Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Assalamualaikum wbt. How are u all? Enjoying your holiday?
Alhamdulillah. Hubby & I arrived safely 10 days ago. Alhamdulillah. I can't say it enough. This pekerjaan haji isn't that easy. Tough. We were quite hard done. But again, alhamdulillah, by god willing, we came and conquered! Yang penting, diselesaikan dengan sah dan sempurna.

Our group (about 400) arrived at Madina on 24th Oct spending 8 days there before travelling to Mekah and stayed there for the remaining period (36days). Already the adventure began. Arriving at Madina airport at 5 am, the immigration check became super snail-slow due to new system set-up. And there was already an earlier load of plane from Turkey before us. We waited 3 hours for them to finish before we got on line and 3 hours for us to finish. Yes, we got out from the airport after 6 hours. But we'd been sufficiently reminded through countless taklimat before, that delays, long wait, long queues are to be expected here. Part and parcel of hajj work. We encounter it everywhere all the time so must practice patience.
In Madina, we did ibadah in Masjid Nabawi and ziarah and shopping. Yes, its advisable to get all the souveniers, sejadah, kurma , kacang & madu off your list in Madina and get them sent home by post before going to Mekah because there won't be enough time to shop when we start hajj work.

Masjid Nabawi in Madina, in all its glory.

Btw, our hotel in Madina is MOVENPICK. It's a nice new 4-star hotel. We stayed 4-in a room. Hubby stayed next door with roomates who are husbands of my roomates. That's how they arrange families. So we grew close with our friends.

Ok, these pics at the bottom, I couldn't rearrange them to the relevant para. I don't know why they won't be dragged. So just read the story first, I'll explain the pics later, k.

We set foot in Mekah on 1 Dec 09. Our hotel is SEVILLA BARAKAH. Distance is 600 m from Masjidil Haram. About 15 min walk. Expansion work was rapidly under way. Long way to finish though, 5 years maybe. The interior renovation however were completed. I can't explain how it felt to be inside Masjidil Haram and be able to perform all your ibadah and watch kaabah. You just want to be there all day.

Due to heavy traffic, our ziarah in Mekah were short and brief. The bus couldn't get very near to the location, unlike during umrah. So some of the places like Jabal Thur & Jabal Nur we only got to see from afar. Hudaibiyah & the museum were skipped altogether.

Our spare time in the hotel were filled with ceramah/taklimat apart from doing umrah sunat while waiting for wukuf day.

Every week saw increase in Mekah crowd. Jemaah started streaming into Mekah every week and by the 3rd week, Madina was empty. All jemaah have settled in Mekah awaiting wukuf. I must say it also put strain on your nerve and patience. Everywhere you go, is congested. The mosque is full, the road to the mosque is packed. You need to start out 2 hours before pray time to get a place. When you finish, you face the crowd again. Seriously, my first time, I felt quite overwhelmed. Never in my life have I seen such a LOT OF PEOPLE. Lautan manusia precisely. The road is sooo packed, you could only move inch by inch. What used to be 15 min walk, now became 40 min. Then when you get to the hotel, the dining hall queue turned you off. And when you braved it, the kitchen couldn't cope, lauk habis or nasi lambat. A couple of times, we only got bread and salad becos thats what left. You could try outside restaurant but there are also packed and you still have to wait at least an hour to place order and get a table.

And then there's the lift which always took forever. Our hotel accomodate 2,800. We reached quite the max capacity by 3rd week. Our room was on 4th floor, in actual fact, although it says 2nd floor room, but in between G and 1, there are 2 service floors for housekeep & kitchen. We did quite a few hamstring exercise taking the stairs during peak time. Still, these are trivial. I mean imagine those on 17th floor, for instance (not to mention, aged and uzur jemaah). You have no choice if the lift takes all day. So no complaining. It does strain you a bit, but you know you're 100x luckier than others.

