25 September 2009

These past few days I've been commuting to Kota Bharu from Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah to see Adam and her mom. That's between 40 t0 100 kilometers return trip each. This obviously costs money and energy but you'd be surprised the things you'd be willing to do for your family. The traffic in Kota Bharu and surrounding towns is sometimes almost as bad as downtown KL on weekdays. Long queues and bumper to bumper traffic is the order of the day. This Hari Raya season the number of vehicles in places like Kota Bharu, Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah increased 5 times than usual.

Today Adam had improved much better than yesterday. His temperature is back to normal again and the worst of his chicken pox is gone. In fact the doctor said he should be ready to be discharged tomorrow. Last night I spent the night at the hospital. Like all hospitals, this one is just as cold especially in the evening. Maybe it's the cold hard floor, I was literally freezing last night even with two layers of clothing and a blanket.

Adam is provided with food 4-5 times a day but the rest of us had to get our own food. There's a couple of restaurant and stalls around the hospital but most of them are closed especially in the morning so I had little choice to choose from. The nearest open food stall is some 500 meters away near the Sultan Mohamad IV stadium. The hospital food according to Adam and his mom is somewhere between indifferent and downright horrible. This afternoon we just had to order some food from McDonald's before all our taste buds die.

While Adam and her mom conditions improved tremendously, mine is not faring that well. Yes I didn't feel so itchy right now and the spots is starting to heal but the virus is having one last go at my head and face. The pox marks around my head is particularly painful and my face looks like the surface of the moon. Yup, no need to spend millions sending people to space. Just plant a flag on my face and you're done ha ha!

24 September 2009

Last night was probably the worst suffering I experienced from my chicken pox. I left the hospital around 8.30 arrived in Pasir Mas half an hour later to spend the night there. But first I got to find a barber's shop that's open. My head is so itchy, I just can't take it anymore especially with my long hair. It took me 8 months to grow my hair this long but tonight it has got to go. Besides, I can always grow my hair back next year.

Finding a barber's shop that's open at night in a small town like Pasir Mas is no easy fit. But thankfully I found one along Jalan Hospital. It was a small but air-conditioned shop run by a one man show, probably a bachelor from the look of things. He greeted me warmly and had no qualms about giving my head a shave in spite of my illness. Yes it hurts like hell when he accidentally shaved over my wounds but I just gritted my teeth and let him finish. Half an hour and 6 ringgit later I was as bald as I was last year.

At home I took a cold and long shower (no water heater here) and my grandma helped to rub some calamine lotion all over my body. Then I quickly went to bed. That's when my suffering started.

1 o'clock I woke up because my head and my back felt so terribly itchy. I went down, took my pain killers and went to bed again. 2 o'clock I got up again and my body is burning hot. So I took my last 2 tablets of paracetamols that I had and tried to sleep again but I simply can't. The room felt so cold but my body felt like an oven. And the itchiness just add more to my sufferings. I managed to get some shut eye around 4 o'clock but woke up an hour later for the same reason as above. In the end I just sit there writhing painfully alone in my bed with no one to help. I wanted so much to scratch my skin but I know it will only make matters worse. Only after 6 o'clock I managed to get my grandma to rub some lotion all over my body again.

I tell you ar, this chicken pox disease is right up there with cancer, accident and H1N1 in the pain department. I wish I don't have to suffer like this ever again.

Adam is no better than me and today he had a really high temperature and the pox marks had spread all over his body. How I wish this illness would end soon.

And I just found out the calamine lotion won't do much help to reduce the pox marks but it will help to create a cool, soothing effect around the affected area. I guess a little soothing placebo effect is better than nothing.

23 September 2009

Yesterday took Adam to a clinic in Pasir Mas, some 30 kilometers away from Tanah Merah to get his chicken pox condition checked. All the but one CIMB & PMCare panel clinics in Tanah Merah refused to admit Adam for some strange reason and the only one that's available, the doctor is away. So we had no choice but to travel all the way to Pasir Mas to find a lousy panel clinic.

We went to Nik Azam clinic, this one quite well known for their dermatology expert. They gave Adam some medications to take and rub and then we went home. Last night though, Adam had this serious allergy like reaction with his skin. He kept on scratching and coughing like crazy until he threw up everything that he ate yesterday.

So today we brought Adam to that panel clinic again in Pasir Mas and got a referral letter for Adam to be admitted to a hospital. 2 hours later Adam was admitted to the KPJ Perdana Specialist Hospital in Kota Bharu. His body was so itchy and he had a really high temperature.

