"Tis but a scratch"

Your awesome Tagline

1 note

The meant-to-be Silence

I’m not sure if this is better because it feels the same only more horrible and not really, all at the same time. It’s a deserved silence because that’s how it’s supposed to be and that fact stings a little. It does however, take off the guilt for being too busy for anything and that does not seem so bad - but that only makes me question if work is all there is to life – which in turn makes it all a little awful to take in.

So I guess it feels the same because of the silence, only more horrible because now, it’s meant to be and it’s on neither of us.

2 notes

I have to remember today, I told myself this morning.

I have to remember today, I told myself this morning.

We were having our second extra curriculum meeting. It was just like every other meeting and I was eyeing every single kid and nothing in particular stood out. The male teacher in charge for the day was as usual trying to establish authority by no other way but through insulting the kids. It happens so often that it almost doesn’t sound wrong anymore. He gave out a command and the kids were slow to follow. “Apesal bodoh sangat?!” as a response didn’t sound out of place at all. I tried imagining myself doing the same and shook the thought away. I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I remember my time in high school and I remember throwing curses all the time. I like to think that it’s different when girls are in the company of just girls. We had to toughen ourselves up. Plus it was from one peer to another…which doesn’t sound as bad compared to it coming from a teacher  (Self-rationale accepted).

Anyway, it all started when the female teacher who took over called out a boy’s name. The same boy who can be seen roaming the school in the middle of lessons, stopping kids at the corner and asking for money, the boy who still asks for my number whenever I walk by and runs away when I give him the stare, pumps his chest with his fingers forming a heart shape, singing at the top of his lungs from across the building when he sees me and rude as hell to everyone around him. He runs away whenever I call him out and God knows the number of times I have done it before.

Back to the meeting this morning. The teacher was calling out his name to pass his book back. He refused to get up from his seat because he was being both lazy and rude. He told the teacher to walk over to him and pass him the book herself. The teacher just stood there and called his name again. Instead of getting up this time, he called out on his friends to get up and get it for him. I happened to stand right next to him. I walked up to him and said, “Johnny*, bangun, ambik buku tu sendiri” in the calmest tone I could muster. He replied, “haa, cikgu tolong pi ambik sat” to which I replied, “Johnny*. Get. Up.” at this point giving him the most intense stare a teacher could give. Everyone else was looking now. He looked away and called out on his friend, “woi, tolong ambik sat! Aku malas ah!”

The friend was about to get up when I called out on him and told him to sit. I walked up to the front, took the book from the teacher and turned to Johnny*. He smiled a winning smile and said, “haaaaa. Mai sini cikgu. Bawak buku tu skali”. I hold the book up and slowly bring it down, all the way down and placed it right in front of my feet. I looked at him and said, “Johnny. Ambik buku kamu” pointing my fingers to the ground. He turned to his friend and said something inaudible; something along the lines of how he doesn’t take orders from women. I stopped him and in my sternest teacher’s voice I called out his name again, “JOHNNY! AMBIK!”

Complete. Silence. So many pair of eyes going from me to him and back at me. He got up, walked to the front and kneeled to pick his book up, the whole time avoiding eye contact with me. He walked back to his seat. I walked back to where I stood, the whole time still keeping my eyes on him. I could feel every bone in my body shaking. This is the boy that I have been patient with for the longest time. The boy I was told not to mess with because of who his father is. The kind of boys that make me want to work out every single day so that if I ever have to take them down physically, I would effing do it.

He kept his mouth shut for the rest of the meeting. I thought about what I did. Reflecting could be dangerous. I started to ask myself if it was the right thing to do. To stop a meeting and humiliate him in front of so many people. To make him go down and pick a book at my feet. I decided that I needed to talk to him right after the meeting and just ask what his problem is. The day has come where I smack some sense into his head one way or another.

I had to deal with attendance after that and got myself distracted. The bell rang to indicate the end of the meeting. I turned around to look for Johnny* but he wasn’t there anymore. There were kids everywhere now rushing to get back to their classes. Meeting has been dismissed.

I don’t know why I do this to myself but I decided to rush off to look for Johnny before I get distracted and let this one slip again.

Mengantuk. Cerita sambung nanti…

1 note

If I ever say no to helping your child…

If I ever say no, it’s not because I think I’m above you or your money. In fact, if anyone is taking offense, it should have been me. Money ruins it all. It ruins the way I look at what I do. It ruins the way I look at your child. So, no, it’s not because I was worried you couldn’t afford it, heck I’m not even sure if I have the right to quote a number. It’s because what I do now is the one thing I’ve ever done out of pure sincerity, and your money, even if you never meant it, might ruin the experience when I look back to it down the road. This, to come here, wasn’t a conditional choice. This is my choice and I would’ve wanted your child to succeed even before the offer.

If I ever say no, it’s not because I choose who I help. It’s exactly because I don’t, that I have to say no.  It bothers me even more that I have to look at your child and deny her the help that she needs. And because of that, it’s more reason for me to deny your money, yet again. Because if only you could see, money aside, you’d see that you could’ve been the person to save her. When you start to think you can “afford” perks, you tend to “pay” your responsibility away. You have someone else to blame, because there you are, offering all the money in the world and people still refuse to help. Well fuck me, if I sound holier than thou, refusing “rezeki” as one would put it. I’m simply against any kinds of excuses when it comes to bringing up a child.

