Friday, December 19, 2008

The Good Ol' Days

I recently updated my FB. Like many, I was thrilled to see so many of my long lost friends, especially those from my university days. Seeing their faces remind me of the good old days in Kent. The fun, the laughter, the anxiety… so many memories kept playing back in my mind. I can’t help smiling thinking about the things we did and the fun we had coz that’s where we grew up and that’s where we first learnt what life was all about.

The year was 1988. That was the first time I set foot in London. I still remember the icy, cold wind that swept my face as I stepped out of Heathrow Airport. Gosh… it was so cold! I’ve never felt that cold before! The closest experience I had was in Genting Highlands but that was nothing compared to London’s winter days, ok? And when I spoke, smoke came out of my mouth! Geez.. how shocking! That’s when it hit me that I was actually in a foreign country, far away from home. I’ve set foot in London and this is where my home is going to be for the next 3 years!

I didn’t know anyone then. The students who came on the same flight with me were all from different schools, mostly from KPP. I was the only one who came from a boarding school. But somehow, I managed to get on a black cab with a few others, and off we went to the famous Malaysian Hall in Bryston Square.

I got a single room at the Malaysian Hall. The room was small but warm. I was to stay there for a few days before I depart to Kent with the other Kent students who still haven’t arrived yet. I can’t remember what I did, but I remember buying my first winter jacket at Oxford Street during my short stay in London. It was red in colour.

I also did the usual touristy things like visiting the Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussaud, London Bridge etc, etc. Funnily, that was the first and last time I ever visited those places throughout my stay in the UK.

A few days later saw a stream on students arriving at the Malaysian Hall before going to their final destinations. That’s when I met my university mates ~ Sharinaz, Shireen, Suhaimi, Hisham and Khairuddin. They were all from KPP. There was another girl, Lina, who came from the same school as me, but she arrived much later than all of us.

Then another girl arrived, Rye. She was so “at home”, coming in and out of the Malaysian Hall saying hi and bye to many people she bumped into. Later I found out that she actually did her A-Levels in the UK and that’s why she was so familiar with the people there. There was also another guy, Mazlan. Mazlan was a Shell scholar and because of that, he did not stay with us at the Malaysian Hall. Instead, he put up at a hotel somewhere in London and I thought that was so extravagant!

Anyway, the first few days there was quite a blur to me now. But once, me and the boys took a train down to Canterbury to check out our university ~ The University of Kent at Canterbury. Sigh…. the name alone brings back sweet memories of that place! The boys pandai pulak naik train pegi Canterbury which is about an hour ride from London (can’t remember which station now). I had no clue, so I just followed them.

Looking back, I think my first year at university was the best days of my life. I met new friends, learnt new things, and it was all about fun! Fun! Fun! The Malaysian students at UKC were a great bunch of people and they were all out to have fun. Every Friday night ~ disco! Kalau boleh, tiap2 malamlah nak pegi disco! I had a whole set of bajus and dresses for disco nights! Geng pegi disco pun ramai, diketuai oleh my dear friend Verdi, who now resides in Jakarta.

Verdi was a private student in London but he never did attend school. He was always bumping with us becoz he had a Malaysian girlfriend in Kent, Eben. Kerja dia tiap2 malam pegi disco. Another disco buddy is Shuib, now a journalist at NSTP. There was also Alma, who joined us every once in a while, and Kidin. But Kidin wouldn’t dance, he’d just drink. Best kalau pegi clubbing with they all. Tak ingat dunia!

Of course, university days were not all about disco, disco, disco. I did study too, ok? But very minimal. Hee… hee…

I still keep in touch with some of these friends, but only once in a while. Now writing this makes me miss them so much. I miss laughing with them, I miss talking to them and I miss doing silly things with them. Student days are the best days of our lives ~ no worries except for exams. Nowadays, mana nak pikir anaklah, husbandlah, work lah, money lah… pening tiap2 hari. Dulu mana ada stress sangat, happy je all the time!

That’s what I keep on telling my children, enjoy your student days and college days puas-puas. Don’t try to grow up too fast. These kids tak sabar2 nak habis sekolah and kerja cepat2. Little did they realize the burden of responsibilities that shall come along with it.

