Thursday, August 30, 2012

Karma of the Haircut.

I've learnt a very important lesson today.

If you're ever tempted to tell your brother/friend/someone that their new haircut adds on a pound to their face, you might just end up with a haircut that has a similiar effect.

The story goes like this:

My hair is wavy. With mostly curls at the ends which reminds me of the ocean waves. Yes, I'm proud of my hair. From experience, long hair suits me because before a certain length, my hair looks puffed up. Also, never ever try to lessen the thickness of my hair.

No, its not overly thick but enough for me to get suggestions from my hairdresser, every single time.

The main problem with my long hair is that .. it sheds. Enough to make Mama go on about it that this morning when I woke up, Dad told me to get a haircut. I kicked up a fuss before finally relenting, telling myself that I'll just get a trim to deal with the split ends.

But from experience, that never happen.

Hairdresser: You have such lovely hair.

Me: Thank you, but it got split ends and I think its damaged because it keeps falling.

Hairdresser: How short are you thinking?

AND this is the problem.

I clearly indicated around 3 inches.

She then did that water spraying thing, combing my hair which straightens-ish the curls. She then, started snipping on the back while making small talk. By the time she came to snip on the side, she made this remark:

"Your hair is pretty healthy. Its all shiny."

That was like cold water thrown all over me. If she had told me that before she started snipping, I would have told her to perhaps, make it 2 inches.

And then ... she snipped and snipped. And my hair started to dry, becoming shorter.

I went in with hair down to the middle of my back. I came out with my curls resting on my shoulders.

I look like a 23 year old Dora the Explorer.

3 inches became 4-ish. That's plenty. Is this miscalculation a universal thing with all hairdressers?

Or am I just that unlucky?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts.

So this is a new tradition for me. I've seen Wordless Wednesdays on numerous blogs, and things like that. For me, I'm going to make it: Tuesday Thoughts where I'll post an image on every Tuesday.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Eid 2012: Part Two.

Fourth Day

Grandma's house was filled with five families, aka 5 sisters cooking lunch together. After dawn, Mama and her 3rd sister went to the market and bought fresh fishes, veges and chicken. We then stuffed the fishes with a mix of coconut flakes cooked in chilli paste and garlic before wrapping them in banana leaves to be cooked over hot coals.

A simple amaranth dish and fried marinated chicken later, we all sat down and had such a feast. Imagine this, about 15 people sat on the floor with the dishes in the middle. At one end is the rice cooker. Two grilled barramundi sits on the charred banana leaves, just waiting to be eaten. And that spicy spicy chilli dip

*tummy growls*

Sometimes, a girl needs to eat such simple food.

My youngest aunt then went:

"There's this place near our house that serves the best prawn noodles."

Fact: Her house is 1 hour away.

Fact: We love food so 5 cars set off for the place two hours later, excited to taste the fresh prawns.

We passed through old roads, whizzed past paddy fields to a beach where there were several stalls. There, we took up a long table facing the rough waters around sunset as we wait for our dinner. Then we heard that this was one of the places affected by the 2004 tsunami.

Cousin: Imagine if the waves get big enough again...

Hanis: *makes sound effects*

Other cousins: HANIS!

Hanis: What? He said it. I just tried to push the point forward.

Our plans to sit at the water edge was dashed away by the worried mothers. Dinner was so delicious. Prawn noodles, 15 plates of them and fried noodles with prawns, 6 plates of them.

Each serving had 2 big fresh prawns in them and god, the soup was spicy and goood but the fried noodles were even better. We ate and ate (in my case), laughing and looking at the waves.

On the way back, we stopped to pray at a mosque. The women's section faced the graveyard. If you didn't know, the headstones are all white and uniform. At night, its a scary view. The wudu' room was so close to them and I was the first one to notice those tombstones.

Hanis: You know ... I think I'll pray at grandma's. I reallllly need to use the bathroom.

Cousin: There's a bathroom here somewhere, let's go.

The two of us plus Mama headed for the signs and then the two of them finally saw those scary white stones.

Mama: I think I'll pray at home.

Cousin: I agree.

It lead on to us trying to go to the bathroom, but got scared halfway because you had to walk along the perimeter.

We then used the other way, forcing my brother and male cousin to wait at the door.

