Monday, 26 March 2007

It has been three weeks since I left my cats, husband and children for the warmer climes of home sweet home. Yet, why do I still feel so jetlagged and tired. The answer must lie in the fact that I must have clocked up more mileage than the Heathrow- KLIA flight and back! (And pssst! It could be age too! Don’t tell anyone but I am now a year older since I waved goodbye to my family at Heathrow airport. Hopefully they will not notice any difference, like an extra wrinkle, when I return.

On that note, first let me thank Lydia Teh for the wonderful cake she brought to the 2nd MPH Breakfast Club for Lit Bloggers. I attended the talk by Lydia (on her book, Honk if you are a Malaysian), and Xues who shared with us some tips on writing. They were introduced by Kenny Mah and Eric Forbes. Blogger Sharon Bakar was there too and I am truly honoured to be in such company. There’s really a lot to be learnt about the publishing scene here – who reads what, what sells and most importantly, how to sell it. I went back with a lot of books that Eric had kindly recommended.

Well, that night, it was a celebration of sorts. It is very rare that we are together for our birthdays. Kak Cik, my sis in law Nisa, my brother Ajie, my grand nephew Nasri and my brother in law Wan are all March babies. And as nephew Azril is leaving for Geneva soon, we thought we might as well say farewell to him too. So with all these, we had three cakes, a huge tent and some old friends and relatives from near and far and a sprinkling of distinguished guests at niece Anedra’s house.

Mak looked very happy as she was surrounded by everyone she loves. Only Kak couldn’t make it. Even the rain stayed away until we finished the outdoor celebration. And not a growl from Anedra’s neighbours in the gated community that is Zoo Negara!

It all became too much for me. The stress of combining work and networking was becoming apparent. I have not one but two ulcers in my mouth. I couldn’t eat much without grimacing with pain. On top of that I was losing my voice. Mind you, this has nothing to do with talking, but I suspect a lot to do with the night out with the boys and girls the previous night. My old school chums had kidnapped me to what was supposed to be only a Chinese meal at the Darul Ehsan Club but of course karaoke was on the agenda. That night, or was it morning, I crawled into a strange bed at my friend’s house. Too scared to go home and face Mak. I felt sixteen again. The following morning, my friend’s Mak came over. How we have not changed, she must have thought! She and my Mak know us too well.

The day before, I was in Johore with three other bloggers for the book launch of Dr Ooi Kee Beng’s ‘The Reluctant Politician’. This must have been my first visit back to Johore after 30 years. Former DPM Tun Musa launched the book and Insyaallah I will review the Reluctant Politician soon.

Just before the trip to Johore, it was the launch of Dina Zaman’s ‘I am Muslim’. I turned up quite early at the venue but was too scared to go in alone. I didn’t know anyone and felt very much a stranger in my own country. But soon, one blogger after another introduced themselves, and I felt so at home.
I must have bought seven copies of Dina’s book – and gave them as presents to my close childhood friends, some of whom are avid Dina followers.

I am looking forward to the KL International Literary Fair 2007 – more writers, more book talks and workshops! And yes, the icing on the cake must be ‘Celebrating the 70’s with Adibah Amin’ on 3rd April. MPH is celebrating the revival of Adibah Amin’s ‘As I was Passing’. I wouldn’t want to miss this event for anything.

And then, I must fly back for a rest.


Atok said...

allah selamatkan kamu,
allah selamatkan kamu....

i heard there'll be a street festival in acton upon your return :)

ubisetela said...

Happy (belated?) birthday KakTeh!

NorAiniJ said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Happy belated birthday!

Well, all the moving around will help keep us forever young (at heart, anyway!). Stay cool, anggun and sweet Kak Teh...

m.u.l.a.n said...

happy belated birthday kak teh.. may your days be filled with happiness & great health..

hectic trip back home (malaysia).. but i'm sure you had great moments with frens & family kan..

Jane Sunshine said...

Happy Belated birthday sweetheart! Come back soon for London leg of celebrations. I see that you have been gallivanting the KL scene-pix plastered on many a blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kak Teh! 16 again? Alhamdulillah for a blessed life, and plenty more years to come.

Kak Teh said...

atok, thank you and I heard that no less than 3 streets and the A40 wil be closed for the occassion! hahaha!

Ubi, u are right - belated. Thanks.

NJ, salam and thanks. at the moment, moving around is making me wilt.

mulan, yes, am really enjoying myself. but tooo many activities and!

jane - yes, yes we must do that. there's no way the london leg will let me forget that i am a year older.

mama irma...hehehe - arent we the sweet sixteens! certainly felt like so that early hours of the monring.

nyonyapenang said...

Happy Birthday, Kak Teh.

Your activities, need a 48hr-day. Have loads of fun! :)

Fauziah Ismail said...

