Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back To Gardening

Do you still remember the last time Pak Zawi did some gardening in this area? The area was turning into a productive vegetable plot when together with another neighbor we cleared the area of shrubs and grasses and tilled the soil to plant various vegetables. We had to stop the gardening because the landowner came with a team of surveyors as he wanted to build his house then.
Now it has been several months and no sight of any building activity and the area is covered with shrubs and mimosa which we fear may harbour dangerous snakes and other pests such as rats.
The need to exercise is another reason why Pak Zawi wants to go back to gardening. It doesn't matter if I don't get to harvest anything, the strenuous work of clearing the place of the luxurious growth of mimosa plants and other weeds will be good exercise for Pak Zawi. A blogger friend who lives on the Island of Pulau Kapas has been given me great advice on diets and all the rigeurs on how to keep fit. Exercise is the most important he said. I must sweat it out beside taking healthy food, food supplements and whatnot. he said I will paint better if I am in the best of health as a healthy mind is only found in a healthy body. thank you Tokuban of The Captain's Longhouse or the Pirate of The South China Sea as he sometimes called himself.
The best way to sweat it out is by gardening. So here I am, doing it again on a piece of idle land in front of my house. If time permits I may get to harvest the fruit of my labour, otherwise I will just enjoy sweating it out and at the same time keep the area free of unwanted weeds.

Hard at work using the brush cutter.

Tried an an experiment to see whether machines can work on there own. The conclusion: Machines need humans to get it working. Only that machines help to make the work done faster with less effort.

how the area looked after a short workout.

How the area looks after another evening of clearing away the grasses and shrubs and use of the changkul to clean weed the grasses.
Today Pak Zawi bought some vegetable seeds comprising of kangkong, bayam, sawi, choy sam, ladies fingers and sweet corns. The idea is to start planting on a small patch at a time without waiting for the whole area to be cleared up. This way I hope to be able to harvest early those vegetables that will be planted earlier.
So about 4 weeks from now I will be harvesting some early crop of kangkong or bayam. It doesn't matter if they are not matured enough, they younger they are, the better.
A few days ago, my former teacher by the name of Chegu Rahman Ali came over to Kelantan to join a dinner hosted by the former students of Upper Six and Lower Six Arts of my Alma Mater. Cikgu Rahman on his return home to Damansara KL, came to Pasir Mas to embark on the train back to KL. The train was the only mean of transport left as every other mean was full. Due to that Pak Zawi and a few friends managed to send him off. At the station Pak Zawi presented Cikgu Rahman with a painting Pulau Pohon Batu Labuan. It was a small gift for someone who had given Pak Zawi so much. For those who attended schools in SIS Pasir Mas, SIC in Kota bharu and MCKK in Kuala Kangsar Perak and knows Cikgu Rahman Ali, see his photo at Pak Zawi's Paintings. Mat Salo of Borneo Blues: A Mat salo's Perspective is one of those who knows him.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Idil Fitri With Pak Zawi

Our Hari Raya Day always begin with the prayers at the surau near the house. We used to go to the Mosque but lately, we felt the congregation at the surau is better because they comprise of our immediate neighbours and we know them all except for the younger generations who comes back only during Raya.

Azrin making last minute adjustment to his son Irsyad's samping.

Haji Deraman always ride his trishaw to the surau. At 80 years old Haji Deraman is still quite healthy. His wife rode in the children's car instead of riding along with him as they usually do.

Before the prayer begins we did the tahmid for about half an hour until the prayer started at 8.30 AM.
The prayer will begin soon. As it is only two 'rakaat', it was only a short prayer followed by the sermon by Ustaz Zawawi. Ustaz Zawawi is an Azhar, Egypt graduate and he also led the prayers. For the past one month of Ramadhan, Ustaz Zawawi had led all the 'terawikh' prayers at the surau.

Irsyad did his prayers at the back of the congregation as his prayers is only an initiation and at 4 years old, Irsyad has yet to learn about the actual prayer.

Mak Jah is one of the oldest female in attendance. Pak Zawi recorded Mak Jah's picture here lest she may be to ill to attend next years prayers. Nowadays Mak Jah had to pray while sitting on a chair.After the prayers, we did the family photograph. Azuan and family was over at his in law's place so he wasn't in the picture.

