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The Food @ Carousel

I initially wanted to save this treat for 3rd March but i got so excited i cldn't hold my horses!


I planned to stay in the office for overtime yesterday, but i managed to finish the most urgent thing by 4pm so i had more time to finish the others. But then Z was already prepared to go fetch me, so we went to Orchard instead.


For the benefit of my foreign readers, Carousel is a fine dining restaurant in Royal Plaza on Scotts hotel. They serve halal international buffet and is only 1 of 2 of similar dining experience available in Spore! Anyways, I called them @ 5pm but was told they were fully booked. A bit disappointed but didn't give up. Decided to walk in and try my luck. Maybe somebody would cancel or late cos they only hold the table for 15min! They are THAT Hot!


Indeed, we were in luck! We reached at 6:15pm and the lady said, "I have one table for two but its at the far corner" OMG OMG! i can't believe it! I dont care if its at the far corner~! But Dinner didn't start until 6:30pm so we hung out at the foyer.


How come my legs look long in this picture?


Z Copycatted my pose


Lobby filled with aromatherapy (i assum) candles


Our secluded table!

Appetisers: 2 prawn sushis, some tuna salad and prawn salad and salmon.

My first plate consisting of: cold prawn, baked chese, red mullet (fish) in taro sauce, roasted chicken w lebanese risotto, SHEPHERD's PIE!!! and braised lamb.

The prawn may look cold and ordinary but my my my... they taste sweet!!! If i only i could peel it on my own i would have soooooo taken another 10pcs of it! I couldn't swallow baked cheese cos it was tasteless. the fish and lamb were ok considering i dont normally like to eat those stuff. chicken was something diff. Shepherd's pie... well nothing can beat Cik Norjah's (my ex colleague in ZAC Meat) shepherd's pie, but it was alright.

But i totally LOVE the salad! Although again, i miss BUTTON mushroom! At least the herb crouton makes up a lot for it.

My 2nd plate comprising of: prawn w vermicelli, chinese Seafood dish, Yorkshire pudding, baked potatoes w BBQ sauce and Nasi keduri or something (rice).


Since i cldnt get those cold prawns, i compensated it by taking the prawns in other dishes. All are good except for the Pudding thingy. It's tasteless? Z thinks it is supposed to be eaten with other things. yeah prolly.


My dessert plate: Creme Brulee, pear Tart, Apple rhubarb!!!, ice cream, nyonya kuih (the pink one with white coconut shavings on top) and siew mai - the yellow with a red dot on top.

Ok ok Siew mai is NOT a dessert but i saw it at the last minute and it is COMPULSORY to take ok! Siew Mai is actually a dumpling made of chicken. Creme Brulee was crispily TOO SWEET! Like eating sugar! Apart from that i LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE the rest of the things on my plate.

Once upon a time, i was in a plane on Brunei airlines and totally DIG the apple pie. I tried to find endless kinds of apple pies but nothing ever tasted the same. but yesterday, i found the match! This Apple Rhubarb. The only diff is this one was served hot, while it was served cold on the plane.


Zubair too very full

Aiyah he... He got too excited when he tasted this salmon dish at first round that he actually went back to take 2nd helpings! Now he cldnt even finish his salad!


Just us!

The overall experience is nice but i felt rather sad that there were soo many varieties of food that i DON'T take esp the seafood (lobster, mussels, oysters), desserts (endless mousses, choc fondue w funny funny fruit - strawberry, pineapple, plum, grape, marshmellow, unfamiliar tarts like apricot and what nots) and Japanese food (chawanmushi, udon). While some are too common: chicken rice, bolognaise... I know. I am NOT adventurous with food AT ALL.

On the other hand, the overall experience is just LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY. Totally worth my $107 after 15% discount from CitiBank.

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My Heart Breaks to Leave Old Lahore

06/02/08


Today was a Public Holiday. Kashmir Day.

We spent all day and afternoon waiting for Mamoo Sajid who has the car to return home from office on a PH. Ammi was sent off to our house earlier in the morning. Come to think of it, i dont know why it didnt occur to me to just walk around the nearby bazaar! Instead, i get to rest and relax at home, which is also another IMPORTANT reason why im on holiday. So i dont regret it so much lah.

Also, i got to join in the Pakistani's IQRA' lesson! The eldest boy who is prolly around 8 yrs old had already khatam/completed reading the Qur'an! Masya'Allah.




