Taman Kayangan Minci, progress report

Ever since the plant haul at Baba Wan Nursery, I have been quite obsessed in landscaping my garden. I discovered Gadek Nursery, a 25 min drive from my home. Gadek has more variety and they sell at a cheaper price too. I decided to get my hands into succulent care too. The edible garden will have to wait cause it is still growing.

I recorded all my expenses in a file hoping to later see how much did I spent in total for this new-found hobby. My latest purchase was a mini greenhouse. I think I slept on that purchase for a few weeks before I finally clicked the button Buy on Shopee. *money flew. less doterra for the month *

It would be an invaluable addition to the garden especially in rainy seasons. Furthermore I am on a mission to resurrect my Polianthes tuberosa which is taking ages to heal. I believe in you, plant! To further fuel the nerd in me, I downloaded an app called Plant Diary where I can make an inventory of what I have in my garden. It was exciting when I first used it but then I thought it was tedious to document it all.

I am calling my garden Taman Kayangan Minci. It will be a blend of Modern & Woodlandish sort of thing. I cannot wait for my flowers to bloom at its best – my hibiscus, petunia, zinca, Maid of Orleans, chrysanthemum and marigold. Once that is done, I can start on my edible plants. Tomato is still at its seedling stage.

I hope this garden is at its peak moment by December. It will be a wonderful backdrop for picture taking for my 10th wedding anniversary.

Thank you for your service

Finally, Melaka is not under water rationing anymore. The state have not been getting much rain last year and consequently the water levels in the dam was low. It has been a challenging 2 months but manageable because the Bekalan Air Berkala schedule seems to be well thought out by Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad (SAMB). Nevertheless people still complain but as the mantra goes, you cannot please everybody.

The rationing affected highly populated residential areas except those near industrial/commercial areas. My housing area was rationed but my MIL’s place was not affected. I was thankful for that because my kids transit at their grandparents house after school. But now with the Movement Control Order (MCO) – all grandchildren are at my MIL’s house driving her crazy as school and nursery are out. I can only pray that Allah will grant my parents in law Jannah for their sacrifice in helping to mind the grandkids while we children go to work.

Previously, we get water running from the tap on alternate days starting from 10am till 10am the next day only. On days that we don’t, we depend on our household water tank and the public tank in our area. Thankfully, our house is near one of the big ones located near the surau.

My motivation to cook was dampened tremendously. Rasa macam tak best to masak and wash the dishes and pots meticulously using rationed water. It feels less great either to leave the dishes till the next day. So, meals consisted of takeouts, intermittent fasting or kids eat at grandparents house whilst us parents grab a bun or something.

Laundry is done at night as water pressure is stronger in the quiet hours near midnight. Mopping are done on those rare weekends where we get water supply. I haven’t wiped down my window grill for ages. I can see lizards pooping everywhere. As for my windows, I am in dire need of rain to help clean it up a bit.

Alas, all the above has come to an end. Alhamdulilah.. now I can start planning my spring cleaning schedule again. I would also like to thank all my re-purposed mini containers and barrels that has helped this family to contain water throughout this rough period of time. It would have not been possible without them.

My personal container I use in the master bedroom. The tangki does not supply this part of the bathroom.
The duo that usually holds my kuah laksa or ice during gatherings and parties… Useful to flush down the toilet and its contents..
Babe in the corner. Used to store rice during kenduri. Switching role as an assistant in the kitchen whilst cooking. In case I need extra water or anything.
One of the most useful ones. To help wash the dishes, hands and milk bottles.

My sister asked if I had to switch off my Coway machine during the water rationing. I find that there’s still some small amount of water being ‘sucked’ into the machine and that we could still get some water out of it. Of course there were days when we are out of hot water and this usually happens on the weekends when we are all at home drinking hot beverages and such. So far, the machine is functioning well and had not broke down yet. I am not quite sure what the representatives of Coway would advice though.

