THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Friday, 4 January 2008

Stressed!!

This has been another hectic week for me.

At the office, December and January have always been a peak period for secretarial and accounting firms. Clients’ financial reports to be written up and audited, annual returns to be submitted to ROC, income tax returns to be submitted to the IRD… Aargh! Deadlines to meet made worse by the inability of the old PCs in my office to cope with the heavy load on our computerized accounting system. There were times when I felt like throwing the PCs out of the window… but then I remembered if I did that, the PCs may hit my car parked down there…

In my voluntary work, by virtue of having the most children to look after, December and January are also rather hectic – shopping for their schooling needs; and when school reopens, their fees, workbooks, exercise books and other school requirements that need to be paid. Worse still, this year, the amount needed is only made known when school reopened yesterday. So, calls/SMSes kept coming in these past 2 days.

I am a bit stressed out this week. I think my blood going upstairs lah!! Yeah, I must always remember to de-stress from time to time. And how do you think I de-stress? What?? Go karaoke-ing like Yah??! No way! I may cause a thunderstorm!

To de-stress, I go blog lah!! No, no, I’m not a goblok! I go BLOG! I need to let it out of my clogged system!

So here I am blogging, despite having other things to do.

Remember in my previous posting, I mentioned about telling Yah to pay first and then inform me the amount and details of whatever that needs to be paid to Abang Chik’s school? Well, yesterday morning, she sent me a text message, “Dah bayar dah duit sekolah Abang Chik.” That’s it. Fullstop. No amount. No details.

I had to reply her message; asking for the amount, only then she’d give me the amount. Couldn’t she have saved the cost of one SMS by straight way mentioning the amount in the first message?!

Asiah too called me yesterday. With 4 schooling children, she had to borrow around some money first to pay for their schooling needs. With 2 in secondary school and 2 in primary, she had to fork out quite a lot of money every time school reopens. Being more systematic, Asiah had listed down everything and compiled all the receipts and asked if she could meet me today (Friday) to pass the receipts and all to me. She’s on leave until Friday and her next trip to Ipoh will only be in February.

Later when I was at the bank, banking in my mom’s pension, Fuzi called. Apparently, she had to pay more than anticipated. Worse still, her 12 year old daughter was NOT given the supposedly free text books by her class teacher. Reason given – her mother is not a Malaysian citizen. Whaddaheck?! Fuzi may not be a Malaysian, but her daughter’s birth cert clearly indicated she’s a Malaysian by virtue of having a Malaysian father!! Just because her mother/guardian is a non-citizen, she is not qualified to get free text books? And the children of rich people are given text books free?!

Funny thing was that her younger brother, studying at the very same school, was given free text books by his class teacher! What… same school, different guidelines? Oh come on!! I told Fuzi to go see the headmaster direct to clear the matter. I will have to check with her again later on the outcome.

Anyway, when I went to my NGO center yesterday, my colleague told me that Yah called him earlier to ask about her SOCSO application which my colleague helped to arrange. During that call, she told my colleague she was out in town with her “pakwe”. When he asked if she went home, she said, “Semalam balik.” Ayoma??? Semalam balik today tada balik ka??!

Looks like ever since I gave her that piece of advice when she sought my help regarding her angau problem, Yah is afraid to tell me what she does anymore, but is not afraid to tell others. She told Fuzi about going for karaoke, and she told this colleague of mine (a male non-Muslim) about going out with guys. And before you think she went out with Mr. Darling again, no, I don’t think so. As I had mentioned before, Mr. Darling had changed his phone number after Yah refused to have sex with him. And it seems Yah too has been out having fun in other towns, far from the town Mr. Darling stays/works in.

Looks like Yah took my advice to try and forget Mr. Darling. But that was about all the advice she took. I told her to seek help from God. I told her to find a job to keep herself busy so she can forget Mr. Darling. Yah, instead, has her own ways in trying to forget Mr. Darling. She goes out with other men to have some fun – something she had never done before!

Even Fuzi noticed the change in Yah – inside out!!

On the inside: from a tough, responsible and determined woman, she has become like a troubled teenager – rimas dok rumahtakut kena marahtidur rumah kawan. She’s acting like she has no children… except when she needs financial help for the children. I suppose she’s afraid if she has to pay so much for the children, she may not have enough to spend outside to de-stress herself. (Too bad she doesn’t de-stress like I do – maybe I need to teach her to blog? Or will that only lead her to spend most of her time at a cyber cafĂ©?)

On the outside: Yah used to be the typical “kampong girl” – with her baju kurung and tudung wherever she went. Even at the Lost World of Tambun when I myself transformed from my usual jubah and tudung labuh to a more suitable clothing to have fun around the park; Yah was still in her baju kurung and tudung. After she met Mr. Darling, it’s now t-shirt and jeans. Tudung also melayang already…

Oh ok, enough about Yah. Let’s go on to Asiah. Alamak, the name still rhymes. Please don’t get confused!

