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Sunday, October 2, 2016

September in Aber .

For someone who would not even walk to the shophouses in front of my house for fear of an anxiety attack happening , I'm thousands of miles away in the bloody  cold and green  lands of Aberystwyth; blogging from a kitchen which I can now feel like is home.

*I actually spent 3 hours creating this post , but close to completion , everything went missing without a trace, so here's round 2. *

Day 1: 21/9/16

The whole day was a horrible one. My anxiety was on full swing. Just earlier in the day, my travel agent gave me a heart attack from spelling my name wrong and KLM told me to get it fixed otherwise risk being denied boarding entry. I needed a camera but the one at home was not working so I went out and bought one on the spot with Oli. I was hungry but when food was put near me I felt like throwing up.

In the airport: people were talking to me/around me at the same time, forcing me to eat, I was in a crowded airport, going through my internal struggles , someone forgot to bring something extremely important to the airport, I arrived just in time to actually get on the train taking me to the boarding gate; Everyone was more worried about money than whether I was okay-- lets just say the memory of that night is one I am trying to repress.

[Special thanks to those who showed up at the airport , it meant a lot. I think I might have broken down in the arms of everyone who hugged me. ] My dad's advice to me before I got on the plane was; ' Be a brave girl'. For the past week, when things got really difficult, these were the words resonating in my head, in his voice. I wont lie, this whole independence thing is really difficult.

My sister told Kiran to take care of me but I think it was Kiran who needed some TLC because the poor girl broke her wrist and was in a bandage . *Hands down, she's much better at surviving than me.

 Day 2: 22/9/16

 It was not long before I would discover how dope KLM flights are, because they come with this interactive map of where the plane is, you could use your fingers to navigate any part of the globe--even the small towns , see how long to touchdown , see the flight pathway from different angles, and turn the globe 360 degrees like it was a toy.

This was my first meal since the roti canai I ate long before the flight. MAN was I glad to see that water bottle there.

 I imagined the journey to be unbearably long or for myself to be doing a ot more writing, but 2 movies, a few sitcoms, some song selections, small talk with my left and right passengers later, I was almost halfway there.

 Then the plane arrived in Amsterdam. This was breakfast, about half an hour before touchdown.

Then came the obligatory 'I landed in Amsterdam safely' selfie . I did not get any good sleep , but I was near where I needed to be.

This is Jeeva; whom I earlier met in KLIA -- Watching her skype her brother and sister made me homesick but I heard my daddy tell me 'Be a brave girl'. So I spammed my family whatsapp group instead.

Another transit flight later, I arrived in Birmingham.

As you can see, many people want to be passing the UK border.

 It was a glorious airport, when I walked outside was when I felt my first touch of British weather. It was sunny like Malaysia but the breeze was like you're in a beach. Some kind of air conditioned beach.

 We had troubles pulling a trolley out so we fit four people's worth of baggage in two trolleys , Michelle (whom sat next to me in the Birmingham flight) was such an angel for helping guard the bags.

An hour later, the Aberystwyth 'Meet and Greet' shuttle service took us on a 3 hour bus ride to what would soon be called  my home. 

Upon entry, I was taken aback by how plain and tiny it was, but I knew I had big plans for the place. Unpacking was completed by the night I arrived. (Special thanks to Simmi and Beatrice for helping me and Wei Li get our essential bedding pack for cheap)

toldja I had plans for the place. I wanted a red theme because my life felt devoid of colour. (Special shoutout to my housemate Jedi for swapping the initial shelf for these desk of drawers , and helping re-position the bed)

The view outside my room looked like something pulled out from 'The Sims'.

Nearby my place there is this peaceful haven known as the Penglais lounge, actually meant for residents of another accomodation ; but it's nearer to my place than my own lounge is , so.
As you can see, it smells of luxury.

After unpacking the night I arrived itself, and the emotional exhaustion,  I just collapsed on my bed at 9 something, only to start the next day at 5 something am.

 when I tried to cook breakfast but managed to burn EGG. Fun fact; it takes three eggs to equate to the texture of one Malaysian egg.

