30 July 2009

A short illustrated story - 'my heart almost bleed'

It all started one week ago, when my tummy behaving erraticaly abnormal .....

An intimate peek into my chest resulted in this ghostly x-ray image. This was a follow up from the ultrasound procedure earlier that showed an app. 1cm stone in my gallbladder. The x-ray was actually to confirm what the stone is made of. To my great relief, the doctor informed me that the stone is considered a more 'friendly' type of stone - cholesterol type and not the pigment type. To be frank, when I first got the news I had already set my mind that I have to let go the gallbladder through a surgery. In away, I am about to return what I had used and borrowed for the past 41 years. In the end, I just have to take some oral prescription and hopefully the drug will totally dissolve the stone and my gallbladder will finally be stone-free - I got to keep the precious body part again.

Alhamdulillah another good news. A follow-up CT-scan a few days after I was discharged from the hospital showed there was no more wall-thickening of the bladder (inflammatory from the infection) and the stone seems to become slightly small in size.

Looking at that plastic tubing inserted into my vein somehow looked a bit cool. They created this gateway in my body in order to administer antibiotic to kill the germs. My youngest son thought it resembled very much the Autobots' weaponry and always amused whenever he saw that. Somehow, my whole limbs in the above picture looked slightly 'sembab' and 'tembam'.

It was not until the 4th. bottle before they stop this saline drip from invading my blood stream. With 3litre of liquid laxative that I had to consume earlier to clean the whole intestinal system for the endoscopic examination, it was quite a scene to see myself dragging the whole stand into the toilet every now and then.

This grossly image was not the evidence to show that I was brutally tortured. This was what happen when somebody inexperience trying their artistic skill doing body tattooing on me. The nurses probably thought my body was their canvas and I am their guinea pig. I can certainly feel the pain when they inserted the hypodermic needle into my adipose tissues instead of the vein. The doctor was quite furious when he saw that.

While spending my solitary confinement in the room and waiting patiently for the antibiotic to slowly kick in and kill the germs, I have plenty of time to kill too. Luckily the hospital has their in-house entertainment facilities and with 50 blockbuster movies to choose from plus other local channels, the patient will almost rot in their bed pampered.

A room with a view - the last time I spent my night in a hospital was 7 years ago when I had a dengue fever. This time the holiday package was longer - 4D 3N. It was however the all-sleepless night getaway. The first night was because of the high fever and the following nights because the nurses keep coming in and out checking on my body temperature and giving me medication. I am still on a medical leave until the end of this week and still under another course of antibiotic.

Finally an important point I want to make - deep from my heart I want to thank you very much to all my fellow Bloggers, those who have wished me well, who have prayed for my well being, who have come to visit me, who have called and give me support and to my family and my significant half for being with me all the time. I believed, God listens to you and answered your prayer. May God bless all of you too.

-tHE eND-

23 July 2009

Another reminder from the Maker

I am still feeling slightly grodgy while writing this post. But laying on the bed doing nothing, just waiting for the nurses to poke me here and there taking my body fluid and temperature really suffocated me. furthermore, if my wife knew I sneak out from the bed and went downstairs updating this blog, probably I will hear another long lecture on how to be a good husband.

Now I am bedridden again. In Tropicana Medical Center. It all started with just a minor gastric-like symptom. If not because of the three consecutive sleepless nights, I won't check in into this hospital won't know for sure that i am having a stone in my gallbladder. To make things more interesting, the stone started to attract many alien in form of E. coli and they started to enjoy their new breeding ground and work their wonder by causing the inflammation and thus septicaemia (blood poisoning) - and I suffered with a very high shivering fever. Alhamdulillah this morning the temperature is back to normal again.

Since then the hospital is actively pumping in antibiotic into my blood stream to cleanse it and flush the bacteria out from my body. The stone will be dealt later.

Thank you God. I am listening to you.

Guys, if fast recovery is the best thing He wanted to grant for me, please help pray for it. Thank you.

21 July 2009

Cheesburger probably tastes better

For most working class citizens who work a minimum of 10 hours a day , which unfortunately includes me, buying a personal mode of transportation in the Bolehland is probably one of the biggest decisions ever in our life. Beside from buying a house or choosing our livelong soulmate, when it comes to owning a car, we have to look into every imaginable aspects very seriously. They cost us a bomb too. In some cases the installments will piggyback us even past our retirement age . Thus nothing should be taken for granted when making this important decision.

