Sunday, 2 December 2007

Random thoughts ala JT

JT of Jacqui’s Curve has given me an idea on how to update my blog. She doesn't know what to blog about but has filled an entire blog with all sorts of interesting stories. Now, I will try to do the same.

I don't know what to blog about. Do I write about my trip to Manchester to watch Manchester United play Blackburn Rovers? I can’t write about the game because I just do not understand football. I can’t tell a corner kick from a penalty kick. I am more of a board game person, letting my fingers and mind do the exercise. Games like Scrabble. However, that wasn’t my first time at the famous Old Trafford. The first time was in August to see Manchester United play Inter Milan. And it was with my Taufiq, a diehard Barcelona fan who wouldn't be seen dead at the Old Trafford but for the love of his mama, he accompanied me on what must have been a mission to bond.

The whole stadium was a sea of red. Taufiq had briefed me earlier, “Never,” he warned, “never clap or cheer if Inter Milan scored," he said looking worried. He gave me some tips and grunted a few answers to some silly questions and by half time, I was able to oooh and aaaah at the right moment. But just as Taufiq was gaining confidence in my knowledge of football, I asked, “Isn’t Mark Owen playing today?”

(Oh yes, the day before at the Man Utd training ground, I saw Taufiq talking to someone vaguely familiar – It was Sir Bobby Charlton. Taufiq was worried that I might address him as Fergie. As if!!)

Suffice to say, even though Man Utd lost to a thunderous groan reverberating around the stadium, the fans were well behaved and I was even treated to a streaker running across the field at half time.

But no such luck at the Man Utd vs Blackburn Rovers match. However I had the advantage of sitting in the media box with a radio commentator right behind me and so I knew what was going on.

Fancy a trip on the Eurostar to Paris?

To those contemplating going to Paris on the Eurostar, you’d be glad to know that the Eurostar journey to Paris now starts at St Pancras International and the time taken to get there is now shorter by 20 minutes.

I went to Paris five days after the new spanking station was launched by the Queen and although I wasn’t very impressed by the new station which I thought was cold and unfriendly, with no seats or cash machines, I was quite impressed by the service on the train. Before our tea went cold, we were already at Ashford International. But because of the speed, we walked from the buffet bar back to our seats like sailors on a rough sea.

If my last visit to Paris was in autumn with its fascinating dashes of colour, this time Paris was wet and NOT MOVING!!! Paris was on strike.

Let’s see what else has been happening in my life...

Preeta Samarasan

Oh, I met the delightful Preeta Samarasan whose first novel "Evening is The Whole Day" will come out in the US of A in May!! This is how it has been described, so look out for it when it hits the bookshops.

“A MAGICAL, EXUBERANT tragic-comic vision of postcolonial Malaysia reminiscent of Rushdie and Roy. In prose of acrobatic grace, Samarasan conjures a vibrant portrait, by turns intimate and sweeping, of characters and a country coming of age. The début of a significant, and thrilling, new talent.” Peter Ho Davies, Man Booker Prize-longlisted author of The Welsh Girl (2007).

Writers, first time or many times over, fascinate me. I love to hear about how they work a certain idea to produce a book, how they find a suitable title. I mean, do you find the title first and work your plots and storyline or do you write first and find a title. You see, silly things like this stops me from producing my opus...if ever there is one.

Preeta now lives in France with her husband Rob. While in America, she gave up pursuing her PhD in Musicology to write. And I’d say its a good career move. Sometimes you just have to be brave and then make the sacrifice to do the things you love.

A bit of a weep

Yesterday, I had a bit of a weep -right there smack in the middle of the Christmas rush in Oxford Street. He hugged me and said goodbye and I walked quickly away not wanting him to see the tears. The rain helped.

I thought when he told me he was leaving, it was another joke. When I realised teh seriousness of it all, I thought I’d throw my tantrums and pray to God like I did the last time, until his plans failed. But this time, I thought it is best to let him go. I didn't cry when he slung his guitar across his shoulders and got into the taxi. I didn’t cry when he told me he needed a kuali. I even gave him my mee bandung recipe. But yesterday, watching him choose his cooking pot at M&S, the dam burst. My first born has flown the nest. See you in Facebook, sayangmama!