So I’m pushing away the offer, for my sake, your child’s and especially yours.  I’d help, but know that there’s a line and she needs to wait her turn. However, if you’re as worried about her as you seemed to be, stop offering me more, it only cheapens the things that I do. Step up instead and take over your child’s learning yourself. I speak the way I do because you’re one of the few who has the intellect to be your child’s savior. Instead of spending more money, spend some time.   

0 notes

I didn’t think I had to say it, but I would like to share the word “Allah” to all who needs to use it.

I am a Muslim and I would like to share the word “Allah”.

Instead of calling out on people who banned the word “Allah”, to express disappointment on the “close mindedness” of the people who decide for this country, to curse and throw online tantrums by comparing our country to those that seems better and freer than ours, why don’t we express how we feel about sharing the word “Allah”. Isn’t faith is what is within? Isn’t not being able to share is why you’re so mad?

To all my fellow citizens, if you are to use the word Allah to call upon your God, to praise the Almighty, to go down on your knees to pray for the wellbeing of your parents, siblings, family and country, go ahead. I trust that you need the endearing name as much as I do. We may differ in faith, but we pray for the same things.

To the Muslims who think it should be exclusive to us, there are so many of us who hasn’t done the name right, who hasn’t showered the name with enough praises, so why don’t we share it with those who do and want to?

When the day comes where one of the faiths in this country is truly threatened, don’t be in doubt that so many of us will come out and fight for it just as much as you would, regardless of what that faith is. Lucky for us, who owns the word “Allah” isn’t one of the threats. To fight for it, is below us.  

I don’t see how anger and hatred would make things better about the ban. There are too many things that segregate us. Let not this, be one more.

2 notes

For the many gentle pats on the head…

“Paaaa, macam mana nak tengok TED teeeveeee??”

This was during the Raya break and I’ve been home for two days and haven’t watched TV for about 7 months. I did not only forget how to work the remote, I also did not know which one to use. I’m pretty sure they multiplied while I was away.

My dad came out of the room, took the remote and showed me how to get to TEDtv. Isn’t it awesome to have TEDtv on your television? It’s almost better than Discovery Channel. There was a time when I watched TEDtv  over and over again on particle physics because I had the biggest intellectual crush on Brian Cox. I learned about CERN and the Hadron Collider and barely understood a thing. Lucky for Cox, I have a thing for smart passionate people who can articulate complex ideas simply. But I digress…

Of all the TED talk offered on TV that day, I chose a talk given by a teacher. She was really funny and I laughed at every point that resonated with my life. My dad decided to join me. I was not entirely comfortable watching the talk with him because I know how cynical he is when it comes to teacher-y stuff. I didn’t laugh as loud at the speaker’s jokes just because I didn’t want him to think I was buying this inspirational mumbo jumbo life changing talk. I wanted him to think I was a sound, objective, strong person who makes decision based on logic and not feelings or emotions. As the talk ended, like every other inspirational TED talk, I was really moved by what she had to say (something about it’s a tough job but it’s not an impossible task :’) ) and I tried to keep my face expressionless, stopping myself from blurting out “uh-huh! You go, girl!” My dad got up, came over to me, gently pat me on my head and said, “don’t believe everything you hear on TV…”. I swear I heard him continue with, “some things are impossible..”

Even after 7 months of being away, he still thinks I could have it better and easier. I don’t blame him but the thing is, knowing that he cares makes it a lot easier for me to go through tough days. Some dads support their kids explicitly, going all out with banners and flags. My dad does it so subtly and often times contradicting-ly, that surprisingly, it only makes me wanna be a better teacher.

So pa, I’m not sure if this is part of your plan, but thank you for always being around. Happy 58th birthday! Love you till the moon and back.

5 notes

How my Raya this year took the worst turn it could take in the last 25 years.

Thursday, 8th Aug, 1st Raya

We had Raya open house and had all my friends from different phases of my life over for makan. Pretty amazing to see all of them getting along really well despite only been introduced.

Friday, 9 Aug, 2nd Raya

Makan.

Saturday, 10 Aug, 3rd Raya

12:30PM: Papa left for his hiking trip with my brother. I told him not to get himself eaten by the cannibals, he told me not to kill his fishes. We hugged and I reminded him to have chocolates in his pocket at all times to offer to the cannibals in exchange for human meat and he reminded me to feed his beloved fishes, for literally the 66th time that day.

Sunday, 11 Aug, 4th Raya

7:00AM: Mum left for Penang leaving me all alone at home

10:00AM – 5:00PM: Climbed walls at CAMP 5 till my limbs could climb no more.

Monday, 12 Aug, 5th Raya

The day I went around town to meet up with friends.

Tuesday, 13 Aug, 6th Raya, TODAY

4:30AM – Woken up by the alarm going off. Quickly got up, ran downstairs before running back upstairs to wear longer pants (it suddenly occurred to me that it might be a better idea to face the enemy in proper attire). Now in tracksuit, ran back downstairs, as foolishly as before because I had no weapon ready in my hands. I made a mental note to sleep with the tennis racket the next time. After convincing myself that it was just the crazy storm outside and the big thunder triggered the alarm motion sensor, I reset the alarm, and walked back to my room. Locked the bedroom door, went back to bed with my tracksuit on but without a tennis racket.

