Monday, April 11, 2011

Irritable Bowel syndromes

Since I moved back to Kota Bharu, in 1998, I was constantly having problems with my digestive systems. I was always visiting the toilet, not once or twice a day but sometime up to 4 or 5 times,especially after food. As a result of that, I was loosing weight although I was eating normally.

When I consulted the doctors, they diagnosed me as suffering from IBS or Irritable bowel Syndromes. When I told them that I am loosing weight they told me cynically that, I am lucky, because so many others wanted to loose weight.They also suggested that I probably had a very active metabolic rate and hence I am burning calories faster than others.I was never happy with their diagnoses.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) means that I am sensitive to certain kind of food, namely fatty food like French fries; milk products like cheese or ice cream;Chocolates;Alcohol; caffeinated drinks,like coffee and some sodas and carbonated drinks like colas. All these foods happen to be my favorites. But I have avoided cows milk for sometimes , but occasionally take yogurt especially with strawberry flavors. Occasionally I would also take goats milk. I feel I have to take milk for my calcium as bones will diminishes its calcium, as one gets old.

I have been taking mebeverine hydrochloride (Duspatalin) for many years now , to cure my IBS problem. I am not a doctor, but I was told if you take medication for too long I will become dependent on it. I will have to constantly go back to the hospital to collect my prescriptions. After sometimes I got bored.

So for the last one year I have gradually ween it out of my systems. I did it without the doctor's knowledge.I just got bored of pill popping 3 times a day. I did it gradually by reducing it from 3 to 2 and later I only took one tablet per day. Now I do not take it anymore. But now another problems just cropped up.

Ever since I was young my weight was constantly about 50kgs. I will put on a little weight when I am pregnant but will loose it as soon my baby is born. I will look so slim and thin immediately after deliveries. I will also loose weight during the fasting month of Ramadhan. So even after 6 babies I was able o maintain my figure and was very happy and never control my diet. I ate anything and will never have to worry about getting fat, unlike some of my friends who were worried about getting fat.

This situation gave me a lot of advantage over others. Unlike some of my friends who had to constantly changed their wardrobes, I was able to get back into my old clothes without the slightest care in the world.

Lately, I am loosing weight very fast and I was told this was due to my age.The calcium in my bones is declining and so the weight lost.My digestive systems cannot digest some of the food that I have consumed. I was advised not to take dairy products, corn, nuts and flour. What am I left with. I grow old on these. How do I change my eating habits and patterns.

I have to stop eating my favorite pan cakes, roti jala, roti canai, mee bandung, mee goreng ,cakes and curry puffs which are all either wheat or corn based.Chicken will also disappear from my menu, so will also my favorite munching kacang and kuah rojak, and my Hari Raya specials, kuah sate.What about butter, margarine, and cheese ? They too will be scrapped off except Mozarella cheese.

I was told to consume Goats milk which is good for my digestive systems and my calcium supply. So now I guest wlll have to find good reliable pistuerized

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Telipot House

Since I moved out of my semi-D house in Lorong Merican into the condo, I have been thinking about doing something to this house as I spent a big chunk of my money building it.

Part of it was built with my hard earned cash. I was working with Bank Pertanian Malaysia (now Agro Bank), and some of the money was from compensation money paid by the state government when they acquired my plot of land in Pengkalan Chepa and a small part of my mother's property in Jalan Raja Dewa, Telipot. It amounted to more than a hundred and fifty thousand ringgit.Mine was ninety thousand and my mother's about sixty thousand.

I also took an additional one-hundred thousand ringgit loan from MBSB (Malaysia Building Society Berhad). I was paying a hefty RM1,100.00 per month. It was a 15 year loan. When the house was completed in l983, it was rented out to a Chinese family for RM800.00 a month.This was to reduce the financial burden. They stayed for 15years. It was only taken back when I decided to move back to Kota Bharu in l998.

