Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

After years of wanting to do some water activities, we finally did it! The reason why it took so long was because the water is ALWAYS cold during term time and people are never in Sheffield during the summer. This year, however, everyone has to stay because of graduation and with the temperature hitting 27°C, there really isn't a better time.

We headed out not so early in the morning, got some Subway and headed on the X5 from Sheffield Interchange to Almond Tree Road. Felt like we were overcharged as we were given the South Yorkshire day ticket when a Sheffield day ticket would have sufficed after asking for a return. (Just checked and you can actually get there on a tram (to Halfway) too - which would then be obviously cheaper than getting the South Yorkshire day ticket). Shows that you shouldn't trust google maps that much. 

However, that aside, we then walked for half an hour and a bit from the bus station to get to Rother Valley Country Park. Arriving there, we found a big lake with a few people paddling away. We dropped by at the water activities office and was told that we wouldn't need to book for our stand up paddle boards so we decided to sit about for a bit after the long walk to get there.

After chilling out, we headed back to the office and was told that there weren't anymore paddle boards left and there won't be any for the next 2 hours! We placed our names down, then ate and played 99 and werewolves while waiting. Also prayed out in the open because it seemed like we wouldn't be done by the time Asar comes. 

It was two hours later and we got into the changing room to store our stuff in the lockers before heading out to start paddle boarding. Mainly decided to go paddle boarding because I've personally gone kayaking way too many times. Best decision of the day because with stand up paddle boarding, we got to stand up, sit down, lay down and even have paddle board wars (which we had a lot of). 

I initially had thought that it would be difficult to balance on the paddle board, but, it really wasn't. I felt like I wouldn't have fallen into the water at all if someone hadn't done some 'kamikaze' (that's what he calls it) on me. Kamikaze is when someone jumps onto someone else's paddle board, causing the board to become unbalanced and therefore - toppling it over. Throughout the one hour we spent paddle boarding, there were series of hijacking, ganging up on people to make them topple over, photography sessions, chasing people around, screaming and way too much laughing. 

It was definitely a great day out with my Sheffield family and I'm sure I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I had gone with other people. Days like today will make me miss them once we've all gone our separate ways. The group was nearly complete and I just had so much fun. Makes me wish that today can happen everyday so I could just get tired of everybody and never want to see them again. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Petani for a Weekend

During exam period, I received an email about a competition on improving the design of a rice seeder. As uni was coming to an end, I knew that this was the last time that I could play around while working on a project. So I got my friends to join in with me because it'll be years, if ever, we'd get to work on something together again. Obviously, everyone had different reasons for joining. Hannah wanted the money, Zaf wanted to reconnect to his roots and Amir just wanted to join whilst I wanted to work on something with them for the last time. 

We woke up early on Saturday morning, headed to the diamond and waited hours for the laptop to install solidworks. We had a brainstorming session followed by finalising the design. Because the concept was a bit difficult to grasp, I questioned the design. Zafran then proceeded to say "Come on Asma, it's not rocket science." Which caused quite a stir because, clearly, I KNOW THAT IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE BUT IT ISN'T THAT STRAIGHT FORWARD EITHER. 

After a lot of laughters, arguments, banter and some good quality bonding, we didn't win. However, I personally enjoyed it because we weren't pressured to win or get good grades so we just had a whole load of fun. It was a good way to end my university chapter, through a small project with the people who were always around working on projects/labs together with me throughout my university life. 

Eid 2018

Ramadhan wasn't as much as a challenge because I had my bad days and good days. The bad days were the worst and the good days felt like I wasn't even fasting. By the end of Ramadhan, I was just surprised with how fast it went by. Unlike previous years, this year, I decided to not force myself to do ibadah. Therefore, every sunnah I followed, I did it wholeheartedly. I felt like that's a good way to lead Ramadhan.

