The trip

I’ve been back for about 3 days now… But OMG; the last 7 days in London is really hitting me. So bloody tired. And my mother thinks I’m just lazing around instead of getting my energy back. Oh well. And I am decluttering my things, starting with my laptop… Though it is likely I would stop halfway and continue with my wardrobe. My iTunes is giving me a headache, though at least it would save it to the file, unlike RealPlayer. Going to reformat my laptop yet again. Gosh, really need a job; can’t stop dreaming of the awesome MacBook Pro and how I need a new laptop. Yes, need. Can’t take this crazy laptop much anymore. Still, I suppose that’s what happens when you don’t use the original installer. Oh well…

Still, I would have to make do till I get my 4th month’s pay. That is assuming that I don’t eat and walk all the way to the office. So, logically, I would only be able to get it next year. Sigh. My current laptop is almost 2 years old already…

Anyway!! So, the last time I made a sane entry was on the NXEC train when I was going down to Durham and hating Glasgow so much. Hahaha. I have to admit, I suppose at that period I was just so jaded with everything, I just felt like bombing the whole place or something. And that I didn’t want to leave Edinburgh but had to. Sigh. When I was in Bristol, I was back to being awed by architecture. I suppose if I had a break before I went to Glasgow, I might have not felt that way. I felt like… I was kicked out of Edinburgh somehow. Oh well…

I decided to write out my experience. Or at least, I plan to. There are scribblings here and there during the tour and stuff. However, there’s no way I will be able to type it all out after I’m finished. So, what I have finished doing is doing like a timeline of what I did on what dates. Some might be simple, one liners that I don’t feel like elaborating (because it might include a lot of bitching that I don’t want to hurt the bitched person’s feelings. Not that I know most of them anyway. Hahaha. Still…)

So, here it goes…

March

27th – last minute packing. Had 2 appointments the day before. Super long wait in the hospital, as usual. Flight at 23.55 from KLIA. Had 2 seats to myself. The guy next to me did not have to wake me up when he wanted to go to the toilet.

28th – arrived in LHR at 4am – long interview at the immigration. Asked about everyone at Beda’s flat and everyone that I will be staying with. Seriously man!! Shopped for toiletries and PJs. Tried to find a handbag but couldn’t; so ended up using Beda’s for the trip. Saw Amni before her dinner at Bayswater before she flew back to Malaysia the next day. Basically a super exhausted day, with only 3 hours sleep on the plane.

29th – Career’s Fair @ UCL. Was so near to Jeremy Bentham’s body, but was just too tired to even bother trying.

30th – saw St Pancras International again. Miss it sooooo much. Went to Leicester Square to see Victoria and Leanne – walked around Convent Garden. Found cauliflower near the market – took quite a bit of it. Hahaha. Found handbag to use for interview

31st – Shopped again; for PJs because the one I got on Saturday didn’t fit. Cooked fried spagetti for Vic. As usual, the girl overate and couldn’t control herself. Sigh.

April

1st – Got a pair of Oxfords at Clarks – saw Kay again.

2nd – BNM “interview”, if you could even call it that.

3rd – went up to East Midlands (I’m still obsessively refusing to use the name; no idea why) – lazed around and ordered pizza (pizzaman thought I was Korean. WTF?) – woke Shan up because of duvet. Sorry!!! But with polar bear Faliq, it was super cold sleeping with a single duvet. Sniff sniff. Sometimes I felt like my lungs were going to collapse!!!

4th – Groceries!! Sainsbury’s!! **e**o*!!

5th – Supposed to go to East Midlands McArthur Glen, but the bus was only hourly on Sunday; so went back.

6th – Went to McArthur Glen – took over 2 hours – Faliq got carsick but happy when he got to Jaeger. Hahaha.

7th – Went down to London for SPA interview at Bayswater – didn’t get but what the hey!! Stayed in London for a night (less than 24 hours in total)

8th – went to SOAS to drop off some stuff with 5 bags with me – God knows how I managed it. And made my way to St Pancras to catch a train to East Midlands again. Lazed around there till the 14th. And for the first time in my life, I had to fight over something (in this case, laptop), so that I could plan my trips.

