after comeing up with 8 posts for four hours of blog marathon,
I am all out of ideas.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
If you havent read it yet, last night (this morning, to readers in Malaysia) I helped out PB and the rest of the gang with Blogathon 2006 for Aman Palestine.
Here were my posts during my 'shift':
Sat July 29th, 08:29PM (GMT +3) My turn!
Sat July 29th, 08:57PM (GMT +3) How to make a simple centerpiece
Sat July 29th, 09:28PM (GMT +3) How it all started
Sat July 29th, 09:58PM (GMT +3) Finger games, part 1: the counting game
Sat July 29th, 10:29PM (GMT +3) Finger games, part 2: thumb wrestling
Sat July 29th, 10:59PM (GMT +3) Finger games, part 3: Rock, paper, scissors a.k.a. O-som
Sat July 29th, 11:28PM (GMT +3) My Palestinian daughter
Sat July 29th, 11:58PM (GMT +3) Chocolate-cream-filled Choux buns
It was kinda fun, skype-ing with lollies and PB while waiting for the deadline to loom. My heart goes frantic everytime lollies tell me "okay post now, now now!!!" and I click the Submit button.
I went frantic when Nonah (who took over after my shift ended) posted just a minute late. I thought maybe she got confused with the timing or something.
so kaypoh. so embarassing.
Anyways, the blogathon is not over yet!! we still have 7 more hours to go!!
so hop on over to primarybasic and support us!
Read entries, leave comments, cheer us on .. and donate if you want :)
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:42 PM
Friday, July 28, 2006
We had some friends over for dinner the other day. They were moving back home after a year here. We were talking about how their kids cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia anymore. So we asked Ilham to try and say something in Malay.
He hesitantly said , "urm.. Saya.. urm.. minum.. air" (I drink water).
The other kids giggled.
"You drink wadder?" they laughed at Ilham.
"War-Ter lah!" said our friend, poking fun at his boys' american accent.
We were quite proud that Ilham could still speak malay.
When it was time to go home, Ilham sidled up to me and asked "How do you say 'Hope you have a great time going back to Malaysia' in Malay?"
I was stumped. So I told him to say 'Selamat Jalan' (Safe Journey) instead.
Ilham quickly yelled "urm Sur-lum-mutt Jull-larn!!!"
"Sur-lum-mutt Jull-larn??" "Sur-lum-mutt Jull-larn????" I chided him.
"What are you? Mat salleh jaga estate ker?? Suh-Lah-mutt Jah-lun lah...."
We were at the dining table, when Ihsan suddenly remember a question he wanted to ask his dad. (I don't know why, Ihsan would suddenly have alot of things to talk about when there's a plate of rice in front of him. This would usually distract him from eating his rice, though).
Ihsan asked Taufik "Ayah, did you use a shovel?"
Taufik gave him a quizical look, "A shovel?? Use a shovel for what? The garden?"
"No, for your face" Ihsan explained, "You know.. for your whiskers"
"Ohhhhh!!!" we all went.. "You mean, a SHAVER. not a shovel"
Ihsan slapped his head for dramatic effect, "I ferrgottt!!!"
Once Anis came up to me right after she was nagged for messing up the living room and asked me, "Are you marry?"
I corrected her, "You mean, am I married? Yes, I am married to ayah".
"No.." she said, obviously annoyed, "are you marry me?"
"You mean, can I marry you? no I can't marry you.. you're my daughter"
"no, bonda!!! Are. You. Marry. Me???" she insisted.
"What anis??? I don't understand you lahhhh" I answered tiredly.
"are you marry me because I mess up this room?" she finally said.
And I finally got it.
"You mean ANGRY. You're asking me if I'm angry at you?"
"Yes! Bonda marah?" she asked.
"Not anymore" I laughed.
I finally figured it out. Marah+angry=marry.
So a few days later I heard her brothers teasing her. They would annoy her and I'd hear her say something in an angry tone to her brothers.
The boys would go, "Anis, are you marry??"
and she'd say "Yes!"
and they'd egg her on "Are you married to Abang Ihsan?"
and she'd say "Yes!"
and the boys would have a big laugh.
aiyahhh how lah like this??
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:41 PM
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Originally written on Sep 23, 2001, as an email to ummikusayang@yahoogroups.
picture courtesy of http://www.palestine-info.co.uk
Picture not directly related to story.
This is a true story. It is an excerpt from "Palestinians Speak" (pg 31-35).
I had taken the liberty to edit it for brevity. Even then, it is quite long.
I advise that you print this out or read it on your computer at your leisure. I also would like to advise you to read it when you're alone. I cried for an hour after reading it, and had to hug my children for comfort. But then again, I *was* pregnant, so it may just be hormones that's affecting my emotions.
"Souad Srour Merii (29 years old)"
I was born in Shatila along with 8 other siblings, 5 boys and 3 girls. I was the eldest. The story I'm abt to tell u is what happened to me and my family in the massacre at Sabra-Shatila during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It happened on the evening of the 16th and the morning of the 17th of Sept, after the assassination on the 14th, of the Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel, who was the leader of the Lebanese Forces, or the fascist Christian militia called Kata'ib (Phalange). This party was well known for its hatred towards Palestinians and for its collaboration with Israel.
On the 16th of Sept ... [she visited friends whose home had been destroyed and are living in a makeshift shelter] ... I went home, prepared dinner for my younger sisters and brothers, fed them and put them to sleep. My father refused to let me go alone to the shelter to pick up my friends, He asked me to take my brother Maher with me. At that time I was 17 and my brother was 12 yrs old. Shortly before we reached the shelter, we started seeing horrible scenes: bodies lying on the ground with blood flowing out of them. We heard moaning voices and people screaming in pain. Suddenly I was called by a voice that I knew to be that of our neighbour Abu Rida, who wanted us to help him.
"They slaughtered us, killed us, raped the girls and took away all the girls between 12 and 16 yrs old". Then he told us, "Escape from your house, don't stay in it. They will come back and kill all the people in the camp". I inquired about who did that, but suddenly we heard a voice shouting, "You dogs are still alive? Not dead yet?"
We ran away back home in order to tell our parents of the horrible events. We informed our father about what happened and about the advice of our neighbour. My father said , "Nothing will happen to us if God forbids. He created us and only He will end our lives". We stayed on our house till the dawn of next day, Friday, 17th Sept.