8:00AM – Woken up by a crazy dream that I came back to Penang only to find delinquents setting up camp in my home.

8:05AM – Switched off the alarm and tip-toed downstairs just in case somebody did come in last night and is still in the house. Noticed something peculiar outside, walked to the sliding door to take a closer look and screamed like I have never screamed before.

8:10AM – I struggled with the lock trying to open the door, repeating a million of fucks under my breath and at the same time trying to keep myself down before I wake the entire neighborhood. I ran towards the fish pond, and there they were, my dad’s beautiful Kois, with their mouth wide open, bellies up, floating in all of their deadness. I took the fish net and started scooping them out, at this moment wailing a million of “no, no, no”s, “shit”s and “please don’t die”s. I felt like a mother who just found her kids’ dead bodies. There were so many of them and I keep scooping one beautiful dead fish after another, cursing and wailing at the same time, not bothered that I could hear my neighbor next door up and about. There was now a small pile of beautiful dead fishes on the side of the pond and I kept adding to the pile as I continue scooping them out of the pond. I saw a few fishes still swimming in the now dirty, murky water. I ran upstairs, took my phone and called my mum. No answer. The next person I called was my best friend. I was not sure what she could do, she wasn’t even close by to begin with, but she’s one of the smartest person I know, so it made sense at that time to talk to someone smart. In her groggy voice she answered and I was trying to be as calm as possible and was about to tell her the massacre that happened over night before my mum got on the other line. I answered her and told her how all the fishes were floating and I’ve scooped them out and they’re all piled up by the side of the pond and how the water’s murky and I don’t know what to do. I keep repeating, “they’re dead ma! They’re all dead! So many of them, DEAD!” I could hear my mum’s calm soothing voice telling me to get the big bucket from her bathroom, bring it down and put the remaining fish in there and not do anything else. Stay put and wait till she gets back that evening. I gave my friend another ring, she answered, this time more alert. I can’t remember what she told me but I felt better. Canceled all the engagements for the day.

I ran upstairs to my mum’s bathroom and right before I went in, I sat down, (and this is where I got weird) hugged my knees and rocked myself. I grew up being very scared of screwing things up because I grew up seeing my dad taking care of everything he owned with such peculiarity and attention. I keep having flashes of my dad’s countless reminders about the fish and I have never felt more like a failure. He never said look out for the house, he never reminded me of the alarm, he never told me to do laundry, he only wanted to make sure all his fishes are still alive when he gets back. Those fishes were his companion for the longest of time and I have somehow killed them in the span of 2 days that he has gone.

When you’re hugging your knees and rocking yourself to calm down, you tend to overthink things. So this was what was in my head: Since my big career move, I had to sit through personal attacks from all kinds of people, from “it’s easy for you to say. You’re just a teacher” to “you’re a teacher. You wouldn’t know”. It’s no longer a big deal to me but when my dad does it, it still stings a little; “you have RM5 left in your touch’n’go card. How can you be a teacher when you can’t even take care of that?”, “still crying in toilets? It’s not too late to come back”. Thanks to him, my car is always at full tank, my touch’n’go is always loaded and I pay all my bills on time. But at that moment, I could hear him say, “you can’t even take care of my fish, what makes you think you can change the lives of your kids?”

I got up, dragged the big red bucket down and filled it with water. I went around looking for a shovel and dug two big holes. Flies were all over the pile of beautiful dead fishes by then. I suddenly felt a whole new appreciation for all the undertakers in the world. It is not only a depressing job, but digging holes is not easy. I lay the dead fishes in the hole, sprayed some ridsect all over it just in case some really hungry cat could smell them and start digging them up, despite me making sure that the hole was deep enough. Went back to the pond and got the fishes that survived from whatever it was that happened out and put them in the bucket. I had to put one in an ice box because he was just too big. Final count: Total of 16 casualties and 3 survivors.

9:30AM – I had enough time to calm my nerves and this was when my brain went into work. Why the fuck did my dad’s fish die?! If anything, they are being overfed! I looked at the murky water and I realized how calm it was. The pump! The pump wasn’t working! I quickly ran upstairs, got my laptop out and googled for pond experts around the area.  Couldn’t find any. So I got my dad’s old phone book out and started flipping through the pages. Every one who was any one is in it except for anyone who was fish related. And just as I was losing hope, there it was, in bold red ink “Pond and Aquatics expert – Ah Wong”. I swear I looked up and looked around just to make sure I wasn’t in a Truman Show. I called Wong up and the first thing he said, “rumah doctor Lee ah?” I squealed in glee and I told him he has to come now and save the 3 survivors. He was not convinced. He did not want to come if my dad was not around. He kept saying he’s scared of my dad and he has worked for him for many years, if he puts in anything in without my dad’s consent, my dad’ll come and give him a hard time: “saya sudah kerja sama bapa lu lama wo. Manyak takut oh sama dia. Sudah kerja lama pun dia masih suka marah saya. Dia ingat saya tackle lu punya pembantu rumah, saya kerja saja!” as he went on about how hard it has been working for my dad. If this was not going to turn out right, at least I know it was partly my dad’s fault for not being likeable with people he hires to do work around the house. I had to convince him that it will be okay and I’ll take the responsibility if my dad gets angry.