14th – flew for Dublin at night – saw the big pin and Fatin!! Yeay!! πŸ˜€

15th – woke up late – walked around Dublin city before realized that had a lot of time to kill before Fatin or Nadia got back to let me in, so decided to get on the bus for the tour. Wanted to go as late as possible so that the next day I could do the actual drop on and off (24 hour ticket) – kept getting live commentors, for some reason. Fascinating, nonetheless. Can’t remember the arrangement, but one couldn’t stop singing, one was very politically opiniated, one was… his comments needed parental guidance, shall we say.

16th:
– Guinness storehouse – must have been the first time in their experience that someone tried to convince them that she’s below 17 and not above 18. I absolutely refused to pay that 2 euros extra for the pint of Guinness. Seriously, it is not complimentary; you pay for it!! Do realize the differences in price!!! Let me draw your attention to the fact that there’s a difference in price for students below and above 18. Liaaaarrrssss!!! Or good marketing strategy.
– Writer’s Museum – absolutely awesome!!! I like it!! Never knew most of the authors I like are actually Irish. Hahahahahaha.
– Statue hunting in the rain with a courting couple after lunch at a Japanese restaurant. The food there was brilliant!! πŸ˜€ And the statue hunting was absolutely fun. Amazing that I walked so much that day; we walked–definitely–from the Molly Malone statue to Fatin’s home!! Really far but so fun!! Hahaha. In the rain!! Hahahahahahahaha.

17th – Book of Kells (have to say, the pages that they show weren’t impressive. Rather disappointed 😦 ), Christ Church and St Patrick’s Cathedral.Β  Saw the hospital where Fatin was doing her Ob-Gyn; met Azlan, who was worried that I might get stranded in a desert on the Emerald Isle, and Ku made dinner πŸ˜€

18th – left for Killarney. The driver of the bus from Dublin to Limerick looked like a cross between Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke, and the driver from Limerick to Killarney looked like a tougher version of Jack McFarland (Will & Grace).

19th – Ring of Kerry tour. Really beautiful. Saw the Atlantic for the first time.The tour guide had his dog with him, but it stayed still in front of the bus most of the time. Actually, most people on the tour who sat at the back didn’t know the dog was with the tour with us. Across the aisle from me was a Northern Irish woman who was more interested in reading her gossip magazine than looking at the views. Why did she bother wasting her money, seriously?

20th – left for Galway – saw the Atlantic again and fell in love with it – saw ridiculously short River Corrib (only 6km long), and fell in love with it as well. Hahaha.

21st – Cliffs of Moher tour. Awesome lesson of Irish history. Hahaha. Saw the place for the matchmaking festival at Lisdoonvarna, and had the most awesome seafood chowder in Doolin. Can’t remember which shop; but it was amazing!!! OMG!!! North coast of Co Clare is just beautiful. Cliffs of Moher was out of the world!! Absolutely amazing and beautiful! Highly recommended!!

22nd – Connemara tour. Absolutely love the killer sheep story. Hahahaha. So bloody funny. Couldn’t see the Twelve Bens due to the mists, sadly. Another place of fascinating Irish history. Even by that day, I was steadily hating Oliver Cromwell. Cursed that bastard once got to Roslynn Chappel. Would you believe that that idiot stabled his horses in the beautiful abbey??? Urgh!! Thought he was much worse than Charles I that he executed.

23rd – left Galway for Belfast via Dublin. Super tiring trip, and was super hungry too, since there wasn’t any place to eat at the Busaras that wasn’t serving sandwiches. Though was so relieved when was back to spending pounds. Hahaha.

24th – woke up late but had a tour of Belfast. Fascinating, but so so. I have to say, if I did get into Queen’s, I would be so proud. The main building is just so gorgeous!! Amazing!!

25th – Carrick-a-rede and Giant’s Causeway tour. Never thought I would walk so much during a tour, but it had the most amazing view. Giant’s causeway is absolutely amazing!! And I got a sheep calender at the Giant’s Causeway giftshop!! Hahaha.

