Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Krispy Crisps

It is a culture for everyone to have their own crisps to snack on and over here there are many types of traditional crisps, either of seafood origin or vegetable being the primary favourites. For the Malays, there are also crisps that is particular to certain areas like the famous keropok lekor that has become widely accepted to be considered as a national dish, although this was preceded by the dried version or keropok kering as it is usually called. Yet there are some crisps that was brought over from their hereditary homes that although not so widespread, still has a good enough market that it is common for even the roti man to stock them on their rounds. Thus you can find some of these hanging from their motorcycles.

The first crisps or what I shall continue calling it by the vernacular malay name keropok is the keropok palembang, the curly crips hanging beside the prominent prawn keropok on the bike. When I was young, these keropoks was only easily available near Tanjung Malim, so at the time when we journeyed between KL and Ipoh and made a stop at Tanjung Malim, in addition to the compulsory Yik Mun pau keropok palembang is another must buy. Originally coloured red, you can find it now in multi-coloured hues and the latest version is it comes in small conical swirl shells like those at the back of the bike, which actually brings out the flavour and makes it far tastier. The reason is that if the keropok is stale, it tastes terrible unlike normal keropoks as the oil gives it a very offish taste. You can test for staleness by trying to click a chip off the crisp, since if there is no clicking sound that is a sure sign that the keropok is not fresh. Over here the normal flavour is prawn, but when I googled I found that in Palembang itself the primary flavour is fish. I guess the taste was modified when it assimilated into local society.
Another keropok that was popularly sold in Tanjung Malim but still is uncommon elsewhere is called Opak. These are large round tapioca discs made of tapioca flour naturally, but spiced up with some chilli powder and spices but not so much that it becomes hot. Nonetheless there are some who has already modified the opak into smaller sambal coated discs, much like hot tapioca chips but this is not to my taste. The original taste of natural sweetness and saltiness from the inherent monosodium in the tapioca(not a food for those averse to MSG eh) combined with the crisp nature of the opak gives you a satisfactory feeling that is quite undescribable. I sometimes pour onto it or dip the pieces into condensed milk to give it extra edge. A peculiar taste not for verybody I guess. Oh yeah before I forget, this is one large crisp and you actually need to break off pieces from the opak in order to eat it, as amply shown by the photo. And yes the reason Tanjung Malim seems to be a source of these treats is because it has a concentration of Indonesian migrants who has kept their traditional food alive through backyard industries, though sadly since the opening of the highway such foods are getting scarcer.

And finally let's talk about emping meninjo or belinjo, the increasingly popular keropok that has been elevated into fine dining starters by such restaurants like Sundanese. The west may have their corn flakes but here it is the meninjo flakes that takes centre stage. There is not much to say about the piquant and salty crisps except to say that it was an acquired taste by me, made more tolerable again by sprinkling sweet condensed milk in my boyhood just like kellogg's frosties but now it tastes great as it is to me, dipped into a sambal. Made from flatten meninjo nuts, it serves as comfort food for me though its price has risen commensurate with its increasing status. With a wide variety of appearance, i prefer the smaller sized as it is easier to dip into the sambal though I do nibble it like plain keropok when the munchies attack hits me.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Hmmm! Thinking of Satay Padang

Surfing on the net cause HQ is on holiday, my fingers googled for satay padang and found some interesting websites. I don't know when I was small I abhorred the satay padang that my mum and her sisters never failed to buy when they went to KL, usually from a shop in Kampung Bahru. Maybe because the taste was so different from the regular javanese version of satay that my palate was used to.Satay padang unlike the javanese version do not have peanut sauce, sweet or otherwise, and instead the sauce is more like a gravy poured over it, thus you do not dip the satay sticks into the sauce, but just bite into it. Usually packed or served with the accompanying nasi impit and with fried shallots on top, the taste runs from mildly sweet to fiery if served with some sambal. Surprisingly I now am hankering for the satay's taste again, though to find it in KL would be a bit of a chore. The last time I had some was in Penang at the side of Chowrasta Market, but it was not made of tongue as it should be to give it the melt in the mouth sensation, but some rough brisket that was not even marinaded. Fortunately the gravy was tasty so the experience is not that dissapointing. Hmm wonder I should go hunting for this as my family does not seem to take to it as I was when I was small. Hmmm maybe when you get older do you start hankering for some food that you did not like in a younger age I guess, as some sort of comfort food to reminisce about.

