And I wouldn’t get married if I didn’t believe in a religion that propagates marriage.
You see, the concomitant dilemma of modern day marriages is this; people get married for love, to be happy
But they divorce, not because they are not happy, but they could be happier
with someone else, something else
This is what happens when you live in an individualistic society.
We are inherently selfish creatures. Women want from men what men can’t give because they are just not wired the same way and vice versa.
We contradict ourselves with our wants.
In the words of Esther Perel, top marriage counsellor and psychotherapist ,
On one hand, we want security, predictability ,safety, dependability, reliability, permanence. These anchoring grounding experiences in our lives.
But we have an equally strong need for surprise, for adventure, novelty, mystery, risk, the unknown, unexpected.
Reconciling it into one relationship is a contradiction in terms.
We come to one person for the things an entire village used to provide;
give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity
but give me transcendence, mystery and awe
comfort and edge
novelty and familiarity
predictability and surprise
we think it’s a given and toys and lingerie will save us.
So why do we get married? Why do we give out a part of ourselves for this institution, commit our lives to another that can’t give what we idealistically want?
Because Allah swt has promised that a woman that takes care of her prayers, protects her chastity and makes her husband happy, will be able to enter jannah from whichever door she chooses.
And that’s enough for me.
If we see only what is in front of us, our struggles and sacrifices without having a clear sight of the end, everlasting goal, the institution of marriage will never work. If we only see our husbands as liabilities, his shortcomings to what he actually provides, our early mornings to prepare breakfasts and our daily responsibilities to keep house while building a career, our marriages will never work.
Theres something greater than all of us.
And Hafizah, time to finish up your assignments :p
I still vividly remember the first time we discussed talked about marriage. It was as selamba as you would order teh tarik from the mamak. “Wanna get married” *eats ice cream* “We can get married in 2 years.. Have a baby..” scoops more ice shavings into his mouth *crunch crunch* *mamak teh tarik panas gajah satu*
I don’t know how we ended up in this place at Clementi eating ice shavings. Or why Mr Law was with me on a weekday afternoon instead of being at work. #someonetellhisboss Lol.
We put the “plan” into writing..
This boy acts all tough but he’s such a sentimental fool guys. He still has this piece of paper in all its crumpled glory (aww.)
Well, life moved on and it was not until one random day that I talked to him about my dream home. I told him that I wanted to
a. Live near the trains
b. Live near my parents
and Fazal just wanted to live in a maisonette. And somewhere he can get Iced Coffee when he comes home. Kopitiam ones please.
So putting two and two together, I asked my mum if she knew anyone that might be selling a maisonette unit in our estate. There is only 4 units per block, 6 blocks, so these units are rare commodity here! They are called “penthouse” units because they have an outdoor area and plenty of space.
Lo and behold, an Uncle was ready to give up his place
The lighted one, highest unit with double storey window 😀
Or so I thought.
The asking price was $700K! *gulp*
And.. it’s a 25 year old building with minimum works. Everything is mostly firsthand.
Quick mental calculation puts this house, including full reno works and furnitures, at $800k. MENTAL.
So we decided to hunt for another place. Via Propertygury and stproperty of course. I was obsessed I tell you. I checked on the websites every opportunity I could. Toilet break pon jadi lah.
We found a couple of houses via these websites but I let me share with you guys some things I have learnt.
Ads are not very truthful.
Okay, everyone collectively say *DUHH*. Buttt let me explain. I decided to undertake all the admin work myself and liaise with HDB directly. This will save you the 1% of the property price + GST.
So for example, if we were to buy the $700k property, on top of the stamp duty charges of $15, 000 mind you , admin fees (gas, fire insurance, maintenance fee, town council fee etc etc) you have to pay another $7, ooo cash just to hire an agent to do some paperwork.
PRO TIP: Don’t be lazy. Go down to HDB hub yourself and harass the heck out of the information counter. Google things too. Plenty of self help FAQ on the website for dummies like us 😛
But I digress
When you click on an ad for example, (picture just for illustrative purpose, I couldn’t find the original ads)
Jason Goh is someone that markets the unit, but he does not represent the owner. Instead, he made an agreement with the owner and their agent to market this unit. So if you were to click on this ad, Jason Goh automatically becomes your agent!! Regardless if you would want an agent or not!