10:00AM – I’m staring at the red bucket and ice box.

10:30 AM- I went in to get some kuih raya and ate while I continue staring at the red bucket and ice box. Texted my friend, “everything’s okay. Imma just semperit my life away”. She replied, “you’re gonna turn this around”. I have great friends and 3 fishes out of the pond, 16 safely buried. Life’s not all that bad.

11:00 AM – Watching Daria while I wait for aquatics expert to make his way here. Made my big goal in life to one day be as calm as Daria.

11.30 AM- Ah Wong is here!

11:35 AM – Ah Wong is depressing: “bapa lu manyak sayang wo ini ikan. Manyaaakk sayang”. “Saya tau. Aiyo, mati lah saya, Wong”. “Dia manyak sayang. Dia pasti marah lu”. No shit, Sherlocks.

11:45 AM - Ah Wong is not that depressing anymore: “Cina cakap ah, kalau ikan itu mati, dia bawa semua masalah sama dia”. I told him to repeat exactly what he said when my dad calls him up next week. At least them fishes did not die in vain and that we were due for new fishes.  

12:30 PM - I’m RM480 poorer. Ah Wong had to leave for another “fish emergency”. He told me to put the fishes back in to the pond in an hour or so.

2:00 PM - Do I pour the fishes out of the bucket or do I submerge the bucket in the pond and gently let the fish out?

2:02 PM - I’m pouring the fishes out of the bucket.

2:05 PM - The fish in the ice box turned out to be heavier than expected. I told the fish to jump into the pond when I tilt it over. Fish didn’t move. “I’m sorry that you’re in an ice box! Can you just get in the pond already?!”, I said as I struggle with the ice box.

2:10 PM - All three survivors are in the pond! I felt like a superstar. Cleaned up everything, bucket and ice box went back to where it belonged, shovels stored away, back garden looked as nice as it was before except for the two barely noticeable little bumps.

3:00PM - Ice box fish is floating. Okay, confession time, this time I cried a little and went, “whhhhh-yyyyyy? Why did you die?!” I then remember watching a show once on Discovery channel about fishes getting heart attack from being transferred and could not acclimate to new water. Thanks Discovery Channel for always having answers to my why-questions.

3:10PM - Dug another hole for ice box fish. It’s a lot easier this time. All that practice in the morning served me some good. Scooped ice box fish out from the pond and muttered, “stupid fish. You should’ve died with the rest. You could’ve been buried with your friends”. I apologized after I let him rest in peace.

************************

Now that all that’s over, I’m thinking of how I should break this sad news to my dad. I’m thinking of putting the blame on him:

You left me with a pond filled with fishes and a faulty pump?! It’s as good as setting me up! I am completely traumatized by all that floating fishes! Can you imagine waking up to so many dead fishes! Now I know how Jack Woltz feel when he woke up with the horsehead! And I was all alone! I had to dig the holes and carry the fishes to the back garden. They were fat! I can never look at a fish the same way again!

But he loved them fish more than I did. So imma just go with: “I’m sorry I didn’t notice the pump wasn’t working. Could’ve saved the fishes if I did. I’ll buy you a new fish every month from here on out”.

FINAL final count:

Casualties: 17

Survivors: 2

Cost: RM 480

Life lessons: It’s not about the crisis, it’s about how you handle the crisis. Haaaa. Amek kau life’s curve balls! Okay no, seriously. I have learned that I am not as observant as I should be and for the past 2 days of being alone, I was very self involved. Never actually really took a good look at the pond and at the house. This will be my new reason to not settle down yet since I can’t even take care of 19 fishes. Haaaa. Amek kau makcik-makcik yang nak tau kenapa I tanak kahwin. But okay, no, there is a possibility of me getting disowned by my father, so I should really learn something worthwhile out of this. I should be calmer. Things turn out better when I’m calm. I know how to dig holes, I know better about pond pumps, I know who to call when pumps go kaput. I now know how to take care of fishes better. I learned a pretty awesome Chinese belief. That, that last bit is priceless.

 

 

Filed under firstworldproblem

4 notes

How is this offensive?!

I work in a school with not enough tables and chairs. It is not because the school was not given enough funding for tables and chairs, it’s because we have destructive kids in school (I once saw a kid actually folding the plastic chair’s back rest into half and sat on it while his friend sat on the seat for support. Why they wanted to do that was beyond me. How that chair could still manage that, was pretty impressive).

Since I can’t afford to lose contact time with them and it is the fasting month, I have decided to choose who gets a seat in the classroom. It was clear as day. Those who are fasting get to call shotgun with the chairs. I let the Malay kids sit on the limited chairs and I made the Indian and Chinese kids to sit on the floor. If there were extra chairs even after all the Malay kids have gotten a chair each, the non-Malays still sit on the floor to avoid making me look like I was practicing favoritism. I don’t see how this is offensive.

Potential blow up in 3….2…..1….

