Thursday, December 30, 2010

When chicken talks to rabbit

Yesterday I went all the way to Klang to pick up my new maid, a young Cambodian girl. This is the first time ever that I'm having a non-Indonesian maid.

If truth be told, I'm quite sick of having Indonesian maids as they've proven to be unreliable and caused me unnecessary duress and stress as proven the last 2 years. I hope I've said my last goodbye to these nightmare.

I fervently prayed to Allah that this Cambodian maid would be a good one and would not display the same traits as my previous Indonesian maid, a maid I nicknamed Lipstick Jungle Maid. 

After the first day ordeal of talking like a chicken and a buffalo, she knows hardly any Malay nor English, and I DO NOT KNOW Cambodian at all, I began to realise something. Despite the ordeal of communicating with her and the hardship of trying to be understood by each other, I think we are both better off not knowing each other's language.

What is beautiful is the fact that she doesn't answer me back, nor said much. And I only issue minimal instructions with the aid of sign language. I think this will work well as I believe, less said, better outcome. And most importantly, due to the language impediment, I'm rest assured that she would find it very difficult and an uphill battle to chat with my super-friendly neighbours.

So far, on day 2, the chicken and rabbit had both survived!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dad's Mixed Emotions....hmmm... and Mum's too...

My husband was kind of agitated and restless last night. He was perturbed that he was not able to contact the love of his life (me....unfortunately no!)....

He is so used to talking and chatting with the apple of his eyes, his only princess that he finds it hard to believe that she is non-contactable for the next 6 days. By any kind of standard in my household that is a long period of non-communication.

Our little princess (hmmmm. if truth be told she's no longer little as she turned 21 last week, but in our eyes, she'd remain little) is attending a programme organised by her university for Muslim students.

She's currently marooned in Malacca. My last communication with her was on Monday, 27 Dec when she sent an sms to me to tell me that she had arrived safely in Malacca, followed by another sms to say that all the participants' phones would be confiscated and would only be returned after the programme. Nonetheless, she did leave a message saying that if there's any urgent matters, we should convey the message to one of the committee members.

Last night was only the second night that my husband was not able to talk to his little girl and he was already feeling miserable, depressed and wretched. With wry amusement, I'm trying to imagine his state of mind over the next couple of days, and I hope I'd be spared the brunt of his misery!!!

Last night, he was complaining incessantly and actually muttering the absurdity of the organisers confiscating their handphones!!! And I did remind him that he could still call the committee member if he really wanted to talk to his daughter. I was amused when he exclaimed, "I will even bash the committee member!" I had a good laugh. 

As for me, of course I miss my little princess, but then again, I know someday, she'd leave her little nest and fly away to a strange place. She'd have her own life. Hence, this poem dedicated to our little princess:

How do Babah and Mama let go
Of the girl that mama has borne
How do we let her know
That our hearts can be so torn.

To keep her by our side
Would not be just or fair
And let her have a free ride
Would mean we don't care.

We know we taught her well
And that she knows right from wrong
Now...only time will tell
If she can be as strong.

But watching her go through the door
Make our  feelings sway
We must cover our tears...and more
And pray for her each day
That she'd be happy with with what lay for her in the horizon...

And deep in our hearts...
She'd always remain our little princess!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nightmare before Christmas

The teh tarik in the tall mug which I made for myself that morning had turned cold. The multi-grain bread that I toasted had gone limp. The plates, cups and saucers (remnants of the breakfast which my husband and boys had for breakfast) remained unwashed in my kitchen sink.

My brain was in over-drive. The phrase "Nightmare before Christmas" kept playing and swarming my mind that morning. The day before I had had a heart-to-heart talk and discussion with one of my foreign students. We were talking about her impending marriage.

This student had been one of my favourite students when I was teaching English at one of the local colleges in town. She was very hardworking and was like a sponge. Whatever was imparted to her, she would absorb them fervently and enthusiastically. She was a fast and an eager learner. It was a joy teaching her. She has an exquisite face and much loved by her friends and lecturers alike.

As she is an orphan, she looks up to me like her own mum. She lost both her parents when she was four years old. Her parents had both been killed during the civil war in her country. They had been brutally murdered. She lived with foster parents during her growing-up years.

After completing her high school, she decided to leave her country and came to Malaysia to study English. That was when our paths crossed. As she is such a lovable and a likeable person, I've learnt to love her like my own. Two years ago, she met an awesome Malaysian who asked for her hands in marriage. Needless to say, she accepted. I could see how much she loves her beau.

I had offered to sponsor her wedding and hold the reception in my house. After all, none of my kids are anywhere near marriagedom... Naturally she was excited and was so very much looking forward to her wedding.

But when told that I was going to give up my room to enable her and her husband-to-be to use it as their wedding room (I was prepared to give it up for a couple of days, of course with the consent of my husband) she looked at me in disbelief and to my consternation and heartache had exclaimed "Mum, I can't use your room. It's just not right."

Tried as I might to cajole her to change her mind, she was adamant and insistent that she only used my daughter's much-smaller room as her wedding room. I was heart-broken, as I had wanted so much for her to use my room as it is more spacious and more comfortable.

I was puzzled and kept wracking my brain to find out her reasons for not wanting to use my room. After all, it's not everyday that you become a bride or Queen of the day. And I had wanted so much for her to feel special and be swathed in a little luxury.

As curiosity might kill a cat, and it might just kill me, I had called her up to find out the actual reasons why she was resolute and steadfast in her decision not to use my room. After a little bickering and nerve-wrecking moments (as it had turned into an almost heated discussion), she breathed into the phone and spoke in a whisper-like tone and told me "Mum, if I were to use your room, it'll be just like a Nightmare Before Christmas!"

I was flabbergasted and was rendered speechless!!! Nightmare before Christmas!!! Now I wonder what she meant. Alas, and sad to say, I never did find out as she went on to use my daughter's room for her wedding night, and since then, had left to visit her foster parents in her birth-country bringing along the love of her life plus her bundles of joy. God had blessed her with twins, a boy and a girl.

My darling "daughter", may Allah bless you and whatever your reasons were for rejecting the use of my room, you've left me wondering till today what you meant by "NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS!"