Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Where have all the time gone to? What have I accomplished for myself and for my family?

So many things in retrospect that I would have done differently, then again so many I have cherished and would not trade them for the world. Things that I did that made me truly happy and things I wished I had not done that made that tinge of regret stuck in me.

I guess this is life and I have to be grateful for the good and the bad... the balance of it all. Grateful that I had that balance in my life this past year. It could have been worse. I do hope these total opposites have made me a little wiser so that I can face and brace myself and to guide my family into the new year and beyond safely, excitingly and happily as a unit.

Here's wishing all, a Happy New Year! A year full of happiness, good health and success; always close to family and dear friends, to have the opportunities to share all of these with.

Congratulations to my dear friend Kylita and Hubby!
May the heavens bless your beautiful soul.
For you always make me feel good about myself.
Thank you my dear friend.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hand In Pottery

I attended my first class on pottery making. A free class given out by a fellow parent from our parent support group, DSP.

It was held at Sonny's school yesterday morning. The class Wifey goes to most Saturdays, helping out the teacher with her pottery making class and at the same time learning the art by making her own pieces as well.

Yesterday, it was open to the teachers there and a few parents from the support group, since the classroom can only accommodate so many. I tagged along and doubled as the DSP photographer for the club, and also got to learn the art and got my hands "wet" with clay.

A few of the teachers brought their children along, so did a few parents. The children made the class less formal and more spontaneous and interesting with their honest and mostly unabashed observations on their work and their parent's.

Each of us was given a lump of clay, some white and some brown... the latter is the more difficult one to shape and given to the more seasoned participants. Wifey got the brown one since she is very familiar with the first technique we got to learn yesterday, called pinching.

Rolled the dough into tight rounded ball with our palms. Then press a shallow dent using our thumb into the dough to start off the opening of the mug... the goal was to make a mug. A sample was on the table and shown to the group to achieve that shape.

As it all turned out, everyone made their versions of great looking... bowls, including me.

After several hours, my first creation was a slanted and strange-looking bowl but am proud of my efforts anyways because the "imperfections are what make the creation handmade" and personal. The teacher said so, herself.

Well, that is the idea I'm sticking with because I could not make the rim even anymore without the danger of its wall collapsing. It was not as easy to "pinch" the dough gradually to make the hole deeper and the walls higher, but it was even tougher to come out with a decoration for the bowl once it was done.

I was stumped but fortunately there were samples of previous works done by fellow teachers and students to give some ideas to what my bowl should have.

I went for the big leaves motif. Simple and less work to clear off the many small lumps of clay when drew lines on the clay. Wifey went for the Oriental tea cup motif with bamboo trees decorated all around it.

We started at about ten in the morning and finished at about one in the afternoon. Not bad for a 3 hour work on the first attempt by everyone.

The many people participated resulted in the many versions of a coffee mug that was not meant to be. Instead, artsy bowl and a sense of achievement produced by everyone filled the room as each one placed their work on the shelve to air dry before they left the class.

Making pottery felt so therapeutic. The hours seemed to fly by so fast as my hands became more comfortable forming the dough and less awkward as the my fingers delved into the clay. I realized my confidence gained as I saw lump of clay slowly took its shape transformed into what I imagined it would be in my hands.

Thanks to Liz for giving me the opportunity to attend her class.

I understand now, why Wifey likes this art so much, producing her many beautiful pieces she produced week after week, apart from the fact that the pieces she helped made will be sold during one of the school's fund raising events for its children from lower income families.

The pieces that we made yesterday are to be sold off too at the same event. It makes me feel happy to get to know this art form and contribute at the same time.

It is a beautiful art form, for a beautiful purpose.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Salam AidilAdha Everyone!

To My Family & All Muslims,
Have A Blessed Day
With Your Loved Ones!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pride & Joy

Niece & Hubby in a Kompang Procession on their wedding day

Held over the weekend, she had her dream wedding day fulfilled.

Long were the days when weddings were held in kampongs with the whole village getting into the spirit of camaraderie and pitched to make each occasion a success for the hosting family, this day and age, all amenities are so convenient and help, instant.

I do not go to too many weddings but the ones I had attended throughout the years had gained in scale and awe factor... all that you need is a deep pocket because it has become a one-stop-service centre to make your wedding day a success and an unforgettable one.