That’s how easy it is for anyone to get any attention in this country. Throw in something racial, religious, anything that divides us really, it will blow up. If I wanted funding for school that badly and wouldn’t mind a few death threats, I would probably have that written in a facebook status and wait for people to go ballistic and calling me a racist bigot because we only read, see and hear what we want to read, see and hear. What most of us want to read, see and hear is anything that could spark any kind of tension which could prove that the government/opposition is wrong, that my race is better than yours and who amongst us are the holiest of all. Nobody would actually go ballistic at the fact that the school has not enough tables and chairs and I don’t know how else to explain how essential these two pieces of classroom furniture are, because that was the message.

All I’m saying is, hold your tongue and comments whenever you read/see something being circulated. For once, think longer than 15 seconds, ponder, ask (start with the WH questions: How is this offensive? What is so offensive? Why am I offended?), read more, learn, reflect, read some more then respond accordingly. We judge a little too quickly and that is more harmful than any potentially offensive pictures/articles/videos.

Side note: Lack of tables and chairs bit is for real. But no, I don’t really choose who gets to sit on a chair. In fact, I am only guilty that some of my kids are luckier than the others when I give them the cushion teacher chairs because there were just no more chairs left in school. The first 15 minutes of every class is always disrupted by kids going in and out of the classroom to look for tables and chairs. One time, I went in to a classroom for their mid year exam and just before I was about to start, a kid came up and asked if he could be excused to look for a chair. I was furious because I thought he was lying. So I told him that this is not the first exam of the day, where was the chair he was sitting on during the exam before the exam that I was about to invigilate? He said he stood the whole time. He stood for 1 hour and 15 minutes writing his exam before I came in.

PS: Just in case anyone missed the author’s point, everything in the second paragraph is fictional. The author neither has any inclination towards any particular race/religion nor does she has the time to segregate her kids by race/religion. She’s too busy trying to transform her kids, with or without tables and chairs, regardless of race, religion or nationality.

7 notes

Here’s an announcement: I want to be a mother.

I want to be a mother. Here’s why:

I have never buka at a surau before, until recently. After much pestering and coming to my desk making pinky promises with me, I joined my kids from school to break my fast with the rest of the Muslim members around the flat area. My first experience was a little… awkward. I loved how everyone was extremely nice to me, made sure I had my food, poured more water for me after every sip and how they called me “cikgu”. That last part feels pretty good. I loved the communal feel but I guess I’m not so much a people person. I don’t know how to react to middle aged aunties who show concern at the fact that I’m single and staying alone, at the fact that I don’t cook at home and at the fact that I don’t show much interest in settling down anytime soon. So I told myself, never again will I go to a communal break-fast because I feel like my silence makes them feel more awkward than it does me. Until tonight.

I succumbed to my kids’ pressure, yet again and decided to go to the surau. As we were all waiting for Maghrib, I found myself surrounded by 4 year-olds. They told me about their school and which one of their friends who weren’t fasting (even though I have a feeling that all of them were not fasting because they keep playing with their food and putting their fingers in their mouth while they were telling me the story). Then, out of nowhere, a boy came and sat by me. He had a plate full to the brim, with rice and chicken. We were at the girls’ section but he probably didn’t notice and sat down. His feet was dirty! It was black and filthy and he had his hands all over it. So I took his hands and said, “ehhhh, mana boleh makan kalau tangan kotor macam ni. Meh sini kita basuh” and poured water out of the teapot-hand-wash-thingamijig. I told him not to touch his feet again till after dinner is over. He put his palms together over his chest and made sure they didn’t touch his feet. I asked him a few questions but I could not really catch what he was saying. All I knew was that he’s 4 years old, he came to the surau with his older brother, a 7-year old who was sitting with the big boys outside. Can’t tell where the parents were because he kept laughing whenever I ask about them, which was weird. We had ten minutes till buka time.

He gasped every time he accidentally touched his feet and he rests his head on my lap asking me if it’s time (when I just saw him pinched his drumstick and put it in his mouth).  He asked me if he could get more of the orange drink and I told him he can’t till he finishes the drink in his cup. Then, when it was buka time, he went straight for his food and he kept saying, “mmm sedapnya nasi ni. Mmmm sedapnya ayam ni. Mmmm sedapnya ayaq oren” after every bite and every sip. He finished his drink and asked me if he could have the orange drink. I said, we were out, there weren’t any left and he looked at me and said, “pedas. Macam mana ni?” Luckily, the aunt who was sitting by me had a jug full of the orange drink and she gave a cup to him. He walked back to his seat, the whole time muttering, “kena jalan pelahan-pelahan. Kena jalan pelahan-pelahan”. He sat down, turned to me and said, “kalau tak makan sayur, tak boleh besar”. Can this kid get any more adorable?