Post Script- Last Saturday I went to Jalan Raja Alang and despite what was written in other blogs, the satay padang at Restoran Ros was available even during this fasting month and so it was also at the other competing restaurants nearby. Since the satay at Ros was my family's traditional placeof custom, it was their satay that become the starters for the breaking of fast that day. Alhamdulillah!

Mengkuang Cafe - The Revisit

Well I made the return visit to Mengkuang Cafe & Bistro as promised to try out their breaking of fast buffet on Saturday and to make a long story short, we will only visit them again after the Eid for their yummy regular menu. As feared, they were not ready to offer a buffet spread, especially for the weekend crowd and committed the cardinal sin of running out of food, replacing them with their regular menu items. My wife commented that this is what they should have done in the first place, offer their regular menu items in a buffet spread instead of trying to offer a mixed bag of dishes that are not their strong points. The result was the food spread that was nothing to write home about, and their single signature dish for the day only surviving the first round of replenishment, which by the way we could not get any. Service was a little better, and those who recognised me striving me to show that they are more attentive. Still my wife's order of el-dente fried kway teow from the food station did not arrive, and since we were full on drinks could not care less since the el-dente fried beef was not that tasty anyway.

Well like I said the owners recognised this bullhorn and engaged me in conversations. They admitted that they were thoroughly unprepared for the weekend crowd, especially for a reservation of a large alumni gathering. They said their working days buffet did not attract any crowds and they had to throw away so much food, so then they went to the other extreme and prepared minimal food for the weekend spread. Come on, don't tell me they did not expect business to pick up over the weeekend. You do not need an MBA to know that. Anyway with all the reservations you got you could have calculated the amount of foof needed. That is why I told them point-blank that they are not ready to hold a buffet. Anyway if you guys are reading this, we have a suggestion for you. Why don't you offer your signature dishes in set meals for the weekdays and the buffet only over the weekend. Since you are already prepared to offer your regular menu after the breaking of fast buffet period, this should not impose too much on your planning and logistics, and may actually give your customers a good meal and time instead. Good Luck!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Rissoles Arising

Today is another slow day in the office and since I managed to get some rissoles this week, I might as well talk about this snack that may not be so familiar locally. Being a Malay of Indonesian heritage, rissoles or otherwise known as croquettes is not something strange to me. In fact my late auntie made some of the best rissoles that I have ever tasted and my sister recently lamented the fact that she did not manage to get the recipe from her before she went off to London. So that is another recipe heirloom that bit the dust.

Rissoles are basically fried bread parcels with various types of fillings, sometimes smoothered with breadcrumbs. Introduced to the Indonesians by the dutch, it has now become a common Indonesian snack. Our favourite filling are mixed vege with corned beef, usually beansprouts, julienned carrots and cucumber and sometimes with diced potatoes lightly fried together into what I guess some people call a ragoute before being filled into the thin pancake like wrappers and fried. Nevertheless there are many types of fillings available according to one's fancy. The ones I had recently was filled with mixed julienned veges but no beef while the ones I bought yesterday was filled with mashed potatoes mixed with eggs and was interesting in texture. The funny thing was the stall keeper said she learned this type from a Bangladeshi, so I guess rissoles has travelled far and wide.

Their shapes also varies as shown here and some may even be confused with sardine rolls, soft-skinned fried popiahs or even samosas. But the way it is made in my family is either rolled as the picture on the left or oblonged shaped like the photo in the middle. The last photo provides a good description of the various fillings and shapes that rissoles are made, even with cheesy or creamy fillings. The re-appearance of rissoles into the Malaysian food market as I believe it was widely popular previously as even my wife's auntie in the kampong knows how to make it indicates that the Malaysian palate, specifically the Malays has now accepted such food into their diet again, although these can still be difficult to find.