Bfast was black beans and rice. Ok for this one, i dont understand how they can eat w/o any meat. Aunty Farzana noticed i wasn't eating much and worried herself so much so that she offered me some more of yesterday's fried trout! THank YOUUUU


We decided to drop by the next door neighbour's house. Notice the computer in the background? Well that's where i first attempted to login to internet. and it was such a relief to finally be able to talk in ENGLISH to mature girls who prolly share the same interest and curiosity. We asked about each other's education system, culture, career.

And i shared with them my shock when i first heard the term "House-daughter"! I thought it was a joke but the term REALLY exists! It's the term for girls who have finished their education but not allowed to work, so just waiting to get engaged, and married. But... don't they get bored sitting at home?!?! Prolly not with the gazillion housework to be done managing the typically huge household they tend to have. No wonder they have very hard hands. Poor girls.

We hung out at their house for prolly 1hr! 30min of it chit chatting in the dark waiting for the light to come. Then we took pictures and before we know it, Mamoo Sajid is back and we hafta head home (or rather the doctor's) ASAP. The warmth i felt getting to know these girls made me hesitated to go and confided as much to Aunty Farzana. and she said with pushing actions, "Ok Come... come back into the house." She was almost serious. Contradictingly enough at the same time i was also yearning to come home as in Ammi's home. But... but.... I HAVEN'T GOT ENOUGH OF OLD LAHORE! i wanna make some more friends! I left Old Lahore with a mixed feeling. Although it was dark, i basked myself with the scene and atmosphere of this place trying to remember everything....

At the doctor's, it was another unbearably painful experience as yet another stitch was removed. Aunty Farzana who accompanied us cldn't contain her tears too.

Uncle Sajid wanted us to stay another night at his place to make up for the lost day earlier, but i politely but determinedly said no... i wanna spend my last few days in Ammi's home. Not that i dont like it there, i do, i really do, but - cliche as it may sound - Home Sweet Home. Furthermore, i was feeling mellow after the BIG BAD WOLF of a pain just now i just dont wanna get off from the bed.

But hey.. our day is WAY from over. Aunty Nargis implored us to her house. Already she felt disregarded when we visited Aunty Farzana, who is the youngest, before herself. So since i felt a lil better after simple keema dinner, we headed out to Township area.

To my amazement, the streets are very much wider, you can say somewhat cleaner and more organised! Now this is just what i had imagined his house to be! LOL. But then again, the inside, the design is still the same. Mostly just with two bedrooms and a kitchen with no living area no dining.



We were invited to eat this SUPER NICE Chicken Biryani with her specialty Shami Kebab and even mutton korma!

I also had the opportunity to browse old pictures! Just exactly what i want out of my Pakistan trip! I wanna get to know the Young Zubair whom i've never seen nor could imagine.


Im pretty sure you can guess which one's Z right?

It was already midnight but we have one more stop to go!

She presented me a brown sweater all the way from London!


Ammi ji's childhood friend whom Ammi visits whenever her friend feels lonely as she's living alone, her daughter in London. Again, we had to wait for 30min for the lights to turn back on in order to take pictures. it was past 2am by the time we made our way home!

Crash boom bang!

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Love Or Hate Cavana Causeway Point?

ok let's steer away from my Pak trip for awhile. Tired lah.


I used to LOVEEEEEEEEEE CAVANA at Causeway Point especially their Tom Yam Soup and Black Pepper Beef Pasta.


Last two weeks, me and Z went there for dinner. Z ordered chicken meatball pasta and me black pepper BEEF pasta w Calamari as appetiser.


The calamari came quite quickly ie under 10min. and it came with CHEESE!! Wahhhh i was swooning in heaven. Except i noticed Z didn't want a second piece and what? i had to finish another 5 or so pieces on my own?!?!? i persuaded him to try another one and he said, "I will vomit if i eat another piece." and i thought, "What's wrong? I know he doesnt normally eat squid but he LOVES the calamari at Swensen's." Maybe it's the cheese. So i asked him to try on chilli sauce then he can eat.




My great time was cut short when my pasta came. it was not beef but chicken! Not that i dont like chicken but i was feeling beefy that night and now it became EXACTLY the same like Z's dish except his chickens are shaped in balls! I called the waiter and said


ME: I asked for beef
W: Is it? I'm sorry, you want me get it changed?
Me: (like duh) Errr...... hmmm.... Will it take long?
W: Let me check w the kitchen

W: I'm sorry madam, our kitchen is busy, can you just take this?
Me: HUH?? *pulling my spoilt brat stunt and facial expression* Errrr Hmmmm... Alah... erghh... ok lor *with extreme disappointment*
ME to Z: What is the kitchen busy about? It's not even full house!

there were only about 8 tables out of say 20 filled and half of them were prolly served already!


