A long way yet to go

It’s the 2nd week of the government imposed Movement Control Order. The Covid-19 cases are increasing exponentially worldwide, and Malaysia recorded it’s first few deaths too. The situation is definitely getting scarier, and is not helped by the fact that some people choose to flagrantly flout the MCO and still be outside unnecessarily. Honestly, what is their deal?? It’s also hard on those of us who have to fight tooth and nail to keep our parents isolated, indoors. Goodness knows they could be the stubbornest bunch of all. Anyways, here’s how things have been going on my end

Day 8 – Wednesday 25th March

Spent the morning discussing various work related things on Whatsapp and then waited for the PM’s announcement around lunch time.

The government announced that the MCO would be extended til 14th April. Although I was expecting this, and was happy as it was absolutely the right thing to do, I also couldn’t help but feel deflated. I think for the first week, the novelty of being at home with my family kept me in a kind of happy bubble. “2 weeks wasn’t that long anyway, right? Things would be back to normal in no time.” But the announcement definitely popped that bubble. And although my spirits are a bit dampened, I’m okay. I can’t imagine what people who are alone feel like. The ones who are far from their families. The ones who are not as fortunate as we are to have comfortable homes, stable income, sufficient food and enough entertainment to preoccupy us during these hard times. What kind of feels like a weird extended vacation at home for us, might feel like a prison sentence to others. May Allah help us all.

Shafiq’s shipment of plants came today, so we’ve added those to our little plant corner, which we’re still figuring out. Hope these babies thrive and don’t die on us!

Made sup daging today. well, tried to anyway. I simmered the beef for what seemed like ages and it just refused to soften. Also my ratio was wayyyy off – it was more like potato and carrot soup with bits of beef in. Plus I made way too much. we ended up freezing more than half of it. Oh well. Live and learn.

Day 9 – Thursday 26th March

Had a work meeting around 2pm so Shafiq made a quick lunch of nuggets and fried chicken for us. Got a decent amount of work in during the day. Shafiq went to the store to look for a few items, and asked if I wanted to go out and get some sun, as it had been more than a week since I last stepped out the front door. So I went for a tiny drive around the housing compound  in the late afternoon sun. Spent a good 15 minuted just sat in the car parked in our parking space listening to a random talkshow on the radio and pretending like everything was normal. It was much needed. Even the short walk from our car to the apartment I took reeeaaaaly slowly savoring the outdoors.

Came back and found Shafiq reorganising the store room, which he had been planning on doing for a few days now. So we spent the entire evening clearing out old boxes and sorting through junk. It felt good to get that off the list, and to have a more organised and trimmed down storage corner. Dinner was butter chicken and rice which Shafiq made. Really miss spicier food tho! Having kids with us and being too lazy to make 2 separate menus means we eat whatever the kids can eat, which means no cili. Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal.

Shafiq has been telling me to pick a PS4 game for myself so after a few days of research i narrowed it down to three. My criteria was quite simple – no violence/gore/etc2, nothing scary, and simple-ish gameplay. Also I like puzzles and adventure so I veered mostly in that direction. The three that I narrowed down were Journey, The Talos Principle, and The Witness. Shafiq wasn’t too keen on Journey – he said it looked boring. The Talos Principle he didn’t have much to comment on, but he did seem intrigued by The Witness. So we were all set to buy it but then saw it was for like RM170. Change of plans lol. Journey was only RM55. Since it was my first game I didn’t want to spend a lot of money and afterwards maybe discover that I didn’t like it, or the controls were too hard etc. So journey it was. But since it was already midnight, banking was offline so in the end tak beli pun zzzz.

Day 10 – Friday 27th March

Kids woke up early, as usual, and after breakfast of cereal and apples dipped in yogurt I showered the kids and did a morning workout. I clicked on a random low-impact cardio workout on youtube from TheBodyProject, and I have to say I quite like the instructor. He is relaxed and has just the right amount of humility mixed with encouragement. Managed to do the full video which I was quite proud of! Lunch was paratha made into roti tampal coutesy of Shafiq. Heated up the leftover soup I made from the other day and added more beef to it. I din’t want the beef to take forever to cook and still be liat, so i googled how to tenderize beef and tried velveting it using baking soda. Worked a treat! The revamped soup was good, although a bit too salty for my tastebuds.

