I’m now perched on my balcony enjoying the breeze at the light of dawn. Haven’t even showered, still in my koyak pjs, and sent Dean off to the door as he’s off for another business trip (3 this week, I really miss him *cries*). Kids are sleeping and they just look so… well, they look terrible; mouth opened, legs opened, arms everywhere, I had a chuckle looking at them. It’s so peaceful right now, I hear birds chirping, the soft swaying of the branches on the trees, and in a distance cars driving by.
So today Daniel and I had a meal and I asked him to say Bismillah before eating. He usually would automatically, but today he didn’t.
“I don’t want to say Bismillah, Mommy.”
“Because in school, my friend Hayden doesn’t say Bismillah.”
Uh-oh… the challenging part of motherhood has started for me i.e. influence from other friends!
You see, I never wanted Daniel to just get to know Muslims and Malays only. I want him to develop self-confidence to speak to anyone from any country and race and religion, and for him to know that there are other people of other cultures and lifestyles in this world. So I like that he gets to know international children. At home, I get him Islamic books, I tell him about Allah swt and how Allah swt created all of us etc etc, but I don’t know if he understands what I’m saying since he’s only 3!
Wearing The Oops dUCk, Tavi checkered top and Aria pleated pants (both in several colours from XS to XXL) from FV BASICS and flats from NH by Nelissa Hilman. All from FashionValet online and in Bangsar and Singapore stores.
So I’ve still been limping for a while. The doctor gave me anti-inflammatory medicine which helped but pain came back once my 5-day course is up. It’s not so great when your schedule is full of meetings that have been booked ages ago and you can’t just cancel last minute. Most of them have been very understanding but it’s more me that feel the pain the more I strain my feet. Acupuncture is not making much difference tbh but maybe that’s because I’ve only gone 3 times and not consistently. When Dean mentioned diabetes, I freaked out and started googling all sorts foot gangrene and almost cried myself to sleep preparing for my death. Husbands, sometimes… -___-“
Miso in love with Tokyo! I am utterly smitten with this city. See, I’m so excited about Tokyo that I’m actually blogging about it now and not a year later hehe.
You can google places to go here so I won’t bore you with those details. Plus, if you’ve seen my Instagram stories, you were basically there with me in Tokyo the whole time haha! I shared everything, the only thing I didn’t share is me peeing.
My observations of Tokyo and its people:
- Tokyo is a city of manners. My goodness, I thought of visiting schools there to put Daniel and Mariam so they can grow up here being polite. Literally, guys, Japanese people are nice to EVERYBODY. You matsalleh, you Muslim, you old, you young, they’ll treat you with a smile and utmost respect. I seriously did not see one rude person (well, except that one restaurant owner, but he was nice to me and took a picture of me so I’m in his good books… that guy he chased out, though…).
- They’re calm. Even when they don’t understand what you’re saying (cos they don’t speak English) or you’re stressing them out with requests (I don’t eat any non-halal meat, I don’t want pork, I don’t want any alcohol in that, yes I want the fish, oh but no vegetables in there, I don’t eat vegetable, yes carrot is a vegetable so I don’t want that, oh but can I have fries with that?), they nod and bow and just make it happen like a champ. I didn’t tell my parents this because I didn’t want them to worry, but when I was in the Zozotown office, the room started to shake. There was a mini earthquake and I could feel the ground move. I looked at the Zozotown staff and they were just doing work like normal. I asked one of them with trembling lips, “W-w-was that an e-e-earthquake?!” He laughed and said “Oh yeahhhh happens every month nothing to worry,” and continued doing work. WHAT THE FRUIT?!! I was already thinking about my will and the need to mengucap and all. And they were doing excel sheets.
- They dress so modestly. I didn’t see a single sexy person, everyone wore loose clothing and solids (hardly saw prints there). It’s basically Uniqlo everywhere. A lot of people wore cardigans (or had cardigans slung on their shoulder) and it was so hot outside! I didn’t get it, I mean, there I was in a single layer sweating buckets, and here they were walking up and down the train station with 2 or 3 layers of clothing… with smiles on their faces! They just don’t get mad or annoyed here, and I got so annoyed at that fact. Haha. So, nothing pisses you guys off???
- Their toilets are so clean and amazing. Everything is electronic, the lid opens itself with a censor when you come near it, the seats are heated so your thighs don’t get shocked with the sudden cold (bless our thighs), and you can choose water pressure when you want to wash your bumbum. Some even have music function so that the other cubicle can’t hear you pee. Man… Tokyo is so amazing they even wanna make sure you have a pleasant toilet experience.
- I think I love Tokyo so much because it was a mix of all my fav cities. You could see a bit of London in there with the parks and shopping streets and buildings that look very Kensington-like. You also see a bit of Paris in there because they have Angelina, Laduree, Pierre Herme, you don’t have to fly there anymore for these! And you see a bit of New York too (they have Barneys New York!) when you go to their financial district and there are tall buildings and big pavements where you can get your coffee and sandwiches. Felt like I was in Suits for a while.
- They are very passionate about their job. I was asking the waiter what has gelatin etc, and he could tell me each item that had gelatin and even which broth uses pork and meat and which sauce uses vegetable stock. It’s truly amazing. It’s not just one restaurant, almost all the restaurants I go to they advise me which dish I can and can’t eat. I’m sad to say that because Malaysia is generally halal, we take it for granted when we eat out and most waiters don’t even know what kind of broth is used, e.g. chicken or vegetable. Even at Tokyo Banana kiosk, the girl was telling me which cake has gelatin and which one I can buy. The Japanese, their product knowledge is amazing and that’s really something we should learn from them.
- They have a magazine with my name on it. They just spelled it wrong but it’s the thought that counts. Haha.
Overall I love Tokyo because they were just so full of content and the people are so kind. They are exposed to all sorts of things from all over the world coming into their country, but what was amazing was that they all were so rooted in their own culture. Even though they might like all these international brands, they were still so proud to dress like a Japanese, talk like a Japanese, bow like a Japanese, eat like a Japanese, they knew who they were and that was beautiful!
I never told anyone this but a few years back, this happened to Dean and I. We were on a flight to Singapore, full of hope and excitement. We were about to pitch FashionValet to a Japanese VC there, our first international VC. We were confident, numbers looked good, spirits were high, we knew we could raise funds. They met us, and seemed to like us a lot. We flew back that evening, very sure this was going to go through, they’d be crazy not to invest in us. The next few days, we anxiously waited for their email and finally, one popped up in our inbox. It was a rejection email from them. They said they were not looking to invest in us. Two things might have happened; they genuinely didn’t like us (which is weird after they wanted several calls with us) or they were just sniffing for our financial information and strategy, to invest in a competitor. Either way, we were defeated, we felt that we let the team down and it was entirely our fault.