At 430 the next morning, our neighbour and my 11 yr old brother decided to go up to the roof of the house to see what was going on in order to decide whether to stay at home or run away. They were seen by the militia men stationed on the hills of the stadium overlooking the camp. My brother and our neighbour were frightened and came down quickly and told us what they saw, and shortly afterwards, we heard somebody knocking at the door.
My father inquired who was knocking and was told they were Israelis who wanted to search the house. He opened the door and saw 13 armed men outside the door. Some stayed outside the door, some went to the roof and some circled around us to frighten us.
I stood up with my younger sister beside my father, and the rest stood up beside my mother and our neighbour. My father welcomed them and asked them to sit down. One of the men answered that they wanted to take everything. I answered him back, and asked him why he wanted to take everything after taking away our most precious thing, which is our land. I said to him, "Why do you want to take more?" He answered me, "You'll see what we'll take more. I'll take you and your sister".
My father begged him to take everything except his children. He was hit on the face, and he started bleeding. I couldn't stop myself from shouting at their faces, asking them why they were hitting an old man. I was hit and pushed severely to the ground. When I felt the pain, I hit the soldier back. They took the money we had - LL40,000/- - and our rings, even my father's wedding ring.
One of them shouted and gave an order to take us inside the room. He ordered us stand up by the wall with our hands raised above our heads, with our backs towards them. They ordered us not to look back. My sister Shadia who was one and a-half years old raised her hands and called her mother because she was afraid. They started shooting us.
My baby sister was shot in her head, and her brains splattered over us.
My father was shot in his heart but was still alive.
My brothers Shadi,3, Farid, 8, Bassam, 11 and my sister Hajar, 7, and Shadia and our neighbour died right away.
My brothers Maher, 12 and Ismail,9, were safe because they were hiding in the bathroom.
My mother and my sister Nuhad, 16, were wounded, but did not die.
As for me, I was paralyzed right away and couldn’t move. The soldiers thought that we were all dead and left our house.
I started screaming and asking who was still alive. My mother, my younger sister and my 2 brothers in the bathroom answered. Then my father answered, but he was mortally wounded. I asked them to escape and send somebody to rescue me and my father. So, they escaped and I was left with my wounded father, surrounded by the dead members of my family. It was a horrible situation that I'll never forget in my whole life.
At 10 am, 3 militia men came back to pick up the money they forgot, and they saw me approaching my father. They cursed me with very dirty words and told me: "See what we will do to you in front of your father" The three of them raped me, one after another, in front of my father, shot me on my left hand, and went away. My father told me, "God be with you" , and passed away. He couldn’t bear what he saw, because at that time I hadn’t menstruated yet, and what happened was horrible for me, especially as it happened in front of my wounded father.
They came back again on the same day, in the evening, and saw me having a drink. They were furious because they found me alive. They shot me twice and hit me over the head, and I fainted right away. Later during the night, I woke up hearing the noise of cats that were roaming around the dead bodies. I tried, with my uninjured hand, to cover their bodies, but I didn’t succeed completely.
The next morning, Saturday 18th Sept, they came back again, but I pretended to be dead.
On Sunday morning, a Lebanese soldier came to enquire about his relatives and our neighbours. I shouted for help, but I couldn’t talk when I saw the soldier, who took off his jacket and covered my naked body. He took me with him. On my way out of the camp, I saw swollen corpses of those who had been slaughtered. I heard cries and moaning all the way. The soldier handed me to the Lebanese Red Cross, who at once gave me artificial respiration. They took me took me to a hospital, which refused to admit me because I was a Palestinian. I was then taken to the American University Hospital. There were many reporters and journalists there, but I couldn’t speak to anyone. I had lost my ability to speak.
[ she was treated, then reunited with her mother, but she continued to become hysterical and required tranquilizers every time she recalled the massacres and every time she sees a military man. She was then told to be sent to Tripoli for further treatment, in a car with a driver and a bodyguard]
We drove along the coastal road towards Tripoli. We reached 'The Barbara Check-point', which was very famous during the Lebanese civil war. The driver asked me not to move and to pretend I was sleeping. The militia men at the check-point who belonged to the fascist Lebanese Forces ordered the driver and the bodyguard to step out of the car. They explained about me that I was being taken to be treated. The two militia said, "We know the girl", and looking at them I immediately recognized that they were in my house during the massacre.
The three of us were taken away in a Jeep with "The Lebanese Phalange" written on it. They told me "now you will die", and they ordered the bodyguard to take off his clothes and sit on a bottle. Then they hit him on the head and he died immediately in front of my eyes.
Then they snatched away the urine bag and the I.V. [that she was using]. They took away the blankets covering me. They raped me in front of the driver and put me naked on a rock at the beach in order to die. "Now she will die by herself", they said. I stayed the whole night in that situation, with the driver looking at me with pity. The next day the militia men came back and ordered the driver to take me back to where I had come. I was taken back to the hospital in Beirut in a much worse condition, unable to speak at all, refusing to see anybody and having continuous strong hysterical attacks.
For two years after that date I was unable to speak. I was in a wheelchair with all the suffering which I had to live with inside me. I was hospitalized for 4 years and underwent 6 operations. I have left Shatila now. I cannot stand to live in that same house in which half of my family was massacred. My mother rebuilt the house and now she and my brothers, Maher and Ismail and my sister Nuhad are living there. Slowly I started my life anew. I can walk now with the help of special shoes and a cane, and I am working in the Norwegian Aid workshop, making and selling handicraft items.
This is one, out of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions, of stories.
Imagine. This happened more than 20 years ago, and it is still happening now.
Will people look back at these events like they did the holocausts and wonder how they could have let this happen? Will they wonder why nobody did anything?
I will tell my children that I did my bit. It may not be much, but at least I did something.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:39 PM
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
If you want to scare your husband off committing extra-marital affairs, make him watch Dera1led.
First, you entice him to watch it with two words: "Jennifer An1ston" and "S3xual Affair".
Then you go "wow, is it that easy?" when they start lying to their spouses.
Then *BAM* say "Padan Muka!!" (Serves him right) when Cl1ve Owen's life is wrecked just like a derailed train and he gets hit where men hurt the most: their wallets.