Like duddee, that’s so misleading and majorly uncool.
#sigh #propertyagents #rolleyes #youliveandlearn
We ended up not getting this house..
2) Resale houses, especially maisonettes are pricey! As first time buyers, if your household income does not exceed $10,000, you can get the $30,000 grant (even for ECs)
You too can be eligible for proximity grant which gives you another $30,000 if you live within 2km radius to your family, or in the same town.
Even with that, the average $580,000 maisonettes in dilapidated conditions are not exactly a dream. If you were to factor in the massive overhaul needed for the home (rewiring, replastering of walls, floors, waterproofing), we are looking at a massive renovation project upwards of $100k. That’s $680K guys for a property that might not increase in value.
3) People would factor in their renovation costs into your home. For example, they could build in an ugly odd shaped wardrobe in their room and insists it adds value to the property. *Oh Allah please help me* I mean, even if the house is aesthetically pleasing, it’s not exactly the dream Parisian Chic theme I have in mind is it.. They should pay me to remove it?💅🏼💅🏼
I have more things to share.. about the house that we fell in love with but lost. To what we stumbled upon and InsyAllah, will become home. Sometimes, we can only put our faith in God for He knows best. Always stay positive and work hard, this will never fail us.
Our Abode (Part 2) is coming soon! Also, let me know if you guys want to see the financial break down of things!
We had dinner at MBS after work one day, me and Fazal, and took a walk around the waterfront after. It was one of those lovely clear nights guys, where you just feel intoxicated with all the love you have for life and the company next to you, full from good food and good ju-ju.
I was giddy with happiness lying down on the wooden steps when I shared with him what I thought was an ideal home situation.
You know, the whole white picket fence 4 room HDB flat, fireplace burning aircon blasting, soft music and candles. Me and him sharing dinner. When the kids come along, there’ll be bedtime stories and lullabies
And Fazal looked at me exactly like this
Smirking like a typical baggage laden, snarky, cynical lawyer.
But more than that, I knew that that was gonna be the start of 1-2 day(s) cold shoulder on his part as he tries to digest what a moron he thinks I am for having such a naive view of the world.
And he probably needs some time and space to come to terms with what I said and whether he still wants to be associated with such vile thoughts. Or something like that. Ya, he’s asshole-y like that.
I sorta have some leverage when I’m physically in front of him. I guess a little bit of the naivety tugs at his puny heart somewhere in the depths of his gut and he’ll try to tell me with as much patience as he can muster (not much really) where he stands on things.
The dumping debate only happens after I leave. In 3, 2, 1..
That’s why a majority of our arguments happen over texts.
But I digress.
Anyway, Fazal lamented that women have a long list of wants but cannot take it when their boyfriends/husbands have to go out and work for it.
But that got me thinking as to why are there so many odes to women, especially those working moms but you don’t hear it about working fathers. And only recently that I realised how much shit a working mom goes through daily and onlyby having a hardworking husband can the latter balance the scale.
Let me explain.
Last November’s birthday party cum chalet that ibu threw for ayah was the perfect setting for this incredible life lesson.
These women are my aunts. All 3 of them are professionals + mums. This is them taking a photo. The eye of the hurricane.
And behind the scene they are just catering to their families while juggling demanding careers and tiring chores.
Whilst the men..
It is just not in their mechanism to worry about laundry or what to cook for the family
Men rely on women to be an incredibly strong, impenetrable home front, to grow and nurture their family. For their selflessness and fidelity.
Thus, only when men are hardworking on the career front can he provide sufficient bread and butter to somewhat bring balance to the scales.
So these days, I just tell Fazal that if we get married, “you just come home la ah.. I don’t care what time. And eat every morsel of food I’ve cooked for you”.
Then we can snuggle
Lullabies and bed time stories?
We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
P.S. In Fazal’s defence
It’s not much of him purposely trying to be difficult.
It’s just that at 30, he’s unfuckwithable you know?
And at life’s trajectory, he’s far on the horizon of the beaten path. He know’s what he wants and god knows that the baggage of past relationships tells him exactly what he doesn’t want.
It’s bend or break with him.
The fear of retaliation, contradiction and defamation is real with this one.
And I was the debater who sang High School Musical 😅
Plus, I’m still fumbling in my idealistic corner at the very start of the path, trying to fix the little ouchies. I’m not even enroute, I’m “on the way” Malay version.
