September 3, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

OMG. I was looking at the amount of backlog I have… It’s been since my mom arrived in England, I think. I am quite positive I didn’t write about Prague. Hahahahahaha. This is bad…

I’ll go through my computer if I have anything that I typed about that time. I’ll write from the top of my memory now.

I didn’t take as much pictures in Prague as I did in Norway. I don’t know why, but I feel like my mom judges me when I take silly pictures. So I am more refrained when I’m with her. It also didn’t help that I got my period at that time. Miserable time, seriously. We did a lot of walking as most of the Prague tours are walking tours. It makes it easier for you to observe the architecture, the difference and the beauty of it all.

We went on the free Prague tour, where it is financed by the tips we give to the guides. I thought it was worth it; the guides were enthusiastic and energetic, and knew their stuff. Quite amazing that they do it voluntarily. Especially considering how hot Prague was. OMG it was like Malaysia, with less humidity and no fan. Torture!! Nonetheless, it was amazing.

My mom’s main reason for choosing Prague was the Bohemian Crystals. Haha. My mom loves all these silly things. Alright, I love sillier things. Still, don’t we all love some kind of silly things? We got quite a few… finished our cash… then… on the way back to get our things to go to the airport… We saw… a beautiful blue crystal stand. Something she always wanted since she saw her friend got it–those days when it was still Czechoslovakia and is a communist country. Then it was much cheaper, it seems. Still, it was beautiful. And I was being my typical “if you like it, why don’t you just get it?” self. Haha. Okay, I adjust this according to the income people have. If you don’t have much, I’ll say, “you don’t need that; buy it later. It’ll be there.” Hehe.

She manage to established that her marginal utility would definitely be positive (economist talk here), so she got out her credit card and got it without a second thought. Nyeh nyeh. And we hand carried it to East Midlands and back to Malaysia. We hand carried the blue crystals (she bought two more) and shipped the white crystals. I can’t remember how many in total she got. We didn’t get those thin hand painted ones, but the thick ones with the cuts; where the cuts make the pattern. I prefer those. Somehow the painted ones look cheap to me. *shrugs*

Got back, feeling super tired, we just slept through. My cousin was supposed to come over the weekend. Oh, we went to Prague from the 1st to the 4th of July, night of Friday. We arrived at my (former) place after midnight anyway. When she called at about noon, she was already in Sheffield to see her friend, where we headed in the end at night. She came and my mom thought that she would be staying with us; she wanted to cook rendang and make karipap for my cousin since she’s a busy busy woman; she;s a maxillofacial surgeon. My mom wanted to go to an outlet store to buy leather shoes–my mom always prefers buying leather shoes outside of Malaysia. She says it’s cheaper. Who am I to judge? I don’t know since I buy chaplang ones. Haha. The nearest was in Mansfield, which is on the way to Sheffield from my place. As she came quite late already, we thought it would be unlikely to be able to catch the place, so why not just go all the way to Sheffield and make the things there?

Spent the whole night cooking and making the karipaps. Used wine bottles instead of rolling pin as I forgot to bring mine. Some Muslim might call our karipaps non-halal because of that, but screw you. We didn’t put a drop of wine in anything. Oh well. *shrugs*

I love her friend’s place. Well, my friend as well, to be honest. I met her when I went down to London the first time in my first year. Actually no, I met her when she and my cousin went up for one of my cousin’s many exams and drop by my place on my second day of term in my first year. Anyway, yeah, her place is lovely. A small semi-detached house with two bedroom. It’s just quaint and nice; I don’t know how to describe it. The kitchen is big for a British home… hmmm… It goes a lot to her homemaking skills though. I suspect that if it was my place… Well… it wouldn’t be as lovely as I am one lazy person. Haha.

Went to Mansfield and I got perfumes. OMG I paid about 10 pounds for 2 Elizabeth Arden perfumes; 100ml Sunflower and 30ml Green Tea. Freaking cheap, right? I can’t remember what else I got though… Jeans… Lotions from M&S… Ooohhh!! My sheep teapot set for one from Whittard!! OMG so excited that it’s arriving soon!! Weee!! And my mom insisted that I got the matching mug. I wanted to get the plate as well but it was finished. Somehow I regret not getting the Winnie the Pooh teapot as well. Oh well… When I start earning, I suppose.