The house was built on a piece of land given by my husband as a symbol of his love to me. The land once belonged to my paternal grandmother, Nik Ti binti Wan Salam. It was charged to the Bank by one of our uncles, Nik Salleh bin Nik Mat Tahir. Fortunately my husband received a notice that the land was to be auctioned by the Bank and he managed to bid for it. There were however other bidders for the property. He managed to get back only half of it. He had to share this land with another person who bid for it too. She was Tengku Elik Zandariah (one of the Sultan of Kelantan consort) the late Sultan Yahaya Petra.

My husband later transferred the land to me as a symbol of his love. Tengku Elik and me subdivided the land into two and she developed hers and I developed mine.

Mine was further sub-divided into three individual bungalow lots. I have always wanted my three daughters to stay together on this piece of land. I have always dreamed of giving one house to each of my children.

I have this principle of believing that each person born into this world is entitled to have a roof over their heads. The size or the type of house is irrelevant.

I must have been very ambitious at that time. Instead of building two individual bungalows I gave in to the designer who advised me ‘to build a semi-D house, so that we can have extra space and bigger rooms’ he said. We also saved on 10feet on each side of the land if we were to build bungalows.

The house was already 15years old when I moved in. It was still looking good, except for the bathrooms, which were leaking. The house was marginally fixed and repainted by son-in-law, Tengku Abdul Rahman bin Tengku Abdul Hamid. Bless him. He was married to Nik Elin Zurina, my eldest daughter. They are now separated and he is my son-in-law no more. They have five beautiful children. They all lived here until they were separated a few years ago.Very sad episode in my life.

I have stayed here for almost twelve years. I was very comfortable here and would love to stay here for another twelve years. But it was not to be. My son-in-law had moved out of the house. My daughter is working in Kuala Lumpur. I live alone in a ten-bedroom house, with two-living rooms; two kitchens; two dining areas; one traditional house and a large garden. OMG. Heeelp!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kelantan -the cradle of Malay culture

Kelantan is situated at the North Eastern State of Peninsular Malaysia, bordering Thailand and the South China Sea. The capital of Kelantan is Kota Bharu in the district of Kota Bharu.

There are 10 districts in Kelantan, namely Tumpat, Bachok, Machang,Pasir Mas,Tanah Merah, Pasir Puteh, Kuala Krai, Gua Musang,and Jeli.

The people

This is the only state in Malaysia that has a predominatly Malay population. With a population of about 1.8million. Ninety five Percent of her people belongs to this ethnic group. Others include, Chinese, Indians and Thais and a small percentage are Muslim Cambodians who have since 1971 made their homes here.

Rich cultural Heritage.

Kelantan is known for its ability to preserve and maintained its rich Malay cultural heritage and is often referred to as the 'Cradle of Malay Cultures'. Traditional gold thread weaving is still alive here. The kain songket (gold threaded materials produced here is said to be one of the finest and often sought after by dignitaries to wear on special occasion or functions).Wood c arvers,kite makers and many traditional arts and crafts made from mengkuang leaves and rattans can be found here.

Malay cultural performances such as Wayang Kulit, Dikir Barat, Mak Yong,Manora and Rebana can still be found here, although many have died, due to political interventions.The state government has banned these performances as un-Islamic and moral degradation. Women are not allowed to participate in any of these performances because it is considered taboo by the state government.

Islamic influence

Kelantan has been the regional culture of Islamic learning for hundreds of years. Many Islamic scholars in the olden days were from Kelantan or Southern Thai Province of Pattani.

Lower cost of living

The cost of living here is much lower than other states in Malaysia. This could be due to the fact that the people here are very self sufficient and hard working. They are capable of producing their own consumer needs and practice a simple life style and are very comfortable with it.

Traditionally, most of the people are involved in traditional activities such as fishing, fruit and vegetable farming, padi farmers and poultry farming.

Business-spirited Malays

Kelantanese women are known for their shrewd business-mind,creative, enterprising and hard working.

It is very common to see women here involved in all kind of business activities;doing business everywhere; in front of their houses;by the road sides; in front of the mosques; in every nooks and corners of the state.

