Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Bithrday Darling...

Its February 28, 2008.

Today is the birthday of a wonderful woman that completed mylife. A beautiful wife, a fantastic mother and my true best friend.

May you have a wondeful birthday in this cold weather.

May we will be blessed with lots of love, tenderness and happiness forever. Together we'll make it through, together-gather forever shall it be.

With lots of love...

Happy 31st Birthday, sayang.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shop for Food

Earlier when we arrived in this small town of West Haven, among the questions that came across was "Senang ke nak carik halal food kat sini?". We did do some research before we came here. Looking for halal restaurants and groceries shops that sell halal product. We came across a few, and were having a thought that this is good enough. At least we can rest assured that we don't have to be vegetarian or belasah seafood je for the whole duration we are here. Since one of us doesn't consume fish. Alhamdulillah...

So far we are doing well here. We've been asked by families and friends back home questions like "Apa korang makan kat sana?" "Senang ke cari barang halal kat sana?" "Korang masak apa kat sana?". With this entry we wish to answer all those questions. Hehehe... Our house is really strategic. We have Shoprite, 7-11, Dunkin Donnuts and McDonalds just within walking distance. The house even located exactly nearby the Uni side entrance and the bus line.

Back to the main story. We used to shop for our groceries mainly at Shoprite since it offers 5% off for the Uni students just by showing your Uni ID. Shoprite offers most of the basic necessity that we require there. We even came accross Milo there too. However, we opt for chocolate drink which is blast! Shoprite also sells halal meats and chicken too. We were told that, due to increasing demands of the halal meats, they only start selling them just recently. How fortunate we were. Meaning that, before this Shoprite tak jual halal meats. Kira around the time we moved in dekat area sini baru la Shoprite start jual. So far we got all our basic needs here. Dari foods sampai la toiletaries. One thing about that stuff here is that, they are kinda cheap (provided you are converting it to RM), and the portion is BIG. To us its worth every dime spent (sorry dah ikut style American sikit). Since the place is sooo near to our house, we just can go there anytime. We try to avoid to shop during weekends since there'll be a lot of people doing their weekly groceries shopping. Normally we'll do our shopping during Harith school days. The duration of 3 hours tu, we do our groceries shopping.

Apart from Shoprite, we do have another place where we shop for foods. A groceries store owns by a Malaysian. Its called Ad-Din Halal Store (I think so). Not really sure the name actually since we always refer it as Kedai Abang Din or Kedai Pak Din. Very helpful guy, who have been around here since "Rahsia" (as what was said by him). Here we'll be able to find a lot of familiar brands and products. Guess what, they sell belacan here also. So we'll never missed sambal belacan then. Frozen halal foods, kicap Cap Kipas Udang, Sos Cili Maggi and lots more. Normally we'll shop for frozen foods such as instant karipap, samosa or roti canai. We get our spices here too. Kiub Ayam / Daging Maggi, curry powder and even Sup Bunjut Adabi. You name it, they have it. If we are in the mood of fresh meat, they sell it here to. They sell it by the pounds. However, one setback about this shop is, its kinda far from our house. Its around 2 km. I know that 2km is not that far, but how about walking 2km in a cold weather? What a thrill to buy some belacan. Anyhow, its worth the walking and time spent.

We do go Walmart once in a while to get some stuff that can't be found in these two places, or when we are looking for other than groceries stuff. But let it be another entry.

I guess thats pretty much about it for groceries shopping here. Well families and friends back home, don't worry we are all fine here. We get to really nice homemade dishes here. However, normally the big question of the day is "Nak masak / makan apa hari ni?" Since we cook everyday, we kinda ran out of ideas. Kat Malaysia pun tak masak hari-hari. Tu yang habis idea tu.

Together signing off...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jom main snow!!!

Last Friday started snowing. Dpd takde snow, terus menimbun. All of us keluar to snap few pictures. keluar blkg rumah je pun. Ajak harith main snow, dier taknak. Dier suruh buat snowman. Tapi saper je la nak buat snowman, genggam snow kejap je pun tangan dah kebas. Inikan pulak nak buat snowman, mau kitaorg yg jadi snowman kat situ!

Anyway, we did throw some snow to harith which made him angry. He said, “Hey! Careful… Are you crazy?” sabor je la…

More pics of this entry can be found here.

Btw, today is Azrul's 31st birthday. Happy Birthday my dear Azrul, may our life be blessed and full of happiness...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snowy Snow

The day we arrived in the States it was already snow in New Jersey. A snow strom hit this area around a week before we arrive. Orang baru sampai, excited la tengok snow. Putih je sana sini. Jalan licin. Sejuk. As what most people would say la, "Best la dapat main snow".