26th – took a bloody early ferry from Belfast to Stranraer… and made my way to Dundee. Oh, I have typed an entry on using the ferry (Stena Line) if you have a railcard while I was waiting for the train to Glasgow at Stranraer. Will copy and paste after this. I think I was planning to write about my trip in Ireland, but in the end, I failed. Hehehe. The train from Glasgow Queen Street had no place to put luggage, and it was a bloody full train with most ppl having luggages. It was crazy!! Met a psychotic old man who was absolutely obsessed over Doctor Who, it was disturbing. Had the most absolutely biggest kebab in the whole world there. Seriously!! Ate till I was full, and again in the morning, and still had to throw away half of it!! Oh, and my jeans tore on the ferry, so had to shop for a pair of jeans in Dundee. Sigh.

27th – Walked around Dundee – couldn’t find the tourism office and was seriously questioning my decision of not going straight to Edinburgh. However, after walking aimlessly and deciding to go to the coast, finally found the tourism office (the signs showed the way to the old place, which was relocated to that ridiculous place), and asked them for a place for me to kill time before my ridiculously late train (was seriously considering getting a new ticket to go down to Edin early already by that time). Was recommended to go to Verdant Works; a museum which used to be a jute rope making factory. Had so much fun there!! Was absolutely fascinating!! Highly recommended!! πŸ˜€
And when finally, the time came to board the train southwards to Edinburgh (crossed two firths on amazing bridges!!), got to Waverley… And had to make my way to CockburnΒ  Street to the hostel… I couldn’t believe I forgot just how hilly the bloody place is!! Arrggghhhh!!!! Still, I prefer Edinburgh over Glasgow. Well, there are spots in Glasgow where it is ridiculously hilly anyway.

28th – Roslynn Chapel, Borders and Hadrian Wall tour. Roslynn’s absolutely fascinating. Don’t have to be a the Da Vinci Code fan to enjoy the place. I didn’t even remember the things they said in the book; was just walking aimlessly. Yes, there’s a canopy above the roof, but like the tour guide said, you have to look at the bright side of things; you get to see the roof!!! Though some of the restoration workers were rather bitchy about the tourists around. Seriously, if it wasn’t for us, you wouldn’t be able to work and restore the building!! Gahh!! Though, to be honest, the tour guide got on my nerve quite a bit towards the end with his over optimism. Gahh. However, due to his playing Amy Macdonald a few times thru’out the roadtrip, it was bearable. Hahahaha. I absolutely love her!! πŸ˜€

29th – St Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife. St Andrews is absolutely gorgeous!! The beach!! The sea!! OMG!! The blue water!!!! Hahaha. Still, I prefer the Atlantic over the North Sea πŸ˜› Also passed by Andrew Carnegie’s birthplace and town. Quite amazing really, since I wanted to go to Carnegie-Mellon (no, my mother did not go there; I chose it myself). He thought it was embarrassing for a rich man to die rich. Hah!! I doubt any Malays would agree with this.

30th – Walking tour of Edinburgh with the New Edinburgh tour (under the Sandeman’s New Europe tour). Absolutely amazing!! It is a free tour, where the guides are paid on a tip basis; it is up to you how much you pay them. Awesome, eh? Highly recommended, especially since I do agree with them, that Edinburgh is best seen on foot, and being small anyway; you might as well. Though I would highly recommend you see Dean’s Village as well. Very quaint place; amazing. Saw it on the bus on the way to St Andrews, so was too lazy to go there again. Hehehe. Nonetheless, highly recommended πŸ˜€ Also on that night was the Beltane Fire Festival. Was interesting…Β  Oh, it is a pagan festival celebrating the summer solstice.

May

1st – Decided that I would go to West Lothian, and ended up going to Linlithgow and it’s palace, where Mary Queen of Scots was born. The palace’s really beautiful even in ruins, and the view from the palace to the loch was stunning!! It is said that the fountain in the middle of the palace, wine used to flow there instead of water. Wow, right? Got back to Edinburgh and walked about aimlessly. Oh, went to the Writer’s Museum there, but not as fascinating as Dublin’s, I’m afraid, since they dedicated it to only 3 authors; Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Got my handmade sheep that I have wanted since last year (mother’s pissed about the price but what the heck; I’ve been wanting it for over a year and thought of nothing else since I got to Edinburgh). Oh, I would highly recommend entering White Horse Close. It is at the end of the Royal Mile, towards Holyrood Palace/ Scottish Parliament. It’ll be the last close on the left. Hah!! Could still remember!! Hehehe. I was told by one of the tour guides; it does feel like entering into another time.

