Finally on 2nd October 2014, Kakak and her family flew to United Kingdom to further her Master’s Degree; specifically to Leeds in West Yorkshire, England as she has narrowed down her universities of choices to University of Leeds (you guys can check at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/). With quite a number of Malay families population there, hopefully Kakak, Abang Zam, Rifqi & Raess will smoothly settle down there and Kakak can continue to focus on her studies.
University of Leeds.
I was actually scheduled to have my own Master’s Degree class in UPM on that Thursday night (which was yesterday, by the way); the “Public Speaking for Professionals” class by Prof Madya Dr. Abdul Muati – which was my most favorite class!; but I skipped that for Kakak – I mean, she is going for a year, right?! Mak & Ayah already arrived at my house on Wednesday (they actually went back to Jitra for Ayah’s eyes’ check-up & Mak did some dental checking on Monday); so, after I came back from school; we pushed off from Serendah circa 3.30 p.m. It was raining cats and dogs!
When we arrived, Kakak wasn’t there. She was busy settling the documentation for the journey. Apparently, JPA just issued the flight tickets and the cheque for her on THAT VERY MORNING – THURSDAY MORNING; and she was expected to fly on that very night????! *Sigh!* She brought along Rifqi while Abang Zam was to settle the foods and some baggage that still needed to be filled.
When I got there, there were quite several number of things to be done; for instance, to enlist the foods they wanted to bring along – because we had experience back in New Zealand & Australia that the customs demanded to enumerate the list of the food brought along. I pitied Abang Zam for his helter-skelter state so I helped to count and enlisted all the food; compressed them into the big bag and tried anything that I could.
The list of food that I helped Kakak to write. Ignore my “chicken-scratch” (‘cakar ayam’) handwriting!
Around 7.15 p.m., Kakak finally arrived looking very lethargic as she has been out for the whole day. Tempers arisen when things didn’t work out as what they have agreed upon and Kakak had to settle on her own. I became restless as well and helped her and Abang Zam on whatever things that I could do so that everything would be settled quickly as time was ticking! Helped to repack the winter coats & mittens (I didn’t know that by putting them into plastic and get a vacuum to suck out the air within the bag would enable the plastic to be bent! New one I learned. Kakak has always been an intelligent outsource person!); to squeeze anythings that can be squeezed into nooks-and-crannies of the bags and tying the labels/tagging on the bags. It was quite chaotic when at the same time Raess was throwing tantrum – but by the three of us working together, everything was settled by 8.15 p.m.!
Too agile! My 2nd nephew, Raess Nafiz.
Luckily, Kakak already “checked-in” their flights so we could actually “buy more time on that” from Putrajaya to KLIA (her flight scheduled to be around 11.15 p.m. if I am not mistaken; so around 9.40 p.m., they should be at the airport already). We arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport circa 9.10 p.m. via two cars; Ayah’s car and Abang Zam’s brother-in-law’s car. Now, while at the counter to weigh the baggage, there was a slight problem. Their whole baggage should not exceed 8 bags (I am not sure about the whole weightage versus the number of bags; or the exact issue); BUT in the end, Kakak had to let go the food bag!!! It was quite daunting as the food ration consists all types of Malay assorted food paste and ingredients & they could last for about 3-4 weeks if Kakak were to cook! But then, what to do? No luck. Tawakallah.
This boy really super excited and make everyone annoyed! Hhahaa…..Rifqi Naufal. My 1st nephew.
Rifqi seemed so excited and was so agile, which pissed off us sometimes. Hahaha! Well, what an 8-years-old boy knew about the difficulties his parents are facing in order to make the journey works, isn’t it? In his mind, it was all about a vacation. Or maybe not?! Perhaps he was a brave young boy who is so excited for new adventures in life? Hahaha! Whatever it was, I thought of letting Kakak and Abang Zam had peaceful minds so I asked Rifqi to accompany me to KFC. Bought him his favorite “cheesy wedges” and we savoured nuggets as well as whipped potatoes (my favourite!). At least that will keep him occupied, rather than making ruckus in from of other people (perhaps he was basking for attention?). Hhahaa, either way; it was a good move as he was eating nonchalantly!