Their strong spirit for self sufficiency has led them to produce their own basic needs such fruit,vegetables, fruits and rear their own chicken or other poultry animals. They eat what ever they need and sell whatever left overs. So you will find plenty of fruits,vegetables, fish, poultry, food stuff, variety of handcrafts and souvenirs which they create and produce available almost every where, be it at weekly markets or by the roadsides stalls. At Bazaars and market places it is full of enterprising women and men offering every type of goodies to attract customers.

Special attractions

For those visiting the state for the first time it is worthy to note that Kelantan has it own special attractions. Women are in control in most business enterprise.Besides that you will find the dialect is also distintly different.Ancient terminolog such as 'pitis' for money, 'rial' for dollar,'samah' for fifty cents is used in their daily communication, which the 'outsiders' may find quite confusing. You will also notice that, most buildings and business premises belongs to the Malays. You will see many commercial buildings bears Malay names such as Wisma Nik Fatimah, Wisma Nik Kembang, Wisma Ibrahim and sons,Wisma Dato' Wan Hassan, just to name a few.

Another interesting feature is the eating habits of the Malays in Kelantan. Majority of them eat rice-based food at least three time a day. Breakfast mainly consist of a variety of take-aways or ready wrapped nasi berlauk, nasi kerabu , nasi dagang or nasi tumpang, which is normally prepared at roadside stalls near their homes. It is common to see people, young and old standing and waiting at these roadside stalls buying food for their families for breakfast. Lunch however is normally prepared at home but also consist of rice and an assortment of lauk pauk (accompanying dishes to go with the rice normally consists of fish,vegetables and meat dishes).

At dinner-time the family usually sits together and eat the best meals of the day after a hard days work.

The assimilation

Most Malays here are fair and have sharp feature. You will not be able to distinguish between one race from the other, based solely on their looks or appearance. Although they are multi racial, you will not be able to distinguish them by their looks and speeches. They all sound and look almost similar in their behavior and and their ways of life, until you enter their homes.

The assimilation of the races here is very visible. You will find The Chinese or the Siamese will be known, not by their Chinese or Thai name, but rather by their Malay names like Awang for Ah Yuan, Hussein for Chong Seng and so on. This peculiarity is only acceptable in Kelantan

You should not also be surprised if the Chinese shopkeeper here say 'Insyaallah' or make promises to go to your appointment 'lepas subuh' or ' lepas zohor'. Such situation has been accepted a part of our culture.The Chinese will follow the Malay tradition of 'Tunkuing' ( applying pressure with a hot rock on the stomach during confinements and 'mengurut' (massaging)and make pulut kuning (yellow rice) after confinement.They are all part and parcel of Kelantanese way of life.

Kota Bharu, has it own delightful charms

There are many interesting places that will delight and charm visitors to Kelantan, especially in Kota Bharu, its state capital.

Beside its beautiful beaches and charming people, visitors will find Kota Bharu, a place to sample typical Malay cuisines.Assortments of delicious Malay apread such as Jala mas, akok, piyana, buah tanjung, serabey with exquisite taste and exotic names can be found here.Ayam Percik, Nasi Dagang,Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Belauk, Nasi tumpang and an array of local favorites such as laksa,laksam,colek,kerabu,rojak and nasi with an assortment of salads or ulam (normally gathered from their backyards) to go with our local favorite fish sauce 'budu'.'Budu' is a must in every household.

For bargain hunters

Kota Bharu will not disappoint you. Pasar Borong Wakaf Che Yeh,where good are sold at whole sale price. It is open 7 days a week. Bazaar Buluh Kubu for your batik and songket, other local handicrafts and souveniors.Visit the various cottage industries in Penambang and see how songket are made. Kelantan is also famous for its silver handcrafts.Pay a visit to these places and see how these handicraft are made. You might also want to see how Kites are made

See the Women power in Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah.
Visit the Batik Factory in Kampung Sirih
The War museums adjacent to the Kelantan river

Come and enjoy Nasi ulam with budu at the Handicraft centre

If you wake in the middle of the night and feel like eating, just drive to town and enjoy the cool nigh breeze of Sungai Kelantan.It is usually open until 3.00 or 4.00 o-clock in the morning.