Yes, he can. He turned to me and then said, “nak kencing”. I turned to the next 4 year old and asked for directions to the toilet. He held my hand tight and we quickly walked to the toilet. It was the men’s. He said, “tandas ni ada hantu”. I soothingly said, “mana ada hantu. Jom kita masuk sama-sama”, the whole time praying there wouldn’t be another man in there or about to come in. I stood near the door not really wanting to go in, he stood there by me. I slowly pushed him in and he wouldn’t budge. I’m thinking, “YOU’RE A TEACHER! KIDS NEED EXPLICIT DIRECTIONS! TELL HIM WHAT TO DO!” So I spelled out the steps for him. “Basuh tangan dulu, buang semua nasi, haaa gosok tangan sampai bersih. Okay dah. Skarang masuk tandas. Yes, yang itu. Haaaaa……kencing lah”, not sure if I should teach him how to pee too. Turns out, I did but he was successful, a star, really, we came out of the toilet, both feeling relieved. He went straight to his food and went, “mmm sedapnya nasi ni. Mmm sedapnya ayam ni. Mmm sedapnya ayaq oren”. He didn’t finish his food, spilled a quarter of it all over the floor and went, “nak sembahyang” when he saw all the other boys went in. We parted ways and I saw him quickly joining the male crowd to pray.

Here’s a bit that I missed out from the story. The whole time he asked for something or told me something, he called me “wei”. “Wei, nak kencing”, “wei, nak ayaq oren”, “wei, nak sembahyang, “wei, nasi tumpah”.  I was taken aback at first, then I realized that it was not the rude kind of “wei”, it was the kind where it was the only word he knew how to use when he needs to call on someone.

Then the crazy thought came, I want to be a mother.  Not just the whole I want to know how having a baby in my tummy feels like. Not the whole, I want to know how cute my own baby would be like. I simply just want to bring a child up, right and proper. I just want to bring up a child, any child. I have a feeling, I might be a teacher for a while.

0 notes

You’re never truly pissed for no reason.

I’m pissed. At everything at the moment. From how my phone refuses to be nice to me to the fact that I have been exhausted for the past week for I don’t know what reason. I am probably going to be pissed at you for telling me to cheer up or for not saying anything at all. Either way, there is no pleasing me at the moment. Is it the time of the month? As much as I hate to admit it, yes it is. Could it be that I am not actually pissed but my hormones are crazy? Possibly.

 

But what kinda super messed up hormones do I have that is making me this pissed and mostly at myself?

 

I have been a teacher for about 7 months now. A major breakdown happened a few months back but I got right back up on the saddle and galloped on. I don’t know why but I could feel it in my bones, that another one is probably going to come up soon and I would like to avoid that from happening.

 

I have sweet friends who think I’m doing one hell of a job with my kids. I’d love to think the same but who am I fooling. Let me put out it out there that this is not a self-esteem issue. It’s not a pity post where people write in to tell me to chin up and pats me on the back for choosing to do what I do. And I wish people would stop doing that, dropping me random notes of sympathy for ME. The thing is, I’m good. I’d like to think I came out alright. I’ve got a pretty sensible head on my shoulders and I can probably get by anywhere, anytime. If anybody needs the sympathy, it’s the kids.

 

I’ve got real kids on my hands, whose only way of learning is in school. And if they don’t learn, whose fault is it? I can’t help but to ask myself if I have just wasted their 7 months. How the hell do you measure success? By how much these kids learn or by how much effort I am putting in? I can’t help but to think that the latter is a pretty easy way out of my conscience trap. And the former…what if they could actually learn a lot more and I never helped facilitated that because of my incompetence? Did we just conduct a major social experiment on real kids by putting an inexperienced-me in without actually knowing the rate of success? Have I just doomed one year of precious learning time with a group of kids who could potentially learn more from another teacher? These are legit concerns aren’t they?

 

I don’t have the answer and probably am afraid of the answers. The verdict? Hormones: not guilty.

 

 

 

 

 

0 notes

Sometimes I can’t believe at how little my society have evolved.

"Kan sweet pakai tudung. Pakai lah hari-hari".

Because God wants me to look sweet every day? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I look pretty sweet in a ponytail too.

Calm down. I’m not trying to provoke anyone, okay, maybe a little, but only because I am faced with ridiculous comments most of the time. It’s my defense mechanism. I don’t even know what a ‘defense mechanism’ truly means but i thought it’s kinda apt to use it here and now.

……

I actually wrote some shitload of things to elaborate on my thoughts, but I thought it’s only going to provoke people even more so I’ve deleted them. I will stop here and make you think about the kinds of reasoning people usually give out to others while underestimating their intelligence.

3 notes

Worst feeling in the world

The worst feeling in the world is worse than that feeling you have after sitting for a really tough math exam, even after you spent two weeks studying for it. It’s worse than an impending break up. It’s worse than feeling old. It’s worse than failing an exam you studied six months for. It’s worse than knowing your favorite band just broke up. It’s worse than having to miss so many people and so many things. It’s worse than graduating. It’s so bad that no amount of chocolates could fix, no amount of adrenaline from doing a really fun work out video can cure and the worst, is when you realize no one can say or do anything to make things better, so you just let it be and never brought it up, knowing very well that it would just make things worse than worst, but you do it anyway.

The worst feeling in the world is when self-doubt starts seeping in and you just realized that maybe you never did anything worthwhile since the start. That maybe every one was right. That maybe I have been wasting my time and hundreds of others’.

I don’t want a break. I want to work. I want more hours in a day. I want weeks to go slower. I want stupid adults to stay away from me. I want people to be more responsible. I need to be more patient. I want to be able to live without having to eat. Sleep is a waste of time. I want to not have to feel to write out my thoughts every time I get too stressed out.

