Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Everyone knows that personal correspondence has gone to the dogs. This is due to all that technology has been able to offer i.e speed and efficiency, instantaneous at that. And just like instant coffee, 3-in-1's and 2-in-1's, the art of personal correspondence has been reduced to a quick act of pouring hot water into a mug and a short stir, the resultant taste insipid at best. Letter-writing of 2 or 3 decades is like the brewing of coffee granules on a stove, the finished letter as satisfying as the first sip of aromatic brewed coffee on a cold morning.

Styles change from one generation to the next. I remember reading a letter my grandfather wrote to his son, my father. It was written in jawi and addressed my father as "Anakanda ku yang dirindui, semoga didalam keadaan sehat wal-afiat adanya". When I wrote home during my erstwhile days as a student, the salutations were a simple "My dearest Mum and Dad, and all at home". And off course the love letters! Nowadays the SMS from my daughter at school would go something like: "Salam mak. Call me plz, URGENT".

Up until a fortnight ago, my son Azeim who is in his first year in the UK had been pretty quiet: neither telephoning nor skyping, or even texting and e-mailing, not even YM (yahoo messenger). The last time we were together was early June in Paris. He had changed his phone number and mailing address after that and I couldn't reach him. Off course my Facebook "friend" request went unanswered. No news may not be good news, I thought. In the end I had to resort to the "slower" option: e-mailing to his many e-mail addresses. The exchanges as below:

SALAM Dek...... Apo sonyap jer??? What's your phone number man? and your mailing address? Who knows someone might want to visit you and I don't know your contacts! What do you occupy your time with nowadays?
salam... laaaaaa... no wonder nobody called... i thought i already gave my phone number to somebody... ok, its +4477483054xx.. anyway,i came back from roadtrip of western uk, lake district and wales etc recently.. skang nie tgh sebok keje..dpt keje floor engineer.. i deal mostly with the floor and the occasional waste management system.. skang nie internet x msk2 lg..ade problem with the telephone line..next week br ade technician dtg nk buat pe yg patut..skang nie tgh pkai internet kt tempat keje.. anyway..all is well kt sini..weather kt sini x sejuk..tp 5min ujan 5 min panas.. how's everybody at home? ade yg nk dtg ke? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hahaha floor engineer = janitor lah kan; keje orang bangla kat sini. How's the money? Boleh lepas rent ke? Anyway what's your mailing address? So far nobody is going, but who knows, just in case. Semua sihat but Yah kene home quarantine sbb 2 kids at her school got infected by H1N1

Oic...so yah show any symptoms x? anyway..the pay is good.. its the national minimum.. £5.73 per hour Rite now keje full time..sbb nk gune all the time yg ade during the summer break... so, this is my new mailing address.. xx Hanover Court G12BG Glasgow United Kingdom so, that's for now..will call when my internet gets back in..(whenever that is)



Whenever that is - indeed. Looks like not yet.

Checking his inactive Facebook , his latest thoughts were:

Azeim Cash Take me down to paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty, TAKE ME HOME..

Azeim Cash how could anybody took a crap in the toilet but missed the toilet?

Well Dek, a floor engineer puts up with a lot of crap. It's tough but that's what you get for 5+ quid an hour.

Personal correspondence is gone, gone, gone. We just did not write about crap in those days. And in not writing proper sentences, I am just as guilty perpetuating this errr... crap.

I drink instant now too.


mamasita said...

Dearest Zendra..ni lah anak2 kita zaman sekarang..messages shorthand and cool..loving,straight to the point,bunga2 takde dah..hahaha

Pak Zawi said...

Kehadapan yang mulia Zendra,
That was how I was thought to write during my school days but I improvised early because I tend to red more letters in English that doesn't require such an intro.
Ahhh kids nowadays don't even bother to greet us even when we are on YM. It seems that it must always be us the parents who must give them salam first. I must have taught them bad manners when they were young.
So email is relegated to 'slow mail'? How do you classify the orthodox mail then?

Kak Teh said...

zendra, I know one sure way you can keep track of him, short of attaching a GPS on him. Give me his contact number and failing to get him yrself, I will be sure to be there aknocking on his friend door demanding pasal apa tak call mama. hehe, that will surely make him call you!

Zendra said...

mamasita, I just wonder how they write love letters today without the romantic bunga-bunga :)

Zendra said...