- infront of our house with valentine's decoration
Day after day, winter and snow started to get annoying. Dengan temperature around 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it really freezing. We know some places elsewhere lagi sejuk, but still winter and snowing is not as wonderful as it imagine. Nak keluar rumah you have to put on proper warm clothings plus head gear. Minimum 3-4 layer baju. Bila jalan kat luar, dengan running nose lagi. Tambah lak bila ada strong wind. It really makes walking difficult. Kalau tak ada reasons, memang la malas nak keluar rumah.

- our backyard
Dalam rumah pun kena pakai sweat shirts jugak to keep ourselves warm. Memang la dalam rumah ada heater to keep us warm. Tapi heater ni pulak lain pulak ceritanya. It runs on gassoline / oil. Our tank can store up to 275 gallons. We subscribe for automatic filling. Bila tank jadi half full, the oil company datang rumah refill. The price of the oil dah la ikut current market. Now its around $3.25 per gallon. Just imagine la half tank around 180 gallons kali dgn $3.25 per gallon. Berapa banyak nak kena bayar utk isi minyak tu. Last time was around end of January, kami punya charges around $472. Tu pun tahan around 4 weeks plus. Harap boleh la tahan sampai habis winter. Kalau tak miskin kami dibuatnya dok bayar minyak untuk heater ni. Dah la utilities pun macam-macam. Dengan gas, electricity, internet and mobile phones. Kena la pandai jimat-jimat.

- Harunagi Hall, UNH
Kalau datang short visit seronok la layan snow. Tapi to live through out the winter season, really an experience la. Harap cepat la winter ni habis. Can't wait for the blooming flowers during coming spring. West Haven and New Haven ni dah la banyak park, sure best during spring nanti. We'll give an updates during spring later. Parks and seasides. Really looking forward for spring to come.

- macam cupcakes

Together singing off...

Wonders of the Virtual World

As far as we can remember, it was way back in 1997 when the world wide web were introduce in Malaysia. It was during college days, in small college in Kuantan. At that time there were no such thing as broadband or WiFi etc. It was purely dial-up connection. For home users, orang yang mampu je boleh guna internet ni. As for us, as a college student we do have to share. At that time, cuma ada satu terminal je dalam the whole college yang ada internet access for a start. Student yang nak pakai, kena register and allowed to use the facility for 30 minutes only. Dah la pakai dial-up, nak tunggu the webpages loading pun dah lama.

As time passed, cyber cafes were booming in Kuantan. More wonders were introduce over the net. Chat rooms and emails are among the favorite. At that time people will asked you, "Can I have your Hotmail?" to refer to emails. Since Hotmail je yang dominant at that point of time.

But time changes now. The world wide web dah jadi a borderless world. Broadbands and wireless connectivity have been part of our life now. It feels incomplete without internet access now. Be it using your computers or your smart phones, getting online is a must. Internet technology really helps in connecting distance becoming closer. Strangers becoming friends. Long lost friends together. When people meets together, they gather.

The recent hit on us is Facebook (FB). FB really a killer. It was not only us that have been hooked with Facebook. We find out a lots, and really lots of the people that we know are into it also. Friends from school(s), colleges, co-workers and families are FB members too. It really brings us closer to these people. Apart from connecting people, FB also have tons of applications and common interest groups that may you find intereseting. Some are really serious matters and some are just for fun. You share your stories - the past, the present and the future. Pictures from recent to the good old days which really brings good reminissance and memories.

Frankly, both of us really got hooked with FB. Everytime we get online, apart from emails, FB is among the window that are active on our screen. Updating our story / pictures, fools arond with the applications and catching up with our friends (virtually). Call us addicts, yes we are.

FB have been a platform for connecting people from accross the globe. Recently kat tv ada satu commercial that really meant for FB addicts. It's an iPhone commercial. iPhone and AT&T really puts their head together to come out with such ads. Its something like, iPhone is the platform that can brings FB to you. Right at your fingertips. FB goes mobile. What a life... Hehehe.

Well, whatever the technology are they, it depends to the people in the end. How do people use the technology that counts at the end. Enjoy the technology, and use it to the fullest.

Together singing off...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Nama pun together-gather. so patutnyer both of us post entry in this blog. but so far most of the entries were done by azrul, and me endup pi godek2 the codings, adjust2 setting, letak pics, etc... kalau dah programmer tu, mmg tak lari la... still nak godek html gak.

but biler pikir2 balik, it still a together-gather punyer effort ;)

Doing Laundry

Alangkah bahagianya kalau ada washing machine kat rumah sendiri. Takde la sampai every week kena pikul laundry bag. Nampak macam Santa Clause pulak pikul laundry bag. Nasib tak pakai baju merah je. Especially during winter, sejuknya Tuhan saja la yang tau.

