Sunday, September 28, 2008

Smokey the Cat

I am posting this entry from my mother in laws house in Oya, Sarawak using Celcom Vodafone USB modem. What a wonder of broadband technology ! because if you have ever come to Oya you will never imagine that you can have internet access here. So another point is that Oya is not that remote now and you can always check your email and post a blog from Oya.

In my preparation to move to Dubai, my wife and I had made another difficult decision for both of us. We have a cat which we love so much and which we treat like our child. His name is Smokey and he is a domestic long hair (DLH) cat. DLH is a generic category for non-pure breed Persian cat. I learnt that if I don't have a proper breeding certificate, I must not call my cat a Persian cat. That is the standard in the cat breeding industry. Well....enough about that.


To ease the burden of my wife in raising Adrin alone for a couple of months, we decided to surrender Smokey to my wife's niece who we affectionately called Adik Umik (in Melanau means a little sister). We selected Adik Umik because she is well known for her passion and love for cats. She should be the right candidate to take care of Smokey after this.

But Adik Umik is in Oya, Sarawak. So I have to transport Smokey by air to Sarawak. At first I thought I just bring Smokey with us when we come to Sarawak for Hari Raya. After all Sarawak is just another state in Malaysia like Selangor, Perak and Pahang. But it is not as easy as I thought. Apparently exporting a cat to Sarawak requires import and export permit from the Department of Animal Services. It is almost like the procedure for exporting a cat to a foreign country.

Below is the list of procedures for exporting a cat to Sarawak:-

1) An Import Permit must be obtained from Department of Animal Services Sarawak. The cost is RM5.00. So Adik Umik's father have to get this done first;
2) A copy of Import Permit must be faxed to Kuala Lumpur for the application of Export Permit from Department of Animal Services Kuala Lumpur;
3) For the application of Export Permit, Smokey must obtain a Health Certificate from a qualified veterinar. The cost is around RM150.00 depending on Smokey's health conditions;
4) Once Health Certificate and a copy of Import Permit are obtained, Smokey must be brought to Department of Animal Services Kuala Lumpur for inspection. If Smokey passed, Export Permit will be issued. The cost is RM31.00;
5) After Export Permit is obtained, purchase flight ticket from Malaysia Airlines. AirAsia do not allow transportation of animal in its services. Malaysia Airlines also need to know the dimension of the cage before they can issue ticket. The cost of airfare is RM15.00 per kg of the cat and cage;
6) Smokey can be transported with human company (hand carry) or by cargo. If by cargo then upon arrival Smokey will be greeted by a designated recipient in Sibu (Adik Umik's father) and veterinary officers. After custom clearance, Smokey will be deported to Bintulu Quarantine Centre;
7) Quarantine of animal from Kuala Lumpur may take up to 6 months. But if Smokey's condition is satisfactorily he can be released after 2 weeks. The Quarantine Centre will call Adik Umik to come and collect Smokey from the centre.

I briefed the procedures above to Adik Umik's father and expected him to be surprised and declined to take Smokey. But to my surprise he just replied "Ok..". HUh....He really loves his daughter that much ! And I am more convinced to have selected the right people.

Adik Umik

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat
Ellen Perry Berkeley
Cat Writer and Specialist

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last Show with Dewangga Sakti

I never imagined this day will arrive. Last Saturday was my last performance with Dewangga Sakti. My feeling?...I was very sad to leave behind Dewangga Sakti life for Dubai. Even when my bandmates asked for my last speech during Iftar, I just said "I will come back !". I just don't want to say goodbye, in fact so far I have never said goodbye to any of my friends because I like to think I will see them around again. It is not because I do not want to accept the fact or what, but I have long held this view that in this century no matter where you go, you are just a phone call away, a blog away or a YM or facebook away...hehehe if you get what I mean. That is the wonder of the world wide web which is to me the greatest wonder ever in this world. So you never really go far away from your friends except you just cannot hang around in person.

Pic: After a show in MHI in July 2008. Wahyun was absent.

But Dewangga Sakti life is all about engaging music passion together in person. We always do it the old style way. We hang out, we talk, we jam and we create music. So by being far away, I will no longer be able to do all that. Some people suggest I can compose music or jam online but that is not the way we do it in Dewangga Sakti. Most of the times we need to talk, argue and crack joke before we can get the mood to create music. It is a slow and inefficient process but very human process.

