Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Today my job is to do overall sweeping.I have done the toughest part of the cleaning and when I look back dusts have settled all over again.I have to dust and vacuum and sweep all over again.The curtains will have to wait until my daughters got home.

What really makes me mad is the water.It choose today to play hide.I went down just now and there was no water.I really hope that somebody will volunteer to do the 'seeking' job.I would if I could.

Next task,find any available big container to store rain water.If the tap water continue to hide,then I will have to store rain water for washing since there's no other source available.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cleaning ...

Yesterday I wished for an extra pair of hands and it was granted.Thanks to my nephew,Kipung,for helping me to mow the lawn.Downstairs rooms - done.Today I'm going to tackle the kitchen windows and cabinet.The curtains are soaking in the washing machine now and then next load will be the table cloth and the dish clothes.I really hope that the water won't choose today to do it's favourite games of hide and seek,the 'now you see it,now you don't' type.It's been doing that for the past three days,which really makes me mad.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

If only I have extra pairs of hands..

It's 5 days to Christmas and 3 of my children will be home in 4 days time and I haven't started cleaning their rooms yet.The upstairs rooms will not pose much problem but the two downstairs rooms really need a complete cleaning from top to bottom.
I would have done it before if I didn't go to help at the Ketua Kampung's house and yesterday a gotong royong at our chapel.So many works to do with only me here.My niece told me that there's someone she knows who cleans house for rm30 per day but that will be my last resort.What will my friends say if I hire a cleaning lady?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Tomorrow there will be a wedding .The Ketua Kampung's daughter is getting married.Tonight we'll go to their place to help with the food preparations.I'm given the task of cooking sweet and sour fish.
I don't know yet how many types of dishes will be served but hopefully I don't have to do more than the sweet and sour dish.That alone is quite plenty - 50kg of fish.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today was a slow one at the shop.There were only a few customers and the first one only came after 11am.Maybe it is because of the fasting month that not many students came to the shop during midday.
When the first customer came,I can see her smiling even before she came inside.So I smiled widely in return.It was then when she came inside that I noticed .She wasn't smiling at me at all but because she was hare-lipped.I've never seen her coming to the shop before today.Maybe it's because there were no other students at the shop that she came by.
Because I didn't want her feeling unwelcome,I keep on smiling even when I know that she's not smiling.I really felt for her,for being forever in a smiling mode.Poor girl.
It made me rethink and count my blessings.I am blessed with a good and healthy life,happy and united family,also able bodied and beautiful children.We might not be rich in materials standard but I'm forever thankful for everything that the Lord has bestowed on us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some people just can't say it right...

Usually when a customer came to the shop for a top up,especially the students,they'd say,"top up saya".
One customer came and just said,"ada mas-is",or something like that.So I said,"oh,tiada,kami tidak jual mancis."I said that because we don't sell matches at the shop.He gave me a stare as if to say,"is this lady daft,dim witted or just plain deaf?"
My friend said,"kak,maybe he wants to top up his maxis",and sure enough that was what he wanted.But why didn't he say up front that he needed a top up?
When the customer left we both doubled up laughing.My friend said that she too heard mas-is but she thought of maxis and got it right.I heard mas-is and automatically thought of matches.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Being a tailor shop,customers sometimes bring in their clothes to be repaired,mended or altered.We'd do repair jobs on jeans,slacks and shirts too.

There's this regular customer at the shop.He comes to the shop every day or every other day to buy soft drinks and biscuits.He's a worker at the construction site at the school.Sometimes he'd ask us how much it is to tailor a shirt,a baju kurung and whatever it is that catches his fancy.He always ask,"berapa mau jahit?But he pronounce the jahit as 'rait'.Because we don't know who his real name is,my friend and I named him Rait.

Rait is a foreigner and one who you wouldn't want to encounter in a dark alley alone..with longish yellow hair (not dyed),filthy clothes and smelly.I'm not exaggerating,he really is like that..

One day Rait brought his work pants to the shop to be mended.Truth be told I had to hold my breath when he handed me the pants because it was smelly.It was also still damp,maybe he made an attempt to wash it but you just can't wash away the smell and filth at one washing without soaking it in concentrated detergent first!It was a ripped seam,about 5 inches in the groin area.