Kak Teh
Wah, you've been busy. Lucky me, I managed to meet up with you first before you became overwhelmed with meetings, events and functions to attend.
Karaoke? Hmmm, are you someone who waits till the end to sing (malu lah konon) or one who pantang dapat microphone?
Happy (belated) Birthday!!!

tee said...

kak teh,

happy birthday (eventho dah lepas). moga panjang umur & murah rezeki. n de cake, looks delicious...


Kak Teh said...

nyonya, i've lost track of time,

fauziah, with this lot, we've got to fight for the microphone. no malu2 because we are all childhood friends...semuanya nak lepaskan dendam.

tee, terima ksih. first cake with a kak teh on it!

Bergen said...

Tumpang lalu, Kak Teh. Sorry, Atok, I thought it was you. Moga panjang umur, dong.

Mama Rock said...

kak had a ball! 20 tahun ya? happy birthday!

Lydia Teh said...

Kak Teh, you're most welcome. Thank you for the coffee after the talk. Look forward to seeing you at the Litfest and at Adibah's do. You must be so happy I've made you 20 years old.

wonda said...

Happy Belated Birthday, dear Kak Teh. Hugs. Birthday is only numbers; your heart is still young. Looks like you have a good time there.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh
I'm so thankful that many star writers are reminiscing the golden and historic past. Nuraina and Adibah the 70s, Amir the 90s (98 to be exact) and your good self the 40s-50s (right?)

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday Kak Teh!!! After talking to you that day, wahhh celebrate sakan nampak!! You still have your youthful look! Sweet as ever Kak Teh!! :)

Take care! :)

Dina Zaman said...

kak teh

thanks so much for coming! sorry didnt call you back semalam, family dinner at muhibbah.

see you besok!

melayudilondon said...

dah balik kak teh? selamat balik lah. awat tak habaq siang2? boleh tibar tikar mengkuang kat hetroh.

AuntyN said...

Kak teh, semoga Allah kurniakan energy lebih untuk meneruskan aktiviti2 ni bday2 yang akan datang hehehe. I hope we can meet up. InsyaAllah.

silversarina said...


Alhamdulillah kepulangan kak teh walaupun hanya seketika membawa seribu makna

Kenny Mah said...

It was certainly the highlight of my week last week meeting you not once but TWICE in person! Not just a blogger celebrity but also such a wonderful person. Hope you had a fantastic birthday, Kak Teh.

After all, how many people can claim to have had their birthday song sung to them in a bookstore? :)

Kak Elle said...

kak yeh happy belated birthday semoga dimurah kan rezeki dan dipanjangkan umur.Ni bila balik UK?

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Teh,

A Very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns of the Day.

May your life be packed with wonderful people and experiences.

I think you have signs of heatiness due to a heavy schedule and change of clime.

Drink plenty of water. Coconut drinks is also good for you. Nature's electrolyte and an excellent rehydration.

ManaL said...

Kak teh, r u like on supplements, spirulina, omega oil, B-complex, vit-C, and whatnots?

In conjunction with ur bday, i salute u for being an eveready (or a duracell if u fancy that more) woman who has been sharing with us some thousands of buckets "choc-a-blogged" with so many stories, some of them evoked some mixed feelings/emotions, some of them were of historical/celebrity figures, some of them left us in stitches, while some of them were about ur lovely family, both in msia and in london.

Go get some good spa treatment (massages and the whole nine yards) anywhere fabulous before u leave this bolehland. It's gonna be British summer time (BST) upon ur arrival in london.

thewailer said...

happy birthday kak teh! have a pleasant trip home!

ps: the first thing I'd do when I get back is to get a hug from my cat! :)

Unknown said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Happy Birthday my dear and may all your dreams come true. Thank you so much for sharing some wonderful time with me. Truly memorable.

See you soon and we shall have more fun.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh

I am sure you have fun di Malaysia... eeee seronoknya dapat balik. By the way, happy belated birthday, semoga Allah panjangkan umur, murahkan rezeki dan sihat selalu. Miss your weekly report last week, what happen?

Take care and stay healthy!


Hazidi said...

Happy Birthday Kah Ah. Belated but in my defense I just got to know of your blog recently when I met Aji at his restaurant. Had Ikan bakar and siput sedut. nice. Hope you have a nice stay.

Anonymous said...

Selamat Ulang Tahun dan Bahagia!

".....cats, husband & children..."

wah, cats first

he he

Anonymous said...

aiseh, that was me


p/s can only comment as anon

Anonymous said...

kak teh,

moga dimurahkan rezeki dan diberikan kesihatan yang baik.

Happy belated birthday!

Tunku Halim said...

