. And no, she is NOT going to walk another round. I told her that she could run if she didnt want to walk. She gave me the horror of horror look ha ha.

This is part of our conversation :-

"Lama tak nampak akak" (I must remember to tell her to call me aunty next time, ehem)
"Ada, lari pagi lebih"
"Eh, akak dah gelap lah sikit"
"Lari kat panas banyak" (in my mind I was actually thinking, really? have I gone darker??)

And we talked a bit more and somehow I managed to get a promise from her that the next time I see her, she is going to walk one full round with me, no matter how many she has done. And I am going to hold her to that promise!

When I got home  I looked in the mirror, this time properly. Aahh she is right. I am much darker. Infact a whole lot more. Its just that it never was an issue with me, being dark and thus I never really bothered. But, I am at least two and half shades darker than I normally am. I dont think the title "black sweet" is apt anymore, cos its closer to "bitter sweet". And I have been running in the morning and avoiding the sun as much as possible. Imagine if I ran in the afternoon? My problem  is I burn easily. From my own body heat, after a run even in the morning and the sun was hardly up, I'd be flushed and red (not that you can see red on me ha ha) and burned.

So when my husband got home that night, after his shower and while having dinner and talking, I asked him if he realised that I had gone darker. He simply laughed. Ahh so its true. I asked if he minded? "If I wanted someone fair, I would have married one" Aww.. isnt that sweet, .. and he continued "but toksah lah hitam belegam sangat ok" Aww .. i wish I could smack him on his head!

Nothing much can be done and in cases like this, I simply move on. Let's face it. I am always gonna be dark. I'll just have to somehow find a way not to be dark-er! 

So, we got settled and switched on the TV and we were greeted by none other that the FAIR & LOVELY cream advert. My husband laughed till he almost choked on his drink and I simply stared at the screen, wondering, is this a sign???

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I found this at Kumar's blog and it is a really great tip .. sharing and hoping that it will help you too .. thanks K :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I came across this poem sometime ago and found it again today while going through my notes. And this is something worth sharing.


God knows what's best for us, so why should we complain?

We always want sunshine,
But he knows there must be rain

We always want laughter and the merriment of cheer, 
But our heart will lose their tenderness if we never shed a tear.

God tests us often with suffering and sorrow
He tests us not to punish us, but to help us meet tomorrow
For growing trees are strengthened if they can withstand the storm, and the sharpness of the chisel gave the marble its grace and form.

God tests us often and for every pain he gives us, provided we are patient, is followed by a rich gain.

So, whenever we feel that everything is going wrong,
It is just God's way to make our spirit strong !

- author unknown - 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Post Marathon Stories/Update : 15km Shooting Club Run

I heard that the guy that won 1st place was later disqualified because he was a foreigner. It was open to only locals and Singaporeans. Why was he allowed to run in the first place??? Maybe he was not aware that he couldnt run but the organisers should have known better. There's some talk about runners trying to cheat about their time, and I think someone turned back halfway and claimed he/she had finished the run not realising that a blue ribbon was given at  check point when doing the U-turn. You need to have  your purple ribbon that was given during registration and the blue ribbon at finishing line to proof that you actually did the whole distance, duh, things people do to win.

View the results here despite the horrendous hills, these people were fantastic .. my consolation is that I am probably the least experience runner in my category LOL. And I am not, and never will be, a runner in the true sense of a proper marathoner. I will be a brisk walk/jog/slow run participant. And I am not entitled to say that I am a "marathoner" until I have done the 42km run. And I shall abide to that. The people who does the 42km, some doing it  over and over again, are, the true marathoners. My time shall come.

For the moment, I am just a mom that enjoy running. I think, we, running moms are stronger too. The men can go back and relax after their run, but we immediately get into our mom/wife mode .. house to clean, laundry, cooking , etc that is waiting after our runs !! I am lucky I dont have any small kids, so mine are independent enough to get their own breakfast on my race days :) (the father, is a different story, manja lah!! still wait for me to do breakfast after my run, even if its a bit later than normal).