Linda and her mom will be keeping Adam company tonight. I returned to Pasir Mas to spent the night at my grandma's place. My chicken pox had already spread to my entire body and I look absolutely hideous. My face looks like the surface of the moon. And my head is so itchy, I had to shave my head just now so that I can rub some lotion on it.

21 September 2009

I thought I just had a regular headache and fever from fatigue. And then suddenly I see little boils all over my body. After my wife it looks like I also got the dreaded CHICKEN POX! I suspect I got it from Mia because I hardly touched my wife these past few days. Headache, fever and my joints and muscles hurt so bad. And all the clinics in this state won't open until tomorrow.

More bad news. My eldest, Adam Farihin got it too. It's gonna be a long-long holiday this Raya.

From iPhone

20 September 2009

This Eid-ul Fitr, I lost 5 kilos from fasting, grew hair and looked really good in my Raya dress. My body however has started to suffer from yesterday long and tiring journey. We started off around 3:30 AM and didn't arrive until 11 hours later. My body aches all over so does my head. Even after sleeping early last night and another round of sleep later this afternoon I am feeling so very tired. Next year, I simply cannot do this again. Go back a day before Raya.

All last week my daughter Mia suffered from a serious chicken pox breakout. She was even warded for 5 days at the hospital because of it. Thankfully the scars on her face was not very visible by Hari Raya. What most people doesn't know is, it is my wife's turn to be contracted by the disease. She started to show signs of the illness yesterday and today it's all but confirmed that she has chicken pox also. Poor thing. I hope neither Adam or me get the disease as well.

19 September 2009

So this is it, balik kampung time. I slept early today and woke up around 2:30 AM albeit from a very disturbed sleep. Around 3:30 PM we left Seri Kembangan for Kelantan. The road was clear until we reached the Gombak toll where the nightmare begun. I swear I heard the toll is going to be free today but that didn't happen. From Gombak we where stuck in a huge and long crawl for most of the journey to Bentong. Along the way, we experienced a few more horrible traffic jam the worst being near Lipis and Kuala Krai. We didn't arrive in Tanah Merah until 2:30 PM, that's 11 hours later.

My body aches all over especially my poor knees. Had we had a choice, we wouldn't have chosen to go back today. Travelling home less than 36 hours before Raya is suicidal.

After a short nap in Tanah Merah, we finally arrived in sweet old Pasir Mas around 6:00 o'clock. I paid my tithe at the town mosque first of course. I had percik and roasted chicken for fast breaking today, the best I had this year. It's good to be back again with my family and relatives.

18 September 2009

This morning we had a meeting at our office. At this adhoc meeting we finally found out the status of our elusive bonus money. They will come in after all, but not until the end of the month. This bonus money had became a rather hot topic in my office. Previously we were told that we will get them on the 10th of September. When that date came and no money came in, they were an air of discontent all around the office. Some of my colleagues were readily bashing the management in some of their blogs.

It all comes down to one thing: miscommunication. Had the management explained to us all about this earlier, we would have been spared the anguish and agony of thinking that we won't be getting any bonus this year. Instead we were left wondering and guessing in the dark and naturally this had create rumors and hearsay. We pay about 44K a year for our leased-line backed email service and it's only 2 click away for anybody to shoot an email.

So it all ends well in the end. Before we goes back to our respective home towns today, everybody shook hands and ask for forgiveness from each other.

16 September 2009

Alhamdulillah, Mia is finally discharged from the hospital today. The total bill is nearly 4700 ringgit. Hopefully we don't have to pay any of that. For breaking fast today, we went to Medan Sate Kajang to the usual Sate Emas Kajang restaurant. We had the usual satay and I ordered the Ais Batu Campur/ABC (shaved ice). I don't know, maybe since we're the regular customer there they've decided to throw in a couple of ants in my ABC. On our last count it was 5. And when we brought this up to the waiter, he just made a blurry face and didn't say anything. That's it, next time we're going to Samuri.

After 7 long years being a Maxis prepaid customer, I finally converted to Celcom postpaid today. My company encourages its staff to change to Celcom, especially those who get a monthly phone allowance like me. They have this plan where we can talk up to 50 hours free for members of the same plan. I have no problem with Maxis. Unlike their wireless broadband service, their mobile network service and coverage is excellent. Their customer service is friendly and really helpful and if I didn't have a strong reason to switch to other telcos, I'd stick with Maxis.

But then, there's no harm switching to perhaps, a better telco. I think Mr Ananda made enough money from loyal customers like me to last his lifetime and 7 generations of his kids. I never see or heard of him giving back to the community. At least Celcom does gives some donation to mosques and other good causes. Like Celcom, he'd be donating a generous sum of his profit to BN anyway so it makes no different between the two.