Day 11 – Saturday 28th March

Kind of a lazy Saturday. Slept in (well, as much as the kids let me) and had a breakfast of peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Was feeing very lethargic in the first half of the day, not sure if it was because I slept a bit late last night, or because I didn’t do my morning workout? Anyway. Spent a lot of the morning lying on the sofa. Shafiq has been craving nasi kandar/ kari mamak for a while so we decided to order lunch and dinner. I don’t know what I was expecting but the kari kambing was not what I had in mind – obviously it was kari mamak not kari melayu haha. I planned on washing all the curtains today, but like I said, lazy saturday, so I haven’t done that yet. Maybe tomorrow. Started playing Journey – I quite like it, the graphics are beautiful and the physics are quite realistic, but I’m not so sure about the gameplay. It seems a little simplistic, like there’s always something helping you out. I don’t know tho, I’ve only played up to chapter 3. We’ll see how it goes.

Day 12 – Sunday 29 March

Finally got around to washing the curtains today, and hemmed them as well since they were too long. Accidentally hemmed one pair too short but oh well. Felt like eating cucur so I looked up a recipe, but after mixing everything, the batter seemed so thick. so i added more and more water but when I tried frying them, they basically turned into one big flat mess. So I had to add flour and more fish powder, basically doubling the recipe. Way too much cucur so we had those for lunch. hopefully will get around to cleaning the balconies today or tomorrow. But not sure about tomorrow since I plan on fasting. We’ll see how that goes too, inshaAllah

The Wasting of a Day

Things I am particularly loathsome to right now:


Was supposed to go and buy little brother’s school uniform today. Yesterday it was agreed that we’d go early in the morning. So I woke up early, showered, got ready, did some chores. Then its announced we will go in the afternoon, at five. But at five our designated driver is dead asleep, and only wakes up at 7. We’ll see if we are going tomorrow. All of this (buying the camera and school supplies/uniform) was actually supposed to be done on Thursday.

Meanwhile me and my sister had plenty of lets-go-out invitations from a plethora of friends throughout this weekend starting Thursday which we had to turn down or take rain checks to because of the unpredictable nature of our schedule – not up to us.

I need to get my license fast

The should be’s of life…

I should be cleaning up my room, and the house.

Cats should be allowed in our household. Then I won’t have to spend hours staring out the window at my neighbor’s cute cats.

People who play computer games loudly while other people are trying to study should be more considerate.

My sister should be cooking more than just fried fish. And she should cook more. She’s not doing her fair share of chores.

The Land Surveying Notes should be online, but not all of them are. My exam is on Wednesday.

I should be studying and not editing my blog layout.

The Hamzah house menu

my parents are away for umrah so its just us kids at home. so we’ve had to cook :O So far this is what we’ve had…(its mostly dinners since we have lunch on campus)

Day 1 – omelette courtesy of Maryam
ok i was so lazy-tired and i had a midterm the next day. no one else would step up, so…

Day 2 – Ayam masak Kunyit (Turmeric Chicken) courtesy of Muhsin and Haneef

Day 3 – Fried fish courtesy of Munira

Day 4 – Ayam Masak Merah ( i think it would literally be Red chicken but i dunno…) courtesy of Maryam and Muhsin

Day 5 – Baked Fish courtesy of Maryam and Muhsin

Day 6 – hmm…i cant remember what we had on saturday. i think we just had our own separate dinners

Day 7 – Some beef dish courtesy of Grandma…:)

Day 8 – Chicken teppanyaki courtesy of Khair

Day 9 – no dinner

Day 10 – today – Spaghetti Aglio E Olio courtesy of Maryam. haha ok its just spaghetti with garlic n olive oil…:P

as you can see, its a very odd looking menu, but thats kinda all we have. now we’re out of chicken so its fish all the way…

Role reversal

So in our household there is somewhat of an oddity at works. My brothers love to cook (ok, one of them loves to, the others like it more than I do), and I am particularly averse to standing anywhere near the kitchen stove. On the other hand, I am quite enamored with any kind of hardware/tool. Screwdriver. Compass. Spirit level. Power drill. Yum!

Our house seems to have a doorknob demon; so far 4 doorknobs have messed up. Twice in my brothers room, once my parents, and most recently (just now) our doorknob refused to open. My brothers’ room was really ok; they had a connecting bathroom so they could still get in and out of their room. All we have is a balcony and no way are we going to climb out of it every day to get in/out. But no worries, this is just the sort of thing I relish. out come the assortment of makeshift tools (I lost or misplaced my screwdriver in my incredibly messy room) so it was palette knives (the very same and new ones we gave my sis for her birthday and this is their first service to us lol) and scissors and a compass to the rescue.

My brother soon joined us through the balcony. He climbed out of his balcony and walked across the roof to ours. What was funny was the neighbors thought he was a thief/intruder, plus he was carrying two steak knives. Anyways in the end i didn’t need the knives, just a pair of (t)rusty old scissors. Pushed out the knob and pulled in the….thingy. haha. Doorknobs-0, Maryam-2.5. ( i helped my brother with their second doorknob disaster before). Of course now we have a hole in our door where the doorknob should be, but at least we can get in and out đŸ˜›

on a totally unrelated note, I Love this song!!!! its such a good song if you’re feeling depressed or sad, because when you are feeling like that you don’t want some sunshine-rainbows-butterflies song to make you feel better. you need something like this. exactly. by the way, i would’ve uploaded a live version but there wasn’t one that was good enough in quality. so take a really good listen because it is worth it. they are both perrfect.

