Summer 2k17

I’ve always waited for inspiration to kick in before I start writing. BUT BLANK. My mind has been blank. Thus, no update since the last post in April. IT’S JUNE ALINA. But I’ve been meaning to write about my few final days before the summer holidays. So here is the post, that will commemorate my Summer 2k17

 

To start off, it’s difficult being friends with international students. Once it’s summer, they’re all gone. Each and everyone boarding on a different plane going back to places they each call home. Be it Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Dubai or even Jordan. Spread across the world, all we had was our shared final night in Nottingham. It was my final night at the place where I spent the first few weeks crying and struggling to find comfort in a home away from home, only to find myself surprisingly… dreading to leave.

 

It’s surprising what a foreign place can turn into when you put the right people in it. A room is only a room, but with the right people it’s a home. I discovered my love for my first year of degree reaching it’s peak during the final weeks of exams season. This is where we bond most I guess, while everyone face their own struggles. We tend to depend on each other more for emotional support. The Core Crew (lame I know), but we literally spent everyday with each other – breakfast, lunch, dinner. With piles of books, and empty packets of snacks on the table. Sharing movies in-between revision breaks with 12am quizzes, and 2am naps. Stress was instantaneously paired with laughter.

 

 

Other than my friends, I did fall in love with the place too. I found comfort in Nasi Kukus in front of Tesco, RM4 uber rides to McDonalds, RK Fatima Roti Telur for 3pm breakfast and all-day fluffy Pancakes at Breakfast Club. Although, I hated how far away UNMC was from the city, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this numerous of times previously. But being in the middle of nowhere do have its perks. One major one as the visible starry sky. The stars that would accompany me during my pitch black walk back to my room from the Core, made me want to study longer into the night. Because the later the night, the darker the sky – hence, more stars. It would scatter all around, and sometimes cluster at one side. At the UNMC bridge, I would stand there for hours feeling so small comparing myself to the universe.

 

 

 

On my last night in UNMC, we did exactly that. But rather than standing on the bridge, we sat at the rooftop. Lied on the metallic roof, with the sounds of sniffling mice and stepping into the unseen puddles on the floor. We stayed there for the whole night. Only left to eat right before dawn. We lied flat on the roof, and tilted our head up to look above and noticed how infinite the universe is – realising the sphere shape of the world. Contemplating the existence of other creatures of God and how lonely it would be if we were the only living thing in the entire universe. Whenever, a bird would fly across we would be startled and, if we were quiet enough we could hear every plane that flew above us.

 

 

 
However, it was Aimin’s Penis shaped constellation, Izran’s philosophy class and Mali’s laughter echoing across the night – that made it an incomparable night. The comfortable silence, of nothing but our heavy breathing accompanied with Coldplay’s music. I also finally found the sole purpose of it, it’s to be played for moments like this. To feel nostalgic for something that hasn’t passed yet, but we know will. We were harmonising to Yellow, and whispered all together “I want something just like this.”   And in that moment, while we stared into “forever” and celebrated each shooting star we didn’t miss – I felt both immortal and mortal all at once.

How my cat died. 

“Life’s a hint” I once told Amirul. It’s like a really good literature book, yknow. There’s just tiny hints scattered between the pages, we as the reader know but for some reason the characters would always be caught off guard when it happens. Which is rather odd. This is the story on how my first pet died. How life hinted me, I saw the hints but was still caught off guard.

Last week I saw a tweet of a conversation:

“How is it like having a cat?”

“It’s great. But if your cat dies, and you don’t cry .. you’re amazing.”
I saw the tweet, and it made me think – that one day my cats are going to die. They are apart of the life cycle at the end of the day. But how would I react? How would I be ? I even tweeted about it.


That was obviously hint one from the mighty writer of life above.

Then, I found myself to talk about my cats a lot this week. I told Mali about all three of my cats as if they were my children #catlady. I told her about Baby (the first), Jack (the dumb one), and Ed (the funny fat one). I told their stories and their traits. But I kept going back to Baby, and telling Mali how she’s the bitchiest cat but she’s my mom’s favourite. It was always a joke of whether my mom loved me more or baby more. How her meow was really soft, like it’s a proper meow. I told Mali about the time we first got her, and how she was so tiny that she ran into one of the steps of my house. How baby would bite if you stop patting her. I usually would talk about Jack or Ed more, because they’re younger and the memories would be fresher. I even made a joke to my friends that if any of my cats die, I need an emotional leave as if a family member died. That should’ve been hint number 2.