BUT, in my defence
He has a patience range of a teaspoon guys with a very wide real estate on the fucking pissed department
He needs a bigger spoon.
Do you guys know where I can buy him a nice big spoon? Industrial size please!
“..because if you can figure out work and family you will be happy in life. For me, and likely for you, work and family is basically all there is.”
This is family. We’re chill.
And for the past 9 months..
And the unchartered waters that came along with the new family, namely this strange entirety that is a 29 year old opinionated, short tempered and extremely cranky man..
Man. He’s just hard to figure out.
Gimme 100 of these sweaty smelly gremlins I still can
But this one big baby
So, I suck at this guys 😦
Of course after some time, I learn to decipher some of his little nuances..
Like see that nose flaring and lips curling? Oh boy, THE warning sign.
The thing about relationships..
It’s the few elements in life (like staying on a budget and getting a bikini wax without screaming bloody murder) I can’t seem to get a hold of.
I find myself helplessly sifting through my Uni modules regarding communications and people management to unearth the answers to the mysteries of being a couple.
Like for example Prof Huang from Coms Management taught me about the left-hand and right-hand column..
And there will be a third arrow using the left hand column as a yardstrick, to reflect and figure out objectively why and how I got to these feelings and there’s a whole series of strategies to prevent miscommunication in the corporate world. I got an A+ for this module.
I mean, Prof Huang should stuff his theories up his ass.
University teaches you nothing.
So these days, in order to figure out this discombobulating web of relationships, I’m taking a lesson from one of the greatest literature of our generation..
I had planned on doing a guide to Europe on a shoe string budget. I’ll get back to that SOONEST, guys. Promise.
But I need to write about this.
5 things you need to do when met with an accident in Bali.
I left for Bali on the 1st of December. It was a drop-everything-and-just GO kinda trip. I feel like I’m prefacing this to every trip but it’s true.
Of course I felt bad. And I came clean to her when I came back.
But the absolute worse is coming clean to Fazal. I’ll spare you guys the gory details but man I think getting a spear through my heart might hurt less. I’d rather be hogtied and licked on the toes by cats.
Okay, but I digress.
I was at the beach front of Ku De Ta with Sophie, my new found Belgian friend, when we decided that we had enough of the crashing waves. Surfing conditions were pissed poor and I thought we would have better luck in Kuta.
But time was a ticking,
And then this happened..
Hullo nail, what just happened?! It was gory.
So finally, here’s the 5 things you should do if such events happened to you.
Do NOT panic.
Sopz was washing her board when I came up to her..
“Uh oh Sopz. Change of plans.”
“You don’t bloody say”
2. Assess the situation and ask for help.
The scooter was parked right next to the life guard post and without even asking, a couple of these life guards just came to the rescue.
They poured alcohol solution on my wound and.. (shivers up my spine, guys. i s.c.r.e.a.m.e.d. So.Much.Tears.and.Snot.) I gripped on Sopz real tight and begged them to not pour anymore.
They wrapped up my toe neatly and I was off.
3. Go back to your hostel/hotel to get ID
Of course for me, right at this very moment, Fazal decided to break his silent treatment
4. You can choose to go to the hospital or any of the pharmacies around the area. Every pharmacy has an in-house doctor to deal with all your ouchies.
I chose (well, more like me and Sopz stumble into) the Kimia Farma Apotek just 2 minutes out of the hostel. They are a chain and you can find them everywhere in Bali. They are so gentle and kind, they really take care of you, guys.
That-means-if-you-have-a-severe-injury-please-get -the-heck-out because-you-might-just-die-waiting-in-line. A chef came after me with a severed thumb and his thumb was literally blue and he was moaning in pain but nope, the doctor was still inside tending to some sprain ankle -_-
5) Take lousy amount of selfies to distract you from the pain
Because the pain, it’s gonna hurt real bad. Real bad.
The doctor had to use anaesthesia to remove the nail from the skin. And anaesthesia (4 brutal jabs) on incredibly sensitive toe full of nerve endings?
Wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy. Or maybe just that one bitch.. I KID.
Then I went back to the hostel to shower and eat my meds. Pain killers come come, come to mama
Then I went to bed
Couldn’t find my receipt but..