The story is quite intriguing even though the dialogue is quite predictable.
No nudity, a bit of underwear, but there is some for3play and a blurred s3x scene, so please be forewarned.
I found the ending to be too good to be true, but satisfying.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:36 PM
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I am one of those mothers, who upon seeing pictures of suffering palestinian children, sees the faces of her children instead. I am sure they feel fear, sadness, pain.
Just like my kids.
Do you know how heart wrenching that is?
Picture courtersy of http://www.palestinemonitor.org/
When I see a picture of a dead palestinian child, I try not to forget that these children, even though they live in a war zone, where their lives are constantly under threat by bombings from across the border, were probably trying to live their lives as normal as possible.
A few minutes before they died, they were probably playing football, or riding a bike, or walking to school.
Just like my kids.
Picture courtersy of http://www.palestinemonitor.org/
We can't possibly imagine what the people of Palestine are going through at the moment, dealing with the loss of not just loved ones, but perhaps also the future, because of the loss of infrastructure and a support system.
But what we can do is help, in whatever way we can, in whatever capacity we can. No matter how small, every bit will count.
Here's what some friends of mine and I are doing:
We are going to collectively blog every half an hour for 24 hours, starting at 9pm (GMT +8) this Saturday July 29th, 2006. The blogs will be posted at primarybasic's blog (http://primarybasic.efx2.com/).
We will do this for our charity of choice, which is Aman Palestine, a non-profit, non-government organisation based in Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Aman Palestine uses the contributions they get to help fund the activities at Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Some of the activities include: sponsorship of palestinian orphans, education fund for the children, vocational training for single mothers, building orphanages, medicinal assistance, buying clothes for the cold winter days, and for transportation, among other things.
What will you be doing?
You, my friends, will be pledging your dollars to our cause!
You can go to the blogathon pledge page (http://blogathon.org/sponsor.php?blog_id=426) where you'll be prompted to sign up as a sponsor. This is safe, and privacy is assured.
You can choose to pledge a lump sum, or by hourly based on how many hours we blogged (believe me, we WILL blog for 24 hours!). Amounts are in US dollars, so convert accordingly.
A confirmation email will be sent to you. Click on the link provided in the email, to verify your pledge. It must be understood that you have not made any payment as of yet.
After we have successfully completed our side of the bargain as promised, you will receive an email with your pledge amount and a link to Palestinkini where there will be details on where you can place your donations to (by banking in to a Maybank account or Bank Islam). Look for 'Aman Palestin Berhad'.
For overseas sponsors (donators), send an email to primarybasic(at)gmail(dot)com for details of transaction.
Donate DIRECTLY to Aman Palestin; neither us nor the Blogathon site handle any donation money.
If you can't pledge money, pledge your time. Promote our cause at your site, or email your friends (spam be damned!). Tell them what we're doing, spread the word!
As I said, we're not asking for much. Every little bit counts. Your contribution would mean a lot to the Palestinian children.
It means that they would have a future to look forward to.
Just like my kids. Just like your kids.
For more info, check out these links:
Blogathon 2006: Aman Palestin
Crimson Skye's "How much do you care?"
What your TV will never show you: The Realities of GAZA
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:35 PM
Monday, July 24, 2006
monday is not even the first day of the week over here, and I am still having problems with mondays.
1. my freezer has no meat in it. no chicken, no beef, no swakni lamb. I think i have 2 sticks of sausages. and some potato wedges. 2 tubs of ice cream.
2. I don't know what to have for lunch!! *pulls hair* aarrrrrgggghhhh
3. I want to make choux buns (read: cream puffs) but I only have 2 eggs in the fridge. That means I need to walk to the mini market. can you spell M.A.L.A.S?
4. I'm making the cream puffs for tonight's tajweed class. They've moved it from wednesday back to Monday coz the hosts are going back to Malaysia for a vacation this Wednesday.
5. My kids are really really really really really really reallly reaaaaallllllly annoying me. The ones who can talk and bicker and scream with each other and make a mess of the house. The ones who won't eat when and what I tell them to. The ones who havent bathed or brushed their teeth at 10am. The ones who have got their PS2 confiscated time and time again and never learn.
okay now the baby is crying. gotta go.
p/s Updated Izani's blog.
Edited to add:
ah.. This is one of those days that it pays to be a goddess.
I discovered that I had leftover Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken in red Sauce, with 2.5 pieces of chicken left), a quarter of an omellete and about half a cucumber from last night (I didnt know I had them coz Taufik helped put them away after dinner while I went to bathe Izani). I also had a packet of Pancit Canton (chinese egg noodles) somewhere in my cupboards.
So after boiling the noodles till tender and draining it, de-boning and cutting up the chicken into bite sized pieces, sauteing some thinly sliced shallots and garlic, adding the chicken and red sauce, adding abit of water, tomato sauce (to cut down the spicyness of the red sauce), sweet soy sauce, sugar&salt&pepper to taste, then tossing the noodles + finely chopped omellette and cucumber in ... voila!
Fried noodles for lunch!
I had mine garnished with crispy fried shallots and roasted cashews. I was into my last few forkfuls when I heard izani waking up.
Just in time... !
but damn.. I still need to get eggs for the choux buns..
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:35 PM
Saturday, July 22, 2006
When we first got here, Taufik made it clear that we're not going to decorate our house too extensively. He said that if anything happens (i.e. an attack and our lives are in danger), he would want to be able to leave with just a bag of clothes and not worry about packing 'stuff'. I called it his 'bedouin decorating philosophy'.
Furthermore, he said, he is not planning to work here for more than two years. I saw that to mean "don't get too comfortable".
So for the past year that we've been living here, my house was bare, except for a few chinese white and blue porcelain vases that I bought for SR10 each at Ramez.
A few months ago he declared that he has revised his financial plans and that we might be staying here longer than 2 years. So I put my foot down and demanded that we make this house feel more like a home. I am embarassed to invite anyone over, coz our house is so bare. When we did have people over, I had to serve them on chipped dinnerware. I always have to apologize for the lack of eye-candy.
I am not much for decorations. I like homes that feel lived in, that does not look or feel like a hotel or fully-furnished rented house (which is what we're currently living in), where the inside of every other house looks just like your house.
