Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Nosy Parker I Am Not...

What would you do if you caught your neighbor's 13 year old son smoking in front of your house while lurking and hiding away from his parents?

Would you tell your neighbor, his parents?

Or would you just keep quiet and let it slide, hoping that your neighbor would eventually find out on their own?

If it were me, I'd want to know if Zareef was smoking behind my back (Nauzubillah, minta dijauhkan...). I would want to know if he was up to no good. I don't have eyes at the back of my head and I can't monitor him 24-7. So, if a neighbor were to come up and tell me that they saw Zareef doing certain vices, I would be relief. At least, I know my neighbors are a concerned lot and they care enough about my child to let me know anything that he's been up to, be it good or bad.

Well, that's just me. What about you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mistaken Identity?

I was with Zara at the playground yesterday evening. As usual, the little princess would run about non-stop while asking me zillions of questions, all in one breath. Such an energizer bunny that she is :D . I entertained every single one of her questions while running after her. Pancit mak okay!

While I was doing all these, along came a mom and asked me;

Mom: Excuse me, are you a Filipino?

Me: Huh? Oh no. I'm a Malaysian. What made you say that?

Mom: Oh, sorry. I thought you were a Muslim Filipino maid.

Nak marah pun ye, nak gelak pun ye.

Me: Huhhh??

Mom: I'm looking for a Muslim Filipino maid and I thought you were one, listening from your conversation with that girl.

Me: NO... NO.. she's my daughter. Muka I ada muka maid ke?

Mom: Errrr... sorry ye *smiling sheepishly*.

OKAYYYY... I know I don't dress to the nines when I go to the playground in fact, yesterday was the ultimate sloppy day for me - ragged Dorothy Perkins jeans, Nike flip flops, Burberry watch, Ariani tudung and my tattered 10 year old UC Berkeley T, plus I had zilch makeup on.

Lucky her, I was in a good mood and took it all in good-naturedly because I just had a fabulous outing with my bestie, Ana. Kalau hari lain, mau aku seligi minah nih. What an insult!

I related the story to B and boy, did he laughed his ass off! Sabar je lah...

Starting today onwards, I will dress to the nines just to go to the playground as to not be mistaken as a maid, ever again. SHEEEEESSSHHH!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alone Was What I Needed...

Yesterday was the premiere of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince and being the fan of the books and the movies, I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Prior to that, I asked around for company but it seems that everyone else was either busy working (yeah, I booked the 11.45 am show) or they've already booked it to be watched with their loved ones.

Right... does that stop me? Hell no! Come hale or thunder, I am still watching it. And so, I went alone. I booked one paid ticket at GSC Pavilion and off I went but not before running around like a headless chicken arranging Zareef's and Zara's logistics and sending off cupcakes to a neighbor's house.

By then, it was already 11 and I took the MEX highway to avoid traffic snarls and such. It took me just 20 minutes to reach Pavilion from my house hehhehe... I HEART YOU MEX! I had plenty of time to spare. Happy! Happy! Happy!

Got myself an Ice Lemon Tea combo and I was good for the entire movie. How was the movie, you asked? I'll reserve it for some later post ya as I know a whole lot of people have not watched it and I'm not about to be labeled as a spoiler :)

After the movie, I was feeling a bit peckish and headed to Pepper Lunch. I missed out on this from a previous girlfriends' outing and have been itching to try it ever since. I got the salmon rice set. Didn't have to wait long for this though. It came about three minutes after I sat down myself in a corner booth. It came SIZZLING HOT! I had to wait for a good 5 minutes before the sizzling and heat subsided. Taste wise, fair. Nothing to shout about. It's just like a normal fried rice with salmon on the side. I guess, the sizzling hot plate pretty much attracted people to try them out kot.

Perut dah kenyang, time to go for a walk. Walking alone really does it to me. I simply enjoy it! No one to nag or hurry me along (like my kids always do). I went in and out from one shop to another. I tried on loads of shoes, fondled and smelled countless of bags and feasted my eyes on beautiful people bustling around. Best sangat!

Mega sale is on. Sakit mata and pening kepala aku tengok SALE signs everywhere. Haihhh... if only my money was on sale as well... I had no intention of buying anything but upon entering one store, I couldn't help but be besotted with this one particular bag. It was such a steal!

Lepas puas belek, telek, turned the bag inside out and went high with the leather smell, I came out with this...

Hehehehhe... More bags you say? But wait...

Yes, it's for the man in my life. Happy belated birthday Aling! Wear it well ya!! :D

Monday, July 13, 2009

When Change Is Not Good...

So, Muhyiddin has finally announced that Math and Science will now be taught in Bahasa Malaysia fully by 2012 and it's FINAL. What do I think? Well, this is my humble and personal opinion - I think it's a bad move. It has only been six years since the MOE (Ministry of Education) implemented the PPSMI (Teaching of Math and Science in English) and despite seeing a decline in exam performance especially from rural areas, they should have waited for at least 11 years.

Why 11 years? Well, it takes an average Malaysian student 11 years to complete his/her education starting from Year 1 to Form 5. You can't take their UPSR result as a measuring yard stick and same goes to their PMR result. What really makes or breaks the success of PPSMI is their SPM results. Do a research and from there can you only make a decision on what is best for the students.

You have to start them young and give time to these students to get use to the idea of learning Math and Science in English. When they're young, their brains are fresh and they have a clean slate. They're like dry sponges, ready to absorb every single thing that is being taught to them. So, teach them right and their slate will be filled with good grammars, correct pronunciations and excellent vocabularies. Then, can they only have a mean command of the language.

