Monday, August 24, 2009

My Aina who Has Turned 14 on the 24th Aug

My first-born - Aina Syasya has just celebrated her 14th birthday last night. Azlin bought her favourite cake from Secret Recipe and we invited the Ariff and Nini and their spouses to come over for iftar to celebrate the event together.

As Aina cut her cake, Ariff asked her to make her wish and she had just smiled. No more the usual whine "umm aaa ee huk" thing coming out from her. She has somehow matured a little bit in her reaction. Aaa.. how my kid has grown.

I still remember the day she was born clearly - in the labor ward when I was so high on Entonox and just follow whatever the nurse and doctor told me to do. She came out with just one push and for first child, it was unexpected to be that easy. Dr Nora said I could do this more often and soon:-) Well, easy delivery does not mean easy to bring up. As I reflects about raising Aina.... there are some "originals" that I can remember about her...

1) She's the only child that we have who cried when the clock strike midnight and can goes on till 2 to 3 am. It goes on for few weeks - we had tried many things - the colic drop, baby rocker. Almost every night she slept on either of us (hubby or me). My in-laws got an ustaz to recite some doas into a small bottle of coconut oil which we had to swab behind her ears and on her eyebrows everyday together with zikir to reduce her crying habits. Somehow it worked.

2) The only daughter with so many care takers when she was baby. It was my SIL at first, then my mom - the first grandchild my mom took care full time, then when Anis was born, we had to send her to day care (my mom wanted to take care of Aina only, difficult to handle baby and toddler with her business)

3) The one who learnt business since baby. Aina was brought by my mom to all places that she did business. When customer paid for merchandize, Aina would eagerly accept it. And, she showed her potential as business since Year 1 in primary school. I think she made some stuffs out of paper and sold it to her friends, I can't recall what that was. As she grow, more ideas for business, like selling printed song lyrics for 10sen, and then made book mark from cross stitch - up to a point that she appoint her own business manager among her friends to take care of the order. Of course, those business didn't last long.

4) Very mischievous as a toddler. The only one that I recall whom the Taska teacher asked if she has problems at home. She was only, I think 18 months at that time. Apparently, Aina feigned sleep during afternoon nap session. As soon as the teacher left the room, she got up, slide open the glass cabinet door and messed up the neatly arranged go home clothes and pampers by littering them on the floor. And then she climb a cabinet where they kept some mothercare lotions and apply that lotion on her friends' hair. To close the deeds, she took off her pampers and peed on the clothes and pampers that she had thrown on the floor. I can imagine how horrified the teacher's are when they discover what happened. Thorough cleaning on the children's hair, some would not have good clothes to go home with and then having to wash the floor and the childrens' clothes because of Aina's deed.

5) A child who does not want to get into any hardship at all, if she can help it. At 4 years old, she wanted to be the stepsister of cinderella. Because cinderella has to do a lot of work! Never mind the ending part - which the movie only show a little. What carries the impact more is the hardship that cinderella has to go through:)

6) Refused to eat fish. Was even proud of being able to hide the fish served a the daycare under her plate to avoid from having to eat fish. In primary school, she learnt to eat only vegetable and gravy whenever fish was served. And still able to maintain her chubby appearance!

7) She wanted to enter Sek Men Tahfiz IQKL (then was just IQKL) because there is aircond in the classroom, not because she wanted to learn Quran more. She used to cry whenever I asked her to do her recitation of the Quran, so I was really confident if she can survive in that school. At that time, the school rented part of Al-Ghufran masjid for academic purpose until they have their own building, so, there's aircond in the classroom - this actually fits her principle of no hardship! Now, she is already attached to the school, so, doesn't matter if there is no more aircond ever since they had moved to their own building.

I think I remember more about Aina and Alif compared to Anis and Ahmad. I think I should write similar thing about each one of them - to be fair....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Airport Mess

There were 2 theories I heard - about the problems with flight delays at KLIA, or for that matters, International airport.

One was - due to typhoon. Because of that, the connecting flight needs to be rescheduled, and thus cause the delay. Another theory was because MAS wants to save some costs by maximizing on the plane usage. Don't know which is true or if neither was true.

Ever since I took on this new job a little over a year ago, I've been traveling around Malaysia, on MAS at least once, every month. Almost all of the international airports in Malaysia - Johor, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and finally, Penang - I've gone through, on a domestic flight.

Last week was the first time that I had flight delay on both ways. Destination was Penang. The budget airport taxi driver told me that there was once he had work inside the airport to ward off the "ulat" attack and most of the time, he saw that flight to and from Penang was frequently delayed. Of course, I wasn't paying much attention then. But true enough, I was scheduled to fly off at 0910am and without warning or announcement, I found out at the boarding gate that it has been delayed to 1040am and the gate has changed. No reason given. There is another flight to Penang at 1045am - imagine that! I met an acquaintance in front of the new gate - that's how I know.