2nd – 3rd – West Highlands Tour. Was absolutely AWESOME!! Didn’t find Loch Ness impressive, but… okay I can’t remember the name, but as might expected, it is a sea/ saltwater loch facing the Atlantic that I found impressive. Hahahaha. Even though the guide found it absolutely annoying for the traffic jam, I thought it was a God sent. Hehehe. Oh, the tour guide looked like Perry Cox from Scrubs. Hahahahahaha. So on the first day, I was rather scared of him, in case he started bullying us or something. Hahaha. I know I know; totally unfair. He’s really nice.
It was during this tour that I met two “Whovians” (who would have thought that they had an actual term for people who like Doctor Who. Didn’t want to be beaten by Star Trek, I suppose…) who are absolutely insane. One’s American and another’s Northern Irish. The American has to be the saner of the two. The Northern Irish… I think she’s a bit disturbed; I don’t know. She wants to rape John Barrowman and David Tennant; it is not enough if they’re willing to have sex with her. She wants to rape them. I have absolutely no idea the rape law outside of England, but I would have thought Sexual Offences Act 2003 apply the same way in England and Wales as to Scotland and Northern Ireland, what with it being a Westminster Act… Okay I’ve no idea; I may have had a Scottish magistrate tutoring me Criminal Law, but he made sure he taught me only English law!! πŸ˜€ Bless him. Still, for their sakes, I hope they remain in Wales forever and ever more. Hahaha. I would think she would be guilty with the assault by penetration crap instead. Oh well. But seriously, specifically want to rape them? Mindless, passionate sex wouldn’t be enough. Hmmmm… Utterly disturbing, but funny as well. Oh, and there’s this loch that looks exactly like Scotland. It’s like a mini Scotland in Scotland. Too lazy to google it. Hahaha. And yes, too lazy to describe the tour; but it was fun!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

3rd – left for Glasgow at the end of the day as I couldn’t find an accommodation in Edinburgh for that night. Oh well… Arrived in horrid Glasgow… And spend 3 days there. There was a bloody Doctor Who exhib at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Which was so bloody annoying, as I have described in my last entry. So I’ll not blab about Glasgow again here. I bloody hate Doctor Who. Argh. However, would you believe it, I know someone who has been in England for 3 years and have never heard about it? Seriously!! Unbelievable!! Like… what the hell? I don’t like it, yes, but to not hear about it? Like Dee said, he’s everywhere!! (And his posters are very rude for not responding to her πŸ˜› )

6th – People’s Palace – quite cool tho. And made my way down to Durham and cooked for most of the time I was there. Not that I minded, Amni!! Really!!!

9th – made my way to York… And did absolutely nothing except watching Samantha Who?. I love Cecelia Ahern πŸ˜€

10th – went to Howard Castle. Highly recommended as well. Went with my mother the year before. This time just went to the glass blowing place, which is awesome!!

11th – Blackpool – boring and too bright and sunny (my feet got tanned there. Seriously!!) but beautiful nonetheless. However, they have a Doctor Who museum. What the hell. Everywhere and permeating museums. Sigh…

13th – Came back to East Midlands. Did nothing but bum around. Was ill as well; sorry for not meeting many people while I was there…

16th – Faliq’s birthday. Dinner at dodgy place πŸ˜›

20th – Off to Bristol to see Brenda

21st till the 25th – Devon for Sangeeta

25th – arrived in London. Went to Vic’s.

26th – stayed in; grocery shopped and cooked. Well, more like didn’t use my Oyster card. πŸ˜€

27th – got kicked out from Beda’s and went to Kay’s. Went to Vic’s. Met her interesting father.

28th – Walking tour of London; same as the one in Edinburgh; part of Sandeman’s New Europe tours. Fascinating. Went to the National Gallery after that, and watch Les Miserables. Fantine was rather disappointing, but Eponine… She was absolutely amazing. I loved it when she sang “On My Own.”

