Tuesday, 1 February 2005

Of nicks and cyberworld buddies...

Reading about the Nasi Dagang Party held in honour of Pok Ku, reminded me of the get together of our own cyberworld friends. I belong to a network of Malays around the world and we have met several times in many places in Malaysia, Singapore and around Europe, to put faces to nicks, so to speak.

And reading the comments, I wonder, if like us, the bloggers who met for the first time at that party, recognised each other instantly from the jottings that reveal quite a lot about the jotters.

Do the nicks fit the image that you have of the person? What’s the story behind the nicks?

We had our first gathering three years ago, when I was back in Malaysia and as there were other members who flew back from Bangladesh, America, Germany, Australia, we met up with members who travelled down from Singapore for a meeting with friends we have only been meeting online. Needless to say, the food was untouched as we chatted like old friends.

Before this, we shared our joys and sorrows as perantaus. We created our own community and cyber families that remained steadfast to this day. We rejoice in each other’s success as a member makes it in a foreign land, and offer advise and words of consolation each time a perantau receives news of death or illness from home. We create our own cerpen bersambung and berbalas pantun and recently tried online television culminating in a Ramadan and hari raya programme, with lagu hari raya bersambung by members from all around the world. It was hilarious and such fun! We’ve learnt so much from each other. From someone who could only paste and cut, I can now do online tv!! Hooray! Thanks to Bro Ming in Melbourne.

Anyway, coming back to that first meeting, I knew instantly who was Senyumanis from Germany, whose style of speaking is just like her jottings, so warm and wonderful. Sweethuneyz the bubbly lass from Australia, Kazoo, warm and demure from America, Maknenek funny and talented from Germany and many more. And the funny thing is, even when we found out each other’s real name, we’d still call each other by the nicks that we are used to.

We were featured in the local newspaper which of course meant that the number of hits for the site increased immediately. The next meeting was in Singapore, the turn out big enough to merit a two page feature in the Singapore Berita Harian.

These cyber friends had visited me in London too – Malays seeking Malays in a foreign land. Jintanmama, whose friendship I treasure dearly, came all the way from Sweden, so did memento from Holland and KasaRubia from Australia. And of course, how can I forget my dear, dear cyberfriend who had become my sidekick and partner in crime, klmuk from Aberdeen. Her words of advise and encouragement saw me through my darkest hours as I contemplated whether to plunge into the world of academia.

All these wonderful networkings started by someone who felt very lonely when she moved to LA. With enough knowledge of IT and the internet, she started the site with two friends. I joined them not too long after that and now I have buddies in Oklahoma, San Francisco, Costa Rica and Saudi.

Coming back to the nicks, I have never been imaginative with mine. Kak Teh is what my younger siblings call me to my face but I daren’t imagine what they call me behind my back! Now, as I have a small circle of blogger friends here, I wonder what atenah, atiza, kak ngah, blaberella, doreen and honeytar look like or how they came about their nicks. But from their jottings you can sort of put a rough picture together.

I see atenah, this intellectual who talks to anyone in the bus and holds deep intellectual conversations with her hippy friends and only once in a while looks up only to make that difficult decision of what coffee to order. She has vision, this lady, and I wish her luck!

There’s nadia all motherly and homely, and sticks to her routine religiously as she homeschooled her children. I envy her commitment and dedication. And I stand to attention as I type this.

There’s chek ngah, mutterings in Javanese, missing her daughter back home. She has lots of stories to tell.

There’s maknenek ( but I have met her! And she is not a nenek!) still transitting in Germany, with Egyptian husband. When she is not sobbing away watching Bollywood films, she is playing with the love of her life – little Salma. She is a damn good editor too!

And of course Blaberella , who conjures a picture of a barbie doll but is infact a cigar smoking professional that once caught the notorious eyes of Mike Tyson and live to tell the story. She is still besotted by her hubadubs of fifteen years and busy making it on her own in this cruel wide world.

There’s riza in his own world of mysticism, wearing crumpled unironed clothes but damn good, witty observer of what goes on around him.

Woman in the well just came into my blogging life. I had her as Woman at the well and that is how I want to imagine her. I bloghopped to her site via atenah’s and delighted is not enough to describe my feelings. I imagine this seventy something lady sitting at her well, hunched over her laptop, churning all those beautiful stories effortlessly, stories that come only in my dreams. She is such an inspiration. I imagine her with hat perched on her well–coiffered bun to shelter her tanned beautiful face from the scorching Brazilian sun. She is kind and thoughtful and her eyes that have witnessed so much in her rich life, sometimes twinkle with mischief as she recalls an incident that brings a smile to her face. She with those sensible shoes and colourful attires as she dashes here and there, feeling young and more alive than any of us combined. I imagine her still in her youth, enjoying life to the fullest and through her blog, aspires me to do the same.

There’s many more – and how can I forget Pok Ku,Pak Adib, Atok and Awang Goneng who are responsible for me blogging first thing in the morning and last thing at night. But we all know about Pok Ku and as for Awang Goneng well… Suffice to say, thanks to these two, even my dreams are now in Terengganu Malay!

Well, if you happen to be in London and you see this elderly lady, chasing after some old men, preferably sailors or ageing film stars, muttering words you couldn't understand, turning right when she should be turning left, then that's Kak Teh!


ps, blogger buddies, tell me if I am wrong about you!