I booked my return flight on the next day at 08:40pm but with the intention of catching the earlier flight if we (my colleague and I) can finish our work early. We made it, got onto the 5:25pm flight which was a little bit late, probably due to some high level Indonesian guests - there were special welcoming committee it seems at the departure/arrival gate. We only get to board the plane at 5:25pm. I was happy to be able to get home early, the flight was full and I was lucky to be fast enough to get in - there were only 5 seats left according to officer at the check-in counter. My friend, whose ticket was class W due to the mistake made by the incompetent girl at the travel agent had to pay a fee of RM100 to change to earlier flight. So we board the plane, the plane reverse and getting ready to move on and then, nothing happen. Then, we heard the announcement from the pilot that the plane could not take off and right now is being pulled back to the base due to one engine could not start up. Alhamdulillah, it happen while we're still on the ground. After spending about 10 minutes inside the aircond-less airplane, the pilot asked us to leave the plance and take our valuable belongings.

I got down, wait at the rows of chairs in front of the departure gate. There were no instruction whatsoever given to me on what's next. No announcement - I was watching for it. So, I just sat and wait. Then I saw people started to swarm the counter at the gate - thinking that these are people who wants to get on transfer, I just ignore. After about half an hour and no further news, I join the crowd and the line and found out that one of the line is the queue for a meal coupon. That's bad news, that means its gonna be longer before we can get on the plane. I asked the counter lady on what plane are we supposed to take. She just told me to come back by 8pm. I think they must want to put us on the 8:40pm flight. Back to the original plan but with my colleague wasting RM100 of company's money - technical error is not covered, no refund!

We were given a meal coupon to be used at Coffee Bean outside the departure gate. Found out later at Coffee Bean that its only worth RM23. RM23 at Coffee Bean - not much of a meal that you can get. Enough to cover one coffee and a muffin, a cake would make it more than RM23. They don't have the set meal deal. Anyway, coming back to the real issue - I went back to the counter before 8pm and was re-assigned to the 8:40pm flight. The seat number was just scribbled onto my boarding pass. Went to the new counter and waited. Again, I didn't hear any announcement about boarding in the plane, but there were huge commotion at the gate. You couldn't really determine which line you're supposed to take to board the plane. There were these 2 guys from the same flight I was in just now, scolding the staffs about how they were not told anything at the previous counter and were just asked to go to this gate that we're at and then, only to be told that they could not get on that flight because it was already full. And he goes on and on while I just second guess on the realy line that I had to follow to get on the plane.

Once I get through the line and into the plane, I heard another not so nice thing. Somebody had her seat taken. Double seating. And one of the boarding pass is holding a seat number scribbled in pen. I was getting worried for a moment. Oh no, please don't let that happen to me too - I want to go home. Alhamdulillah, it didn't happen to me but to another guy who were on the same row with me - tough luck! So, there's 2 cases of double seating that I heard off. The plane then, could not take off on time - another 20 minutes delay because of this "unforeseen" circumstances. Oh wow, what a fiasco going in and coming out from Penang. This is the first in the one year that I had started traveling with MAS on domestic flight. I had experienced similar delay with international flight, thought that domestic is much more organized from this one year experience.

Anyway, I finally got home about 11pm. The budget airport taxi driver whom I had booked to pick me up at home (rather he booked himself and I let him be) had to reschedule his trip to KLIA twice because of the delay but he still have to wait for me because he has already registered in the system that he'll pick me up and has already been charged RM6 because of that booking. Its an automatic thing according to him. Well, it was a loong long day for me and I was dead tired when I reach home. I heard from my other colleague that it seems MAS has been having this flight delay thing for the last 2 weeks. And I learn that the daily 6:40pm flight Penang-KLIA that was published had never happened - it was probably gimmick and the passenger had to re-arrange either go into the 5:25p flight or the 7:30pm flight. Why bother putting it on schedule? Things people do for business....
You guys know how to conclude the story ...:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another Rambling

Again, lots of things to do and lots of things to write. I even pen those things that I want to write, in a note pad taken from hotel(s) and then stash them back into my handbag and forget all about it. Go home, feeling tired than necessary and when there's time to do stuffs, ended up with either watching drama series (hooked Grey's Anatomy S5 at the moment) or trying to finish up one of the Korean drama or playing Sudoku on facebook. Oh well, things should get better in a few days time.. I think...

Let's just list those things to write... I should get around to do it somehow...

1) Those MAS mess in Penang - where you're already on board and get towed back to the hangar - don't know if this is the right term
2) Alif's 5th birthday - ok, this is way way overdue
3) Anis's Spell It Right - over for more than few weeks, maybe more than a month
4) Reunion?
5) H1N1 and the respirator and the haze-- well, I should comment on this, taking from an Industrial Hygienist stand point of view, the one who should know more about respiratory protection from particulates (haze) and other contaminants yang sewaktu dengannya -- its my bread and butter, duh! Break my heart to see and hear the TPM says -- wear surgical mask to protect yourself (from what? the droplets?)
6) Alif's blob about not kissing me when I become a grandma coz its gonna be yucky!
7) Should I write about air pollution that I experience in Penang? Its kind of work related thing, maybe I shouldn't. But those who live or work in that area would know - maybe I should, maybe somebody will pay attention and do something about it
8) The dilemma I'm having - trying to pick the best affordable package for the family trip to Korea in December - should we go for it or not. Muslim package which is more expensive or normal package and then live on maggi mee or vegetables dishes .. hmm, would the pandemic situation prevent us from entering the country? oh wow, big decision here

That should be enough...would I ever get to write even one tiny wee bit about these ? I guess I have to abandon all of the Sudokus and korean drama and Grey's ...or just do everything and further reduce sleeping hours.. hmmm...