Hahaha Pak Zawi, tak ghoti den nak jawab eh...

I don't think we taught our children bad manners, but for me I think I did not emphasise enough on the good ones.

They call regular mail snail mail. Poor snail.

Check out Dr Sam's recent post in Archive of Time for a classic Malay love letter. :)

Zendra said...

Kak Teh, Thanks but he's in Glasgow lah. But if you do get there somehow, I authorise you to sekel him (verbally lah) on my behalf ;)

DrSam said...

Actually madam Zen, I almost couldn't keep myself from smiling from ears to ears when I read my own version of "classic love letter" :) And yes, using the techno-snail, we are missing the excitement of expecting a postman delivering a letter from our loved one.

Google earth is probably a simple way to keep track on your son's whereabouts. Or tag him with a GPS just like Kak Teh's suggestion :)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, was at Zawi's place noticed your profile pic and busybody over.
Interesting chat you had with your son, ha ha.
Love your eloquence too.

You have a nice day and keep a song in your heart, Lee.

Zendra said...

Kehadapan Dinda Dr Sam, with romantic husbands like you around, I'm indeed assured that our beautiful language will be saved from extinction haha. Please teach this style to your children too, OK?

Daripada Kanda Zen ;D

or would anakanda/bonda be more appropriate?

Maybe I should call up X-files and get my son implanted with a radio frequency tag in his neck when all attempts at communicating have failed :(

Zendra said...

Hello Uncle Lee, going by the playlist on your blog, I can happily conclude that we are of the same era. It's playing "One Way Ticket" by Boney M now - wow that really takes me back to happy wonderland.

Really nice of you to drop by, Unc. Love reading your blog too ;) Apparently we are both watchers lah hehe

Naz said...

Everything has to be short and to the point these days. No more *bunga-bunga* macam dulu.
Oh! I wonder too how our kids (will) write their love letters...hehe!
I may try to surprise my kids with a snail mail tonight, just for fun :)

azeim29 said...


Kehadapan ibuku sayang..

Alhamdulillah..after much harrasing and phone credits spent..I finally got 'sky' to finally get my internet up and running. Tension betol, especially when they refuse to give us the commitment we deserved. Thankfully, its sorted now.

Sorry for causing all the worries, actually work is not that bad. The facebook status is merely a shout for attention aka poyo jee lebey. Every kids this day does that. I found it amusing more than anything really..(the crap missing the toilet)..we had a good laugh and I dealt with it.We even had a good discussion of how can it possibly happened..:p
All in all, work is easy peasy and I think Naval Architecture is wayyy tougher.

The other status, is from a song..I listened to it and it sums up my feelings really. Miss everything at home, miss u and bapak and everybody.

Again, I'm so soory for the quiet period..

Till then,
Salam and lots of love from me :)

P/s- good work on the blog, i'm impressed.

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,Guess as long as we keep the communication line open with our kids, its O.K. lah !
,,,I have seen too many cases of children that wants to BUT their parents cut them off !!..and then they wondered why ??. Tepok dada tanya selera-lah..!!
,,,LISTEN to the children before they drift away without any destination in life !..its never too late ya ?.
,,,Many of the drug addicts just want someone to listen & appreciate the HELL that they are undergoing..Parents MUST be part of their life or else its a bottomless pit for the poor kids. Trust me, they are all little kids wanting love and understanding in this dog eat dog world.
,,,Lets all of us be fathers/mothers again to our children plus other's too as our own inorder to see "our children" through their testing period.
,,,Capt's Longhouse is in fact, an half way house for those that needs HELP !!
,,,Pls do send across any kids that needs such help !!. More that 70 odd had passed the test here.
,,,remember it just boils down to COMMUNICATION ya !!. Guess why we have one mouth yet two ears ??

Precious said...

Maknyer tentu dah terrer ngan bahasa sms zaman skang eh ... BTW, FYI, ...

Zendra said...

Naz, do surprise your kiddies and start them on philately. Snail mail is so rare these days that stamps can become even more collectible than before. My snail mail nowadays are bills, bills and more bills.

BTW, email me your terrestrial address and I'll surprise the kiddies with SNAIL MAIL FROM MALAYSIA! :)

Zendra said...