I also had exams during Ramadhan which got a bit difficult sometimes especially because I had to have breakfast at 2AM and dinner at 9PM. My schedule got all messed up which meant that I had a really bad day during my first exam. The rest went okay, however, so I hope that all is well. Dad and Mum sent some kuih raya and as soon as exams were over, I started getting bored so I made kuih raya! This year, I made brownie cookies, pineapple tarts, cornflakes meringue and just yesterday, helped Hannah with her honey cornflakes. 

A few days before Eid, we had a little meeting about what we were planning on doing for Eid. We then did our Eid shopping at London Road and had a fun family day out shopping for groceries. That afternoon, I facetimed mum and had her, my grandma and my auntie walk me through how to prepare eid food. A day before Eid, Hannah, Nadhi and I were in the kitchen the whole day making food for Eid. We made lodeh, ayam masak kicap and nasi impit whilst the guys made rendang, kuah kacang and nasi tomato.  I have so much appreciation for my mum now because everytime we would celebrate Eid in Kuala Selangor, she'd wake up early to make all of that by herself. I'd pass out if I were her.

Eid Day 1 - Friday

This year, I celebrated Eid with Aisyah, Hakim and my homies. In the morning of Eid, I was forced to wake up at 6 to solat raya when I didn't even want to. I avoided it in Malaysia but I had to here. Also my baju kurung was tight! This may have been why I was cranky the whole day. So I wasn't very comfortable throughout the day. After praying, we brought all the food that we cooked to House No 2 and heated everything up. We had breakfast together and then headed off to Weston Park where we had a photoshoot. 

After the photoshoot, we headed to Azri's open house where I had really good kek batik. Mick; Azri and the mech kids; and Atiqah then came over and we caught up with each other like how you would during Eid. Zaf and Hannah then acted out and menganiaya-ed me in front of people that don't know how we usually banter. After that, we just hung out until we felt like going back home.

Eid Day 2 - Saturday

We woke up in the morning and decided to cook up the rest of the food we had prepped for Eid but didn't use up. Fried up the tofu and tempe which we nicked and had with sambal kicap. Made sambal - masak merah-ish kind of thing for the nasi tomato then headed back to House No. 2. We went to Atiqah's open house and had really good pulut! On the way back, we facetimed Abang Lan, Kak Ida and Emma because we couldn't be in London.

Once we got back, we played card games and halal poker. We spent the rest of the evening just eating and watching movies. By the time night came, I've already finished off all the Eid food and stayed in the kitchen to clean up. I obviously did this because I was told that everyone prepared the food because I wanted to celebrate Eid that way. So I felt guilty. 

We 'salam raya', something I'm not fond off because I sin a lot and would usually end up crying. This time around, I'm assuming that I didn't sin enough because I didn't cry. I sometimes just wish that there isn't such thing as ikhtilad because it would sometimes just cut the mood. That aside, we went home pretty late but wasn't done with what we had to talk about so we had a one hour long phone call with the same people.

Eid Day 3 - Sunday

Had a day out with the sibs. Went to Malin Bridge for a walk by the river but then turned around and headed to the Victoria Quays - Hakim said we've been but idk??? We headed to Ikea and then to Meadowhall before heading back home. I'm just not into shopping so I wasn't all about the Meadowhall stuff. But had a lot of fun at Ikea making random puns.

Eid Day 4 - Monday

Went to Bakewell to initially, go on the Monsal Trail that leads to the tunnel. However, due to time constraints, we instead took a right once we got to the Monsal Trail and walked passed the hassop station cafe and then back into Bakewell. There were so many cows out so it was nice meeting some of my siblings' best friends. Kak Aisyah bought some books from a second hand book shop. We then had fish and chips by the river where a duck tried to attack us (total exaggeration). Bought some fudge and slept on the bus on the way back home. Kak Aisyah then had to leave for Oxford and that was the end of Eid. 