The first visitor to arrive was Haji Hussin's family. It was quite a large group and we will be joining them to the mother in law's place next.

They were the first to sample our delicacies of ketupat, rendang, satay and whatever have we.

The bigger girl is Leen and she is a star. She represents Malaysia in gymnastics. Her younger sister will be following in her footsteps soon.

Later my wife's pupils came cycling all the way from their village.

After that we all trooped to my mother in law's place. Here we had the taste of great Satay Baung ordered all the way from Kg. Baung, Kota Bharu.
One for the album with the grandma for my children and great grandma for their children.

Another one for the album. This one was taken at my sister in law's home next door to the mother in law's.The next stop is the uncle's home. When my wife's family was living in this home, Pak Zawi had his wedding here.

My daughter Azura had a new look this Raya. Here she is seen posing with her cousin Haleeza and sister in law Yanie.

Azura posing at the resort like home of Uncle Kamal.

By afternoon, Irsyad and his sister Syakirah was out. Another sister Ayin slept on the couch. This happened when we were at my sister's place.
We started the next day with a visit to the sister in law's place in Kota Bharu. A PSP was the center of attraction with Adam in control. The rest looked with envy.
Azuan and wife Ijjah joined us on the second day's visit to Kota Bharu.

Of course they are in control back home at Pak Zawi's place. Pak Zawi's PC and notebook are their's while their father's netbook are tucked away safely out of their reach. The PSP is of no interest to them anymore. At 4 years old, Irsyad can navigate his ways to UTube to look for Mr. Bean for himself and Gummi Bears for the sisters.

The visit to eldest surviving brother was also done on the second day.

On the third day of Raya, we had a surprise visit from Wan Nordin of GUIKP's fame. Wan brought along his wife Azura and children.

Wan had notified us that he would be arriving at 5.00 PM and he caught Pak Zawi with his pants down when he arrived at 4.00 PM. What happened was, the expected traffic jam from Kota Bharu did not happen and Wan saved an hour of precious time.
Wan made his choice. He chose 'The Old Building In Kota Bharu' among the many that Pak Zawi offered to him to choose from. To see the choices that he had, please visit Pak Zawi's Paintings, a blogsite dedicated to show what else but Pak Zawi's paintings.
Wan forgot to take the painting so Pak Zawi called Wan on the cellphone to stop by the roadside and wait for Pak Zawi to deliver the painting.

While sending Wan's painting, Pak Zawi's friend Zakrey came with his family. He had reserved that painting of The Traditioanl Chinese House of Kelantan which Zack prefers to call as Rumah Tepi Sungai as the village with all of that kind of houses were located on the river bank of Sungai Kelantan.
Zack's wife Rohani and son with Pak Zawi's wife Fatthiyah. Zack's daughter was busy with Irsyad watching Mr. Bean on Utube.
That was in a nutshell, this years Idil Fitri with Pak Zawi. The coming Idil Adha should be merrier as everone of my children will be home. Pak Zawi and wife is really looking forward to Idil Adha.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating Idil Fitri and Launching of A New Blog

Idil Fitri will take a new meaning for my family this year as most of the family members will be home except for Azini in Labuan who has made a decision to come back fro Idul Adha. Azuan has been backfrom Shah Alam since a few days ago to be together with his wife Ijjah who had been home almost 2 months ago afer delivering son Adam Hakimi. Tonight will see the arrival of our eldest daughter Azura who will be leaving KL around noon and Azrin with his family will depart his father in law's home in Taiping around the same time. It has been awhile that my family has been able to be together for Raya. Hopefully the coming Idil Adha will be a full gathering as everyone has set their mind to come back again for that festival as it is considered a more important celebration among Kelantan moslems where a sacrifice will be made.
To all my moslem readers, Pak Zawi would like to wish you a Happy Idil Fitri and pohon maaf zahir dan batin. Maaf jua di pohon sekiranya Raya messages via sms and internet was not replied or reciprocated.
If you are around Pasir Mas during Raya, do drop by at Pak Zawi's humble home at PT26, Jalan PamAir KADA, Kg. Mekasar,Pasir Mas. Please call 09 7903785 or 019 9125647 to ensure that we are home to receive you.
Pak Zawi has prepared some home made ketupat daun palas to serve you beside the normal fare of satay (available only on first day of Raya).