We received a 50% discount for next visit on either 2 dishes but i threw it away cos i was adamant not to patron that Cavana ever again until.....



The waiter who took my order gave us Oreo Cheesecake as a token of apology. and then i smiled!

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My Sensitive Guy

~`~`~`~`~`piano^player`~`~`~`~`~ says:
Happy arriving annversary honey


I love my husband for remembering the important dates. In fact, i hadn't considered this date at all until he told me! Where can you find such a gem as he?

27th Feb 08 marks one year since he first stepped onto Singapore soil.


I still remember how nervous i was on that day. I was worried, "what if he happened to be short?" cos he said he didnt know his exact height but that it should be around 165cm. So yes that's the first thing i noticed about him. His height.

i remember thinking, "Wow. He's soo tall *swoon*. Why the hell is he so formally dressed with tie and all?! Hmmm he looks sooo foreign... (as in not local malay look) and somewhat diff from the pictures he sent me. Gosh! Is he really gonna be my husband?"

For the uninitiated, Z and i found each other on the net and had a whirlwind romance of 3 months and swiftly decided to get married. It was another 3 months b4 he finally reached Spore. In other words, I've never met this guy face-to-face before and i was about to marry him in 5 days! Refer to this post for full story.

Alhamdulillah, it had turned out great, esp now after the Pakistan Trip. Of course there are the Ups and Downs. But hey like would be boring without them, na?

Just two days ago, Z told me something i've never thought of before, "Everytime i said i wanna buy something you'd always be against it for this and that reason. Why can't you agree with me for once?"

OMG. I just realised it's true!

  1. Rolex or any other branded watch. => i'd say, "why would you wanna spend a lot on 1 single thing when you can get A LOT of cheaper things at the same price?" or, "Aren't you afraid i'd get lost?"
  2. New Handphone => Wait till you get a job.
  3. BMW => What is so great about a BMW? It's still just a sedan.
  4. Perfume or other personal items => "You hafta finish your current stock first." "Can we go buy it tmrw instead?" or "let's wait end of the month." until i forgot about it unintentionally and sometimes intentionally! Oops. Hee :D

Forgive me my darling. I know it's feels good to fantasize owning something nice. And who would be a better person to share your fantasies with than your wife, hai na? I then reflected how you have always been supportive of my purchases, choices as well as dreams. I love you for that, honey.

May Allah bless us and all of our friends and readers to have a blissful, religious married life. Ameen

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News Flash

I might have to do OT (Overtime) tonight for the first time in 2yrs!

At first, when i came back on Mon, there WERE a lot of docs to be logged but those didnt have any deadline.

Most part of Tues was management meeting and suddenly i got crippled with 2 reports due this week each taking a whole day to finish, and designing an eBlast to my colleagues about Leap Year due tmrw and other small things but just as urgent!

Sorry so updates yet.. i have the photos in draft. just need to type in the words... God help me.

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A Day for Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort

04/02/08

Still in Old Lahore





On the roof of Aunty Farzana's house w a view of Badshahi Mosque.




Mostly the houses here have flat roofs where you can hang out and play kite, dry your clothes, place your water tank... you can even store your pets there! 1 roof i saw was housing their sheeps there! Gosh.



Ok c'mon let's go to the main attractions of Lahore!



We walked some 10min to Badshahi Mosque. Imagine how near it is from our house!






Ammi and the garden in front of the mosque


Me in Allama Iqbal's Tomb.

You can say Allama Iqbal is the founder of Pakistan. And that was the first time Zubair and Salman went INSIDE the tomb. As children they always played in the garden like every weekend but they'd NEVER actually went into the tomb itself.



Actually i really am against tombs or any other unnatural things around and on top of the grave. Because it was narrated that Prophet Muhd saw said all these "dapur-dapur" or tiles or whatever on the grave will burden the dead and that it is better to plant trees on top of them instead, as the water from the trees provide some kind of peace in the life 7 feet under. Thus, i pity all these ulama's and respected pple being entombed as such. Tragic.



Entrance to the mosque.


To the left of this entrance is a place where you can entrust your shoes to the officials for a small fee i dont know how much. Instead, the kind Aunty Nargis offered to look after our shoes as well as babysit the two youngest babies in the group.


A man praying on marbled fountain



i find it warmly fascinating that this man chose to pray on those marble tiles in the open where it was super cold rather than inside on carpet.




Prolly cos the carpet's dusty! lol. But its truly amazing feeling to get to pray in the very place pple yearn to be.


Typically, Pakistani mosques dont have a section for women or so Z said. I didnt see any ablution nor toilet area at all except outside the main entrance


Can u guess what the red letters spell?


