Thursday, February 26, 2009


Life has been so busy lately.There are so many distractions, diverting from the routine that I could not find the time to update my blog.First, there was my trip to Kedah, followed by extra curricular activities at school since our Sports Day is approaching , and finally the course that I had to attend in Permai Inn Kuala Terengganu.In the mean time I also have to be the driver of the house sending my little prince and princess to extra classes, club meetings, sports practice and stealing time to drop by at the grocery store to grab a few edible things.By 11:00 pm I would be a dead wood already..
With all the line up schedule occupying my mind, I almost forgot that today is my birthday.The reminder came at 12:01 midnight from my daughter in SM Sains wishing me the happiest birthday ever...then an early morning wish came through sms from my other half.Happy 47 th birthday to me..another year older,another year wiser...
I think the last time I blew my birthday candles was 22 years ago.I was 25 yrs old then.I could still remember that particular night very well since that was the last year I celebrated my birthday in a foreign land.It was a cold spring night.Winter had not totally left the ground.In my sweat shirt and pyjama pants,I got ready for bed in the comfort of my two- bed room trailer.My trailer mate was no where to be found, I was alone.As I was about to zzzz into my dream land,there came a loud,insistent knocking on my trailer door.Thinking that it was my trailer mate, I opened the door.Of course, my mate was there standing and flashing a smile ,but she was not alone.There were 2 other friends and a huge white box in their hands.I ushered them in.As they were stepping in they sang a birthday song to me.Just when I thought nobody remembered my birthday, those three muskerteers came to me with a huge chocolate chip cookie with 25 birthday candles on it.It was so sweet of touching..Those thoughtful friends of mine are now better known as Prof Dr Ummul Khair Ahmad, Prof Madya Baizura Ahmad Shah and Rohayati Rahmat whom I heard married to Mat Scotland and migrated there.Hello folks..if you ever read my blog, do drop a line or two ok..
When I was young, birthdays seemed important to me.I would feel so touchy and grouchy if nobody remembered it.But as I grow older, birthday is just a day to remind me that I am a year older..I will do some reflections of the year gone by and contemplate on my next move for the coming year.
However, for my kids,when they were small,I would throw birthday parties for them.But now I would just at least buy a cake or bring it to their hostel so they can celebrate with their friends...or sometimes when they are at home we would have a special dinner at the restaurant.At least there is something for them to remember about their birthdays when they grow older.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From Anak Bukit Palace

On 9 th February 2009, my other half was confered Bintang Khidmat Cemerlang Kedah (B.C.K)
by the Sultan of Kedah in conjunction with his 81 st birthday.Here are some photos taken before and after the ceremony, since photographing was not permited during the ceremony, except by the palace photographer.

My other half and me in front of the throne after the ceremony was over.

Anak Bukit Palace
Usherers waiting for the arrival of the award recipients and guests..

Award and medal recipients and their spouses filling up the seats

One of the guards in ceremonial costume ..waiting for the arrival of the Sultan and Sultanah
Getting acquainted..Syura, an ex air-stewardess

Another front of the throne..

Final pose at the foyer before leaving the palace

In line..waiting to take photographs after the ceremony..

me ..descending the staircase leaving the palace

Monday, February 2, 2009

Protocol,Leadership and Etiquette - Part 1

Once I attended a "KAYABUDI " course, a course on protocol,leadership and etiquette for the wives of senior army officers.
In this post I would bring you a quick round- the- world guide,especially for those who plan to go abroad or following his or her other half on a tour of duty.
If you are in India, you must be prepared to eat with your fingers,so dont embarrass your host by asking for a knife and fork.Chairs are usually provided,but dont be surprised if you 're expected to sit on the floor.
Practice sitting cross-legged before you go,and for women, learning how to tuck your legs gracefully under your skirt is an advantage.
You may be introduced to business contact or officers who greets you Indian style,putting his hands together as if in prayer and giving a brief bow.So, beware if you put out your hand and no one takes it to shake it.
Colors have different meanings too.In India white is the color death.Hindu widows wear white saris after their husbands die.So it is important to remember which colors are in vogue when you are thinking of wrapping a gift for your host or business partner.
In France,flowers are often considered a must-bring for dinner guests.But avoid chrysanthemums because they represent mourning.Don't give flowers in bunches of 13 because it is considered bad luck.Since the French are interested in aesthetics,they like gifts of art,prints,books or records.
By the way,it is considered tasteful to give presents on arrival,rather than after dinner.The gift given early seems thoughtful,while the later offering can be misconstrued as a reward for a meal.
Never go to Japan without an enormous wad of business cards and make sure the cards are translated into Japanese because in Japan the business or visiting card is studied very carefully.You must present the card before the meeting or convention so your contact have more time to study your details and position in the business hierarchy.Then when you are actually introduced , you must bow.When giving gifts to the Japanese it is important to pay attention to the wrapping.Avoid wrapping gifts in bold colors,dark gray or black and white combination since those colors are reserved for funerals.
Never give a Chinese friend a clock.It is partly because the sound of the word clock is the same as the sound for the word pre-funeral visit to the dying.
Dont offer red roses to the wife of a West Germany acquaintance.Sorry, but red roses are too closely associated with amcur,thus considered inappropriate.
Those are guidelines for gift giving.Use your good sense and sensitivity too!