Now that the dry season is coming to an end, it will mean a different challenge for the coming months. While we appreciate rain, we hope there wouldn’t be any floods cause then it’ll be challenging to manage that and Covid-19.

Midlife Crisis – is this half of the years that I have in this life?

I had a moment of enlightenment a few months ago. And I took action on it. I decided to study part time. I made some enquiries to friends who are already on that path and those who have completed their studies. Some were encouraging, some tried to talk me out of it.

This could be a mid life crisis. Gosh, maybe. I am after all only 37 years old this year. If this is halfway through my lifeline – my impending death would be at 74? Hanya Allah Yang Maha Mengetahui.

I am taking a huge leap of faith here to juggle the many things on my plate right now. I will be missing more sleep hours and personal time. I am convincing myself that this is called Sacrifice. Most of my hours studying is online via modules and pre-recorded lectures on top of completing assignments with grueling deadlines.

There are a few certain things for now;

  • I have no intention to become a specialist in any field of medicine. Anesthesia will always be my first love. I tried to put in similar determination and passion into primary care just as I did into emergency medicine but after 2 years, I just feel that it is not working out for me. I do not enjoy the nature of primary care. As a responsible medical practitioner, I will of course still develop my knowledge and upgrade my skills to ensure I become a safe doctor but the drive to do so is not because I want to be a specialist. Its more of that I can be a safe doctor to serve my patients needs.
  • I have my husbands support. Knowing that he is OK with me doing this would mean him being able to support me and my schedule accordingly.
  • Accepting that the world is my oyster and that I am free to roam in it as however I wish and who ever I want to become.

I am pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with Honours. I am aware that having this scroll will not make me a psychiatrist. I am keeping my options open for other career options that this field may offer if I chose to upgrade on it stage by stage. I do not have to be a doctor forever you know. What if I want to work in a company as an organizational therapist. Or sit in my own office providing counselling or psychotherapy services as a private, registered practitioner. Perhaps delve into a popular or contemporary form of psychology. Or be the best ever social worker with a medical degree, an invaluable aide to Syed Azmi’s cause. I dunno.

I am envisioning a world where people need more help with their mental health from all walks of life. We are seeing a rise in people who could not manage their emotions and channel them appropriately to the extent of harming themselves and others. I also people who have a very distorted perception of how to treat another human being and their surroundings. I see communities falling apart as they place more value as an individual than coming together as one. We see more and more empty vessels making loud noises flooding social media, which is a huge influence in our lives nowadays – dishing out nonsensical advice to those who actually needs guidance. The world has gotten bitter and sick. Maybe I have a role here somewhere.

I will be blogging about my journey as a mature student in NotaMinci and a separate IG account, HOBOMINCI. I had wanted to document there my path towards becoming an anesthetist. However, survival of the fittest showed me that I am just not fit enough for that road. I failed to get into the programme twice and at the same time my social and biological clock is ticking. So I need a diversion. A form of affirmation to myself that I am meant to blossom but maybe not within the perimeter of an operating theatre or the ICU. Maybe it is best I blossom in the wild outside medicine where I don’t have to tiptoe and watch my back. Instead be loose and free like the dandelion in the wind. Only to sprout again in other terrains and bring happiness to humanity.

Kuching Trip in 2019

Kuching, Sarawak is an annual destination for my family. This year we decided to use our yearly Waran tickets for Hari Raya Haji. Since it coincides with the school holidays, there was naturally a price hike for all hotel rooms and transport. Hence, I booked a Homestay which I found on Instagram : homestaymuslimkuching

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My rented home has 3 air-conditioned rooms, 2 bathrooms and basic amenities in the kitchen like a stove, some pans, plates,utensils, cups, a kettle, blender and there was even a washing machine. The home has a rate of  RM250/night. Since I will be there for at least 5 days 4 nights, we were eligible for a discount of just being charged RM210/night. I paid a 50% deposit online to the owner, to lock the date and completed the payment with cash upon arrival at the homestay. We also had to pay a RM150 security deposit when checking in which is later returned upon checking out.

