Posted in AtoZChallenge, food, General

Craving and Cooking

Cravings are usually associated with pregnancy. However, throughout my three pregnancies, I never really had any strong cravings.

The cravings that I have is more due to living far away from my homeland. Malaysia is a blessed country where food is abundance. Whenever I feel like eating certain kind of food, I didn’t have to put much effort in the kitchen, provided I have money to spend.

Cooking takes a lot more effort because it requires googling for a reliable recipe, driving out in the traffic jam and trying to find a parking space to buy the necessary ingredients and then more hours slaving in the kitchen. Even worse, the cooking didn’t turn out the way you wanted, your family refused to eat what you prepared and the kids preferred to dial the pizza anyway.

Now that I live in Tokyo  with a working husband (instead of living on a student’s budget), we had a choice to go out to Malaysian restaurants once in a while. I had also known a lady whose husband works at the Malaysian Embassy who takes special order every Wednesday. For this coming Wednesday, this is the menu she’s offering: nasi dagang and laksa Penang.

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I had tried cooking nasi dagang before and shared the pictures in this entry and then another entry, but I have never tried making laksa Penang even though it was my late mum’s favourite. My sisters too are great at making it. Somehow, I have this fear that it might not turn out the way they made it if I tried to make it.

However, there are some Malaysian food that I had tried to make but usually with some modification to the recipes, depending on the availability of the ingredients as well as my family’s taste preference.

Among the noodles that I had made are laksa Johor and mi rebus. Then I had also tried making nasi kerabu.

 

The other rice such as nasi lemak, nasi ayam (chicken rice), nasi biryani, nasi minyak and nasi goreng are considered as pretty common.

Posted in General, Pictures

Birthdays

Birthdays are reminders that we’re getting older each year and also to be grateful of the good things that have happened in our life. This year marks the fourth time of my birthday celebration in Japan. Having a spring birthday is an added bonus because as I’d mentioned before, I love flowers.

The first time I had my birthday here was in 2006. That weekend, we went to Niigata City and spent time at the Niigata City Aquarium.

Then in 2007, my birthday weekend was spent at Kashiwazaki.

Last year, both Mel and Ar were having their spring break on my birthday, so we decided to spend the day at Tokyo Tower. The weekend was spent going to hanami at Nakameguro River.

This year, it was cold and rainy on my birthday. The temperature was around 8 Celsius. I didn’t feel like going anywhere. Mel made me a lava lamp that she had learnt to make at school and Fa sent me an edited photo of our photo taken last autumn.

During the weekend, we went to a nearby cafe where I had a slice of cheesecake to mark my birthday. We walked around Yakumo enjoying the not yet fully bloomed cherry blossoms because we just didn’t feel like going to crowded parks on a not so warm day.

So, the fiftieth year of my life has just begun. Based on our current plan, I’ll most likely celebrate my fiftieth birthday in Japan too, insya-Allah. I’m grateful for all the wonderful people and things that have happened in my life. I shouldn’t complain about the not so nice to have, either. I’m sure they happened because Allah wanted to teach me something and also to make me more appreciative of the good things.

Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah, thank you my dear family and friends, and not forgetting the wonderful readers of this blog who have spent your precious time to read, like and comment on my posts. 🙂

 

Posted in General

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April is here. Time flew by and we’re already in the second quarter of the year. March had been a rather cold month this year.

Throughout the whole month, we had only a few sunny days when temperature reached 17°C. Most of the other days had maximum temperature below 10°. There was even snow in some mountain areas yesterday.

Even today, the highest temperature was only 9°. Compared to last year, we were already enjoying warm sunny days and managed to get beautiful hanami pictures by the final week of March.

Last week, I went out on a rainy day with a completely wrong outfit. I had under-estimated the rain and put on a long dress with woolly boots. Even with the umbrella, the rain managed to wet my dress and the water from the dress eventually soaked my boots.

After a 10 minute walk to the bus stop, my feet were soaked. I was tempted to cancel the outing and go back home, but I hadn’t been to the meeting (a Quran study circle) for a long time, I had to fight the demons inside myself really hard just to proceed walking and waiting for the bus in thecrain.

I knew, if I walked home to change my dress and shoes, I would end up staying home instead. I’m happy I won against the demons. 😊

I spent 2 hours at the Indonesian School in Meguro (thre was a farewell party before the study began) and after the meeting ended, had to put back on the wet socks and boots.

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I was the only Malaysian there but the Indonesian sisters are always so welcoming, I never feel out of place when I’m with them. Indonesian language is slightly different from Malay, but I usually understand about 80-90%  of the conversation.

That night, I posted the picture of the Quran that we were studying that afternoon on my instagram. It was Surah 84, Al-Inshiqaq which describes the rewards for the believers and punishments for the non-believers.

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A Japanese follower asked me if I could read the writing. The answer is, yes, I can read the Arabic writing in Quran because they are written with diacritics. Without diacritics, it’s hard to read Arabic because I have only learnt basic Arabic so far. I even gave her the link to website so that she could listen to the recitation of the Arabic verse. She later told me, that was the first time ever for that she’d listened to a Quran recitation.

I saw this April A to Z Challenge last week. It would be interesting to participate. Do you think I will succeed if I try to take part in it?