I just want to personalize, make my home represent me.
Unfortunately, the only thing that had represented me from my home in Malaysia that I brought over here, was a faded pua kumbu (a traditional tie/dye method from Borneo) cloth that I now use to cover the table at our entrance.
So, now I have to start from scratch .. which is not such an unfortunate thing after all.. ;)
these are my latest prized possession:
Not iranian. 'Man Made Silk' it said, but looks and feels like the real thing. Very cheap. buy one get one free. The kids are allowed to roll around in it, but are not allowed to eat anywhere around it. One goes under the dining table when guests come over, but will be rolled and safely stowed away on normal days (my kids have not yet mastered the art of keeping their food within their plate).
I am, at the moment, quite happy and feeling very much at home.
(but they may change soon.. I still need to get a proper dining ware.. my plates are chipped!! The price I pay for asking the kids to help out with the dishes. And I dont even own a teapot. How to invite people over for tea like that?)
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:34 PM
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Gosh so much is going on in my mind.
I had forgotten where Beit Atfal As-Samoud was located.
I had to dig up my drawer of letters to find out. and it took a while, coz you can't really sit down and rummage through drawers when there are 3 curious kids looking over your shoulder, asking what every other thing is, and having a baby cry every other hour, watch the news in between, and having to do chores in between and blog in between..
anyways. I feel bad. coz I just managed to find the letters this morning and realized that Beit Atfal As-Samoud is in SOUTH Lebanon!
Astaghfirullah-hal-azim. Oh. my. god.
I really hope my daughter's ok.
What makes me feel worse is that I havent written to her in a long while, even though I have been sending money.
arrggghh the guilt the guilt!
I wrote MSRI today, asking if they heard any news.
I am really praying that the kids are safe.
I wonder if I can call them up. Are the phones even working???
arrrggghhhhhh the guilt, the guilt!!!
Maybe that's why I got so riled up.
It's my guilty conscience.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:33 PM
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I managed to borrow some DVDs from a friend. So my life have been totally packed with entertainment these past few weeks. Here's what my thumbs thought of the movies I managed to watch:
I thought the animation was awesome. I seriously believe that they filmed the actors live, then managed to make it look 'animated' in some way. I also think that they did this film with a ride in mind, coz most of the scenes contained some sorta trip down some kinda track, almost like a rollercoaster ride. After watching H00dwinked, Ice Ag3 The meltd0wn, which also had scenes like that, it doesnt give you the same excitement as the first time you saw it in an animated movie, y'know? In fact, it's getting kinda stale.
Story-wise, I thought it was kinda sweet. I almost cried when the boy couldnt hear the sleigh bells. But then when the movie was over, i found it kinda funny, how some people work so hard to make kids believe that there really is a Santa Claus. Isnt it almost blasphemous to make people believe that there's another supreme being out there besides God? I have never read the Bible from start to finish, but was Santa Claus even mentioned?
Or am I making too much out of it?
ah well, we don't believe in Santa anyways and my kids know he doesnt really exist, so we saw the movie just as entertainment, so rating it on that value, I'd give it a 1.5 thumbs up.
The We@ther Man
oh.my.god. what a waste of time. I didnt learn anything from watching this movie. My kids learned a few new cuss words though, which made me feel uncomfortable thruout the whole time I was watching it. I mean, do you really need to cuss that much? Do real people cuss That much?
2 thumbs down.
The H0use of Flying D@ggers
Cinematographically, this movie was SO BEAUTIFUL! The sceneries that was used as the backgrounds in this movie was like those you find in motivational/inspirational posters. The kung-fu action was okay, because I don't really like flying, jumping from tree to tree kinda kung fu coz they look so unreal.
This is not, however, a movie for kung-fu fanatics, because it's actually a romance in disguise. My husband got bored halfway (plus he hates having to read subtitles) and I ended up watching the rest of the movie another day, with the kids. It's got Takeshi Kanishiro(sp?), so just for that,.. 2 thumbs up! tee hee.
This was a surreal movie. It's sorta like 12 monkeys, but less apocalyptic. Furthermore, it has a happy ending. I was expecting it to be really scary, but it turned out it wasnt scary at all. It was kinda sweet and corny, really. I'm glad I watched this before the next movie, because it would've thrown me off to see Kiera Knightley not talking english-english..
erm.. 1.75 thumbs up, only because I found Adrien Br0dy kinda annoying.
Pr1de & Prejudice
I thought it was a typical period-english movie, nothing overly extraordinary about it. I mean, there's nothing about it to set it apart from say, Sense and Sensibility or Emma, or Howard's End (which is, in a class of it's own).
I dunno, maybe I am just prejudiced coz I always found Jane Austen to be a tad condescending toward 'less unfortunate' people.
The cinematography was beautiful though.
1.75 thumbs, only because I think Donald Sutherland is awesome, and Kiera did quite a good job.
The New W0rld
i didnt even finish watching this one, because it was so boring. I only borrowed it coz I was curious about Q'orianka Kilcher. But after about half an hour, I was wishing I was watching D1sney's pocahontas instead. Q'orianka was really cute, though.
0.5 thumbs up, for Q'orianka.
The Sk3leton K3y
I was really scared to watch this movie, coz mokciknab told me she got spooked by it. I watched this movie with Taufik (I made him stay and watch with me even when he said he was bored), and endured his scathing comments about how stupid the girl was, why doesnt she turn on the light, why is she such a snoop, why can't she just stay in her room diam-diam..blah di blah. Kalau dia dok diam-diam je, tak jadi cerita lah pulak... kan?
I thought it was okay. I'm glad there's no ju-0n like ghosts because I hate those kinda movies. It's not like blood and gore either, so that made me like it.
I really liked the ending. Got me thinking about it for the whole night.
2 thumbs up!
if you're wondering, I didnt get to watch rawkstar supernawva last week, coz i didnt know they had a live show on wednesday morning, and wednesday night I went to my tajweed class and I didnt catch the repeat on Thursday noon coz I went out to lunch at Chilli's.
I know Chris got the boot tough. i had wished it had been Zayra, coz she's starting to look kinda like a fake rawkstar.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:32 PM
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Reading nectar's post on how she had changed since moving to Japan made me think of how I myself have changed these past year.