Eid Day 5 - Tuesday

We spent the 5th day of Eid at home. Because Hannah was bored, I helped her make honey cornflakes which was really good and finished immediately. We played scrabble before heading to House No. 2 because we wanted to have a dance off. This was cut short because someone rang the door bell. We then proceeded to watch one super crappy raya telemovie that had no story to it. As I was about to clean up, I opened the door to see something appear right in front of me so I screamed. Which made Hannah scream, and Syed (who was that something) scream. We had a laugh out of that. After that, we had an 'usrah' session about preachers and then left to go home and sleep. 

And this is a summary of my raya this year, away from home. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

University Journey - Appreciation Post I


College and university life were the toughest I have gone through, I tear up realising that it's all coming to an end. Once I enter this next, longer stage of life, I will obviously miss it even though I wanted to jump off a building or in front of a car half the time.  

However, I couldn't deny that I only got through this because of the people who were there with me throughout my journey. I lost some and I gained some along the way but things happen for a reason and I'm thankful for every single person who means or meant something to me during this journey. So this is an appreciation post - like how I did one for when I left high school, here's one for university. 

I lived my life in Sheffield with two houses, one where I pay rent and actually have a room and the other, where I 'bunk' and stay in the living room. I spent a lot of my first and second year hanging out in the other house mainly because there's a telly and I usually felt lonely. My 'housemates' treated me like a brother so we were able to do a lot of things comfortably together. We cooked, went on holiday, had movie nights, played games, went on outings, worked on SKY and took the mick out of each other a lot. I appreciate that they took in a lost child (me).

Therefore, my appreciation goes out to Syed who never fails to make me laugh but I'm mudah terhibur so that would explain things. Thank you for listening to me when I force you to listen and thank you for lightening up the mood when it gets dull. Then there's Kimin who I have never treated nicely, but, thanks for being nice when I'm never nice to you. Thank you to Kema as well, it was quiet without you around during our final year here because these kids cave up without you. If it wasn't for Kema during my first and second year here, I would have probably died of boredom because Kema would always ajak us to go out and play. Also, shout out to the kids at home - Sazlee, Hazim and Aidil for not kicking me out of the house.

Hannah was my roommate since college who then turned into my flatmate the rest of the time. She was there through everything - my breakdowns; my heartbreaks; when I couldn't find the will to get out of bed; when I wanted to kill people; when I wanted to kill me; my horrible cooking; my loud shouting, singing and talking to myself; and recently, through the nights at uni (amazingly enough). There were times, I'm sure, when she wanted to kill me and there were times when I wanted to shred her into pieces but neither of us moved out.

Hannah wasn't just a friend, to say that she's one of my best friends doesn't describe her well. She's a category of her own. She has the vibes of a mum, step mum, MIL, supervisor, mentor, senior, boss, discipline teacher, chef and a maid but in it all, she was the best temporary partner, companion, comrade and 'significant other'. If I had to write everything about our journey through university together, then I would have to write an entire book. 

Then there's Zafran. Since college up until now, we would always end up having to work together. If we spent the same amount of time but instead, on a business, we would be Hewlett and Packard, Ben and Jerry, or Proctar and Gamble. But we didn't so that's that.  

Zaf is a dad, a brother, a sister, a gay best friend (he's straight) and a colleague to me - all in one. He takes care of me, gives me the attention I need but he's not the perfect best friend. He doesn't answer my calls or texts, he abuses me, ditches me and believes that sleep is more important than me. But because he's around, my Dad (actual Dad) can have a peace of mind.

Amir and I started arguing in MFI. We're of the same kind so it's hard for us to get along. But in it all, we survived university without killing each other, we led SKY 2016/2017 together and joined CIPTA as a team. For two people who don't get along, we work pretty darn well together. He was to me, what he was to everyone, a personal advisor, a close friend that listens attentively and a person who is always there when you need him. It is a rare occasion that Amir and I could meet up and not argue but he takes care of me so well. Because I don't see him much these days, I have grown to miss him.

This little gang we have going on here made university and life in Sheffield fun and liveable. While I'm away from home, I found home in them. Thank you guys, I love you and I'll miss all of you once you guys are back in Malaysia, getting rich and raising your kids.  I have more people to thank but this is getting too long so I'll make another post!