Arrived home, exhausted–obviously–and had to pack for our trip to York and Edinburgh, which was the next morning. Our train was at 7. Crazy hectic traveling non-stop. Arrived at York and decided, why don’t we just go straight to the B&B as my mom felt that out backpacks were too heavy to bring to Castle Howard. York is beautiful!! I miss it loads. I don’t know why but it is so relaxing, to me. Went to the B&B and the landlady graciously allowed us to leave our bags there even though we said we’ll come later (check in time was much later as well). When we were going back to the train station to catch the bus to Howard Castle, it started raining. The bus driver initially refused to let us go as it was raining so heavily, but I manage to convince him that since it’s my last fortnight in England, I wanted to see a castle!! As if I haven’t seen one. Haha. Still, I got to go. Haha. The scene was beautiful, but I was tired, so I slept along the way.

The place is gorgeous!! My mom said she died and went to heaven, with the amount of fine bone China that greeted us when we entered. Hahaha. Though on closer inspection, she didn’t quite like the design. Still. The place is gorgeous. It is where they filmed Brideshead Revisited. Their gardens is absolutely amazing. Pity that it was still raining heavily. Oh, they also have this glass blowing shop, which sells absolutely gorgeous stuff. Really one of a kind; Jorvik glass. I got a pretty windchime there; even though it’s pink and my room is blue. It’s just absolutely adorable!! My mom got a Wall Hanger, which she has no idea where to hang as it is rather heavy.

Came back to York and had the wonderful Turkish dinner which my mom still talks about. The lamb was absolutely heavenly. The meat just falls off the bone when you touch it. Yum!! Crap, I’m salivating now. Hahaha.

The next day we just went around York. Wanted to have tea at Betty’s but the place was full. Didn’t want to miss our train to Edinburgh and we were quite full anyway. Got shortbread from Little Betty’s, which my mom thinks is the best one around. Hrmph. I still think Irish ones are better. Which I just finished. Haha. Crap. Now no more. Going to ask Fatin to bring back some when she comes back in December. My mom didn’t feel like entering yet another church, so we didn’t enter the Minster. We actually bought shoes in York. Well, not “we” really… My mom did. I just tried on the outrageous shoes that I would buy but only behind my mom’s back. Hahaha.

There was an antique store near our B&B, but the owner refused to let my mom in. I don’t get why does he need a shop if he doesn’t welcome customers in? Absolutely weird. Oh, I got an adorable sheep which I remember I couldn’t post the picture on the train. I still can’t, sadly. I don’t get why my laptop acts up when I’m using wireless. Hrmph.

It was soooo cool to go online on the train. Hahaha. I don’t know why but it was sooo cool. Hahaha. I think I’m being silly. Haha. Oh well. I remember we had to stop somewhere because some alarm was triggered. And outside the train was a sheep farm!! OMG!! And the sheep were looking in curiously. Soooo cute!!! If I could get off, I would have kidnapped one of them!! Hahahahaha.

I once told Faliq, when you look at sheep, they look as if they’re smiling all the time. Apart from Gemuk McGrumpy, at least. Haha. And look at cats; they look grumpy all the time. Hahahahahahaha.

When the train arrived at Edinburgh, when we got off, there was this guy with the biggest briefcase I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was HUGE!!!!! He looks a bit like Chad Michael Murray, but with bigger eyes. Don’t you thick Chad Michael Murray bermata sepet? I always thought so… Hahahahaha.

I have to say that Edinburgh is hilly. However, not as bad as Durham. Hahahaha. How are you missing Durham, Amni? Hahahahahahahahaha 😛

Hmmm… What did we do in Edinburgh? We walked around before the sun set. Walked at the park along Princess Street… My mom wanted to go on the tour around Highland Scotland, but it was full. Oh well. I preferred just going around Edinburgh, which we did. Hahaha. Our only full day was spent walking around the Royal Mile. Oh, first we went to the Holyrood Palace. We had typical Scottish weather; rain rain rain. Still, it didn’t dampen my spirits. Nyeh nyeh. We entered the Parliament for a bit, but since I wasn’t a big fan of devolution anyway (I manage to get my Constitutional Law tutor to tell me that if I promise him to only skip devolution (hahahaha. That wasn’t the only one!!), I should be alright. Haha), we left after I got an adorable teddy. Hehehe. I have to say, I went in and out of the shops, getting sheep and looking at things for gifts. It was fun, though my mom was not in the mood. She keep swatting my suggestions. I regret not getting quite a few things. Sigh. She felt too tired and decided to go back to our hotel and let me go about on my own… Went about on my own, which is when I met that guy who somewhat changed my accent. I’ll finish the entry on that and not bother here.