Sewing Machine/Details in the Fabric

by Jason Mraz feat James Morrison

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads and
Breaking yourself up

If it’s a broken part, replace it
But, if it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it’s a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your own name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine
Everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I’m doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Yeah everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature’s sewing machine?

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold

i should come down this road more often…

so i was using the net, like always. and i felt like listening to i’m callin you by outlandish and then i went on a whirlwind of wikipedia, google, and youtune scouring them all for interviews etc etc. i get obsessive quite often. this morning it was mike rowe (of dirty jobs fame)

then i stuble upon this interview by the islam channel and this guy named hamza robertson was being interviewed, so i check out his music. then in the same interview the host says dawud, and i check up dawud wharnsby ali‘s music. and stuff about him. i knew he was Canadian but apparently he was born in kitchener ontario! thats where i was born! so my i’m thinking, what if my parents knew him? unlikely, since he reverted to islam in 1993 and we moved to the us in 194 and even before islam he was a singer person so he wouldn’t have stayed in small town Kitchener i guess. but that is cool. he came to Malaysia i think, ilham went with ala if I’m not mistaken. he should come again, like have this mega nasheed concert with outlandish, sami yusuf, zain bikha, hamza et al.
yup they should definitely come.

look into my eyes – beautiful song!!!
also our creation by hamza robertson

*yes, i am a late bloomer. i know. that isam phase was like, 2 years ago for everyone else. but this is a good phase, no? need to get my act together…*


its the day after the second day of being paid to stand around. its 11.42 pm, but earlier (and now i think) the weather is lovely. Lovely? At night?
yup, it was! if only malaysian weather was like this all the time, cool and super windy. my neighbors wind chimes have not stopped chiming since i got home, its really a lovely sound. on the other hand, the wind is whistling through the windows, freaky but cool at the same time. cool because you know it must be really howling out there.

ok. so we volunteered to … volunteer with some halal conference, even though we had no idea what we were supposed to do until like the day before. turns out all we had to do ws usher people about 20 meters from the registration counter to the conference hall, then herd them to the lunch/coffee break areas. and the best bit is it was rm50/day, with two days making it 100 ringgit for basically standing around. but that doesnt mean it wasn’t tiring – especially since i was in heels and standing for hours in heels is a recipe for chronic foot disaster. they feel like they are going to fall off. for the first day we had to be there at 7-ish – that meant waking up at 5.30am. the second day started later at 2.45, but still – getting there was an adventure in itself.
at the end of the first day my dad said he’d still have to be there early tomorrow, and my brother said he wanted t go early as well. ok. so who was gonna send us? how would we et there? (my dad picked us up from uia on the first day at 6.30am)

anyways, i arranged with my friends to meet at the lrt at 1pm so we’d have ample time in case anything came up. then on the day i wake up at 10 and i see my brother is still at home, so i say “i thought you were going in the morning?” but he didn’t say anything. ok…
so bla bla bla i was watching tv then at 11 my brother comes up and says get ready coz he’s going. and i ask, when? he says – now.
b-b-but i was going to meet my freinds at 1…!
i’m going now
so i go to my room and debate whether i should just go with my friends at 1 or call them and tell them to get ready pronto coz my bro didn’t go in the morning.

11.20 – i decided whatever the case i should take a shower first. afterwards i decided i would go with my friends – what would i do alone in pwtc for 3 hours anyway?
so i continue my tv watching. meanwhile my brother didn’t seem like he was going to shower anytime soon.

12 – my bro finally takes his towels in preparation for the shower, so i decide i might as well tell my friends that my brother could get us if we were in uia at 12.30. but that was kinda tight, so zah and hiba said they would go by lrt.

12.20 – my brother still hadn’t showered – so i told hiba she could come at 12.45 with zah. 5 minutes later my brother hands me his shirt (can you iron it for me?) and says, i think i’ll just pray in uia.


so then i relay this message to everyone to their exasperation
sorry guys!!!
and sorry zah that i stressed you out and you couldn’t make it!!!


in my…… okay where i live, there’s these bunch of kids who are blonde. which is weird because we live in the malay-est kampung in the world. its funny to see some blonde kids running around, chatting to the old folks, helping their mom/gram at the stalls. and i don’t care what this computer says. i spell blond with an e. blond just looks stumpy