Fifth Day

A week before, Mama watched a cooking show where it was made in Cameron Highlands, a popular tourist spot in Malaysia known for its cold weather, tea plantation, rose farms and strawberrry farms. She then made me book a room at a hotel which turned out to be the hotel at the highest peak.

It was about 2 hours away from my grandma's house, smack in the middle before her house and ours. Add in an hour of driving up the hillside where we had the windows, enjoying the coool air as I go wheeee at every turn, we arrived at our hotel.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment, got at a price reduced by 37% (yes, you welcome Dad) which didn't have any air conditioning due to the cold weather outside. Yet, Mama still walked around the apartment with stockings and slippers on while shivering and moaning about how cold it is.

Over here, the normal temperature is around .. 33Celcius, it reached 40Celcius during the hot days when it hasn't rained for a week.

But, up in Cameron Highlands, it was at least 24Celcius. At night, when we went to buy burgers from a roadside stall, it was 19Celcius, with mist puffing from our mouth. Oh god, those burgers were yummy.

That night, we were all asleep by 11, so cold and cocooned in the blankets.

I was the one who was super reluctant to shower. My dislike of hot water + the cold weather + the cold water = Me telling Mama I didn't smell bad.

Before checking into the hotel, we stopped by a tea plantation to gawk at those tea bushes and climb up the terraces.

Sixth Day

I woke up at 6.30am, prayed before bundling myself up to sit at the balcony, enjoying the super cold air (13 Celcius) with a warm cup of Milo to warm my hands. The possible romanticness of the moment was ruined by my brother trying his Muay Thai moves beside me.

I just love staying at hotels. For two main reasons. The bed and the breakfast buffet. After moaning how cold it is, I showered and got dressed. It was 16 Celcius when we made our way to the buffet place where I stuffed myself with:

A chicken sausage
Sauteed potatoes
A single scone (cold and hard)
A simple version of shepherd's pie but so yummy (2 servings)
A small waffle
A cheese omelette
Two glasses of orange juice

Don't worry, these were in small portions.

We then headed for a strawberry farm, where we bought strawberries and teas. Mama went crazy and bought green tea, lemon tea, strawberry tea along with white coffee strawberry. I know, where did coffee came from?

She also bought vegetables, which were sooo cheap compare to the market at home. Mushrooms, corn, lettuces, capsicums etc.

After checking out of the hotel, we took the other way down, stopping by a tea shop, which was a bit over expensive in my opinion. Mama and Dad got Teh Tarik (Tea with sweet thick milk, frothing with bubbles) which can be ordered anywhere but thankfully they were yummy.

I was a bit experimental, ordering a Chocolate Tea which was good, considering it taste like tea + unsweetened cocoa.

The one hour ride downhill made us all woozy. I tried to nap, which helped a bit. But Mama and lil bro .. well, I heard enough "I think I'm gonna throw up." and never felt more relieved to find us on normal ground level once again.

And that was how I spent my first few days of Eid this year. Its the most enjoyable one I have had for years now.

Now, to lose those pounds I gained.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Eid 2012: Part One.

I'm weeping that my current phone is an old phone that can only text at the moment. If only my other phone was working, I would be able to take pictures for this post.

This is how Eid celebrations went for me.

First Day

Woke up at 6am to help Mama finish up her cooking. The day before we cooked up a storm aka:

Tomato Rice

Beef Curry

Ketupat (steamed glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk with some kind of beans, wrapped in banana leaves)

Ayam Masak Merah (Red Chicken which is a tasty dish cooked with plenty of lemongrass, onions, spices and blended dried chillies which results in the thick red gravy)

We then spent half the day at my aunt's house with the whole family aka a mere 17 person party.

Second Day

Was in the car at 10am, ready for the 4 hours journey and armed with snacks in the back seat, I slide on my sunnies and took a long nap. We arrived at my grandma's and had such a tasty lunch of white rice, beef soup (with the bones and all) with a spicy spicy dip of bird peppers chopped up in prawn paste liquid.

That night, we visited one of Mama's cousin whose husband's died 5 days before Ramadan :( He was fine the day before but died in his sleep. *a moment of silence*

Third Day

We were out of the house by 10am, heading to Mama's schoolfriend's house. It was at a new neighbourhood made of small bungalows which cost the same as a way smaller middle house over here where I live. The disadvantage of living in one of Malaysia's most developed areas.