Wukuf day is on 9 Zulhijjah (27th Nov). We entered Arafah on 8 Zulhijjah, in batches starting from 12.30 pm. But 3 hours before that, rain started pouring non-stop and by 2pm petugas haji announced the 3 earlier bus departed from hotel couldn't get entrance in Arafah. (we were to be on the 4th bus). Only 1 bus made it and the other 2 were asked to return and wait further notice because Arafah was flooded and the Arabs were rectifying the situation (damaged tents, etc). Finally we were given the go-ahead at 4pm, but slow moving traffic, arriving Arafah (only 7km away) about 6.30 pm . The tents were carpeted and equipped with 4 sets of cool-blower and we each got a mattress, pillow and blanket. About 20 people in each tent. When we arrived, there's a power trip and we got no electricity for the night, relying on torch light to rummage our bag and get changed. We had a quick dinner served in another tent, in a dark. Quite adventurous actually, like scout camping minus the bonfire. :p. They were some unlucky ones, my hubby and friends included, whose tents were rather badly damaged. The carpets were completely soaked, they didn't get to sleep at all.

We got up 2 am for kiamulail and stayed up till subuh pray. I took my nap right after that and woke up 7.30 am for breakfast and ready for tazkirah, solat sunat etc. I managed to get a shower earlier around 3 am ( & then got lost finding my back to the tent :p).

Wukuf starts at Zuhur , so by 11 am we were all ready outside our tents with our matts. First ceramah by the ustaz and then solat jemaah, lunch break and then individual ibadah (doa & zikir) from then on till Maghrib. Wukuf in Arafah is rukun haji. It's even described as hajj itself (arafah=haji). You cannot NOT do it. You can't compensate with bayaran dam or such. You can't wakilkan to others. No matter how expensive your package is, you do wukuf. In your pakaian ihram (for women, just stay tutup aurat). Its like everyone gathered on earth in what they started with, no pakaian berjahit, just a tonga-style piece of cloth and all the same, rich or poor, royal or khadam. What matters is each one's amalan and bekalan to face the Creator.

So after wukuf, we were ready to leave. Again, more patience cos we got to be the last group transported out of Arafah at 11pm (the first group got out 6.30pm). The next destination was Muzdalifah. The 'waktu sah' for mabit is only separuh malam that is past midnight. So we were supposed to be there just a couple of hours, the most maybe we stay till 4 am.

But no, no, no, no. Bus problem again, little surprise. We didn't see our bus till daylight. well past daylight. 8.30 am. Its already 10 Zulhijjah. Hari raya aidil adha. In Muzdalifah. There're no tents in Mudzdalifah. It's just a big field. You stop there to collect pebbles for melontar Jamrah. We tried to catch some sleep on the hard ground. Highly uncomfortable but you just imagine adventure and have a sense of humor.

So from Muzdalifah, on to Mina, where the Jamrahs are. Lontarans are made on 4 days : 10, 11, 12 & 13 Zulhijjah. This event is symbolic of when Nabi Ibrahim threw a rock at the devil disguising as a man, who tried to dissuade him from carrying out God's order.

In hukum, you don't need to stay overnight in Mina but you need to be there separuh malam and do your melontar. That's the 2 syarat wajib. We stayed there all 3 nights & 4 days. In tents, just like in Arafah. The tents were more comfortable comparatively, fully airconned , thicker mattress but the big problem was toilet. The number available greatly disproportioned to the number of users. Probably 1 toilet per 100 users. So there were people who travel back to Mekah on their own, where their hotel room still available, after satisfying the syarat wajib . Some on foot, some by cab. Only 7km away.

After completing Mina, we returned to Mekah. We did the last part of hajj work, i.e tawaf and saie haji (haji tamattu' way, there're 2 other types of hajj work). You complete that, you're done, you're officially Haji and Hajjah. Doing the tawaf was tough this time, as Masjidil Haram flooded with jemaah all completing their hajj.

We didn't have much time by then. We returned from Mina 1 Dec and scheduled to leave Mekah for Jedah on 5 Dec. So 4 days to complete tawaf&saie , last-minute shopping (if any) and pack our bags.

On the day we check out, we're required to perform tawaf wada' (wajib) , last respect to kaabah before leaving Mekah.

