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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"The one week I spent with friends from afar..."

This week has transpired to be more mellow as compared to the week before. Afzal, now almost fully recovered from his last dose Alhamdulillah is busy hitting the books and burning the midnight oil preparing for his finals. For a medical student who's at his final year and undergoing chemotherapy at the same time, I'd say he's putting up a pretty valiant effort short of impressive. For the past week, he's been couped up at home, only going out to as far as Ya Fai (for dry goods) and the mosque (for Isyak and Friday prayers). He says that there're still much to cover, but I'd hope to beg and differ. Hopefully he'll do fine on thursday and friday.

The weather in Sheffield's been slowly picking up temperately; it's getting less cold day by day. Weather forecasts showed fluctuating temperatures ranging from -1 to 8 degrees for the week but I can feel it being less freezing than it was a few weeks back. Oh well, probably its just me being well acquainted with the weather.

I am still waiting for that elusive snow, though. Last time didn't count, although I was inclined to taste it off the streets. I'm still hoping for as much snow which permits a snow angel on the streets. Something tells me that its probably a longshot, but who can deny a kid's dream? 

Well, I've never thought of driving in Europe before this, and I just did a few weeks ago all the way to Thetford. So I'm beginning to believe in the valors of wishful thinking! 
*wink*wink* ;)

People have asked me, what exactly am I doing at the moment. Now that I'm not catering so much to Afzal's well-being, they were wondering as to how I'd manage to pass my time everyday. Living off winter really helps when it comes to finding things to fill your time with. It is during this equinox of the sun, that night overrules day - and you find less sunshine than pitch darkness. So spending daytime is as easy as waking up to only a few things to do before it starts getting dark again. Scouring-wise, there's little area to cover as far as Central Sheffield is concerned; I do believe that I've been to most parts of the city (that needs to be explored), from my many outings before. More often than not, I'm beginning to now figure out shorter routes to get to places i.e Tesco Extra, Somerfield and Orchard Centre. Somehow I feel that I need to get to the outer rims of Broomhall, somewhere near the legendary thrift-haven Asda and Clarks's warehouse joint. I've heard stories from both Shahrul and abg Azhar about these places, and I think it's probably a good idea to set afoot in at least one of these places.

I'm thinking of getting to that warehouse joint; where abg Azhar got two Clarks shoes for only 30 pounds. Cheap. I've been to Meadowhall about thrice already, and I've pretty much covered solid ground on what it has to offer. Probably would make one last visit in the next few days to get some working clothes for Andi and a few stuff. Abg Azhar's planning to go merewang this weekend after Afzal's exams so I guess this is ample opportunity to make use of getting to these two places.

Being abroad, although momentarily, can really put things into perspective. Living in a distant place, where its surrounding is as uncommon as yourself gives you a somewhat 'articulate' sense for social interaction. You flock to any possible ventures of human interface, and look forward to any chats, anywhere - be it in the kitchen even. You know; things that you put off as meaningless back home. You begin to learn the value of kinship and friendship; you initiate new ties and strengthen bonds that were weak before. Here in a place thousands of miles from home, you find kindness in the simplest of gestures, and a small deed gives off a huge impact.

My dear friend Mokrish took the chance of me being in Sheffield to drop by for a visit to Shahrul's crib; just a few metres away from ours. I've been very good friends with Mok for quite some time now, and the fact that he'd chose to come by at such a hectic schedule really took me by suprise. I was touched that he'd go through the hassle of boarding planes and trains to get to Filey Street. Of course, because he was coming mainly to visit cute Nuha he had arranged previously to bunk in with Shahrul and Deela.

I've promised to bring him on a tour around Sheffield, and alas - a tourist, guiding another tourist is nothing I'd exactly had, even in my wildest thoughts, in mind. Anyways, I'd thought probably Meadowhall, Sheffield City Centre and nearby parts of the area would suffice on this maiden visit of his. A day after his arrival, both he and Shahrul invited me over for dinner at his place. Mok had prepared savoury, and tasty servings of nasi lemak sambal udang. Ever the pessimist when it comes to him, I was taken aback to how great it tasted. He really knows how to cook up a batch of this Malaysian favourite! Kudos to him for such a wonderful meal.

The next few nights that he was here was spent with me hanging out at Sharul's place till late morning. Often I found myself walking home in the freezing temperatures at 2am! Both Shahrul and Deela's been very kind and warm to myself since I've been here, and the fact that I wasn't as close to them both back in Malaysia previously really left me ashamed of myself. I've realised that it takes effort to find good and supportive people if we give it a chance. Back home, we take things like these for granted and we let them stray away from ourselves. I found that I've known more of them during those past few days, compared to the two years that I've known them.

Thanks Sharul and Deela for everthing, I owe you guys so much!

Oh, and have I mentioned their darling Nuha's the cutest baby ever? Gosh I've seen cute babies before, but she's by far the most gorgeous I've met. You just can't find the words to describe it. Betapa cantiknya ciptaan Allah iaitu manusia. One thing's for sure, Shahrul will definitely have a tough time when she's all grown up in the future!

On Mok's last day in Sheffield, I decided to take some time to bring him to savour one of the town's must-haves. As mom did for me, I had to introduce him to a serving of Popeye's cod and chips - arguably the biggest fish and chips you'll ever see in your whole life. One would only set you back about 2.5 pounds, so this was a deal made very famous to penny-savvy students around Sheffield. Imagine, served with chips the thickness of your thumb and the size that would put Carl's Jr. to shame. We shared a portion, but found it hard to gulp everything in.

The day before, we had our taste on Aslan's beefburgers just a few shops nearby Popeye's. No wonder people complain for being obese, if there're servings as big as these!

As I bid Mok farewell on the day of Afzal's dose two, we both part with the inevitable truth that we won't be seeing each other again for quite a few years. But if there's one thing we got in common, it's the intention of meeting up again whenever time permits us to. Thank you Mok for coming over, and spending time with me. Thanks for the meals on your favor, and for everything. I promise one day I'll make it a point to return your kind gestures, insyaAllah.

Hey, I thought that me being here would put my mind off learning for a few weeks. But, it quickly hits me that I am learning a lot of things everyday - even if it's not academically related. 

Recently I've learned of yet one of the most important facts you should know about the tram system in Sheffield that everyone needs to know;

I can't think of any reason to spit at the tram staffs, but even if you do so - they now have means of catching you red handed.

Crikes!

-JeP

2 comments:

azfar said...

Waa... best nyer fish n chip n burger tu.... wakakakakkaka.. lapar plak aku.... (deym it's only 10.30am.....*sigh*)

Mokrish said...

i thank you for accompanying me around during my stay in sheffield.

till we meet again someday...