Everyday I feel blessed and I think that we are so lucky to have met each other. I’ve never met any other man who is as patient, and kind and as comforting as you are. I feel safe with you and you’ve made me open up and made me view the world in a more receptive way.
It’s funny how I get impatient with the people I care the most. And there are days when I get annoyed or sometimes angry with you. And sometimes there are things that I wish I could change about you. Nevertheless you never fight my fire or get cross with me. I don’t even remember a time in our years together when you shouted at me. Instead, you let me mellow out in my own way.
And I can tell you anything. Anything! Even the most ridiculous things like cosmetics and celebrity gossip without feeling like you’re judging me. And instead you engage me patiently, asking me questions to show me that you heard and understood me.
We are such different people, you and I. But in some of the things that we are weak at, we support each other in our strengths. I think we fit each other so well and it’s been a great relationship so far.
So … Cart had to be out of town for work for three days, and I dropped him at the airport early yesterday morning. And suddenly I feel like a bachelorette again. Hahaha!
Don’t get me wrong, while I do miss him, I’m surprised at how err … relaxing it feels.
Starting off with driving back home. After all the years of going to school early morning, made me appreciate travelling at this time. This was the time to reflect and you think to yourself that a new day is starting and new adventures await you. And I felt so tranquil going down the highway with hardly any other drivers and greeted by the glorious golden sun rising past the purples and blues.
And when I reached home, I finally managed to rearrange most of Cart’s stuff like laundry, comics and whatnots that has been lying around and polluting my eyes. But whenever I try to move it, he’d complain and say, “No! Let me deal with it!” But gets distracted and forgets about it for weeks straight. Well, he’s not here to stop me now :p
After that, it motivated me to do a lot of other things. When I was done, looking at the clock, I was surprised at how much chores that I managed to accomplish, before Cart normally leaves for work. I normally don’t like to do housework when there is anyone around because I tend to find them to get in the way.
Anyway! Following that, I went on my regular Tuesdays routine like going jogging (by the way, I intend to participate in a half marathon come Feb next year. Anyone wants to join me? Do you think I’d be ready by then?) and then cooking a carnivour’s lunch (Cart’s vegetarian) and then tutoring in the evening.
But I think it’s more in the evening that I feel his absence most felt, as he’d be home at this time and we’d have dinner together and then have a cuddle in front of the TV. I’d faint on the sofa by the time the clock strikes 10 and the next thing I’d remember would be Cart waking me up to drag me to bed at 3 am. In that state of confusion, sometimes I don’t even brush my teeth and wash my face. Such a bad habit I started since we got married!
And so last night, it was such a proud moment for me (not such a spectacular accomplishment, BUT STILL!) to be able to wash, tone and moisturise then brush my teeth and put on my pyjamas and be in bed around 11 pm.
But the house was eerily quiet. Growing up in a family of 6, I’ve never had the experience of spending the night completely alone. And I get a little paranoid after watching horror shows like The Ring some years back. Moreover, I sometimes suffer from sleep paralysis which can be unnerving. So I just switched on some online radio, tuned in to Food Paradise on the netbook (to simulate the telly, which tends to lull me to sleep) and hoped for the best.
Well, I managed to get some sleep. And now I’m up blogging and in a while, I’m off for today’s adventures … pretending I’m a bachelorette :p
Woke up groggy after sleeping on the floor the entire night as to preserve the henna and the mad rush from the day before – retrieving the rings and having them engraved, last minute buying of gifts for our gift exchange, the dinner with Cart’s family as well as finally getting and preparing my outfit for my solemnization.
That was something that I was extremely angry about. For weeks my mum and I had been trying to contact the Mak Andam for updates on my upcoming solemnization. We’ve booked her months in advance. But as the days grow closer, she did not make any initiative to call us, and when we called her back, there was no reply from her handphone nor her house number.
I was already getting worried. I wanted to know what the deal was and finalize the type of photoshoot that I wanted.
It was only a day before my solemnization was that mum and I were able to get a hold of her. When I arrived at her place, she started to mention that she has been sick and that her house phone was disconnected and that her handphone was spoiled. Which actually was an extremely lame excuse. If she had the initiative, she could have used dozens of other methods to contact my mum or me.
But at the point of time, I was just relieved to have gotten my dress, even failing to notice that she did not adjust the dress to fit me, or even bothered to iron it. But I should have seen the red flags to come.
Regardless, it was Cart and my big day. It was exactly 4 years since we first tied the knot in secondlife and we were to do it for real
I was feeling very excited. Already there were a bustling of activity outside my room, with the cooking and my family and relatives going about. I kept myself busy with making the room more “bride-like”.
This is my room with the gift exchange. My mum sewed the bedspread and the curtains!
