Chasing Rainbows

At work, my students think I’m a happy person. Some even called me ‘cute’ because I’m short, plump and wear colourful outfits. In reality, I just feel like sitting down somewhere and just cry my heart out where nobody can hear me.

Today, from the moment I started the engine of my car to the moment I parked it at work, I was practically chasing after a rainbow. My iPod also chose the same time to shuffle every sentimental song it has throughout the journey. Seriously, I would have spent a few minutes calming myself down if I was not running late. I just… couldn’t help but cry as I drive to work.

Like I said, it felt like I just CHASED after a rainbow.

The phrase quickly turned into ‘CHASING RAINBOWS’ – trying to achieve something impossible or impractical.

Being able to live in the same home as my husband still seems like a faraway dream at the moment. It’s like the only option we both have is to take a long study leave to enrol in full-time Masters degree. That would mean leaving my sickly mother alone, though. I don’t want to do that. It is an evil thing to do. At the same time, my husband doesn’t have the heart to work where he’s currently working.

I can’t afford to spend over RM500 every two weeks for plane tickets. At this rate, we’ll end up being as miserable as those separated by peninsulas. Other people can pay for the instalment of their first homes with the amount of money my husband and I spend just to see each other for a very short time. We dare not even dream of going on holidays. We just have too little time together.

I’m feeling more and more lethargic.

As I write this entry, I’m having trouble breathing.

I almost had an asthma attack at work today because of stress and fatigue. The form 1 kids from the last class were being too difficult. I shed some tears in class. At work. Yes, I friggin cried AT WORK. I couldn’t be worse than this. At least, I hope so.

KPM, won’t you help me bring back my old, chirpy self who was so full of creative and innovative ideas…or am I just chasing rainbows?

272 Days and a Jumbled Up Monologue

Precisely, mine and Zaki’s 😉

Ever since I sort of lost touch with drawing and writing, I realised I haven’t blogged about the most important event that changed the way things are now. Yeah, I’m happily married to my super loving husband. Now let me have a flashback for a bit.

The Making of the Video

I was calm during our solemnisation ceremony. Due to a funny slip-up that should never be mentioned, I wanted to cry but ended up chuckling instead at that time. Well, it was….um…. funny and everyone else laughed so yeah 😛 It did feel surreal. It was like, wow, one minute I was still a “Miss” and the next minute I am a “Mrs”. Above all, I thank Allah for giving my parents the opportunity to marry meoff.  I hope they’re happy and at peace that all of their children are married and have good jobs.

The next day was our reception. well, he was late for a bit but that’s okay. Everything else went smoothly. One of the hantarans from him to me was an X-Box 360 + Kinect (hahaha I know, I know) so I remember that after the day ended, we wasted no time setting up the console and giving some games a go. It was fun playing games and goofing around in front of the screen now that we could be in the same room together.

Now, 272 days later, I’m here typing this up while missing him. It hasn’t been easy. I’m in Kelantan and he’s working in Johor. Direct flights KBR-JHB  are only available at a very inconvenient time when every soul is working in the mornings of  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We’ve been using the KBR-KUL-JHB-KUL-KBR route all this time because of different weekends and distance. It is time consuming and very costly but we have no other choice if we want to meet. KPM apparently wouldn’t approve of his transfer. What’s worse is that his power-hungry autocratic admin is a major fucked-up asshole who probably doesn’t want us to ever meet, making CRKs and MCs hard (well I pray Allah gives her what she deserves when it’s due, perhaps a lonely death or sth).

The only thing we can both do is pray for an improvement – a transfer, better communication and perhaps, better bosses who actually believe in God and not think of their staff as mere unworthy underlings. InsyaAllah.

p.s/ My ranting in Malay language is over at http://www.dakwathitam.com

A mother’s last responsibility and her lifelong dream

It’s never easy to talk about this but my mother makes me face reality every single day anyway. There is no way for me to escape reality because she is always there to remind me. I don’t mind it all that much when it’s true. Most of the time, she’s got a point and her points are always sharp.

Let’s face it. Everyone who knows me knows that I am the only daughter of the family. I am also the youngest child. What do you think the parents’ last responsibility towards a daughter would be? It shouldn’t be that hard to guess, should it? Of course it would be to see that their daughter is happily married to a good man. The ceremony and the reception (or just the kenduri) is also the responsibility of the parents. Why do you think their names are listed as the host and hostess in the invitation card? Sheesh.

Now. My mother has a dream. A lifelong dream of seeing a properly planned wedding of her daughter. This, she told me ever since I was young – ever since I had no intention of marrying anyone (obviously before my fiance found the key to my heart, lol). She is the type of person who likes to plan early. She likes to plan meticulously, as do I. We aren’t perfectionists. We just like to see everything go as smoothly as it can. That’s not a bad trait, right?