We then headed to Mama's youngest uncle's house before heading to her second youngest sister's house for a tasty lunch of chicken noodle soup, where we met my cousin, her husband and daughter. We were then invited to Mama's second brother's house which is about 40 minutes away.

Yes, Mama is the 3rd of 8 kids.

At this uncle's house, it was a big reunion of 5 of those 8 kids where we feasted on satay, Pai Tees with a twist (peanut sauce instead of chilli) and caramel pudding with a lychee infusion.

And we weren't done yet because we (us and the second youngest aunt's family) headed to a cousin's house whose known for her great cooking, big house and big family (where they speak at the top of their voices). We then ended the day with visiting Mama's other brother who had the cutest cats ever.

More to come.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Don't Need a Man to Make Me Feel Complete.

1. The marrying age.

Ages ago, you were at prime marrying age when you got your period for the first time. In those historical romance novels I read, if you're still single by the time you're 20, you're never ever ever getting married. In my mother's days, if you're not married at age 25, you're on the fast track to spinsterdom where people will wonder if something is wrong with you.

Now, at this age and year, isn't it logical if there's no such thing as a marrying age?

I've been the victim to such nosy questions from relatives(near and far) on my availability and when in the world am I going to get married.

First of all, if you're not going to help me pay for that wedding or if you don't have a guy to introduce me to you better stop asking me such things.

Its people like these that make so many girls think:

I have to get married before its too late. If I become a spinster, I'll end up the topic of family meetings and I'll live with 12 cats and have nothing of interest.


2. Lack of self worth is the root of the problem.

In my opinion, most women today have a low self worth. I'm not talking about confidence, appearance etc. I'm talking about what you think you deserve.

Example One: I know girls who think that if they don't get married and have kids, they're a failure.

If you're one of those girls, you got a problem. This is the 21st Century, women aren't breeders. They are strong individuals who can have dreams. Okay, you can dream of having kids , heck, I got the names for my future babies already, but don't think that you amount to nothing if somehow, you don't get those kids.

Example Two: You're approaching an age, friends are getting married right and left. People are asking you. You get desperate, full of fear of spinsterhood. You grabbed any Jack,John, Brian aka some guy.

Sadly, this one happens so often.

You got low self worth if you think just any guy will do.

I'm not talking about looking for an attractive/hot guy, but someone whose personality, emotionally is perfect for you. If you think any guy will do as long as you get married, I look down on you.

Mothers, this is where you come in. If you raised your daughter right, she'll have high self worth. Don't ruin this. And if you didn't know, what you tell her, will have a big impact.

3. Society should stop telling us what to do.

I just hate society. I just hate what they think. You should not let their opinions push you to do Example Two. As I always said to some people:

I'm the one who's going to get married and share a bed with that guy. Not society. Not my mother. Not my neighbour. So its up to me.

You should not let yourself be persuaded to do things by them.

Don't get married because they say its your prime age.

Don't have kids because they tell you "Why else would you get married for?'

Woah woah woah. Over here, that's apparently why you get married.

To breed. To have kids.

Not because you love someone and you want to spend your life with them.

And definitely not because your religion does not allow pre-marital sex. If a girl over here can tell me that perhaps, the main reason of they wanting to get married is to get down and dirty, I'm going to treat them to a Subway cookie and applaud them.

If you want to get married, do it for personal reasons. DO it because you actually want to. I'll get married for the sex

4. Have big dreams, not related to getting married and having babies.

Be selfish. I'm becoming that. I don't see it my duty to continue my family's next generation. I want to work, make money and travel.

I want to write and a publish a novel. I want to go to Disney theme parks. I want to jump off a plane.

Yes, you can do that if you're married too, but try putting yourself first. Don't dash those dreams away for that status.

I have nothing against marriage. I just have a problem with people getting on that bandwagon without thinking properly. Yes, you can achieve your dreams but what if you have to put them aside for a decade or so?

This is what I mean by being selfish.

When you're selfish, you'll grow to be your own person.