Semprit Search Over

Well even when approaching the big four zero you still learn something new everyday. In my earlier posting I was talking about how difficult it was to get good semprit cookies for Eid. Well it seems one reason that it was difficult to do so was that semprit also goes under a different moniker i.e dahlia cookies. Imagine my surprise when I googled that name, there are so many recipes dedicated to the cookie. Look at all the luscious photos of the cookies taken from various recipes websites.

Oh yeah, the reason I got to know of this name was one of the office ladies was selling cookies for Eid and gave me a sample labeled as Dahlia cookie. It looked familiar and when I tasted it I knew it was the semperit cookie that I was looking for. It even came with red cherries on top the way I liked it. The result was i ordered 50 pieces for immediate delivery and another 150 for delivery before Eid as I do not want the latter delivery to suffer the same fate as the earlier delivery, ie, gone within a week heh!heh!heh! Anyway I do not think my Eid guests will be able to taste those even as my kids also are nuts about them as I am, as you can surely see from my pasting of all these Dahlia cookies photos.

Well If It is my rezeki

What can I say. While going the pasar ramadhan after writing about the special rice dish and coconut milk desserts, you guessed it I found something related. Finally tried the nasi hujan panas and found one stall selling lompat tikam. About the nasi hujan panas, I have no idea what it is supposed to taste like but the one we had yesterday seems to be a sweeter version of nasi minyak and though everybody who knows me knows that I have an extremely sweet tooth, this time the taste does not meet my palate. Even the spicy chicken that accompanied the dish was sweet though the acar was excellent. Well what I can say is that I must try somebody else's nasi hujan panas before I can say whether this dish will become a regular meal item.

On the other hand the lompat tikam was a half and half affair. This version came with some pulut which seems to be the Kelantanese style as shown by this photo from The santan was like pengat and tasted wonderful and the pulut itself was very flavourful and they did not stinge on the palm sugar, but the rice flour custard tasted horrible so much so that it was left behind. My wife said this must be due that they used stale rice flour resulting in you tasting the bitterness. All in all it was still a wonderful treat and I cannot wait to come across another stall that makes the lompat tikam as it should as shown in the photo below from this blog.

The elusive luscious tikam lompat

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Is Coconut milk and sugar too expensive?

While on the subject of Ramadhan food, one thing my wife and I noticed that in the bazaars other than tepung pelita or limas as we Perakians call it, it is now getting more difficult to find wet desserts made from coconut milk and sugar. The reason I say this was that on Monday my wife asked me to buy some lompat tikam at the Kota Cheras Ramadhan bazaar that usually has good ones on sale, but this time I cannot find this. Lompat tikam is an East Coast specialty made of rice flour and palm sugar and usually makes it appearance this side of the peninsular only during this time, and only when there are predominant east coast vendors available. The taste is incredible and sweet, deserving of the east coast deference to sweet tooths. Though made of simple ingredients, I understand that to make it is time consuming, thus making it a not popular item to sell.

The funny thing was I found another time consuming dessert that has become another rare species, bubur sum-sum in its stead. Called sum-sum because its consistency is similar to bone marrow methinks, the one I got was not so smooth as I expected and the palm sugar is not as sweet. Look at the photo, that is real bubur sum-sum. But beggars cannot be choosers can we. So whatever I can get, I will buy. At least my tastebuds will feel the taste of such sweet things again. The last good bubur sum-sum that I managed to purchase was sold in Kraftangan Complex in Jalan Conlay, but I understand that this is a not a regular item in the menu. This version was smooth as silk and the palm sugar was thick and not adulterated with plain sugar, making it a delight to eat. But to take it away was not easy as there were no containers offered, so we had to take it away in plastic bags. Luckily its consistency made this not much a problem to handle, except some precious portion was lost as it remained stuck to the plastic bag when being poured to be eaten. As winemakers usually say, that is the angels portion.