I’m pretty sure it’s not the worst feeling in the world. It’s probably the worst feeling I could remember feeling. Not that I think i have felt a wide range of feelings before, but this one right now, kinda sucks big time. Sigh.

I want a hug.

0 notes

The simple not-so-simple-dream

I miss so many things and so many people that “rindu” has just been redefined.

If it was up to me, I’d like to be chilling with my girl, listening to Yuna, drinking coke, order in a pizza and discuss everything that can be discussed, from first world boy problems all the way to the necessity of having heaven and hell. Why do boys say the things they do and what happens after you end up in heaven.

If it was up to me, the moment I get a “i’m at the mall watching a movie alone” text, I’d grab my stuff and will be there in a sec.

If it was up to me, we’d be planning our Friday night right now which will consist a lot of just chilling on a very comfortable sofa, staring at the wall, comfortably.

God, I hate having to miss so many things, wishing to be at so many places and wanting so much.

Reading this again, I swear, I’m secretly 16.

0 notes

I’m busy and annoyed, so I have to get this out of the way.

At the risk of sounding like a stuck up arrogant bitch, I will now list down the top 5 kinds of people who have been annoying the hell out of me for the past coupla weeks. If your annoying-people list has “stuck up arrogant bitch” on it, please suck it up and read on because if you fit in any of the categories below, I’d really like for you to be aware and then stay far, far away from me.

1.     People who think I am better off as a stewardess

If I get a penny, a single fucking cent for every time someone asks me why I am not a stewardess, I’d be penny rich by now. I wouldn’t need another penny for a lifetime. I’d bring it all to the bank and come out RM10 richer, just from people telling me to be a stewardess.

“Apesal you tak jadi pramugari?” “Cikgu kalau jadi pramugari pun elok ni” “Kalau saya kadi cikgu, saya jadi pramugari” “cikgu tak menyesal tak jadi pramugari?” “Tapi cikgu tinggi! Jadilah pramugari!” What the hell is wrong with a tall young woman as a teacher?

A stewardess is essentially a really pretty tiny-waist girl who waits on people on an aircraft; in other words, an anorexic waitress on a moving flying vehicle. How is that better than being a teacher? I am my own CEO in my classroom and I have 8 of them. I have 200 kids who have to follow my every instruction because I give them their grades that they need for their future. If I don’t teach for a day, that’s one whole day of knowledge wasted and they’ll have to either catch up or wait one more day to be that much more knowledgeable. I am educating your child not only for him/her to excel but to be human beings; to know what is polite and what is not, to know that rempit isn’t a real occupation, to know that hitting a woman because you think she’s weak is wrong. I make sure that you get taken care off by your child when you get older. You know what a stewardess does? A stewardess will one day serve your child crappy airplane food once he/she gets rich and successful enough to be traveling with an airplane because he/she had a teacher who decided to teach instead of wait on people.

It sounds like I’m dissing stewardesses, I ain’t gonna lie, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. So I apologize to all the stewardesses out there, I know some of you are not anorexic, just blessed with a high metabolic rate and that you chose to be a stewardess because you actually like the combination of waitressing and traveling. But people don’t go up to you and say, “you look like a teacher. You should be one!” now do they? Because if they do, you’ll be offended too, because you take pride in what you do. You’ll be bothered by tons of questions too. Is being a stewardess not good enough? What the hell do you mean I look like a teacher? No teacher can fit in this kebaya! You’re absolutely right my stewardess friends, no one except for you bunch.

I’d really like someone to come up to me and say the following:

a.     “You’re really smart, you should be a doctor”: I’ll finally be accepted in the typical Asian mentality of what smart people should be and finally be convinced that I am indeed smart.

b.     “Damn, you’re pretty. You should be a teacher!”. A compliment and a noble job combined? Say whaaatt? Best pick up line ever. There. I gave it out for free, boys. Use it.

c.       “You’re way too smart and way too pretty to be a stewardess. You shouldn’t be anything but a teacher”. Gaahh, noooo hehehehehe

 

2.     Men who want to know if I’m engaged or taken

“Cikgu ni dah berpunya ke?” “Ni, ada orang tanya, bukan saya, kawan saya, cikgu dah bertunang ke?” “Ada ustaz tanya, kawan dia tanya, cikgu dah bertunang ke?” WTF, men? WTF? You did not only ask the WRONG question, you thought sending someone else was gonna make it less creepy and acceptable. “Are you engaged?” Fuck you. A typical question from typical men who think the only reason why girls won’t be with them is because someone else got to her first.

Regardless of what my answer is to that question, it will not help you in your next move in any way. The right question is, “are you interested?” The answer to that question, my dear male friends, will direct the hell out of your next move.

3.     Women who want to know if I’m engaged or taken

Unless you’re my mother, go ask someone else’s daughter.