Oh dear.

GUiT News

Two days ago, I was woken up by the familiar tone of the sms – the message said: Minister wants to buy 100 copies of GUiT! Couldn’t believe my eyes and quickly guit-up eh, got up and woke the GuiTer to show him the message.

I think we have been selling more here than the bookshops in Malaysia. In the manner of our sastrawan negara , Dato A Samad Said, who carries his books in his rucksack, Awang Goneng has been doing the same, taking them to bookshops across London. And lo and behold, GUiT is now available at two London Bookshops – and I can bet they are not stacked in the lower shelves! They are available in London at Stanfords, the travel bookshop in Long Acre, Covent Garden and from Probsthain's @ Great Russell St., WC1 (opp. the British Museum; and at their branch in the Brunei Gallery, SOAS (London University).

There’s a publishers' launch of GUiT in Singapore next week (Singapore Writer's Festival) on 7th December at Arts House. So, if you are just across the causeway do come and join us. Yes, we are going back. Then we will head back to Kuala Lumpur for I understand Awang Goneng has a few appointments for booktalks at various universities. Otherwise, we will be downing teh tarek somewhere in between prawn noodles at Little Penang.

Latest GUiT news from En Karim of ALAM AKADEMI in Kuala Terengganu:

GUiT is now available at ALAM AKADEMIK (Keda Pok Loh Yunang) Kuala Terengganu - depan Pasar Keda Payang - yes the same old location.

For those in KL, FREE DELIVERY service is provided [will try a next-business-day delivery] C.O.D RM39.90 *LIMITED TIME OFFER* {lepah ni mungking nok kena cah se-riyal dua pulok - kalu nok beli sendiri parking & tol doh berapa!}

sms/call - 019-3199788

Mentions of GUiT at:
* Tunku Halim
* NZ in NZ * MHI
* Pok Ku
* Ubi Setela
*Lydia Teh *Lifeinside *KC * Eric Forbes
* Berita Harian * Ena Samad * Elviza *Sharon Bakar *Blooking Central *Anak Alam
*hicsuntdracones *Bin Gregory *Victoria Institute Website *Atok *Knizam
*Ms Istanbul *Pak Adib *Athene * Nazrah
* Wonda


ManaL said...

Which various universities would that be? pray tell more exciting news esp on the GUIT book tour-launching/etc promo trip.

Was it just u n taufiq and nobody else watching the footie at the old trafford? What a mother would do to spend a quality time with her boy eh....

Anonymous said...

Hi Kak Teh.
Been following your blog (and your NST column too) but never left any comment before.
Bought GUIT last week and that is one book which I can excuse the small writtings because I do not want it to end. Really enjoyed it.
You should come up with a book too you know. Wish I can write as well as you, AG, Amir Muhd etc...sigh!

Kak Teh said...

manal, i will let you know when we have dates and venues. You know where to find me, kan?

and it was actually I who forced Taufiq to watch the game with me. He would rather sit in the hotel and watch TV. But I got two free tickets from Nike. And the second match I was invited because of something else - another event. And i dont even enjoy football! But yes, quality time with my boy.

arina, thank you. You know, I need glasses with more power to read GUiT. I think the publishers were trying to save space. As for my book - aiseh man...entahlah bila. Thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

I am most flattered that you found me delightful :-) . It was such fun meeting you and we'll be eterntally indebted to you and Hulaimi for introducing us to Malaysia Hall -- what a marvellous place! You've no idea how amazing it was to two people who live far away from even pale imitations of Malaysian food. Do keep in touch!

Kak Teh said...

preeta!!! its you!!!! yes, you are delightful and thank you to Rob too for the company. I wish we had more time. Cant wait to get your book!

D said...

Oh, wow - Kak Teh... you managed to squeeze in a post (esp of random thoughts!) before flying off!! ThAnK YoU sO mUcH for GUiT. Unfortunately (in a different sense), I've been getting so many visitors this weekend that I havent been able to enjoy much of GUiT. AM NOT SLEEPING TONIGHT! *giggle*
Enjoy Malaysia with AG and all the lucky bloggers you're meeting!

wonda said...

Wow! You have so much to write about. Happy that there is a demand for GUit. Hey, Mrs. AG, it will be a double blessing if yours roll off the print too.

