Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Are You a Muslim?

“Whoever works in oil & gas industry will go to hell. We cursed too much”

Ok. I bet most of you will have your jaw dropped for a second. Haha. That remarks actually came from a guy on the rig when I was “interrogated” by them on the real definition of Muslim.

I must admit this hitch is a bit different than before. It’s obviously my first time working overseas where majority of the crew are non-Muslims. We do have a few Muslims here, mostly are Indonesians and work as stewards. We don’t really work or spend time with stewards since our job mostly are done outside, on the rig floor.

One day, when I was in the driller’s cabin, a guy asked about my religion. Perhaps they associated Muslims with Hijab and since I don’t wear any, they can’t really tell what religion I am. So yes, I’m a Muslim and they asked if I go to pray when I’m on the rig. Again yes, I do go to pray 5 times a day when I’m on this rig and that just triggered them more questions.

Where and when do I go to pray? 5 times a day seems like a big burden to them since I have to stop my work for 5 freaking times a day. Don’t get me wrong with that “freaking” word. I’m trying to describe their reaction. There was even a nasty remark saying if I were to work as a Mud Engineer, I won’t be able to perform my prayers 5 times a day since my job requires me to be in the lab at all times. I was a little bit offended at first I must say but then I explained slowly that it doesn’t take much of time to pray. Perhaps you took more time when you go to pee and poo. And that 5 times a day is mostly misinterpreted during daylight only. So I had to carefully explain to them when I normally go to pray.

This rig is equipped with a Prayer Room. I believe people are more sensitive and realized that a Prayer Room is actually a necessity since we have lots of Muslims working offshore. But, no I don’t use the Prayer Room. Previously I stayed with another lady who worked on day shift with me. So it’s not a problem for me to go back to my cabin and pray. But when we had full POB (full bed) last week, my roommate was moved to another room where she had to stay with one of the government’s representative. The government lady refused to share room with man, so my roommate and I had to split.

I had the chance to stay with the government lady but frankly speaking, I refused since I don’t think I’m that patience to live with her. No offense, but it’s just me not able to tolerate much. So, I ended up having a male roommate but fret not, we work on different shift. Until today, I have no idea who the guy is coz we have not met since he came. That’s how it is here. You go out of the room from 6am to 6pm and the other person starts working from 6pm to 6am. You are not allowed to go back to your cabin as it will disturb your roommate’s sleep. A big NO NO.

Anyway, I pray in the female changing room. I have a thin mattress that was supposed to be used for our sunbathing activity but since my roommate left the rig, I have not been up on the helideck for sunbathing anymore. So I use that mattress and have my prayer mat on top of it. The changing room is clean and it has enough space for me to perform my prayers. It has 1 shower cube and 2 toilets. It’s all brand new and I don’t think it’s a big issue for me to pray in there. It has around 30 lockers for us to put our coveralls and other PPEs. I can use the Prayer Room but it is just more convenient for me to use the changing room.

Apart from prayers, more questions were asked like how can we fast for the whole freaking month without even drinking, let alone eating anything. And what was the purpose of fasting. Again, I had to carefully put my words as the last thing I want to do is to send the wrong message. I must admit I’m not really pious and my knowledge is not that great either. I really hope I have not said the wrong thing or they misinterpreted my words.

Most of the people here do not have any religion. They do believe in God but they just don’t follow any specific religion. And it was such a big fuss for them not being able to drink beer and have bacon on this rig. I wasn’t really bothered by their complaints. I don’t know how I can be so relax and almost heartless to hear all those complaints. I just don’t care.

To me, it’s all about what you believe. And whether we go to heaven or hell is between you and God. My dad once said “It’s much better to be a good Muslim internally than portraying externally like a Muslim but not behaving like one”. And he is a Chinese Muslim. I just love the quote. A sincere quote. And I love you too!

And yeah, we do curse a lot here. But it doesn't mean anything for offshore people. Our sentence is just incomplete without the F word. In other words, "cukup rasa". And no, I told them we wont go to f-ing hell just because we f-ing swear too much. I really don't f-ing think so. Haha it's soooo offshore!

Now, I need to do more reading and research. I'm pretty sure one day they will ask what is the reason for us to pray at all 5 times i.e. why at near-dawn, after sun's noon, afternoon, sunset and nightfall? And I just don't have any answer for that other than it is an ordained from Allah. Anybody wanna help?

Little sardine sunbathing on the green beach with the rest of the whales. That's what they called me here anyway. LOL


*cheers* <- this is just another word. Not that I'm having beer with you or anything ok!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lucky

Lately I’ve been traveling a lot and I received quite a number of envious comments from my peers. People keep telling me how jealous they are looking at me living a wonderful life and how lucky I am with all those paid vacations.

I must admit I’m a bit luckier compared to other people when it comes to work related issues but at the same time I too envy those people who are blessed with wonderful life and happy family. I keep telling them don’t look at what I have but zoom more into what you have and treasure them. I am happy living life traveling around the world but I might be happier just by having a good husband and wonderful kids around me.