Anakandaku Azeim yang jauh di mata namun dekat di hati, salam syahdu bonda ucapkan dengan perasaan rindu yang tidak terperi.

Lebih dua purnama sudah tanpa bertemu mata, lidah bagai kelu tiada bersuara. Alhamdulillah anakanda menyumbang tenaga untuk kebersihan negara, pulang nanti tidak diabaikan kamar-kamar kecil rumah kita ;D

Am happy that you are enjoying the summer working and gaining all kinds of experience. Keep it up Dek. Err, email me your exam results, I've got to see how tough Naval Arch really is for you.

Hugsandkisses MUAH!

Zendra said...


Very good advise there Capt.

BTW, can I send Azeim to you to work on your boats sometime?

Zendra said...

Akum Precious, boleh ler fhm sket2. 5 org bombard i ngan bahasa nih klu x fhm kantoiii


I take it Queen and Precious are one the same? You run a very nice upbeat blog!

And thanks for visiting!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi zendra,

Have u ever received one of this short & sassy msg b4?:

SOS, need more $$$, LOL (lots of love) xox your baby. TT will b fine! Oso can u >VISA $ limit.

P/S - Hey ur kid got same hairdo as me in my younger days; uncanny!!!

Zendra said...

Ello there Tommy,

the thing about that kind of SMSs is that it indicates the sender or his/her abductor or lover, is still alive and kicking hehehe

Yeah that hairstyle is worn by all kids in their freshman year for lack of barber funds!

Thanks for dropping by :)

Red Alfa said...

Azeim29, Dear son,
Please note I am reaching to you through your mother's blog. I can only say(with the usual look that would be familiar to you when I am actually annoyed)I missed you very much especially when you have not called or written home for so long! Is this then the way your typical father-son away from home communication will be like?

Zendra said...

Just to remind Azeim of THAT look of bapak's ;)

Tommy Yewfigure said...

That's the 'Look of Love' that never fail to traumatise a kid! I can't blame him if his crap miss the toilet...hahaha! U r mean a mummy!

Zendra said...

HAHAHAH Tommy, a look that time can't erase (Dusty Springfield - don't know how old you are but Uncle Lee might remember her...)

Aiyo, Azeim is the only one of our kids who can return that same look lah. Only, RA has the edge on seniority (read wrinkles, hehe)

Capt's Longhouse said...


Sure can use a Floor Engineer cum Waste Management Pakar at Capt's hahaha !!

Aziem buddy,
,,, pls visit my other blog about "The Greatest Father, My Father" ;http://kapaspirate.blogspot.com/
If only, I can still talk/listen with my father like I used to BUT now he is bed ridden and in semi-coma !! "sebak" tiap tiap hari Yeop !! am full of tears right now...so don't miss the chance/opportunity in pro-active communication with your parents ya !. Sorry my eyes are too wet to see or continue !! Lost my dearest mom 5 years ago too but I still feel her presense daily, guiding my actions for the betterment in humanity plus bershukor kpd Allah atas reseki kita.
You are a good son, well mannered and raised..yr daddy & mom really miss you tons son yaa !!
Will doa for your success and safety too...Cheers young man Aziem !..do drop in Kapas for some waste management practical demo ??.hahaha. GO FOR IT !! you the BEST, remember that k ;-)
,,,YES, YOU CAN yaa !!


bangkai said...


No love letter (in the form of an email, an SMS or similar digital communications)- no matter how well worded or well intentioned - will ever stand as tall next to one that was written by hand, on fine paper, using a good fountain pen.

Then again, I'm just an old-fashioned decrepit old git :-)

Zendra said...

Tok Uban, you have to top 5.73 quid per hour before he'd come. He can double up as kitchen hand too: he does a mean Ramly burger special (burger wrapped in fried egg) as well, plus tomyam ayam, and chicken curry too. So 10 quid an hour (including commission for Mum), no less!

Zendra said...

MatB, well I don't know anything about fountain pens except some use replaceable ink cartridges (more sophisticated) and the rest use a picit-picit mechanism to draw in ink from the Quink ink bottle. My love letters were written in normal biro (kilometrico in Malaysia) on normal letter paper. Aiyo how unromantic! Guess with your kind of English (no need for emoticons) only quality pens and paper would do. How lucky the receiver of your romantic overtures ;)

mekyam said...

waitseminit, zee!

though i'm totally an advocate of handwriting [closeted perasan graphologist that i am who bemoans the lack of hw-samples], i have to speak up for today's instacomm culture.

now where in the zaman debu stone of p&p (pen & paper) would we, netizens at large, be able to play audience to this cutest of exchanges between mom and son with pop edging in "sternly" with his parental weight? :D

you can't script something like this, zee. with pen or without!

