Saturday, October 19, 2019

Roommate left


It's Saturday evening and I'm on the couch with Vagabond playing on the tv. I have spring rolls in the oven to be eaten with the sambal Aisyah made a batch of before she left. I'm deciding whether to steam some buns but I think I've over eaten during lunch.

Aisyah's gone home and Laura's moved to her mum's. There were a lot of boxes around the house for a while; it was clear that people were moving out. There are actually still a lot of boxes in the house waiting to be shipped to Malaysia just that the shipping company hasn't texted to come yet.

It had been a while since I had a roommate before Aisyah moved in. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be just that there were a lot of things in the room. We had to buy a bedside table and a clothing rack just to keep everything neat. While she was around, the house was sparkling clean because she vacuumed and polished the whole house nearly every day! In addition to that, the plants in the bedroom were kept alive which had always been difficult for me. Lunch would also be ready when I got home for lunch be it what we cooked the night before or something she's made in the morning.



In the past few months, I've had extremely good food. Think about super difficult dishes like eid food, nasi lemak, nasi tomato, nasi dagang, Malaysian curry and things like that! Basically, food that I wouldn't be able to make myself. I would always have seconds and I think that's why I'm currently fat.

But what I really liked about her being my roommate is the fact that I could moan about work when I come home for lunch and dinner. Sometimes, I'd even ask her to help me out with certain things when I don't know how architects work. Like do architects have to draw sections or do the engineers? Also how to reply emails when I know I'd have to send something in late (not an ideal situation). My bad habit also died because she used to point it out every time I did it.

My spring rolls just came out from the oven, it would taste better fried but I don't fry things unlike Aisyah. But I think both of us have agreed that we'd rather live with each other than anyone else.

Anyway, it's been nearly a week since Aisyah left. I've been eating leftovers and japanese curry the past few days. Can you imagine how much adapting that took! From amazing food to eating the same food every day? I also don't keep track of home time as I used to and would stay at work a bit later which I rarely did when she was around. I guess it's true what they say, it's easier to become a workaholic when there's no one at home.

I now come home after work feeling like I have too much time in my hands, looking for other things to do. I guess now is the time to start exploring new hobbies again! There's still that Pulang song which I still haven't finished learning how to play on the keyboard. And I still have to figure out how I'm going to fund my gap year.

Oh and have I told all of you that I spent the whole day cleaning! I now only have the dishwasher to wash which I haven't touched for the past few months and after I'm done with that, the house would be as good as new; fresh for my new housemate who has actually already moved in.

Here's to eating the same food every day, watching dramas alone, staying at work late, new hobbies and hoping that my old bad habit doesn't come back. 🥃

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Summer Holiday '19 (Dubrovnik)

Spending my Sunday at home, I thought it was about time that I start writing about my summer holiday. I took 3 weeks off this year, it got people at work jealous; shocked that I was allowed such a long holiday, bless Gary for approving that. I had an amazing holiday in Croatia, Bosnia and around Southern England with my family. Thanks to Aisyah for being our travel agent, it was a smoother holiday than the one I planned last year. 

Our holiday was based on the cheapest flight in and out and so we decided to do Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Konjic, Mostar and lastly Split. We flew into Croatia via Norwegian Air and out on Scandinavian Airlines. Hakim came a few days before we were due to fly off and he went around  Berkshire with Aisyah while I was at work preparing for my long leave. 

Our holiday started with a train into London, meeting up with Zariq for CocoCurry and of course - Yolkin. We then took the train to the airport where we waited for a while until security opened and then headed in to get a meal deal from Boots. Hakim went a bit crazy and got 4 sandwiches thinking that we were going on a 9 hour flight (I have no idea where he got that idea). 


Flight was smooth and I got 3 seats to myself because we were sat at the back which was a great start to the trip. Arriving into Dubrovnik, we got onto a bus, I sat on the left side and got to see the amazing sea view along the way to the old town. Arriving there, we lugged our luggage and dropped it off at our accommodation which was just off the main street. 