Topsy-turvy!! But we managed to overcome.
15 minutes later, Kakak called. It was time to go. Initially, we could confine our sadness but the twinge of overwhelming melancholy seeped spontaneously. Kakak has always been a strong woman (I was the opposite one, with emotional releases to the maximum! Hahah!) and she rarely cried in the public or immersed with tears like the typical ladies (but I do that always! Hahaha! What to do? It is God-sent au naturel sensitivity! Hahaha!). BUT when she embraced Mak, she was so overwhelmed and started to cry. And when she embraced me, I myself got emotional and started to cry.
Customs at the entrance.
We have always been together since we were kids (well, it is only the TWO OF US!) and I was always to accompany her whenever she wanted to experiment with Ayah’s motorcycle to KOMTAR, Penang and many more. Yes, we now have our own lives but I occasionally visit them in Putrajaya and to realize that she would be gone for a year, it just spontaneously evoked twinge of sadness. But of course, within the year, I can always go there and everything. But you just can’t explain the spontaneous emotion, you know.
Heading towards immigration entrance!
It was sad but it is admirable to see Kakak pursues her dreams. Since we were kids, she always had that fantasy of living abroad or leading a fancy lifestyle as we were from Middle Class family and the idea of boarding aeroplanes or living abroad seemed so ‘elitist’ for us. I admire that even now she has 2 kids and family, that doesn’t stop her from chasing her dreams. I have to say that when she told me that she planned to further her studies into Master’s Degree, I got my own enlightenment!!
Before this, I was not interested in furthering study and even picture myself to be forever cooped in primary school teaching line as I love teaching so much & the most aspiring level I want to be was to become a “Guru Cemerlang”. That was it. BUT, when Kakak told me she was thinking of furthering study last year, I was having second thought & I become more embracing towards the possibilities. She is already a mother with 2 kids and yet that doesn’t stop her??? And then, I spontaneously compare myself to my other friends. I have a great school to live up to. I wasn’t a bad student back in Penang Free School, in fact I was quite a stand-out student in comparison to some of my friends (I am not boasting. This is just an objective and honest description). BUT now, some of them already pursue their studies to PhDs, etc :-
“Why not I? Why can’t I? Why mustn’t I become that as well? – I HAVE THE POTENTIAL AS WELL!”
– And with that, the rest is history! (“,)
Kakak & I – for the nostalgia. The name Earadith is Kakak’s nickname as well as Ziggurats in virtual world. She said she got the name Earadith from a LOTR name generator. Hahhaa. As you can see, my blog also is named after LOTR character – Arwen Undomiel. So, you now notice that we are both mystical aficionado, no? Hahhaha!
Alhamdulillah, today we received Kakak’s Whatsapps that they safely arrived at London already and will be boarding local airways – British Airway to Leeds. Who knows if I were to visit them there, I myself could blend with the environment and Leeds would be my potential place for PhD? Amin, hopefully everything goes smoothly. Hopefully, all ends well. Amin!!
NOTIFICATION UPDATES :
Alhamdulillah. Although they were stranded due to rescheduling of the local flight to Leeds, they finally arrived at Leeds! Always God works in mysterious way. They were given accommodation compensation at Sheraton Heathrow; at least they could just relax their lethargic limbs and sinews. Alhamdulillah! Mak, Ayah & Yen wish Kakak, Abang Zam, Rifqi & Raess a very warm Eidul Adha! Thanks to the technology of Facebook & Whatsapps, we are able to get connected!
Already at Leeds Bradford International Airport.
The two munchkins from Abang Zam’s Facebook. May this new life experience will groom Rifqi into a better human being. I hope this experience will instill something good in him that he wasn’t unable to absorb in Malaysia. He is a clever boy but he is a technical-inclined young lad.
Leeds! Winter is approaching!