 

4.     People who call out on me for not replying whatsapp, facebook or BBM after seeing my last online/read status

Seriously, who the hell stays up to see if the message sent out has been read by the recipient and then call out on him/her for not replying when the message has been clearly read, as the status reports? Are you going out of your way to make me look like an ass? The fact that you sent a message via a social networking site, whatever you needed to say is clearly not a matter of life and death. And if it is a matter of life and death, don’t be wasting your time typing away, get your phone out and call the ambulance or the police, then call me. If the message doesn’t have an important question embedded, I think it’s good enough for a message to only just be read. A reply would be nice but completely not required. In fact, expecting one would be considered expecting too much. And since there’s a status report every time a message have been read, “hey I got your message” would no longer be an act of courtesy, but completely redundant. So there, know that I will take my own sweet time.

I know I said 5 kinds of people and there’s only 4. But I don’t believe in doing something without a purpose. I feel so much better now and so less annoyed already. No need to vent out anymore. Sorry to be promising and not delivering. That can be annoying, I know. Make your own list.

 

 

0 notes

Haaa. Muka kau dah gila.

It has been a while since I last spend time with people my age. Like really just chilled for hours without having to rush back to anywhere. Even though I still have so much to do, really important teacher-y stuff which was due yesterday, I figured I probably need some time off with the week being tough and taxing with so many things going on at the same time.

It was a good day to take time off too. Had a few great bonding sessions with random people who I never actually took the time to get to know before. Still comes as a surprise how interesting people can get. Also, harmless drinking games that involve emphasis on people’s intelligence is always fun and listening to racist political talks by the sea at midnight can’t go wrong.

An inefficient day worth remembering.

1 note

Is it just me or the girls in Bangsar just got really, really pretty?

I’m back for the weekend. A cousin got married, I haven’t been back for a while and when I’m down with a fever, I like to hear it from my own family of doctors to suck it up. It’s not very convincing when I say it to myself.

Anyway, it has become a coming-home routine where I’d stop by Bangsar to say my quick hello’s to friends before reaching home. I have come to believe that Bangsar changes every two weeks; from the shops to the people and their fashion sense. This time around, I am completely blown away by how much prettier the Bangsar girls have gotten since the last time I was in the area. I have never felt so self conscious about how I look and being in a kurung I picked out because it was the first one I saw that morning (not the best kurung I could be in) didn’t help much. I was in school half the day, drove straight to KL after and was in Bangsar after 4 hours. If “look like shit” needed a spokesperson, I’d be it, no challenge. As much as I do believe that beauty isn’t skin deep, them Bangsar girls got my attention with their perfect hair and makeup.

After a few minutes of making a few teenage girls uncomfortable with my rude staring, I was exhausted. I was exhausted for them because I know that they think they have to be that pretty all the time simply because every one else is. I was exhausted just thinking of what it takes to dress up to impress God knows who. Let’s be honest, I’m lazy as hell but I used to be one of those girls who try because all my friends were drop dead gorgeous. Then I moved to the States and everything I owned was the opposite extreme depending on the weather; shorts or sweat pants, because that was what everyone else was wearing.

Just when I thought I’m probably over the annoying “do I look okay?” phase, I started working in KL, specifically KLCC. Boys, if you’re wondering where all the pretty girls are, they’re all working for Petronas, so get your shit together cos these girls don’t sell cheap. That was the moment self-conscious was redefined. You didn’t just have to look pretty, how you became that pretty mattered. The things you carry, your clothes and those things you wear on your feet better have come in those polyethylene-ish bags before it was placed in a box. The worst came after I realized that what was apparent wasn’t the only issue. I got laughed at for not knowing what a skin toner was. There’s apparently an entire routine after you wash your face with H2O. I was drawn for a bit, but lucky for me, work got overwhelming and I didn’t really have the time to be so bothered about why there are different kind of moisturizers (I used to have vaseline all over my face whenever it felt dry before I got lectured by new found pretty friends. It’s annoying how the prettier they are, the more sense they make when they talk about beauty stuff). However, I did get new clothes every single week without fail while I was working there. I’m not sure if it was therapy, a routine, a sub-conscious succumb to peer pressure but I now have unnecessary amount of corporate clothes in my closet.

I can’t remember the last time I bought new clothes. Okay, I lied. I bought shorts at Tesco the other day because it has become unbearably hot at home these days. But it’s also because I only wear Kurungs, the best clothing invention in the world. It comes in a pair, so you know your top and bottom is covered by just picking one out. It’s airy and pretty, it’ll look okay on your bloating and non bloating days and it’s both a day and night outfit. Brilliant? I think so too. I also only have one mirror the size of my face which drives friends who sleep over crazy because they’d have to stand on a chair to use it cos it’s hung so high up. I have my hair in a bun all day, I’m sweating all the time with this crazy heat while trying to get some sense into my kids’ heads and I’m running up and down the stairs getting to classes. I’ve come to realize that there’s no hair product that can keep my hair in place, no pretty clothes, make up or nice shoes that can withstand the heat and chalk dust. I haven’t had the time to think about how I look or talk about superficial things till I got to Bangsar yesterday. It was kinda nice to have a different kind of conversation after only having myself and my kids to talk to for the last coupla months. It was relaxing and light and exactly what I needed.

As much as I love what I am doing and where I am at now, I won’t deny that small doses of superficiality talk and appreciating good looking Bangsar people has its perks. I’ll try to rock my crunched up Kurung in the middle of Bangsar the best I can but seeing them girls just gave me a whole new appreciation for the simple life.