Walking into the old town through the city walls felt like walking into a theme park. The sun was shining down on us, which wasn't a great feeling because it got too warm to be comfortable but as soon as we got to see the sea, I moaned a lot less. It was amazing. I just genuinely enjoyed being there. 


After cooking/having lunch at home, we went out to explore the town where we went through alleys, climbed stairs and got lost. And after that, I managed to convince Aisyah to walk 30-45 minutes to see the sunset by the beach because Hakim's always up for it. Hakim and I swam in the sea, in the sunset; which was a dream come true because my parents would have never allowed us to do that (because you shouldn't be out during maghrib). It was definitely the highlight of Dubrovnik. 


We woke up early the next day to get onto the city walls, I had to get the 1 Day Dubrovnik Card because only certain student IDs were accepted like the ones from Totum. I got it online just because it was cheaper to. I was mesmerised by the view from the walls for the first few minutes but then the sun just got to me. It was still amazing to have walked all the way around the city so I would definitely recommend. We then took a break and explored the museums. In the evening, we climbed Fort Lovrijenac and had our afternoon snack up there while enjoying the view. It was beautiful. 

We wanted to head to Sarajevo early the next day but it was sold out. So, always book your bus tickets early even if people tell you that you don't need to! Therefore, we had to get the one that left a bit later which was fine since everyone then had no choice but to play monopoly deal with me.  

We then got on the bus where we had to pay for luggage and the journey was one to remember but I'll continue the next part of the journey next time!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Eid 2019

Expecting Eid this year to be very hambar, I'm surprised it wasn't! The scale of everything was much smaller than last year and though I decided to not take the day off on Eid itself, I did do very Eid things on the weekends that followed.

I can't say if it's bad or good but Ramadhan as a whole just felt like a normal month to me just that I was on a diet. Friends and colleagues were astounded with how I was actually able to do it and some was even worried about my health. I had iftar twice at my colleague, Roaa's place. I was so happy to just have been invited over for iftar and she was the sweetest to have invited knowing that I was doing Ramadhan on my own here. I also went to Aisyah's place a few times and went for an iftar-do at her friend's house. Malaysian food would always bring you back home for awhile.

The day of Eid itself was uneventful except that I had my braces done on the day! Rest assured, I had Eid food the day before courtesy of my new roommate. I had eaten soup and liquids for awhile until I discovered (out of desperation for Eid food) that I could actually eat a lot of food!

We were over at Abang Lan and Kak Ida's and I had lodeh and sambal kacang - obviously tambahed a few times. And that was my official first day of raya! We went around London, enjoying the sun with our baju kurung. Talking about baju kurung, I finally got one that in a design that I've wanting since forever, unfortunately, it was all black and on certain angles, it'd look like a jubah. Which was not what I was expecting.

On the second week of raya, we held our own open house. We had soto because lets be honest, it's one of the easiest things to make. Had Abang Lan and Kak Ida, Aisyah's friends from Oxford, the castle court gang and my work friends come over. It was a bit all over the place at first since everyone suddenly decided to come at the same time! But then once I stopped worrying, things just fell into place. Here are some photos from the day:







Thursday, May 2, 2019

Got through


It's been 7 months since I started working but it feels like I just started yesterday. Minus the nervousness of going to work, anxiety of being around people and not knowing anything at all, of course. The first few months had been a journey for me and now that I've gotten through it, I don't really hold back on telling everyone I meet about it!

It's very interesting to remember about how just a few months ago, I wouldn't go a single week without crying in the shower. And how I'd think ten thousand times before and after talking to anyone. How I would always be in this bubble of insecurities where I'm always thinking that everything I did was wrong. I wish I knew what had changed so I can tell all of you going through difficult times what it was but I really couldn't pin point it.

But for all that matters, I love my life right now. I love the days when I'm able to sleep in for a bit longer in the morning but I also enjoy the days when I'd be up at 7am all fresh ready to start my day. I love how evenings don't feel like forever anymore but I also appreciate the days when they do because it feels like I have some extra time for myself. I love how I get excited for work but I also acknowledge that there will be days when I won't be.