In the afternoon, my good friend Juli arrived to do my mekap. It was a pact that we did, back in school for her to do my make-up, I saw so much talent in her when she was doing her make up so I booked her, way before I even met my husband.
Hema was there too, to give moral support on my big day. I’m so happy that my two best friends where there and we had loads of girly fun with the mekap and gossiping over things.
And then I was done!
Take a look at the before – totally stoned
And the after – fresh, radiant bride
But we were hurrying for time and and not too long after, it was already time for my solemnization ceremony. While typically, a Malay solemnization would be held at home, I thought that it would be something special to have it at Assyakirin Mosque.
Where did the Y go to?
There were already a number of people there when I arrived. I saw my family and relatives, as well as Mum’s friends who acted as Cart’s side of the family. Cart was already there, sitting at the table across me with my dad, the kadi and the two witnesses.
I was ushered to sit down. Juli and Hema were asked to sit next to me and they were flabbergasted because they did not expect to be my best women and were not dressed up (actually I didn’t realise that I needed one even)
Hema : We are so bochup!
The kadi started a prayer and then approached me, asking if I agreed to the marriage – which is a final question to ensure that I wasn’t forced into it.
And then I signed my freedom singlehood away
And then it was Cart’s turn.
The Kadi told Cart of his responsibilities as a husband. Then my dad grasped Cart’s hand and gave me away and Cart had to recite the akad nikah and end it with a firm hand shake.
Cart’s beard is very ticklish
And so it was official! Cart and I were officially married! There were a flurry of congratulations, picture taking, video taking …
There were so much flash that we were like celebrities with the amount of people asking to take a picture with us, hehehehe
Here is a short video of our solemnization
When we reached back home, we had a marhaban singing for us. And after enjoying the music, the first thing that I did as a wife, was to pass out on the bed
Last Saturday was actually the first time that I celebrated San Valentino with Cartcart due to the both of us being in a long distance relationship for the past four years. It was a simple date, just the two of us spending time together in Trastevere and then watching a movie.
In any case, if you are in Italy around San Valentino, it would be hard not to notice Baci Chocolates for sale. There are so many of them in different sorts of packaging – some wrapped with flowers, some with bears, some are even in lock shapes.
Baci means Kisses in Italian
And this reminded me of the day when Cart and I visited Ponte Milvio a few years ago.
Ponte Milvio is an interesting place where you could see a plentiful of locks on each lamppost. And if you look carefully, on each lock will be the name of a pair of couple.
There is a custom here where you write your name as well as your partner’s name on the lock. Secure the lock on the lamppost and throw the key away in the Tiber River below so that your relationship can never be broken.
I’m still a little cynical about the whole thing, but ah, its for the charm of it all. For those who are not too near to Rome, you might want to do it online! Try to spot my lock near the yellow lights.
So, how did you spend your Valentine’s day?
Sidenote : I think I’m getting used to learning Italian now. Previously I felt like vomitting when I went for class, today I just feel ill
According to Statistics Singapore, the number of divorce rates has been on an increase. There was a stage when 1 out of 3 marriages will end up in a divorce.
This trend was a concern for the Muslim organization bodies in Singapore such that for the past 15 years or so, they implemented a compulsory marriage preparatory course for all Muslim marriages in Singapore to prepare and educate future marriages for the prevention of divorces.
Recently, I’ve attended and completed the marriage preparatory course at the Assyakirin Mosque. Prior to this, I did not realise that it was mandatory till only recently. I assumed that that the course was for knowledge for keeping a happy marriage. Thus, I did not have much expectations.
When I attended my first lesson, early Sunday morning, I was greeted by the staff-helpers at the mosque and was handed a schedule, a bridal magazine as well as the course textbook. I flipped through the textbook and though it was not thick, it looked comprehensive with the different modules laid out.
In my book, there were 8 modules altogether which was presented and discussed in depth by our various coaches from Kasih Sejati.
Knowing the in-laws, money matters and wedding plans
Understanding solemnization and responsibilities of a wife and husband
The meaning of love, sex and intimacy
Challenges during marriage
Preparing for a family
Communication and the language of love
Conflict and resolution
I thought that the lessons were interesting and I realised at how unprepared I was before. I learnt a fair bit of information which I think will be useful in preparing myself for my future.
The entire course ended with each of us writing a love letter for our partners with words of affection, hopes and encouragement for our future. I thought that was very sweet.
I found out later that it was a requirement for all Muslim Marriages to be certified with a marriage preparatory course certification regardless of what nationality they are. Hence Cart arrives here in Singapore in December, we’ll be taking it together before our solemnization.
I think it will be a learning experience for the both of us.
Have you heard of the marriage preparatory course before? What do you think of it?
Without realising it, it was already his final day in Singapore. Where did all the time go?