Anyway back to the subject at hand, I guess maybe it is true to make wet desserts from coconut is no longer worthwhile, not only it may be too time consuming, but with the way food prices are going, no longer economical. The only other type of such dessert that we have found is badak berendam (my wife calls it kuih putat) but I guess other types of such sweet desserts like puteri mandi will remain like a mirage in the desert. (Pun fully intended)

Special Rice Dishes For Ramadhan

I don't know about other people but for me I usually get bored with eating rice during the Ramadhan fasting season but this year the boredom or muak in Malay has come early. Thus usually at this time I keep a look out for special rice dishes that usually make their special appearance only at this time that may excite my tastebuds. Even the ubiquitous nasi kerabu or salad rice reverts to their original form at this time if you are lucky enough to find it, and it will be really tinged blue with the Telang Flower and with real sliced herbs and not the usually white rice with fried grated coconut that and only one or two sliced vegetables that usually masquerade as such that is usually offered. You can taste the difference even with their accompaniments like my personal favourite the grilled beef that will be prepared the traditional way and not just plainly grilled over a fire, and these part time vendors are also not stingy with their budu and chili sauce.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get good nasi ulam or herbed rice that is a more potent version of nasi kerabu. Unlike nasi kerabu where it is in a mixed and match manner nowadays, nasi ulam is still sold in pre-mixed version where the grated coconut, fish floss, sauces and as many types of sliced ulams or herbs are mixed together in the rice, resulting in rice that may look like fried rice at a glance but actually mixed raw. But if you can find some for Ramadhan a point for you to note is that since it is prepared raw, if not kept well until breaking fast time it may get spoilt. The version I got yesterday gave off some heat from an identified source, because even if it had any chili padi or bird's eye chili in it, the slices has been really blended in well that its was indistigushable. Anyway I have only found nasi ulam being offered twice in the time I lived in KL, and I have yet to find the 'ultimate' nasi ulam called nasi seratus or nasi 100 supposedly made with 100 different herbs.

Another rare rice dish that I managed to locate once in Bandar Tun Razak was nasi dhal. Similar to a biryani, the difference was it was cooked together with the chickpeas or dhal giving it a different and unique taste. Another special rice dish that I can get here is nasi jagung or corn rice that is similar like nasi dalcha but has corn instead. Gives diversity to the biryani type rices eh. Well this some of the special rice variety that I can remember off hand but there is still some that I have seen but have not tried yet like the nasi ambang and the nasi hujan panas or 'hot rain' rice. These rice are new to me so I guess I do not have the guts yet to try it, just in case the taste does not agree with me and it become a waste. But if there is nothing else that interest me in the ramadhan market and these are available, well then I will surely give em the chance to tickle my tastebuds. Until then!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Besamah By Another Name

When I was fooling around talking about recipes during lunch this fasting month, I decided to google for besamah, one of my favoured beef dishes that I have talked about before. Lo and Behold I was amazed that particular article has been reposted by another blogger . It seems that i do have some readers after all. For others so inclined, carry on. I have no problems with this.

Anyway this inspired me to google further if there are any new besamah recipes being posted since my last search and this has brought me down this road where it seems besamah/pesamah seems to have another name, i.e, gulai masak hitam when I looked at the recipe and attached pictures. These as opposed to the normal gulai masak kicap or the mamak daging masak hitam looks very similar to the besamah, and since they are of Perak origin I suspect may be one and the same, variants of course. With due respect to the website owners, I reproduce their recipes and photos here. They look very similar to the besamah at the top right.

Daging Masak HItam Manis Maklang from

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

(sukatan pepandai sendiri...main agak2 jer-jgn risau pasti

1/2 kati daging btg pinang – dipotong dan direbus bersama kicap
(air rebusan jgn dibuang)

1/2 cwn - kicap manis (cap kipas udang)

3 sudu besar cili kering yg telah diblend (ikut suka pedas, kalo nak pedas

BAHAN A – asingkan kepada 2 bhg. (untuk digaul bersama daging dan utk

3 sbJintan manis ]

disangai lepas tu diblend halus

3 sb Jintan putih ]