Was too excited writing about the run yesterday. I am more collected, sane and cool today. It was, after all, only 15km ha ha ha. I met/saw some interesting people on the run, that I would like to share with you :)

- A lady ran blindfolded accompanied by two guys roped to her hands on each side. She was fast and confident. I dont think I can even walk 100 metres blindfolded and she ran the whole 15km and was, faster than me.  Cheered her on when she was on her way back and passed me on my way to the U-turn. Awesome feat!

- I joined this lady after the 2nd hill and she was already cursing the route. When I told her we have 6 more to go and that we are taking the SAME route back again, she simply stopped and asked me if I was serious and I said yes. Well she simply told me she is quitting and walked away! I called her and told her we could do it together but she said she's had enough of hills already. I am not sure if I did the right thing telling her about the remaining hills , yikes .. strike one, Ms Bond.

- This guy walked passed me and some other runners and he was FARTING  .. prett, prett, prett .. and he kept on apologising "sorry, sorry, sorry" I hope he didnt have to endure that through out the run ! but he was fast, probably walking too fast and the friction and rubbing of two "cheeks" had some doing! Gave us a good laugh and breaking the tension.

- I thought I saw a guy from my running area and jogged up to him to say hi but it turned out it was not him, so I said still said hi, commented on the sky (cant think of anything else so quickly lol) and  ran away from him .. strike two, Ms Bond. But I was a tad faster than I planned, so not too bad hihi 

- A young girl, probably in her early twenties ran pass me and urged me "jom kak lari sama-sama" uuggh, she called me kakak. Let's go. I ran with her for about 700 metres and the hill came along (thank god for that!) and we said goodbye (due to my knee, I promised myself that I WILL NOT run up the hills even though I feel ok) I must remember to tell all the young ones to call me "kakak" when they pass me, sure gave me extra boost of energy LOL. 

- I came upon this guy, walking. Simply walking. So I walked a bit with him. "what's wrong?" "my knees, i ran up and down and now its painful" "ahh I know that, I have same problem", we just about arrived the U-turn so its a long way more to go, and still the 8 hills. "can u finish?" "going to walk all the way and finish" he was determined and I remembered "hey, I have power gel, you want??" the smile said it all, so I parted with my gel and said goodbye and continued my journey. I saw him limping crossing the finishing line, (I was walking to my car to get something) and I gave him my water,  he was really happy and high fived me. Made another young friend. Point 1, Ms. Bond.

- Met another  guy from my running place (correct one this time!) walking back with his friends after the run, said hi and his friends all went ... "ohhh u got malay girlfriend!!!" and he was blushing like mad haha ..err point or strike?? 

- I realised that I could actually now launch into a slow run AND talk at the same time, and not out of breath. Awesome feeling of achievement. Point 2 Ms. Bond.

There were many others but these are the few that I would remember most from this run. I ran pass quite a lot of people and a lot of people ran pass by me too .. everytime without fail followed with a hi, hello .. u ok? a bit more to go .. let's go .. all strangers but becoming one to achieve the same goal, to reach the finishing line. So even though when you stand at the starting line alone, not knowing anyone at all, by the time you reach the finishing line you would have made some friends and trust me, if they see you at the next run, they WILL remember you. 

I had fun. And I am actually planning to conquer these hills again, (planning is the key word here) maybe in 10 days time. Part of my training  for the next important step in my running. I am joining the Half Marathon, doing 21km next month.

Wish me luck. Bond or no Bond :)

Photo courtesy of Mr. Tey Eng Tiong, thanks.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My name is Bond, June Bond - Part 2

Well, Ms Bond went up and down 16 hills and came back with all limbs intact and today, her abs, buns and thighs are complaining LOL .. great exercise though!!

It was a tough one. I am glad I went to see the route with my partner in crime, Ms E007, another Bond girl and know what to expect and strategise. (Unfortunately Ms E007 was not feeling well and didnt run but went to support her husband and me, she was at the finishing line waiting for me, even though hubby had already arrived, thanks E007!) For those who didnt know ran their energy out one way and lost it coming back. But its a long stretch of road and you can see the hills and slopes. After the 1st hill, they should have known that they needed to pace out properly. 