After the pizza outing and that everyone has left, I started to feel my emotional turmoil again. And the floodgates opened. All these while, I’ve always felt sad when we had to say our goodbyes, but this time round, the feeling of sadness was more intense than ever, that it caught me by surprise. My eyes hurt and felt swollen as I went on my journey home.
Friday, 4 Jan 2008
After I left work for the day, I parked my scooter in the carpark near the Bed and Breakfast. When I arrived, Cart took out the last pack of pasta that my aunt has kindly made for him and asked me to join him for a late lunch. I was surprised as I would have been too hungry to wait for anyone. He said that he preferred to eat with me than eating alone. I thought that that was kind of sweet
It may not look good, but it tastes absolutely delicious!
After our lunch we decided to take the scooter to head to Sim Lim Square. We proceeded to the carpark and I was just about to rummage in my handbang to find my keys when my eyes scanned the scooter box. And my eyes went completely opened wide. Kind of like what you see in this picture below.
My keys were in the scooter box!
How could I have left it in there!?
Someone could have just taken the keys and rode away with my beloved scooter!
I must have been extremely stressed out. It was disconcerting.
Cartcart tried to calm me down and I realised how lucky I was that the scooter wasn’t stolen.
At length with Cart safely behind me, before heading to Sim Lim, we first stopped by to have coffee at Geek Terminal. It was open! We were finally here! I told Cartcart that Geek Terminal was the place where I believe serves very good coffee.
I didnt drink all that, this was what my friends had the last time we were at Geek Terminal
After our coffee, we then continued our journey and rode past Tekka Market and I parked my scooter in an area somewhere near Chinatown and in a short time, we had a leisurely walk to Sim Lim Square.
Sim Lim Square is a famous center for electronic gadgets. It was interesting seeing Cartcart there. As we both loved electronic gadgets, we were going about different stores peering and examining anything that caught our eye.
Eventually, after comparing the prices, Cart decides to get? the Creative Zen. He looked quite pleased at himself after finding out that it was duty free.
The gadget was spiffy. I’ve been enamored over it after seeing the guys over at Tech 65 do a review over it. I tried getting Cartcart to buy one for me too but he said no. Instead he said, “I’m getting you something else.” I stared quizzedly at him and he continued, “where is the nearest jeweller here? I want to buy you a ring”
I was most excited that my mind couldnt compute momentarily. I called up my good friends Geri and Juli to ask them if they knew of any jeweller in the vicinity.
Geri adviced us to head to Parco Bugis Junction as there were a number of Jewellers there. So we walked around and sure enough, there were about 5 jewellers side by side.
We walked into one of them. It definitely was an interesting experience being with Cartcart in a jewellery shop. I asked gingerly about their engagement rings. Already in my mind I knew that I wanted. A simple but classic solitaire set in yellow gold.
And the man at the counter showed us a collection of beautiful and exquisite rings. But I didnt want any of them, they were all white gold.
One of the goldsmith helpfully adviced us to go back to Chinatown to see if there were any jewellers there.
So we headed back to Chinatown. By then, there were a number of street buskers around. It was fascinating to see them. One of the performers were doing a beautiful piece of calligraphy using his mouth.
That was when we stumbled upon a jeweller as we passed by and I noticed yellow gold in their display case!
But when looked at their designs, I did not really liked it. The designs looked much too garish and what made it worse was that they were all very tight! Suddenly I felt very self conscious of my body type. After a while, I found one that could fit me. Vehemently, not wanting white gold and with little time left, I looked at Cartcart and said, “I think I could learn to like this one.” Cart looked at me and asked, “Are you sure?” I just nodded my head and he proceeded to take out his card.
That was when the goldsmith shook his head and said, cash only please.
we were crestfallen. Eventually, the both of us left the shop quite dejectedly.
cart : I still would like to give you a ring
rinaz : Lets go back to parco, I dont really like white gold, but I can live with it
cart : Ok. lets go
We decided to walk by the other street as we both did not want to walk in Bugis Street where it would definitely be crowded by this time. That was when suddenly, out of nowhere, pops out a man out of a jewelery shop. It was Taka Jewellery. I wasn’t very optimistic. I was sure that it would be the same as the others.
Man : Hello! Would you like to come in?
Cart : Do you have yellow gold?
Man : Oh yes we do!
And just like that, I saw the ring that I wanted. A simple solitaire set in yellow gold. It was perfect! We were both pleasantly surprised at our find.
Later on Cartcart took the ring and slipped it to my finger, and proposed. Of course I said yes!
We had a quick vegetarian dinner at one of the hawker center where I had the yummiest spring roll ever. For a vegetarian one, I was impressed at how flavourful it was that I went back for seconds, even though I wasnt hungry.
We went back to the scooter where I found out that my cashcard was stolen! I had forgotten to take it out of the IU-unit and someone swooped to steal it. Thats twice the blunder that I did today. I was in extreme stress that I could not even think properly.