J.T. said...

Hi Kak Teh

Thanks for the mention. I am honoured, to say the least.

Just like you, I do not understand football. Well, actually I have forgotten the rules of the game. When I followed the matches during the last World Cup, some 'teachings' were coming back to me but the minute the season was over, everything crumbled and melted like a sugee biscuit in the mouth. :)

I will keep a look out for Preeta Samarasan's book, "Evening is The Whole Day" due out in May - in the States. yeay! All the best to her.

Congratulations on the success of GUiT. This is only the beginning. Book tours, launches, promotional trips, etc. will definitely take it further.

Pi Bani said...

That was one hell of a "I don't know what to blog about" posting! As I said to JT, it's just like when my mom says she doesn't know what to cook today, we'd end up getting more food on the table...

Mama Rock said...

whoa! this is a long random thought :)
anyway, since you will be back here, I will get a copy of the GUIT when the author's in town to get it signed ya :)

Budok DG... said...

Hi Kak teh,

Really intrested with GUiT bcoz I come from Ganu.. Before this i dont know anything about you or Mr AG..but luckily i read berita harian last week, so I realize about it..

i think that book will inspire me a lot..can't wait to buy a copy..

proud with both of u..Congrat..

Anonymous said...

kalau Sir datang ke tempat kerja saya yg baru ni, sure saya pi usyarr dia. (crossing my fingers, harap2 jgn ada last minute meetings when he's at the campus)

p/s: usyarr is penangspeak, nothing close to goneng ok

Kak Elle said...

kakteh hope to see you in sg on call me and I guess you still have my mobile rite?

Yes I will get a copy of GUIT will it be on sale during the festival?

Anonymous said...

Dear Kak Teh,

I found it difficult to balance my equilibrium after reading this post of yours (not to mention, after waiting for it a tad toooo long!). Memories of the past came flooding... I once braved Paris in winter... sejokkk sunggoh!!

I said it all in my blog about GUiT, then TH came around with his review and I was like dang! Why cant I say it like him??

Anyway, here s a hug for you for letting your son go. I shudder thinking about the possiblity of Luqman leaving me in the future.

I even contemplate to buy the house next to mine for him to stay with his future wife: an idea of which send my husband barking at me "leave him alone, he s two years old for god sake!"

Well, you know man will always be man...

jaflam said...

KT, it’s sweet of you to accompany Taufiq to Old Trafford despite your little inkling on football. Kasih Ibu seluas Lautan Pasifik, setinggi Himalaya, sejauh Saujana mata memandang.

I see tears in your eyes letting him go... and your heart singing .... baby don't go ... how am I going to live the day without you.....

No lah KT you are strong enough for all that ... your boy is now a fine young man. By the way I got my GUITs from KLCC.... great book from Wan.


Salam Kak Teh,

Wow, great success on GUIT.
Is sayang mama furthering his studies?where to?
Its heart wrenching, eh?
Eh, you're coming to town?Harap ada rezki to meet up with u together with Nad....

NaNa said...

Kak Teh,

It amazes me how you managed to put such an interesting post by just thinking randomly.

By the way, I managed to get a copy of GUIT. can't resist getting one after reading all the reviews.

Kenny Mah said...

Just wanted to drop by after being away for a bit... so happy to hear GUiT is in print now! Congratulations!

As for your earlier passage about what to write about, isn't that every writer's worry? But we all get over it somehow, and get them words out there, don't we? :)

kina said...

aduuuh la Kak Teh,

Sungguh lama menunggu nih!

Good to hear that you are out and about! I will keep an eye on the book, just in case can get a signature of AG himself, I'm not from Ganu, nevertheless.

Keep us posted when you are back in town

Typhoon Sue said...

what will happen if u call him fergie? :-)

I haven't read GUIT yet. Will come to it I'm sure. Can't finish a book as fast as i used to these days. at the moment i have 3 books i haven't finished reading, all of which i've read partly, so the contents may be a bit jumbled up in my head and i'd have a bit of difficulty identifying which point or which story is from which book.

hope to finish all 3 properly before i embark on GUIT. that way, there'll be no confusion on my part :-)

Mior Azhar said...

