It is not acceptable

It’s not acceptable what the Israelis did. They attacked the Gaza flotilla on international waters. It’s not acceptable to say that there should be a better route for the activists to enter Gaza – it’s not acceptable that there are people starving as a result of illegal occupation of a country. It is not acceptable that the rest of the world give in to a bully, finding other means of giving people basic food and aid to appease Israel. It is not acceptable that there are people starving and destitute as a result of another state.

I try not to be political on this blog, but this attack on the Gazan flotilla is unacceptable. I pray for the safety of those on board, especially for the 10 Malaysians who we have no word of contact of their safety. I salute of the heroism of those involved in the Free Palestine movement and I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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7 days – Of bridezilla shopping and harassing the husband-to-be

And so, the bridezilla does appear. To be fair, I’ve mostly contained the inner beast and summoned its appearance when necessary but yesterday, I harnessed its beastly powers for good – shopping!

And what an epic shopping trip it was. I was a little worried that I had quite a number of items left on my to-buy list and when my client canceled on my meeting yesterday, it was shopping time! I dragged both my cousin and sister, who was on holiday, for ‘advice’.

I reckon it was more akin to torture though for them.

The damage was:

1. One pair of shoes for the nikah. Awesome, cheap and full of bling – exactly what the doctor ordered. Something OTT to go with my simple dress.

2. Lingerie from Marks & Spencers. It’s not something to detail out on a blog, but hey, I’ve been eyeing them for ages, and I’m proud I got something pretty. Sure the damage was extensive but they ought to last a while.

3. A form-fitting shapewear item from La Senza. This one, when I tried it on in the evening, I’m not so sure to be happy or a little upset over the purchase. It was not expensive – no, and it certainly did smooth out the lumps curves but it was not as tight as I hoped it to be. My sister reckoned it’s because I’ve lost weight – I’m wondering if I made the mistake purchasing it from La Senza over M&S. Mum reckons if I’m not happy, I could go out and buy a corset – which I disagree on. It’s expensive, and it’s painful so well, form-fitting it is.

4. Two pairs of shoes for my dayang (bridesmaids). I needed a cheap-ish but pretty sandals for my dayang. Entered a shop and saw two pairs of brown sandals, on the discount section. Said to myself that if they were the sizes of my bridesmaids, a size 5 and a size 9, I’m just going to buy. Picked them up, flipped them around and voila! It is fate.

I am still missing stockings but I shall not go out today. Well, shopping anyway. The meeting has been moved today and my back is aching, with tiny little knots near my spine – should have worn geeky Nike shoes as opposed to stylish flats when shopping. Signs I am getting older. Gone are the days when I could shop 6 hours non-stop in stilettos.

***

I have an idea what we will be doing to entertain our guests from overseas. I’m quite excited with everyone coming over, it’s not long now.

On the Sunday aft er the wedding, we have some ideas planned out for our guests. I suggested that we end the evening with some Doctor Who. Hani pointed out that only half of our guest list likes Doctor Who. The rest of them finds it weird.

Hmm. Should I pull out my bridezilla card and throw an epic tantrum and force everyone to watch an episode of Doctor Who and thereby confirming to everyone what a true nutcase I really am?

So overseas guests, keep your Sundays clear for a Malaysia, Truly Asia, day out. Of course, if you know Malaysians, it means, mall, malls, and more malls. Kidding. It’ll be fun.

***

So epic bridal prep is turning epic. My sister had just flown back and already she’s in the thick of it. She reckons that she’s losing weight already –  a lot more weight than her time in the UK.

“At this rate, we’ll be a bag of bones for the wedding. Bag of bones, in pretty sacks since our clothes don’t fit anymore with sallow and sunken eyes.”

True. But I hired a good photographer who theoretically should make us all look good. Hahaha. The pressure the man is under.

***

I’ve been having odd dreams lately. Not that anyone would want to read about dreams – but I have to note, they are odd. I’ve been dreaming about the people from my past – all the way back from University and High School. Yesterday was especially weird, I dreamt I was comforted by a boy from HS, someone I was not even close to!