Sigh… what’s the point of writing all this? I don’t know... I’m just feeling melancholic, I guess...

34 comments:

zarin said...

Hi mrs Nordin

This is my 1st time dropping by n I cant stop reading it. You have interesting and nice nice stories.

Wow, 1988?!? I was in form 1 and that was my first time away from my parents. I went to a boarding school in Seremban and my parents r in kelantan..urghh..homesick ada, happy ada..mixed feelings lah
But I still miss the schooling days.They r the best!

MrsNordin said...

Hi Zarin,

Thanks for dropping by. I've read some of your postings. I believe you found me through The Principal? :-)

You were in Form 1 in 1988? Oh my... you are so young, girl! Yes, school days are the best and they will always be..

Take care!

the principal said...

Nop. Zarin, one of my competitors. Ha! Ha! Ha! Sorry Zarin...

I kat UM pun almost every night clubbing. Somehow, we made it a point takkan keluar mlm jumaat....So, kalau kat UK lagilah jauh dr mak bapak kan?

Just imagine, UM tu keluar pagar depan Bangsar, keluar pagar blkg PJ. Godaan teramat kuat...

I planned not to grow up so fast like u said & end up "bertapa" kat UM for 6 1/2 years...min studying, maximum playing...

Aida said...

Hi BJ,

Though our first student days in UK were different but like U I do miss it. ANd like u I hardly studied... the day my final year results came out I had called my parents ahead to warn them that I will be staying an extra year to repeat my third year hahahahha tapi lepas tengok results, I passed.. darn it...was so looking forward to another year hehehehhe

Actually after graduation I found a job there but it was months after my graduation and I had run out of funds... told the folks back home i needed money, they said come home.... and home I came. Just for that I took a year off, to decide what I wanted to do with myself.... ahhhhh student life. Take me back ehhehe

kay_leeda said...

MrsN,

"The best days of my life" - that's how I'd put it, the times when I was in the States. Tried loads of new stuffs - got myself a bike and cycled everywhere on it, rode on roller costers and did the 90 degrees free fall too!! Nasib baik still bernyawa after the stunt.

TGIF was a routine. Party jangan tak party. Disco jangan tak disco!!! Really free and easy days..heh..heh.

Nostalgic indeed....

IBU said...

MrsN !!!

Oh my gawd!!! As I read, Kent, Canterbury... I started to feel butterflies in my stomach. And then as expected I saw her name.

Guess what? SHIREEN is my 'sparring partner' - in the office (yeah... we spar orang lain lah, not with each other... hehehe).

Such a small world!

:D

Kak Teh said...

Mrs N, 29 years ago today, 20th december, kak teh menjejak langkah ke tanah Inggeris. Betul, buka mulut sekepul asap keluar!

Ezza Aziz said...

Hmmm. 1988 u jejak kan kaki ke UK,
I pulak 1988 dah bernak 4 dah...kuang kuang kuang!!!!hari2 mengadap pampers..

Ezza Aziz said...

oops!
beranak 4 ...

nj said...

Kak Yati...enjoy tomorrow okay! Hope the gathering goes well as planned!

MrsNordin said...

Principal,

I'm not surprised at all! You all kat sini lagi terror dari we all kat UK, tau?

MrsNordin said...

Aida,

And I thought you were different.. :)

MrsNordin said...

Kay,

You pun kaki disco jugak? Hee... heee... back in the 80's, memang tak sah kalau tak pegi disco!

MrsNordin said...

Ibu,

I guess as much you would have known Shireen. Tak sangka pulak 'sparring partner'! Hee.. hee... She was my housemate in the second year. Tapi dia budak baik... no nonsense kinda girl!

MrsNordin said...

Kak Teh,

Keluar asap dari mulut tu yang paling thrilled. Macam naga!

MrsNordin said...

Ezza,

You dah anak 4 masa tu? Masyaallah... untung you anak dah besar2 sekarang ni!

MrsNordin said...

NJ,

Thanks! I sure do hope so!

Hope said...

MrsN

I spent a lot of time in UKC between 1990 and 1992 when my ex was there-almost every other weekend. I still think of our days in Canterbury-will always be a part of me.

Not sure i we did cross path then...even if we did, it was a different life altogether...