3 Bwg putih }
4 Bwg merah }diblend
sedikit Halia }

Bunga lawang/kulit kayu manis/buah pelaga/asam keping

Minyak masak


1. Daging yang dipotong/dihiris nipis – direbus bersama kicap. (Air rebusan jgn byk sangat sbb daging keluarkan air rebusan)
2. Bila daging dah empuk, gaul sedikit dengan bhg. A, goreng kejap jer.
3. Asingkan daging ke dlm pinggan, masukkan pula lebihan bhn. A tadi utk ditumis.Masukkan cili kering (kalau suka pedas taruh lebih), kacau sebati.
4. Masukkan pula daging dan air rebusan tadi, gaul sampai rata.Taburkan asam keping,b.lwg,kkmanis dan buah pelaga.
5. Masukkan kicap jika nak nampak lebih hitam lagi (maklang selalunya tambah lagi kicap bior hitam pekat)
6. Biarkan mendidih sekejap dan kuah agak pekat, bulehlah diangkat

and a modified version that brought me down this path that is much closer to the besamah I know



500gm daging lembu, dipotong dan direbus bersama 1/2 cawan kicap

Bahan2 digoreng tanpa minyak dan dikisar kering:

2 sudu besar jintan manis

2 sudu besar jintan putih

1 sudu besar biji ketumbar

1/2 sudu besar lada hitam

Bahan kisar basah:

3 Bwg putih

4 Bwg merah

1 inci halia

7 tangkai cili kering, direndam dulu


1 kuntum bunga lawang

2 inci kulit kayu manis

3 kuntum buah pelaga

Sekeping asam gelugur

Garam dan gula secukup rasa

Minyak masak utk menumis


1. Panaskan minyak dan tumis bahan kisar basah. Masukkan rempah-rempah.

2. Masukkan daging yg telah direbus empuk. Kacau hingga mesra.

3. Masukkan bahan2 kisar kering dan asam gelugur. Tambah kicap jika perlu.

4. Masak sehingga kuah agak pekat. Siap dan boleh dihidang.

The funny thing is that there seems to be another dish from Trengganu that seems to be very similar.


Bahan500gm daging lembu [potong nipis kecil dan basuh &

2 s/b kerisik

2 cawan santan pekat

2 s/b gula merah/perang [brown sugar]

2 keping asam keping



Bahan Mesin

20 tangkai cili kering

1 s/b rempah kari daging

2 s/b rempah mentah gulai cap ROSE

1 s/b rempah masak gulai cap ROSE

7 ulas bawang merah

1 labu bawang besar

3 ulas bawang putih

3 cm halia

2 cm lengkuas

Bahan tumis

2 cm kulit kayu manis

3 kuntum bunga cengkih

2 kuntum bunga lawang

3 biji buah pelaga


1. Panaskan minyak dan tumiskan bahan tumis sehingga

2. Masukkan bahan mesin dan masakkan sampai wangi dan naik

3. Masukkan daging dan kacau rata. Masukkan sikit air dan kacau rata

4. Bila nampak naik minyak masukkan santan, kerisek, garam dan gula merah.

5. Biarkan reneh sampai mendideh. kacau sekali sekala.

6. Bila mendideh masukkan asam keping dan biarkan sampai pekat.

7. Bila dah pekat, boleh hidangkan.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Fasting or Feasting?

I really don't know what to say la. It is common for companies to bring their clients for breaking fast, especially in the boom times before the '97 crash but since then I have seen eating places taking advantage of this trend by preparing ever more expensive breaking fast spreads, justifiable supposedly by preparing 70 or more dishes to be savoured. But really, can anybody realy taste that number of dishes in one seating. And the best thing is this no longer applies to corporate junkets, families are jumping into such dining events and for some is a daily affair even. And they say our economy is not doing well. Anyway, this promo below really takes the cake. I do not see any value of it being called a breaking fast event, but rather it should be called a record-breaking feasting event.

Monday September 17, 2007

fast on a lake


THE novelty of breaking fast against the backdrop of the majestic buildings of Putrajaya is not something everyone can offer. In this sense, Cruise Tasik Putrajaya (CTP) has the edge over others this Ramadan. Muslims intending to buka puasa with a difference can do so by embarking on a leisurely cruise on the Putrajaya Lake. CTP operates three dining boats with varying seating capacities to cater for small- and medium-sized groups, ranging from 20 to 55 people. The trio comprises the Daun, Sebarau and Kelah dining vessels.

Break fast while you cruise: Abdul Kadir holding up a
plate of Ikan Bakar on board the Kelah dining vessel.