She did not get to plan my brothers’ weddings, nope. That was not her responsibility, obviously (duh!). She planned the majlis bertandang or majlis sambut menantu or simply the groom’s reception, which by our norm here (at that time) is normal if it’s just held in a simpler manner. Just a doa selamat would suffice. Well, that was over five years ago, though. I suppose things have changed.

Back to the topic at hand. SO, my mom has a lifelong dream of seeing my wedding reception held at our house, obviously with her daughter and her son-in-law all dolled up beautifully, with pretty deco around us and good food that cost no greater than what we can afford. My parents remind me all the time that the reception is THEIR responsibility, so it will be THEIR money. What I can do is help out as much as I can and provide monetary support only when it’s appropriate. It sounds weird but that’s my parents for you. When it’s their job, it’s their job. I offer my help all the time, of course, because I like to plan too. Buying new furnitures, house improvements, you name it. Sometimes, they approve. Sometimes, they say “don’t, we’ll do that later. Keep your money”. Most of the time, they tell me:

Just let us carry out our last responsibility in peace.

It makes me smile a bitter smile all the time. Always. It makes me happy. It makes me sad. It’s a reminder that we’re all getting older. It’s a reminder that I am no longer a child. At the same time, it’s also a reminder that they acknowledge me as a full-fledge adult now. I thank her for that.

Dear Allah, please bless my parents with health, longevity and happiness. They’ve brought me up as a responsible human being who can now contribute to society. They built comfortable home for their children to grow up in. They provided me with all the necessities I need while growing up and more. Please let my mother carry out her last responsibility and realise her lifelong dream in peace too.

Amin ya rabbal alamin.

Everyone’s mother is different but I would like to believe that every mother loves her children. Every mother is willing to make sacrifices for her children without asking the children to make sacrifices for them first. My mother, I believe, is also like that and I hope I can become like that too one day if I’m blessed with children.

This Eid al-Adha, I also think of my parents’ sacrifices among all others. Happy Eid al-Adha everyone. May Allah’s blessings be with us always 🙂

p.s/ I’ve stopped counting my tears because with every count, my heart aches.

The Fianc̩e and the Fianc̩ РA New Journey

My engagement ceremony started and concluded well last Saturday. Although I didn’t get to see the procession of when Zaki’s family arrived, I did get to see it through short video clips taken by my eldest brother. I was smiling and giggling – how cute of him to be flustered and awkward before entering the house.

It started a little bit after 11am, the original time of the event. Traffic, I guess. My uncle’s family helped lead the way to my house from the mosque. I was confined to a room near the kitchen until my cousin called me out for the exchange of rings. If you ask me what they talked about, I have no idea whatsoever. I’ll assume it’s nothing bad because the atmosphere wasn’t as tense as I thought it would be. I knew I chose the right colour when I saw him wearing the traditional baju melayu complete with songkok. I think my heart skipped a beat. Oh, and he was wearing his specs – I LIKE~~~~ (yes, that’s a confession. I love it when he wears specs, okay. And vests. And dress shirts. And baju melayu, of course). After the rings, we took photos. Lots of photos. I am my own photography director for this event, so none of the shots was professional enough, unfortunately. It sort of made me feel like we’re married but there’s distance between us in all pictures. Nevertheless, we looked happy in those pictures~

I wished everyone was there. My brother and sis-in-law are in Tawau, Sabah. His little brother and two little sisters did not attend the ceremony as well. I hope everybody will be in the next time we have an event like this. I’ll probably hire a pro next time, depending on my budget.

We might have been just friends longer than we’ve been in love, but that doesn’t mean our love is less deep than those who’ve been together for longer than we have. I enjoy learning how to become a good wife for my future husband. Back when we were still studying, I love cooking for him because maaaaannn… he can EAT! I don’t know why, but I soooo enjoy watching him eat up the meals on the dishes (or in the plastic containers). I pray that one day the time will come when we will go home to say “I’m home!” to each other. I pray it won’t be too long a wait too. It’s amazing, you know, how we went from aku kau to saya kamu to abang sayang. It wasn’t so smooth but it happened. Naturally.

Anyhow!

It wasn’t a very smooth sailing. We faced obstacles before coming this far and I’m sure there are many more obstacles waiting for us out there. Am I scared? Of course I am. Is he scared? I think so. Well, if I know him well, I know he is scared as well. We’re both scared. The final date is yet to be set. I can tell my brain to forget about it for a while but I can’t fool myself into thinking that it doesn’t matter. Until the date is set, I’ll be fidgety every once in a while, I guess. My mind is already thinking about the event, budgeting and everything related. Budgeting, most importantly. As much as I hate to mention money, it does get the world moving.

Investing in another good Ariani shawl and a DSLR (albeit an entry one) was probably one of my biggest satisfaction ever. My photos came out lovely. The shawl that I wore provided ultimate comfort for the whole 4 hours of wearing it. I didn’t want to hire a photographer because it was just an engagement, not yet a wedding. What I did was set the camera to the settings that I wanted and taught my closest-to-age cousin Zayanie how to shoot with the camera. She took very nice pictures and I’m so happy with most of the shots. Mission “capture pretty moments” was accomplished! I only wished I had good shots of when Ibu put the ring on my finger but it happened too fast (and I forgot to teach my cousin how to switch to “continuous adv” drivesetting). That’s okay, I guess, because I can always relive the moment in my mind and in the video clips. The photo/video editor? Myself, of course.

