Sunday, August 06, 2006

Questions, Answered Part 2

Zan : since you already left ur job since 2 yrs back, what's the hardest thing that you encounter in the beginning and how u overcome it? from emo perspective/financial? (which i dun think so)/other's opinion like SAHM=dormant h/wife?
which is better living in (@lkhobar) as an expat's wife, away from family & delish food OR staying here near to loved ones and friends?
Elisa: The hardest thing is the financial dependence I have on my husband. I hate not having my own money to spend. Even now, when I go shopping, I think twice, thrice, four times, before I buy anything, coz I still feel kinda guilty for spending ‘his money’. Sometimes I go with the intention to buy something, and end up not buying anything at all.
How I got over it? Well, first thing, I asked for an allowance. That way, I felt like it is my money, instead of his. Second thing, I tell myself “I deserve it!”. Hey, I’m not sitting at home goyang kaki, man.. I work my butt off cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids. I should at least deserve the same amount of pay that a maid gets, no?
“Dormant Housewife”? I think that’s an oxymoron. And I think people who think housewife=dormant are morons.
I like living in Khobar for reasons mentioned in my answer to Nonah. But yes, I do miss my family and friends. I guess that’s why I blog so much. I get to still keep in touch even though I’m physically far away. I miss the small chit chats though.
During the first few months I was here and we were without a computer, I felt like I was disappearing!! I mean, I used to be this hot shot engineer. People listened to my opinions. People called me up every 5 minutes to ask me (to do) something. I was solving issues. I was a solution provider. And suddenly there I was, no one calling up to ask anything. The only solutions I was making was a mixture of bleach and laundry detergent to clean my stove stop. But then my kids would come home from school, with all these homework and stories, and Anis comes up with a different dance every other day, and my husband asks what’s for dinner, and I started craving things unavailable here.. So I occupied myself with things at hand and became a solution provider again, but this time, the issues were closer to home, and to my heart.

Lollies : Which part of your anatomy do you like most?
Elisa: Gosh.. there’s so many (parts of my anatomy). My spleen? My brain! My brain.. I luvs me brain. I think it’s magic how the human brain works.

Butterflutter : If you are given a choice what would you like to be?
Elisa: Nanny McPhee, but with my own children, and without the ugly warts, nose and teeth. Actually, I just want that magic stick.

Roserose : Kalau tanya,nak jawab kat mana?
Elisa: jawab kat sini lah makcik…

Fara : If I relocate to the Middle East, what Malay foodstuff should I bring?
Elisa: All the spices you normally use at home. Rempah kari, korma, kuzi, serbuk kunyit, etc. Coz the ones here taste totally different. All the bouquet garnet (bunjut) from Adabi for soup. They don’t have that here. Asam keping, asam jawa, cili kering. Ikan bilis, udang kering. Some people also bring: serai, daun limau purut, daun kesum, bunga kantan, daun pandan, and freeze them. The next time I go home, I’m gonna try to smuggle some plants and try to cultivate them instead. One of the malays here have successfully cultivated a serai bush in her backyard. If you like salted fish/seafood, pack some too, coz it’s not the same over here. If you’re particular about your sauces, pack your maggis, Kimballs, habhals and tamims and lee kum kees. Keropok ikan. Belacan, if you’re into it. Kapur (if you use it) coz I’ve tried looking for it here and I don’t know what it’s called in English (or Arabic). Your favourite Instant Noodles! Coz they’re really different here. It also depends where you’re moving to, too. I hear places like Oman, has no oriental stores at all, so you have to stock up on dried mushrooms and stuff like that. Your cookbook (coz you’ll never know what you’ll suddenly crave), and a good sense of taste, so that you know what to substitute with when one of your ingredients are scarce.

Temi : i understand that u have 4 sisters, what was it like during your adolescent years?
Elisa: Well, I only grew up with 3 of them, since Mimi lives in a different house and is still trying to grow up (tee hee! Jangan marah, Mi). I also went to boarding school since I was 13, so I did most of my growing up with my schoolmates instead of my sisters.
Actually, come to think of it, I felt kinda left out when I was growing up.
My other sisters were like 'girly girls' and I was more of a tomboy. My two 'famous' sisters in particular, were more in tuned with fashion and make up and stuff, while I stuck with t-shirt and jeans and using baby powder on my face. They all went to day-schools, so basically had more freedom than I had. Mokciknab was always the one who had introduced me to places like Petaling Street and Central Market. She hung out with cool, arty folks and she still does. TDB (The one who Does not Blog) would give me make up tips and what's in and what's not, and always drags one of us to go search for the perfect skirt, or the perfect handbag or the perfect shoe. I don't usually have the patience for her, so most often than not, mokciknab would be her victim. Tulisje grew up at home while I was away at school, so I never really did get to bond with her, that was why I was quite suprised to see how well she writes when she first revealed her blog to me.
I think we’re closer now that we’re older (and less immature). I still can't stand going shopping with TDB though. tee hee.