Niece's Wedding Banquest @ Kaki Bukit CC

Niece's wedding was held at Kaki Bukit Community Centre hall. The place is easy to find, large and bright, and especially welcoming was the air-conditioned hall in this hot and humid environment... a boon for the ladies with their colourful and often times, shimmering dresses, the air-condition helps them tremendously to keep themselves cool and beautiful all day long.

From the food catering, to the logistics and wedding dais, the whole setup looked marvelous and grand. So pleasing to the visitors to stay longer and reconnect with distant relations and old acquaintances.

Brother, Mom, Couple & Sis-in-law
Mom unable to go on stage, so wedding couple joined her

The food was sinfully scrumptious! Beryani Dam and curry, with a side of large prawns in black pepper, chicken cutlets in sweat-sour source were a heavenly combination. The large spread of deserts complete the menu perfectly.

All that fine food is not for the people who count calories but since it was a special occasion, old folks had to enjoy them in moderation.

Mom putting a brave front without Dad with the happy couple

Wifey loved all the dresses that Niece was wearing at different times of the day... "I would definitely pick the ones she chose... she has great taste." Wifey was telling me, obviously excited and happy for her. Most probably it brought back many fond memories of our wedding.

The highlight of the wedding must have probably been the grand entrance of the groom as he arrived at the bride banquet.

Kuda Kepang Ladies in Kompang Procession

Again, long gone was the "normal" kompang procession of the groom as he approaches the bride's home. Niece's was an elaborate procession in Javanese influence... kuda kepang ladies dancing and leading the procession, fronted by a pair of "warriors" with wicked shield and spears and guarded at the sides by a pair of escorts carrying bunga mangga and another with a three-tiered umbrella, of old Javanese-Hindu influence.

Festive Bunga Mangga decoration

The bridegroom, all dressed up in his finest and accompanied by his best man, walked down in a procession of loud kompang, deep bass drum, gong and a Javanese version of the xylophone... all making interesting ethnic music, signalling from afar of the groom's arrival.

Groom getting permission to join his wife on the dais

The height of the day was the meeting of the couple at the dais, sitting together as husband and wife, as king and queen for the day, witnessed by all their loved ones and sharing their joy with them.

Photo-taking was a big challenge for the DJ. The large turn-out of guests - from family members to relatives and friends lined up to the stage, waiting for their turn to capture the special moment with the couple. It was a long process but a non-stressful one.

Wedding days are the best days to meet up with long-lost relations... from old villagers to high school mates. Chances are somebody is married to someone you knew long ago and someone is someone else's in-law or something. Singapore is a small island, so chances are you will meet an old friend, cousin or a distant uncle or aunt.

As for me, I got to meet in person again, my play mates from the village. We were children playing endless times then but now we have children of our own... in a different setting, in this modern day.

The experience is just priceless!

Just wished I brought my dSLR with me. Yet again, my iPhone camera saved the day, at least.

To my Niece and her Hubby,

May you both be blessed in joyful union
May you build a beautiful life together
Building a happy family of your very own

Courtesy of Younger Niece's Family Photo from Facebook

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Back In Time

Saturday held a pleasant surprise for Wifey and I.

It was suppose to be a quick errand. Wifey got back from her pottery class in the early afternoon and could not wait to buy the paints for her pottery she had already made, several of them waiting to be hand-painted in the next phase of her masterpiece creation.

She managed to drag me along to ArtFriend to get her pottery supplies after waiting for me to finish submitting my monthly report for work from home... I would have submitted by the week's end but took Friday off work to accompany Mom to her Geriatric consultant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

We were there just about an hour before the closing at 6:30PM to make purchases. I made a early purchase too for our upcoming involvement with Sonny's school in their Enviro-Life Science Symposium.

Our Parent Support Group we call DSP will have a big booth, just like last year to help drive home eco-friendly messages to the visitors at the event. A showcase to the visiting teaching professionals and potential primary school students and their parents, to introduce the school for their pick for their secondary school education.

On our way back, we spotted large banners and flags about Rihlah Exhibition at the National Library. The free-entry exhibition on the tenth floor, showcased the origins of Arab immigrants in Singapore and parts of Southeast Asia... a free education for the public and definitely an interesting topic and the right time and place for Wifey and I.

A simple but very informative museum setup displayed artifacts from yesteryear, on loan from both locals and the Mediterranean... the origin of the most of the Arab ancestors who settled here centuries ago.

