What a difficult week - I've never felt this way for such a long period of time within the past 3 years of working. But I blame the Christmas break - I made it pretty clear to everyone I spoke to this week that I had an amazing break and that I didn't want to leave Edinburgh. So before my bad memory comes knocking on my door, I'll continue with Part 3.
Took the train and went to Glasgow to see Kak Bebe, Abg Nasa, Alia and Asyraf. I had promised Kak Bebe that I'd go see them if I go up to Scotland and I'm so glad I did. It's so weird how we were never close because obviously, she's always been a lot older than me. But when you hit a certain age, it just becomes a number and I feel like that was what has happened. We managed to connect and it feels amazing knowing that you have family around - despite the fact that I've never really spoken to her properly before this. It felt like I was at home.
They prepared a feast for me expecting that more people were coming. But I hadn't invited anyone except myself so I felt a bit bad but as Malaysians do - they packed me food to bring home and so everyone back in Edinburgh got to taste it as well. Abang Nasa made ikan bakar and Kak Bebe made the sambal. IT WAS SOOOOO SEDAP? Like I don't typically eat ikan bakar with the sambal but I had it and now I'm craving for it.
We spent the time catching up, talking about life, the trip to the highlands, our travel stories. Alia showed her paintings and they were amazing! They insisted on driving me all the way back to Edinburgh but I told them that Glasgow station was fine so I had a ride in a Tesla. One day... when I can afford it, I shall.
Arriving back at Haymarket, Don and Meriam were also there so we took an Uber back to Basel's. I can't remember the rest of the evening, but we probably had dinner and then played some games on the PS5 or switch. Guys, this is exactly why I record everything... because I can't bloody remember without a photo or a video... or did we watch a movie?
Day 12 - 28th Dec
Remember back on the 18th Dec, I wasn't able to see North Berwick properly because of the fog? So we decided to go back to North Berwick but with Don and Meriam this time. It's like everything just came together if you think about it. This time around, we walked all around North Berwick. Our first proper view of it was from Elcho Green and it was so beautiful. Everything's about this trip was beautiful, if you haven't noticed. It was windy from what I remembered, but we saw a lot of people taking their dogs out on a walk and kids running about. If only I lived there then that could be me every day.
We then walked up to the Lodge Grounds just to see the sea from higher up. Side note, when I visit North Berwick again, I'll climb the North Berwick Law... if the sun is shining. There wasn't much to see from the Lodge Grounds so we headed towards the beach where I arrogantly wanted to see the tidal pool up close despite being told that there isn't much to see. He was right.
We walked around the old pier area where we found some rocks to climb and sit on to fully immerse ourself in nature. You don't get it everyday and it was cool to be up there just looking at people sailing, the waves crashing onto the rocks, and thinking how as much as you'd want to jump into the water, you'd probably die because the waves will smash you onto the rocks. Things like that basically. But what was incredible was seeing how different the coastline looks depending on how the sun reflects on it and when it's covered by the clouds. It's one of those things you need to see for yourself. We had fish and chips at the centre before heading back to Edinburgh.
Again, I can't remember what we did in the evening because I don't have any photos or videos to refer to but it was probably the same as the previous day. We might have watched a movie.
Day 13 - 29th Dec
It was very wet and cold, the worst weather I had whilst in Edinburgh. Had the impression that it was tired of me and wanted me out. But ain't no weather going to stop me from loving the place. We wanted to go to Room and Rumours for the doughnuts but it was full so we went around looking for a place for brunch. Basel found a place and I had a veggie haggis which was quite nice. It tasted like a flavourful falafel which makes sense.
I then had the honour of forcing Meriam and Don to climb Calton Hill while Basel got a haircut to look presentable to the rest of the gang coming that afternoon. It wasn't raining when we climbed but there was a bit of a waterfall down the steps. I was enjoying the view. Unlucky for Meriam and Don, they had to wait for me to take it all in but after that, we treated ourselves to ice cream from Joelato. To be fair to myself, I was craving for it from the time I first had it.
When everyone arrived at Basel's and settled in - I paused and looked around. I saw Jess and Basel playing FIFA whilst Trev, Meriam, Don and Emily were playing darts and realised how blessed I am. It was like we were all together in this little happy bubble and if I had the ability to freeze time and go back to it, I'd choose that moment. I would've never thought a few years back that I'd have people here that would feel like home and just seeing everyone together (obviously missing Oussama and Adham) made me feel very content. Especially because we were up in Scotland, visiting Basel and it was never the plan from the start to have most of us there. It was an emotional moment for me. I held back my tears 😉.
Day 14 - 30th Dec
We had all agreed the day before that we'll all get ready by 10AM to start the day. However, I woke up pretty early and didn't necessarily want to waste it. I looked out, and the sky was clear so I headed up to Calton Hill on my own with the intention of seeing the sunrise but I got there too late. It still didn't disappoint. Looking at the time stamp on my photos, I was up there for 1 hour - no idea what I was doing.