                                                                            You know what is ahead of

A few quit. But surprise, surprise, the old veteran long time runners mostly shine and did well - they have been running long and know how to do it right. But the winners were simply awesome, ran all the way up and down the hills and the slopes !

I dont do hills, never done hills, period. So when I decided to take on this challenge, I was of course a bit sceptical. I know I have the determination to finish, but, I also might be the last one to cross the  finishing line *gasp, double gasp*     

Group E and F were "shot" off first, and we went out the small road from the shooting club .. it was dark and luckily the organiser got two cars lined up by the side and have their lights on .. if not people would surely bump into me a lot, I was wearing black top and dark blue shorts and I am, ehem, as you know, black sweet .. so I was basically quite invisible, I would have had to smiled the whole 800 metres out till light was available, hoping my white teeth would be some indication that something/someone was nearby LOL. Not 10 seconds into our start the next group was coming after us.

I kept my cool and kept to my strategy, jogged  while on flats and slopes but walked as fast as i can up the hills and ran down .. Many passed me and I kept on looking back to make sure that I was not the last person! By the time three hills were tackled I realised people were slowing down. At 5.70km , a runner was already on the way back (U-turn at 8km) he was fast .. and soon a few more came down the opposite way .. oh my, and I was still 3kms away from the U-turn!Then my friend Seah was on the other side and he urged me - "go june, more power" we even high fived !! and another guy, a few minutes later -  "kak june, lari, lari " and I realised its one of the guys from Chap Ayam Runners Club, he must have recognised me from facebook or my comments in their blog! and the lovely Ruby was making her way back up the hill went I was abt to reach the U-turn. Ruby is a good runner, and very pretty too and what I mostly  envy about her is (cant match her running so no envy here lol) during and after a run, she somehow would still manage to look fresh, not a hair out of place while I'd be burned, flushed and sweating! and if you want to see me at my worst, this is the time hahaha)

                                 Seah, one of my running mentors and friend,
                                  - he finished in 1hr28mins!! Congrats!!!

                                 Syawal from CAR, He did 1hr44 and finally,
the lovely Ruby (see how fresh she still is at finishing line??) at 1hr54mins!
Half way, body check, knees no pain and no signs of cramps. Yes, Ms. Bond can continue. 2nd water station I asked for a bottle instead of a glass. The guy gave it to me but warned, "dont drink too much kak, nanti sakit perut", haha I laughed "dont worry, akak nak mandi" and I proceeded to pour some down my tshirt, front and back and on my head. Heavenly refreshing. My enemy, the sun was starting to come out. If I had those lovely 6-pack abs I would have ditched my tshirt then, and continued running in my sports bra like some. Alas, its a dream that will not come true. I did the same at water station 3, more mandi!!

I have conquered the 8 hills and now to tackle the same ones again on the way back. I decided to change strategy, ignore the hills and simply go. Just go. There is a reason too, I needed to pee, badly. The idea of going into the bushes (this is when its really great for the guys, get behind the bushes and 10 seconds later all done) and squatting with the lalang and duri poking my derrierre,  no thank you. (and the risk of someone accidently catching me in the act) So I kept half of water in the bottle. No more sips .. if I really had to go then I'd just go bit by bit and then rinse away .. gross! but hey, drastic times call for drastic actions! Stopping and squatting and all the hassle will kill the momentum too, right?

I run solo. I dont want to hinder another person nor do I want the pressure to go faster when I cant. But you make friends along the way. Encourage the person you are overtaking, side by side with another for a minute or two, run with a friend for 500 metres. Strangers become friends.  Offer your water, ask for water. Stop and ask if he/she needed help when they are on the side of the road nursing a leg cramp.  Curse the hills. Laugh at our own madness doing  the stupid run. Compete with someone without them knowing it! The beauty of running in a race like this.