A psychologist possibly could interpret my dream, however, the psychologist is sleeping like there’s no tomorrow. Which, to be fair, there might not be a tomorrow at the epic rate we’re going.

I would be ridiculous if I don’t admit that myriad of emotions I feel inside of me makes me feel like overcooked spaghetti – soft and mushy and all tangled up. I think it’s good to feel this way – I imagine that I don’t allow myself to feel a little bit of sadness, that there is something wrong with me.

Change is something that I am used to in my life. All my life, in the short 27 years I’ve lived on this planet, change and more often than not, drastic change. In all the crazy change, it’s the small things, intangible things that I hold on to – like friendship, family and love.

People may change, our relationships will evolve, it will be crazy not to expect to evolve. But I cherish our friendship, during the crests and troughs as we ride this wave called life…okay, this is the reason why I hate pretentious, metaphoric writing. It sounds so cliched.

Let’s start over.

Ahem. I am sad how things will change after I marry – it is ridiculous to assume otherwise. But having said that, many things have changed over the years and the people I care about, they’ve changed too. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the not so good. But what matters I think is the effort on both parts to sustain. I have friends, old friends that I kept in touch with for so long that the thought of letting go kills me inside.

I know it’ll be harder when I marry. I’ll have my own place, a new set of responsibilities and in a few years time, even addition to my own small family. But it’s always been hard to keep in touch with people when your circumstances and there will be some days, I will be a little forgetful. I just want people to know that I always carry you in my heart, that I treasure our friendship very, very much. I’ll be back, I promise and I won’t forget.

Sounds like I’m leaving to go live in some small island in Wales, don’t I? Never to return, guarded by them dragons. Blame my siblings who more often than not treat me like I’m going forever! As my sister’s friend put it, it’s like she’s dying!

I’m not dying, God, I’m getting married!

***

Eizwan is finally practicing the words he has to say for the akad. In a Muslim ceremony, the nikah solemnization is said by the man as the woman sits aside, prettily and demurely.

There is this unnecessary and weird tradition in Malaysia, that you ought to say the words in just one go, as though it’s not a good thing to say it more than once. So again, undue pressure on the groom.

Eizwan’s been practicing it of course, in his mind. Of course, as Eizwan found out yesterday, saying it aloud and saying it in your head are two different things. Last night, his dad got him to try practice it aloud with the mic and Eizwan found his tongue getting all twisty, at one point pronouncing to marry his father instead.

When he told me, I just smiled and nodded, warning him that for every time he made a mistake, I’ll just say “strike one”, “strike two” etc from my demure place at the corner.

No pressure, my darling. No pressure.

8 days – To tired to write a proper post

I am utterly, utterly exhausted. My insides feel like over-cooked spaghetti, all soft and mushy and tangled up. I still have a million and one things to do, my writing job is nowhere near complete and my head is spinning, my nose is stuffed.

Surprisingly of course, 8 days away, I do feel rather calm. I mean, usually things like the magic undies fitting better than expected would upset me – and it should, I paid RM 169 from La Senza, you would think it’d suck it in better but it didn’t, Hani reckoned it’s because I’ve lost weight – but I’m not. I’m generally okay.

I’m okay about a lot of things right now, from the chaos of moving to my new place on May 31st to trying to cope up with writing an MC speech, a speech for my dad and writing screenplays at the same time. Heck, even the possibility of writing scripts during my honeymoon doesn’t faze me right now.

I am zen.

The only thing I do regret coming up to my wedding is that I can’t spend enough time with all the wonderful people who are coming over to Malaysia with me. If I had my way and all the money in the world, I’d just take off and spend time with all of you (husband, what husband? Hehehe)

But anyway.8 days to go. So far, I’ve bought everything on my list, save for the final gift on Eizwan’s hantaran, which can only be delivered the day before. Worried? Just a wee bit, everything should be okay. I can feel it in my gut that things are going to be okay.