I wish I could have everything but that is not the reality. I chose to move out from my comfort zone so this is what it entails. I hope I will get something meaningful and worthwhile out of this experience.

Yesterday I also joined Iftar by IIUM Adventure & Recreational Club ("ARC"). I was invited as the ARC club alumni and as a member of Latepackers club. I passionately call these two clubs as "kelab budak-budak gunung", because that is the main activity of the clubs, mountain climbing. Mountain climbing is one of my past time hobbies besides music. I have climbed Mount Yong Belar, Mount Chamah, Mount Ulu Sepat, Mount Korbu and Mount Gayong. These mountains are in the group of 7 mountains above 7000 feet in West Malaysia. The other 2 mountains are Mount Yong Yap and Mount Tahan which I have not hiked yet. I have also climbed other small mountains like Mount Datuk, Mount Bunga Buah, Bukit Taboh and Mount Nuang. So in ARC those who managed to climb all the 7 mountains will be certified by the club as Achiever. I got 2 mountains more which I plan to climb in the future. Of course the ultimate mountain is Mount Kinabalu. In ARC we like to climb the 7 mountains first because they are the toughest compared to Mount Kinabalu (my American friend hiked Kinabalu during weekend and came to work on Monday ! sounds easy?). But with my departure that plan has to be postponed infinitely.

I have been upholding the club's motto all this while..yeah !

I managed to see some old friends during the ARC Iftar. It was good to see them happy with wives and cute kids. Some of them have started facebooking and blogging, so I will definitely see them a lot after this in my Facebook and blog.

Lanun, Enche', Joko, Atuk, Kak Bad, Kak Mie, Nyamoque and a few seniors whose names escape me..

Kalau ada sumur di ladang
Boleh hamba menumpang mandi
Kalau ada umur yang panjang
Boleh kita berjumpa lagi

Malay pantun

Thursday, September 11, 2008


RAMADHAN MUBARAK...! This is my first blog posting during a holy month of Ramadhan. Although this is the month when I as a Muslim observe fasting from dawn till dusk but my mind normally think about food more during this month. So getting less food will result thinking more about food.

So on the first day of Ramadhan me and my family gathered for our first Iftar (fasting break !) at my parents' house in Tanjung Malim. This gathering a la reunion dinner was very important to me as nothing beat my Emak's signature dishes as a ground breaking Iftar for the month. However this year Emak decided to go simple compare to the previous years. So we had sweet sour fish, mixed veggies, tomyam (by my wife), umai (by my wife), chili prawns, curry puff and home-made rambutan jelly.

First Day Iftar

On the third day my wife and I decided to have Iftar at Roadhouse Grill restaurant in Jalan Ampang. To my surprise it was on my wife because she said she wanted to make up for my birthday dinner which we missed in last April. Yes last April we couldn't celebrate my birthday because we decided to save every extra cents that we have for Adrin's pram and 2 car seats. So the theme of the restaurant was the wild west frontier or cowboy style. True to the theme when they served bread and butter, I asked for butter knife but the waiter replied "sorry sir we don't have butter knife, you can use your steak knife...cowboy style". Oh I see..

Cowboy dishes

Then 2 days ago we tried a new restaurant in Taman Melati called Memori Corner. The restaurant's wall is full with Sudin's pictures by cartoonist Lat (if I am not mistaken). It brings back memory of chilhood games in kampung like batu seremban, ketinting, main guli and enjit-enjit semut. But what really brought back my memory was when I saw some hand-made wooden rifles hanged on the restaurant's wall. Wow..I used to make my own wooden rifle when I was a kid. I wonder whether kids in kampung nowadays know how to make it...DIY ! Or maybe they just buy a plastic one in supermarket. I looked at Adrin and thought ...this boy will never get the chance, what a shame. As for the food...yes this post is about food, we had mee rebus and curry mee which the menu claims to be the restaurant's signature dishes. The foods were delicious !

Memori Corner

OK..what shall we have for Iftar tomorrow...

Come, Come again!
Whatever you are…
Whether you are disbeliever,
idolater or fireworshipper.
You have broken your vows
of repentance a hundred times
this is not the gate of despair,
this is the gate of hope.
Come, come again…

Jalaludin Rumi, Poet


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