The thought of having to wear warm clothings, put on your boots and later walk to the nearest laundromat which happens to be around half a mile from our house with one week load of laundry bag... you can imagine la. Kalau tak buat laundry, menimbun pulak nanti kain baju kotor. So, it has becoming a routine to do laundry every week. Cuma timing je yang tak tentu. Kadang weekends, kadang weekdays. But most of the time, we try to make a routine on every Thursday.

Awat tak beli je washing machine? Washing machine alone cost around $500 brand new. Masalahnya, bukan nak beli washing machine je, the dryer pun kena beli jugak. Kat mana la nak sidai baju lepas dah basuh nanti. Bukannya ada tempat nak sidai, especially during winter ni. Kat cellar, landlord punya barang macam-macam. Dia pun sidai kain dia dalam cellar. Memang tak ada tempat la untuk kami. After costing in the amount of purchasing a washing machine and a dryer plus the recurrence charges on the electricity and gas for the warm water (air takpe, landlord cover), we've finally decided kita pegi buat laundry kat laundromat je la. Sekali pegi around $7 kami punya standard. Setahun pegi laundry pun tak sampai $500. Lagi jimat kan?

This laundromat, kalau pegi weekdays memang best, tak ada orang langsung. You've got all machines for yourself. Weekends tak payah cerita la orang ramai macam mana. Lupa lak nak bagitau, all the machines are coins operated. Nanti la ada kereta esok, tinggalkan je dalam machine, pastu boleh buat benda lain. Since takde kereta ni, pegi buat laundry kena la menapak pastu kena la tunggu sampai habis cuci semua kain. Nasib baik la ada PSP buat teman menunggu.

Well thats life it is. Merantau di negara orang ni, kena la belajar-belajar susah. Maklum la, datang sini pun sebagai student.

Together singing off...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Harith and School

Dah besar dah anak bujang kami sorang ni. By bulan May tahun ni, InsyaAllah cukup la umur dia 5 tahun. Dia ni punya la nakal and playful.

Since we are here in the States, we decided not to miss a chance for schooling him here. Biar develop social and communication skills kat sini. Even though, we don't think that he'll be facing any problem in socializing since he's the friendly type. Playboy la katakan. It's an opportunity for us to school him over here since, by the time we got back to Malaysia nanti, he'll in time for the primary school. Memang kira tak sempat nak hantar tadika kat Malaysia nanti. Kalau ada masa pun cuma tinggal few months je.

After inquiring around dengan fellow Malaysian yang ada anak kat sini, a lot of suggestion came out. Macam-macam panduan dapat. In the end, we've decided to ask the relevant authority. In this case, the Education Board of West Haven. After giving them a call, make an appointment to meet the respective officer in charge. Maka pegi la ke Education Board tu punya office and jumpa the officer. After some clarification, we are asked to inquire Forest Elementary School for registration. Kat sini school assignment is based on your residential address. Kena masuk sekolah yang dekat dengan rumah or within the school district.

So Forest Elementary it is. We gave them a call, and was entertain by a very helpful lady. Kat sini, elementary school's age start at 5 years old. Since umur Harith belum lagi cukup 5 tahun, he'll be only eligible to register for the September session nanti. However, registration for the school will open on the April 1st nanti. We were asked to call her back around end of February. This reminds me to call her dalam this week. Baik letak reminder nanti lupa pulak.

Ok la, since Harith tak boleh nak masuk sekolah lagi, kami pun bincang la. Apa nak buat sampai nak tunggu September. Later after looking and asking around we came across West Haven Green Nursery. Buat inquiry dgn principal dia, Mrs Palmer, kami pun decide to check it out. Kami pun bawak la Harith sekali pegi tengok bakal sekolah dia tu. After we take a look at the nursery school and the schedule, we decided that this'll be it. At least sampai Harith start a proper school.

Starting February, mula la Harith jadi budak sekolah. Its a nursery school actually. But at least its a preparation for him before enrolling elementary school nanti. Kelas untuk budak 4 tahun ni cuma 3 hari je seminggu. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We opt for the afternoon session, 1.00 pm till 3.25 pm. Senang sikit takde la nak terkejar-kejar bangun pagi.

So far after about two weeks Harith sekolah ni, he seems to enjoy it. Sampaikan hari-hari tanya "Today school, yea?" walaupun hari tak sekolah or weekends. Minggu ni Winter break seminggu, so cuti la. And tiap2 pagi kena bgtau dier, hari nie sekolah tutup.