The homestay is located in Matang Jaya, where the residents are predominantly Bumiputra of which there is a balance between muslims and non muslims in the area. Matang Jaya is situated across the other side of the bridge away from the city. Nevertheless there are plenty of activities and places to go. The shopping malls may be less grand as compared to the ones in the city but it is easier to find Halal food/ restaurants within this vicinity including places heading towards Petra Jaya/ Semariang.

Homestays are generally cheaper if we are traveling in a large group. Of course, it may not be as luxurious and comfortable compared to our usual state of living at home. We missed a few things from home such as;

  1. The microwave – we had to reheat our food using pots and pans on the stove
  2. Comforters – each room was provided with a very thin blanket. I suppose it is a technique so that we increase the temperature while we sleep. In a way less energy is used to cool the room to ‘extreme’ temperatures. Hence conserve electricity and reduces the bill.
  3. Coway water filter machine – given the easy access to clean water at home, boiling hot water can be a chore. Ha ha. Thankfully, there is a NINSO nearby for us to buy drinking water in abundance. The 1.5 litre bottles were sold at only RM2.30 for 3 bottles.
  4. Night lights/ bedside lamps – I was so glad that I brought my doTERRA LUMO diffuser. It doubles up as my lamp throughout the night as I set it to 10 hours of usage. If I did not bring it, I’d have to resort to a totally dark room or sleep with the doors open. 20190810_141932-019203051808957857482.jpeg
  5. The many available wall sockets – Each room has only 1 wall socket. Therefore, it is advisable to bring your own extensions.
  6. The assorted shower gels/shampoo & toothpaste -the homestay provided one basic solution for shampoo and body foam which is totally acceptable. I miss having the many choices like we do at home. Hence, it is wise to bring pre-packed toiletries too.

ACTIVITIES

Our flight was damn early at 0750AM. The kids did not bath and we performed our Subuh prayers at KLIA. Check in at KLIA was easy as there are plenty of self check in machines available. Once we’ve printed the luggage tags , we baggage dropped our things at the respective counters.

In-flight menu was OK although we personally prefer Air Asia’s nasi lemak. Even the kids pancakes taste funny.

We touched down at Kuching International Airport (KIA) 10 mins earlier than scheduled and had to wait for our rented car to come which took hours. So we had lunch at SUGAR BUN, in the airport which was freaking expensive. Our rented car is an Axia at RM90/day.

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This time around for raya haji, we would be visiting our relatives. We do not have the luxury to do other tourist-ish stuff like we normally do. So Santubong Damai Beach and museum visits were not part of the schedule. Some of the little things we manage to do include;

COFFEE AT BELALAK ADDICTED

This roadside stall was once famous for its Turkish like brewed coffee. Nowadays however, perhaps because its time consuming, they have removed that extra unique element and replaced it with other coffee varieties on top of selling fried food/critters for tea. I ordered Kopi Let which is a mixture of coffee with cocoa. It is very sweet though but the coffee taste still come out strong. Price : RM4.90

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RECITING YASSIN AND TAHLIL FOR THE DEceased

This was a get together on my moms side. We sedekah our recitations to those we love and hope Allah will ease their sufferings, if any, in alam barzakh. Then we had food. Lost of food. My sister and I brought chocolate cake all the way from Selangor for the occasion.

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FOOD HUNTING

There is no doubt that the queen of Laksa Sarawak is still Moms Laksa. The broth is super delicious and the closest restaurant to replicate its taste is here in Melaka, Kolok Vs Laksa restaurant located along the SPA Highway.

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A bowl of delicious mi kolok is harder to find because everyone’s recommendations differs greatly as to how they decide that mi kolok is nyaman. The last time I had a delicious mi kolok was at Kets Kitchen in Matang Jaya. Now rebranded as POpular Food Court. Till now, it was so difficult to get hold of the pakcik who makes the mi kolok.