My 27 year old cousin Shariff and his fiancee Nurul and her friend Syura,  joined this race too.  Shariff ran with me for few minutes and left me and Nurul & friend overtook me at 4th km and I didnt see any of them anymore ..

 Shariff - 1hr52mins and managed to slow run non stop as he planned,

good one bro!

                    Nurul & Syura - 10 seconds ahead of me

Climbing up the hill after the U-turn I saw the two girls .. hahaha .. I was catching up. Must be the hills. Nurul had psychic powers, she turned and saw me. She laughed, and both of them started to run away from me. Hehe I guess it wont be so cool if this kakak overtook them huh? 

I realised a lot more are coming down the opposite way. I was not doing bad at all. I am already turning and 3km up and there were many many more on the other side, some still far behind. Gave me the extra boost plus I still needed to pee and even though I had a plan, didnt want to really do that! And I wondered, what if I had to really really go number 2?? Yikes .. Run, June Bond, Run!!

I ran some, jogged some , walked up the hills and suddenly it was the last hill. Awesome. Downhill running, I felt tension on my right calf and I knew if I persisted I would be in trouble. So I slowed down, still keeping my eye on the two girls, they are not too far away! The last hill  slowed them down a lot. Once the hill was done, it was a mere 2.5km flat road back to finishing line. And I was already happy. I am going to finish this before the 2hrs30mins time allocation. I seriously thought I will come back after the allocated time! The last km I was inching to the girls and they ran faster hahah .. oklah give them chance this time *wink*

I saw Tey, a seasoned marathoner, Seah mentioned that he did his 40th marathon (40??) last year and an avid photographer. He'd run with his camera and shoot away or not run and shoot away. Runners owe him the memories of their run. Especially me. He told me he would wait for me at the finishing line and there he was as promised. Of course I had to run in style now to the end! He was also kind enough to delete some "unflattering" pictures of me LOL. Thanks again, Tey :)

I finished in 2hrs19min03secs. No 14 in my category. I dont know how many were there in my category.  I could be 14 out of 14 but who cares? I could have quit and not finish, but I didnt. I finished. That was my aim in the beginning anyway, to finish. Oh, to get the finisher medal too :) And I was only 10 seconds behind my young cousins, that sweetens the deal hihihi! and in my happiness finishing the race and  all the adrenalin rushing, I forgot about wanting to pee! Somewhere along the last 2km I simply forgot,  or did I go and not realise???? yewww!!!!!! (dont worry I went to proper toilet after talking to Ms E007 and congratulating my cousins and some friends)

        the last few steps to cross the finishing line .......                                                            

    and the reward!
Congratulations to all that crossed the finishing line. Its no easy feat, even for season runners. So for this F category senior veteran to finish, I am good, eh?  hahahaha .. even  if you dont think so, I dont care. I did swell.

Bond. The name is June Bond. Dont you forget it !!

Photos courtesy of Mr Tey Eng Tiong, thank you.

Friday, January 08, 2010

My name is Bond, June Bond - Part 1

I went to collect my tshirt and bib number this morning.  I hope my bib number will give me the needed energy :) If only it came with the tricks and gadgets !! I decided to look at the route again and this time take pictures of it (photographs taken by Yana) because I know after the race, I will not be able to do anything anymore. I hope I will have some energy left to drive home ! Yikes !!

On Sunday, 10.01.10,  I will be attempting to run (i think walk is more likely) 15km on a really horrendously hilly route. Maybe for some its nothing, for me, its a gargantuan task ! I leave you with pictures of my nightmares for the next two nights, and will report back again on Monday , if I can find my hands, legs, fingers and toes :)

this is the first view of what to come, i nearly had a heart attack!

the gentler slopes

can you see how long it is ?.. and its really "wavy" too ... there are 2 killer ones like the first picture, 6 of not so gentle ones and the waves in between, and you go through ALL of it on the way back .. U turn route !! by my car's speedometer, its about 15.80km .. 800 metres extra is extra long in this race lah! My aim? Just to cross the finishing line (preferably not in a feeder transport)

BOND, MY NAME IS JUNE BOND - I hope I can live up to it LOL

(p/s : I am hoping F stands for fabulous, not f***** up!!)