And today being the annivessary of my move to Al-Kh0bar, Kingd0m of S@udi Ar@bia (yes, I arrived here at about 3am on this date, last year), I thought what would be more apt than to take stock of how living here have affected me?
I think I'll categorize these changes on how my relationships with some of the most important things in my life: myself, my family, other people in general, and last but not least, food (!).
I think all the time being almost alone at home has made me know myself better.
I realized that I can be totally malas nak mampus (lazy to death) if I let myself be, and I can also be totally berani macam gila (brave like crazy) when I put my mind to it. I have spent one whole day doing nothing but watch TV for 5 straight hours, stopping only to open the door for my boys coming home from school, and then later to prepare dinner for my husband. I took the bus on my own, (dragging anis along), with no handphone and just money and went shopping at a bazaar a 45 minutes' bus ride away. I know it doesn't sound so dangerous to you people living in civilized lands, but here, it's quite unusual to find a woman walking about alone without a man's escort, especially when it's not in an over-priced mall and the said woman looks more like a maid than an expatriate's wife. Fortunately I have learnt to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to uninvited advances from salesmen and came out with dignity intact. (but I don't know if I'll ever do it again).
Having almost nothing to do has also made me more open about voicing my needs and wants. I became more firm with my requests, and have been able to successfully argue and persuade my husband to buy things that I suggested would make me more at home here in a foreign house, in a foreign land. Case in point: The blender.
I think I've become a better wife and mother since I've moved here.
On top of the whole family being together, I am also 100% at home. Before moving here, even though I was not working, I would be out of the house sometimes, going to my mother's place or to my sister's place or having a girl's day out with the lunch ladies.
There were also other people around, so sometimes I leave my kids to spend time with other people and don't pay as much attention to them as I do now. Yes, sometimes I grow sick of them and their antics, but I also think I have grown closer to them. We truly talk to each other about everything and I am getting to know them better as they are getting to know me better too.
Same thing goes with my husband. We talked a lot before, but I think now that we are so far a way from our own families, we opened up much more. He has truly become my confidante. and I am more deeply in love with him than ever before. *blush*
With the rest of my family, well, apart from this blog, we have communicated through M5N and Skyp3. It's a funny thing when you're talking though the internet.. somehow I feel it's more intimate than when you're sitting across each other in your mom's living room. So even though we're physically further apart, I think we're emotionally closer.
Other people in general
With other Melayus:
I treat them like family!! When we meet, we kiss and hug and ask how you've been.. and we're always feeding each other. You can't help it, it's an instant carmaraderie that your develop when you meet a fellow countrymen in a foreign land. The malaysians here are so close knit, it's amazing. When I was in the hospital after delivering Izani, they came with rice and steamed fish and other dishes that they know the hospital can't provide. So when I hear somebody's sick or something, we go and visit, we bring a little something-something.
You know how sometimes when you're in Malaysia, you don't even smile at the melayu walking pass you? Over here, if I see someone who remotely looks Malaysian, I'd quickly ask.
ah well.. with the ladies, I try to be friendly and not be too hurt if I don't get a similar response. But most often than not, the ladies I've met (who could speak english) are quite amiable and they just love babies! I can't walk a hundred feet in a crowd of women without one of them pinching izani's cheeks. I think I have becomed a little reserved though.. the first time I was here, I was friendlier, always the one who would introduce myself first. But as I became tired of not getting an equally warm response, I now sit back and wait to be said hello to. Thus I have learnt to be contented to be alone, reading a book, or playing with anis, at times.
With the men.. hm.. I think I used to be quite friendly with men. I mean, not friendly to the point of being flirtatious, but friendly enough to be pleasant. I'd say thankyou and smile to bus drivers, cashiers, salesmen, bag boys, clerks and the likes. Here, however, I have learnt to be more .. urm.. snobbish. And i can't help it, coz it's a must. Show a little nicety (sic) and some men would take it the wrong way and you'd get something you wont expect, and would not like.
I once raised my hand to the guy holding up the bar gate when we were entering our compound, as a sign of thankyou. Taufik told me off. He said, "Don't". I asked why, and he said "Just Don't". The next time we drove pass, i think I saw the guy giving me a wink. The next time we drove pass, I learnt to just stare in front of me blankly.
Oh. My. God.
I think my relationship with food has totally changed since I've come here. I am obsessed with cooking. I mean OBSESSED. oh wait. maybe it's more like POSSESED than obsessed.
I have cooked things I never thought I would cook. Like Ketupat Sotong (Stuffed Squid), for instance. and Tepung Boko (Tapioca pudding with coconut cream topping). And never in my life prior to moving here have I put anything in the oven, and here I am baking cakes and pavlovas! with cream frostings! I am making smoothies from scratch! I even made a banana cake from scratch! My mom would've fainted. Well, actually, I did bake a cake out of a box when she was here, and she didnt faint. But I think she was pretty impressed. tee hee.
I have become pretty adventurous with food too. Usually I wouldnt try anything foreign unless mokciknab told me it was good. But I have bravely ordered palak paneer and liked it very much.
I think all in all, this move has definitely changed me, whether it's for the better in some parts or not. I surely hope to retain the improvements, and hope to be able to work on the degradations..
Pavlova with peach and cream topping, made 16th July 2006, totally consumed two hours later
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:31 PM
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Look at izani here!
Before I start, I think I better write a disclaimer.
This post, is not meant to make any of my readers out there who are working moms (most of whom I consider friends) to feel bad. I am just merely telling you how I feel about being a stay-at-home-mom. These are my observations, since I was a working mom, and I found these things that I'm going through now to be quite a revelation. to me.
As you know, Izani is 3 months today. Somehow, this time around, I feel like 3 months is a really long time. It feels like i've known baby Izani forever. and I say that not in a bad way. I mean, not like "oh my god it feels like forever!!! when is it going to end??" kinda way .. more like in a "I feel like I've known you all my life" kinda way.
And I think the reason is because I am now a stay-at-home mom.
I am around all the time. And since I do not have any help, it means that I am the only one around, for most parts of the day at least, until his father comes home. It means that I am the person he sees and touches and hears to the most.
With the other 3 kids, by the time they were 60 days old or so, I'd be off to work. I'd see them in the morning, then for about half an hour when (and if) i can come home for lunch, then only when I come home from work in the evening. I'd be with them more during the weekends, of course but at other times, they'd be with either a maid, my mom or caregiver at a nursery.