Take a boat ride to Kampung Laut and see how dodol and Serunding are made.
If you like serunding there are a few sambal daging (local name for serunding)processors in Jalan Kubur Maras.Not far from Hotel Renaissance, in Kota Bharu.

If people has been telling you that our local favorite 'Budu' or fish sauce is made from berbudu (they are not true), you had better visit our Budu factory and see for yourself how our 'yummy appetizer Budu' is made.

If you are interested in tax-free goods,visit our border towns of Rantau Panjang and Pengkalan Kubur. If you are adventurous and brought your international passport, you can cross over to Sungai Golok or Takbai in Thailand, only a few minutes away by ferry from Pengkalan Kubur or drive across to Sungai Golok.

Visit the Largest Sleeping Buddha in the world.just a few minutes away from Kota Bharu.

Kelantan is also known for its traditional games of Top spinning (Gasing) and Bird singing competitions, kite flying competitions. More information on these please go to Kelantan tourism information centre in Jalan Ibrahim, Kota Bharu

The weekly Friday Religious talks given by Tok guru Haji Nik Aziz (He is the Menteri Besar of Kelantan) at the Pas Headquarters in Kota Bharu. This is also a crowd puller for those who are politically inclined or interested to see what 'Serambi Mekkah' has to offer.

Maybe to those of you who wants to spend some time here either listening to religious talks or look around for local dishes, clothes or any local produced goods.

Here you will be able to mingle around with the locals in their weekly bazaar. There are plenty of things on sale here. You can feast your eyes on a variety of goods and foodstuffs, clothes, herbs and other local handcrafts such as batiks and selendang (local head cover), scarves are on sale here.

Beaches and waterfalls

Kelantan has stretches and stretches of beautiful beaches and waterfalls, but most of the beaches are not recommended for swimming, because of its strong under current(maybe because it is facing the South china Seas) especially during the monsoon season. The beaches are however suitable for sun bathers who likes to tan themselves as the sun is very strong in the afternoon.

How about a ride in the Trishaw?

This is another mode of transportation in Kelantan. Take a ride in one of this decorated man-paddled three-wheeled bicycles( the locals call it teksi and see the town.The peddlers are mostly very experienced and would love to show you around for a fee. They are mostly from nearby villages.

Shopping at Bazaar Buluh Kubu and it surroundings

Here you can spend your time looking around the display of local handcrafts products, such as Batik, songket, gold and silver ornaments bracelets,necklaces, brooches; all hand-crafted by our own people. You can spend hours here looking for the right bargain. Beautiful hand-made batiks and locally woven materials are available here.

Adjacent to it is the Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah where you can feast your eyes or buy a variety of local products at very reasonable prices.

Food and Restaurants. Food are abundant here. Cheap and delicious.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hi! I have just created another blog. this blog will try to focus on Kelantan.
The state where I was born until I left it in 1967 to be with my husband who took a job in Johore and later in Kuala Lumpur.I came back to Kelantan in 1998 after my husband died.

When I left Kelantan,in l967 I have three children, all girls Nik Elin Zurina (6), Nik Ainun Zanariah(5) and Nik Adura Zuliana less than one year old. In Kuala Lumpur, we are blessed with three more children, all boys. Nik Ahmad Rozaidi was born in l971, Nik Adlin Fariz in l972 and in May 1984 we have another son, Nik Azan Shah Reza.

I married my cousin in 1960. I hardly know him before we got married, but his younger brother used come to our house,when he acompany his grandmother, who is also my grandmother. We were neighbors too. His house was just across the road, the Jalan Pasit Puteh, now this road has been renamed Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra.

As I was a fun loving person, I had many friends, boys included. He was older so he was not in my friends list.