29th – Took a bus tour, which added on to the info from the walking tour, which basically concentrated on Westminster. Also had free Thames river cruise, which was cool as well, with the crew giving a tour. Awesomeness.Β  Too lazy to describe it here; incentive for you all to get on the bus and go for it!! Highly recommended, especially for those who are actually living in London; you just don’t know the history that is around you!!

30th – Portobello Market and Southall. Wanted to watch Oliver but it was too bloody expensive!!

31st – Greenwich – the Royal Observatory and the market. OMG I love Greenwich market!!! The coffee and tea there!! Awesomeness!! And I got to take the DLR. Hahahaha. Something like our LRTs. Also went to the Museum of London. Fascinating!! πŸ˜€

June

1st – Tower of London (lots of walking), Jack the Ripper tour at the East of London (even more walking), St James’s Park (some more walking), took the tube to Monument for the Great Fire of London Monument, then walked to St Paul’s, and continued walking to the Old Bailey, Royal Palace of Justice and Temple. And if I suddenly decide to do the BVC, I would sooooo put myself into one of the Temples instead. Gorgeous!! Then took the bus from Aldwych to St Pancras. Took picture of St Pancras and a picture of King’s Cross with the name clearly on it, to show my lousy Malaysian friends that the train station I take is not King’s Cross. Damn WarnerBros the liars; I know that King’s Cross is boring, but seriously, that is the train station that goes to Scotland!! An even bigger irony is that platform 9 doesn’t even go northwards, apparently. Though, I suppose, one could say, since St Pancras and King’s Cross is actually next to each other, and the car was parked near St Pancras instead of King’s Cross… so they shot St Pancras instead. But still!! How dare they say I lie!! Hrmph!! Now I have proof that King’s Cross is a boring and ugly lump of a building. Hmph. Stayed at St Pancras for quite some time, and cried for quite some time, knowing clearly that that would be the very last time I would be there. It was the gateway to independence, in a way, to me, since it was the place leading to East Midlands from London. Somehow, I felt like London was still connected to the MAS plane in some ways, hence Malaysia. Weird, I know. Only at St Pancras did I feel, yes, I am going to that place which is mine.

2nd – Last full day in the UK. Kew Gardens. Then Victoria and Albert Museum (omg I love the place. Now, if the clip of Look Back in Anger wasn’t there, it would have been perfect. πŸ˜› ) and Natural Science Museum (aka Westminster Abbey for animals). Walked to Kensington Gardens and to Albert Memorial, with Prince Albert looking at the Royal Albert Hall. Walked to Bayswater and took the Circle line to Embankment. Walked across the Thames on the Golden/ Jubilee Bridge towards London Eye. Went on the London Eye, which was the grand finale of my trip. Or at least, the exciting one. At first, I jokingly told my friend it would be stalking Jude Law after he performed Hamlet at one of the Leicester Sq theatres; can’t remember which one now. Then was too tired; decided will just change from Northern Line to Piccadilly Line at Leicester Square station. However, by force of habit, once I got off the train at Leicester Square, I made my way out. Still, I just hung out at Vic’s again for one last time, and didn’t bother “stalking” Mr Law since I was too bloody tired anyway. Hahaha. Not that I was a fan. Just thought it would be funny. πŸ˜› Went back and somewhat started packing. However, I fell asleep till morning.

3rd – Hurriedly packed and tried to get VAT. The admin cost for the VAT is absolutely ridiculous. Seriouslsy, man. Urgh. So annoying!! Some last minute shopping for cheese and food… and made my way to the airport for the VAT reclaim. Manage to finish my credit on my mobile phone. Boarded the flight, which was rather empty. Moved seats and got 3 seats to myself (picked window side), even though that whole row, all 10 seats of it, were empty, though after dinner, all was occupied–a very tall man slept on those 4 chairs. Watched Coraline and Inkheart. Flight was uneventful except for the normal area of turbulence when crossing the Bay of Bengal. However, the first time where the pilot actually told the stewards/esses to return to their seats and stop serving breakfast. When entered Malaysian air, one of the pilot was like a tourguide, telling us what could be seen from the sky, since the weather was good, with no clouds obscuring our view. Fascinating.

4th – Back home.

8th – Awake at 7.15am, only just finished with this entry, which I started typing at about midnight. Blah. Need to make new glasses due to power increase.

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