I am usually almost out of touch with what goes on with their day; how many bottles of milk they drank, when they drank it, did they poop today, what lotions were rubbed on his body, how long and how often did he nap, how he was comforted, how long he had his dirty diapers on.. so on and so forth. Even though I consider myself to be quite a control freak when it comes to how my children are handled, some things that happen(ed) when I am at work is really beyond my control.
When I came home, if the baby is cranky i wouldnt know why. If the baby had diaper rash, it would catch me totally by suprise. If the baby won't sleep when I expect him to, I would be at a loss as to the reasons. I just had to wing it.
This time, however, I have FULL control, baby! I know every single thing that happened during the day. I know exactly what goes into him and what comes out of him. I know why he's not tired. I know why he's cranky. I know what makes him laugh. I know what makes him cry.
It makes me feel so in control, but more than that, it makes me feel like a real mother.
And the relationship that I have with Izani, since I spend so much time with him, is undescribably special. I no longer rely on those breastfeeding times to have our moments of bonding (and don't feel so bad when I fail to have breastfeeding moments), because we bond at other times. I am the one who bathe him, I am the one who feeds him even when it's the bottle. I'm the one who picks him up when he cries. I'm the one who plays with him right before he goes to sleep. It's not some other person. All he sees is me, and I'm the first person he learns to recognize. Sometimes even when he's with Taufik and he sees me walk past, he would fix his eyes on me and follow me around. Sometimes he'd give me a little holler.
I tell ya, it makes me feel quite special. *grin*
Don't get me wrong though.. I'm not saying that I love my other kids any less because I spent less time with them. I'm not saying that they don't make me feel special. I still felt like my heart was going to burst when they ran up to me and screamt "Bonda!!" and hugged me when I picked them up from the nursery.
I'm just saying that the relationship was different, you know?
It's like they were constantly craving for my attention, while Izani.. well, as of now, he's abit clingy, but he seems more calm and contented compared to the others.
I know that other stay-at-home moms would think this is nothing new, but to a person who have raised 3 kids while working, it made me think, "Why didn't I do this earlier?".
On another note, I hope I'm not raising a clingy baby, one that wants nobody else BUT me. Coz then that would mean I could not leave him with other people for a while for me to go dating with my husband or something..
Now that would be a problem.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:30 PM
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Last weekend Ilham was kinda cranky. Nothing he does seems right, he whined almost all the time. He got frustrated with his younger siblings. He was really unfocused and was slacking on his dishwashing chores. I was kinda angry at him for acting out, so I just ignored him.
We had to go out to the grocery store and I almost had to force him to come with us.
We were in the car on our way back when he asked, "Can we go somewhere? Jalan-jalan, boleh?" (sightseeing, can we?)
"ummmm..." Taufik thought, before answering.
We were driving towards Corniche Road, the street that ran along the beach, and Ilham instantly asked, "Can we go to the beach? please?"
"What do you want to do at the beach?" I asked.
"Let's just have family time" he answered.
So Taufik pulled over and parked at the side of the road and we all went down to the jungle gym that was by the beach. (The kids all said "Thankyou Ayah!" as they got off the car. That was so sweet of them)
Taufik and I sat on the bench watching the kids play while we shared some doughnuts that we had bought at the grocery store. (I had to hold Izani, so Taufik had to feed me).
I saw Ihsan attempt the monkey bar, but he moved too slowly so by the time he was halfway, his arms had grown tired so he let go and fell on the soft sand. He looked at me and I gave him a thumbs up, yelling "good try!" from where I was. He just grinned and ran off to the slides.
Then I saw Ilham at the monkey bar. I was suprised at his agility and strength. His movements were quite smooth and quick as his hands moved from one bar to the other. His legs were adeptly kept apart and swayed to balance his movements.
When he successfully reached the other end, I yelled out a triumphant "Yay!!! That was a great job!!" to him and he gave me the biggest grin I've seen on him all day.
We were walking towards the car when it was time to go home, and I told him that I was so suprised that his arms were so strong. Ihsan complained that his wasn't strong enough, so I told him to eat more rice and practice on the monkey bars some more.
When Ilham got home, his demeanor changed. He was in a better mood, he didnt complain when he had to help with the dishes. He was nicer to his siblings.
Sometimes kids just need to go out. And sometimes all they need is someone to tell them they're great.
Ihsan was picking up tiny bits of these constructor toys they had and they were all over the living room. Some were near the TV cabinet, and when he bent down to pick one, his head hit one of the cabinet doors. He said "Ow!", keeled over and fell on his face.
Still on the floor, he turned to look at me.
"What happened? Are you okay?" I asked, while trying to supress a laugh, coz I was afraid if he would feel hurt that I found his accident funny.
Ihsan grinned and said "I was just trying to get that, and BANG! I hit my head" and then he let out a giggle that made me and Ilham laugh so hard that Ihsan started laughing hard too.
When you can laugh, you can't hurt.
I was preparing dinner, and there was a small pile of dishes in the sink that I had been putting off since after lunch.
Anis came into the kitchen for a piece of cake. I was annoyed and felt a bit bothered by her interruption, but gave her a slice of cake on a small dish anyway.
After she's done with the cake, she placed her plate in the sink and saw the dishes.
"Oh, Bonda, Can I wash the dishes? Can I?" She asks, in the same tone she would use to ask me if she can go out and play.
I hesitated, I thought about how she would not do a good job, but then I thought, why not? If I had to re-wash the dishes, it was something I was supposed to do in the first place anyway.
So I helped her pull up a chair to the sink. I showed her how to pour the dishwashing liquid into the soap bowl. I showed her how to control the faucet. I reminded her to wash both sides of the dishes, not just the top bit.
She asked me questions while she washed the dishes. She asked me why I had to throw away the chilli seeds (So that it won't be spicy for her to eat). Where do all the soapy water go (To the sewer). She asked me her favourite question, "Bonda, what are you cooking?" (Fried Fish). "Oooh Yummy" she replied.
When she was all done, I inspected her work.
I had to re-wash a few of the bigger ceramic dishes, but she did really well with the plastic ones that the kids use.