I got my new SIM card activated today and they promptly gave me 30 days of free broadband Internet surfing. How cool is that?

So, so long Maxis. Afif PLC and this blog is now Celcom territory he he.

15 September 2009

We are pleased to report that Mia is getting better by the day. Today she is almost her usual self, eating and talking and walking and smiling like she used to do. Her swollen feet has improved a little and we probably can even check out of the hospital tomorrow, yay!

I on the other hand is totally exhausted these past few days. I wake up around 5 in the morning to eat, sleep again for about an hour or so and get up again to iron my clothes and prepare Adam's stuff. Then I go to work, driving around for hundred of miles everyday. Later after work, I swiftly pick up Adam, bought some dinner and brace myself for the usual 40 minutes traffic to Kajang. At the hospital I hang around for 2 hours minimum before returning home. At home I do the laundry, wash the dishes and try to clean up a bit around the house so that my place doesn't look like a zoo. Then only I can go to bed, that's around 11:00.

If Mia stays even slightly longer at the hospital, I think I'll have to admit myself there as well.

Now I know what my wife went through everyday.

13 September 2009

Amazingly, in between watching Liverpool trash Burnley 4-0 at Anfield, I managed to finish my assignment and just in time to send to the photocopy shop downstairs for binding. I didn't do much reading for my test today though. Plan to do that in class today.

The exam today was obviously difficult, because I only studied last minute. A few boys next to me were blatantly copying from the text book but still had the audacity to peek at my answer sheet. What a loser. Even after opening the text book, still cannot answer one. It's not like I got all my answer correct or something.

One of the tests today was oral, for my single English paper this sem. We had to form a group of four persons and discuss the given topic. I did most of the talking today while the others just blurted a few lines. I simply must score in this English class. The last paper was a tough one. Still after that paper, the lecturer just had to continue with the class. Everybody was already tired and obviously cannot concentrate in class so late in the afternoon.

After class, that's around 6.00 PM I went to pick up Adam at my Mom's place. Adam may be a really naughty boy at times but today he told me he cried when he found out I wasn't around this morning. Poor kid. He's not so used being left behind with other people aside from his parent.

After breaking fast with my Mom, we head straight to the hospital in Kajang. That has become our regular routine every day since Friday and the next few days. Mia found her appetite at last. Although not much but it's an improvement. She still clings to her mother so dearly and cries from time to time. The good news is the doctor said she just might be discharged on Tuesday. The not so good news is her right foot is swollen after they injected her with something yesterday. I pray that it's nothing serious.

Tonight, it's just me and Adam alone at home.

12 September 2009

They put her in an isolation room on the 5th floor of the KPJ Kajang Specialist hospital. This room costs a cool 200 ringgit per day and Linda's health benefits will only cover up to RM160 so we had to top up the remaining cost. Now would be a really good time to get a bonus from my employer.

My Mom came to visit Mia later this afternoon. Adam and I spent the night at her place last night because there was a water cut at my area yesterday.

Mia is still her unusual self. She's so quiet and passive and she always make her mother carry her around and refuses to lay on the bed. They put her on IV drip because she's so weak from not eating much these past few days.

I have an assignment to finish and 4 papers to sit for my mid term exam tomorrow. I barely read anything because Mia kept us awake all last week And I've got like this evening to finish them all. Sigh.

11 September 2009

My 1 and a half year old daughter got chicken pox earlier this week. My wife had no choice but to take a leave from work to look after her at home since we can't send her to the nursery. Since she got the disease, Mia drastically lost her appetite, is very moody and sensitive and she's got a constantly high temperature.

We took her to the clinic twice this week and on the second visit the doctor advised that we take her to he hospital for further check up. So we brought her to the KPJ Kajang Specialist Hospital tonight and the doctor there said Mia had to be warded because of her high temperature and dehydration.

Poor Mia. She didnn't eat anything much, including her formula and she hardly moves at all. She just lay there staring blankly at us or the ceiling.

So for tonight and the next few days, Linda will be staying at the hospital with Mia. Let us pray the she'll recover soon.

10 September 2009

Back by popular demand.

1. How do you feel right now.
Full. From dinner.

2. Your emotional level (1-5)
1 - I'm cool.

3. Favourite colour

4. If given a chance, would you be an artist?
Sure. I wanna be a rock star.

5. Name one of your habits
I'm an impatient man.

6. Do you think somebody likes you.
I think Sariyanti has a thing for me.

7. What do you listen to when you're sad

8. If you're a woman, how much is your dowry?
10 gazillion dollars

9. You like the person who tags you because?
Says who?

10. If you became that person, what's the first 3 things you would do?
Err which one tagged me ha?

11. Tag 7 people
i. Adam
ii. Bujal
iii. Nadia
iv. Megan Fox
v. Jessica Alba
vi. Brad Pitt
vii. Barack Obama

Have ii met vii?
Yes every other weekend

Have iii fought with iv?
Yeah they fought over me all the time ha ha!