Then I went back home to my best friend
In all honesty,
Seriously guys, you can be the toughest buff lord but breaking your heart hurts no amount of painkillers can fix.
It’s true what they say. You just got to find someone worth the pain.
Me and Fazal, we are tentatively trying to fix us tentatively fixed us and how we deal with things.
I spend a month traveling around Europe and UK the summer of 2015. It was a drop-everything-and-see-how-it-goes trip and all I can say was, “Wow.”. I lived for hashtags like #livin’onmom’sprayers because at times, it was true. More on that later.
I started my journey in Paris, and went to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid). Dropped by Lisbon, Portugal before heading back to Spain’s Andalucia and Malaga. From there I headed to Cote d Azur, France then Venice, Italy. I ended up in Brussels, Belgium somehow before missing the bus to Amsterdam and thus headed to London. Left for Manchester and then to Cardiff, Wales before making it back to Paris and then home. I did all this by bus (+ 1 train ride but whose counting).
It was pretty much a whirlwind of travelling; of missing buses and not finding the eurolines offices and NOT knowing how to do the online booking until my FINAL days, lol. I’m not a fussy traveller and I recommend that anyone who wants to try a trip like this to pretty much have strong back and thick face. Then you’re set. I promise.
Or to at least have enough money to get 3G on their phones.
Or to not break their phones and the maps along with it.
Or to have the charger that is not BROKEN for your back up phone.
Or AT THE VERY LEAST, when you’re blind as a bat, to remember to bring your spectacles.
Or at scraping bottom of the VERY least pile, not to lose your spectacles on the way to the airport at the very start of your trip.
Needless to say, to quote the greatest YouTuber alive Casey Neistat, my trip was off to a very irresponsible start. HEH.
Here is a breakdown of my expenditure
I always use Zuji to look at prices of flights before cross-referencing to the airline website itself. The time old adage is true, when you see a price you are comfortable enough paying, JUST BOOK, don’t think of whether the prices will decrease because lo and behold, it might just increase.
I used my MH miles to get myself upgraded to Business on my outgoing flight, but was back in cattle class enroute home (I could have sneaked my way to an upgrade if I went for a later flight, but Fazal would have killed me. Boyfriend>Comfort *ehem* anyday *ehem*)
Anyway, I got myself a full flat bed coming home too, on the floor that is (I ain’t no germaphobe yo, I sleep wherever)
And enroute back..
Eurolines 15 days youth pass 195 euros = $300. It should be 210 euros but I got it on a sale. VERY important because this was my SOLE mode of travelling around Europe. Single city passes could have cost more that 60-70euros in June, so this was a very good deal.
This got me from London to Manchester, Cardiff back to London and then to Paris. A whopping 31.50 pounds (S$61.30) guys (including booking fees). .
Buses are a great way to travel, guys. It allows you to interact with fellow travellers and you’ll never know who you meet, even if you can’t speak their language. I’ve met the best people on the buses and some I spend the entire days (s) following our bus ride to find our way in the city. To the mothers and grandmother whom fed me in these buses, I’m eternally grateful.
13.57 pounds = S$28.60
Trains are a tonne more comfortable, albeit slightly more expensive mode of travelling. I got these tickets online and it was much much cheaper than purchasing on site!
Out of the 29 nights of travelling, I stayed in 6 hostels and for 7 nights in total. The rest were either in buses en route somewhere, in public places or in some kind soul’s home. (Sorry ibu ayah, Fazal)
83.95 euros + 29 pounds = S$129 + S$61
So there you have it. 6 hostels, 7 nights.
Grand total: S$ 1, 448.90
The rest were spend on food, inner city trains and buses and on my last day in Paris, I shopped a tiny bit to bring souvenirs back home.
I’m not saying that everything was rainbows and unicorns because it definitely wasn’t.
When I couldn’t find a place to stay, it was mostly like this.
But when you wake up, go to the public wash room, wash your face, brush your teeth and..
I lived mostly off..
Ramadhan started the last 9 days of my trip so I was mostly writhing in bed by 7pm during the 19 hours of fasting
On lucky days, I met nice strangers turn friends like Elodie who offered me a place to stay..
On luckier days,
The people I’ve met and all the adventures of running after buses and figuring out the way around town, the Olas, Obrigadas, Bonjours and Mercis and trying to make myself understood in a foreign land with no GPS.