I said "Thankyou, Anis!"
She said "You're Welcomed!" and ran upstairs to watch her brothers play PS2.
Never underestimate your child's willingness, and ability, to help.
Because of you Sunflora, I made mee kari today...
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:29 PM
Monday, July 10, 2006
Since the match started at 9pm (khob@r time) last night, the whole family was on the couch watching the game.
I went to the loo at the beginning of the game and missed the penalty Zizou shot at the 7th minute. damn.. you can't even go to take a leak!
When materazzi scored with that header at the 19th minute, we (Taufik and I) thought "all right... *now* it's going to be a real fight!".
There were of course a lot of attacks and failed attempts .. but that still didnt keep us from feeling sleepy.
Taufik went to bed about halfway through the 2nd half (coz he's gotta go to work the next day), I stayed but started dozing off bit by bit 15 minutes before the 2nd half was over. The boys keept coming out of their room to check on me, "Bonda, are you watching or are you sleeping??" while threatening to switch offf the TV, to which I would reply "I'm watching...!! There's only 10 (or 5 or 2) minutes left!".
The extra time was a blurr to me. Everytime I woke up, I would check the score, since it was still 1-1, i would go back to sleep.
The next thing I knew, they were tossing coins for a penalty shoot-out (and the french goalie patted cannavaro's butt).
Zizou is nowhere to be seen. I heard something about a red card? I have to watch the replayof the game.
I saw the Trezeguet miss his shot (Doesnt he look like the love child of Mawi and the lead singer of Sheila on 7?). Poor him.. i'm sure he'll be regretting missing that shot for a very very long time.
Was I the only one who is geli geleman (getting the heebee jeebies) watching the italians celebrate the win?
The amount of sweaty bodies grabbing, kissing, hugging, even humping (watch what one of the players did to Buffon on the chair!) that I saw was enough for me to give the celebration an R rating.
I know the italians are very touchy-feely people, but damn... that was too much for me, man.
Congratulations to the Italians (and their supporters).
I'm gonna go and read up on what happened to Zizou now.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:28 PM
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Since my kids don't really eat spicy food, I seldom buy fresh chillies. But last week I decided to buy a packet of fresh red chillies, and when Taufik went to the fish market and came back with huge fish, I decided to try make my own Thai Style Chilli Sauce.
It was all on a whim, and I didn't have time to browse for recipes, so I had to wing it and use my imagination (and my tastebuds).
Lo and behold, it turned out to be not bad.. not bad at all..
Thai Style Chilli Sauce
Roughly ground in a mortar&pestle or in your blender:
5 fresh red chillies, remove the seeds
2 cloves garlic
abt 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce (nampla)
salt to taste
Saute ground ingredients in 2tbsp of oil till fragrant. Add a bit of water, then the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix completely, until bubbles form. Taste, add salt if needed.
Pour over deep fried or grilled fish. (might work well with fried chicken as well.. hmm yum yum)
we had this with steaming white rice and bayam goreng ikan masin.. yummeh!
If you completely remove the seeds of the chillies, the sauce would be un-spicy enough even for my children. If you'd like it spicy, leave some of the seeds in. Using a mortar&pestle to ground the chillies, garlic and ginger somehow makes it tastier than if you used a blender.. don't know why.
Leftover sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, i guess. I've never had leftovers yet.. tee hee!
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:22 PM
Saturday, July 08, 2006
During her absence, I have taken over the campaigning duties for LadyVisine the Lamma Lady.
Please vote her for having the most awesome hair ever here.
You have till Monday the 10th of July!!
Malaysians have till Monday afternoon to do so coz I think shadowrose lives in the US.
GO GO GO!!
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:07 PM
I was in the kitchen washing dishes when Ilham came down and sat with me.
"are you feeling under the weather?" he asked.
"why do you ask?" i turned to look at him suspiciously.
"I dunno, you look sad .. or not well." he shrugged.
I asked him where he learned that phrase, "Under the weather", coz I've never heard him use it before.
He said he learned it from the Wilf and Chip stories, the books that he gets for his reading assignments at school.
I am just glad the he's picking up something from those readings.
I was breastfeeding the baby when Ilham asked me whether I was like a bomber.
"What??" I asked, wrinkling my forehead.
"You know, when fighter planes run out of fuel, they go to these huge bombers that will re-fuel them while they're still flying in the air" he explains.
"oh.. those are not called bombers.. they're called.. fuel.. tanker.. airplane. thingies.." I tried to offer.
"oh. so are you like .. that?" he asked again.
"why do you think i'm like those planes?" I asked, even though I know what the answer is. I just wanted to hear what he thinks.
"well, whenever Izani needs milk, all he has to do is go to you and suck on you.. just like those planes. So are you?" he says.
"I guess..." was all I could answer without laughing.
We were at a Thai restaurant when a guy selling vcds came over to show his wares. The kids saw one titled "Dinocroc" and got all excited about it. I dissuaded them by telling how those movies hardly ever show the animal in full length, unlike when they watch Dinosaurs or Jurassic Park. They only show a bit of the mouth, then a bit of the eye, then a bit of the tail, or the back, never the whole animal. The rest of the movie are usually just dialogues of people arguing over what kind of animal is it and who's going to go and kill it.
"I. don't. understand. a. word. you're. saying" Ilham said.
So I explained it again. After the third time, I grew tired and asked Ihsan to explain to his brother.
"Abang," Ihsan started, "That movie is no good. They dont show the whole dinocroc. We will only see the beak. or the eye. or the tail. It's no good." and he was done.
"okay" Ilham said.
It always takes a kid to talk to a kid.
We were watching Master&Commander. We came to the part where that French vessel re-appeared behind the English naval ship.
"Oh no! It's that boat again!" Anis said.
I never knew she could follow the movie.
Anis was playing school with Ihsan. Anis was the teacher and it was time for dancing lesson.
"okay, let's clap" she ordered, and Ihsan followed.
Clap clap clap.
"okay, feeze!!" she said.
"What?" we all went.
"Feeze!" she said again, this time emphasizing it with her palms out, signaling to her brother to stop.
"Oh, freeze..." Ihsan giggled.
Izani's not talking yet, but this is what we do during bath time.