4pm. Time for our late lunch early dinner.



We rested at this cafe and dined al fresco. VERY VERY NICE atmosphere!!!




Chicken Kerahi, if im not wrong.


The nice Aunty Farzana noticed i was struggling with my food and peeled the chicken and bread for me. I love being pampered!



I know Pak has no littering fine and all but i was totally aghast when i saw they were throwing chicken bones onto the grass!! (for the record, we threw ours for the cat, btw) I can only mentally shake my head. Even at Zubair a few days ago when we on the rickshaw, he just threw the tissue out the door. when i raised my eyebrows, he said, "It's ok it's Pakistan what. No law against littering. And i want to throw as much litter as i can before i go back to Spore!" Nonsense! :P





The Quadrangle.


Before this, i've heard of Lahore Fort but thought it was just a long high wall like Great Wall of China but i didnt for a second ever imagined it could be THIS beautiful! There is a palace within these walls.



Some parts of the wall, Z told me, were once studded with diamonds! Then the rulers were overthrown and some new kind stripped the diamonds away...



There was this on building called Diwan-e-Am something or other where, Z told me, the King listened to the cases of the day. Around the inside of the buildings were small chambers and empty rooms. It made me wonder what rooms were these? How did they look like before? What kinda life went on within these walls? Arghhh it pained me to walk away without knowing the answers. I almost wished i could time travel and see what it was like. Or at least some hollywood or bollywood director would make a movie about this place!



The naughty fun cousins the naughtiest being Haseeb the frontmost, then Fiza, Qandil, Sohaib and Wahhab.




This is the passageway that connects Badshahi Mosque to Lahore Fort.


Taking a picture of Salman taking a video of us walking.



Outside, there were a few souvenirs and toys being sold. Nothing caught my interest much save for the potteries, cutleries and other wooden decoratives. It looked quite Malay to me and would be a good thing to buy for my students or whatever. we need some plates ourselves at home. But Salman advised that the price they sell here is double of what we can get at the market. Besides, we haven't changed more money yet.



Also commonly found by the streets are vendors selling ghulab jamun. they look like mini pooris to me but was told it is something like keropok, or fish crackers, eaten with sour water and nuts. Looks VERY NICE and would LOVE to try. Alas, i was full yet again.


We then crossed over to the entrance of Minar-e-Pakistan.

It was at this place that Pakistan's independence or creation for that matter was announced, or so i understand it from Z.

It was 6pm and getting dark, not to mention FREEZING if u notice the fog. so we didnt go up the minaret. Instead, we just waited for my other mamoo, Uncle Shaukat who is Aunty Rihana's husband, to come by and pick us up to go home. Aunty Nargis and children went back to THEIR home at this point and i sorely miss them and their games.

We were barely home when we were whisked out again. This time to Food Street.



It looked somewhat like Boat Quay minus the river. The shophouses are pretty and al fresco dining all around despite the crisp night air.



Special food to be found here is Fried Fish at the shop below this building.


This Fried fish is sooo popular, they had to put a sign that says, "The Original, One and Only shop. We dont have any branches anywhere else." Apparently, pple had tried to copycat them.

These trouts were fried in a special spiceful breadcrumbs that leave not just the crusts but also the meat salty and tasteful. But if i know mummy, she wouldn't be able to take this cos its SALTY. But i TOTALLY DIG IT!


Zubair and Salman shooting each other with a fish bone pistol!


Just to show we had enormously enjoyed supper!

Thanks to Uncles Sajid who treated us with this expensive dinner. Can't remember whether its PKR 1000 or PKR 2000 per pc!!! That's between SGD 25 - 50 per pcs!


I slept smiling again tonight. phew~ What a day!

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First Day Back in Real World

haha Even after 4 weeks of 12hr sleep everyday, im sorely missing it today. NGANTUK!!!! (Sleepy)

Today is my first day back in the office aftter my 2 weeks Pakistan holiday and 2 weeks MC bcos of the wrist wound.

Got a lot of work to do, not surprising there. Fortunately most are not pressing, being a meagre admin asst. ergh. i think im tired of it already after 2 yrs... but what can i say? i LOVE the company. Alhamdulillah, in times of great need, Allah sent me $200 in the form of Chinese New Year hongbao (money packet) from the mgt!

I also have my claims and other personal admin issues to settle.

But most importantly, im scared to go to the toilet alone here! cos i still cant hold a 500ml bottle on my injured left hand... so i dont know how to wash. Small one is fine ... i think i'll try to psycho myself to do the big ones at home. At home, i can go to the toilet on my own no problem cos i wash with the tap open in the shower screen. Sighh... i almost asked Zubair to standby in the office the whole day. LOL!

