Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Ramblings on Shoes

I love buying shoes, ever since I was a student back in the States. But my hectic lifestyle as a student (and worker – in the University’s Bookstore) would prevent me from wearing anything else other than my Nike or Reebok most of the time. So, I’d only resort to only window-shop whenever I went to the malls. I was used to having to swallow my saliva in a style that only Pepsi drinkers would know – when the gulping sound could be heard from miles away! And I’d be drooling at the same time, while my hands in my jeans pocket trying to count the greens that I had. That happened only when I saw a pair of something that really caught my eyes – yes – SHOES!

That was why I loved summers in California. I got to wear my sandals to the beach. Or went shopping in them. But since I never skipped taking summer classes during my 4 years there, I’d still have to wear my University sweaters, shorts, my worn Reebok and the JanSport backpack to school.

It was when I graduated and started working in a mall that I began my new hobby – buying shoes! Getting my first paycheck in the real world (the University Bookstore job as the Price Changer wasn’t really considered as one, ok?), saw me spending my dough on two pair of sandals! At that time I still couldn’t afford to buy branded shoes, so I practically adopted Payless ShoeSource as my buddy-store. Since I worked in a mall, every lunch I’d walk around and never missed trying a few shoes (and most of the time, buying) at the store. That was my era in high-heels/stilettos!

I still remember those leather sandals from Brazil. Loved them. They were so comfortable and durable.

You see, the major difference between those people selling shoes in the States and Malaysia is the way they treat their customers. There, those Uncle Sam’s people would ask you to sit down on the stool, hold your feet and put the shoes on for you. Tak geli pun. Unlike here (oklah, maybe not all).

Imagine this – you’re a mom with 4 small kids in tow and one crying baby in your arms asked for a pair of shoes for your no4. The salesperson would come and open up the box and shove the shoes to you. You’d then have to squat down (with the crying baby still) and tried several times to put the shoes on the no4 who’d be running here and there. And you’d then scream your lungs out for her to come and stand still so that you could make her put them on. The baby in your arms would cry even harder.

And guess what the salesperson would be doing all the while? Taking the dirt out of her fingernails or staring into nothing while playing with her hair, or simply trying to pop her oozing pimples, pretending she didn’t hear a thing! And when you ask for her help, she’d say that it’s the right size and it fits your no4 like a glove. Seeshhhhh...

Ok, you don't have to imagine being that mother. She was me!

My patience was tested again recently. Since I'm currently into wedges, I saw one pair of Clarks in the Curve a few weeks back and had been trying to get my hands on them... but to no avail.

** This is Siver Ash in tan leather**

I went to a few Clarks store but couldn’t get what I wanted – it was either the size wasn’t available or the color I liked was out of stock. So one day I went to the Clarks section in OU Jusco. The Clarks salesgirl (or probably the supervisor lah judging from her ‘kerek’ness) was standing next to some boxes writing something (or pretending to). I politely asked her :
“Excuse me dik, do you have the new wedges?” (I realized that there were no new shoes on the rack.. tak stock-up ke?)
“Apa ada kat situ saja kak”, she said to me without even glancing my way.
“Apa yang latest kat sini ye dik?”, I asked again.
“Apa yang ada kat situ saja kak”, came the reply.

Hisshhh... Hangin aku satu badan! Macam nak baling kasut saja kat muka dia! But I didn’t know why I just left. I should’ve said something bitter to her.. but I guess I wasn’t in the mood for a fight.

I think there’s a blessing in all that. Last week, while in Sunway Pyramid to catch Harry Potter’s latest movie with Dear Hubby, kids and maid, I found what I was looking for! To my surprise, the Clarks store in Sunway had so many varieties to choose from. And I managed to score this one:

** This is Speed Boat in tan leather**

So practical and comfy. Love this wedges!

**Now I remember what I've forgotten to do yesterday - to sort out the 6 pairs of shoes I have in my car!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Manchester United Asia Tour 2009

No, I’m not a football fan. And I don’t watch any football matches on TV except when Dear Hubby persuaded me to sit with him in front of the TV while he watched the Chelsea dudes doing their things. I know a few of the Clubs names and their players, but that was it. My knowledge on footballs stops there.

So when the second match between Malaysia XI and Manchester United was announced after the cancellation of the MU-Indonesia match, Dear Hubby was initially keen to go but somehow changed his mind later. It was when we went to Bukit Jalil on Sunday for the girls’ swimming lessons that we decided to go.

You know why? The booth selling the match tickets was right in front of the National Aquatic Center! Eh, macam, nak suruh pegi saja! Dear Hubby asked the girls, siapa nak ikut? Only Hasya was interested. So after swimming a good number of laps, took a shower and performed his solat, Dear Hubby went outside and got into the queue. It apparently took him an hour to get to the counter, and bought the 3 tickets.

After coming back from work yesterday, Hasya came to me – Ibu, I have no Baju Merah lah Ibu. I said – Oh Hasya sokong MU lah ya, not Malaysia? I only got a sengih from her. Of course I didn’t have any with MU or Nike-AIG t-shirts for her to wear, so I took out her red F1 Ferrari t-shirt. At least she got to wear it this year since we didn’t get to watch F1 last April (..huhuhu..). Anyway, Hasya’s mother decided to be neutral – so she opted for brown! Malaysia boleh, MU pun boleh!

We were running late and had to have a quick bite of 1901 hot dogs while waiting for the green at the traffic light. Managed to get to the stadium in time... and here’s the first pic we took while at the gate entrance :

Hasya, Mr and Mrs Engku Emran and Dear Hubby (cropped!)

