Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gawai holidays ...

Oh lame title.

Anyway, 1st June is officially a public holiday in Sarawak to hail the Gawai Celebration or in those days it was called the Harvest Festival to mark the end of harvesting season and honest native farm folks gather together to say their prayers of thanks to the deity they believed in. However, native folks these days are more of a town people than farm people, and those still taking to the hills or down in the valley to plant padi are a small few. God bless them all. To find out more about the origin and history of Gawai, google it yourself or read more here.

My mom had a huge farm when I was growing up, and me and the siblings helped her in the padi fields more time than I remembered now. Tough days those were, especially in the beginning phase of planting and weeding. And the sun was so hot and cruel especially to a teenager coming home from school and straight to the padi field to help out. No rest. Sometimes I dozed off between the tall stalks when mom wasn't looking. Kids these days don't know what some folks go through to put rice on the table. When I reached 16, thankfully, mom stopped to help dad's church planting ministry. And here I am until today, buying rice from the supermarket like everybody else. Reminiscing.

AND for the good news: since Gawai is normally celebrated 2 days in a row, and 2nd June just happens to fall on a Saturday which coincides with the King's birthday, the following Monday was declared a State holiday. That means, it's a looooong weekend for the exotics and lovelies in the Land of Borneo. Wohoo!

I shall be at home all weekend catching up with the family, and maybe sneak out to get a doze of love from that amazing Caramel Macchiato, and some other friends who are celebrating. Maybe.

Oh! Oh! I was greeted by this lovely exotic crispy native delicacy when I got home today. Batches and batches of them in the canisters and plastic wrappers, gift from some relatives and family friends. Free stuff! Yeay! I'm not sure what it is generally called but to me it's always been known as Kuih Jala (jala as in net).

So here's wishing all the native folks of Sarawak a big 

Or as we say it in Bidayuh Biatah: 
Siramat Andu Gawai!
in Bidayuh Bau:
Seramat Ondu Gawea!
and in Iban:
Selamat Ari Gawai! Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!
(they're the only languages i know how to wish it with)

and to the rest, have a great holiday and a lovely weekend! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eat this Wordless Wednesday...

Now how do you expect me to climb the mountain after a series of this three times in a month? Repent all ye sinners binge eaters ...

King Prawn Cheese at Sri Meranti Restaurant, Sibu, Sarawak. Price undetermined.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Come June, hell or high water, I am going to climb ...

But I'm not quite sure I'm well prepped up for it. The only thing I'm sure about is... I AM SUPER EXCITED! Wohoo!

Because I have been talking about it for ages! Even went out of my way in 2008 to actually buy a pair of hiking boots, a pair of weatherproof cargo pants, snow cap and waterproof hiking bag ... just to make it to the foot of the mountain only because weather was bad previous nights and so hikers were discouraged to climb up. I actually reached the foot twice within the span of 2 years, and never quite got to the top for reasons unspecified. Yeah yeah, I was an amateur then. And still is right now.

Which is why when the opportunity arrived this year in January, I grabbed it without second thoughts. First because the climbing package was waaaay cheaper than I had expected. Secondly because I will make my virgin maiden climb (me only lah) together with my boss, and my Sabahan colleagues, so I will be surrounded by bodyguards and hopefully gorgeous-looking porters. Thirdly because it has been awhile since I go on a holiday on a pure whim. And fourth because well... I can finally cross that Lifetime-Wishlist off the checklist.

Training has commenced slooooooowly due to my outstation works and some other related personal matters. Even bought a pair of new hiking boots (wohooo!) cause the old ones had cracked heels due to underutilisation. Still got a few other stuffs I need to get, but hopefully I can just borrow them from an old buddy who's an expert (by now) in mountain climbing.

And hopefully, I won't forget the energy bars. Ha ha. Because I don't want to ...

Pic courtesy of

...  halfway throughout the ordeal and be famous overnight by calling in air rescue... Does anybody out there has any mount-climbing tips to share with this amateur? Appreciate it.

I do so want to watch the sunrise from the top of the world while holding someone's hand. That would be the most glorious experience ever. Sigh ...

Pic courtesy of

May is a good month. A very very good  month. But June will be sooo much better in more ways than one! Yeay! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Windows wide open ...