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Big "D"

Divorce is messy. Never easy and  heartbreaking. So many people are involved even though its the break up of two individuals. So many other hearts are broken too and many lives are affected.

Someone close to me, finally divorced his wife of 16 years today. They have two lovely children.  Many, including me thought it should have ended a long time ago. Its a long story. I guess he has been working at this marriage for the sake of the children.

Comes my question. Do you stay in a marriage even though your heart and soul is no longer in the relationship? even though you have to put up a front that everything  is going well when nothing  is? pretend to be happy when you are truly not?? for the sake of your children??

If your answer is yes than I am truly selfish in this manner. Because I wont. Period. Its my life. I deserve to be happy, I deserve to be loved and I deserve to have a choice. I want to close my eyes and die happy. Is that too much to ask? 

What about the children you ask? What about them? Life is hard. No one says it will be easy, no one person has it easy all the way. Children need to have a father and mother. But if the father and mother cant stand each other's presence, why put the kids through THEIR hell? It will not be easy, it will be horrible. But we are all stronger than we know, stronger than we think. We move on. No matter what the tragedy is, we grieve, we fall flat on our face, we go through all hardships, in the end we move on.

The children will grow and have their own lives and their own family. So you have to think of yourself, be selfish this one time. If you are not happy, you deserve to be. Walk out before its too late. Then both of you can start over and hopefully find the happiness that you both truly deserved.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Gardening Recipe

On this New Year's day receive seeds from the garden of daily living and follow these instructions :-

Plant 3 rows of peas:
peace of mind
peace of heart &
peace of soul.

Plant 4 rows of squash:
squash gossip
squash indifference
squash grumbling &
squash selfishness.

Plant 6 rows of lettuce: (pronounce as "let us" in this context)
lettuce be faithful
lettuce be kind
lettuce be patient
lettuce be generous
lettuce be humble &
lettuce really love one another..

To enhance your garden here is our seed of thyme:
thyme for God
thyme for each other
thyme for family &
thyme for friends.

Water regularly with patience & cultivate with love.

There will be much fruits in your garden.

You Reap what you Sow.
- author unknown-
thank you uncle rahim :)

New Year is here, again!

Time really flies. Its the first day of 2010. Last year I resolved to lose weight, not buy any books and start cycling again. I lost weight, broke the 2nd resolution but only bought less than 10 books and did not cycle, but I ran instead. 

This time around, I hope to 

a) keep my weight as it is
b) TRY not to buy books and finish ALL that's in the cupboard
c) take the bicycle out more often
d) complete a full marathon - the whole 42.195km

Running (or slow jog in my case) is in me. I cant deny it anymore. And this year I hope to run better than I did last year. Beat my own best personal time. That's all. No need to win, just to finish the runs (but I do choose  runs with finisher's medal hahahah)  And I hope to run a marathon this year. No one will dispute when you finish  42.195km and say that you have ran a marathon.

I hope sometime this year I  will be able to blog and say that I ran a full marathon.


Balik Kampung

Fact 1 : I dont have a kampung. Born and raised in Port Klang. Balik kampung for me used to be visiting my late grandma in Penang, during the school holidays for a week or so, and when grandma passed away, there was no more balik kampung trips.

Fact 2 : My dad passed away when I was 11. I grew up without one. 

1983, in ITM, I joined the Program Anak Angkat (homestay programme) - one month staying with a foster family and experienceing real kampung life. It was a real eye opener for us, youths from town. It was in the early 80's and this is a real kampung. Padi field people. No electricity, at night we use lampu pelita (kerosene lights) or candles and no water taps in the hosue. We took our bath outside, plunging a small container  tied to a long rope, deep down in the well to get our waters - they have huge "tempayans" (water container) to stock water for everyday use and we will ferry water from the well (telaga or perigi in malay) to the tempayan everyday so that we have enough water supply. It was hard initially, from having pampered of having flush toilet in the house to this one (I never went at night no matter how i needed to go, very dark lah and very scary ha ha). The houses then are all wooden with stilts, but still comfortable

the toilet outside the house, this can still be used!