Today, Asiah came up to Ipoh. Initially she was supposed to come alone by bus. I promised to fetch her at the bus station. This morning, she called me to inform me that she was already on the way and that she came by motorbike with her husband. Asiah’s husband always tends to change his mind at the very last minute. Like the Family Day, initially he allowed Asiah to go with her children. (Her children are all from her late husband. She has none with her present husband.) Then, a day before the event, he said no.

For your info, Asiah was infected with HIV by her late husband. She later got remarried to an elderly man (used to kerja kampong but now no longer working), who’s also somebody else’s husband. In such a situation, with her HIV and all, I guess it’s no surprise that she has problems in her marriage. On the brighter side, Asiah thinks it’s good in a way that whenever people commented that she’s losing weight, she’d rather have them think it was because of her marriage problems, not because of HIV.

According to Asiah, her husband tends to be overly jealous at times. He’s an elderly man, while Asiah is not only young (she’s 38) but also beautiful. And I tell you she has got such a lovely complexion! No wonder the husband’s so jealous! He’s probably afraid many guys out there may fall for Asiah too just like he did after Asiah’s first husband died!!

Anyway, back to today, since she was not going to the bus station, we agreed to meet elsewhere. When I got there and asked where her husband was, Asiah said, “Dia segan nak jumpa akak. Dia tunggu kat motor.”

Alahai, segan? Ah, lantak dia lah! I still took Asiah to have a drink at the food court. Let her husband wait. He knew Asiah was meeting a woman, not a man. And he has met me once before at the HIV clinic when he accompanied Asiah for her appointment.

At least by having a drink, we could still chit chat a bit instead of just reimbursing her with the amount she had to pay first for her children’s schooling needs. But I didn’t dare let her stay long. Before her husband bising, might as well tell her to go off. Otherwise next time he may not even allow her to see me.

We promised to catch up with each other when she comes to Ipoh again in February.

OK, now my blood no longer upstairs. I can sign off now... hehehe...

26 comments:

Hussin said...

Sallam,

I've been following your blog for a while and can't help but wonder with your work. I decided to chip in becos the heading of your post terkena batang hidung sendiri.

I'm also stressed out at this moment but I don't think blogging will help me now. Blogging was the cause in the first place :-)

Anyway, keep up the good work Pi. May Allah give you the strength and inspiration to continue.

Sallam

Pi Bani said...

Hussin:
Stressed caused by blogging? Then you need to take a break from blogging lah!

In my case, my PLWHA clients get to mengadu hal to me. So, rather than absorbing everything inside me, I blog to let things out of my system. If ever I get stressed due to blogging, I'm sure to take a break from it for a while!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

sorry kak Pi, no matter how much you try to write about others, Yah seems to be getting under the spotlight more. I thought she wasnt as bad as whats been written but now with her tudung pon melayang, she's a real gone case. maybe it was infatuation but to her it could be love and see how it can transform someone. talking about power of love!

chill kak Pi. weekend is here. go let your hair down. gi disco kat casuarina tu...palm Grove ke apa ntah. ada lagi ke? hhehehehe...

Akmal said...

Salam Kak Pi,
haaaa, see? sharing sure can reduce blood pressure. Being in this kind of situation, of course la your blood pressure naik. Try to relax this weekend ok?
Yah is getting out of hand, I see? Even gone less caring to her children, hey that's not s right thing to do.
Anyway, try to have a good weekend OK?

Pi Bani said...

Kerp:
Ha'ah, ye lah tu. Baru dengar orang pasang radio kuat-kuat pun I dah tak tahan dah... kan pulak nak gi disco... lagi tension lah jawabnya. Frankly, I'd rather do some gardening or anything of that sort! In fact baru tadi dok panjat pokok rambutan to cut down some of its branches yang dah mula menghala keluar pagar. Lagi best ohhh... disco atas pokok... hahaha!

Pi Bani said...

Akmal:
Fulamak... dah tukar gambar profile nampak. Siap pakai tie lagi! :)

Anyway, memanglah lega dapat share cerita. That's what I always tell my PLWHA clients, so I'd better practice the same thing kan?

As for Yah, I dah mati akal what to do about her.

IBU said...

Salam Kak Pi

Kesian la pulak 'dengar' tudung pun dah melayang. Perhaps, it's not so much what you can do about her on your own, rather help her realise what she should do about herself. Asking her, and for her to come up with the answers herself, instead of you having to go through all the trouble to think and come up with what else to tell her each & everytime. Susah lah kan Kak Pi? Masaalah manusia, bukan semuanya 2 X 2 jadi 4. Tabik spring la kat u sbb sounds like sgt lah tinggi nya tahap kesabarannya.

Anyhow, good decision - don't throw that pc onto your own car! Hahaha...

LaiPing said...

Chill la~

PrincessJournals said...

Pi, keluar w those guys, who picks up the bill i wonder? i doubt its the guys since shes the one w epf money whc looks like a lot NOW. id give her the most a year before she cleans up all those money. sad how some ppl when given a lump sum cash, forgets the time when they dont have any money to pay the bills.

p.s. ups some rambutan to me can ah? ;)

Pi Bani said...