I guess, in some ways, I survived it but I don't want to go through it again...
whatever 'it' is

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Poland... again!



For all of you who don't know, I went to Zakopane, Poland again! Initially, I planned to go somewhere else I've never been to before but seeing as I was 'solo-travelling', I decided to go somewhere I was familiar with. Whilst planning the trip, however, my sister decided to come with me. But guess who cancelled! That aside, I LOVED MY TRIP, so I'm going to share it with all of you.

Spending


Throughout my trip, I told myself that I wasn't going to restrict my spending and therefore, I bought and did everything I wanted to. What I didn't do, though, was I didn't convert any money and just brought with me whatever my sister had left from her previous trip. Instead, I used my Starling card and paid using my card for almost everything. However, there were two times when I needed to cash out money and for both times, I got unlucky and had to pay a transaction fee thinking that it was a new thing they're doing. BUT, YOU CAN GET ATMs THAT WON'T CHARGE YOU! So don't be lazy, search for a free one!   I roughly spent £350 for accommodation, transport, travel insurance, food and activities. 

Getting there



I flew in and out of Katowice on RyanAir which costed me £57.44 for a return from Stansted. Fortunately, my long time best friend, Hana, was in London at the same time so, I crashed at her hotel room in London, saving me about £20 on the journey to the airport. Things were pretty uneventful as I made sure to get the coach from Katowice to Zakopane a few hours after I arrived, I prebooked my ticket as I was unsure how busy it would be. I paid for my local bus ticket from the airport to town using my contactless so don't worry, that magic card will work. 

Accommodation



I had a pretty tough time selecting my accommodation because obviously, every room would be more expensive if I were to stay alone. Therefore, I was contemplating on what to prioritise - distance, comfort and/or price. I went with distance and price - though I didn't get the cheapest place, I regretted not spending a little bit more. The place I stayed at (OW Jaskolka) served really good breakfast, had a big bathroom, came with a balcony, was close to the city and was quite spacious but they didn't have the comfiest bed. 

Activities



Yall know why I went to the mountains, it was to snowboard so that's what I did. On my first full day there, I spent half the day snowboarding at Nosal (because I'm not very good), fell a few times and hit my head on the slope. But, after the first time I went up the button lift - where my snowboard flew across the slope and into a ditch because I didn't fasten it properly - I no longer felt uncomfortable using one. A guy even congratulated me for using it so well (he probably saw what happened the first time). 

On my second full day, I decided to give skiing a chance so I went to Syzmoszkowa for skiing lessons and I'm so glad I did. I was able to somehow get over my fear of heights (again) and went down a slope that I was extremely scared of because it looks hella steep. It was all thanks to my instructor though, if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be able to get down. 

On my first ski down, I made the mistake of not looking at my instructor and instead, I looked down and I FREAKED OUT. I lost control but then he got me to concentrate again and I was ok after that. An hour later, I skied down non stop until the park closed. 

After all of that, I decided to take the lift up to the highest slope to enjoy the views. On the way, I saw people walking down the slope and I wasn't surprised. It was extremely steep, though I do hope for a day when I'd have the guts to snowboard/ski down it. 



On my last half day in Zakopane, I had to decide whether to go for another snowboarding lesson (had one before my previous Poland trip) or to go on a hike. I made an instagram poll and it leaned towards snowboarding... but I decided to hike to Dolina Strazyska. It was torturous. I should've prepared better and got myself spikes. So I struggled, and struggled and nearly gave up but I didn't. At one point during the hike, I had to convince myself that the worst that could happen is me falling and dying. So with that, I gathered up the courage and basically ice-skated the rest of the way. It went pretty well. 