I should have brought my dSLR with me whenever we stepped out of our home. We never know what happenings and activities are help outside that are worth capturing its moments. Alas, my iPhone was the next best thing to capture this rare event.

Kudos to National Library Board for organising this public education to both locals, foreigners and especially to the many new immigrants here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Holding Our Breath

I was actually writing about the recent Hari Raya family visits we had with the whole family, just like we have been doing since more than a decade ago.

I had not finished writing and posting it when something unsettling we felt actually happened. We, meaning Wifey and I.

I did not think much about it at first, not until Wifey talked about it just before bedtime, recalling the day we had and how things were during the whole outing.

Wifey noticed, and I am sure many of my siblings noticed it too, that Mom appeared sad and distant throughout the day, only to smile when being spoken to. She was otherwise very quiet and appeared somber.

Knowingly, we knew how she felt.

It is the first year that we celebrate Hari Raya without Dad. Though Aidilfitri is a major cause for celebrations, the thought of Dad not with us, him beside Mom during all those visits from one sibling's place to another, is heartbreaking.

It was the face she put forward that was more than just being sad. There was more to it than just having no appetite to eat all that delicious food spread everyone dished out at their homes.

"Mom appeared more sickly than sad." Wifey said while we were lying in bed, all dark in our room except for the lights cast up on the ceiling from the street lights below.

Her intuition was accurate enough when I received a call from Sis. Mom was feeling breathless and had spent time sleeping sitting down on the sofa for the past 3 days. She has been staying with Sis since Ramadhan began.

No one knew she was having breathlessness for several days until Brother-in-law saw her at the living room when he got up to drink a glass of water in the middle of the night. Sis did suspect something was not right when she eat so little even for her usual small portion.

I took an urgent half day leave from work to accompany Mom to Woodlands Polyclinic, the place where she gets all her medical treatments and the doctors who monitor her medical condition and general health.

She got her ECG done there after the doctor examined her. She was referred to the hospital to perform a thorough investigation for her complaints of breathlessness and the fact that she felt pain after swallowing food and even a sip of water. The doctor suspected that she has some water in her right lung but only X-rays would show.

Mom stopped eating her regular portions of meals after Saturday, the day after we had our coach-load of family members on for Raya visits. It took some convincing on Sis' part and finally mine, to get her to see the doctor.

"I don't want to be in the hospital on Hari Raya and spoil the celebrations for everyone." Was her reply when I asked.

We stopped at AlSalam Restaurant that was adjacent to the polyclinic because Mom was hungry. She skipped lunch because "it was too painful to swallow" anything but the hunger was too strong that she wanted to eat something before we left for the hospital.

The Indian Rojak was virtually untouched as Mom almost cried quietly pain after her first mouthful. The cleaning man at the restaurant was surprised her food and hot barley drink was not touched when we left. He asked if we wanted it packed to go.

Mom was immediately processed at Tan Tock Seng Hospital or TTSH A&E. It took less than 5 minutes for Mom to see the Triage doctor at A&E and immediately got her wheeled to the ECG after her BP and blood sample were taken. Her last stop was at X-ray to her chest.

Soon Mom was lying in a hospital bed and waiting in Observation Room 25 before she was processed to be warded for her condition. I was with her all the time. With the blue wrist band on me, I was the only person that was allowed to accompany her in A&E.

Sis was soon joined by her husband from work, her daughter and my youngest Brother, waited outside and anxiously waiting for any updates.

"Salam. Mom in TTSH Ward 8B Bed 67 for breathlessness." Was my broadcast text message to all my siblings. Soon calls and text messages poured in, asking for more updates about Mom's condition.

We stayed on till past midnight. We were joined by 3rd Sis and her hubby, and 3rd Sis with hers sitting outside once Mom fell asleep after taking her medications.

I knew I could never be alert at work and that I was better off by Mom's side at the hospital the following day than being any productive at work, worrying about her.

Dear Sis stayed through the night in the ward by Mom's bedside as only "Caregiver" allowed. She was given a special Caregiver card to access in and out of the ward freely regardless of the visiting hours.

Not much improvement was seen with Mom on Wednesday as far as the chest pain when swallowing. The test results were not back yet and the medications given helped to stable her diabetes and reduced her swelling on both her legs.

I was back at work on Thursday but soon had to raise another urgent half day in the afternoon to meet the doctor and Senior consultants to discuss her treatment path and options.

