‘Ohana’ Means Family

When you find family in the face of strangers

Recently, my Bumblebee (yup, I call my car that, despite being orange) had another incident. I was off to a food review in Bangsar South’s new attraction, Hotel Capri by Fraser. Just as I drove into the basement, suddenly my car stopped moving. Noting something wrong, I just did what I do best, panicking, haha!

This is how Bumblebee would look like on a
good day (Source: Internet)

A nice tomboyish lady came up and asked me if anything was wrong, she even tried to drive Bumblebee but to no avail. So, yup, it was official, Bumblebee had another episode. The security at Nexus, Bangsar Southhelped me to push the car into the parking box, for that I’m so grateful.

I went out of the basement quickly to call my sister, Erine Nordin. She’s been recommending this mechanic who helped to fix her car a while ago. Of course, at first, I wouldn’t go, thinking I’ve had a pretty decent one. But this time, I thought, I might give him a go. I mean, I’ve spent a bit more than RM3,500 on Bumblebee last year and still Bumblebee is giving me a problem. Kak Erine said, she’d call back with information. 

Other than orange, I think Naza Suria looks best
in GREEN like this (Source: Internet)

So, I went to the food review as planned with my editor, Ms Lira J (www.lirajamaluddin.com) and writer, Mel. Lira J and I often joke about finding sugar daddies to cover our daily expenses. We often talk about car maintenance, buying stuff, going to places and so on if we had rich sugar daddies, haha!

Later, while chatting with the potential client, Kak Erine called again and informed me she’s spoken to her mechanic and she’d come immediately after work to pick me up. So, she kept telling me to calm down and finish my work first. 

She is someone I really can rely on, she’s my Kak Erine

One wonderful food review later, I walked to Starbucks at Nexus, Bangsar South and waited for Kak Erine there. I ordered my usual Hot Caramel Macchiato and added a dash of cocoa and cinnamon. While waiting, I began drafting my next confession for The Miss Paris Diaries.

After a while, Kak Erine arrived all the way from Putrajaya and comforted me. She said, she’s spoken to her mechanic about my car and he needed to check my car before I start panicking and all. Actually, it has been a couple of weeks since Kak Erine and I last ‘lepak’, but we often keep in touch through Whatsapp

A friend/sister in good times and bad

Much later in the evening, the mechanic arrived with his tow-truck buddy. They had to drive down to the basement with their car to tow it back up outside the car park because the tow-truck couldn’t fit into the basement. 

So, we drove to the mechanic’s workshop in Selayang. He popped the hood in front of me and asked me questions about the last time I serviced the car. I told him everything the other mechanic, Ah Sang told me. 

The mechanic, Zul explained to me some of the damages he suspected. Later, he checked under the car and he asked me if I requested for specific spare parts. I told him, Naza/Kia cars are known to be very sensitive, one simply couldn’t just put in other parts or else, they won’t last.

Guess what?

Apparently, my trusted mechanic, Ah Sang cheated me. When he told me he’d replace everything I needed with original parts from Naza/Kia, well, apparently he lied. This new mechanic, Abang Zul told me, there were a few things that Ah Sang didn’t even change. Some were actually parts of Proton

Can you see that?

It clearly is a Proton part

So, as you can see, I was totally ripped off by my trusted mechanic of close to 4 years. Not only that, when he changed my radiator the last time, he used a non-Naza/Kia part too. According to Abang Zul, if the radiator was an original Naza/Kia part, it would’ve fit perfectly. Instead, the radiator in Bumblebee now is actually a little smaller, causing it to shake when the engine is running. 

Bumblebee’s experiencing oil leaks 

And not only that, apparently, the Auto Oil in my car is an old one. Since the older parts Ah Sang changed are not the original part, Bumblebee is leaking like crazy. Hence, the further damages they cause over time. So, I asked Abang Zul, how much would it all cost me. He said, he’d change the most crucial ones first. The radiator, he said, he could tie it up to the other parts of the engine so that it would at least stop shaking when I’m driving. So, with the torn drive shafts both left and right and everything else, yup, that’s another RM 3,000 for me to spend on Bumblebee. 

Torn drive shaft, RM 400 at least each

As a sign of good faith, I gave Abang Zul RM 200 to start working on Bumblebee, promising RM 1,000 by the coming week. So, at least while waiting for my salary by the end of the month, the mechanic won’t be so pissed off since I’ve told him, I needed my car for work. So, that’s the thing. I am sooo going to be broke just to fix Bumblebee again, but I know it’s very important since I’ll be driving around a lot. 

So, later, Kak Erine, sent me back. On the way, I texted my so-called boyfriend who recommended Ah Sang to me. I sent him the photos too. He replied and said, he’s never had problems before. Fine, if he thought I was lying.

Imagine this, when Kak Erine sent me home, I just realized I forgot to bring the house key which was attached to the car key. So, we had to go back to the workshop and took it. Yet, my Kak Erine didn’t even complain. She was willing to drive back and she kept shushing me for repeatedly apologizing over the key thing.

Kak Erine and I at the Russian Centre for Science & Culture 

What I really want to share here is not so much about Bumblebee, but about Kak Erine and her kindness to help me when I’m in dire need.

You see, I met her during one of those Media Trips to Penang when I was working as a Broadcast Journalist. She was working for the Ministry of Tourism at that time and I was with the newsroom. The trip was poorly managed that somehow Kak Erine and I bonded over the so-called Trip to Hell. It was NOT hell because it’s Penang, it was hell because the organizer was treating the media AND the home-stay owners very badly!

When bad things happen, you might find some good in it too

After a couple of years, we’re still friends. In fact, we became closer and could share practically anything with one another. After I worked for the current company, we will occasionally meet up and ‘lepak’ together. I’ve met her biological sisters, Kak Diana and Asha and they’re great girls too. 

The Nordin Girls and Blogger, Kak Hanim 

With Kak Erine, I can share anything. I’ve gone through some very bad experiences in the past couple of years and she was always there for me, to lend a shoulder to cry on and to give me great advice. Even sometimes, when she and I couldn’t meet up, she’d spend some time time to chat over the phone. She’d accompany me to work too sometimes, to some of my events/assignments. 

Kak Erine is a sister who understands my work and
she supports me continuously

When Bumblebee acted up again this time, I was touched, she actually called her mobile phone service provider to increase her credit limit so she could make some calls to get help for me. Later, once she spoke to her mechanic and asked him to tow my car, she came to Bangsar. She even ‘kow-tim’ with the mechanic so that I could pay for the car in instalments instead of one lump sum. 

Truth be told, even my own biological sister wouldn’t do that for me. Even when I helped her with her wedding preparations, or tended to her daughter, even rushing to the supermarket to buy a proper birthday cake for her daughter’s first birthday, so that the little baby would have good memories throughout her childhood; well, my sister just never appreciated me nor even said ‘thank you’. So, let’s not waste time talking about someone who’s selfish and would never treat you with respect. Let’s just focus our energy on someone who truly loves and appreciate you in good times and bad times. 

The sister I trust with my own life

Well, to me, family are not necessarily related by blood. Family are the people who’d be there for you. As pathetic as my confession may sound, I am truly blessed because whenever I feel lost or down, I find family in the face of strangers

To my beloved Kak Erine, thank you for being there for me through thick and thin. Thank you for being the inspiration and guide for the past couple of years that we’ve been sisters. I love you and will always love you. Hope that our friendship/sisterhood will last for many, many years to come!

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

Ohana’ means family, made famous
by Lilo & Stitch (Source: Internet)

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