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Good Morning, Old Lahore!

03/02/08


I woke up at 7am and straight away asked for a shower before everybody else wakes up and need to use the bathroom too. I didnt sleep too well bcos i felt really sticky and uncomfortable.


about 3hours later, i had a very nice bfast!!


This is Halwa poori and i dont know what that's small filled poori's called but its something like murtabak crossed with epok2 (curry puff) basically its poori with minced mutton inside.

But i was surprised that they called this bread poori cause the poori in Spore are very small! this is wat we would call Battura and if you know me at all battura is my favouritest of favourites!!! I will always eat the crispy top half first and the bottom later.

To my surprise, i didnt hesitate to try the halwa and it tastes nice too!! Its made of milk and nuts. When i asked Z what is it called he said, "Kanjer halwa" and made me repeat after him. Then i heard gasps and chuckles. "what? what did i say?" i stammered. Z didnt wanna explain just laughed at me. So Kind Salman said, "No! Cannot say that word. It means prostitute!" The story is something like Uncle Sajid (Aunty Farzana's husband) went out to buy the bfast and the stall happens to be located at a red light area. Aiyohhhh

Like an hour after that, i started having loose motions again!!! Do you know how tiring that is?!?! Poor Ammi also got tired cos she had to help me wash. All 3 of us retired to the King sized bed and i lost half of the afternoon. Darn! My medicine for tummy is also at home 1 hr away.

Rizwan came to visit all the way from Quanchi Amer Suddu but i was asleep~ i could hear his voice but i was just too tired to do anything. So in other words, i havent really seen him all week. Always working lah that guy.

Suddenly i came awake at 3pm all refreshed and i announced, "I want to jalan jalan!" Yup My Pakistani family alreay know what jalan jalan means which literally is Walk Walk.

a 300yr old building

In a jiffy, we were off to Ammi's old friend's house. Her name is Rani and i joked, "Rani Mukherjee?" and they all laughed and she blushed! hehe.. Basically she is Ammi's childhood friend. Bcos Ammi and all her ancestors used to live in Old Lahore. Also, Z said that actually their original house is the other one and then they moved bla bla bla... i got confused but he wasn't able to explain it well to me. Humph. Later, i got the answer from Mamoo Afzal.

Mostly the houses here, you will first be greeted with a staircase that leads you to the 2nd floor. The area is small enough for just 1 bedroom and another utility room but spacious rooms they are. There was a balcony on the 3rd floor. and we looked out to the small street bazaar. If only i could capture how atrocious the traffic condition is...

I noticed that even though their houses look shabby on the outside (the buildings are 200 - 400yrs old, mind you) they actually have air conditioning on the inside! And although the boys playing on the streets look dirty and unkempt, they are not poor kids. Their house has air-con, remember? I think its just the dust and such that make them look so.

I also observed that the pple here prefer to drink Sprite / 7Up as opposed to Pepsi / Coke variation. Anyways, i was presented with a lovely two shaded purple chiffon material studded with beautiful handworked embroidery.

Then i saw a girl who got henna on her hands! ARGHHHHHHHHHHH... I LOVE I LOVE I LOVEEEEEEEEEE HENNAAAAAAAAA.... if only my hand wasnt bandaged i would have asked for a real elaborate one! GRRRR


Boiled eggs, samosa and pakoras (like keropok)

The shops along the bazaar are rather open. If you have weak stomach, better dont eat after being exposed with air pollution. but among other things, i saw fried chicken stalls, kebab joint and there was also a butchery! I got to see the skull of a goat!!

Next stop: M Arshad's house. He is Z's cousin from his father's side. A well known musician also a child star in pakistani movies like 20yrs ago. It has been a long time since they've met esp Ammi. I dont suppose they are very very close because there were several silent moments. But we were to wait till they served us tea.

In a way, I salute these people. We came in unannounced but they accepted us gracefully and willingly and wont let us leave till we've eaten something from their house. Such is the mindset and culture of these kind pple. Me? If im alone at home, I wont even peek to look who's ringing the bell, let alone open the door and serve them tea!

Mamoo Afzal called earlier to say that he's gonna pick us up that night at about 7pm. His turn to play host. His place is just some 10min walk away and i got to explore more of the narrow streets. I kept telling Z that if i could i would like to knock on every door and take a look inside! Very curious. Bcos The alley might be dark but they are definitely IN the house cos at a corner i heard some TV noises...