I am so very thankful the my boss was again very understanding of my plight as she was when I had to attend to Dad throughout the whole of last year, taking urgent leaves and time-offs until his passing in early January.

By Thursday, good news came pouring one after the other. Dr. Ana who was attending to Mom told us that her heart, though weak, had been stable and ruled out as anything to be concern about.

So too was her lungs. The medications given thus far and worked well to flush out water from her lung, evidently with her able to lye down to sleep.

The consultants informed that Mom was not in any critical state and wished to monitor her with the medications that had worked well so far undergoing endoscopy and possible colonoscopy next week.

Since Mom is responding well to the medications, she is able to swallow with little pain now, she was discharged yesterday. A relief from everybody that Mom is on the road to recovery faster than we anticipated since she is an emotional person and the fact that she is still somewhat mourning for Dad.

The first hint of loud laughter and her spirits lighting up was when after her discharge, a whole group of my Sis and their daughters all went for a hearty meal at Novena Square and especially when we went shopping for 2nd Sis' birthday gift she is celebrating this 24th.

Mom bought her a handbag and she got another one too from all of us.

"I'm so happy to be out and about... shopping with you all." Mom said wholeheartedly. Everyone smiled with a sigh of relief and enjoying the impromptu shopping spree.

"This is such a beautiful place." Mom smiled. It is indeed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Salam Aidilfitri Everyone!

To All My Friends
All Muslims Everywhere

Selamat Hari Raya
May Your Prayers In Ramadhan Be Blessed
To Celebrate Aidilfitri In Triumph

Morning Aidilfitri Prayer
At Darul Ghufran Mosque in Tampines

Thursday, September 09, 2010

One Last Shopping!

Yesterday was a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision.

As if it was ESP, Wifey and I both read each others' minds to decide making one last shopping trip to Geylang Serai Raya Bazaar for our last minute Hari Raya preparations.

Once we had broken our fast for the second last day before Aidilfitri, we just had to go down to the Raya bazaar to get the final touches stuff for our home deco.

Wifey wanted the throw cushions to "pop" and blend with the curtains, as the ones she already changed faded into the sofa.

"The flowers need changing..." was her comment and I agreed. There will not be anything different than last year if we stuck to the same flower arrangements from last year.

Contrary to the many home deco shows on cable TV, Malays here, including us, still prefer fake flowers than fresh ones as these are definitely durable and economical. The flowers can be washed clean from dust and be used again for a long time.

So we had an extra list of only throw cushion covers for the sofa and large ones on the floor, table runners for the coffee and dining table, and flowers to complete the Raya look for our home.

Most probably the real motivation for this extra list is the fact that both of us, especially me, love to soak in the chaotic ambiance while shopping at the Raya bazaar. It is a once a year kind of atmosphere where everyone is happy shopping for Hari Raya.

By this last days before the big celebration, the prices of many goods have fallen drastically like clearance sale. So cushion covers were 3 pieces for $10.00 and so were flowers. 3 stalks for $10.00 too.

It was a simple affair. We finished our shopping as quickly as we got there. Surprisingly, the place was not as jam-packed as we had expected. Most probably, the shoppers are waiting for the last day to get all the things they had already eyed on to buy as the prices can go as low as 70 to 80 percent.

Anything from carpets to Raya cookies, all will be sold off like a closing down sale. As pretty well known and tempting as it is, I had never done the very-last-minute shopping bit before. The very last crazy-knockdown-sale would probably be around midnight to 4:00AM in the morning, when the Raya bazaar is finally closed for the year.

It is a bittersweet thing for me. On one hand it is so exciting to get to the month of Syawal to celebrate Aidilfitri, on the other the excitement of preparing for the big day was coming to an end.

I keep saying it every year and every year I still feel the same... time flies so fast. I just cannot believe that the month of Ramadhan is leaving us very soon.

Here's to all Muslims around the world...

May your Ramadhan be blessed as a reward for your prayers
May you celebrate Aidilfitri, happy and triumphant.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

That Yearly Pilgrim

Last weekend saw me standing in the crowd as Wifey browsed through the Baju Kurung or Malay traditional dress at the Geylang Bazaar.

Getting well dressed-up for visiting during Hari Raya is a must to celebrate the occasion. Of course, well dressed does not necessarily mean expensive clothes, but just new affordable ones that one treats oneself for the successful triumph of fasting during the Ramadhan month.