Different people have different needs. I do love traveling and yes I won’t stop traveling until I’ve covered almost the whole world, insyaAllah. But at the same time, I think those who are blessed with good husband and healthy children are just luckier and shouldn’t envy me that much. We can be happy no matter where we are but we can’t be happy if we are all alone right?

I’m not alone. I have my wonderful family close to my heart always. I’m thankful to be given another chance to be close with my family and treasure them the most. At this age, I finally have the opportunity to be a good friend to both my father and my mother. That’s how the bond of parents and daughter should be. They are not our parents, they are our best friends. I gossip more with my father lately. I guess I’m just getting older to be able to gossip with a 67 year old guy! Oh~

Anyway, the main message of this post is try not to think of what others have too much because sometimes you just don’t know how much those people envy you with what you have. Though you only have a small hut but it means a lot to certain people! Not every bungalow is a nice place to live in, especially those haunted ones! LOL!


This is one of my favorite pictures. Location: Southbank, London. So yes, I'm lucky!

*cheers*

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Officially

a month! Exactly a month now.. well terlebih sehari (1 mo 1 day).. Sebulan dah bermusafir kat negara orang nih.. Kejap rasa laju je masa.. ada hari rasa sangat slow.. So, update untuk sebulan:

  • Alhamdulillah, life is definitely getting better. Kalau recall post awal-awal kisah homesick tu dah boleh senyum kambing gelak kat diri sendiri..
  • Dah tau kat mana nak cari makanan yang sedap! Plenty of good and cheap food available in the country. Ada ayam yang ala-ala Nandos gitu.. boleh la~~
  • Been to the Capital Market.. itu ala-ala shopping street diorang lah.. more like a bazaar cina kalau kat kangar tuh.. hehe.. They sell lots of things, from jubah, kain cotton, dresses, jeweleries versi main-main tu.. macam2 lah.. Jubah are pretty cheap. Bought one for my BIL @ RM30. And the quality is good too. Kain cotton pulak mostly priced around RM15 to RM20 for 5 meters. 5 meter = RM15 ok! bukan semeter! haha.. This is ridiculously cheap and I'm sure gonna stock up my kain cotton before I go back to Malaysia nanti. Mak sungguh excited ye bila dengar kain sangat murah.. Haha..
  • I like working on the rig more than the office. Coz they have lots of entertainment!
  • Hari-hari main Wii sampai sore arm. I can't lift my right arm at the moment due to excessive boxing and tennis. Had lots of fun with the crew here.
  • Dah pandai jugak ber Foosball! takdela tangan bangku rupanya.. haha
  • They have quite an impressive Gym so I've been working out a lot lately. Ke arah badan yang sihat dan cergas!
  • Food dkt atas rig dah makin menurun taraf kesedapannya. They had crew change and I prefer the previous cook more than the current one. I eat less lately. Camne nak gumuk la?
  • I kinda miss home too. But I keep on calling Mak every 2 days or so when I have time. It's a bit hard to gossip coz the line gets delayed by few seconds so nanti berebut dengan mak nak bergossip huhu..
  • Wonder what's going on with my Papa. He's been less active in FB now. Dulu hari-hari kemaruk FB.. Where have you been Pa?? (he's a silent reader.. shy reader.. lol) Maybe I should give him a call too
  • My sis seems to be very busy.. Macam tengah run for PM post pulak.. hihi.. You wanna go for election in Gebeng or Kerteh? ;p hope everything is fine there..
  • Work wise.. Hurm..I kinda realize I'm a bit impatience when it comes to teaching people who doesn't use the correct tone and words in asking questions.. Some sort of nak marah gitu.. Haha.. That's why I personally think it's important for you to use the correct words and tone when you wanna ask something.. Ke saya yang lebih emosi? Tapi kalau orang lain tanya I can be very happy to teach them. Kadang-kadang tu mungkin rasa poyo sekejap sebab asyik nak share new things I learned without being asked. Haha. Confirm tak boleh jadi cikgu nih.. Oh I'm referring to the ministry people yang arab tuh.. Mungkin perasaan kurang suka dgn the previous reps yang bercakap seakan-akan tercekik microphone dalam tekak dia tu kot..then ter-assume semua orang arab-africa ni mcm ni peelnye.. Will try to be nicer to them after this... Fuh!
  • These few days banyak emo dengan management in town & KL. Now dah masuk tahap malas nak layan. So mood happy dah surge.. Sebabnya bebel lah berhari-hari pun takdenye things gonna change or gets better. So jangan buang masa, jangan buang tenaga muncung sana sini.. Tapi lepas ni dah tau la selok belok management so takde lah dorang boleh tabur janji manis camtu je kan?
  • Weather kat sini sangat best! Memang belom ada belang-belang dkt muka lagi lah sejak-sejak naik rig nih. Maybe bcoz we are 153km from the beach so panas pantai tu kurang kot? haha tahla.. ni theory sendiri.. Plus the rig is humongous so banyak benda ala-ala skyscraper meng-cover sinaran matahari..
  • Ok tetiba takde mood. Bye