Again, we were greeted with stairs direct to the 2nd floor to the living room. The other room is the kitchen. 1 floor up is one bedroom, a bathroom and a utility room. another one up is a tahfiz (Qur'an memorisation) school!!! On the roof is the classroom for small kids learning to READ Qur'an equipped with ablution area and a small room for the teacher and a garden corner, home for a few pots of plants. Masya' Allah...

Once again i was lavished with flowers on my arrival.

On the right is Nudrat aka Nida the eldest daughter. Middle is Abdullah. In the bckgrd in Mamoo Afzal.

It is so nice to know that Mamoo rents out a part of his house for religious education. However, it makes the house feel somehow separated into two different storeys and that the staircase is NOT part of your personal house area. Its for public. Privacy has again been violated.

This is Aunty Fauziah and Nashmia, the youngest daughter. She's Super cute and Super friendly and likes to tease pple.



This is Aunty Fauziah's sister. Sorry, i forgot your name.

SHE greeted me with an "apa khabar"? Which means How are you? in malay. Turns out her bro in law worked in Msia for 2 yrs and taught her a few phrases to talk to me with! How sweet. She was excited to meet me also. So much so she gave me a bangle of flowers of carnation n such as a sign of friendship!


Here, i got a lot of attention bcos mostly its just me and Mamoo Afzal talking.

1. Why there is a power failure at least 5 times a day in winter and summer?

Because the electricity in Pakistan is generated from water high up in the mountains. In winter, the water freezes up and thus could not produce much current to supply to the cities. In summer, the snow melts and results in much power supply. Unfortunately, the demand is higher still bcos air conditioning is much needed in 50 degrees celcius climate!

3. Why is it that sometimes there's no water in the pipe?

My Karachi friend explained to me before that its bcos the water truck wont come if u dont remind him to or something to that effect.

My uncle however said that Lahore's water source comes from deep wells. It pumps up the water using hydraulic technology. This technology requires electricity. So there.

Every house usually has a water tank on their roofs that can normally last the household 3 days. But if you've forgotten to pump the water, and clashed with loadshedding time, it spells no shower for the day for you. Ergh!

3. How many houses did Grandpa Tufail have?

Initially, he lived in the other house some 3 doors away in Old Lahore. Then the family became too big for the house so he moved away to the house in which Aunty Farzana and her family as well as Mamoo Akmal are living in. Subsequently, he bought a house in Quanchi Amer Suddu, the one Mami Nargis, Mamoo Ijaz and Mamoo Ilyas are living in.

Mamoo Afzal said now, "Well.. enough about us and Pakistan. Tell me more about your father and Singapore." So i told him what my father works as, what are the languages spoken here and how the education system here is. All this over two bowls of chinese soup much like shark fin soup.

And now is time for main course. Aunty Fauziah can cook western and its fried rice and pasta with chicken manchurian. OMG! I can just pass out from refraining these delicious food! I hafta keep in mind that i dont wanna regain all those kgs i've lost as well as must maintain a demure appearance and not a piggy one! LOL

THIS dessert is called Kheer in Thuttee or clay bowl. believe it or not, this pottery is DISPOSABLE!!!! I said, "REally? Isn't it wasteful?" Mamoo said, "No, not really. Cos its real easy to make and very cheap too." I cant imagine!

Anyway, Kheer is made of rice, milk, sugar and almond. I LOVE almond jelly and did think twice about trying this dessert but i also bared in mind that almond has a peculiar and acquired taste. At first, i said to Z we just share 1 bowl. After 2min, i licked the bowl clean! :D Nice nice nice!



This is an absolute masterpiece from Nudrat. This framed work of art is made of recycled material. Do you believe if i say that round brown thingy is actually the residue of sharpened pencils???? I said to Mamoo, "Not only is she intelligent. She's creative too!" He is blessed with great, clever children. After all, he himself went to the top Uni in Pak and Aunty Fauziah has a master degree in English! Masya'Allah Masya'Allah....

After dinner, we took a tour around the house. And then we settled in the bedroom where he played the CD of Z and my pictures and asked me to explain who is who and what nots. Nashmia would laugh at each picture and mimick each of our poses, esp the funny ones. It really really REALLY broke my heart that i cldnt understand what she was trying to say to me... And i really really really hope she would still remember me when we visit the next time.


It was past midnight when we finally said our goodbyes. Mamoo walked us halfway. Actually i was worried that he sent us off at all cos that would mean he hafta walk back all on his own and it was super duper dark! I dont know is it bcos there's loadshedding or the alley is indeed unlit. it was so very dark, even Salman's old hp's light was bright!


