Sunday, May 30, 2010

Between Ajax And Football

With all the World Cupmania in every crook and crany of the world, it is not surprising that Ilham is no exceptions. But to give him credits, he had been interested in football long before that. We had to buy his football shoe months ago, even knowing that he would only be able to use it when the football lesson starts at the end of April. He even managed to convince his father to buy him the new Ajax away shirt and shorts complete with Ajax socks. The deal was, no buying of any toys for three months! He was very excited because he thought it was a good deal. It was, until he realised that he would not get any birthday presents from us !! ha...ha...ha...

It is a wonder where he gets his interest from. I am not a football fan, though I do know of a few international players. I recall taking a liking (favourite seems a bit too much) to some like Gary Linekar, Zinedan Zidane, Michael Ballack, Ronaldo, David Beckham and the latest one, Luis Suarez. I vaguely remember what teams they were(are) playing for, but they all have something in common, they are cute.....

As for my DH, he is not only "kaki bangku" he never ever watched any games at all !!

I suppose Ilham gets his interest from his school friends. Sometimes he would come back and told me bits and pieces of football news/players. Europeans are kind of crazy when it comes to football, so naturally their kids will have similar interests.

Ilham's favourite team is Ajax-the most famous team in the Netherlands. His favourite player is Luis Suarez, the captain. We sometimes would go to the Ajax stadium, not to watch a game... just visit the Ajax shop. The stadium is not very far from our house. When we have visitors from Malaysia, we would bring them to the stadium and they would inevitably buy Ajax souvenirs from the shop...

Ajax Shop- with the new Ajax away shirts. Jersey 16 belongs to Suarez.

Bergaya di luar kedai.... Tak sabar nak cuba pakai baju baru...

Macam mana? Ada gaya jadi professional player?

His hopes for the World Cup ? To see The Netherlands winning.....

As for me, this is my dream player (at the moment....)

Luis Suarez - Ajax Captain.......

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reaching For The Star

Today is the second day of swimming assessment for Ilham. If he does well, he will be invited for Diploma Swimming on next Thursday and have a good chance of getting Diploma A.

Getting Diploma A, B and C is quite an affair here in the Netherlands. Maybe because here they have so many canals, there is a requirement for children to be able to swim. But swimming is not merely swimming, it is more of safety requirements and stamina. Thus, in order to get Diploma A, the kids have to swim in their clothes, shoes and socks and have to perform certain acts, such as dive and swim through a hole in the water.

That is the problem for Ilham, getting Diploma A is almost like reaching for the star !! I suppose I am more anxious and more desperate than him, for him to get the Diploma. I have good reasons. We are moving to Den Haag, and both the British School and the American School in Den Haag do not have swimming in their curriculums! Which means I have to get him registered at the local pool to get the Diploma!! If you do not have at least Diploma A, when the kid goes to the local recreation pool, he must be accompanied by an adult (they assume that all adults can swim!). That's the problem !! I do not want to get in the pool !! Can you imagine me going in the pool with my head-to-toe swimsuit? I would definitely get their unwanted attention !!

For him, he just wants to get the diploma at the same time as his best friend Daigo. And it looks like Daigo will get his diploma next week !!

Anyway back to Ilham, first he is having trouble with diving. He did not dive but he jumped !! If you dive, you have an advantage and will be able to swim through the hole faster and better. The hole seems a mile away...

The dreaded hole..............

And then, somehow he seems to be having difficulty holding his breath face down in the water for 10 seconds? (I'm not so sure, but it feels longer).

And then, his freestyle was not so good.

We have been working so hard at home, by practicing in the tub and by watching videos of little kids diving on the internet. To my surprise, his diving has definitely improved !!! Even his swimming teacher was surprised !! In fact, he was so confident that he dived from the high board.

Let's see him in action... I'm very proud of him. This video was taken yesterday during the swimming lesson.

Today, at 1 pm he will be assessed and I really hope that he will do well and shall be invited for Diploma A.

Good Luck Ilham...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My First Award !!!

It has been quite a while since I last updated my blog. I kind of err... buzy :)

Anyway, since I had some free time this morning, I decided to visit those blogs that I normally look in. So, imagine my surprise when I realised that my name was mentioned as one of the recipients of Sunshine Award in TK's blog Postcard From Malaysia. Thank you TK for passing me the award. It is my very first award ever !!! Thank you for being my blogger friend and for taking time to read my "not much of a blog" :)

Now I am going to pass this Sunshine Award to my dearest friend Cheqna , thank you for being such a wonderful friend all these years.

Now I shall try to follow the other RULES :

1. Put the logo on your blog.
Done, I think.

2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
I pass to only one, he..he.. (only 2 people know that I visit their blogs! I think..)

3. Link to the nominees within your post.
Not sure how...

4. Let them know they receive this award by commenting on their blogs.

5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.
Done, I think.