What have v done to you?
She made me dinner once on our date last time ;)

9 September 2009

These days everywhere I go, I see surprised looks on people faces seeing how much weight I lost. It was fun at first, flattering even, but after some time it turns to be exasperating indeed. Having to answer the same question to a dozen different people every other day is no fun you know. What's more even when I told them the truth - how I lost my weight, some of them simply refused to believe it which is really annoying. I must have taken some slimming pills or something they say. I don't know what else to say to these kind of people.

You know what I should do? Maybe next time people ask me these sort of questions, I should tell them I use product X, Y or Z and actually try to sell them those products and make loads of money! How's that for an idea?

8 de septiembre 2009

Hoy es la primera vez que fui a la escuela UITM nuevo en Puncak Alam desde su creación oficial. Me junto con mi colega que había mucho trabajo que hacer allí. Mi colega, que yo preferiría no por el nombre tiene un aliento muy mal este mes de ayuno. Esto es particularmente cierto para los fumadores.

Al principio pensé que había tal cantidad de obras que hacer después de que fueron llamados para ayudar. Al parecer, no las había. Yo apenas mover un dedo para hacer nada hoy. Creo que incluso si no se presentó hoy en día, esos tipos gestionará multa. Todo se reduce a una cosa: la eficiencia.
Ahora sé por qué algunos de mis colegas se resiste a volver a la oficina. Este campus Puncak Alam está lleno de estudiantes. El 90 por ciento de ellos son niñas! Niñas en todas partes! Es prácticamente lloviendo niñas aquí. ¿Dónde están los niños? Apagado? Dos veces hemos tenido que utilizar el ascensor, tuvimos que compartir el espacio con otras 7 niñas de todos los tamaños (y olor). Hay chicas guapas claro, las chicas feas y también algunas chicas muy calientes! Quiero trabajar aquí también!

Aparte de eso, algunos de mis colegas aquí llegar a volver muy pronto. No saben que tienen reglas diferentes aquí. Por 4 o'clock la mayoría de ellos habían desaparecido de la vista. Desde mi observación, también, la mayoría de estas personas que realmente había poco que hacer de todos modos. No es de extrañar que el amor para permanecer allí.

*Este artículo es traducido al español para proteger la identidad de mis colegas.

7 September 2009

Although it's public holiday in Selangor, it is work as usual in KL and many other states in Malaysia. I don't want to bore you with the details of my suffering at home alone with the kids. Let's just say that I barely got an hour of rest at home today.
The highlight of the day is when I found out my 1.5 years old girl got chicken pox. We thought it was just a regular rash or something but the doctor confirmed it is the dreaded chicken pox. Obviously we can't send her to the nursery anymore so somebody has to take care of her from tomorrow onwards. I wish I could offer myself for that but unfortunately I'm overwhelmed with work at the moment.

As of now, Mia started to have boils all over her body and she started to scratch here and there. Her brother Adam only had smallpox before once so there's a chance of him catching the disease also if we're not careful. You be strong now Mia.

-- Posted from my iPhone

6 September 2009

Last night we had a sleepover at my Mom's place again. She bought a new TV set last week and she finally subscribed to Astro. If you knew my Mom, you'd know that this is a really remarkable occassion. A giant step for mankind kind of thing. Previously she gave me 101 excuses why she doesn't need Astro at home. She's fine with RTM, TV3 and TV9, she doesn't have time to watch all those channels, it's a waste of money, etc-etc. And then suddenly one day we went there and surprise, Astro! What's more she even subscribed to the Sports package so that I can watch football whenever we come there. Aha!

Later this afternoon we went to Mutiara Damansara for a stroll at IKEA. You would have thought that people would stay quietly at home this Puasa and H1N1 season but no, the place is swarming with people. Even the huge 2 level basement parking underneath the place is full. Lucky for us I knew of tips #23 of visiting IKEA/Ikano which basically say you can park just about anywhere when the parking is full.

I picked up a few stuff in my shopping trolley but in the end I only bought one lonely laundry basket to replace the old one which was shredded to bits by Adam Farihin. Besides, the long queue at the checkouts just spoiled my shopping mood (chewah).