We breathed out a sigh of relief when we reached the comfort of our bedroom. Z said, "Tired from visiting huh? This is how i felt when you go visiting during Hari Raya." I told him tired lah but i actually enjoy looking at pple's houses and keen to know how these pple live their lives.


I really love the fact that i am not exactly here for a mindless holiday strewn with motiveless shopping. But to get an insight of how it feels to actually LIVE in Pakistan. Not in a rich environment too... cos it would just feel like s'pore... but in middle class. Fabulous. Just fabulous.

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The Most Boring Day Is not So Boring After All

2/2/08

its a Sat but we stayed home almost all day. bcos there wasnt any water.




aunty nargis came to visit along w her children jawwad, wahhab n hifza.



And later mami nargis, kiran n all also came to visit. it was so crowded i nearly wanted to cry! my private space has been violated. perhaps its cos the house is not really finished yet so tt the guests hafta hang out in our room where the heater is. But then again...even at other houses we hung out in THEIR bedrooms. i so totally dont get it. Isn't bedroom supposed to be like your sanctuary where u get to rest after a hard day's work or play and where u have all the space and privacy to get ready in the morning? But I understand and appreciate that they came to see how im doing. I suppose I just wish i know what they were talking about and also i can actually TALK with them.





But my irritated mood was also the result of feeling helpless and trapped from NO WATER to shower with and with NO real explaination WHY such a thing can happen. Khyyam only managed to say, "Bcos its from the govt." Humph... 2 days later i finally got the answer. and you gotta stay tuned for that! hehe





Oh yes i missed writing about the night before. Ehtesham came with his CPU and wireless phone for the internet!!! He also showed us lots of old videos. So i finally got to see Z when he was younger. So funny there was a clip during Salman's bday where he danced like chicken lah... like girl lah..





But i hafta tell you that i SUPER HATE those mujra dances/dancers. Like what is the purpose of those girl dancing in the front of the audience? For the guys to gawk at them? Oh please! No thank you. In the video Ehtesham played, there were 2 of them, and they cant even dance in sync... no form of choreography at all! null! zilch! Ergh! Is this Pakistan? Im really confused sometimes... are they a very good muslim country or a rebellious one?


Anyways, The internet was working and can play our newly bought DVDs... Yay!! i cldnt wait to blog and email my friends. But by the time they all went home, which is slightly after midnight i think, we were tired already and immediately hit the sack.




Back to that Sat. This is our bfast. Double roti, omelette and SHAMI KEBAB from Aunty Nargis. OMG!! Shami Kebab straight away got to No 1 in my list of Fav Pakistani Food. it's something like Malay's begedil, but this one's made of dhal (yellow beans) and chicken all boiled and mashed then fried covered w egg.


Then without showering we went to the wedding next door. The house has a very spacious compound. The house can hold more bedrooms if not for the compound. Why? Why they design their house in such a way that everybody hafta cramp to sleep in one room? Can somebody explain to me?


We were led to a small living room then into the bedroom where we ate naan n chix korma ON THE BED! really! ON the bed!! And in the dark too but that's because there was a loadshedding. No surprise there.


Salman went back to the house to get mineral water for me. You know, he's really an attentive one. He notices the things that i need when Z is totally blur and ignorant about them. Well.. they are small small things like passing and pouring the water or tissue or telling Z to cover my hand from the cold or even when my shawl slipped and my hands were tucked inside i cldnt adjust it myself. Although he's younger than me by 2 years, i felt like i acquired two older brothers just like i've always wanted but was impossible before. I just wanna say i truly appreciate them.



Thats the bride and the other girl is another neighbour named Hira


i also noticed that ALL their brides always seem SAD on their wedding day! Well i suppose mostly is bcos its an arranged marriage. But Z also told me something like bcos they're leaving their mother's house.


Next Stop: Cloth material shopping at the outlet in Main Bazaar. Ammi said i looked like a salesperson. z can see my taste of material already. normally not prints cos their flowers r too ethnic or oldish.


The place looks very much like the old Geylang, only instead of uneven cement floor, it was uneven sand natural floor. It wasn't a place to take pictures either for fear of being "bumped" and you'll notice ur hp's gone!


Once again, i wasn't in the mood for touristy shopping. My objective that day was to get the materials and be done with it. I dont know why but i feel very tired most of the time. Must be the endless pills i hafta down 3 times a day. Ergh

It was prolly 8pm when we came home after yet another of those daily visits to the clinic to change the dressing. But tonight is a bit different. Tonight some of the stitches are dry enough to remove. I had been looking forward to remove the stitches as i see that to mean nearer to the time when the bandage can be removed also and i will be free to dress as i like (i can't wear my normal tudung/scarf yet)



I remember pple saying something like they can feel the thread being taken out but that it didnt hurt. Most unfortunately, my first one HURTS LIKE HELL! It hurts so much i cried! i cried! and i cried! I didnt care there were other patients outside it hurts OK! I was beginning to think that the healing process is much more painful than the actual accident!