Ibu:
Right now I'm trying to put the onus back on her when it comes to buying her children's necessities. Other than welfare, she's also getting a fixed amount every month from an anonymous donor. I just told her that since her 2 older children are now at an orphanage, she should use the money from the donor to buy children's necessities and not anything else, and that she should no longer request from me whenever she runs out of diapers and milk powder.

I've already told her to belajar berjimat (darn, she used to be good at that!) and not to depend on donations all her life.

Let's see how it goes from here.

Pi Bani said...

Laiping:
Chill? Where? Freezer? Hehehe...

Pi Bani said...

Princessjournals:
Her EPF money is not THAT much if she continues living her current lifestyle. One year? I doubt it will last that long. Dengan pergi travel out of town naik taxi nya... dengan pergi karaoke nya... not cheap at all I tell you.

Previously before she changed into who she is now, whenever susu habis and I tak sempat nak gi hantar, she'd say, "Takpe lah kak, kesian akak kena datang jauh-jauh. Ada duit yang masuk tiap-tiap bulan tu saya gunalah dulu." Hah, nowadays she'd just SMS me, "Kak, minta maaf cakap tapi kena cakap jugak. Susu dah habis."

So yeah, sounds like her funds already running low!

p/s
Rambutan? Never mind, I eat on your behalf. ;)

Anonymous said...

Salam Pi,
Relaxlah, have some desserts to de-stress hehe....

p/s "Stressed" spelt backwards becomes "desserts"

Zawi said...

Pi,
Too many good stories from your site. Please help me to select your best for me to list on Stories From Blogs. Can you select three of your best ok?

Pi Bani said...

Anonymous 12.29 pm:
Dah... for dessert I makan rambutan gading je... yang dok panjat pokok rambutan tu kira cari dessert to de-stress lah! ;)

Pi Bani said...

Zawi:
Huh? Best of Pi's Twist? I pun tak tau nak pilih... because most of the stories are ongoing... how?

Zawi said...

Pi,
If that be the case, I will take the liberty to pick up one or three (plagiarised from Awang Goneng without permission) that can stand on its own as a story.
The rest they can just read it from your site and in due course they will become addicted to your story like the many who are addicted to the Spanish Telenovela except this one is Pi's Novela

Nightwing said...

Helo Kak Pi,

You do what is best for you to destress (hint hint: keep on blogging).

We readers don't mind..:)

I hope you have a good week end.

Wow...that husband is sure something. If i were him, just let the wife chat with u without any time constraint. (I bring a book and read...near by coffee shop or in the car).

silversarina said...

salam rindu,

I totally agree with you ... blogging releases stress...I'll come back later....

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

loveujordan/silversarina

Pi Bani said...

Zawi:
Up to you lah nak choose whichever. Tengah malas nak pikir ni... :)

Pi Bani said...

Nightwing:
I guess for the time being I shall continue blogging for whatever reasons - like to let off steam maybe...

The husband? Oh well, it takes all kinds to make this world!

Pi Bani said...

Silversarina:
Whoa!! Lama tak mari?! Dah start balik blogging ke? Blog lah selalu... release stress kan? :)

Mat Salo said...

Oooo.. blogging tu untuk de-stress kesan nya.

You know what? I come HERE to de-stress! Baca your blog nih immediately causes whatever it is in the hippothamus in the brain to send signals to relax... and no matter how perverse it sounds, I'm in here for a good time. Much better than going karaoke-ing, in my opinion, that is sure to set the pulse racing, especially if populated by pegawai2 'guest relations' yang tudung dah lama melayang! You know I got a wide grin on my face after reading your tales-lah!

Pi Bani said...

Mat Salo:
You come here to de-stress?? Waah... tales which can increase my blood pressure can actually help you to relax and end up with a wide grin?

Hmmm... looks like if I ever write a movie script, no matter how serious the story, it will somehow end up a comedy! ;)

Puteri said...

Pi,

I have a question. Do these HIV infected men and women practise safe sex? Mr Darling goes around having sex with whomever he wants. Aisah married an old man .. err, does he know she has HIV? And who knows what Yah is doing. I mean if all their sex partners already have HIV, that's ok, coz neither can be infected anymore but what if they have sex with someone who does not have HIV and unknowingly have sex with an HIV infected person?

Yah, has got nothing to lose anymore, so tudung melayang also she couldn't less. She must be thinking she only so much time left on this earth, and she will do whatever she wants to do. Ya, even, ignoring her kids. :-(

Pi Bani said...

Puteri:
We can only advise them to practise safe sex, but whether or not they follow our advise, that's beyond our control. Even if both partners are positive, we still advise safe sex as one person's level of infection may not be the same as the other; and unprotected sex may only worsen the other person's condition.

As for Asiah, she knew she had HIV not too long before she married her present husband. Takut he'd leave her, she didn't tell. However, after they got married, her husband was told about this (although she actually told him she knew about it only after their marriage - takut kena marah), so now the husband knows lah. The last test dia masih negative. And no, I don't know if he still is negative. Susah sikit nak pujuk these guys to go for further tests.