Today I finally purchased my first App from Apple's App Store. I've downloaded dozens of apps from the store before but they were all free. This BlogPress app is perfect for serious bloggers looking to blog from the iPhone. Since Blogger didn't bother to make a proper app for the iPhone, I had no choice but to buy this one. That is of course after thinking long and hard about it firstlah. Nevermind that it's only USD2.99 (about RM10.00).

So far I'm quite satisfied with this BlogPress app. I can login to multiple Blogger accounts as well as Wordpress, Live Spaces, Joomla and several other popular blogging platform. I can post directly or save as draft and the most important thing is I can upload pictures directly from my iPhone, something not possible from Safari. In fact I wrote this post entirely from my iPhone. It doesn't have all the full functions and options like the proper web version, but it will do.

-- Posted from my iPhone

4 September 2009

Did I said I don't like going to buffets? I must have meant paid buffets only! If I don't have to spend a cent of my money then it would be alright. That said, I still think buffets are really a waste of money and food. Look at the amount of unfinished food that you see on the table. Ramadan and fasting is definitely not about this. You take just what you can finish and not take each of everything spread for you at the buffet table.

Free foods aside, this buka puasa event is the closest thing that my company had for a get together for its staff this year. Previously we've heard of family trips to the beach, Genting, some theme parks and other wonderful far away places being planned but unfortunately that never got any where. Maybe the circumstances didn't permit it. Who knows. But the most important thing is, no amount of get together of trip would compare to a month bonus that every body's been waiting for, right guys?

IOI Mariott not halal? I tried to Google about this and nothing close to it came up. Hmm. Maybe just rumours or a competitor trying to badmouth the hotel.

3 September 2009

When Adam was 5 years old, he still doesn't like to sleep all by himself in his room. Every night, he would lay on the edge of our bed until somebody (meaning me or his Mom) accompanies him in his room until he sleeps. Sometimes his Mom would help him to go to bed. Most of the time I would be the one who puts him to bed. His singles bed is already small so there's little room left for the both of us. Usually it took him 30 minutes to an hour to sleep. After that only can I sneak back to my room to join Mia and her Mom.

At his kindergarten, Adam got along find with most of his friends. However he has this strange habit in the morning where he doesn't like to mingle with some of his friends before class. He would rather go straight to his kindergarten and sit there alone until the teachers arrive. We have no idea why he does that.

At 5 years old, Adam can read everything in Malay and a few words in English. He does all his home works himself and he'd be really worried, like crying worried if he doesn't finish them in time. Every night, his mother would check his notebooks whether the teachers gave him home work to do or not. I would help him too sometimes. Especially when he needs to draw stuff. His drawing is quite awful at the moment. Hey he's no lil' Picasso okay. Just one ordinary boy.

Every weekday morning I would carry him downstairs and his Mom would try to wake him up from sleep. Sometimes he just gets up and go to shower. Other times we had to coax or threatened him first. Every morning as we bring him to school he would ask how many days are there until the weekend? So we answered and he would reply 'What? Another 3 days!'. And then he would ask how long is the holiday (weekend) and usually we would say 2 and then he would complain on the short holiday time.

Adam loves to go out whether to the mini-mart nearby or to faraway places. Every time I go to the shop to buy stuff he would literally beg me to take him with me. Most of the time he won't come home empty handed. He loves to balik kampung to see his grandparent. And they love him to bits. Between Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah, I have to admit that he likes to go back to the latter more. This is because he has much more friends to play with there compared to my home town.

Adam still suffers from his eczema condition at the moment. His skin would occasionally get really dry and itchy then he would scratch them non-stop until they get really bad.

Adam Farihin although already 5 years old still drinks his formula from the bottle! How embarrassing! Of course he only does that at home. He wouldn't there do that in school.

Adam likes to play with her sister Mia. Although he sometimes get a little rough or bullies her, he loves her little sister very much and is very protective of her. Sometimes Mia would be the one who does all the bullying but Adam didn't mind at all.

And that's Adam Farihin when he was 5 years old.

This is one of the reasons why I blog. We human beings have a rather short memory and tend to forget things over time. The Internet however is like diamonds and they are forever.

1 September 2009

Famous and good looking actors, interesting storyline, killer soundtrack, is it any wonder that My Girl is among the most popular drama series in Korea and many parts of Asia?

If I were Gong Chan (the hero) I would have picked that international tennis player over Yoo Rin. Beautiful, famous, rich & successful, she's virtually perfect. But then again a person like that would likely be very high maintenance you know and I don't think I can afford that. Besides, her parent would probably look down on me.

Hence why I'll settle for the next best thing. Yoo Rin, like my other half is less than perfect but she loves me and cares for me and she didn't ask a lot. That's why I picked her.