I was so upset with myself.
We rushed back to the bnb to grab his luggage before grabbing a cab to the airport. The cabbie was cheerfully chit chatting with us, when we almost reached the airport, both of us were amazed by the long queue of taxis at the airport. The taxi driver said that he had to wait about 3 hours once while waiting in line for a passenger.
As soon as we reached there, I began to feel very sad. I dont think we spent enough time together. I really didnt want cartcart to go.
But in no time, he was in the ticketing queue and then I reluctantly let him go and waved while he disappeared off in the boarding hall. And my heart just shattered. In front of everyone, I started to have tears rolling down my cheeks. I just couldn’t help myself …
Its been about 3 weeks now that he’s left. Of course I do miss him alot. But life goes on. I guess I’m very lucky in that we both want to make this relationship work.
So for the moment, I’ll just try to keep being positive and hang on in there. And we’ll be planning our wedding this coming December. But as much as just thinking of the expenditures and the planning makes me stressed out, I cant wait to become Mrs Cartcart
Cartcart, I love you very much. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for being the way you are. Thank you for loving me
I took Cartcart to Little India to for the Indian vegetarian food. Ever since the first time he ate here, he has enjoyed eating Indian food alot. I think that it is rather convenient since we have a peace of mind, without having to worry about the food containing any meat.
We headed to a little place called Komala Villas where they served Indian food in a sort of fast food restaurant. Cart ordered the North Indian set while I had the Naan set.
A slightly eaten Naan bread before I remembered to take a picture
Cart’s meal had a piece of deep fried dried chilli in the middle of his meal. He started to pick up the chilli and ate it! I was horrified! I’ve never seen anyone eat an entire chilli before. And I stared at him with my mouth open as he muttered out a satisfied mmmmm.
What? He ate an entire chilli? Unbelievable!
We took the bus to head to the bnb where we caught on tv mobile, news about the assasination of the ex Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. The first thing that came in my mind was how unreal it was.
Fri, 28 Dec 2007
After Cart’s Islamic studies, mum, Cart and I headed to the Geylang Food Center for a spot of lunch. There were so much things to eat here. There were rows and rows of stalls selling wonderful local fare.
Mum and I ate Ayam Penyet.
A slightly eaten Ayam Penyet before I remembered to take a picture
This was one of my favourite food. Ayam Penyet is deep fried marinated chicken that you eat with raw vegetables and chilli paste. The hotter the better! Granted that it was a much different variation of the Ayam Penyet that I was used to, with the chicken being drizzled with soya sauce, it was still very good
Mum asked me to let Cart try the Serabai
This was a traditional Malay dessert made up of glutinous flour and eaten with gula melaka (palm sugar) Yum!
Mum decided to show Cartcart a couple of the everyday things that we had in Singapore so we walked to the wet market that was nearby.
And she showed the local vegetables, and foodstuff like spices, pandan leaves, tempeh (fermented soybean) and others, while she amiably chatted up with the ladies that were manning the stalls. That was when Cartcart spotted out some babas brand curry powder and said, “I want to make curry!” and proceeded to buy all three types that he saw in front of him.
As mum had prior engagement, Cart and I proceeded to go to the furniture shop called Barang-barang. In Malay, Barang-barang is a plural form of stuff. Henceforth, its a shop that sells stuff
Actually Cart needed some respite from the hot sun, while I just wanted to have fun and then take a nap after our lunch. I spotted a chair that looked almost like the one I saw in Secondlife.
We reached our aunt’s place later in the evening where she was already waiting for us. My aunt has been looking forward to meeting Cartcart that she’s been trying to make me feel guilty for not introducing him to her when he came last year.
My aunt’s colourful house
But I was glad that we came over this time because Cart seemed to enjoy himself. He commented that my aunt had a great personality – very friendly, hospitable and a great cook.
It was funny because just a few moments ago, my aunt told me that she was a little worried as she has never cooked vegetarian food before. She had to crack her head and wondered what to cook. And in the end, she made Omelettes, Chap Chye (stir fried mixed vegetables) with mushroom sauce and some fried Macaroni.
And it was all good!
My aunt, having already been to Italy some years back, started to talk about her experiences there to Cartcart. And one of the topic that they talked about as seen in the video below, was about coffee :
We then quickly said our goodbyes and went up to say hello to my parents since both my parents were home.
Cart started to ask about my dad, whom was hurt during the accident and was surprised to see the well made prosthetic fingers that the doctors made for him. It looked natural, he said. And my dad seemed happy to hear that and even invited Cart to touch his fingers.
Cart handed some chocolates (which was the first and last time I saw, since my siblings were all chocolate monsters) as well as this very interesting thing :
This was a Panforte. I guess its a sort of hard pie which is made up of spices and dried fruit. Mum couldnt wait to open and try it out.