The teachers pun comment Harith ni progressing well kat sekolah. Glad to hear that. Takut jugak Harith tak enjoy sekolah. We had experience before when he was 3 years old. Kami dah start hantar Harith to Q-dees kat USJ 18. He doesn't seems happy going to school. Tapi kat sini, he seems enjoying his school, friends and the teachers. Alhamdulillah...

Together signing off...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time flies...

Pejam celik, pejam celik dah 2 bulan kami kat negara orang rupanya. Exactlty 2 months hari ni. Kami bertolak Dec 20, di pagi Hari Raya Haji yang syahdu bersama family dari Keramat and Taiping. It was really a touching moment that time. Rasa syahdu je pagi-pagi raya kena tinggalkan famili and tanah air tercinta demi mengejar segulung ijazah. We were greatful that we have very supportive family member yang selalu ada bila masa diperlukan.

Time really flies... The trimester is half way through. Mid term exams pun this week last. Winter pun coming towards the end. Harith pun dah masuk sekolah kat sini. Seems like too many things have happened within this 2 months. Cuma belum dapat lagi kereta yang nak dibeli. Tengok la, maybe later tomorrow will give Tom's Auto a call. Harap dah ada la kereta yang sesuai untuk kami pakai kat sini.

Even though we are far apart from home, thanks to the technology yang ada, we are still be able to communicate with our families back home. With emails, messengers and web-cam communication is at the fingertips. Safe sikit budget guna messengers with web-cam ni. At least you got audio and video communication. Tak payah la guna phone, even though quite cheap la.Well, another month here and a lot more months to go.

Together signing off...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Macam best je tgk orang bela pets, tanam pokok ni. Kami pun teringin jugak nak try. We did try to keep some fish as pet before. Tapi after few attempts semua ikan tu mati. Pelik jugak. Try tanam pokok, pokok tak hidup. Try bela ikan, ikan pun tak idup. Tak tau la macam mana lagi. Teringin jugak nak bela pet ni. However, cats are a big no la. To us, cats are nice to see and to own, but to own one, we don't think so. Too much of aftercare kena buat.

After we discussed, and looking around, finally we decided to try hamsters as our pet. Harith sure suka punya. Lagipun bela hamsters ni tak susah. Tak payah nak mandi, nak jaga flees etc. So hamsters it was. It was around mid last year when we decided to "adopt" these 2 cuddly creatures as part of the family. Off we go to Pets Wonderland, the nearest in Ampang area.

After seeking some advice from the sales assistant, we decided to opt for a "Hamster starter kit". We let Harith chose which hamsters that he likes. He'll definitely pick the most active hamsters among the rest. We took a pair, male and female from a Winter White Dwarf family.

Back home everybody was excited. Giving hand to setup the "house". It was a medium size that enough to cater the couple. Dah siap semua, let them in their new home. It was fun though looking at how playful they are. Running and climbing around. Tak ubah macam tikus. Indeed they are. One thing weird about our hamsters ni, siang tak active langsung. Tapi bila malam, mula keluar macam-macam bunyi. They started to play around.

After sometimes, we noticed that, this suppose to be couple doesn't click. Ingat diorang main when it seems like they are wrestling. Rupa-rupanya memang diorang wrestling. The female hamster seems like try to dominate the cage. Habis dia bulinya the male hamster. Harith beria la ingat hamsters ni main-main. He was saying that "Hamster tikcles", which seems like they are fooling around. This bullying thing ends up bila the male hamster was seriously injured. Lots of scratches and wounds on him. In the end, due to the injuries, the male hamster mati. We were like sedih la jugak, since bela ikan pun ikan mati. Ni baru nak bela hamster pun mati jugak sekor. After few days later, we decided to go back to the Pet Wonderland and get another hamster. This time we bought another "house". Slightly smaller but enough to cater a single hamster.

Now, the hamsters are really "growing". The female hamster yg gengster tu pun, makin sihat. Tembam je, dah la kaler putih. Since kami kat US ni, the hamsters ni tinggal la kat Keramat. Nasib la ada CN tolong jaga. Recently, over YM, we were told that the female hamster gigit tangan kawan mak yg datang rumah. Memang la gengster hamster kami yg sekor tu..

Together signing off...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Harith 1st valentine

Today, Harith's school held a Valentine's party for the kids. They have it today because tomorrow is not a school day. A week earlier his teacher, Mrs Palmer dah bg list for the parents to choose what refreshment we would like to donate.

Later in the afternoon, Harith bawa balik 2 goodies bag full of cards, chocs, and candies. We didn't prepare any wish card, tak expect pulak the kids will actually exchanging cards :D We just provide cookies for the party.

Takpe la, next time we will remember...
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