You can't simply rush them in pursue of more As and less Ds and Fs. It's like teaching a toddler to walk - they would slither, crawl and toddle around first. When they're confident and strong enough, then only will they be able to walk and later jog and then run full speed ahead. Just because you want your record and statistics to look good, it does not mean that you can simply adjust the education system to suit your whims and fancies and have complete disregard for the students' education well-being.

I get that the MOE is doing this because students from the rural areas can't cope with learning Math and Science in English but again, it's all about giving ample time for these kids to enjoy learning these two subjects in English. Give them good English teachers and see how they will blossom and prosper under the guidance of such dedicated teachers. Now you're saying that we don't produce good English teachers anymore but don't you see that good English teachers come from a solid English-educated background?

From what I see, the higher powers above only want to see results and they want it fast. They don't see the repercussion of their hasty decision which is making us move a step behind by reverting to the old ways. If you want Malaysians to be glocal (a conundrum coined by Najib that wants global thinking and success but comes from local people), then you'll have to master the English language because with only a high profiency in the language, can you conquer the world. Takkan la bila nak buat international business closure or present your papers during a conference, you nak cakap Melayu. Tak jalan beb! Seeing that English is the universal language of the world.

In fact, when you step into universities, most subjects will be taught in English. You have to breathe and eat English more so if you're studying abroad. You're safe only if you decide to pursue your degree in countries to the likes of Japan, Korea, Russia, France and Germany where you have to learn their mother tongue. Even then, you still have to speak English in your daily conversation if you can't master the local language.

After graduating, what would be the next step? Of course, you'd have to find a job. Now here comes the best part, your interview will mostly be conducted in English. How would you be able to secure a job if you can't speak well during the interview? That is why, we always read in the newspaper that employers are lamenting about the quality of fresh graduates who can't even string a simple sentence when asked "What can you tell us about yourself?".

I used to not give a damn about our education system but eversince I have a son who's being victimized by the said system, I am starting to care. It's not about getting straight As or getting to be in the top three or being in the top class. It's about enjoying the lessons that's being taught, it's about gathering knowledge that is being passed down and it's about using the knowledge that they have for the better good of mankind. Isn't that what education is all about? And isn't learning a lifelong process? Even my dad who is 72 years old, still goes to classes to learn more about Islam, picks up the dictionary when he doesn't understand some bombastic words that his eldest son writes in his columns in the NST and picks my brain and B's with regard to any latest technology.

It's frustrating when our small voices are not heard or our opinions are being put down when it comes to decide what's the best way to educate our young and suddenly, KABOOM... a final decision has been made. But, isn't that always the way with our country? :P

As for Zareef, he'll be in for a BIG surprise. As it is, he's doing very well in his class, getting straight As with a 99 for Science for two terms. His BM is a bit rusty. He can read but he doesn't understand some words. Like the other day, we were cruising around Cyberjaya and passed Taman Tasik Cyberjaya. He read it and asked "Tasik tu apa Mommy?". "It's lake, Zareef". B and I looked at each other and started to shake our heads. B said "Zareef will have a HARD time when he has to learn Math and Science in BM. Sekarang ni pun you dok ajar BM kat dia in English". Well, at least I'm teaching him, aren't I?

Oh well, life goes on and I shall continue to teach BM in English to Zareef.

"Anggur tu apa Mommy?". "Anggur tu grapes". "Ohhh..." (jawapan default Zareef)

"Berdisiplin tu apa Mommy?". "Berdisiplin is you have to obey rules and behave yourself. Listen to what adults tell you". "Ohhhhh".

"Mempelam tu apa Mommy?". "Mempelam tu mango". "Ohhhh..."

See? Now please tell me, who will suffer at the end of the day??

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

On His Birthday...

B's birthday celebration was kicked off with the Japan SuperGT at Sepang. I've never seen so many beautiful Japanese cars gathered at one place at one time. If I was swooning and drooling over them cars, B almost died and gone to heaven heheh...

We brought along Zareef as he shares the same passion as his dad. Short of sounding like a cliche, he is his daddy's son. So very like father like son

By this time, Zareef can't fight the heat and ear-splitting sound anymore. With a sulk that stretched his mouth to the far corners of his face, we were ready to go home. As we were walking out, we spotted this lean, mean incredible machine. It's Zareef's all-time favorite car, thanks to the latest Knight Rider show of course.

That night, we rushed to Shah Alam for a family dinner with B's family to celebrate Father's Day and B's birthday. We dined at this remarkable restaurant called Restoran Tasik Indah at Shah Alam. It's located behind Plaza Alam Sentral. Food was excellent!! I ordered on behalf of the family (nampak sangat kaki makan!) buttered prawns, chili crabs, steamed lemon pomfret, siakap tiga rasa, black pepper venison, marmite chicken and sotong tepung. Sedap tak terkata sampai lupa nak ambik gambar hehehhe...

The seafood were all fresh from the tank. Seen here, Zareef tugging at a lobster's spiny whisker (betul ke?)

The next day was B's actual birthday. He took the day off. I sent the kids to their respective daycare and off we went gallivanting at The Curve. Tskk... cuti-cuti pun kena buat kerja jugak ;P

We lunched at Paddington House of Pancakes. It took me a good twenty minutes just to go through its menu, such a fat one it is.

What's a birthday celebration without food, eh?! We had this apple fritters with ice cream pancake. Very huge portion!

And this All-American pancake burger. Kenyang sampai tak boleh nak jalan ngeee...

After a slow and leisure walk around aimlessly, I treated B to a pedicure. God knows how much he needed it!

Now my man has very nice, clean and pedicured nails which he can show off proudly ngeeee...

Happy Birthday Darling!! You're my everything!!! Muahhhhssss...