Zendra said...

Nope.... not anywhere mekyam, but only on Zendra's Fascinations where the characters are REAL and the show is LIVE! And the ringside seats are FREE!!! hehehe

But seriously, kinda miss those days when the mail cycle took a few weeks from sending to getting a reply - about news that was already basi mainly. Life was simple then, parents too far away to hound us :)

zafi said...

romantik with bunge2 stuff is a must... dah ade internet pon leh lagi karang2 madah2 berhelah tu ...
glasgow? alamak too far from me... kalau tak leh tolong jengukan.:P

Lady Marko said...

Aww Kak Zen! You are such a sporting mother. And I have to say, your boy has been raised well... for not having the slightest inkling of embarassment in writing and telling how much he loves his mummy in front of the whole world. Wa tabik lu Azeim!!!

I'm making a note of all the advises and tips dropped here from parents of older kids... my children will get there someday and i hope they don't shy away from expressing their love to me in public. Sekarang pun Hassan always mengelak if I want to kiss him...unless kalau nak something eg susu, ultraman etc. I have to resort to that!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Excuse me, Zendy, how can u ever compare me with that old Casanova from Canuck land..hehehe..

I’m only 40 what (stopped aging when I reach my prime!) Dusty Springfield said ‘I only want to be with u’. Petula Clark told me to go ‘Downtown’ & ‘Don’t sleep in the subway’. But Cilla Black said ‘You’re my world’. Nowadays I don’t mind listening to SYTs like Katy Perry, Lily Allen & Amy Winehouse. Yeah when I grow up, I wanna be like Hugh Hefner too….muahaha…Tommy's fascinations?


P/S – Wonder what you’ll do if Azeim gonna grow up to be just like Tommy? Somehow girls like naughty boys, betul tak?

Saya... said...

Wah, macam pasar malam...

"how can anyone take a crap and miss the toilet?"

hmmm...because their colostomy bag came loose?


Making the rounds ah? You naughty apek.

Zendra said...

Kan... tengok bebudak skang dah ade internet pon leh karang2 bunge2. Zafi bagi lah contoh madah bebunge2 bahasa skang.

Zendra said...

Lady Marko, he is paying his penance lah. Had he not, he knows I'd get on the next movieless flight to Manchester to hunt him, down to every loo in Glasgow hahaha

Zendra said...

Gosh Tommy even at your age you know these fine ladies! But, begging your pardon, I thought you would have mentioned Dolly Parton going by your ambition.

Yes girls like naughty boys, but they marry mama's boy. I did.

Zendra said...

Saya, hmmm could be, could be....
Lesson is; do an annual colorectal exam without fail. Just been to Uban's, haven't you?

Woh Saya , so bad one you call Tommy apek! Which new village ah?

Tommy Yewfigure said...

What lah u think I Village People kah?

I'm from Troon N/V, maybe close enuff to pop over & check up Azeim in Glasgow :)

Gotta go now for the next 5 days, the 5th Ashes Cricket series just started. Only gentleman like me appreciate cricket, unlike those mama's boys that only like soccer, no class lah!


Zendra said...

OK Tommy I'll remember Troon if ever I visit Perth in Scotland hehe

The only part I love about cricket (excuse me while I YYYAAAAAWWWNNNN) is when the pitcher rubs the ball up and down his thigh before pitching. Why on earth do they do that, I wonder?

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Lunch Break at the cricket now.
Lily Allen was in the stands with her St George flag tattoo on her cheek, so cute one. Made my day too!

That's a good one; Perth in Scotland, yes it's the original one.

I shall refrain from commenting on that cricket comment with due respect to Puasa month.(Cannot be notti, mah)

Happy fasting.

P/S - He's called a bowler not a pitcher like a flask, dah :)

Zendra said...

Alamak Tommy, I'm LBW-ed! I'm out. Can't keep me legs still. (YYYAAAWWWNNN)