From Mekah to Jedah, took 2 hours bus-drive. We were put up in Grand Saha Hotel. Nice hotel, excellent food and a heavenly big room for 2 (hehehe).. Now everyone get a room with their spouses. We stayed a night and checked out the next morning straight to airport. At the airport , we were each given a complimentary Quran. Our flight was at 3pm. We arrived KL 7 Dec 4.30 am and took a connecting flight to KK in the afternoon

So, that's that. We arrived safely in KK without delay at 4.30pm. Waiting to receive us at the airport were children, hubby's mom & sisters and my brothers.

The same evening, after maghrib, MIL organised kenduri doa selamat for us and also majlis khatam quran for my eldest son. I really missed my children and my home. It felt ages.

Ok. Enjoy the rest of the pics. Sorry I don't load too many. malasss.

Until next post. BYE!

Madina - our hotel. the reception area, the dining hall, hotel cafe.

my son's khatam quran

the day we arrived home. there was a ritual before we stepped into the treshold. di taburi bunga rampai kunun.

ready for kenduri

ok, these pics are of Mina. the top left - view of thousands of tents at Mina, next-Muzdalifah. it's a big hilly area. 3rd pic-I'm at Jamrah place, behind me is one of the Jamrah (there're 3). the last photo shows the way up to the Jamrah building, 3 floors.

these are pictures at Arafah. outside the tents, inside the tent.

these are Mekah pics. 1st pic-the first day we entered Mekah, stopping at miqat.2nd pic-hotel buildings nearby masjid.3rd-the construction to expand dataran masjid. 4th-i'm at a handbag boutique in Hilton. 5th-other shopping malls facing masjid:Darral Tawhid,Hilton, Safwa Tower.6th-Jabal Rahmah.

Masjidil Haram's exterior.

prominent interiors of Masjidil Haram - kaabah, hajar aswad, makam ibrahim and bukit safa&marwah. I didn't take these pics, mind (hebat juga aku).they're from hubby's friend's cam.

in Madina. there's a park behind Food Market (food kiosks mainly selling kebabs) which is lovely for families to stop and have picnics. the other 2 pics are during ziarah to pasar kurma & Bukit Uhud.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

lambaian kaabah ke 2

i'm beyond excited. i can't believe i'm going there twice in a year. but that's what fated to me. i'm blessed. i should make good and do my best to obtain 'haji mabrur'. insya allah
yes. i'm returning to Mekah to perform haj after being back 6 months ago for umrah. it's coming clear to me. i remember everything especially the first time i saw kaabah. and i'm excited to see how far the mosque-expansion project gone. the last time i was there we had to trudge accross the rubbles of demolished hotel buildings to do pray everyday. during taklimat recently we saw the artist' impression and was..well impressed. its gonna be massive. though there might not be much progress in 6 mths but i'm still excited.

so when am i leaving? erm..tomorrow. gosh!!!!!! i know! i'm still pinching myself. its all going so fast! since the 2nd week of Raya when we received the news (but thought that we were in the last group like Nov batch) , hubby and I have been frantically reading books trying to get ourselves ready . but in the end you can't cram everything. i would just do my best and 'minta di permudahkan'. that's all i can attempt. my very best.

to all my friends, old and new, my family if you happen to read this- i'm going away for 45 days. i'm going to pray for all of you when i'm there. for your health, for your wealth, for your happiness. i hope you would pray for me & hubby to depart and arrive safely to our destination and come back here safely to the arms of our beloved kids. (i'm trying not to think about not seeing them for 45 days.gosh).

and my sincere apologies for any offense to anyone . i'm gonna miss you all. i'm gonna miss your blog.

see you back in december. enjoy the holidays.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

cerita raya

aku baru lah ala-ala free sikit ni. since raya till the past week was busy. i was maidless since my open hse last sunday. hari ni baru 2 hari maid ku balik. sedang2 aku bikin open hse hari tu, dia terpaksa pulang sebab ada urgent. tapi sudah jam 5 la, guests pun sudah berkurangan. since dia belum dikasi cuti raya, aku bagi la dia terus 6 hari.