I would always leave my laptop on with a random Jane the Virgin episode for it not to be too quiet when I’m in my room. I don’t watch it, I would do my own thing – Clean up or organise my room. The episode that was on was the episode they were having a flashback on how Jane and Michael met. They were arguing and Jane said “Have fun with your cat!” and Michael said “My cat just died !”. For some odd reason, the words “My cat just died” would always catch my attention, and it would ring in my ears. Until now actually. That should’ve been hint number 3?


My family group chat was blowing up on Thursday. How my sister is asking my mom to bring Baby to the Vet because of her heavy breathing but no one could reach my mom. I called, non stop until she finally answered. My sister in law took a video of Baby breathing heavily but looking so weak. Her head rested on her bowl, and she had blood around her mouth area. News from the vet was that she was just having phlegm in her lungs, she was incubated. My mom made a joke saying it’s the same sickness as my nephew. Even though she didn’t go on Thursday, it stayed at the back of my mind.
Friday came. It was an amazing day. I felt good, I couldn’t imagine anything to go wrong. I was about to go home with Amirul, we drove home at night for once. There was a t-junction, and Amirul was about to turn right and then I saw a big round light. Amirul was about to go straight to the light of the motorbike  because he was looking the other way. I tapped his arm, and he was getting closer – the light didn’t move though. I screamed and only then Amirul swerved the other way. I don’t know why I didn’t see that hint, that something bad was going to happen that day.

When I got the text from my mom saying “Baby dah mati.” It was so sudden. I was in shock, in the car I just looked at amirul and said “baby died” and burst into tears. In the Friday night KL jam, I drenched Amirul’s shoulders.

My tears stopped when I came home. I saw my mom and baby, on the floor in front of the entranced. Broke down a bit but collected myself to keep Amirul comfortable. It was my mom and my sister sitting on the floor with baby at the entrance, my dad watching TV and Amirul and I eating at the kitchen island. That was the first night, where I’d eat chicken and Baby wasn’t on the table asking for some of it.


The funeral went like this, it was done in the rain. My mom dug out the hole by herself at the back. Later my sister went over and watched as she bawled in tears. Ed was at the neighbour’s roof watching over us. He just stared. For some reason he looked sad and it’s as if he questioned it. He kept meowing slowly. Then, as my sister laid Baby down wrapped with a towel. All three of us burst into tears. She was stiff, she died in the position of how she would usually sleeps, curved in ball and her hand covering her eyes. My mom pulled the soil together and buried her up – repeating “Bye kesayangan Mak” (Good bye my love). She just kept saying “Tidur dengan aman baby, tidur dengan aman” (Rest in peace). As she was covering baby, she said that she was sorry. She couldn’t stop apologising for the times she was angry at her. For being mad when she doesn’t finish her food and wanting more. She repeatedly said “Mak minta maaf mak lambat bawak ke doctor” (I’m sorry I was late on bringing you to the doctor). And when she was done, she pressed down the soil together and broke down. She repeated bye baby, bye baby, bye baby. It’s what we would say when we go out as she watches us leave. But this time, it’s the last time we would say it, and it’s Baby that’s leaving us. It drizzled over us and the rain got heavier. Ed went over to where we buried Baby, and sniffed around it. We looked at him, he knows. He came over and walked home with us.

She was my first pet, she grew up with me. We first got her when we came back from London, she made Malaysia feel like home. Only 4 weeks old, she was the baby of the house. She would come on night car rides with us, and sit on the dashboard till she out grew it. She would lick my ice cream when I wasn’t looking. Baby made me love cats when I was terrified of them. She met all my friends, from secondary (both schools), to Pre U. They know how much my family loves Baby and how she’s family.

It’s the thought of no more grey fur would be on my clothes. The thought of no more meow as I’m washing the dishes. She’ll never be on the kitchen island anymore asking for a pat. We won’t have to go to the grocery store and search for her favourite food anymore. I came down the stairs in the middle of the night, and I imagined her at the end of the steps but she wasn’t there and won’t be there anymore. She won’t be the first one to greet us anymore when we get back home, peeping through the blinds. I hope we gave her a good life, with enough love. Nearly 7 years old, you made my life a loving one.