With load of pampering and TLC to shower these beauty though, it can be a good future investment. But the depreciation in value is phenomenal. The moment we take out the brand new car from the show room, the value will slip down faster than we could lower our pant down during a seasonal diarrhea.

Actually, for the past 2 months I've been quite busy spending my weekends hunting high and low for a decent family car. With four ever-growing up kids, a saloon car wouldn't comfortably fit us anymore. It looks and feels like sardines in a small can. If we add in our maid into our entourage, the car become slightly more tastier than a chicken masalla.

After a much arduous and time consuming fact finding mission, my significant half and I finally narrowed down our searching into a few selective models.

To be frank, at first I was quite excited to give our nation much talked about MPV, our pride and joy, a second chance. The price is quite reasonable even though I still feel as a national car , locally build and assembled by the nasi lemak nation the price should be much lower. What more with a mere 1.6l engine, rumored to be the same engine as its smaller gen-tle sibling, I think this MPV is seriously underpowered. But the most alarming fact that bothered me most was, the moment this MPV enter the market, the interest rate rocketed up. From a consumer point of view, that doesn't sound good at all and I don't think this is fair to suddenly have to fork out extra money from my small pocket. Am I not patriotic enough? I still eat nasi lemak and sing Negaraku from time to time.

Another interesting choice was a genre from the country of the rising sun, a close contender with proven history for its reliability. Load of new innovations that rise to its name. The huge difference between the 2litre E and G spec is quite unreasonable though (digital air conditioning system, a door strip, wood finishing to name a few). But I will keep this option open. At least until a new interest rate is being revised. We were also quite tempted with its bigger brother the Aeras series. A reconditioned unit cost another RM30k - RM40k. But it makes me wondering. After at least five years of being driven around by Yakuzas, who probably eat sushi and spilled some sticky sakae onto the seats, I would still have to pay an installment higher than what I am paying now for my double storey terrace resident. Doesn't sound justifiable too. I don' think I want to spend numerous hours sleeping, eating and having my intimate moment in any of these MPVs.

We looked and tested a few other car brands too. The Grand Starex is, in our mind quite stands out among all and the most ideal MPV so far (in term of its specification). A brand new 12-seater, 2.4 Diesel turbo with five years warranty cost as much as the reconditioned Aeras (year 2004) and slightly longer in size than the mother of all MPVs - the Alphard. And it doesn't has the pungent smell of kimchi at all.

Finally, after so much effort and trouble in interviewing the many patience salesmen, test driving and kicking here and there onto the tyre, opening and closing the doors (that is what most people do) to see if they can stand the humiliation on our bumpy road condition, we decided not to part with our money yet, 'investing' in buying an MPV. We resorted to just rent any MPVs we fancy whenever we want to 'balik kampung' and save the many absurd installments for our next honeymoon :)

As i am not working or associated with any of the car companies, and obviously they are not paying any money for this unofficial car review, these are just my personal opinion, personal preferences. All in all, I still feel that the local consumer in the Bolehland is still being shortchanged as compared to some of the countries, where buying and selling cars is just like changing their dirty garments. Dirty cheap.

I remember one time when I talked about cars with my mentor, she reminded me of one thing - a car is just another mode of transportation from point A to B. Or even a piece metal when left to decay is similar to any other scrap iron in a junkyard. I am not sure whether I am wise or not but for the time being, I am stuck with two German frankfurters. But for me, if its not for their Sheer Driving Pleasure, it is still my Ultimate Driving Machine.

09 July 2009

Message in a bottle

While I was sitting on the beach at Bagan Lalang recently, I have this urge to do something that I'd never done before. As if I am stranded on a beautiful deserted island, waiting to be rescued, I wanted to write a personal message, stuffed it in a bottle and sailed it away until it reaches its destination, wherever the current may flow. However a knock on my head by a pinus cone brought me back to a reality thus I ended my short daydreaming.

So my friend, bro A. Rahman. I am sending this special message to you anyway through this medium, a bigger island than my fantasy paradise called blogosphere. We first met 7 month ago, a comradeship flourished and we met again last week. This is a short note to a long distant friend - Thank you very much for your friendship. I hope you are doing very well in your jihad. I pray for your success, a good health, a smooth sailing in whatever endeavor you may embark and hopefully we will meet again this coming Eidul Fitri. Insyaallah.

p/s: Couldn't stop myself with 3 plates of nasi each time having that terubok :) This can't be happening...I need to be strong...

07 July 2009

Had it not been for the sheer driving pleasure...