Is it just me or is the weather getting crazy lately? Hot and humid. Crazy dehydration playing havoc on my senses, making me a little slow on the update lately. Ah. Excuses.

Been busy with a few official stuffs that got me flying off here and there getting things settled before the pressing deadlines comes a calling. Coupled with that, also been busy updating myself on some personal stuff lately that got me sleeping nights on end with the windows wide open. Weather is hot anyway, and the chill night air helps clear the bad mojo away.

Yep. Crazy weather alright. If only I could install a jacuzzi in my tiny loft. For now, getting that aircond installed in the bedroom begins to sound like a really lovely idea. A reallllllly reallllllly lovely idea.

Meanwhile, Coffee Girl needs to refill the bucket with ice while awaiting the aircond to materialise anytime soon. Happy Sunday my lovelies!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...

Not really into this stuff, but ... today's Fortune Cookie reads ...

You forgot "very optimistic" ... But that could do too, for now.
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom's the word...

Mom gave me a black look yesterday. I tried to decode it, but I failed miserably. Usually when this happens, I would go the whole day wondering if I did anything wrong or out of the ordinary that would immediately bring me directly to her radar.

The thing about living in your parents' house is that you have to abide by their rules, which had been set almost the day you started understanding words and could speak your own. Although it doesn't help that there are many set of rules and some rules changed to adapt to further change, you still have to abide by them. Do or die trying.

So if I woke up a little bit late over the weekend, I'd have my bedroom door knocked on a few times. Or the sound of mom raising her voice an octane higher with the usual lecture of "Young girls do not wake up late, you will never marry if you don't get up NOW" or alternate with "In my days if I wake up later than 6am, your grandfather would scream the house down for the entire neighbourhood to hear."Oh that awful threat to reckon with on such ungodly hours.

Or if I come back slightly later than 10pm on a date night, the father would already be waiting at the living room with a scowl, a book in hand giving the impression that he was only there to read, and a few sets of Q&A at the ready. Mom would take her turn with the interrogation come morning... and that usually gave me a sleepless night. I'm guessing the idea was to keep me awake to ponder on my sins.

Or if I overcooked the meat, or put too much savoury stuff in the dish, or left the rice to cook on its own (hey electric cooker what..) I'd have a little talk over what's good for the health and what's not and how people in the older days liked it. And I'd stand with my poker face on, listening like a good girl.

Or if I stacked my laundry till kingdom come and only await for weekend to clear them out, I'd come home from work and realised mom had done them some fine days, because the sight was an eyesore to her. Sometimes she would launch an entire conversation on the wardrobe being a little unfit or unstylish or too plain for a working woman and that I should invest in my hard earned money to try to look better. Sometimes she won't say anything at all about the laundry, just pushed them over to me to fold and keep. Sometimes the gesture said it all.

Or if I come home without bringing any grocery, or basic needful stuffs for home (because sometimes stopping at the supermarket takes extra effort and time) ... I'd get that disappointed look aimed at me. Which I would try to compensate by taking her with me shopping the next few minutes.

But this morning, the black look was still there.

Did I tell you I moved out some time last year? Well not entirely, I have my own place now but I still do come home during the weekend. So this rule thingy and the responsibilities that come with it, and the obligation of being your mom's single daughter, do not quite apply to me anymore. They still do sometimes, but with my express freedom comes that feeling of being able to live without not having to answer a lot to them anymore.

So ... how to decipher the mom look? She's always been the one who understood me, who mediates between the dad and me since childhood, who stood by with a proud look when I got my first period, who waited at home with unshed tears as I showed off my best student trophy, who taught me how to cook my first dish, who patiently showed me how a real kampung-ketupat is weaved, who sat through an entire conversation about a guy who broke my heart and how she would like to see me settle to a good one, who witnessed my complete transformation from girlhood to womanhood with all the support and love any girl would be blessed enough to have.

My mother doesn't speak much. In fact, most of the things I got from her were hints, body languages, signals of the eyes, the hands, the looks. But when she does speak, I just can't help but listen. After all, a daughter usually becomes her mother when she grows up, right? It pays to notice these little gestures.

Anyway... I may not know what that look was, or if I caused it, -- I made the assumption that I did -- so I went to sit beside her at the breakfast table. What is it with breakfast table that always turned me into a child all over again? I sit next to her and I started holding her hand, bumped shoulders playfully like kittens, kissed her on the cheek and wished her Happy Mother's Day. The hot coffee on the breakfast table were a huge help for someone currently revisiting her childhood memories.