Food



I was pescatarian whilst I was in Poland, so, I had WHOLE trouts which surprised me a lot. I'm not a fan of having to eat things that I would have to debone but I survived! I also had some potato pancakes but because I don't eat fried food much anymore, the oiliness got a bit too overwhelming. 
I had grilled cheese and dumplings. The grilled cheese, I was a fan of but I'd prefer it if the dumplings were crispy. I basically just had two meals a day because I would eat breakfast at around 10 and then I would be out on the mountains the whole day until it was dinner time. 

Pros and cons


I thought I would feel pretty lonely but I really didn't have time to feel lonely except for those few minutes whilst waiting for my food to arrive and waiting for the bus to come. And there were moment when I would wish that my friends were around just because I couldn't deny that they'd make the situation less boring. There were also times when I would feel pretty scared whilst walking at night but I think that came from the trauma of what happened in Islington. 

However, travelling alone was amazing just because the only person I could be upset with throughout the trip was myself. It felt really good knowing that all the decisions are my own and that if anything goes wrong, then there's no one to blame but me. This all taught me to embrace myself and my decisions. In addition to that, I got to wake up, sleep and eat whenever I felt like it (without having to consider anyone else). In it all, I would definitely do it again. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Preparing to Stay after Uni

As some of you may know, I decided to move down south after I was done with uni instead of flying across the world where it's warm and lovely. I can say that I had it easy as I had parents who can afford to support me even though I did not prepare as much as I should have. Therefore, I thought I'd write about my journey of staying so that you can be better prepared if that's what you want to do. This post covers the period after university ended and immediately before I started work.

MONEY

I was on a 'loan/sponsorship' while I was studying so I had money being transferred into my account until the end of my final year which meant that if you're in the same position as me, from the time term ends and until you get your first pay, you won't have any more money than you already had. Because of this, you need to have saved up enough money, beg your parents to sponsor you or work. I begged my parents.

You would need to remember that if you're planning on switching visas, you would need to maintain a certain amount in your bank account for 90 days. If not, your employer would need to certify that they can provide you it. Therefore, when calculating how much you'll need, include that, your monthly spending, your monthly rent, visa fees if your employer will need you to pay it first, moving costs and your house deposit if you're relocating.

NOT LEAVING THE COUNTRY

Money aside, during the same period of time, I also got to see my friends, family and acquaintances travel abroad while I stayed because I didn't want to risk losing my Tier 4 visa. Obviously, you can risk it but it's always up to the people at the border that determines it. It really shouldn't be a problem. But with a graduate job waiting for me here and none in Malaysia, I decided to play it safe.



RELOCATING

I also had to relocate 150+ miles away. This took a lot of reading and researching though I left most of it except for finding a house to the last minute. This is because I wanted to stay in Sheffield until I got tired of it and Hannah didn't want to move to my new house with me until the term on our previous flat ended.

Finding the right house wasn't too difficult for me but deciding on my budget and the kind of house I wanted to stay in was a bit difficult. Moving down south meant that the rent would be so much more than it was in Sheffield. I am currently paying double my rent in Sheffield though I don't have much to argue about because I currently love the house and rent in Maidenhead is generally like that.



I used SpareRoom to find my current house. I contacted multiple landlords but my current landlord is honestly the best landlord I've ever had. As soon as I contacted her, she allowed me to view the house through facetime where my former housemate brought me around the house. She then asked for Hannah's (my former housemate) opinion on me to make sure that Hannah would be ok with me which is extremely considerate of her.

If you're too far away to visit the house before moving in, I would recommend you rent the place for the minimum period (usually 3 months) and then decide whether you like it or not once you've moved in. I initially planned on staying at my current house for a very short term because the rent is above my budget but because I love everything about it, I couldn't bring myself to move out.

Moving wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I reckon I spent about 1-2 weeks planning everything out. As I don't have a UK driving license, I wasn't able to hire a car for me to move. However, I found an amazing company called Shiply where I was able to find a small company to move my things for me... for only £60 which was probably cheaper than my train tickets!

This post is getting too long so I'll stop here, but if you do have questions, my email's up there. (Just casually ending my post like how Nurul did.)