I didn't get to watch Rawkstar Supernawva result show coz Taufik has an eversion to screaming banshees. But I found out from TWOP that Matt go kicked out, coz he sang Duran-Duran.
I like Duran-Duran, but any idiot would know that you do not sing Duran-Duran to former members of Metallica, Guns N Roses and Motley Crue, and then say you want to be their lead singer.
Happy selling real-estate, matt.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:05 PM
Friday, July 07, 2006
right off the bat, I like:
I think some of them sounded very very pitchy. I mean I understand that this is rock n roll, therefore you can improvise, but at least sing on key. I hate the way Zayra sings. I think Jill is okay, but some parts of her (you know which part) reminds me too much of Pam (you know.. anderson), which might either attract or put off Tommy Lee. I think Jennie from Canada rawks with her guitar, but her voice somehow belongs more in the pop genre.
Some of them have the charisma of a t-shirt, except for Phil, who has the charisma of a test tube. He should stick to chemistry.
am i being cruel?
hey, this is RAWKSTAR SUPERNAWVA.
it's not Americ@n Id0l. You can get away with being cute and innocent and sweet and cuddly wuddly on that. In rawkstar, you need to be able to do more than scream a song in tune. You need to be able to draw people like a vampire. You need to be able to make girls (or men) faint when you move on stage. You need to be able to keep me watching (and rawkin).
so let's see who fits the bill this time.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:04 PM
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I can't believe I stayed up to watch the game, but I am glad I did.
I watched the first half of the first half with Izani in my arms, but he soon fell asleep, so I put him to bed.
I managed to stay awake throughout the second half of the first half, by flipping between watching the game and Law&Order SVU.
I was weaving in and out of wakefulness during the second half and extra time.
When they went to the second half of extra time with no scores, I thought for sure it was gonna end with a penalty shoot-out. I was kinda bummed about it. I stayed up for this?
When Pirlo got the ball with 2 minutes to go, I remember distinctively thinking, "Ini mesti kena palang lagi nih" (It's going to hit the bars again),
then he passed it to Grosso, who kicked the ball kinda skewed
and I was sure it was gonna be out,
when it curved,
and. went. in!
I jumped off the couch, whispering to myself "YES! YES! YES!" (coz the rest of the house is asleep).
I was doing a little jig in front of the TV while the germans frantically tried to equalize when I heard Izani cry.
I went into my room to pick the baby up, only to come back out to see the replay of Del Piero's goal.
What? what? what?
I was confused at first, but as soon as I saw Ballack cry, I knew that the game was over, and Italy goes to Berlin !
I wasn't actually rooting for anyone, but Firhad and I was predicting that Germany would win, coz they've been really good throughout the tournament. But we also knew that Italy would not go down without fighting.
Boy, what a fight it was. I was really glad for Grosso's score. Coz if it had to go to a penalty shoot out, it could've gone either way, and it would've been a victory that is less sweet.
I really felt sad when I saw the german players cry though.. and also the german fans..
I am sorry, Deutschland fans, but that's the way the ball rolls..
Tonight: Portugal vs France!!
p/s added a picture to my Easy Peasy Cashew Chicken post.
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:03 PM
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
We were on our walk yesterday afternoon and Anis brought the camera along. She took several blurry pictures of the surroundings and of us, when I saw her stop at a corner a few feet in front of us and she was looking down on the grass lining the sidewalk and she was squealing "so cute!!".
It was a tiny mouse!
and it was sooo cute. It was running on the pavement at first, but soon ran back on the grass. My kids and I gathered around the tiny mouse and followed it around a bit.
Anis wanted to pick it up, but I have this paranoia about germs and stuff, so I told her not to.
"But it's so cute!!" she squealed.
I compromised by taking a picture instead.
the cute little critter that could be carrying the plague for all we know
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:02 PM
Monday, July 03, 2006
everyone is going home..
Most of the melayus in Ar@mco and also Kh@lud have gone home..
and we're stuck here.. :(
damn damn damn
At least my husband gets to drive to work, or drive out to the rig sites. At least he gets to travel and go somewhere.
Me and the kids?
We are stuck here in the house, coz it's too damn hot to go out.
I think I mentioned before, that when I agreed to move here, I had dreams of travel and adventure. I had dreams of being like I@n Wr1ght (only with a few kids tagging along), with a tuareg blue scarf around my face, riding a camel through the desert to rendesvous with a roasted lamb in a clear oasis with swaying palm trees and persian carpet covered tent. I had dreams of visiting the pyramids. I had dreams of taking pictures i front of that ruin in Jordan where Indi@na J0nes had gone on his last crusade. I had dreams of visiting the moroccan night market and sampling the snails that the guys in one of the legs in Am@zing R@ce competed to sell. I had dreams of watching a belly dancer in ist@nbul.
In reality, I feel like Aung S@N Suu Kyi, under house arrest (except maybe her house is probably nicer than mine). The furthest I've been outside of Kh0bar is Riy@dh, and we probably wouldnt have gone there if it wasnt for Izani. The only persian carpets I've been on are at other people's houses. The closest to a ruin that I got is the burnt down mall near Al-rahmaniyah center. The nearest thing to a local market I've been to is the mydin-like discount store Ramez. The only wiggly belly I'm looking at is mine.
Di manakah janji janji mu???
I can't blame Taufik for our failure to travel though. The first month we got here I got pregnant, so for 9 months, I wasnt fit to travel anyways. And now we've got to wait for Izani to get his passport before we can go anywhere.
But after Izani gets his passport, I want Taufik to fully utilize his vacation allowance!
I have a few ideas:
1. The Meditteranean Tour: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus .. but now with the Israelis bombing Palestine (and maybe even Syria one of these days), I don't know how safe is that.
2. The European Drive, Warm countries: Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal
3. The european Drive, Cold countries: Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway
4. The Islamic Tour: Historical landmarks around Saudi
5. Short trips to: Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, U.A.E.
I think having an idea is a start. Now I can start researching and planning and see which ones are feasible.
I prefer to drive, coz then we're not constrained by schedules and waiting for other people. But travelling on our own might pose issues with the uncertainty of accomodation and food. I wish I had a friend in every country, whose living room floor we can sleep on. :)
Maybe I should wait for bloo to come back from Prague and ask her how she planned hers..
Concocted by elisataufik at 12:02 PM