Saturday, February 27, 2010

Magnitude 7

From the media (english)
Laporan di BH (ketik sini).

For relations who called and friends who e-mailed, thank you for your concern. First news is we are alright, alhamdulillah.

I slept late the night before, doing some haiku translations. This morning at 5.31 am, I thought I was shaking in my dreams. After 2 seconds, I became conscious that the earth was trembling. Into the 3rd seconds, I turned and looked at hubby by my side. He did not moved but his eyes were flapping.
He only managed to say, "Jishin! (earthquake)"
Into the 4th seconds, I reached for him and hugged him. I know I'm supposed to take safety under the dining table but I couldn't moved. My mind went to The Al-Mighty, only He can protect us in moments like this.
Into the 5th/6th seconds, we were both hugging and waiting. Some sound of crashing from the distance. I was expecting the roof to fall on us.
I was glad I'm fully dressed, meaning not in my sleeping outfit. If it means I have to run out of the house, at least I'm properly dressed. I don't know why my mind run this way at moment like this.

It was all quiet after 8th/9th seconds. I ran into the living room and switched on the TV. The government channel NHK runs a warning on tsunami. People near the sea have to run for safety as waves as high as 1 meter comes banging in repeatedly.
Hubby found out where the crashing sound originates. The flower vase in the toilet, shake and crashed.
Now, almost half the day is gone and I still have not cleared the broken glasses yet.

My father-in-law now 97 years old said this is the strongest quake he felt all his life. Before the strongest we felt was magnitude 4 but to be exact at 6.9/7 on the Richter scale is BIG!

Alhamdulillah, goes with many heaves of relieve.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

The triangle love of Lopes


Lopes is one of my favourite dessert. If you're not in the tropics, it is quite an effort to make this sweet thing.
As long as you have glutinuous rice, steam it and spread over it with brown sugar syrup, it still taste good but to get the real taste of lopes in Japan is actual happiness for someone simple like me.

Above is my lopes. I used bamboo leaves instead of banana leaves. We have lots of banana plants in Okinawa but I just don't feel like going out to cut banana leaves on a cold 14c day.
Then, the glutinous rice is not so glutinous, even when I soaked in pandan water for 2 hours.
I have to steam the coconut to make it softer. After steaming, it's a wee bit softer but I can't get it as near to the original state.
For the brown syrup, I used sugar cane brown sugar. We have lots of sugar cane brown sugar in Okinawa. I boiled a packet of 300gm of it with pandan leaves. It tasted almost as good as the brown sugar from real coconut for the untrained tongue.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the result. We just have to improvise but inadequacies like these are part of the adaptation process of living in places out of Malaysia/Singapore.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Pertama-tama, kita pecahkan perkataan okuribito. Okuri bermaksud menghantar dan bito dari asal perkataan hito bermaksud orang/manusia. Okurihito dibunyikan sebagai okuribito. Orang yang dihantar pulang.
Inilah tajuk wayang Jepun yang memenangi Oscar filem antarabangsa tahun 2009.
Cerita ini ditulis oleh Kundo Koyama mengisahkan seorang pemain selo dibuang kerja akibat syarikat okestra tempat dia berkerja mengalami kebankrapan.
Untuk menampung dan meneruskan kehidupan keluarganya, dia mohon kerja di syarikat yang disangkanya menguruskan pelancongan.
Dia terpaksa menerima tugasan itu apabila diumpan dengan gaji sebulan sebelum tugasnya bermula oleh pemilik syarikat.
Apabila diketahui tugasnya mengapankan mayat, dia ingin menarik diri tapi lama kelamaan dia berasa tugasnya itu sesuatu yang mulia.
Siapa lagi yang boleh mengapan mayat kalau orang yang hidup tidak sudi melakukannya?
Isteri dan teman-temannya memandang tugas itu hina, rendah dan menjatuhkan darjat keluarga. Tapi dia berdegil dan berbangga menjadi perantaraan menyiapkan si mati ke alam lain.
Tengoklah cerita ini untuk mengetahui kesudahannya.

