Monday, 2 February 2009

Wintry February

Awang Goneng the Snowman














Last night,
walking along Queensway, after a takeaway from Khan’s Restaurant, snow, big flakes of snow, cascaded from the darkened evening sky, transforming the area into a winter wonderland. This had been expected and I should have known better than to wear my long Cheongsam like dress to the MCA Chinese New Year do in Malaysia Hall, graced by our Minister of Information.

The cab taking us back skidded a few times and certain roads were already blanketed with snow. Cars drove past with icing tops, at slow speed taking heed of the warning by AA.

Children were already throwing snowballs and making snowmen by the roadside.

At home, the cats had already made themselves comfortable in front of the heaters and on carefully laid out duvets.














This morning, there was an air of excitement as we peered outside to see the neighbourhood under a blanket of snow, not seen before since God knows when. At 6 am, I received a text message about the closure of all campuses – so, no work today because of the snow. Children going to work and school checked transport online only to be informed that all bus services are suspended. Only three train lines are running. No minicab service whatsoever as the icy condition is dangerous for diriving.

So, everything stops when the snow drops.

I remember my first experience of snow in the winter of 1981. My sister and niece who were visiting were so excited that they took themselves to Kensington Gardens to take photographs. Coming back to the apartment, they got stuck in the lift and had to be rescued by five hefty men from the fire station.

While waiting for the arrival of the Minister yesterday, someone mentioned that it could have been a white Chinese New Year. It was really freezing the last few days. But of course, it never happened. During all of my 29 years here, I have never once seen a white Christmas, BUT a white hari raya, yes! It was the Hari raya of 1995, if I remember correctly. Malaysian students in their fine Hari Raya clothes, underneath heavy jackets and jumpers, queued up outside Malaysian restaurants offering free food, as heavy snowfall complete the picture of a Hari Raya experience abroad. It was such a wonderful sight, and the cold long wait outside was worth it for the piping hot soto and lodeh in places like Nahar cafeteria in Paddington.

It is certainly not a day to venture out. So, I am crawling back to the warmth and comfort of the duvet. May be later, just may be, we'll go out and throw snowballs at each other, and try to recapture those moments the way we used too. That is, if the old knees permit. We'll see.


70 comments:

zarina said...

Yes, I saw the snow while watching the Liverpool-Chelsea game. Hu hu - we won.

masterwordsmith said...

What a lovely post this is, Kak Teh!

Thank you.

cheers

Ms B said...

Kak Teh dear,

I am stuck at home. School is closed and the nanny can only come after 11am. I have so much to do at work but apparently some of my colleagues are still in bed. :D

GUiKP said...

My first experience of snow was during winter 1980. Our Pure Mathematics geriatric teacher, Mr. Thurston, was sribbling some fancy equations on the blackboard using white chalk. But the majority of the students, Malaysian of course, were not paying attention to him, which was rather unusual. Instead there were looking in the direction of the big window. I swear I exclaimed "MasyaAllah, banyaknya kapas berterbangan. Mana datang ni?". Jakun tak?

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...what a white morning too over here...snowing still since midnight...will expect the whole week snowing...;-)

Bustaman said...

I did notice some snowflakes flying across my screen during the Liverpool-Chelsea match last night.

Spring is late again.
Btw, did Wang AG attended the do? He would have a whale of a time speaking Terengganu to the Minister who is from Kemamang.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi Kak Teh,

You are right - there is never a white Christmas in the south of England. Snow normally falls end-Jan/Feb there. For once in my life, I did experience a snowy white Christmas last year in Turkey. The only things missing were Santa Claus and his team of reindeers! :-)

I have had enough of snow for the time being. Need another decade to recuperate from it. Enjoy, Kak Teh! Don't envy you at all! Hee..hee..hee..

Kak Teh said...

zarina, this morning is much colder and after peole have stepped on it - not beautiful anymore.

Paula, thanks.

Kak Teh said...

Ms B, our children are also treating this as holiday - rehana has to send report to HQ but still couldnt make it so she plans to walk to her friend's house and play snowball.

GUiKP, hehe - that is funny, Yes, I can imagine how you all longed to go out of the classroom insetad.

Kak Teh said...

danial, it must be beautiful in yr part of the world. pssst the children are planning to play in the snow - will post pictures.