 Walked into a shop which was going to close down and got some free hangers.

Day 3: 24/9/16
That morning before walking round town, I met a Malaysian here who was not from BAC. So yes,  I was a little excited . #onemalaysiasiut

 Walking around town, the first few pictures I took of the view was as follows.

 That architecture though.

 While walking around town I felt like I was meant to stand there, it was a mini booth about cats. Merchandise, and information on adoption. MEOW OR NEVERRR. 
Side note: Cats are so rare here, it's heartbreaking.

 While I was walking and discovering buildings I have yet explored, I found this on the table, almost as if it was mocking me. Because, yes, I will admit to being a wimpy kid. I am crossing my fingers that it would stop by graduation.

 This was the day I explored my own lounge, it's a peaceful place.

 On the way to join the free barbeque hosted by the Christian Union society of Aber Uni. I love the cultural diversity in this shot !

 The barbeque was by the seaside, and these rocks not only looked scenic enough, but reflected my emotions.

 The first few Malaysians I saw apart from those I flew with.

 Banned book in Malaysia, casually chilling in the Penglais Lounge.

Started to understand why people want to settle down overseas:PURCHASING POWER! All these amounted to 19.99 pounds only !

 First bus journey . Wei Li is clearly exhausted.

Day 4: 25/9/16

I was reminded of just how claustrophobic and socially anxious I am (yet again) but thank goodness for people around . I was shivering beyond my control , feeling dizzy and like I was going to faint.

 The worst part is that I was stuck right in the middle and standing up would have elicited so many unwanted stares.

 But one thing I like about the university is that amidst chaos/activity/masses of people there are peaceful avenues.

I attempted to cook my first curry , it was not half as good as home but it was still something which kept me alive.

Day 6: 26/9/2016

Double decker bus ride from campus to my accomodation

Fish and chips restaurant upon recommendation, with a view of the train station.

Day 7 : 27/9/2016

 The universe continues to communicate with me and remind me of things. Missing her already.

Day 8 :28/9/2016

 The view from the top half of the double decker bus.

 Italian dinner ; My first raviolli prepared by Sindu's flatmates.

 Drunk was an understatement.

Day 9: 29/9/2016

More exploring, getting documentation and shopping sorted, and trusted my guts to leave familiarity and join the Christian Union club in their grub call where I saw the main churches in Aberystwyth. Yay for meeting Will :)

 St Michaels church was gorgeous.

It was also the day my phone finally gave way after one year of service. :( Good memories with my Oppo , man. But life is sure as hell more complicated without a phone.

Day 10: 30/9/2016

Received these pictures but they were definitely from a different date. Busted phone prevented any picture taking. I remember hanging out with Will and Sindu , for the official CU meeting, then visiting Scholars. These are miscellaneous pictures I forgot the dates to.

Thank God for Will and Edore!

There was a lot more happening in between and I swear this post was supposed to be about the first weekend in Aber , but I got really busy and had to attend multiple talks, grocery shopping, peer mentor, exciting clubs to learn about, roads to town which all seem so new still, different campuses to be walking to, learning the bus routes, getting over my fears of being alone in a new setting, trying to not mess up meals, making important choices about subjects--( finding a balance between interest and what can make me more employable that is..), remembering that alone time is important (and hoping that people can understand I need my time to just zone out from people), feeling guilty about not getting back to my family, thinking about my cats, mixed feelings about weight gain because I worked so hard to stay in shape back in Malaysia.

My sentences are not properly punctuated, I'm a clutz who relies on the mercy of others to give me a sense of direction, my room is in a mess. I have to start somewhere to organise the material things, then the feelings, then the inner peace will flow.

Anyway, I'm glad this long overdue blog post is ticked off the to do list. A long , photographic post it has been. And still I don't feel like it's covered exactly what has happened. ;)