I told Mama that I'm more eager to go on my first trip with Amnah then finding a guy. If I find one whose awesome and makes me weak in the knees, great. But that doesn't mean I'm cancelling my trip. It just means that we're going to Rome for our honeymoon.

I hope that this jumbled up post managed to make you think, even a bit.

If you're still confused, perhaps this lyric might make it a bit clearer:

I don't need a man to make it happen,
I get off being free,
I don't need a man to make me feel good,
I get off doing my thing,
I don't need a ring around my finger,
To make me feel complete.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oh Potatoes.

I have a love for mashed potatoes. I usually make Mama buy those big brown russet potatoes (or just google/ask what potatoes make the best choice) so I can whip up a nice batch. I made some last week and will make another batch tomorrow, depending on my laziness level.

How Hanis Makes Mashed Potatoes

1. I like using baking butter or as Mama call it, cake's butter. You know, its usually wrapped in golden paper. Is it a must? No. But somehow for me, it gives more flavour.

2. Peel those potatoes and quarter it horizontally. AKA make the sections long, instead of wide.

3. Wash, set in pot, fill up till the water is the same level of those potatoes.

4. Sprinkle some salt before letting it boil.

5. Test till the potatoes are soft, turn off the fire.

6. Do not, I repeat, do not drain the water because you need it later.

7. Take out the potatoes, put in some butter and start mashing it with your choice of weapon.

8. Mash it up, taste it. Add butter if you want. If its dry-ish, add a bit of the water from the pot. No milk or salt.

9. Serve it up.

How Hanis Eats Her Mashed Potatoes

While warm, add a bit of mayo. Swirl it in really nice and have a taste.

Trust me, mayo in mashed potatoes is reallly good. Just make sure the mayo is not one of those sweet kind cause that just sucks. And yes, the mashed potatoes have to be warm, so reheat it before you add the mayo.

Alright, I really need to make some tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oppression? Nope.

I've been seeing this video on Facebook for few weeks now, and being me, I tend to ignore certain things due to laziness. But this morning, I gave it a go and I liked what I saw.

I wish I can give this to that one particular feminist blogger that I have a dislike for.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rant with Amnah: Being Fat and Is That Your Problem, Mister?

Amnah (someone who I sat beside for 3 years in school, bickered with, and so much more in our 10 years of knowing each other) and I was ranting and whining about how certain things are in life. Well, nahhh. More like, we were talking about how things are a bit unfair and biased, when it comes to women. And if said woman happens to be overweight, hell, things just got complicated.

"I got a friend I want to introduce to you. He doesn't really care about things."

Now, "things" = weight.

First of all, my weight is my problem. I don't even see it as something to be mentioned. I'm not going to go into an interview and when I'm asked my biggest weakness, I ain't gonna go all:

"Its my weight. I just love fooood too much so now I'm fat. FAT I SAY."

I've seen this kind of thing going on before. Where the weight is seen as a setback. Hell, in my opinion crooked teeth when you got the money to get braces done, is a bigger problem. Since people are being so superficial, let me tell you that:

Nah, he doesn't really care that you're dark.

He doesn't mind that you're taller than him.

Crooked teeth.

Spotty face.

Donkey laugh.

Lack of class.

You get what I'm trying to say here?

If you want to introduce someone, be proud of who they are. Not add "but" in your introduction. Its an insult, when someone wants to introduce you to a guy with something that is clearly a "negative" in their eyes. Its like saying "He might not be good enough for me, but he'll be good enough for you."

My next concern, that made me went all "emo" on my friend, who actually appreciated and agreed with me. I told her that if you want to lose weight, do it for yourself. Not for some guy or friends who tell you to. Don't let people push you. Like, look at all those Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover shows. They'll cry and the trainers will ask them:

"Who are you doing this for?"

"MYSELF!" *with tears running down their faces*

For yourself. Not for some superficial guy, which leads to a whole other thing.

Dear girls/guys,

If you ever go through a makeover, go through a late growth spurt, lose weight etc, ignore those who before transformation, ignored you or didn't see you fit for their special attention or were too embarassed to show it to the public.

Like, if you weren't good enough for them before, they sure as hell are not good enough for you, ever.

Its like friendship. Avoid the friends who are only there for the laughters, never for the tears.

I know of married couples where they made an agreement that they won't go above a certain weight.