When I felt a bit cold, I started heading down and went to Room and Rumours to wait for everyone else to arrive. That was when I realised that I can actually be without my phone? It's crazy. I was sat outside staring at the hill until the guys arrived... and just... I don't even know if I even did any thinking, but well done me. The doughnuts were to die for, if you're ever in Edinburgh, it's literally a 5 mins walk from the station.
That was also when we decided to go to North Berwick again because the weather was beautiful! I think Jad did say that we should've stayed in Edinburgh but we could do Edinburgh in a day, the coast was a better option, IMO. So to North Berwick we went. Swear down, that was my third time there but it felt like it was my first time but you'll know why if you ever visit. Unless you're Trevor and to you, rocks are rocks, water is water, grass is grass and the sky is the sky. Don took off his shirt for a photo, it was hilarrriooouuussssss. We again had fish and chips - sat outside this time and then headed back.
We decided to go to Dean's village and this time around, I had the coffee that Basel said was the best coffee he's had, the cafe's called Caingorm Coffee. Let's be fair right, at this point, I've had the best burger, ice cream, doughnut, fish and chips and coffee... all in Edinburgh. Someone's clearly overselling Edinburgh but I can't prove it. We walked around Dean's village and again, it felt like it was my first time seeing it. Seeing how much Emily enjoyed the place, I sort of wished my sister was there as well because she would've really appreciated it.
The rest of the gang did complain how they weren't given coffee but they ended up at the same coffee shop on the way back so they didn't miss out on the experience. We headed back to the flat to freshen up for the dinner reservation we had in the evening. Went out, I think I was a bit tired and the PMS didn't help so I was pretty moody. We had ice cream afterwards which was also a scene no thanks to my PMS-ing. Basically, moody Asma all evening. Don't think any of them have seen that side of me, so now, I feel pretty bad about it but it happened. Welcome to my life.
Day 15 - 31st Dec
We decided to split up today because everyone wanted to do different things which I felt was a pretty good idea. Jess, Trev, Don and Meriam went on the hop on hop off bus which they seemed to have enjoyed. It came with an audio guide so in the case that you didn't want to know false facts about all the statues being Basel's relatives, that might be a better idea.
Emi, Basel and I took the train to Linlithgow. At this point, Emi was in the same frequency as Basel and I, it was hilarious. We were all just being silly. We walked around the Palace Garden but most of it was being renovated so we couldn't go in. We stopped at a coffee shop where Emi and Basel had a foodgraphy competition in between talking about life and the future. I personally felt like I won the competition... see above.
We then struggled to find a taxi to take us to Beecraigs Farm but got there in the end. There were highland cows but there weren't any stags. I imagined a farm life there but thinking about it at that point, I'd rather be a cow. We went to see Beecraigs Loch which was surrounded by trees - it was very much like a Taylor Swift music video. Wanted to pebble skip but there wasn't any around. There were trails into the forest that would've been enjoyable to explore if we had more time.
We then headed back to Edinburgh, Emi had a walking tour and I got some doughnuts before heading back to the flat to find Basel preparing lunch. Had a nap after lunch because I knew I needed that energy for the NYE party. Some point that afternoon, we found the motivation to go out to get more drinks and snacks, got ready for the party and partied-ish.
It was a lot of fun games and yelling SIUUUUU because Jess and I were team Ronaldo. Nearing 12, we headed out to the canal where we popped a bottle of champagne, and watched the lack of fireworks around us. It was my first proper NYE party I think... unless any of my other friends disagree. It was good fun. The host was happy and that was what mattered.
Day 16 - 1st Jan
The day I dreaded the past few days.
The day that made my mood swing every time I thought about it.
It was that day.
That day had come.
Went out to see beautiful weather. Didn't want to leave... obviously. Forced myself to pack (more like stuff everything in the bag). Then we all had breakfast with Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong in the background before I changed it to Harry Styles. It was emotional. I was there for two weeks and seeing it come to an end was difficult especially because I was really happy and content throughout. I wasn't ready to head back to reality knowing that I'd feel pretty empty after experiencing what life could be.
Tried to sleep it away because that usually works. It didn't work this time. I'm not 100% at work still. I'm actively trying to find a way to get over it and stop thinking about it. But I am finding it difficult. This week, I went to the cinemas with Jess and Trev for The King's Man, had a walk in the morning, invited myself over to Meriam and Don's for dinner and went to the office. I spend my free time searching for places around here that is equally as beautiful (struggling to find anything that isn't super south) but at the same time, I've found myself checking the weather in Edinburgh to find a good weekend to go back up there. Still struggling but I'll make it through.
Jess left the company today... for a new adventure and I'm sooooo excited for our trip to Sweden. It's sad that I'm the only one left from my graduate cohort but at the same time, I'm happy to see people take charge of their lives.