Life is a hint. But no amount of hints would actually prepare me for Baby’s death. Bye Baby, I will always love you.

Decluttering my past. 

I had to send my laptop to the service centre today. My laptop was having these glitches of “Finder unexpectedly quit because bla bla, do you want to re open.” And I can’t click on anything and everything just crashes. So there was no way I could google my way in fixing it. I was all ready, telling Amirul “do you think my duit raya would be enough????” He’s like “can kut.” So I was counting all my money and I was so worried. Then, I checked my apple care, AND THANK THE LORD I STILL HAVE APPLE CARE!!!! It’s still valid till the end of the year. My dad bought 2+1 years thing, because he knows how I am with everything. My name should be Sir Breaksalot. I was saying Alhamdulillah so many times. Then Amirul goes, “actually Kan, Tadi you Tanya duit raya you cukup Ke Tak. Tak cukup tau. It’s ok to say now because you have apple care and it’s free now.” -___- 
But after sending my baby to the hospital, the technician guy said “10-14days”. My face was like that anime cartoon with that opened wide mouth and tear dropped at the forehead – “LAMANYA?!” He’s like “yeah, maybe earlier but most probably that long.” It was some OS corrupted, he said it could be something I downloaded. Last thing I downloaded was Me Before You. It only downloaded 1%! 😭 I’m never watching it, am I??

 
 So I was thinking, I can live without it. I have my phone for social medias, I have my Apple TV for YouTube and for Netflix (thank god for Jermaine). So I can survive. Theeeeen, after the long day, I came home. Usually the first thing I do is turn on my laptop to charge my phone or back up my pictures of the day or something – and I had a mini heart attack thinking my laptop is missing. And I realised and remembered. Now I’m struck dumb. I might actually have to read a book to fall asleep? Not my usual routine of watching New Girl. 😦 now what? I had so much time. I just laid in bed with total deafening silence. It was uncomfortable. I thought, this would be a great time to read all the books I haven’t read, or clean up my closet. Yknow do productive things. But I was dying in the dark and silent room. I told amirul, and he’s trying to find a solution. That’s what he does, I have problem after problem after problem. He gives me the solutions. He’s so handy sometimes. *heart eyes* 

Amirul even told me to ask for back up and he can pay for our dates and meals to cover my fooooood spendigsssss. *CRIES* but no, BACK UP FOR RM200?! Nope. I just sent my laptop and most probably all my things are gonna be gone. SWEEPED CLEAN!  But it’s okay, after 20 years, I’ve learnt that it’s okay to let things go. It’s okay to just delete the past because quite frankly I don’t remember lots of things in that iphoto dump and lately I’m just not sentimental anymore. I decluttered my room, now I declutter my laptop/past. 

ALL MY PHOTOBOOTH PICTURES THO 😭

What I didn’t tell you about my trip

I didn’t even tell my parents this. HAHAH

Basically, we had to fly from Melbourne to Sydney. We woke up at 6 am just for the journey to the airport because Great Ocean Road was quite far from the airport, the estimated journey was 2 hours. The thing about Aussie is that you can’t speed your way through to reach your destination. Their laws on the road are so strict, even the sign boards are so straight forward like “drink, drive, die” “fasten your seatbelt or suffer the pain.”. It guilt tripped Hong from driving fast. Especially the fact that we already got a fine to pay for the parking in Melbourne.

Everyone else slept in the car supposedly to take turns to accompany Hong but only I stayed awake, and the journey took longer than we anticipated. We did not stop other than to refill the tank. So Debbie and Hong dropped us off at the airport to check in our bag (WHICH BY THAT TIME CLOSES IN 25 MINUTES), while they send the rented car. We were dropped off all the waaaaay other end of the airport, so we ran! We ran all the way dragging our bags and we made it right on time to check in our bags!