Now, if only I could figure out how to attach this wonderful award and how to link to TK and Cheqna here in this post, hmm....


I'm trying to attach this award, hope it works...

Hey, it works.... thanks again TK for the award and the tip !!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Received this from Ilham for Mother's Day :)

But with a promise not to look inside until Sunday :)

So, I shall not see...

But I think I know already :)

Happy Mother's Day dear friends and all.....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Karipap !!! Karipap !!!

So, what did we do on Koninginnedag ?

We sold Karipap !!! On the street of Amsterdamweg in Amstelveen !!!

Can you believe that ??? I still can't believe that I and my DH, actually fried and sold karipap to the Dutch !!!

Here is our Karipap.... murah sangat !!! 2 pieces for 1 Euro

And here is our "gerai" .....

My DH was the one who really wanted to sell the karipap. Me? Makan boleh la!! So, with the help of our friend (the credit of making all these karipaps should really go to her), we made about 500 pieces. With semangat "Malaysia Boleh", we set up our gerai at 9.30 in the morning and ready to conquer the Dutch with a taste of Malaysian culinary cooking.

It was fun.... The Dutch were very cautious, they knew Vietnamese lompea (popia), they know sate (Indonesian sate that is), but they never heard of karipap. Before buying, they would ask what is inside first. But once they tasted it, they came back for more !!! We had a lot of customers coming back to get more.

Ohh !! lekker !! lekker !! They would say...

We even had free publicity by some of them. This Iranian guy, he was telling the people around us that it was "lekker!!" . No wonder !! First he bought 2, then he came back and bought 4. A while later, he came back with his family and bought more !!

There was this lady (I assume she was Dutch), had to wait for me to fry because she bought 10 euros !! She said that she used to eat karipap when she was small and that her mother used to make it. She didn't need to try, she just knew that it would taste nice!! Bless her mother !!! She even asked whether I had a store here in Amsterdam. I wish I had given her my number, not that I want to make a karipap business! but I know that my friend would enjoy making them for her....

Ilham sure enjoyed his time that day, he was our interpreter when we couldn't understand what the Dutch was saying. Most of the time when they said something that sounded alien to me, I would just say "Het is aardappel en kip" I think, what I said was, "It is potato and chicken"

In the afternoon, when our friend came, Ilham and Haikal's job was to be our promotion managers. And they both created this song...

Karipap !!! Karipap !!!

Het is super lekker

Karipap !!! Karipap !!!

Twee stuks voor een euro

It's a pity that I forgot to take their photos in action. Only have these ones with their orange getup .... :)

A pity that it was raining and very cold that day. The sun only appeared for a little while in the afternoon. The weather had been so good earlier in the week, with the temperature shooting up to 26 celcius, and yet on Queen's day, it went down to 10 celcius !! Otherwise we would see a much larger crowd.

By the time we finished packing up for the day at 6 pm, we sold most of the karipaps, but there was still about 40 pieces left. It was very tiring, but the most important thing is we had FUN !!!

And I ........

had this headgear for memory....

Hmm... maybe next time we should sell at 1 euro each !!??

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Koninginnedag or Queen's Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands and is celebrated on 30th April every year. Queen's Day actually celebrates the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands, however Queen Beatrix birthday is not on 30th April. It is actually her mother's (Queen Juliana) birthday. When Queen Beatrix succeeded her mother Queen Juliana in 1980, she decided to celebrate her official birthday on 30th April as a tribute to her mother and also for the very reason that her own birthday on 31st January prohibits outdoor festivities.

Most countries with royalty celebrate their monarch's birthday with pomp and ceremony, but not the Dutch. They, in contrast , hold a giant open-air market or vrijmarkt (freemarket). Vrijmarkt is very much similar to the car boot sale or flea market. It is the only day that ordinary folk are allowed to set up shop on the sidewalk without the trading license. As a result you will see every inch of the pavement in the city, town and village in the country is taken up with people squatting on rugs and plastics selling mostly useless but strangely intriguing bric-a-brac. In some cities like Amsterdam, some areas has been reserved for only children to set up stalls and activities (no adult allowed to sell at all). And all the while, semi professional and terrible amature bands blast out what passes as music from just about every corner of the street.

Queen's Day is also the typical occasion for oranjegekte (orange craze), when the colour of orange is a common sight. Orange is actually the name of the Dutch royal family, commonly referred as the House of Orange. On this day the Dutch will wear an extreme amount of orange clothing and also creative orange accessories. There are orange hats, orange banners, orange ballons, orange food and drinks.

What is interesting is that on this day, the Queen and her family shall visit one (sometimes more than one) area of the country. The family will visit the stalls and meet the people. Her children casually take off their blazers and join the locals in their games and activities. This royal activity was started in 1980 by Queen Beatrix when she succeeded her mother. This way, the people of the Netherlands get the opportunity to view the Royals upclose.

Lang zal ze leven !!!


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