Kak Teh,
Tak de book signing session ka kat KL? If ada do let us know... a few blogger friends and I are reserving our day just for that. Sudah selamat sampai? Alhamdulillah.

nyonyapenang said...

Random thoughts sure make interesting and heart-warming reads.

Will get that copy of GUiT too and will sms/call the number given if i need help.

You and AW have a most pleasant book-tour/launching.....:)

Kak Teh said...

D, the thing abt GUiT is that you vcan open one short chapter at a time - no need to sit for hrs to enjoy it.and you can pick up anywhere after a break. Enjoy it!

wonda - abt my book - well - you'll be among the first to know. You are such a support!

JT, i have not stopped eating ! and two weddings to go to...yes, we will have a nice time - this will be the first holiday tigether after a long time.

Kak Teh said...

pi bani, how true! My mother used to say that - tak tau apa nak masak - but after that- -penuh meja!

mama rock, i expect to see you with one copy of GUiT at our favourite place at KLCC - then be prepared to answer questions...hehe!

budok dg, i hope when you do get the book, you will enjoy it. To me , it is most important that trengganu people enjoy the book and appreciate the work that has gone into it.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Teh,

You are even longer than JT! Wahlau...I can't write like this...I will terpesong and merepek until every Ali, Ah Chong and Arumugam will want to throw raw, rotten eggs at me, and then throw some rotten tomatoes too!


Kak Teh said...

atn, of course i know what usyar is - well - learnt abt it from some one. Yap - wld be nice to meet up with you.

kak elle - yes, of course will see you there - i have yr number - and you can get the book there. thanks.elviza, you have said it your way and tunku has said it his way - and like other wonderful review of GUiT - we appreciate that very much. My husband is man of few words - so I have to say it for him.
You know its funny - when our eldest was moving out, my husband quietly suggested that we built an extension to the house. Oh, that would so defeat the purpose!

Kak Teh said...

Jaflam, no matter how old they are, its still difficult. Am sitting here - thousand of miles away from them and I am missing them so much. I hope they can join us soon.

pu1pu3, no sayang mama wants his own space - yes, will let u know when we can meet up. Will buzz nad!

nana, tahnk you for your support! Where did you get your copy? I went to MPH Midvalley and they had one copy hidden somewhere among other books. Will have to see the distributor abt this.

Kak Teh said...

kenny, I know that when you disappear for a while from blogosphere, you have something else up your sleeves.Will you be going to the sing writers' fest?

kina, i am back and my husband will be back tomorrow insyaallah. Yes, of course you can get a signature. Will let you know where we are.

sue, if i had called him fergie, my son would have fainted there and then! Yes, do read GUiT and enjoy it.

Kak Teh said...

mior - ada!!!!! nanti kak teh habark!

Nyonya, do call that number and soon i will give another number to call. Thanks for the support.

Daphe darling, merapuing is my middlename! sorry nyonya penang.

Theta said...

Board games? My cup of tea too! But I'm such a novice at Scrabble. Snakes and Ladders more up my alley. Haha.

By the by, kuali, guitar and recipes? Your son sounds like an all-rounder! ;)

Anyhow, hope to see you in KL for the launch soon! :)

Anonymous said...

kak teh,

when would you and husband, AG be in kl? wld like to hear the talk (or is it solely signing session?) @ a local uni - wld um or uitm (shah alam campus) be one of them? i saw some promotion abt AG's book - can't recall whether it was MPH's 'Quill' or another mag. hope to get a copy soon.


ps. would you know how to contact our famous dato' lat?

Kak Teh said...

Theta, you a novice at scrabble? You were born with the dictionary for scrabble in your hands!!!
yes, he bought kuali, pot and made mee bandung, which he claimed was quite a success.

kaklong, we are back here. and i;ve had my fair share of durian. We will certainly announce any book signings or talks. watch this space.
As for Dato Lat...aaah, I wish I am his PRO.

jaflam said...

KT, since you and AG will be in KL and all your cyber friends here a dying to meet you ... including me. I would like to propose that you & AG have a special session for us at KinoK Bookshop,Coffee shop KLCC, let say about 4 pm on Sunday or other time suitable to you. I am happy to sponsor the meeting as a mark of my support & friendship to both of you. After all we have not met for over 15 yrs now. You can get me at 012-3021029 and appreciate your kind consideration. Salam.