She turned to look at me, smiled weakly and said "I'm not feeling well since Thursday. My appetite ... it's horrible. I feel like throwing up all the time." *insert coughs and woebegone face* "I tried to eat but this sensation in my heart, it just couldn't take it. I'm not well..." And only then I noticed the exhausted look, the shadows around her eyes, the weak clutches, and the alarm bell goes on in my head. At the same time, in a flash I remembered where I was on Thursday... I flew in to KL on Wednesday evening, and came back on Thursday evening... without even informing her.

It isn't a coincident. It can't be. But all the same, fighting the thick urgent choking within my throat, and mentally kicking myself hard, I told her of my whereabouts and what I was doing and with whom and why I didn't tell her (cause I expected my sister would tell her) and why I expect to be gone again this week and short of confessing "Oh God mom I didn't commit any sin!" I basically cracked like a roasted can.

And then again she gave me that look that said "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID ..." She got up... and with my dad watching the whole drama... she turned with her coffee cup in hand and blurted out...


Dude, I swear... mom almost made me faint! Ha ha ha. Dad was laughing all the way to the pulpit.

And after that episode, I told myself, "Woman, you're a smart one. But you will never be smarter than your mama." And so I have strive to always try to catch up with her.

Pic courtesy of


p/s: Now I know where I got the knack for drama from. So I'm taking her out to dinner tonight to spill some more secrets. Wheeeeeee....

Friday, May 11, 2012

And if the music is good...

... You dance.

If you can both sway to the same rhythm, and move to the same tune, and mouth the same words, and even get wacky to the same crazy beat together, then baby, that's it, you've found your match.

It's the little things that count.

Keep them. 

Happy in-love weekend my friends!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dear beloved readers ...

Hey, how are you today?

Did I tell you how lovely the day is, despite the weather being hot and humid? Right now it's storming outside, that could be ugly on the road, causing traffic jams right when people are rushing to go home to their loved ones, or to their lonely lives, whichever suits you best. At least I have a place I called my home. My financial is a little bit rocky, but I get by on whatever investment I've put my money in the past few months. My social life is on a decline, mostly because I don't have one to begin with. My parents are hounding me to come home every weekend, and each time I don't, they'll be wondering where their little girl spends her time and with what company or with whom. The works I have lined up on my in-tray are piling up, and each time I start on one, one other comes up out of nowhere that it's nearly uninspiring to see through till finish. My emotional life is like a plate of mixed grill, I eat whatever I can and deal with it later.

Yes, life on the outside if you're looking at me, looks good and steady. I don't whine much, I don't bitch much, I don't complain much, and I don't cry much, which practically makes me sounding weird and almost unfeeling. That's all what you see on the outside. And I cannot argue much on that point either because I tend to agree with you. There's so much that goes on behind closed doors with me that to open the can of worms now is like embarking on a suicidal mission. Better you stay in the dark.

But you know what? I have stopped walking on the wide path to destruction and ceased doubting myself. I have stopped disliking myself for the person I had become. I stopped crying, that's right, I'm human after all. Those were real tears, I should be in movies. That was a pathetic life I led, going from one day after another begging for a rerun and a chance to do better. The only person that was stopping me from going overboard was me. I stayed sane because I kept looking over my shoulder looking for a chance to redeem myself.

And finally, dear God, finally, I got it.

Sometimes the only way to go about life is to take all risks, cut your losses, and let the hot air balloon go to wherever the wind takes it. Quite a risk, but if you don't do it, you might lose that chance forever and you will forever be left wondering.

There are many other things I would like to tell you about, but at the risk of sounding sad and probably misunderstood, I shall have to keep a lot of things to myself. My mother always said that you can love other people all you want, but the real thing that matters the most is that you love yourself more.

And so here I go, loving myself more.

Till then, don't worry if you get nothing from what I'm writing here, I just want you to know that I am alright, I am alive and well, and I hope YOU have a nice weekend ahead.

Signing off,
Coffee Girl

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ...

Break away... come what May.

I have so much to blog about, but I guess it will have to wait for now. But... on a positive note, looks like the year is going to be good after all. Please Lord, let me have this fairy tale ending.

I promise I'll be good. Amen.