The Ramadan Cruise Buffet, a first for CTP, was launched on Thursday. The cruises operate between 7pm and 10pm. A press preview was held earlier to acquaint the media with the buffet menus available, depending on personal preference. Partnering CTP in the new venture are the Putrajaya Shangri-La, Putrajaya Seafood Restaurant and Putrajaya Lake Club. Each has its own Ramadan menu. For traditional Malay fare, the Putrajaya Shangri-La rises to the occasion. Malay chef Abdul Kadir Abdul Razak is set to woo diners with Kerabu Perut, Gulai Ikan Siakap Masak Tempoyak, Sup Tulang, Perchik Burung Puyuh and Sambal Sotong Sumbat.

Soup for the soul: Traditional Oxtail
Soup.(Writer's note : Man this is one overpriced oxtail)

This Ramadan Buffet is priced from RM168 nett to RM228 nett and bookings must be made three days in advance. Seafood rules the menu from the Putrajaya Seafood Restaurant with tempting delights like Baked Tiger Prawn with Butter and Mayonnaise, Stir-fried Sotong Sambal and Preserved Vegetables with Beancurd Seafood Soup. The menu is packaged at RM140 nett. The Putrajaya Lake Club holds its own with a menu fusing local flavours with a Western touch. The array includes Roast Leg of Lamb, Fettucine Carbonara, Tandoori Ikan Tenggiri and Daging Masak Kicap, for RM130 nett.

Seriously, to prepare an event with the premium price of upwards of RM130 per person for presumably the target market of Putrajaya residents that mainly consists of Government Servants brings to mind the question that are these servants so overpaid that they are able to indulge in such extravagance or if they are being wine and dined instead, what type of corporate governance are they being held onto? Never mind the clerics reminders that to overindulge in such circumstances actually demeans your fast that it may not be accepted as adherence to fasting duties as such. Tsk!Tsk!Tsk!

Great Food But Service Bullocks

I don't knowlah about these Malay restaurateurs, most times they have great food but lousy service and vice versa, so at the end of the day most will close shop. After reading the review of Mengkuang Cafe in the Star, I brought my family over to break fast at the shop after countless times passing it by because we thought it was just another mamak shop located in a sports center. They really have great food like the melt in the mouth roast lamb and the heavenly kopi kiasu served with ice cream, with really good pureed mushroom soup and tasty hokkien mee.

Sit outside, you should get better service than we did

I must say that the food and drinks served there was par excellence, far surpassing our expectations. But it was our bad luck I guess to be seated in the private cum karaoke room for the breakfast meal because after the initial starters of mushroom soups and spaghetti for my kids were served, there was a long delay in the serving of the mains even though our waiter helpfully followed up on our order. What got my goat was when the guy who I assumed was the captain had the cheek to ask me what my order was when I went out of the room to check on the servings that I asked for the owner to come in and explain what is the hold-up. The owner's brother in law who came in instead further stoked my anger further by giving me a fairy tale story that my order is still in queue to be prepared when I asked him if they had lost my order. Come on man, it has been more than half an hour and you have served some of my order, and there is only about six tables occupied. So what queue are you talking about. I definitely lost my cool there and specifically asked for the owner to come and see me after this.

Great food man but your service sucks!

His bad luck then as I surely berated him for this shortcoming in service and told him yes his food is great but his service leaves a lot to be desired, though our attending waiter was good. I suspected that since his menu was small for the day as they could not hold their planned Ramadhan buffet, our orders were hijacked by the waiting tables outside before it reached our room as it seemed that there was no systematic method to identify which meal was for whom, as lo and behold after our complaint our meals were served within minutes. Anyway the owner passed over some complimentary fruits to pacify us and apologised profusely for the delay and assured us that in their Ramadhan buffet that will start today there will be no such delay. But this begs me the question that if there is no improvement in service, will the buffet line be replenished in a timely fashion as our buffet crowds are famous for being wont of being able to clear up the buffet stations in a dramatic fashion.