Like every year, during Ramadhan, Geylang Serai Bazaar is the focal point for the Malays and nowadays, Muslims of all races too shop for all the essentials of Raya celebrations from clothes to home decorations like curtains, sofa covers, bedsheets... the list is endless.

Talking about the Raya list, we have ours too that we have so far done almost all to prepare for the celebrations in the month of Syawal to be 10th September 2010.

But before that, besides soaking in the chaotic and happy atmosphere at the bazaar, for the guys, it is definitely the endless choices of food, Malay kuih or savories and snacks that are not often sold at food stalls on a normal day. The food that always tastes so good during break fast at sunset after a day of abstaining from any food or drink from dawn.

This year, Wifey decided that only Sonny needed new Baju Kurung since she already has her dresses that we bought about the same time last year but never worn. She has been saving it for this year. Sonny and I have ours too which are colour-coordinated with hers but Sonny's had outgrown his when we tried our clothes on...

Sonny is still growing taller as we speak, so his Baju Kurung can only be worn once or twice within that year before he outgrows it. Still pristine and new, his clothes will normally be given away as hand-me-downs to his younger cousins.

Last week was shopping for Sonny's clothes, so this week, it is for our home.

We bought seven types of Malay cookies and two types of crackers for our Raya guests to snack on during their visits to our home. Together with the homemade cookies and Swiss roll cakes she ordered from my sister's friend complete the finger food section of our Raya preparations.

Wifey was able to convince me to purchase a set of curtains for the living room to match with the new sofa covers we bought a year ago for this Raya. Together with the spare curtains we bought last year for all study and all the bedrooms, the home decoration section for Raya is done. Checked!

What is left in the list is only the soda drinks that I will buy a carton or two of 1.5 litres bottles a few days before Hari Raya to check the list.

The mandatory list required by all able Muslims are the Zakat Fitrah and Harta. A form of tax for the Muslims community that is practiced all over the world, monies collected to be distributed out to the poor and unfortunate.

Dad had been given his and Mom's since they were married but since his demise, I have taken the responsibility to pay for Mom's Fitrah, along with the ones for Wifey, Sonny and myself of about S$6.50 per person. A small but important amount collectively amongst the poor and needy in the Muslim society.

Wifey and I will make a trip to the bank to withdraw from both of our savings accounts, 2.5% each from the total amount that was unused or untouched for the period of a year to be donated to the poor and unfortunate through any MUIS' or Islamic Council of Singapore collection centres, normally at all the mosques across the island.

These two Zakats are to be donated before the morning prayer of Aidilfitri or Hari Raya.

This year, I was thinking of giving a portion to the Jamiyah Old Folks Home, while the rest will be donated to the mosque and some poor and friends who are single mothers that Wifey and I know.

Our Hari Raya list is almost done as we advance nearer to Aidilfitri.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Better Late Than...

The adrenaline junkie that I am had made me late for work this morning.

I did my daily morning workout ritual today a little too long than I had hoped because my "adrenaline tank" was not full enough for me to stop and got into the shower, ready for work.

I knew I had a chance to get the last bus before I was truly "later" than late. But I have this method to save me from that, so it was not like the end of the world for me in any morning if I were to miss the bus.

This morning, I got to see my last bus leaving the bus stop before I actually got to be there to board. No problem, with a little more cash as "penalty" for being late, I flagged a cab upon reaching the side of the road along Tampines Avenue 9.

I got the cab in record time fortunately and my plan to save myself was under way. I only needed the cab to trail the bus route and overtake it a few stops ahead before I alight and ultimately catch that last bus.

All was good and I was kind of relieved for a while until my cab turned the corner into Tampines Avenue 10. My seat was not even warm yet when I was caught in a traffic jam... my seat was going to get hot!

My bus to work plies through this road everyday and I have never experienced being caught in a traffic jam there. This morning saw a serious traffic jam that had set me back frustrated and just inching my way along the stretch of road for the next 15 minutes.

It would take about that same time for the whole cab journey from my home to work!
Inch by inch the cab moved forward and by then the cab had overtaken the bus that I was trying to catch, still making its way along Tampines Avenue 10... which by then, served no purpose anymore.

I could see two of the familiar faces I usually see taking the same bus in the morning, all frumpy looking, knowing they were stuck in the bus and were definitely going to be late for work.