Normally I'd only charge RM2 for that kind of repair but I charged Rait RM5.When he said "sikit saja koyak",I told him that it is because I doubled-stitch it,using the electric sewing machine.In truth it's because of the smell that I charged him extra...
My first attempt at sewing a slack was hilarious.When my friend asked me whether I know how to operate a sewing machine I told her that I can.When she asked me if I can sew,I told her that I can,but I've never done any sewing besides curtains and table skirting before.So she said that it won't be too difficult,that she'll teach me.A customer had asked for a Punjabi style attire and she'd sew the blouse with all its trimmings and I'd do the slack,just a plain,elastic-waist slack.No pleats and no zipper so I thought how difficult can it be?

"A little curve here and a straight line sewing there",she told me before I started.She also had marked it with a tailor's chalk.I didn't know what I was thinking but after the curve,which was supposed to be the behind,I go on sewing in a straight line until it's finished and I did the same to the other side too.It was done in no time at all and I thought,well,it's not that difficult.

It was only after I took it off the sewing machine that I discovered to my dismay that I had it done like a skirt but with the bottom sticking out!OMG!Looking at it I couldn't help but laugh at my own handiwork.I had to start all over again and after the third attempt I finally had it done.

Monday, August 16, 2010

May 2010...my youngest flew off the coop..she went to college.Now I'm really and officially alone at home.
For lack of nothing better else to do,when a friend asked me to help in her shop,I jumped at the chance.That way I can meet other people everyday and not feel so alone.The shop is also not far from home so it's convenient.
I manage her sundry shop and sometimes help her to sew.She's a tailor but since her youngest is just a little over a year old,she has her hands full.So I'm a shop manager,a tailor's assistant and a babysitter all rolled into one.I'm also a mother,a sister,an aunt,a friend and a sounding board...The last one may sound peculiar but that's the truth...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm not blaming my parents for our scarcity,far from it.My parents were just farmers and with seven children to feed,it's sure hard to make ends meet.We were thankful that we had shelter over our heads.And when my eldest brother got married and had a child,well,more addition of mouths to feed.Now,looking back,I felt that we were luckier than most because we never went to bed hungry.My parents priority were feeding us.They worked hard for that purpose and thanks to them,we've never known hunger.We had three whole meals everyday and we can eat whenever we felt hungry.Most important of all,we could eat rice everyday and that was considered a luxury in those days.We always had the 3 basic foods whenever we had our meals that is rice,vegetables and fish,salted of course,and sometimes we had those bland tasting dried anchovies.Some of my friends then rarely had those.Most eat only sweet potatoes,yam or tapioca .They rarely had rice or fish.
My parents were a strong believer in hard work.Every single one of the family members had to pitch in to help as long as they were able.The elder children would help in the fields or being given the task of collecting firewood.The younger ones would help with the housework or looking after the toddlers.Even fetching water was a full day's work since we had to fetch it from a source quite far from the house itself.Indoor plumbing? - well,again,dream on!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I've heard it said and read about it often enough that if you really want something,you'll get it eventually even if you have to wait for a long time to achieve it.Prayers, honesty,perseverance and hard work will pay out in the end.
When I started school and learn how to read,that's when I began to dream,so to speak.I've always been fascinated with books so I was very happy when I finally can read one.I remembered my favourite subject in Primary School,the Hygiene,where there were many pictures of houses with beautiful kitchens,bathrooms and bedrooms in its textbook.I never tire looking at the pictures and dream that I'd live in house like that one day.
I was especially fascinated with the bathrooms and kitchen stove pictures.Maybe it was because in our house then there were no bathrooms.No indoor plumbing,only an outhouse which was built quite far from the house so as to avoid the smell.You wouldn't want to go there alone at night!As for the kitchen stove - well,never seen like that in real life before,only in books!In our house we used firewoods.Gas stove?Dream on..

Monday, February 1, 2010

Who'd want to buy???

I didn't realize how much junks was accumulated in my own household until a friend lamented recently that she's out of storage space for all the unused junks.It's then that I saw all the broken down radio,cellphones and charger,computer monitor,keyboards,mouse (or shall I call them mice since there are plenty),printer,voltage regulator,hair dryer,iron,rice cooker,blender,washing machine,you name it,it's there.I can set up shop !
If only I can sell these back,even for a fraction of their original prices.It made me ponder.30 years ago many wouldn't know what all these are.Well,maybe the radio,yes,but the others?Even a gas stove is unheard of in many households then...