my raya - 1st until 3rd day d Labuan. biasa la ramai sana tapi not so bad tis year. mungkin sebab ada hujan2 lebat jadi nda terlampau ramai orang 'menyerang' rumah dan kami pun nda banyak berjalan. yang best, pokok rambutan di tepi dapur tu berbuah lebat. bambangan dan tarap pun ber'masak'an. apa lagi...cakap pun tak guna.., tarap tu dari bulan puasa (kami 2 hari sebelum raya sudah d sana) sampai ke raya jadi hidangan sampai 4 biji sekali kami cucur. huhu.

ini gambar d labuan. lepas bersalaman dan berbagi angpow.

my kids & their cousins

grandmas & grandchildren

the family (x sharp gambarnya ..sayang)

hari raya ke4 kami d kk sudah. tis year meriah juga. sampai saja, ada open hse sana sini sampai sekarang.

tak payah banyak cakap mari lah kita tingu gambar2.

kami melawat rumah lama arwah parents d kg bambangan papar dan bergambar for old time sake. sweet.

open house pakcik d kg sungai padang.

my open hse , sunday raya ke 8.

satay 1,000 cucuk. sangat tidak cukup. 3 jam sudah habis.

lamb cukup2.

my first guest. next door neighbour. ini saja kami sempat bergambar tentu tentu. lepas tu guests berduyun2 datang serentak. penuh khemah. nda cukup meja. sori lah sesiapa yang nda berapa terlayan ok. ramai betul orang.

ini pula gambar 2 d belakang tabir.LOL.

my family melarikan diri dari kesibukan khemah dan berehat d belakang.

anak siapa tu aa..baju petak2?
si baju biru tu, dia p kacau basikal lepas tu jatuh baru dia cepat2 lari..busted! (anak siapa?:)
yesterday (saturday) kami beraya dari petang ke malam- 5 rumah. ada lagi 2 nda terpigi. ini hari full day rehat.
for all of you - selamat meneruskan pengembaraan raya!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

september post

been a month, huh? and most of u have not been updating either. penat ka berpuasa? raya is around the corner now, ready or not. i'm not ready.i've done nothing around the house, deco wise. i've been busy baking cookies everyday, got the baju2 raya & stuffs taken care of, but that's about it. (maybe i need to shut down my fb, that's what! :D). how about u guys?

lots other things going on around here.
first - weeks ago, hubby's aunt got admitted to SMC and had an operation for a fractured ankle. after discharged (on the 1st day of puasa), she stayed on with us for 2 weeks while waiting for the first review. the leg is casted, she could only move in wheelchair. so we were kept busy with an OKU (ampun Mak Mok) in the house. after operation, she still need to return to hospital 3x a week for theraphy. that's my part, to drive her.

here she is, Mak Mok, the day of the first review. the doctor grinded a 'window' off the cast to see how the wound is healing. the equipment is scary and the sound is worst.exactly like mesin rumput. Mak Mok was scared shit.

the good news, the leg is healing well. there was nothing to worry and she's due next month for the second visit and take off the cast. that's after raya. terpaksalah dia beraya dengan kasut simen.

so between helping care of her and all, i managed 8 cookies. i don't know if i'll do more. see how it is, next week. the only week left before raya.

2 repeat of past year (kuih siput & butterfly cornflakes), the rest are new ones. i planned to do just 2-3, but they're so many pretty, inviting recipes in the mags. I like SAJI and KELUARGA sep issue. the one with Datuk K & Siti as cover. btw, romantik amat kan dorang..? baju2 Siti sangat sweet.
talk about baju, sempat juga kami ke KL last week. kami laki bini saja. khas untuk shopping raya. siok juga bulan puasa, nda buang masa berhenti makan. jalan dan shopping dan jalan dan shopping...till u drop gitu!
jadi aku mau menayang sedikit pembelianku. sedikit. kasut saja aku kasi tengok. malas mensnap yang lain, ok.

simple2 saja.

selamat membersihkan rumah!

