Saturday, March 17, 2012

Post-monsoon cleaning

Okay, it’s time for the long overdue mundane blubbering post (cue to roll eyes and close the tab for the tame-hearted).

Yesterday morning, we had what I would term as a post-monsoon cleaning, and, with the help of a cleaner (and her son), we rummaged through mountains of old (and new!) household goods and paraphernalia, discovering and rediscovering some wonders that we never realized (or have forgotten) we possessed. Examples include a new and unused 20-piece set of pots and pans, a large nonstick wok and a bunch of cleaning soaps and sprays. Ever the pack rat, I resolved to go through the old books one by one and rearrange mine in a specific container, and the same went for the old clothes. Halfway through (well, not even close, actually), however, I was brutally smothered by the sheer size of the junks that I eventually gave up and succumbed to the ‘trick’ I learned from my roommate when I was at the end of my tether packing before graduating last year- ‘just let it go’. Oh yes… but oh no. Bad idea, as it turned out, for I nearly threw away my mother’s wedding dress and gifts, and some old kiddie stuff with sentimental values. I guess kemas-kemas stuff will strongly remain at the pinnacle of my list of least favourite (I’m using very positive words here, see) household chores for a good time to come.

As it happened, I didn’t get to rest my sore gluteal muscles for more than a few minutes until much later in the evening, sashaying from one chore to another like there was no tomorrow. The blue sky in my nutsy day would unquestionably be eating the yoghurt with honey that I made in the afternoon using our brand-new yoghurt maker, bought with the help of our healthy lifestyle guru, Aunty Hanis! My first ever homemade yoghurt! Yay!

Cleaning sessions like this will usually bring me back to a nostalgic moment or two (or more) when I come across items with sentimental values (which by nature means almost everything there is). This time around, a warm feeling came when I found an old stamp-collecting album, a cherished childhood pastime of us three elder siblings and friends. Those were the times when we would fiercely compete for a bigger and more beautiful collection, and would tirelessly go through the rigorous process of separating stamps from the envelopes and drying them afterwards. Secret deals and negotiations would take place, usually with our father or late grandfather, who had in his possession a vast number of unique stamps, old and new- like the triangular and diamond-shaped ones. Sometimes we even ‘cheated’ by buying stamps at the stationery shop just to increase the ‘worth’ of our albums, although the sense of satisfaction was never the same.

Collecting was a huge hobby of mine as a child, and I learned a lot from it, like knowing the names of countries from the stamps and coins, many scientific facts from ‘fakta menakjubkan’ cutouts in Utusan newspaper (which I don’t read anymore, for obvious reasons), and improving my understanding of language from comic strips in NST (which I also don’t read anymore). I wonder if they still sell those stamps at stationery shops. I wonder if children today even collect them still. I mean, most of us don’t even send snail mails anymore, which is just a shame (I just posted one to a friend a few days ago, by the way. ;p). Sometimes the activities which demand more time and effort to accomplish give us (and others at the receiving ends) a better sense of satisfaction and appreciation, as in the case with collecting stamps and cutouts, or writing snail mails instead of e-mails. Sometimes old ways are simply better.

And, to conclude my mundane-post report, today I met my little green slimy friend (not!). Joy.

The end.

Ps: My parents spent the whole day reuniting with old varsity friends and are actually having dinner downstairs with them as I write. Happy reunion and may Allah strengthen the ties of friendship between each and every one of us!