NorAiniJ said...

Salam Kak Teh,

If this is what you call a random thot entry, I wonder what it would be like reading "Growing Up (dont wanna use Old..hehe) in London" some day.

On GUIT, I have been touring Kino/MPH in KLCC a few times, still no luck in getting hold of it. So I have to be contented reading Kecek-Kecek only for now.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...
can understand your feeling of letting go your son, just like my late mom when i have to move out and live alone in the foreign land...i know deep inside her, she felt really difficult to part with her son, and i made every effort to be in contact with her frequently...and the love of mom will never be ceased away and i ove her dearly until the last of her day...

well, hope that i can get a copy of GUIT in newcastle but i don't think so will be able to get over here...have a great trip to singapore and kl...

Unknown said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Welcome back to Malaysia dear. Looking forward to meeting up with you and gang.

Gosh! To think that you started off with no idea as to what to blog, now you left me not knowing which aspect I wanna comment. Banyaaaak nya Kak Teh dah compose here..ha ha.

Ahh..sayangmama has flown the nest! Yes, that happens eventually to all mothers. But it is a good sign, that our life has progressed positively. Two of my sons have flown the nest too. Its ok. We do wonderful dates together still, movies, Chilli's, San Francisco lattes..nice long list.

Kak Teh, me too I wanna a signed copy from AG soon. Then I will share my take on it too, maybe after our get together. See you soon insy.

Unknown said...


I have met yer hubby and your son kat silat lesson.... my docu pasal silat dah siap asalnya tak melayu hilang di London sudah masuk detour tukr cerita tukar tajuk jadi The Pathfinders... my 1st film kt london dh bole preview

komen laaa berita terbaru pasal my docu kt kasi laa komen budak baru belajar...


UglyButAdorable said...

salam kak teh...

do drop by at the hotel if you're around the corner...

Ordinary Superhero said...

Kak Teh, I enjoy reading this rojak entry especially the ManU stories. Your boy met Sir Bobby Charlton, oi bestnye. And why didn't I see the streaker on my TV?

AuntyN said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Apa habaq? Haven't been around blogs lately. Rindu dengan Kak Teh dan yang lain-lain jugak.

Take care.

Arena said...


Kak teh,
Bila nak balik tu? Anyways, safe trip, and I bet you'll both have fun, on the promo trip. Nanti arena nak pi sana tau. The last time I went to London, kita selisih kapal terbang, hehehe sebab kak teh balik KL.

Take care ya.

lifeinside said...

Where did your son go?

Anonymous said...

alamak Kak Teh.. En Karim tu tokey keda Pok Loh Yunang ker... saya tadik jumpa dia time beli GUIT...kui..kui..kui...tak baca bebetul sebb dok asik salin phone no utk beli GUIT tu..

anyway, can't wait to read GUIT..


svllee said...

Hi Kak, Here's wishing you both a very Happy Anniversary! Enjoy KL (if you are still there) It SO cold here in Ldn.

Faten Rafie said...


tak mai Penang ka? Kalau mai, boleh kita jamu kari kepala ikan :)

Niway, gimme a holler if you happen to be up north. Love to get my copy of GUiT signed & paw-printed!

Kak Teh said...

thank you all for the comments - will be back to answer them.

tokasid said...

Salam Kak Teh:

Happy (Belated) 28th Annivesary to KT and AG.

Too bad I wasn't around to join the others meeting AG and KT at Koni.
But reading their entries and looking at the pics, was just like being there in person.

Chet said...

Kak Teh - I read on Lydia Teh's blog that you asked about tracking GUIT's sales in Popular's best-sellers' list. There's a Popular outlet near where I live which has the top 10 fiction and non-fiction lists on display, so I'll be more than happy to track the sales for you. I also live near a Borders outlet, and can take a picture when GUIT gets on the best-sellers' list there. I have also taken a picture of the book on display, but haven't put it up on my blog yet. I'll do it soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kak Teh,

I am one of your blog's silent readers. Was just wondering how I could get hold of it and was thrilled when I read that Stanfords is selling GUIT. Will definitely get it this weekend...just hoping that it doesn't run out of stock yet!