The big screen

Malaysia XI players on the big screen

MU players on the big screen

United before the game, Owen : 4th from left

O'Shea and Berbatov

Ferdinand, Rooney and Anderson

Macheda and Evra

Fletcher and Jonny Evans

**note : I'm not sure of all the names... belasah sajalah!

"Hmmmhh... how come there are only 5 balls? I thought we brought in 50?

Malaysia XI and United - grand entrance

Malaysia XI, Malaysia Boleh!

United We Stand

The players - Malaysia XI and MU

Giggs after taking the corner

O'Shea - taking the alcohol test - walking the line ..hehe..

SexyBack... oops... Tosic's back

Seconds before Owen scored a goal. You can see my excitement juz by looking at how 'sharp' this pic is!

Owen (again) after an unsuccessful attempt

Sir Alex, the Man!

Malaysian youngsters, post-game. Okaylah tu - First game 3-2, now 2-0. Yang mahal tu experience!

We left the Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil at 11:15pm, reached our housing area at around 11:40pm and had a late night snack at Kayu for its Roti Telur Bawang.

Conclusion : I enjoyed the game. Hasya did too. She said that she didn’t know that football game could be that interesting. Dear Hubby said that the match wasn’t as good as the first match he saw on TV on Saturday, but still, it was not bad after all ....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Welcomed Guests 3

I know I owe some friends on the story of the progress of my welcomed guests – the bird(s).

Remember the entries on the two eggs? And the nestlings? Well, on one scorching hot day in May, one of the lil birds died. Apparently the nestling couldn’t survive the heat since the nest was facing the beastly hot evening sun on that May 13. My maid Nani took the dead bird and buried it on the side of the road. Poor birdie.

So we were left with one, which was named "Spikey".

We waited for it to grow its feathers and all, and we were so amazed with the rapid changes it made. The feathers seemed to grow like an inch a day!

The first four pix were taken on May 15.

*We put it on the Golden Chain plant while it waited for its mom. Feathers are not fully grown yet

*Still waiting for Mommy...

*Mommy's finally here!

*Hanis was so excited. Her Spikey was so manja with her!

* May 17 - Spikey on Hanis's shoulder

* June 8 - Another new egg in the same nest. I'm not sure whether it came from the same couple or not. The egg is quite small compared to the old ones. I doubt it will hatch though :{

Spikey left us when he knew how to fly on May 20. But we could still hear him chirping away up on that tall tree behind our house and my Hanis would go "Pie-tee, tumb here!" Budak pelat, LOL!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My dear old friend, Che Sepachendera

Thank you Google. Today I just found out that my dear old friend’s name was Che Sepachendera.

She was around 90 years old when I first saw her. I was around 6 at that time. She was old, but never frail. We bonded up pretty fast, and she became my bestfriend ever since... until I said goodbye to her when we moved out when I was 15.

You see, my family used to live in a teacher’s quarters on a school compound. Most who lived in the quarters (7 families altogether) were either working in Pejabat Pelajaran or teachers elsewhere. Like my AYAH, who taught in SAHC/KSAH from 1/6/1968 - 31/12/1980. The house that we lived in was a small one-story semi-d. There was a small river behind my house. It was located in the compound of Sekolah Rendah Tunku Abdul Halim, Kampung Baru, Alor Setar - an all-boys primary school. The whole area was fenced up in a 7-8 feet of brick wall.

And Che Sepachendera was my neighbor. The oldest one there, but no doubt the strongest one of the lot. She’d never fail me. She’d be there for me, rain or shine. I'd spend my time with her almost everyday. I adored her so much but I never bothered to know her name then. So ignorant of me.


My sister, brothers, girlfriends, boyfriends and I used to play with her all the time. We’d walk around her, hugging her all the way until we made one complete round. We’d sing songs, play hide-and-seek and tell ghost stories when we were with her. Somehow with her, the ghost stories seemed so real. I guess it was because she was old, and ghost stories went extra-ummph with her around.

I remember one enormous tree in the compound. A Pokok Pukul Lima -which was really humungous. We were told that the tree was hundreds of years old. The roots were so large and protruding that we loved to play on them all the time. On school days, the SRTAH boys would even climb up that tree!

We used to play in our big compound which I think had 5 buildings for classrooms, one canteen, one building for outdoor toilets, a covered space for bicycles/cars, two badminton courts, one big field, two small fields, long/high-jump sand-pit, enormous trees and some climbing areas - where we could play rounders, toi (galah panjang), roller skates, hide and seek, police and thieves, buaya-katak, lumba lari, batu tujuh, jengkek, and many other made-up games.. or simply lazing around.

Oh how I missed those days... when your mind was free and you had nothing to worry about. You laughed, played and played and only came home when it was Maghrib or when your mom called out for you.

And in all those times, this old friend of mine would watch out for us. I knew then that she also watched out for the hundreds of SRTAH boys, whom I believe worshipped her too.

That was my Che Sepachendera....
Istana Che Sepachendera
to be exact.

Pictures taken from here, TQ:) This is the short write-up on her :
"The Sepachendera Palace was an old palace situated at Jalan Kampung Baru, Alor Star, also known as 'Istana Kampung Baru'. This palace was built by the late Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah in 1882 for his first wife, Che Sepachendera upon his ascension to the royal throne. The architectural design of the palace has the influence of Thai architecture".

And I found an entry on her by Kotastar. TQ Pak Non :)

I cried when I first saw the pictures. There she was, looking so old and lonely... and beckoning me. Oh, how I missed her!