Doc: *quite sarcastic tone* Why are you crying? Its not painful, is it?

Me: Why would i cry if its Not painful??

Doc: You're still here aren't you? still alive?

Me: *in my heart* how would i be able to answer you just now if i weren't still alive?!


Quite confusingly, the next two didnt hurt at all.


Doc: What? no crying?

Me: *silent* = angry


Come to think of it, the first one was located some more my thumb where i was feeling numb. Prolly that's the sensitive/troubled area? I kept asking the doctor why are my fingers swollen and he kept saying, "Swollen? where'? there's no swelling." Like HELL there wasn't. My new found uncles could also see they are swollen and you, the supposedly qualified doctor, who alternate career in the past was a PILOT, couldn't see its swollen? How can that be? The only consolation i get from seeing this doctor is that he speaks good english and that with every move when he treated me he said Bismillah.


We reached prolly 8pm? If you think my day was over, you have truly mistaken. We started to quickly pack a few of our clothes cause we're going to Aunty Farzana's house at Old Lahore and it's like 1hr away!


Salman got his boss to drive 4 of us (Rizwan was still at work) and Aunty Nargis & her 3 children in his van. I'm ashamed to say i rested for the first half of the journey. The painful ordeal earlier left me quite tired and i thought that it was dark anyway and with the fog outside and no specs, i cldnt see much of the scenery.


But i felt much better after waking up and could appreciate the Bharti Gate when we passed through it. i wish i was on the bike though so i could see more openly. We were on some lane but there was something blocking the road so Z said ok we'll stop here. We got down and walked 100m then zigzagged through a narrow alley until suddenly.....


it was raining rose petals!!! They were serenading me from first and second floor. How sweet sweet sweet of them! I was brought inside and presented with a...


on the left is Aunty Nargis. Right Aunty Farzana. The small face in background is Qandil


bouquet of flowers!! I dont normally appreciate flowers but i was truly warmed by their gesture and effort in going all out to welcome me! I feel...... LOVED :D it was 11pm



We were first served with dinner of chappati, kheema and meatballs as well as chicken biryani. I was soo stuffed! But that's not all!




Next is Gajrela, a dessert made of carrot. Hmmm i suppose it was ok... but i can only take a small morsel at a time cos its super sweet. Lucky that i like carrots usually but it feels weird tt it can become a source of dessert. But it was sooo soft u wont remember there's carrot inside! More like flour.

They were waiting for tea. Not being a fan of milk tea, i decided to join the girls. Hifza was playing "anak banak" with Qandil and Fiza (Aunty Farzana's 2nd and 3rd daughters). My own two palms were spread on top and below my right and left partners' palms. then my right palm clap my left partner's right palm and she will clap her partner's palm while chanting the play song. Then they count 1, 2,3 - 20. At the 20th count, whoever's turn to clap is supposed to slap the next person's palm. If hit, the partner is out. if missed then the slapper's out. It's fun really and for my sake they counted in English. And amazingly, i won in my first round!! Haha



After that, We played "Yasu Panju". First, we assigned ourselves names. then made a show of any number of fingers then we started counting with our names. If it ends with our name then we're out. If it ends with out name again, we'll be tickled until we say sorry sorry. When down to the last two members, one hafta hit the last person's closed hands until he missed and this goes on for one round with the rest of us.



Then, i showed them how to play Chop chilli Chop. and they all laughed and laughed and laughed. Just take a look at this video!




video

Only Wahhab the younger boy in front of me caught the gameplay. That is to follow my action AFTER i finished mine. The rest were mimicking me while im doing it. its ok.. Most importantly we really had fun and bonded nicely :D

Next, we were treated with Mamoo Akmal aka Mamoo Gungga's magic tricks. This video below is my fav trick cos he did it on me also and i really didnt feel how the other ball got INTO my hand!

video

But you hafta be patient till u get to the last part of the video. Mamoo was trying to do his act but Haseeb, Aunty Farzana's youngest son, the naughtiest one kept interrupting him.

We were then shown to our room on the 4th floor.. but they seem to think its 6th floor i dont know why. Remember that i went here without having showered first? We were supposed to shower here and then i found out that even though they have 1 toilet on every floor, they have only 1 shower and its on the 1st floor! My cranky mood kicked in and i slept at 2am with my back facing Z.

To be continued......

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