Pak Zawi has launched a new blog called Pak Zawi's Paintings at http://mohdzawi.blogspot.com. This blog will showcase all the paintings by Pak Zawi. Zendra Hassan has given Pak Zawi the idea to use the new site to sell Pak Zawi's paintings. That is a good idea really wort considering. Thank you Zendra.
The blog will aso be used to record who owns my paintings and their approximate location so that my future generations will know where to locate them should they want to buy back the heritage from Pak Zawi. Hahahaha some whimsical thinking.
Once again Pak Zawi and wife Fatthiyah would like to wish all readers of LAISI, Selamat Hari Raya Idil Fitri.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Danny's Ordeal In London

The blood must have drained off from Danny Foo's face so much that must have made him look ashen pale. That look of shock was not missed by Janet Susan Kent who was disembarking from the same tube coach with Danny at Charing Cross Station. Janet whom Danny guessed to be in her early fifties, inquired if anything was wrong with Danny. Danny while still in shock replied that somebody had picked his pocket and his wallet which was placed in his front hip pocket was missing. This was big trouble for Danny as in the wallet was his Credit card, Debit Card, student card and also his Malaysian identity card. Big trouble Danny thought as he won't be able to exit the station without his train tickets and he will be fined for not being able to produce the ticket. The fine will not only be expensive but there is no way that Danny could pay for it without any money on him.

Janet had a son who once was in a similar predicament while studying in a foreign country. Someone had helped his son and now she felt it was time to payback the good deed that the good Samaritan had done to her son.

Janet immediately asked Danny to list what items he had lost in his wallet and check his rucksack to see if his passport was intact. A loss of his Malaysian passport would only mean bigger trouble but fortunately for Danny, it was still there. So was his phone which was in the other pocket.

Together with Janet they walked to station's office and Janet being a local, her explanation was accepted by the authorities and Danny was able to exit the station without having to pay any fine. Just imagine how it would have been if Danny was alone. They may not even believe him.

Janet's help did not end there. With Danny penniless and having lost all his cards, there was no way for Danny to get going. She then took Danny to the police station to lodge a police report. The first thing that the police offered Danny was a phone to make calls to the cards company to block any transaction on the cards. How I wish our police would do the same to people who happened to experience similar situation in Malaysia. It is important that you keep a list of all the cards you have so that you can easily report them after losing them but never keep the pin numbers written and place together in the same wallet. You must also be able to answer all the security questions when they want to verify you so better don't take the security question lightly.

Having done all that with the local bank, Danny called home to his mum in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia to report the loss on the supplementary credit card given by them. Now all the cards that were lost will be useless to the thief. The thief will get nothing from Danny as there was not a penny in the wallet as Danny had just used the last 10 pounds he had in the wallet to pay the deposit for the room key at a hostel earlier. The only other thing of value could be the meal vouchers from Mac Donald which was good enough for three meals. Danny was actually going to the ATM to withdraw some cash. The only item of value was just the wallet itself as it was a good wallet.

Janet then took Danny to a cafe and ordered a pot of tea for both of them. Janet knew that a cup of tea could calm Danny's nerve and allow him to get over the traumatic experience faster.

Recapping the incident, Danny remembered being bumped by a group of people in the coach upon reaching Leicester Square Station as Danny was standing at the exit since his stop Charing Cross was the next stop. It was at the time of being bumped that the pickpocket had done the sleight of hands to pick his pocket. It was about 4 PM that evening and Danny wanted t visit the museums around Trafalgar Square when this thing happened.

In his two years of studying law at Cardiff University which was three hours drive South West of London., Danny had been very careful with his things especially the wallet. He would always carry them in the front pocket of his trousers and constantly feel for them with his hand to ensure its safety. Danny also never carry more than 15 pounds in his pocket. Any bigger purchase will be paid via the debit card or the credit card. So there was no necessity at all for him to carry any bigger amount of money.