Penulis skrip ini bernama Kundo Koyama. Memang novel ini menceritakan adat dan budaya masyarakat Jepun tapi ada sesuatu yang menarik dalam jalan cerita Okuribito.
Hero ini ditinggalkan bapanya sejak kecil. Dibela oleh ibunya sehingga dewasa. Selama dia membesar, dia membencikan bapanya yang tidak bertanggung jawab menunaikan tugas seorang ayah. Kenangan yang ditinggalkan bapanya hanya sebutir batu yang mereka bertukar-tukar semasa berkelah. Batu itu masih di dalam simpanannya.
Tapi satu hari hero ini mendengar yang bapanya mati dan dia berkejar mendapatkan mayat bapanya.

Dia mengeluarkan sesuatu dalam genggaman tangan bapanya waktu persiapan mengapan. Adegan ini sangat mengharukan.

Baru disedarinya, betapa mereka sama merindui.

Alangkah indahnya jika saya dapat menghasilkan sebuah karya yang mengharukan seperti jalan cerita ini...


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sahabat-sahabat melangkah 2010-Siri 2

There are times when you make plans to meet certain people or times when you've promised and put all efforts for a meeting but those times never come. Many things can happen to prevent those "look-forward to" meetings.
But there are times too that you've wanted to meet certain people but know in your heart the meeting might not happen. Then again, out of nowhere you right in front of that person you've wanted to meet so much.
I call this rezeki Allah. If I don't see some people I wanted to see, I just put it that the rezeki in not given to me that time. If the meeting cannot happen, it will not happen. Trust me. It's not your fault or the other party's.
Talking about meetings...I've wanted to meet this little girl. Calling her just Becky, she's about the same age as my daughters. You may wonder why I want to meet someone the age of my children. Well, that's me. Age and material is not what I find in a person.
I know in my heart I will not see her as I never attempt to arrange for a meeting with her. But deep in my heart, I do wanted so much to see her at least for once.
I was staying at a friend's house at Desa Pertaling/Ampang which is not so far from DBP. On the morning of 16th Dec. 2009, I attended a seminar with talks from some of the big literary shots in Malaysia like Dr. Muhammad Hj Salleh and Dato' Dr. Anwar Ridhwan. As the norm, I was early and noticed some spaces were already occupied as well.
On the other side of aisle, a few rows back I heard two ladies chatting quite vigorously. From the sound of the voices, I knew the loud lady was elderly and another young girl, I can only see her back view. I turned back to see them once but there were engrossed in some verbal Q an A.
A little while progressed, sms came in, "Aunty, r u in DBP?"
My reply, "Yes!"
Again another sms, "Look behind, to your right!"
I did and found her waving/smiling.
There you go...I've got to be thankful for this is rezeki Allah. I got it. I never even bother to arrange for time and place to meet her. There she was!

She has a certain way with writings, she has a certain style. You've got to read her pieces to know what I mean.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sahabat-sahabat melangkah 2010

Siri 1
Now that I'm back and comfortable again in my own nest, I thought I write my appreciations to friends who have been with me, ferrying me to places, feeding me yummy meals and doing things just because I'm all alone and helpless. Insya Allah, I will repay their kindness in my own way slowly but right now this record is the only way to put their faces in my mind.
I will not mentioned their names but I know all my friends are connected somehow to one another, so even without names they are known.
For this trip, the ealiest people I came to know is the writer who put up my profile at Akhbar Siasah, one of the ladies in foto is his wife who has a desk at KarangKraf.
I port up at a lady's house in Jln Desa Pandan.
This foto was taken on Dec. 12, 2009 and on this day I was looking forward to see SN Dato' Anwar Ridhwan at MPH MidValley. He was supposed to do a "bicara karya" on his book of collected short stories "Dunia adalah sebuah Apartmen-1973".
To prepare for this talks, I made sure I finished reading this book but unfortunately, on the actual day, the MPH staff told me it was cancelled suddenly by the writer. I felt sorry for SN Dato's Anwar Ridhwan for the peevishness he set upon other people by this cancellation.
Anyway, that did not affect our day. We went to Shah Alam with sdr I and wife. He treat us to some nice meal like sop utara and brought us to see the neigbourhood and ending the day at a small aquarium.

Thank you so much to Pn R amin and son z plus daughter f for sharing your home with me. Also, Mr I and wife Ummi for taking the time to show me around Shah Alam.