Sotong Kangkung from LOCK ANN is a must. It has now relocated just opposite Matang Mall.

We went to a new place this year. MAMI CENDOL. It sells cendol, shaved ice with toppings, rojak buah, sotong kangkung and mi belacan. We thought it was a bit odd though to tapau self service but we went along with the system. The taste was alright.

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We had our seafood fix as usual at TOPSPOT. It is open at night and we usually patron stall no 25. I recommend ordering their butter prawn. Damn delicious!

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If you yearn for seafood during the day, then TELAGA AIR is the place for you. It is equally cheap. They serve the dishes buffet style but they are still freshly cooked. Telaga Air is situated about 35 – 40 minutes from Matang Jaya.

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BUYING SOUVENIRS

I bring back kuih lapis and butter cake back to Melaka every year without fail. It is sad though that nowadays kuih lapis has become so commercialized that its lost its unique value during Hari Raya. I  also get my Sarawak orientated kain pasang from main bazaar or India Street for my working baju kurung. I plan to enrich my wardrobe with baju kurung that has a Sarawakian or Terengganu motive to it. Ha ha.

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A SPECIAL VISIT TO MASJID AL GHAZALI

This masjid is located just 6 minutes from our homestay. Al Ghazali is special because it was built with the compensation money the relatives received with regards to this whole family who died in the MH17 crash. InsyaAllah as long as people keep the masjid alive, it will be a continuous supply of good deeds for the dead.

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I hope to spend longer time in Kuching next year. Our family will be going through transitions in our everyday routine next month as we ponder and wait for where Mr Husband will be deployed for his specialist gazzettement.

I hope it is in a state where the weekends are the same as in Melaka.

A one night stay at Dorsett Putrajaya

I love staycations. Especially when we landed on a bargain for a hotel room or an experience. Last weekend, it was my moms 60th birthday. After the feast I decided to check into DORSETT PUTRAJAYA hotel overnight based on its location near Masjid Besi and the Food Truck Area in Putrajaya.

Hotel parking was adequate. FREE of course. Reception was friendly. Room was spacious. Breakfast was a delight. I love how they give you mug options for your coffee. Cause mom’s ain’t gonna have enough of caffeine in those eeenny meeeenyyy white cuppas. Ee’s breakfast rate was RM25.

I booked a Deluxe Room with balcony for a night through Agoda.com and it was RM210.00 including service tax and fee. My room comes with a nice view, free WIFI, complimentary breakfast for 2, coffee. tea and 2 bottles of drinking water. There is an in room iron with board, hairdryer, bath robes with slippers and alhamdulilah a prayer mat. It’s those little touches that make your stay wonderful.

The bathroom had no bath tub but it was fine. The toiletries were cute. I had to try the shampoo and conditioner. It smelt like Lemongrass.

The hotel has an infinity swimming pool and gym on the top floor. The pool is open from 7AM to 7PM whilst the gym is open for 24 hours. The hotel was initially conjoined with a shopping mall but we noticed that only the main supermarket and a few eateries are open. I am not quite sure what happened to the rest of the business premises. The mall looked haunted. Such a waste of space and facilities. I really hope that Waterfront Hotel in Kuching would not suffer from a similar fate.

The scene outside at the balcony in the night was really really beautiful. I could stare at the mosque all night. We had dinner at the food truck area. The options were alright and they had a sitting area too for you to eat your meals. It’s like an open air foodcourt cuma yg berjualnya guna truck. We had western food – spaghetti aglio olio and carbonara with iced milk tea.

 

I would book a room here again if I had any business going on in Putrajaya. The location is calm. There is not much traffic for a weekend staycation. You could even get involved in healthy activities like walking or cycling.

Upon completion of my stay here, I received an automated email saying that I am now a member of Dorsett Loyalty Rewards programme. This entitles me to exclusive member benefits etc. Will explore on that later.