Danny had graduated from Cardiff University in 2008 and was at the tail end of his stay in England. His mum and dad attended his Call-to the bar at Middle Temple in London recently but he opted to stay on longer to do a tour of England to see the other cities which he had never been to before he leave England for good. On this tour so far he had done Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and was currently doing London before doing Gloucester next.

It was while having tea with Janet that Danny called his friends who were residing in London for help. The first friend, a Brit, was out of London and wouldn't be able to help much. The second friend was a Malaysian who agreed to lend Danny 50 pounds and also help to buy the train ticket online for him to continue with his journey. Buying the tickets at the station would be too expensive and without any credit card, it was impossible for him to buy online.

Before parting, Janet insisted that Danny take 10 pounds from her to allow Danny to move around in London while waiting for his Malaysian friend to lend him the money and collect his train ticket from him. Such was Janet's kindness. To Danny, she was Godsend.

Danny had repaid all the loans that was extended to him and even the ten pounds that Janet gave him. As far as Janet was concerned, she had repaid the good deed of the person who helped her son while Danny still owe his debt till he finds another person to help.

To Janet Susan Kent, on behalf of Danny's family and Malaysians we would like to record a word of thanks for helping a complete stranger in distress.
Hopefully we all could learn a lesson or two from Danny's ordeal in London.

Here are a list of things Danny want to share with us:
1. Keep a list of the card numbers in another place.
2. Never keep the pin numbers in the wallet.
3. Keep some money elsewhere other than the wallet so that you can have access to some monies if your wallet get stolen.
4. When riding a tube, try to sit down and if you have to stand up, try to lean against a wall or something. Avoid standing at the exit unless you are arriving at your station.
5. Never assume that it will never happen to you. One day it might happen so better take note and be prepared.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This Is A Real Shocker!

I can't believe my eyes when I opened my email recently. He had not been to my site for sometimes and when he came, he was surprised that I have turned into a painter of sort. Immediately he ordered 10 (ten) pieces. That is right TEN PIECES of whatever that I have and those that I have yet to paint.
Wow! I have promised other people too and with his ten pieces, I will have a lot more to work on. There is also this art exhibition being organized by Puteri Kamaliah at Balai Berita in KL this coming November specially for members of PESENI Kelantan that I wanted very much to put a piece or two to show to the world.
The order is from a close friend and I know all these while he had been buying and dealing in art pieces but they are art pieces from established painters and command prices in hundreds of US dollars! After a few emails to and fro, I have agreed to do them for him including those that he requested: paintings of cockerels. Now that is a real challenge to paint a cockerel.
He said he will buy anything other than portraits. Fair enough since I am not a portrait artist and that is proven when a portrait of my grand daughter Balkis is yet to be considered done despite her mum's insistence that I get it done before she comes back for the next end of year break. She and family lives in Labuan. That's still along way to go.
This buyer provoked me into naming my price and cautioned me not to be shy of naming my price. Well I am not an established artist and my paintings will always be affordable to anybody who loves my painting. Just give me an offer and I will not disappoint you. Just keep my work hung on your wall and Pak Zawi will be very happy.
On top of that he wanted the paintings to be framed in good frames. That will add at least another RM100 to the price. One consolation though, he will allow me to use some of the paintings to be displayed at the show with his name as the buyer. So I will have to put a tag Sold to Mr. ....... ..... and of course no price will be displayed. The price of Pak Zawi's painting will always remain confidential between the buyer and the seller unless it is auctioned off publicly, one day maybe.

Meanwhile the name of the new buyer will remain unknown until the day of the art exhibition. If you are keen to know who bought them, please attend the show at Balai Berita KL at a date that will be announced soon by Puteri Kamaliah.
To those who have requested for my painting, don't worry all promises by Pak Zawi will be honoured. Just give me a bit of time. I will get it done.
To commemorate Merdeka Day Pak Zawi finished painting a pink water lily.

Pink Water Lily

Another painting in the works is that of a basket of mangosteen.
Manggis, my current project.

Should you want me to paint one for you, just email me at mohdzawi@gmail.com and tell me what kind of subject that you want me to paint. If i can do it I will do it but of course you will have to wait for your turn as the list is growing every day. Please pray that I will remain healthy as long as possible so that I can fulfill all of your requests before I lose control of my hands due to whatever ereason. As to the price, just make me any offer and I will accept.