Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A Passport To Renew

If you were travelling overseas in the 80's you'd have to budget about a week for renewing your passport if it had lapsed or was approaching expiry. One week was for straightforward cases only. Sometimes the Immigration officers were finnicky about something or other, then you'd have had to return another day with some documents like your father's tattered and flimsy colonial era birth-certificate - as had happened to me.

Well, it really helped that I knew the head-honcho at the time was (and still is, by the way) blissfully married to my father's cousin and that he could certainly vouch that my father was 100% Malaysian true and true, and that my application should have been approved without any question at all. After all they had issued the passport in the very first place, so why make a hassle of renewing it? My uncle (in-law) welcomed me with his ever-charming smile and did the necessaries. As I handed my application-form back to the officer said "Your passport will be ready for collection after one week".

Thirty years on, with biometrics technology and computerisation, you can get your passport renewed in a couple of hours only. If you are savvy enough and above 18 years of age, you can submit your application and make the payment via the self-service kiosk located outside the public area. Kiosks are great because they do not flip through the pages of your passport to see where you were born and then decide that you should submit proof that your father is a Malaysian.

Thing is, the machine will do a match of your live fingerprint with that in the passport and I suspect, your MyKad as well. If they do not match (as didn't mine due to the unreadability of my thumb whorls), then go right ahead and join the queue at the information counter to have your application form checked and be assigned a queue number.By the way, hand in a photocopy of your MyKad as well.

Then settle in with an interesting book or just people-watch until your number gets called, at which time quickly proceed to whichever counter the voice told you to go to. There you will have your fingerprint verified against the one in the passport and your MyKad so the computer knows that it's you who has come and not your sister who is your exact replica (like the officer couldn't tell from my photograph).

Anyways you then wait a while more for a cashier to bellow out your name so you could part with your cash - RM100 for 2 years or RM300 for 5 years. I opted for the latter since the kiosk didn't like me and I don't feel like making frequent trips to the passport office.

"Your passport will be ready for collection in about one hour" said the cashier. And so you go and lepak somewhere for that duration while they do things like scanning in your photo into your passport.

I had gone to the Shah Alam office which opens on Sunday mornings till 1pm. It's in Wisma PKNS. Some shops were already opened for business at 10 am and I took the opportunity to have brunch at one of the restaurants there.

Nearing one hour you go back, place your number in a basket at counter no. 1 and wait to get called to sign for your brand new passport.

You shall then marvel that though they may give you a shiny new passport, they certainly know how to age you by 10 years in the scanned photo. As you leave the premises you check your reflection in the nearest sliding door to see if it's true.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Aunty Works Out

My New Year's resolution was to get "more intensive" at the gym.

I didn't start immediately though. But our Clan Picnic on 2nd January helped to push in that direction.

I walked/jogged on the track at the TTDI park before joining Sifu Ramlah, my sis-in-law who took us through our qigong paces.

And then some cha-cha pocho-pocho afterwards.

That was the annual picnic. We played fun solidarity-type games as well (there should be a video of it which apparently is not forthcoming.. as yet)

So what's an intensive gym workout for a 57 year old aunty?

This definitely is:

15 min on the treadmill doing speed intervals ie. alternating between brisk-walking and jogging

3 sets circuit of:

  • 20 repetitions of squats with with pec flys on standing
  • 20 reps of step-ups and twists
  • 15 push-ups pivoting on knees

30 secs plank on palms followed immediately with plank on elbows

Felt nauseous at the end but still adrenaline-high.

That was on Wednesday.

Last Friday it was:

15 mins on the treadmill doing speed intervals

3 sets circuit of:

  • 15 reps bench press
  • 20 reps step-ups on bench
  • 15 reps back extensions

finishing with 3 sets 20 reps of raised leg crunches

Yesterday, we went through some serious pocho-pocho/line-dancing routines comprising:

40 mins pocho-pocho

2 rounds each of:

  • "It's Now or Never"
  • "Chilli Cha-Cha"
  • "Demi Cinta"
  • Waltzing to a Korean Song

Today, no exercise (yet). I'm floored by seedless guavas we had at dinner

*aauuwww!!! sporadic spasms* :(

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Clan Bowled

Hey there kiddoes!

I always imagine if arwah Atok could see what we, his children, nephews, nieces and grand-children, get up to in the name of the ClanofHassan he would not be at all displeased.

What with the usrahs at arwah Uncle Zoob's and Uncle Lat's, the monthly birthdays, the Hari Raya Open Houses, the weddings etc, it is nice to see us all gathered for some fun and games as well.

The 4th Annual Clan Bowling competition on Boxing Day 26.12.10 was one such. Not to mention our Annual Clan Picnic recently.

At The Pin Junction, our clan showed that some of us bowleh jugak bowl, while some bowlehlah practise some more.

There are plenty of pictures tagged to us on Facebook - thanks to Ayu, Azyan and Fina / Odin.

I've pasted here some that have my face inside - for my own future reference of course - and also the "important" people...

Heck, I'll paste all the team pictures here too, not just those with my face...

Widie the organiser

Energising first

"Spare" muscles

the ball slipped off my fingers

(ooops... like it's gone to me pooch)

but.... YESSSZA!!!

The teams:

Shahir (in red tee) - awarded the best male bowler
and the overall champion!

Dr Su (in blue) - awarded the best female kegler
Azyan - the most animated

Little Amirah - the best under-18 (female)

somebody here was the best over-50 (female)

The Winning Team:

Matzin - the best over-50 (male)
Maxim - the best under-18 male

The Committee:

The Group Photo

Next to Aunty Rose's for lunch, December birthday celebrations...

and doa kesyukuran


who was still a little bit sore to bowl

See you at the picnic then, Raszlan!