This is typical type of houses back in the 80's but this was taken yesterday hence the car ..owner still keeps house in good shape :)

I stayed with the Semans. And I immediately fell in love with my "dad" There he was waiting to see his new "daughter" decked out in his best sarung and shirt and smiling his perfect white teeth. When I went to stand with him, the kampung folks all commented that I could actually be his daughter, we look alike. I have a dad. I was thrilled. (this trip  having me gained a father was really meaningful for me) He took me home from the community hall on his bicycle, 3km ride on red soil road to his  house. I remember being terrified that we would slip and fell and I would be decked in red all over! I remember the nights when we would have dinner and then sit and talk, them getting to know me and me getting to know them, I had two younger sisters and one elder brother in the Seman family. The one month we stayed, we did community work, helping out to clean up the school, giving extra morning classes for the small kids, did performance on weekends at the community hall for all the kampong folks and we work with them, helping out with the daily chores around the house. I was really attached to Ayah. The folks would often tease me and said that I should marry the elder son so that I can stay in the family. I was fervently hoping that Ayah did not think the same! I mean I love Ayah, I am happy to be his daughter but I certainly didnt want that title to change to daughter in law!

Two houses away was Mak Ngah Yam and her family. Pak Ngah Saad, their 3 sons and 1 daughter. I often go over to chat with them since my best friend was staying with them. And I got to be close to them too, especially Mak Ngah, she adored me, and I her. In her simple ways she never ceased to amaze me. 

They all worked really hard. Those times there were no machines and all the new technologies. They  harvest their padi fields with their bare hands. Hard work. Really hard work. But they are happier than the people  that have everything today.

I promised myself and Ayah Seman and Mak Ngah that I will not forget them. And I did not. I went back to visit them during my semester breaks. But then life got in the way. I started working and got busy, and I got married and have kids and moved overseas. I didnt get to visit them but I never lost touch. I wrote letters and when finally the kampong had electricity and water, phones were available. So all these years, we were still in touch. I went back 5 years ago and again few days ago with my kids. Pak Ngah Saad passed away two months ago. Ayah Seman is a frail man now, but still remembers me and hugs me and I can see it in his eyes that he still loves me like before (even my kids observed that) and Mak Timah and Mak Ngah and her family. It was a short stay but I am glad I went. The kids had their first real kampong experience , even though its now with paved roads, and toilets and bathrooms, but generally mostly, its still a kampong. Some of the houses are still the old ones, repaired and strengthened and some has new huge ones, but the kampong atmospehere is still the same, with the same simple folks and simple ways of life.

We stayed with Mak Ngah this time. One because I didnt make it to Pak Ngah's funeral and two, Ayah Seman  and Mak Timah are living on their own and I didnt want to bother them. Mak Timah would have to cook for us and all, she wouldnt mind I know but I preferred not to burden her. Mak Ngah on the other hand has her daugther with her and much easier because she allows me to do what I want in the house. I get to help to wash the dishes and help around with other things. Ayah wouldnt allow (I am a  special guest and also I needed to rest would be his argument) and Mak Timah would be really tired by the time we left ! But I promised Ayah the next trip down I will put up a night in his house.

I am glad I went back to see them. Infact I am gonna make it a yearly trip. And the look on Ayah Seman's face when he finally recognized me, was priceless. The look of love. The swell of the heart with gratitude and love. Its all there in the eyes and the smile. He is the father I never had. 

scenery from the kampung, padi ready for harvesting end of Jan, sunset and morning sun

With Ayah Seman and Mak Timah, and yes, she is THAT small :)

With Mak Ngah and gang .. her daughter Yatie and her son Ikram (the elder one) and nephew Irfan (her brother, Sham's son)

At night at Mak Ngah's, lepak time and Azam with his two new brothers

And it gets really cold in the wee hours of morning, Yana is somewhere under the pile of blanket