Pok Ku, as usual, our awang was shy shy cat and I said to the minister, have you read GUiT and he said, yes, it was given to him by Toh Pn so and so. Then I introduced him to Awang Goneng and he said he was so proud to have met awang in person and in fact asked me to do a repeat of Jejak Awang Goneng.

MTT - i think, once in a while boleh tahan la this snow - but not all the time. Sejuuuuuuk!

MA & Brood said...

Aisehmen Kak Teh - why la tak snow last year?

Kak Teh said...

MA, i tak tau you nak snow, kalau tidak boleh I ambik sikit dari dalam freezer tu! dont tell me its been a year since you came?

lenzaidi said...

Kak Teh,
I watch Liverpool played Chelsea last night over ESPN and my eyes darted on the white flakes on the screen before the players.I know its snowflaking in London now.

That remind me of my Lufbra days in Leics.After the 25th of dec, 1986, my flatmate commented there wont be white christmas to celebrate. That night our flat made weird noises (roof made cracking noises), again another flatmate said that this is the time drifters would go for food hunting in the kitchen.She was told not to harm him/her as they would leave you in peace.Gullible as i was i went straight to bed, not wanting to meet and do with the drifters.
The next day, the 26th of dec, i saw snowflakes falling to the ground. Thats the first time i saw snow.Macam kapas berterbangan ;-). Sungguh lah cantik,saya amat terharu dan bersyukur dengan rahmatnya.

I know kak Teh has a lot to tell us.Ceta lah lagi Kak teh.

Kak Teh said...

Lenzaidi, yes, the first impression - it was just like big kapas floating through the air, out of nowhere. Just now making the snowman, I couldnt help thinking how like ais kepal it is.

Aaah, let me dredge up something from the old memory bank and see if i can find some enchanting stories to warm the hearts of my readers.

MA & Brood said...

Oh yes one year (almost) oredi. Remember that "hellooo darlingggg? Guess where I am nowww? I am in Landennnn..." orang tua Melayu at the lobby? Yup it was Valentine's day alright.

Haha...

Kak Teh said...

MA, I was thinking abt that story last night - read NST next thursday - I mentioned it. one year?? ish cepatnya masa berlalu.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...love the awang goneng snow man...cute with sarong & songkok...and so posh with necktie too...hahahaha...

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...and a little secret...i still keep a tiny snowball from last year snow in my frezer...;-)

Life for Beginners said...

I would love some snow right now... KL is alternatingly hot and humid and wet... urgles.

Winter fever, no? :P

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Siapa kucing Kak Teh yg dlm salji tu, kata Pak Malim sambil menggaru kutu. Comel, kata Pak Malim sambil mengomel. Dia tak rasa sejuk sangat kot, sebab dah siang2 pakai kot bulu, kata Pak Malim sambil mengunyah kuih bahulu.

Kak Teh said...

Pak MAlim, kucing ray yang alim,
Itulah Tabby nama jejaka kak teh, puji kak teh sambil berceloteh. Walaupun sejuk dia terpaksa keluar, cerita kak teh sambil memakai seluar, sebab dia mendapat panggilan nature, terang kak teh sambil mengatur furniture. Selepas membuat kerja dalam salji, dia pun melenggang lenggok balik dengan leganya, sambung kak teh sambil memakai bedak nyonya.

Apakah Pak Malim berkenan, tanya kak teh penuh perasaan.

Kak Teh said...

Kenny, yes, so I heard that KL is blistering hot. Such is the unbalance in world climate condition. Extremely hot and extremely cold. Wait for it, am throwing you a snow ball!!

Kak Teh said...

Danial, you keep a snowball from last year? wow! keep another one from this year!

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh,

Nak snowwww tu!! Beautiful, very beautiful when the surrounding is all white kan.

Enjoy the chilling Kak Teh :)

Lyana Mauseth said...

i paling suka snowman awang goneng tu:D very unik la kak teh...

happy to see that it is white there too..here dah seminggu lebih jugak tak snowing, but still gigit tulang...

over there, kalau snowing semua tutup ke? oh alangkah indahnya dunia..sini datang le ribut angin 8 petala langit pun, xdak cuti kak teh...sungguh stress!

bangkai said...

kak teh

I hate it when you write about London in this way :-) It reminds me of how much I miss the life I once had there. Of course, there were good times - and there were bad times. But when you write like this, I miss them all!