Alas the cooking is so good that I think I will still risk it by going for the buffet this weekend. I want another cup of the kopi kiasu! Anyway I got a 10 percent discount for making the fuss, so the moral of the story is make some noise if you are dissatisfied, as at least you can let off your displeasure and let the establishment take note of their shortcomings. I really hope this place get their act together, as a place with good food at good value is a rare find indeed, and I do not want to see bad service bringing them down. Good Luck!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


Heh!Heh!Heh! I have noticed lately that I am beginning to emphatise with comic situations like above. Am I turning into one of those geezer characters that says "You Kids Don't Know How Good Your Life Is! In my younger days blah!blah!blah!" Well I do sometimes say such things to my kids in order to make them realise the good times may not roll forever but I never believed that the times I grew up were better than the current times. Life was simpler perhaps but not necessarily better. I used to remember that those times were called the modern times because of all the new gadgets that were coming on line to make life better but I am totally with it on all the new conveniences that we are having now and in the future. Life is really better that way.

But maybe just maybe I yearn for some separation of the rat race and quality living that we used to have. Yup we did not have to call it quality time at the time cause it just happens and you do not really need to schedule it into your life or god forbids your blackberry. That is why I do not regret that if mucho bucks is spent by me on good food and outings. As Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." I am surely hoping that I will still have that twenty years at least. Until then I will keep laughing at such comic situations, or at least with it.

Ramadhan Is Here Again

Tomorrow 13 September 2007 will be the start of the fasting month of Ramadhan for the Muslims in Malaysia. To all of you I wish you goodness and wellnesss in carrying out your fast. Spare a thought for the Muslims who are fasting in trying circumstances, especially those whose life has turned topsy-turvy after September 11.

Do not forget that fasting is not just refraining from eating and drinking only, and not only from dawn to dusk as there are other acts you need to do as well. Look forward to the opportunity to celebrate your victory at the end of the month during Eid Il Fitri, but remember that it may not come so take this period to gather more pahala before the inevitable arrives.

So Peace be upon you in this month of Peace, and May Peace Endure in Our Beloved Nation.

Monday, 10 September 2007

ADBS (Marketing) ITM Gathering at Intekma Resort

Last night we had a gathering of my batch of ADBS Marketing 1990-1992. We were in 3 different classes based on the credit hours we managed to transfer but we managed to get a good mix of the 'elders' and the 'young turks' of the batch who came, some of whom did not meet each other after 15 years. Too bad we could not make it a mini-reunion as many bailed out in the last minute but all in all it was not too bad as the organisers expected only around eleven to come but we got fifteen instead, not counting the spouses.

Now just to clarify a bit, we got a mix of 'elders' and 'turks' as the course or rather ITM was unique in the sense that those who did the post diploma degree or advanced diploma was a mix of those who freshly graduated and those who already worked for a long or not so long time already. For those recently graduated from ITM diploma courses, we usually got a lot of credit transfers so we tend to be in the same classs due to time-table schedule and only mixed with the rest for the core subjects lectures while tutorials was different as we were able to drop a few subjects. So there is some barrier between the classes but then we were only around seventy odd people if memory serves, so the pool was not that big not to know each other. But then the generation gap do come into play so there may be some invisible barrier I guess. (Sorry I only have the photo of the boys 2 men here). In fact the way I understood it, the turks and elders mostly orbited in different worlds after graduation except for some but then last night was good in the sense that the core of those who came were basicaly those who wanted to break the invisible barriers as there are some of us who don't really care if we were turks or elders. Some even came from their hometowns more than 300 kilometres away on a work night just to catch up with each other. Only that I personally felt the difference as some of the elders already are in retirement with kids going to unis while the rest of us still have kids in primary school. Really brought me down to the earth when I stared middle age and mortality in the face.

Well we caught up with each other and it was good to note that all of us are doing well either at work or in their own business. Yes there was some peacocking going on but what the hell that's human nature right. At least everybody agreed that this was a good event and that we should now step forward, may be to a larger gathering, maybe a breaking fast event, later a Eidil Fitri Open House, a family get together vacation and then to a real reunion bash. Well the Shah Alam mafia has said it is now up to the KL mafia to take over the organising of the next event so let's get the balll rolling. I am now waiting for the people to post the pix they have taken and will post it here later. Onwards to our reunion.

Update : Here are group photos of the night.