I have been visiting this particular place numerous time for the past years. That is for only one reason - I simply love beaches (got to be extra careful with the spelling) and their magical surrounding. Even though this particular place wouldn't comply 100% by my definition and standard as a true beach, for the reason that I couldn't find 'keropok lekor' or 'sata' in the vicinity for my heavenly consumption while sitting under a solitary palm tree. For a mere a one hour drive from my place, this is the nearest place I can have a dip in the sea and eased my beach addition a bit.

So last weekend my family and I packed up our thing and off we went to Bagan Lalang, a small fishing village in Sepang where they used to dumb all the dirty engine oil from the nearby F1 circuit into the rivers and painted the whole shoreline in black. No...no... I am just kidding. (This is probably a clear effect of doing things when you are in a jovial mode. Nobody seems to take thing seriously these days. Who wants to be serious anyway when the only serious thing in our life is how to have a humongous supa-dupa flat plasma TV than our neighbor next door).

Bagan Lalang has changed a lot since the last time I visited the place, that was 3 years ago. The major change in my opinion is its landscape. Suddenly the sleepy village and calm beach are transforming into becoming a tourist major attraction in years to come. You don't have to go to the Kanggaroland anymore, we have our own Sepang Gold Coast at our doorstep. A lavishly man-made islets of floating bricks and cement they called a bungalow ala The Palm Islands of Dubai are under the construction close by. Very impressive looking pyramid-shaped structure and paradise island resort-style are the show of engineering and architectural modern marvel in plain display. With the cost estimated at 3 billion Malaysian Ringgit, the number of zero that follows the denomination is impressive indeed.

But something has never changed. The kampung folks and their lifestyle. At least for the time being. The fishing activities are still bustling with fishermen coming in and out of the moor with their sampan, the traditional 'kelong' is still standing still for the avid anglers, there is a fish market that pack with fresh sea produces and sells local delicacies, plenty of affordable accommodation near to the beach and for the cheapskates and more adventurous one you can even ditch a tent and spent you night under the moon on the beach. Dining out may sounds a bit of the elite side, but finding a place to tickle your taste but is never a problem. You can find many restaurants run by the locals that cook tasteful dishes along the coastal line, that won't cost a bomb.

I am not sure when I shall come again to this place. I wish this is not going to be the last. The natural beauty that nature has been presenting and allowing us to enjoy all this while is dwindling fast each time I gaze my eyes upon them. Modernization and commercialization are the two words that superficially justified by the mankind ever since to feed their endless greed. I hope mother nature won't bleed and shed its tears. I hope we don't live that long enough to see, hear and feel the earth dying.

Even though this is not a fountain of youth, dipping in the pool with these energetic kids has really regain back my youthfulness. If not because of having the thought that UV might retarded some of my skin cells and accelerates my aging processes, I might have slept and dined in this swimming pool forever.

Actually the sand that made up this beach is almost as fine and clean as the beaches on the coastal areas of the eastern peninsular. The feel of the soft sand under you feet really has the soothing effect on me. On the positive side, the sand reclamation for the development has turned the once muddy beach into a white sandy coastal area.

The knowledge is passed from generations to generations. It is good to educate the young and instill in their soft heart that we should preserve whatever God has created for the mankind. God creates everything perfectly and for a specific reason.

This lone fisherman scouring the beach floor, looking for 'kepah'. At the back is part of the development that is actively taking its shape. How long 'kepah' will live in the spoilt environment?, that fisherman is probably wondering.

I tried my beachcombing skill and this is what I got. After 10 minutes, this is my own collection of the hidden treasure under the muddy sand.

Overly-excited to embark on the beach activities, my kids didn't care less for an early breakfast in the hotel. At the end, they surrendered to their grumbling tummy and helped themselves with nasi lemak and telur goreng served as their brunch right under a coconut tree near to the beach.

I found local produces in this small market are really tempting and mouth watering. We ended up with box full of the gift from the sea at the back of my bonnet.

My youngest has started to develop from being a novice to an expert in kite flying. At least with the help of his attentive mummy.

Ice cream treat for the kids to cool off and end the day on the beach.

On the way back, I found this 'lokan' sold by a local along the road not far from the beach. I didn't expect to find this 'lokan' in Bagan Lalang. This freshwater shells reminded me of my late grandfather who really good at collecting this mollucans in the river, which is abundance. They live in the muddy sandbank among other nipah inhabitants. Correctly cook, their taste is irresistible.

02 July 2009

The first haiku

Hujan pagi :
menitis lesu satu persatu
sesak nafas berjerebu

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