To those planning their engagement or wedding in Kelantan especially around Pasir Mas, Kota Bharu and Rantau Panjang, I would like to recommend Aisycreation Boutique located in Tal Tujoh. Lovely owners, lovely arrangements et cetera.  You can flip through my engagement album here. Era Nona near Tesco Kota Bharu has one of the best prices for deco and flowers I’ve seen so far. It beats the one shop I saw in Rantau Panjang by miles.

Although the fiance did complain about the intensity of the make-up…ok, he doesn’t like me in make-ups. I don’t like heavy make-ups as well. I don’t like lipsticks, eyeshadows and blushers but I let the make-up artist do her job. My eyes did feel heavy because of the eyelashes, but well… At least they look kinda nice in pictures :/

I’ll backtrack and press rewind in the next entry. I just realised I spoke not much of my preparation and my graduating ceremony which was held on the 28th of May. For now, I’ll stop at the thumbnails below.

p.s/ I love you, bang. I don’t know when will be the next time we’ll see each other again but I’ll be waiting.

A Race for Time Management and Financial Planning

Aunt’s House @ Bachok. Sending off my cousin to UiTM Chendering.

Good time management and financial planning is essential for when you have big events coming up in your life. You can’t do with just one because financial planning alone is not enough and vice versa. When you plan your money, you plan your time as well. It’s almost the same as making investments with banks. You choose a certain period of time, you keep your money there and reap the benefits.

People who have never been to Kelantan may say all the bad things they’ve heard about this state – dirty, poor, etc etc but there has been much development around since the past few years. I could barely recognise my own place anymore after spending much time someplace else. New highways, new flyovers, new buildings, new towns, high-rise condos, shopping malls and many others keep sprouting one after another that the GPS data needs to be updated all the time.

This state is chock full of people. During school holidays, traffic defeats those of big cities. Driving from Federal Highway into Bangsar after office hours is more bearable than driving into Pasir Mas from my house on a normal weekday during school holidays. This is why it is very important to plan things ahead of time. If you’re slow, you lose out on so many good deals.

The Race Against Time: Since Kelantanese return to their hometown during long holidays, tourists need to book accommodations way ahead of time if they plan to visit the state for shopping at Rantau Panjang, Wakaf Che Yeh or even Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah. If you’re coming here for big events such as weddings, you will have to book at least one month before your projected day of arrival. I am currently facing this problem of finding accommodation for visiting relatives. We made a big mistake of not forming a solid plan until a little over two weeks before the date of the event. I called at least 10 guest houses and got the same response over and over: “Fully booked from 28 May to 8 June, sorry.” I drove along the Salor-KB highway into Jalan Pintu Geng until Wakaf Che Yeh to look for decent accommodation open for booking. Tune Hotel next to KB Mall is nice, but the rooms are very small :/ In the end, I chose a fairly new inn around Wakaf Che Yeh. The rooms and beds were okay when I looked, so yeah. Before booking, I asked two nearby inns and found them to be fully booked as well. See how busy this state is?

If you’re planning to get married or engaged in this state, you also have to be VERY quick with your bookings. Bridal boutiques and bakeries are fully booked everywhere. For weddings, it is essential to book AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS BEFORE the big day. Note the ‘at least’ in capital letters. If you try to make bookings around 3 to 2 months before your chosen date, the shop owner would give you a look that says ‘are you kidding?’ -_-”

Finance is the Key: It is most crucial to plan your money. The price of everything seems to move with time. Well, same rules as the peak and off seasons for accommodation apply. Financial planning for the big day must involve two parties. It’s a two-way communication. One way communication just doesn’t work no matter what people say. At my age, I have to draft a solid money and spending chart every month to determine how much I could save and how much I must spend to survive the month (pay bills, car instalment, credit card debt repayment, essentials…). This year and next year will be different, I hope. After confirmation, I’d be around RM430 richer than this year. I just have to make sure my confirmation goes smoothly 😀

Saving money towards a certain goal is recommended, right? Same goes to saving for the big day. I don’t know about other people but I’m the type who don’t want to trouble my future husband much. I won’t force my spouse to give me an additional RM1,000 just because we’re married and just because he must give me money for maintenance (nafkah). I won’t be an unemployed housewife, so I could at least help out where necessary. I believe that finance is not the sole responsibility of only the husband – the understanding wife must also play a part ^_^

If there are people who claim that I am too young to tie the knot at this age, I want them to ask themselves; “How old were your parents when they had their first child?” This whole process used to be so simple. I have no idea who came around and made things complicated in our current society :/

Until later. Lots of work to finish still.

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