Signs of an accident rather than a broken down vehicle or roadworks were evident when I heard the siren from the ambulance. I could see flashes of white and red lights farther up the road. I was hoping that whomever was involved in that was alright. Nobody wants to be caught in an accident and the nobody wants to inconvenience anyone as a result from it... but unfortunately, terrible things do happen.

After much endurance and anxiety just sitting in the cab and watching the fare meter flipping its numbers fast like a jackpot for the cab driver... by the way, I thought I saw the driver smiled a little when I happened to glance through his rear view mirror... the cause of the traffic jam revealed itself.

A garbage truck had skipped and mounted onto the curb and crashed into a tree, just before the junction between Tampines Avenue 10 and Old Tampines Road. Most probably, the driver lost focus and pumped the accelerator instead of the breaks.

I had an inkling that the cause of the traffic jam was an accident when I heard the siren from the ambulance. I just did not expect it to be serious enough to render a SDCF to come to the scene too to pry and cut open the doors off the truck.

The front of the truck at the driver's side was badly damaged. So too was the passenger's side.

By the time my cab passed the truck, the SDCF guys have already extricated both driver and his coworker out and into the ambulance.

I took the cab all the way to work instead. I reached work about the same time as I would if I had taken the bus on a normal day, which was not bad at all. The normal cab fare for the whole journey was about S$12.00 but it ballooned up to $18.50 because of the accident... a larger penalty sum to pay than the norm of $4.50 if my "catch that bus" plan were to work.

Nonetheless, I would rather be later than late, than never.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Breakfast At Syed's

Dates with grapes and slices of apples and pairs

Today is the first weekend since the holy month of Ramadhan started four days ago.

Weekends are Wifey's rest days, so we decided that our first break-fast outside this year was at Syed Restaurant in Simpang Bedok. It is our usual weekend haunt for a good, sit-down meal.

The food served has always been delicious. The set meal for four has always been worth it for this family of three... with some leftovers to pack home too as the portions served are big.

It consists of our first and the reason why we choose the place; Tom Yam Seafood Soup, thick and moist omelet, stir fried kailan in oyster sauce and chicken in sambal or chili sauce. Eaten with white rice and with a popodum cracker on the side.

Two glasses of Tea Tarik & Ice Milo

Wifey and I had Tea Tarik for drinks while Sonny had his favourite tall glass of Ice Milo. Sonny's choice of drinks is as predictable as our order for Tom Yam Soup whenever the place has it in its menu.

During the Ramadhan month, most if not all eating places will serve an additional side dish which is dates from Arabia or California to break our fast first, followed by our food. Syed Restaurant goes a little extra mile by serving dates with assorted of other fruits as well, like slices of apples, pares and grapes.

Knowingly, the food tasted extra wonderful today than our other weekend days simply because of the fasting. Like always, there would be much food left after we had our fill. This time, only the omelet was left which we had it packed to eat later during sahur or our meal before dawn.

We bought Seafood Fried Rice for sahur to be eaten with the leftover omelet.

White Rice with lightly salty Popodum Craker

Always a nice experience to see so many other Muslim families all seated and waiting for the breakfast time that was at 7:15 PM today. All happy faces chatting away waiting for the prayer call to be heard over the radio blasting from the rows of shophouse restaurants they turned on for their diners.

You will notice the children's eyes looking at all that food spread on their tables, warm and ready to be eaten but they will just have to practice patience, refraining from eating until the it was breakfast time... even though they have not reached the age of fasting yet. Instead, they want to emulate their parents and older siblings to break-fast together.

Not to worry, the food spread looks a lot and definitely delicious but my goal to lose weight, to be more around my ideal again, will be achieved because fasting more than 13 hours during the day when more activity is done will definitely help.

Clockwise: Tom Yam Soup, Omelet, Sambal Chiken & Kailan in Oyster Sauce

After a while, maybe into the second and towards the third and fourth week, we would be conditioned to eating less than our normal portion, thus somewhat accelerating the weight loss usually.

During this month, I do lighter than usual daily exercises on my home gym, the same time before I shower and head to the office. The usual hour duration is reduced to half, just to be sure I get to tone up and also get a tiny dose of the adrenaline rush brought about from the exercise.

So instead of going for lunch at work, I get to take a nap to recharge for the next half of the day throughout Ramadhan.