I'm in a ridiculously reminiscent mood. I miss the UK. I miss being there with my friends. I miss being a student in a foreign land. I really miss being a 21 year old. It feels so different now. I hardly see my friends who I was so close to back when we were in uni. Everyone's so busy at work now and I never was quite sad about it as I am now.
I'm crying as I'm blogging because I was looking through photos of my time there and I just started bawling. Like, straight up TEARS streaming down my face, uncontrollable sobbing all! It's the time of year where everybody starts going grocery shopping to stock up on their necessities for the UK. Damn, those were some great 3 years. Best I've had. Ever. It was such a wonderful experience and journey and I'm so glad I was so crazy about taking photos of everyone and everything and blogging about it because I get to relive it whenever I have the time.
It's not that I don't like where I am currently but there's just so much I have to think about now that when I was scrolling through my Path feed (where I post some of my UK photos 'cause it's more private there), I had a pang of utter sadness hit me like a ton of bricks. More than just a ton of bricks, really. Can't believe it's already been a year since I've been working. WORKING. Insane. The responsibilities are piling and the routine is starting to get to me.
Bring me back to my first flight (as shit as it was and I had the biggest pimple on my right cheek) to the UK with my friends, swollen eyes from crying, a whole new wash of realisation that this was it. This was what we worked for. This was where we wanted to go. It was an exciting time of my life and I will never, ever forget it.
3 years felt such a long time when I first got there when I was lugging my 2 huge luggages to my house (in which I continued to stay all three years) and clumsily fumbling with £1 coins for the bus fare. I still can memorise my UK address, my UK number, my bus number, my Lloyds bank debit card number, I remember the classes and which blocks they were in, I remember how to get Azam and Zati's houses and I remember that I used to play Arctic Monkeys every bus trip to London and Taylor Swift's album on my bus trips to the grocers. I remember that mushrooms were a pound per packet, and croissants were £0.67 each at McColls just down the road. One of the cashiers there is named Tania and I told her my sister shared the same name. I know the climb up to uni was hell but took 5 full songs to get there. Bus fare was £3 for a full day trip but £2.70 for a student (and just a pound to Morrison's). I spent £30 for a rail way card in my second year and that was when I went to London the most. I remember everything! It's still so etched in memory and I never want to forget my experience. It was the place that saw me grow as a young, independent woman. The first meal I cooked for myself was served on a mint green Ikea plate that I bought a week earlier. It was fussili and I cooked it with store-bought sauce, vege, herbs and spices, mushrooms, everything. It was an okay dish but it was my first ever attempt ALONE at cooking for MYSELF. I had to commemorate and take a photo of it to send to my family. And they were generous with their compliments.
I remember buying myself the then brand new iPhone 5S. For the first week there, I was surviving on a Blackberry and an iPad. I had to wait for my debit card to be ready to buy the iPhone so it was the longest waiting time because I wanted to Facetime comfortably and not with a big iPad.
I remember my Ikea trip with Zati who had arrived about 10 days earlier than I did. I spent so much for my bare room - bed sheets, plates and cutleries, a carpet and so many other things. It came up to £160 and my mum was like, "Err... what the hell did you get" hahaha. I'm so, so, so glad that I had familiar faces with me in Bristol. Like Azam and Zati. Azam came to the UK with his dad and they were GREAT help, especially with my bags and being on completely unknown territory. Zati's first year house was basically my place too. I was there so often because the company was fantastic. I slept there way too many times too. Adda cooked yummy lauk and we'd all sit ourselves in front of the small TV and watch whatever there was. Memoriesssssssssss. I saw Adda and Sofia for the first time in agesssss at a wedding last weekend and I was flooded with good times at their house on Boston Road. I remember sitting with this Asian girl named Lynn who spoke in an English accent in my first ever class. I was the only international student (Lynn was born and raised in Cardiff but her parents are Thai). And I hope to never forget Lynn, my only ever friend in uni who helped me the most in adapting to the new place. I would've not enjoyed my days there as much if not for her. I don't think she reads this blog but sigh, that girl was a gem and I really need to reconnect with her one of these days.
And all my holidays and trips around the UK and Europe were unforgettable. Ridiculous how much fun I had with my friends. This was us prior to commitments and work and crazy hours. Something about traveling with friends in your 20s that makes it unlike any other vacation you will ever take. From the heat in Monaco to the coldest I've ever been in Berlin, traveling with my mates was the best thing ever ever ever. I travelled with a group of 12 and I travelled with one other person but all experiences were divine. I still want to go travel with my friends but there needs to be some major planning because everyone has to be on their off-peak season and can afford to take their leave days.
I'll definitely post some of my favourite photos of my UK experience along with this post but that calls for searching and organising the pictures and I'm not in the mood to do that. I do that enough at work so I'll see if I'm up for it during the long weekend. But I thought I just had to post this because I needed to reminisce just about the best time of my life.
Ok before I start crying again, I'll end it here. Of course I'm so elated to be home but I really can't help but miss my UK experience and Bristol as my home. I can't wait to go back and relive it all.