Watch me panic in 8 days time.

14 days – Happy

Would it be bragging if I said I was happy? Because I am right now.

It’s been an absolutely crazy, manic past few weeks. My grandfather had been ill, quite ill, to the point that my mum has been making our way down to care for him in between planning for a wedding every day.

Not everything about the wedding is going to plan – our guest list is greater than expected, we’re nowhere near ready when it comes to things like favours, doing up the room, etc

But it’s the small things that are making me feel so happy. It’s knowing my sister is coming home, my best friend in the whole wide world making the journey down, my friends changing their plans to be there for me, my family coming together, cheerfully helping out – my brother, my brother (!!) cheerfully offering to scrub the toilet to help prepare for the wedding, my grandfather cheerfully assembling the favours in front of the telly and spending a very nice evening out with my future in-laws, realizing how comfortable I am with them. It’s my aunt being so bridezilla like, making demands every hour.

I don’t have everything in place, I don’t have everything I want and I’m not even well. I’m nursing a bad sore throat, a slight fever and a stuffy head just 14 days before the wedding. My themes are sort out of the window with everyone having a say on what the wedding should look like.

Instead of being unhappy, with all the hustle and bustle, I feel like I’m bragging when I say I’m really, really happy. Nothing is as I’ve imagined and yet, it’s better in its own way.

I am blessed. I am happy.

Song selection, the heady task.

So….my brother and I spent the entire evening going through playlist after playlist selecting songs for my wedding. Wedding songs are tricky. There is a temptation to put every sappy song that you and your partner fell in love to, each song where you stared into each other eyes lovingly but do not forget, the guests are there to eat and not to throw up, nauseated by too much lovey dovey ness.

For one, I’m on the fence with song selection. I’m particular – yes, to an extent. I have certain songs that I like, certain genres I do enjoy. But it can’t be too indie – lets face it, this is a wedding, it’s not supposed to be a masterclass of your awesome taste in music. Besides, one man’s awesome is another man’s sucky.

As the evening wore on, we got very tired, and our definition of good became very subjective and questionable. I’ve always wanted the Prince of Denmark’s march for my wedding, but my brother pointed out it was written for a Prince, for his wedding. I reckon I’d just look a bit silly trying to live up to something so epic. I’m not getting married in a grand cathedral, I’m not marrying a prince (oh, but baby, you’re the prince of my heart) nor will I have an epic wedding gown with an epic wedding train.

By midnight, we’ve only selected 30 songs. It could be me being picky. I don’t need my selection to be uniquely me – but I don’t want it to come of as pretentious and cliched. Then again, isn’t selecting your songs so carefully a sign of trying to hard? So should it be any random romantic love songs? Should it have a theme? Like all Sinatra and Dean Martin for dinner? With a decent mix of Asian music for the after dinner?

Or really, should we just put it Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Vanessa Mae version for the cake cutting ceremony? You know, creeping walking towards the cake (0:20 onwards) the slow lifting of the cake knife (1:01), as you pull back before (1:03)….stabbing the cake (1:07) before you start mincing the cake with your cake knife/sword (1:16).

You know what this means right? It means I need to sleep.

Day 18 – Haven’t been writing

Has it been nearly two weeks since I last blogged? Did Britain really get a Tory for Prime Minister-ship, backed by none other, a left-wing party, the idealist Liberal Democrats? Was I that upset by the death of a stray that I could not help but self-impose a mourning period away from the internet?

Two out of three questions above can be answered with the affirmative. I’m sad to say that the second question can also be answered with the affirmative. Not that it should matter to me in Malaysia – but oh, the day Clegg said yes to Cameron, my disappointment was palpable. It was made up slightly by slash RPF featuring Clegg/Cameron but idealism! Out the window. Gutted.