So we went right inside to our terminals, and had some mcdonalds for breakfast. While we were ordering, we called Hong. And he didn’t answer. We called Debbie, she didn’t answer. None of them answered after 10-20 calls. Until, Debbie called us back. She told us that Hong left his phone in the car and he’s running to go get it, while Debbie was alone at the airport with the bags. Intan went out to go see her, while Esther and I waited at McDonalds to update them with the status of our gate. We were sooooooooo chilled, Esther and I. We just sat there, and I bought some tea to wake me up. And Intan called to ask us, if the gate is open and if people are boarding. When Esther and I were about to walk to the gate, “Ms Ahman (typo in my ticket) Nazri, Mr Zan Hong, Ms Fan Wei Ru, Ms Deborah Lee, Ms Nur Intan.” echoed through the airport from the speaker. NEVER HAS MY NAMED BEEN CALLED THROUGH THE AIRPORT SPEAKERS. We walked to the gate, and called Intan informing her that everyone has boarded the plane, except for us.

We tried delaying by just hovering in front of the gate. And once again, our names were called through the speakers “This is the last call for…”. Intan, called to tell us to board the plane first and they’ll come later. So we went inside, still confident that they’ll make it. Waiting and waiting in the flight, chilled. Then they started to close the doors of the plane. THATS WHEN I PANICKED. I looked to Esther who was several seats in front of me, and she mimed that Intan, Hong and Debbie are not going to make it on to this flight but will go on the next. We were NOT prepared for this, didn’t even discuss the  possibility of such scenario happening.

ESTHER AND I REACHED SYDNEY.

Esther called Debbie asking what to do with me, since she has to go on a bus to Canberra in an hour because they have exams the next day. Debbie gave me 2 options, either wait for her and Hong at the airport, or go to the hostel myself and rest there. Their flight was going to be at night, while it was still morning when I reached the airport. So to wait would waste a whole day in Sydney being by myself at the airport. Since I didn’t want to be alone at an airport with two massive luggages, (Imagine the struggle to go pee) I decided it was best to go to the hostel myself.

I bought myself a sim card, so I would have internet to guide myself there incase the taxi doesn’t know and also to keep myself company. Having a well functioning  and equipped with adequate internet keeps me feeling safe and sane. Then, Esther had to catch her bus, so she called my taxi and sent me off. At this time, I didn’t even feel anything. Other than thinking “this is like the start of a Taken movie.” The amount of times I recited the ayat kursi in the taxi was unreal. I WAS IN ANOTHER CITY ACROSS AN OCEAN FROM HOME, ALLLLLLL BY MYSELF. I didn’t even look out the window or anything, just kept my eye on the metre – thinking “man I have to pay this alone! No splitting with anyone else.”  I had a kind Russian old old OLD man sending me right infront of the Eva’s backpacker. I assured myself I could out run him if anything happens. HAHAHA.  The Eva’s Backpacker Hostel looked nice, some sort of comforting homey feel. I walked in, never checked in by myself for myself before. I stood infront of the counter, blur af. I called Intan, asking her what to do. And the counter guy was so young, around my age and he couldn’t be bothered with me, finishing off the briefing with “I’m sorry man, I’m not supposed to be working right now. I can’t be bothered right now. Room on the 3rd floor, door right there.” As he points at the staircase.

3RD FLOOR? NO  LIFT? I HAVE TWO LUGGAGE BAGS! HOW DO I BRING IT UP. I was still on the phone with Intan, complaining as I dragged my bags up 6 flights. One bag at a time, screaming “INTAN WTF! THIS IS MY WORKOUT OF THE YEAR! HE DIDN’T EVEN HELP ME!!!” “PUKIMAK MAT SALLEH!” Furious, as you can imagine.. I reached the floor and it was like a dorm room. A corridor of rooms, with half naked boys with their towel walking down the hall. I’ve never stayed in a dorm room before, and that was as close as it was going to get. Our bedroom had 1 bunk bed, and 1 single bed and there were 3 bathrooms, infront of our bed room. We had to share the bathrooms?! I’ve never felt more like a spoilt rotten brat. I didn’t know how hostels were, we stayed at an air bnb in Melbourne. But this wasn’t as bad from what I see in the movies, and for the price. It was a good one.

Got into bed, and crashed to sleep. Debbie and Hong came back at 8pm, and I was so hungry we straight away went to eat – N2 ice cream and Sushi on Stanley!! Thank god I just stayed in the room, because that night at around 10 pm everyone was drunk! There were homeless people cursing at the wind, and random people screaming “woo hoo!”

That’s my story on my flight to Sydney – 19, ALL ALONE, in a FOREIGN CITY.

All the ayat kursi I recited kept me safe. Alhamdulillah.

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