Happy Belated Birthday Kak Teh,

Life is certainly busy for us expat Malaysians on returning to the homeland. Need to getaway from all that activity to write!

Theta said...

A belatedly birthday wish for you, Kak Teh!

Hope it was fun!

Have a safe flight back to London.....if you're not that swamped in London, then we can meet up insyaAllah. :)

Anonymous said...

Do your cats speak English? Saya berminat untuk berkenalan dengan kucing omputeh, kata kucing Ray sambil mengunyah bawang putih.

Ray and the Malay cats

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh dear,

Happy birthday!!!

hugs n kisses

ilene said...

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY KAK TEH. You and I, March babies! I'm glad you're having a wonderful time back here but most importantly, had the chance to catch up with good ole friends and also with mum.

Ms J said...

happy belated birthday kak teh....may you ling long, happy and fulfilled!

Kak Teh said...

bergen, itulaaaaa baca dulu. Atok Reading sehat walafiat.

mama rock 20 times two and plus plus! so many celebrations cos no one wants me to forget my age.

lydia, yes thanks to you i am now younger than my niece.

wonda@alice, am having a nice time - but busy, busy, busy.

Kak Teh said...

aMiR, you are being so very kind. Thank you.

MM - thank you for the call. So good to hear yr voice again. take care!

dina, hope you are feeling better. Saw u on the big screen last night at the launch. We were hidden behind the paparazzis.

melayu di london, kak teh belum balik lagi daaaa.

Kak Teh said...

auntyN - thanks - yes, do call.

loveujordan, thank you for yr kind wishes.

kenny, am truly honoured. Never thought my birthday wld be celebrated among the bookshelves of MPH.

kak elle, 4hb april, insyaalllah.
I'll bethere when u visit.

hi&lo, thanks for your concern. Yes, the heat does get to me and the pedas food as well. I have been having problems with food.

manal, guess what i did? I relaxed on one of those expensive machines - it really helped!

Kak Teh said...

thewailer, my tabby has returned after going awol for weeks! Yes, I need to hug him.
ruby, thank you. hopw will meet again.

nani big apple, aaaarghhh surely u can guess why - i was doing it and halfway got called out of the house and the computer here is so slow. So i decided not to do it. For next week - yes, ada , insyaallah.

Kak Teh said...

hazidi, laaaaaaa! welcome to my humble blog. I can never forget havi8ng you driving me around to do interviews! Will never forget that bro! I owe you one.
tenah, cats dulu sebab tak nak lah tunjuk sangat, kaan, kan??

pok mang, terima kasih.

tunku halim, you are so right!! i meet writers, editors, publishers. I attend bok talks, worskshops and now I need to sit somewhere quiet and write!! and BTW i bought yr book! That will be for the flight home!

theta, thanks. so when are you coming? leave me a message, ya?

ray and the cats, ohhhh my cats are so very the english! but they all respond to the call of 'sayang mama'.

Kak Teh said...

ms istanbul, miss bumping into you in the streets of london! will be back soon!

ilene, thanks - so many old friends want to remind me i am old.

ms j, thanks for the wishes and the visit. Enjoy yr time with the baby! Its priceless.

Pi Bani said...

Mak datok... hectic nya schedule! Dah turun berapa kilo sejak balik Malaysia ni?

Anyway, happy 20th birthday. This is your 20th birthday for 20++ years in a row I suppose? :-)

edelweiss said...

Kak Teh,

HAppy Birthday. I am a march baby as well... :)

Kak Teh said...

pi bani, I swear I have not eaten a lot. Fisrt few days boleh makan, then dah tak boeh - sakit perut laaa.

edelwiess, I called you but u didnt answer. pls email me again with yr number. I have not been able to use my london phone as I have lost the charger and yr number is in there. Do email me please.

Honeytar said...

Kak Teh!

Many Happy Returns !

Jom celebrate at Tok Li's !

KakNi said...

Kak Teh!!!

Happy birthday!!!

Saya, InsyaAllah akan cari buku2 yang Kak Teh mentioned tu.

Bak mai kek sikit, nampak sedap betul.. heheheh

Anonymous said...

Dear ahh,

Happy belated birthday.

Have a safe journey home to be with suami yang tercinta & anak-anak tersayang.

Just wanna say thank you for making time to drop by at kafe 14 despite yr busy schedule here.

Take care.

Kak ton aka kak maria

IBU said...

Many happy returns!

Kak Teh said...

honeytar, memang nak pergi ke tok Li's tapi masa tak menginzinkan. nexttime, okay?

ahni, kek tu memanglah sedap! ada choklat pulak!

kak ton, i will go back again and have yr mee bandung. i was eyeing marina's bowl when she had hers but my tummy didnt permit me to have any that day. hope to see you

ibu, thank you.again. and thanks.