I do love Edinburgh. I absolutely love it, hilliness and all. I do wish I could go there again. Probably live there maybe? Oh I don’t know. It’s just… *shrugs* I prefer it to Dublin (says the person who hardly went out bed when she was in Dublin). Okay, maybe I’m judging purely on the accents… Hahaha 😛

Oh God… We arrived at my place at night. Sooo exhausted!! Oh, we didn’t go to Edinburgh Castle; my mom has been there and I’ve been to Warwick Castle, so I thought it wasn’t worth it. Also, we had our train to catch!! They recommended 2 hours, but I knew that I’ll take my own sweet time and might miss the train. So, nahh… Spend the day tidying up my room…

The next day, a Saturday, we went down to London to go to Portobello Road. Brought some of our luggages to Faliq’s as we were flying off the next week. Thank God we did that, as our luggages were super heavy the next week!! Oh, my mom is also an antique freak. Haha. However, we didn’t get anything there except two china flowers. No idea what are they called really. My mom said it is a bargain. Alright then… Nonetheless, we had the best nectarines ever!! We didn’t bother washing it; it was just soooo goood!!!!! Aphrodisiac!! I miss them… that old granny with the awesome nectarines. Hahahaha.

The tube was horrid though. The Circle and District line was closed. At least from St Pancras we just took the Piccadilly line down to Earl’s Court and changed to Kensington Olympia. However, it was a nightmare to get to Notting Hill Gate. I would never want to take the Jubilee line if I ever have to. Urgh. It is soooo far from the other lines!!! Bleurgh. It also didn’t help when we were going back, the Central line was horribly delayed as someone fell under the train (??? I’ve no idea how it happened, really!! That was the notice they tell us anyway!!) at Queensway. It was so bad that we decided we’ll just wait at St Pancras for our train. However, when we wanted to get off at Holborn to change to the Piccadilly line, people were rushing in that I almost couldn’t get out!! How bloody rude and impatient!! It’s absolutely ridiculous, especially considering that you’ll only save few minutes. It’s the bloody weekend!! And what is a few minutes when your life is at stake? It was at stake, seriously, considering that the train was so full and could hardly close properly, yet people still want to force themselves in. It was really scary…

Got back and felt super tired, so we slept. We woke up in the middle of the night with my mom deciding, why don’t we make karipaps? Alright, I thought, since I wasn’t feeling sleepy anymore.

Oh, when we were at Sheffield, I told my cousin that we planned to go down to London to go to Portobello Road. Oh, the said cousin is Malay, and according to my surgeon (they were in the same batch), a good cook. I’ve tasted her cooking and it is quite good la. Anyway, she said that we should continue walking till we get to a bridge; underneath it there is a Malaysian restaurant called Makan, which literally means “eat”. And the food there would make it worth walking all the way to get there. To be honest, when we were there, we forgot about it and continued walking as my mom didn’t want to miss anything. We saw a restaurant and thought, why don’t we get a drink, as we stupidly didn’t bring any. Saw Malaysian snacks, so I glanced up, wondering what is the name of the shop. When I saw the name, I remembered what my cousin said. I was like “Mommy!! This must be the place Naseem meant!!”

Huh!! The food looked absolutely pathetic. The karipap was like those that you used the mold; not folded with your own hands. And it was shortcrust pastry instead of layered ones. My mom literally stomped off, wondering what in the world is wrong with her niece who supposedly could cool really well.

So while we were making the karipaps… My mom started to be Mat Jenin. In Malay folklore, Mat Jenin is this guy who is always fantasizing of a better life. Quite a grandiose dude. What was my mom fantasizing? I think I mentioned before… Nonetheless, she was fantasizing that she will build a karipap empire. All starting off with just bringing competition to Makan. I’m not being biased due to being her daughter, but she does make good karipaps. With her filling and my aunt’s skin… they can rule the world of karipaps. Seriously. So she’ll start with selling outside of Makan with the karipaps in the basket, where she will win all Makan customers just from the karipap. And in no time, Makan would run out of business and would have to move. My mom would take over the shop and start selling more things… And everyone in London would come to her place and patronize her place and her place only.

Seriously, Ma.

I couldn’t stop laughing at it. And when I put on my facebook status that I am laughing at her karipap empire dreams, quite a few people wrote on my wall telling me they support me.


Now she’s back in her actual area of specialization; poverty.

Sorry to disappoint. 😉

I think I’ve finished what happened in England… Oh, the trip to Stoke-Upon-Trent for the fine bone china. Not much; we got a set for 12. Pattern both of us liked, and not made in England but Bangladesh. Hehehehehe. Oh well..

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