But the truth is, the past two weeks have been utterly manic and that was the reason why I’ve not stopped to write. I foresee that it’ll only get worse the next few weeks. It’s crazy – I can understand why couples want to elope towards the end of the whole journey. Malays and their psychotic adat (tradition). Despite chopping down the ones that shouldn’t matter much to my grandmother (I found that tradition matters very little to me), there are still so many things to do.

And to further contradict myself, I would actually go all out to say that the stress is actually disappearing. I would not say that I’m on top of everything, I have a ton of wedding work, and non-wedding work to attend to. Perhaps it’s a way of me saying “Hahahah, world! I give up! Hahahaha.”

Or that things are going relatively well. Wedding work is going well and so is the non-wedding work.  But I am itching to go back to writing my novel. It’s been ages since I’ve touched it; I have an optimistic timetable in front of me whereby I sat aside time for me to write whilst I planned the wedding.  Ha ha ha. Funny girl.

But it’s almost the end of the entire journey. Which leaves me with bitt. I plan to write an entry a day, all the way up to my wedding day to sort of commemorate the journey. Why? Because I would not be Adlina without the addition of unnecessary stress in my life.  So…*ala the Doctor, reaching his hand out to a new companion*  “Come with me” 🙂

The Sappy Wedding Entry

So, I attended a wedding yesterday, one of the two weddings that I will attend before my own (!!) and had a lot of fun. The number of weddings I’ve attended over the years have dwindled somewhat – most of my friends are now married with kids and their life is all about chasing little versions of themselves – so I’m trying to do the mature thing and enjoy the remaining weddings that I’ve left.

I’m a little surprised at myself for feeling a little sad that the number of weddings I would attend would dwindle. I used to spend a lot of time being sarky at weddings, after all I was (and probably still am) a wannabe emo-novelist but I found that as I approach my own wedding date, I embarrass myself by being a lot more emotional these days at weddings. Yes, so I teared up at Edwin McCain’s “I Couldn’t Ask for More” as I held Eizwan’s hand. And everyone at the table probably felt a tad nauseated by our public display of affection – but hey, just give me this once. I’ll be back to normal at end June.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a perfect wedding. Everyone has a different idea on what makes a dream wedding, be it the dress by a particular designer, the most expensive decor, the food etc. Yesterday, was certainly one of the best weddings I’ve attended by far. Not that this entry is to review the wedding, I think it’s silly to review weddings – it’s not an event that requires assessments me think, there shouldn’t be a report card to a wedding but I could not help think that there are some weddings that are more special than others.

Stephanie and Adrian’s wedding certainly came across that way for me. From the silly MC speeches, to the jokey and meaningful speech by the bride’s father and the especially touching speech by the bride and groom themselves, I found myself frequently tearing up. If I look back to the myriads of weddings I’ve attended, I rarely remember the details like the favours, the cards, the flowers. Well, that’s not true. I remember almost every detail of everyone’s wedding – but that’s because I’m an odd duck with an almost photographic memory, so it’s not quite intentional.

Ahem.

What I mean to say is that, it’s true, every wedding has something special about it. Every wedding has a beautiful detail, a little something special about it that I’ll probably never forget. But my fondest memories are never reserved for the most beautiful weddings, the most extravagant or the most detailed. It tends to be reserved for the couple with the most sincere and relaxed atmosphere. Yesterday, at the risk of sounding hokey, you could feel the love and warmth radiating from the family and couple, and from the well-wishers in the room. There were so many smiles, so much feeling that you don’t notice the details like the flowers, the dress, the absentminded waiters – the details that Martha Stewart say should count. Because honestly, they don’t.

I think, at the end of the day, that is my fondest wish for my own wedding. That people come with much love and happiness. It’s sappy, but nothing beats your friends and family being with you, and sharing in the joy for your wedding and wishing you the best, sincerely from the heart.

Man do I sound hokey. Mid-June, people. Mid-June. It’ll be back to bitching about everything else.

But congratulations Stephanie and Adrian! May you be blessed with happiness, joy and lots of love for the rest of your lives together.