Monday, May 12, 2008

Angkasawan Malaysia in San Jose

So much has happened since I last posted : There was Mother's Day - a day in a year to remember mothers!,... the heat wave in California - the day our house air-cond chose to breakdown!,... the ruling legalising gay marriages made in San Francisco - the day signifying doomsday is approaching fast!... it took place the same day as the heatwave - not surprising, eh!? and ... as you can see.. the day our Malaysian Astronaut - Angkasawan Malaysia, Dr Sheikh Muzhafar Shukor chose to land in San Jose!.
Nadia & Sarah handing him the Congratulations Card. Just look at Nadia's adoring eyes looking at the fine-looking doctor, restaurant owner & also model...:-)
The event was organised by M.C.A at the Convention Center in the Masjid. Dr Sheikh came alone that Friday afternoon, gave his speech and left for L.A the next morning. I think he underestimated the response that he would get in San Jose - especially from the children, and mothers!. His audience were not only us Malaysians but all other nationalities who knew a Muslim Astronaut was coming - the Convention Center was packed up to the hilt! Although not the 1st Muslim to go to space, he mentioned the 9th, I think he is definitely the youngest and maybe the handsome-est ! ;-)
Eager boys greeting him at the door of M.C.A .
His speech was eloquent enough.. I believe he has done & rehearsed it many times for the road-trip. I read somewhere he was previously in Dubai before coming to the US and will be going to who knows where next... Only just 6 months coming back from space, he must be tired out. But, looks like he is loving every minute of it! Dr Sheikh described how he spent his 12 days in the International Space Station (ISS) he performed his solat, how he break his fast (puasa). He also showed how he did some scientific experiment there. He should write a book by now!
Michelle introducing Dr Sheikh on stage. Accompanying him on stage is Pak Mat. Rasa-rasanya Pak Mat & family lah yang paling lama tinggal di US compared to any other Malaysians here.

The children asking questions. One question was : How do you go to the bathroom? Bagus tu...tak terfikir kita nak tanya.

Part of the audience at the Convention Center. In front, leading them is Dr Bakri, .. busy taking notes for his blog, maybe..?

There have been quite a few emails I received before, concerning the status of Dr Sheikh 'astronaut-ship' or 'angkasawan', him being just a 'space-flight participant' instead. He denies it of course, describing what he had to go through in comparison with another person from another country ( I forgot the name..), who secured a ticket by just paying a lot of money! Apparently we got our seat when the Malaysian government bought one point something billion worth of aircrafts from the Soviets. I heard murmurs of " OOoooo.... " when he mentioned that to the audience. Macam technology transfer through free training laa.. which is a norm thing to do in any contractual procurements. Well, I am not sure pulak of any other 'in-kinds' that might have taken place.. mesti ada tuu! :-o
On top, Dr Sheikh wearing a Batik shirt and spinning the gasing in space..

Performing the solat ...he had to tie his leg so that he won't float!

Performing a scientific experiment..

Taking a 'sip'.. buka puasa...

With Malaysians and half-Malaysians...
Dr Sheikh was selected among thousands, undergone rigorous training - in Malaysia, Russia and even in Siberia! - , endured the pain & sacrifice and finally he qualified. Body and Soul! He said, it has been his passion to go to space since he was 10. Constantly having to watch his health and be physically fit. Cannot even have a single scar on the body! He used to do model-ing... selain angkasawan, juga peragawan !

The rest of the crowd at the Convention Center...

Me and a few sisters here....debating on where to place the 'fruit bouquet'...:-)

Whatever the controversies are on naming him, to me he is an 'Angkasawan' - a man who has gone to the 'angkasa' and back! With all the fame and attention he is getting now, I don't think he should be traveling alone..... Get yourself a Manager! Dah jadi macam artis pulak... Pity him, tapi kesian lagi looking at a few children's faces yang tak sempat nak bergambar dengan a man who has gone to space! Bukan senang nak jumpa. Kalau dah ada Manager, tahu la orang kalau nak makan ker, nak balik ker, nak tidur ker...dah letih ker.. ! :-)

Finally, one with my children... Pak Aji tak ada..balik Malaysia!


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