It was an arranged marriage. I only had third grade School certificate then and was working as a clerical officer in the Land and District office in Kota Bharu. My basic salary was only RM122.50. My husband who was working as technician in the Survey Department was earning slightly more. I was married on 1st September l960 and by 28th May the following year I was already a mother to a beautiful daughter. This was followed by another daughter in June the following year.

I was never happy with that small income and took a few part time jobs to supplement our family income. I was very lucky because in those days there were very few people who go to secondary schools. This is more so among Malay girls, like me. So I considers myself to be among the few who made it to secondary schools.

Getting jobs in those days was not a problem at all. Job offers came in, without me having to go for interviews. I was offered to be a part time announcer for Radio and TV Malaysia(RTM) without any effort at all. I remember Arwah Encik Aziz Abu Hassan (he was the husband of our Tan Sri Aishah Ghani) came to my office and gave me the job after he taped my voice with a recording instrument which he brought from KL.

In those days there was no radio stations in Kota Bharu yet, so radio producers had to carry their own studio with them wherever they go. Well, Aziz Abu Hassan was one of them.

I don' t remember how I met him, but one day he called me to the Rest House near my Office, to give me an audition of some sort. I must have fulfilled his requirement and so was hired immediately. I remember the first recording was done on my wedding day at my house in KB.

We made a number of programs together, mostly documentaries. One of them is called 'Ole Ole Pantai Timur'. Later my husband also lend his voice for a number of programs. I was getting quite a lot of job offers after that, but as I was already employed by the state government, so I took the jobs on part time basis.

Among the jobs I took on part time basis was teaching adult education classes in the evening in Kedai Mulong about 14 km away. I would be with them for two hours, three times a week. There are also times whenever there are lottery draws, I would get invited to the stage to pull the lucky numbers. I am given tokens for my services. I received two of these from the organizers They were made of real gold. I also earn extra cash on election days by being a polling clerk. I was earning three or four times more than I was earning from my permanent job in the Land and District office.

With the money I earned, my mother would buy me gold necklaces,earrings and bracelets. I still have some of them, until today.

At the office, I was a favorite to the DO too. In fact he asked me why I got married so early, if not, he would have made me into something better than a clerical officer. He was very impressed with my work and was often invited to his house to meet his family.

During Monsoon seasons, I would be given the task of distributing food supplies and blankets to the flood victims all over the district. I remember how the people would welcome us whenever we arrived at our destinations. I enjoyed meeting the people and traveling in the Land Rovers with other senior staffs was truly an enjoyable experience. It was during these trips that I got to know many new places that I have never been before. I also got to learn of unique and funny names of people and places.

I was also appointed to represent the state government of a few voluntary or charitable organizations. Come to think of it now, I think I was quite a celebrity.......kekkekekkek.

But being an only child, my priority was always to be close with my mother. She was my world and I never knew any other options but to stay with her.

I was a mediocre student when I was in school, but after I got married, I was inspired by my husband who was always working hard to improve himself.

have studied hard even I got married accepted as a student in the University in 1975 to study in the Faculty of Arts and graduated with a Bachelor Of Arts(hons) and was appointed as a Credit Officer with Bank Pertanian Malaysia(BPM)now known as Agro Bank. I remained in BPM until I opted for an early retirement in l991. My last post in BPM was as a Public Relations Manager.

After my husband died, I was offered to continue my studies again. This time I join University Pertanian Malaysia(UPM) and got my Masters of Science degree in Corporate Communications.In to Kota Bharu I became a Tutor in one of UTM's branch campus, teaching corporate communications to distant Learning students in Wakaf Bharu. for two years. Afater that I left teaching and became a full time retiree.

It took me about twelve years to adjust to the slow pace of life in Kelantan. I found this place to be very mundane . It is so different from Metropolitan Kuala Lumpur. However I am so happy here now, that I am beginning to like this place and hope to be able to share my hopes and aspirations for this lovely and charming place.