KL International book fair

I love a days when I get alot done. It feels very satisfying when you look back on the day before you turn off the lights. Today is one of those days. The day started early. My brother's in-laws to be were paying us a visit for breakfast so the cooking and cleaning started last night. In the morning it was just the final touches. But as they say, the devil is in the details and in this respect i think women know better. The menu was Nasi Lemak, Mee Bandung, Arab style tomato lamb stew with chick peas (my favourite) together with french bread and an assortment of malay kuih for desert. As you can imagine, there was alot of work to get everything prepared, Bekwoh lah katakan.. We do not have a maid so it's a good thing that the only daughter is very handy in the kitchen and all the boys boleh tahan jugak.... note: Boys, if you if you feel lost in the kitchen please, try to learn some of the trades of the kitchen - even if it's not cooking, girls appreciate it, trust me.

Anyways, I'm not gonna talk about the breakfast with the brother's in-laws - It's not my story to tell. But the guests didn't eat much so there was more than enough food to last all 7 of us breakfast, lunch and dinner! I wasn't much of a fan of Mee Bandung but I am a great fan of Nasi Lemak and the awesome Lamb stew. My mum must've learnt how to cook that from one of her Arab friends when we were living in Cardiff. I will get the recipie off her and learn how to cook it. Note to girls: When the say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach they are not pulling your leg. Guys appreciate a woman that can cook. It will be good for the kids to have memories of their mum's home made cooking too. So get busy... start learning!

Ok, enough rambling about food. I left the breakfast early to go to Mentari of which I have blogged about while i was there. Not many kids turned up so the teacher-child ratio was one to one so it was a very effective session.

Right, after Mentari, lunch and prayers I too my brother to the KL international book fair. I promised him I'd take him and I also promised to meet up with a friend from school there.

The journey to PWTC was rather painless. There were less people on the roads than expected. When we reached there I called my friend, Fedtri and he told us to meet him at the Riverside restaurant. Apparently he had to emcee a book launching ceremony at 4pm. It was about 30 mins of catching up before he had to "work". So when the ceremony started I was thinking what the heck, I might as well sit in and attend the ceremony. It was the launching of 4 books and the authors were there to tell us a little more about their books, what their books were about and the motivation behind their books. It was Ok, not too boring but I was chatting on YM throughout the event. hehehe. There was a short two song performance by Nasyid group UNIC at the end of the ceremony before ehem ehem.... a small snack at the adjacent room, ironicly called the "Kelantan" room. The ceremony was at the "Johor" room. I had a couple of meat balls and Murtabak pieces before we left to take on the crowds at the main halls.

The book launch and the Nasyeed performance:

Fedtri is a celebrity. He hosts the breakfast show on TV3 - MHI. It was kinda annoying that every few steps people would stop us to take a photo with him. I don't know how he puts up with it but by the end of the day I kinda got used to it myself. Anyways, most of the booths at the fair sold Islamic books. I might have not explored all the booths but the majority that I found sold religious books. I ended up buying a couple myself. The discounts were quite good. I bought along more than RM100 and it's amazing how quickly that is spent when buying books.

Lat's Kampung boy translated to arabic! :
 (above) This is the place where most my money went to..
Me and Fedtri with our shopping, right before we were 'attacked' by his fans for photos

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the avid reader. Far from it. I haven't even finished reading the books from last year's book fair! But I like to have the books just in case I miraculously think of reading up on something. I don't read novels so most my books are factual so books like that can be picked up and read not in sequence of chapters - my kinda book! My youngest brother on the other hand who is 17 is the novel reader. Thank god, not the romance novel type! I think he ended up buying 3 or 4 novels and he got them all for a great bargain too! Proud of him. I have never completed a novel in my entire life! Always give up half way. I think it's because i read slow and I have the attention span of a 5 year old...

Traditional music performance at the lobby:
(above) a Khat (arabic calligraphy) demonstration. Didn't stick around for it though.

After running out of funds and having enough of taking photos of my friend with strangers we decided to have a drink at The Mall, the shopping centre opposite PWTC. Over there usually during the book fair there would be a shop selling really bargain books in the centre court of the shopping centre. Last year I bought my rough guide book for Spain which I ended up in using for my solo backpack through Barcelona and Andalucia. The book was very handy and it cost me peanuts. This year the shop did have a bargain sale as well and the bargains were well worth it. Theren't any more travel books this time but I managed to buy a book about learning to converse in Malay for a cool RM3. I will give this book to an American collegue of mine that is learning Malay language. Maybe this book will help them in their mastery of the Malay Language.

The books I ended up buying. I was also looking for some books on traditional arts or geometric arts, Keris, Traditional Malay costumes but in the time i had i couldn't find any. So, my birthday's coming up soon. If you want to get me a birthday gift you know what to get me! *grin*

Over drinks we chatted about our concerns for the younger generation. Although we don't exactly share the same standpoint on certain religious issues, me and Fedtri both agree on this issue. The unhealthy trend of parents putting too much of emphasis on education as a measure of a child's "success" is worrying. What happens to children that are not academically inclined. It's unrealistic that every child goes to university. No nation has 100% of the population university trained. So are these children who don't make it to university failures? If your answer is yes then I am very sad. Yes, the government is stepping up vocational and skills training in this country but as long as society looks down on non-university graduates i don't see those with less than excellent PMR or SPM results lining up for application forms.

Another worry I have always thought of is the urban poor. When too much emphasis is put on academic excellence the value of moral and in Malaysian context sound religious foundation do not bode well for society in the long run. There's nothing worse than a jobless person with low morals and zero religious values. They are the prime suspects for your drug dealers/addicts, burglars, snatch theft, mat rempits and other blue collar/petty crime. Crimes related to highly educated persons with low morals is another story. That is one of the reasons I feel that programs like Mentari Project is so important. These kids with very limited exposure and with parents too busy making ends meet need some form of outside exposure and guidance to give them a better chance of taking on what life brings with greater confidence and with a better concious. My contribution might not be very big but at least it's something more than these kids have without. The very least they have good role models to look up to.

Anyways, enough ranting. I'm supposed be preparing a photobook for printing but have yet to get to it. I think I'll leave it here for now. Hurah for a new week ahead! Hope you all had a great weekend! I know i did!