22 comments:

Captain Barbell said...

i describe my self as a nonsensical rationalist ...trying to rationalize things which dont seem to make sense..or making nonsense out of real things...

btw, i just rambled about how to improvise our national zoo.. :)

atenah said...

well kak teh, u are dead wrong abt me, i'm no intellectual, i'm a femme fatale....he he he. u know what u are? a wise friend! what treasures u can find in cyber world

Nadia said...

LOL..I would LOVE to find someone with the descriptions your just gave about yourself..though I'm sure you're exagerrating LOL...
as for me..you got it all ..all in a nutshell..though you do know that I tend to go insane due to my so called 'dedication' (emm) LOL...I really love your writing *smile*..oh..and I'm so katak bwh tempurung..know that..so don't be shocked if I seem so ignorant on some stuff LOL

CN said...

banjava to be exact hik hik (banjar+java)

Woman at the well said...

I don´t think I can say much right now. The emotion was too great. Funny thing, women can be so sensitive ...

Ms.B said...

Kak Teh, I need to correct 2 little details.

ONE - I am certainly no barbie doll, hehehe. That reference to "no Barbies" on my blog header simply came about because I didn't want people conjuring up pictures of Jane Fonda as Barbarella in the 60's sci-fi flick - because I'm not that..in terms of beauty, her fashion sense in the movie and her "lifestyle"! *winks* Blabarella came about because I was wondering what to call myself since I liked to "blab" online a lot .. there were some other options: "Blabette" sounded like someone who puked a lot, "Blaberina" .. no way jose, "Blabesque" - too hard an attempt to sound chic (which I'm not either, hehe). And so that's how I ended up with the current!

TWO - alamak, I've only just had my 2nd cigar last night. Does that warrant me being called a cigar-smoking pro though? Oh well, compliments won't be rejected!! :)

Everything else .. as real as the cat's scratches and scars on my arms. But there's a lot more to me lah Kak Teh.. nevermind, time will tell (or you can trawl through my archives!!)

Lollies said...

I think most of us are more open with virtual friends whereas you probably won't talk to each other in the real world. And the world is really going towards that..cyber friends are our friends.

Yeah I called them by their nicknames at Pok Ku's party.

atiza said...

I'm an introvert. Lollies could vouch me on that. Even during the nasi dagang party, I just hang around my family hoping to be unnoticed. Yay! and i succeed.

MakNenek said...

Twice! My name was mentioned twice!!!! Kak Teh, yes, indeed my time is spent on Salma in various ways. Even when she is sleeping, I'm doing something that centres around her life, education, immediate environment,etc. A little obsessed maybe :D but watudu...when you don't have the experience, you need the manual ..hehehe..

Thanks again for your observations kak teh, and yes, like your name suggest kakteh or your twin sister from the other forum.. you're Friendly, Trustworthy, funny, chaotic but warm and sincere! I never regretted travelling to London to meet u and head banging in London. To add to your credit, you also inspired me to write my first and Only article (so far) for the newspaper..and yes, it was also you, which triggered the 'editor' in me. Something I never cared to venture in after so many years in TV!!! Amazing what knowing you can make me do..imagine living with you..

p.s..where do i collect my upah after this kak teh?

atenah said...

atiza: tak sangka you. unsangkarable, buah cempedak menjadi apple

LaLaLand said...

Well, people say you are known for the company you keep...

Good company you have indeed :o)

Kak Teh said...

Hi all, thanks for the feedback!! Hahaha!! So, I was wrong, but it was fun trying...But then again, when was I ever right? Can't even spell properly!! Thanks all for being a sport...and don't stay away. And Blaber, I do love the smell of cigar...reminds me of my late father.
Maknenek, you had all those in you before you met me. All I needed was to shake you a bit and everything came out again! Such wonderful programme ideas.
atiza - sure you were noticed. It takes blogging to bring someone out. As for me, perhaps I need to hide again!

Kak Teh said...

My Magic Box: Thanks for dropping by . and yes, I am anjoying the company here. I look forward to their visits everyday. This is the wonderful thing about the cyberworld. I sit here in my cold front room in London, and my friends come to visit me from all over the world! Come back again, when you can!
And Blaber...I will certainly want to meet up with all of you. Will have to work harder for the trip home.

Ms.B said...

Insya'Allah Kak Teh, if I can muster up the necessary finances for a return tix to LHR, I will definitely look you up when I get there sometime in the 2nd or 3rd quarters of this year .. ikut hubadubs when he goes for a course in Dundee, Scotland. Mebbe we can go to Bicester Village together? *winks*

Kak Teh said...

Blaber, Bicester Village? I will have to work even harder to go there...sure - It'll be nice. One day, one day!

Jane Johan said...

Kak Teh, how I wished these blogging thing was available during my perantau days. But if it was, I will surely still be a perantau!

My nick is pronounce exactly like my own name, except the spelling. ;-)

I hundreds of people I met say that I look like Francesca Peters or Juhi Chawla. I know Francesca but Juhi? You firgure that out. hehehh...;-)

Bustaman said...

Those that I met at the Nasi Dagang Party are wonderful people and I am lucky to meet and made their acquintance. I am lucky and honoured to meet Kak Teh and Awang Goneng too.
Alhamdullillah.

Berisman said...

I know Kakteh in person.She can't be wrong about me unless I am a good actor.

Atok said...

Bicester Village...my wife luvs going there all the time. As 'friends of bicester village', we've 10% discounts on all stores.

Kak Teh said...

yes, pak adib, i do remember that conversation at Malaysia hall and it was me who introduced you to awang goneng. Alhamdulillah, we are still friends!
Pok ku - thanks for the chat..and its also a pleasure to know you.
Atok - when we are near Bicester - we'll call you, okay?

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