Tuesday, February 03, 2004

A break from holidays

I’ve got another work day tomorrow before I go away from the office again on account of the Thaipusam public holiday on Thursday. I should have taken the whole week off but I decided against it since I have to be around the office while my boss is away on his vacation. I did however request for this coming Friday off so I would have 2 days plus the weekend to celebrate my upcoming 31st birthday on 7th February. I don’t have anything planned yet but I do have to go to a family dinner for my father’s birthday which falls 2 days after mine. I also have a younger sister who shares the same birth date with me so you can imagine that February has always been quite a busy month for us. Coincidently, all three of us also share the same Chinese astrological sign, the Ox, as I was born 24 years after my father and my sister was born exactly 12 years after me.

I didn’t get to do much during the Aidil Adha holidays this past weekend. My dad was still working in Tioman Island so he couldn’t be with us for the holidays. Not that it was not uncommon for him to be absent during the holidays but I would thought that this would change once he retired. Anyway, my mum decided to finally rewire the old house which is about time considering that we have been having some brown outs every time someone plugs in something new. She got some extra money from her new contract and used that to do up the house and build up her garden. The minor renovations were still ongoing when I came back so we had to bear with a bit of dust on Aidil Adha morning. It could have been worse since we didn’t get the power back on until the previous afternoon. We did have to get new light fixtures as well as some of the ones that we had were really old and in need of repair.

Aidil Adha for us would usually be a minor affair with most of use would gather together for a special brunch that my mum would whip up for us. Most of the time the meal would consist of ketupat nasi, rendang daging, sayur goreng and what ever else that we got from the neighbors when we exchange our dishes with them. This year both of our neighbors were in town so we actually had quite a spread of different dishes to tuck into at brunch. After brunch, we would usually just sit down in front of the TV or entertain any guest who might come. We usually don’t expect to receive any guest during Aidil Adha compared to Aidil Fitri but sometimes our friends do drop by and they are always welcomed to do so. Of course my aunt and my cousins who live close by would always come to our place, on any holidays actually, to have tea with us.

I didn’t get a lot of time to fiddle around with the new TV and home theater system that I just bought before going back to my parents’ house. Partly because the new TV was so big and heavy that it could easily break my current TV bench which I didn’t remember to take into account when I bought the TV. The solution to my problem was of course to go out shopping for furniture which I was a bit hesitant as I wasn’t keen to get anything new until I move into my new apartment but considering I couldn’t actually just leave the TV in the box, I finally gave into the temptation. The obvious place to get a nice TV bench was of course IKEA I was trying to avoid because of the prices. I spent 2 days with my mum during the holidays trying to find a serviceable alternative but all choices seemed to lead me back to IKEA.

It was a bit surreal for me to go to IKEA with my mum. It’s the same for me when I go shopping for anything with her. We both share the same passion for shopping which infuriates my dad when he has to tag along with the two of us. Since he was not around this time, we left for IKEA and arrived just after opening time which meant that we almost had the whole place to ourselves. We went to one display after the other and spent nearly 4 hours there before leaving with our purchase. She wanted to look at some several solutions for the gust room at home and found a few that she liked but couldn’t buy them then because the car wouldn’t be able to take them with my new TV bench. Yes... I did buy my first IKEA furniture and although I still think that it was overpriced, I have to say that I’m happy with the purchase. My new Oppli TV bench, now loaded up with my home entertainment system, stands out in my living room in a good way since it is now the centerpiece that anchors the room.

I have both my new TV and HT system all set up for this upcoming holiday weekend for me to go through at my own leisure. I’m looking forward for my father’s dinner as well as possibly getting a call from E and S for my birthday. I keep on expecting them to call me but sometimes they don’t which really bums me out. Of all the people who would wish me a happy birthday, E & S are the ones that I really look forward to even after all these years. When they do remember my birthday and call, it just lights up my day and I’m sure that I would have a good year ahead. Of course if they forgot, which happens more times that I would care to admit, there is a part of me that would feel as if there is a gaping hole in my chest that is threatening to swallow me whole.

To think of this is really depressing.

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