Shariza_vz : Do you like changes? If yes, what would you change now (if given the chance), to the world, to your family, to your kids, to yourself? What do you consider your toughest change (tht you have to make)?
Elisa: I think change is good.
To the world, of course I’d like it to have less wars. I want the killings and bombings to end. To my family, I’d like us to eat healthier and be more spiritual. To my kids, I just want them to behave. Myself, I want to have more faith in God.
The toughest change I’ve had to make is, I guess, getting used to not having my own money. Read my reply to zan.

Katt : just wondering how elisa looks like as a person.
Elisa : Just for you, katt :

Thecharmedone : Berapa banyak makanan @ masakan yang kak elisa bole masak??? (How many dishes can you cook?)
Elisa: Hm.. looking at the number of culinary jam posts and the number of recipes in my recipe book, not many.

Nazrah : 1. what's the most un-goddess-ly habit do you have? 2. if you could have a mommie's day off how would u plan it. i know u r good at party planning!
Elisa: aiyohhh malulah.. okay okay, I confess.. I burp a lot and really loud. I have a lot of gas.. what can I do??

Nazrah : 2. if you could have a mommie's day off how would u plan it?
Elisa: Well it depends on the purpose of the mommie’s day out. Is it more like a reunion of long time friends (then you would want to do more catching up), or more like a group of girlfriends going out to do something together (you don’t really need to talk to each other that much, you just want to enjoy the company). Either way, there are 2 important elements for a mommie’s day out:
a. Mommies get to have fun (which by default includes eating),
b. mommies get to relax (read: not cook or clean. Walking down a 5 mile long shopping mall is tiring but okay)
If it’s the reunion type of day-out, then I would have an intimate dinner party or high tea or brunch or lunch. Just plenty of food, places to sit and time. You get the picture. If you want to re-live the boarding school days, you can also have a pajama party. You can eat instant noodles from tupperwares and have cream crackers with your mug of milo and yak yak yak all night long. For breakfast, can order pre-packed nasi lemak or make kaya toasts together. Bring along the yearbook and family albums! (Sounds good, Dory?)
If it’s the Girlfriends’ kinda day-out, you can do a meal (breakfast or lunch), then an ‘activity’ (something your husbands won’t normally do with you), then have another meal (lunch or tea) to wind down. The activities can basically be anything, a pampering at the spa, watch a foreign movie, go to a sale, attend a short seminar/course on something that would interest all of you, watch a play, attend an art exhibition or a special museum display, shop for fabrics , anything that the ladies might enjoy. You can tie it all up in a nice theme, e.g. I once went to an Iranian film screening at the Islamic Arts Centre, we later went to the middle eastern restaurant to sample the fare (you can choose to all wear salwar khameez or Arabian robes and scarves if you want). My girlfriends and I once went to a mall in our jeans and casual tops, went to catch an Indonesian teen flick, then shared a few dishes at Chilli’s for dinner and to discuss about the movie. It made us feel young again ! :laugh:
Other possible themes: Attend a classical concert, then have a nice dinner at an elegant restaurant (an excuse to dress up). Attend a hands-on class in the art of ikebana, then have sushi. Go shop for fabrics at Indian street (sample the sweets along the way) and then have banana leaf rice lunch (or have Chinese instead).

famygirl : 1. if u could offer me one advice, what would that be? 2. if more than one advice, what would they be?
Elisa: Reflecting on what’s been going on at your workplace lately, I’d say “Just do your best!”. Don’t stress out too much and think about what you’d rather be doing and the lost family time. The sacrifice is short and temporary. The hard times will pass, if you focus your efforts on resolving the issues. (Is that already more than one advice?)
Anyways, I’ll add one more. In the meantime, search your soul and find out what is something that you enjoy doing, and find the skill involved in that, and hone that skill (by reading, going to courses/seminars etc). Then when you feel that you’re brave enough, you can use that skill to build a business and quit your job! :)

Ben : What would you see yourself doing if you were Taufik and kidless?
Elisa: Knowing the person Taufik is, if I were unmarried, I would look for a wife, because he is a family oriented man. If I fail to do that, then I would probably by me a collection of BMW 5 series. :laugh:


hokay, Q&A session is officially closed!

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