Monday, August 17, 2009

weekend update

we were in hubby's kampung on the weekend. ada kenduri dan upacara meraikan majlis berkhatan for my eldest son. ini adat macam majlis bersanding. di rias macam pengantin, dibacakan doa, di tepung tawar. all the works u know.

my handsome son jadi pengantin sekejap.

he's not alone. ada kawan dia yang sama2 bersunat, also neighbour belakang rumah. kalau sorang, menangis juga dia kali nda mau.

nampak songkok dorang tu. hihihi. mau tempah?

i don't think masih ramai yang amalkan adat ni kan. he is first male grandchild so there's no question about it. his grandma insists.

they are always together whenever cuti sekolah. his best friend in kampung. they'll have this cute picture for memory when they are all grown up :p

Saturday, August 8, 2009

julia is 9

my daughter turned 9 on 6th august. together celebrating with her is her 1 year-younger cousin, whose birthday on 7th august. we coincided the party with our kenduri arwah held last night. her younger cousin is bigger than her :p
i made a pink castle cake for her. i wanted to do a matching princess cake for the cousin but got too tired :D. so just a simple flower cake. (double standard ..:p)

some of our food. my sisters & brothers each contributed a dish.

and while shopping for my girl's present last week, i got myself a new pair of shades.
lain yang bday, lain yang dapat hadiah :D.
this one is fixed with powered lens. since me & contact lens aren't good friends i have to opt for powered sunglass. the normal glass with transition lens aren't enough for me in a hot blazing day esp when driving. cantik ka? ok la kan untuk hari raya :D

Sunday, August 2, 2009

august post

i'm in lazyland. sangat tiada mood mengupdate blog. but 2 weeks is my limit for slacking. if i continue, i'd never update at all. so much for writer career, as my facebook quiz
so these are updates of the past week.
last thursday, my kids' school closed down due to H1N1 case. bikin risau juga ni selsema khinzir. mau keluar ke mana2 with my kids nowadays pun i'm worried. we don't dare go swimming. u don't know who is walking around with 'it' out there.

and here's the real bummer. i've purchased tickets to KL (months ago before this outbreak in KK), for the coming school break. u think this case will die down by then (3rd week aug) or get worst? likely the latter kan. camana la kami tu aa? pakai mask ka ke sana ke mari. hmmph. sungguh spoiler.

on a merry note, i've enjoyed 2 tea parties the past 3 days. good food always lift my mood :p friday, tea for group bini2 rangka. S,V i think that was one of the best parties we had kan frens? anak2 bermain sendiri nda mengacau n the food was a blast despite short notice, esp the fish mee soup from whimsy.

tapi tiada pula gambar sup nya. nda terambil.

the next day, i hosted another tea party for family, to celebrate my nephew's 20th birthday. simple food nothing fancy but everyone was there, that made my day.

very likely next week there'll be another gathering, our family's kenduri arwah and also my daughter's birthday. after that, i'm looking forward for whimsy's bday lunch at Hyatt. (awas! nda boleh ubah..hehehe). last bah, before puasa. macam la puasa nda makan..sama juga sungkai berabis! :p

i'll be back with more updates, hopefully not too long.

happy monday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

see food

as the title suggests, today we will see food. not necessarily seafood, all food. T_T !!

here's what we were up to yesterday. hi-tea gathering to celebrate 2 of our brothers birthday. cupcakes for Nazri by yours truly. hi-fibre cheesecake by Secret Recipe for Ruzainie.

Ofcourse we didn't just have cakes. Our version of hi-tea is slightly different. in our dictionary, high=heavy.

i made beef macaroni & cheese and grilled lamb. a nephew contributed home-made sushi. sushi is never my cup of tea, but actually it's not bad. maybe next we'll try japanese-themed tea party. after i learn how to make it , that is.

happy sunday, people!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

not that easy

i spent sunday learning cake deco using fondant and royal icing. my first time on this.

ohh..punya susah pula ini barang!!

the only ok part was covering the cake with the fondant. but right after that and all the way was torture.

this thing needs patience and passion. a LOT of it.

making the frills was much harder than it looked.

and we had to do 2 tiers. i only got the hang when i'm almost finished.

and the royal icing on the side. it looked so innocently simple. it was horror when we tried it. the icing breaks/stuck all the time and our amateur shaky hands don't help.

the last deco was the flowers and leaves. doesn't look much but it took us forever.

my first decorated cake. phew!