Yes, I remember the snow we had in London in '81. It snowed maybe one other winter while I was there. But as afar as I'm concerned, I miss the all - sludge or no sludge.

Thanks, Kak Teh. Thanks for rekindling a flame that I thought had died long ago.

mamasita said...

Teruk betul snowing kat UK tahun ni ye..
My son baru je send some pictures of the heavy snowfall in Liverpool.Take care ye..

Kak Teh said...

Lyana, the men in the house tak sporting langsung - semuanya tak tahan sejuk tak nak keluar buat snowman. So, the three of us girls did it. Even the cats stayed indoors. Tabby saja yang keluar untuk kencing.
Di sini snow sikit pun,apa benda pun tak jalan. That is efficiency or NOT for you. So, we stayed in. Tapi kelaparan - nak kena keluar juga cari makanan nak masak. Kucing pun lapar.

Snowman Awang Goneng nampaknya masih bertahan di luar - sarung dia dah agak keras sikit! hehe!

Kak Teh said...

Bangkai, we all have good times and bad times - and they are buried in there waiting for something to trigger the flame of memory. Datang la sini, kak teh belanjakan teh tarek and take you by the hand and reintroduce you to the streets of LOndon, if you promise to do a Ralph McTell for me.

Kak Teh said...

Mamasita, memang teruklah.jarang jadi macam ni. Nak jalan kat luar pun takut sebab licin. I dah pernah jatuh. Sekarang ni pun, snow masih turun.

D said...

Auwww... Awang Goneng the snowman is adorable!! The kids just made a few 'babies' in the garden, so I beckoned them to see your version!

Kak Teh said...

D, I hope no one comes and knock the head off. It was quite painful collecting and rolling the snow with bare hands. Show us your baby snow!

svllee said...

Hi kak, sounds like you had fun too eh?! Like the snowman in sarong.

Nor Azlina said...

Hello Kak Teh

I sungguh admire pada your snowman tu...tadi pagi pun..my neighbour dok bagitahu yang sekolah tutup for today and tommorrow....tak sangka ada juga snowman melayu kat london ..ye..ye memang best betul....anak2 pun ambik kesempatan main snow fight dengan anak2 neighbour.....dengan se kecik sekali...tak padan tangan dah kecut kesejuk kan.....

Salt N Turmeric said...

Kak Teh, that pic of snowman pakai kain pelikat and songkok cracks me up! lol.

My 1st experience seeing snow falls was in PA in 04. That time we had this frog thingy that he put outside the house and every now and then Id check out to see where the snow level is at and report it to him. As if he cares lah but it was amusing to him to see me like that. hehe.

captcalicojack said...

Salam Kak Teh,

saw the storm on tv. wanted to know if you're safe and ok. apparently you are :)

SkyJuice said...

Thanks for sharing, Kak Teh. I don't miss the snow (or lack of it), but I do miss England *sigh* Was a student in southern England from 1997 - 1999. Revisited the UK in 2005, and hoping for another visit after I complete my MSc in a couple of years, insya-Allah.

Take care and stay warm. God bless.

A.

Pi Bani said...

Haha! Bukan selalu dapat tengok snowman Melayu - siap pakai kain kain pelekat and songkok lagi. Idak ke nak buat snowwoman Melayu pulak? Berkemban pakai kain batik... hehehe...

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Kak Teh - I concur with Mat B..I hate it too. Why are you doing this to us?? hehehe..

Tu AG's snowman is such a cute fella. I think I can smell kropok leko and budu emanating from it.. :)

Kak Elle said...

cute nya snowman berkain pelekat dan bersongkok:)

nak main snowwwwwwww

Kak Teh said...

Steven, am sure you have some nice pix - sharelah!

Nor Azlina, haha - he must be the only Malay Snowman around! Kak teh nak bagi dia pakai baju batik - tapi tak nampaklah dia tu snowman.
Ya, schools are closing fora second day. The roads are getting to be very slippery.

Kak Teh said...

Farina, hahaha, yes, we have different reactions to our first sight of snow. I love it when we are indoors and watching the snowfall. It is so beautiful, tapi selepas dua tiga hari, dah jadi becak and kotor.

captcalicojack, thanks for asking, Yes, we are fine, although we were so unprepared that we didnt stock food. No cat! that's a disaster - the car couldnt start. So the husband had to trudge in the snow to get some cat food and stock the fridge for a few days. The road is quite slippery.