I was 14 when I heard of that, and no, its not some Hollywood couple. Its couples that I know in life. Like, your wife has given you a bajillion kids, held your hand when things get tough, and you tell her:

"Oh honey, I don't like that tiny flab on your tummy."

What kind of marriage is that? You're supposed to love each other through health and sickness, rich and poor.

So as I told Amnah, if a guy rejects you due to your appearance, you just snap your fingers and tell them:

"I'm way too hot for you anyway."


"You're no Ambercombie & Fitch's model, mister."


"You're just used to your lower standards."

She then said, that is something I would say. To which I replied that she should be more confident of her own self worth.

"To be honest, you ain't ugly. You got a sweet face." <--- actual conversation

She then made me write this into a blog post, and another one is going to come, and it will be more on that self worth. Expect female empowerment.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oh Results.

Usually, it will take uni about 5-6 weeks after finals end to release our results. This time around, surprise surprise, 3 weeks and they're sending emails to the students.


Well, once upon a time we had to check the Student Portal but that often crash at peak hours hence leading to loud complaints. Those complaints were heard so uni started to email out the results, starting from midnight.

This semester, it said we can view our results at 9am on the 3rd of August. Which meant the website would be available a day later 9 hours earlier, the students would be checking their email as if it was popping out Subway cookies.

I didn't get to sleep a wink until 3.30am. Even though the email arrived around 2.30am, I only checked my email 30 minutes later.

The room was dark, my hand shook as I clicked on the email. I saw my name, knowing from experience I need to scroll lower to see the dreaded results. The first thing I saw was my Grade Point Average (GPA) for the semester and my Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

The world stopped for one second before words of gratefulness spilled from my lips, a hand pressed against my heart as I looked at those figures again, again and again.

I then scrolled lower to look at my grades, eyes widening at disbelief at some of them, well all of them. I've correctly predicted 1 out of 7.

A B+ for Arabics 3 and I'm super proud of that since it is the torture of last semester.

The lowest grade this semester was a shocker, since its not that low and its for a subject I was sure I was getting an A- for. But noooo, I didn't get an A- for it.

All in all, I'm happy and super duper thankful for my results. My parents are happy and that makes the world happy.

Now, to find some cookies/chocolate to eat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wedding of a Friend.

I watched the solemnization of my friend and her husband through a big flat screen. My friend beside me teared up while another whispered that she wants to get married too. Another grumbled that she's hungry.

Somewhere deep inside my heart, I felt touched. Here is one of my friends getting married. I was happy for her that she found someone she wants to live her life with. But at the same time, I realised that I didn't feel the same yearning my "I want to get married too" friend had. So I smiled and teared up, both for my friend's happiness and for my freedom.

Two days later, I let myself dress up a bit. Watched some videos on youtube so I know just how to wear that super long and wide gorgeous pashima shawl my parents bought for me. I slipped into the outfit I wore for my cousin's wedding 3 years ago (still fits) and put on few layers of mascara. Made Mama help me put on some eyeliner and I felt ready.

My outfit had sequins in it. Oh how it sparkled, I made the chandeliers burn in envy. The reception is held at a hotel 10 minutes away from home (without traffic) and I arrived with Eli, where we then stood at a corner, waiting for another friend while we muttered on how grand it all is.

Eli: How will your wedding be?

Hanis: Less glam and way smaller than this.

I wished I was able to take pictures but since my phone died in May, I was stuck in keeping memories. How the ballroom were filled with people. How the couple came in, looking so pretty and handsome. How some friends teared up, again.

Of course, being me, I was more concerned about the print out menu. By the time 30 minutes had passed, I could tell you the 6 dishes and what is up for dessert (Coconut pudding). There were gossips, oohs, ahhs and Eli telling me I better not be thinking about my exam the next afternoon (I was memorising the different combinations of options and their respective graphs).

And the picture below, was taken as I was enjoying my dessert, which was followed by a cup of strong black coffee that no amount of sugar and milk was enough to make it mild enough for me.

The reception ended at 11pm, we hugged and took plenty of pictures with the beautiful bride. Such prettiness. By the time I got home, the glitter of my dress was still there. I put it back on its hanger and covered it with some plastic, telling myself that it will see daylight again, perhaps at the next wedding.


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