After checking in at our hotel, it was probably around 4 or 5pm, and Dearie couldn’t wait to go to the stadium! The match happened the next day, so we still had that evening to go check out the place first before the big mayhem the following day. What was memorable about it too was the weather! The moment we stepped out of the hotel, it was hailing! Real ice falling down from the sky! What a welcome, Manchester.
I haven’t written much about my trip to UK, so I’m going to try now. I hope I’m not forgetting any important stuffs! I have a memory worse than a goldfish so yeah, bear with me here!
So, UK, yeah! Let me just say that it was like a dream being there! I had a big ball of awesomeness throughout my 2-weeks stay and I didn’t want to leave! It was colder than I had anticipated too, and I realized now how crazy I was to think that the weather would just be bearable with just one thin jacket. I think I have the tendency to underestimate things, especially weather! In my mind I thought I was a thick-skinned (literally) wonder woman. “Jacket? NO! I don’t need this shit!” (while continue packing tank tops and shorts)
Yeah, shame on me. Luckily my sister convinced me to bring along his winter jacket, and that ended up saving my stubborn arse! I would say London was still quite alright without that winter jacket, but as soon as we got to Manchester, goodness, we were welcomed by some crazy hailing action! Even Dearie had to buy a thicker jacket at Manchester United Store, cos the only jacket he brought was this one from Uniqlo. Well, the fact that it was a very cool, suave-looking jacket didn’t hurt either.
Oh, sorry for jumping the gun here. Let’s start from London, our first stop! I figured we can split this into a few posts so you won’t have to read everything at once (read: I’m just lazy, give me a break!)
Our flight from here was like, 9 in the morning so we got there early for a quick breakfast first. I was so excited! Have I told you I love airports and flying in general? Anyway, I think I spent most of my time on the plane watching random stuffs on the entertainment system. (Yay to that!)
It was evening time when we finally landed in London and we actually took the train (or subway, or metro, as the Brits call it?) to reach our hotel! (Bless Dearie and his awesome navigational skills!) We reached our hotel late and most of the places were closed by then. We managed to grab dinner at one of the restaurants in the metro station, which wasn’t far from the hotel.
The next few days seemed like a blur, really. We visited all the places we had wanted to see, and more! Tower of London and Tower Bridge were the first few places we checked out on our first day.
Second day, we went to Warner Brothers studio where they filmed Harry Potter (yes, I’m a geek that way!) and it was super fun! Seeing all the props and costumes and we even tried Butterbeer! (not so good, though.) If you’re a fan, you would really enjoy checking this place out. I hope Dearie enjoyed it too. (I made him watch all the movies before our trip, and he seemed to like them, but that may have something to do with the fact that I might have given him the evil, threatening eye when I asked if he liked the movies. Psst.)
At the end of the work day on Friday, my colleagues would pose me this question, “So, what are you going to do this weekend?” In fact, that’s probably the first thing they would ask on a Monday morning as well, and I always wish I could reply them with a list of the amazing things I did over the weekend which would leave them speechless.
This is what I would like to happen:
“Oh, you know, I just flew to Bangkok for a shopping spree. It was FAB! You have to see how many pair of shoes I bought!”
“Funny you should ask! On Saturday I went to Jamie’s Italian where I dined with Jamie Oliver himself. He was really nice, he let us sample all his signature dishes and even open a bottle of Champagne just because he can.”
I’m sure THAT would make a wonderful story. But instead, this is what actually happens on most occasions:
“Er. Nothing, really. Slept the whole weekend away.”
“Oh, you know, really glamorous, thanks. I stayed home, ate instant noodles while watching Criminal Minds reruns.”
Nope. Not glamorous at all.
It’s a funny feeling, looking back. I love my life now, but at times I do allow myself to slip into nostalgia; to the times when nothing much matters. Responsibilities and pressures were just faint reflections of what future may hold. I knew they were there, but I didn’t need to face them yet. Let them lurk around at the back of my mind, underneath my consciousness. When I was 19 years old, all I wanted was to have a good time and experience college lives as much as I could.
In those years, I met so many people and experienced new things that I never thought I would. And they could mean both good and bad. But I’d like to focus on the good.
Friendships were naïve but sincere. Boundaries were pushed to the limit. Trust was tested, youth was all that mattered.
At the end of my college year, during my transition from ‘Tina Before’ to ‘Tina After’, I met someone who still, to this date, made me smile in remembrance. He wasn’t the most handsome, or the most charming, but it was his sense of humor and our odd similarities that made me notice him during our first encounter.
I remembered, the loud noises and dancing people in the background, yet we just talked as if we were alone. I think we were talking about movies, or books, or something geeky like that. We continued our conversation outside the club ‘til the night turned into dawn. Until there were no more people around us, and yet we seemed oblivious to our surroundings. Or at least I was. All I knew from that brief meeting was that I wanted to see him again.
We did see each other again; from that day to 6 months later. And those months were the best times I could remember. He was someone I could connect with, joke with, goof around with, dance myself silly with, and he made me happy, like I had something to look forward to at the end of every day.
We met almost every day; usually the days would end up with us watching a movie, either in DVD or on his laptop. I would come to his campus and have dinner at the canteen and we would just hang out and laugh. He encouraged me when I was struggling with finding a job and not being able to stay in Singapore. And when I had to fly back to Jakarta, or while he was traveling, we still talked and mocked each other through long, ranting Facebook messages.
I let myself be swayed away with the illusion that maybe our relationship could work out somehow. But I knew I was just kidding myself, as it was almost time for him to head back to his country. In actuality, I knew from the beginning that he and I could not last. Yet, how could I not have tried?
I think, even though it sucks parting ways when we had to, and going through some days afterwards feeling the loss of someone who used to be so close, I’m glad I had those 6 months of fun, adventures, and laughs.
In the end, his positive influence on me was what I took away from this all. And let it be a wonderful memory to remember. When I see our pictures together from that time, I would smile and reminisce.
I guess, my point is, it’s amazing how someone so important in your life at one point of time, seemed like just a flicker of memory a few years down the road. And it gives me hope. That I can bounce back from everything life throws at me, eventually. Time is a healer. Everything will fade to nothing more than a faint memory.
Well, everything, unless it’s something that lasts.