Kak Teh said...

SkyJuice, thanks for visiting and how exciting that you are doing your MSC. I think once a year snow is not bad - at least for capturing the moment on camera. If not, the inconvenience it brings - no transport, no school. UK is so unprepared.

Pi Bani, hehe - snowwoman berkemban? Nanti nak usahakan.

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, actually, AG and the boys were so tak sporting - they were indoors - with Tabby on his lap. Then, he goreng keropok for us. So, you are quuite right about bau keropok.

Kak Elle, you must have seen so much snow recently to last you a lifetime. Snowfall in America is much heavier, I think.

wahaza extra said...

Kak Teh, Hari Raya in snow - that's like so cool! I think world climate is totally screw up nowadays - we get so hot in the morning and so wet in the afternoon - I hope we won't get snow soon in KL - if it's happening soon would be a great headlines...

isabelle said...

ohh kakteh...
how i envy reading ur writing about the snow!
rasa mcm gatal sgt kaki ni nak jejak ke sana.
but am afraid if i cant stand the cold weather. even the winter in brisbane i found cold enuff for me.

apparently, the fats i ate do not provide insulation for me. instead, it's skyrocketing my cholesterol level :P

JBingkasan said...

Kak Teh & Wan,

The snow was not that `bad' when I was in Bayswater. Why lah? My family and I would have not complained. There was snow but not that you are having now.

Anyway, Salam to all over there.

Kak Teh said...

wahaza xtra, yes, i think so too. It was so exciting - and at that timeI was filming for one tv company - it really made an extra impact - with students shouting selamat hari raya in their colourful clothes with the snow falling all around.

isabelle, you are so thin! You need to fatten up so that you can stand the cold. When I came i was thin, then of course - i ate a lot and fattened myself up for the weather! haha, now i am totally protected with those layers of fats around my waist...what an excuse.

Kak Teh said...

Mr Bingkasan, hehe, if i remember well, you would have weathered the snow here cos you kept yourself well insulated. Yes, it hardly snowed in London, not like this...it seems that this is the heaviest in 18 years! I remember when the serpentine was frozen and people went out to skate.

But , remind me, when we were in Berlin, did it snow? It seems like so long ago when we were having so much fun there - hehe, especially you!

NanaDJ said...

Kak Teh,
Cutenya AG the snow man! Saw the news on CNN and BBC about snow in London and Paris... so beautiful!feel like flying there right now but Airport may be closed.
Can't decide on flying to London via MAS using Enrich points (plus RM1500) or take other airlines, pay less and use points for trips elsewhere. Tengah Great Debate at home. Must go before cucu number two arrive in September, insya allah. How about it Pak Malim? Will keep you posted.
Salam

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ,
The snow is only beautiful on the first day. Selepas dipijak and cair, dah jadi a nuisance, kan? Yes, flights cancelled, and bus service suspended. Today London is crawling back to work.

whatever way you are coming, let me know - will have a blast here, ok?

Justiffa said...

KT - nak pinjam la awang the snowman tu.. cute sangat :)

i love the snow but its the cold winds that's hard to bear, the kind that curls up ur spine & chills u to ur very bones.

Go dive under the duvet go hehehe!!

Mama Rock said...

i've always had white christmas during my student days and raya was always in the summer.
dont mind having one now :)
btw, the AG snowman - kain tu ikat kuat tak? karang terbang ditiup angin pulak ..hehehe

zaitgha said...

i dont like winter ...but once in awhile nak ambik gambar tuh ok lah...and luckily i was in southern part of the States last time so hardly snowing during winter but only one time...i think in '83 or '84 even the locals were like crazy when the kapas2 turun in Houston he he....

nostalgic la posting u ni kak Teh....thanks for sharing

Kak Teh said...

Justiffa, the first daya was really great. After gathering enough courage and after layers and layers of hubby's jumpers, I ventured outside and had snowball fights with the girls. Then we made the Awang Goneng tha snowman. Beku tangan. Masuk dalam rumah hubby goreng keropok - so a cosy keropok and teh session infront of TV. Puas dah main snow.

Kak Teh said...

zaitgha, memang snow ni a photo opportunity. There's nothing else for it. After the snow, all the sluch and black ice can cause a lot of chaos. Britain is just crawling back to work - even then, people are laughing because it is so unprepared for this kind of snow. Negara lain tak heran pun with this much snow.

Kak Teh said...

Mama Rock, kain pelikat Awang tu dah terlondeh!!! The sun shone yesterday and of course the head went off first and then by afternoon, the sarong came down. what a sight!

cindai lela said...

Salam Kak Teh, apa khabar? Cindailela kini kembali ke tanahair tercinta for good. Indahnya Malaysia!!!

Harap2 dapat melawat UK lagi summer nanti...loni tak nak...sejok dah tak tahan..tua dah!!!!

Which part of UK Kak Teh tinggal?


Regards -Cindailela

The Ceramic Designer said...

hi hi kakteh..!!!
i missed being part of your mamamia/hairsparay commentaries, so here i am!! now thinking i should gather all my aussie-galfrens for another gathering again very soon..

stay warm kak..

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Teh

Aaahhhh... the Awang Goneng snowman is so cute. Bet the real Awang Goneng never dressed up like that in the snow, eh.

Read in the newapapers yesterday too on how the snow has halted the transportation system in London. The beauty of rupanya most people can stay in the comfort of their warm home.

The first and so far the last time I played snow was clad in jubah and long jacket in Tehran 5 years back. It was beautiful.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Kalau buat snowoman berkemban, jgn lupa letak gincu ye Kak Teh? lol.

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear Kak Teh,

I tergelak kuat-kuat bila tgk pic Awang Goneng the Snowman...creative la...hahahhahaha..

I heard the winter this time around is pretty bad since 18 years..please take care.

Kesian nanti bila nak abih winter, Awang Goneng sure melt. Well, at least dia dah merasa jadik snowman yang unik, as mana ada snowman dalam dunia ni yg pakai kain pelikat and songkot?

Kak Teh said...

Salam Cindailela, oh rupanya dah balik. Kak teh nampak lamanya tak update blog - busy rupanya. Salji dah mula cair tapi masih sejuk laa. Pemandangan pun tak lah elok sangat sekarang - malah kotor sikit.

Kak Teh di west London. Nak datang ke?

Ceramic Designer, I know you are a busy woman, so no worries, the blog is here and drop by when you have time. Kak Teh pun terbusy sikit these few days. I think this is due to putting aside work, which I thought could wait. and then,suddenly dah berlambak and everything is suddenly URGENT.

Kak Teh said...

TM, playing in the snow in jubbah and jacket? That must be something! Hahaha, but i bet underneath you must have layers and layers of long johns or stockings. The thing abt the cold is that you dont realise the severity and the effect until much later - chillblains can be very painful.

Farina, hehe, nak letak gincu kena guna cili merah yang besar tu! Yesterday kain pelikat snowman dah terlondeh!

Kak Teh said...

Ida, it was actually at the spur of the moment that I thought we shld make a snowman. And i wasnt quite well too, but teringin punya pasal, all of us ventured out - my daughter rolled down big chunks of snow - big enough for the body, tangan dah merah2. and beku. I found an old kain pelikat - and an old tie .

Alas, the head when first at the first ray of sunshine.

Argus Lou said...

Haha, love your Awang Goneng snowman and your cat (face is so round and pretty).

Kak Teh said...

Argus, I thought if we have one heavy snowfall in 19 years, so make the most of it - thus the awang goneng snowman. And Tabby only ventured out because he needed to answer the call of nature - which was really good of him, Even when it was cold, he did it outside.

Oldstock said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Lama jugak dah singgah di sini. Hope the cold weather is not affecting you too much.

Got news about the snowfall in London from my eldest son who is there now on his term break. He's staying at his uncle's place (my youngest brother), somewhere in the south part of the city... the name of the place always escapes me, heheheh.

As for me, having previously experienced the big freeze in 81/82, I've had enough of winter. I don't work to well when the weather becomes cold.

Enjoy the snowball fight :-)

Kak Teh said...

Oldstock, so your son is here? Then you have to visit him and we can have a teh tarik or two.

Yes, we survived the cold. One thing we didnt do was stock up - and so when the car refused to budge, my husband had to make treks along the slippery road to get catfood. Well, driving would have been dangerous too.

FunTooSurf (Main Blog) said...

When I see the snow, I will remember my time in Coventry 93-96...