Adlina said...

Haa...you know Eben? She was my English teacher in school! Small world.

Superwomanwannabe said...

hi Mrs N- just to say it was VERY nice to have met everyone at the makcik blogger tea---- I enjoyed myself! Thanks for organising it!

MrsNordin said...

Hope,

That's what I was told, your ex was from UKC. But I don't remember meeting him (or, maybe I did but tak perasan). Perhaps because he was a Law student... or perhaps becoz I stayed off-campus in my third year.

Anyway, I know some girls/guys used to come down to Kent on weekends to visit their BF or GF. These people were usually termed "booked" (for obvious reasons!), and mostly kept to themselves.

Canterbury is nice, eh? Just keep those memories in your heart. I do have some, too.

MrsNordin said...

Adlina,

Oh my god! I don't believe anyone would know her here! She taught you English masa kat sekolah mana? STF ke?

MrsNordin said...

Superwoman,

I had a GREAT time too! Now trying to upload the pictures. Tunggguuu...

Kitchen Guardian said...

bj,

i can remember vividly too, the day i arrived in london heathrow....takenin a van to m'sia hall...pas tu was given an envelope...admission papers to u of wales...aberystwyth....why??? thought i was accepted at london queen mary......took me till the final year to get use to aber, ha ha, nasib baik tak terpelengkung in my finals....but stayed on in london for my bar after tt....my 1st and 2nd year was spent a lot in notts wt dh and superwomanwannabe and geng....whatever it is it was such a beautiful time noworries, every wed disco @ union building in aber and if in notts...wayang and more disco......imagine if my children knew apa mummy dia orang buat those days when she was supposed to wholehertedly devote her time to the law books and statutes:-)

MrsNordin said...

Oi Kitchen Guardian,

Awak pun pegi disco ya? Patut lah hari tu masa party kat rumah I, macam dah biasa je... Hee... hee...

Why were you given Aber when you have been accepted at Queen Mary? Ni kena cerita ni...

I remember visiting my cousin, Harnita, in Aber with Mazlan & Sharinaz. I don't know if you knew her. She's an Accounting student, one year our senior. Aber is quite "kampung" lah... macam Canterbury jugak, but it's very nice & picturesque.

Those were the days, huh...

Adlina said...

MrsN

Ya, STF. She's a cool teacher. She was also in charge of the sailing club and it was fun. She later got married to one of the teachers there and they now have 3 girls I think. You still keep in touch with her?

MrsNordin said...

Adlina,

I used to visit her in STF when I first came back from the UK dulu (sebelum dan selepas dia kawin). I've met her 3 girls, but at that time, they were still very small. They were staying in the STF teachers' quarters at that time.

Do you know if she still lives there? I'd like to get in touch with her again, if possible.

Adlina said...

MrsN

I'll see what I can do. I they they moved to BP. Will let you know if I get her contact details.

Adlina said...

you're in luck! but a friend got this number 2 yrs back. 013 7700 687. if you manage to get thru, please send her my regards. tell her from eddy, nor and nazlin - her sailing girls. :)

afsi said...

Dear MrsNordin

Greetings. My comments might be out of date. 1988....in London..sure bring a lot of memories..if I am not mistaken I arrived there in Aug 88 spent one nite in Malaysia hall, did the tour as you mentioned, london bridge, london tower, madam tussaud etc.. (plus of course Soho :)before proceeding to my destination..Brighton.

The names you mentioned the guys and gals from KPP are very very familiar....

regards

MrsNordin said...

Thanks, Adlina! I'll surely try to call her!

MrsNordin said...

Hi Afsi,

You remember the month you left for the UK? Oh my... I tak ingat langsung! Probably around the same time as yours.

If you did your A-Levels at KPP, you'll probably know those people I mentioned. I remember going to Brighton in my first year for your Malaysian Night. Met a few guys there but can't remember their names now...

Thanks for dropping by and have a nice day!

Kitchen Guardian said...

bj

haq kata nanti dah pi aji tak leh disco lagi...@ friends' paties included , he he...

canterbury to kg dalam bandar, aber kg dlm kg, hujung dunia literally last stop on train tuh!! think my baling also not so kg....but after i left aber, i kind of appreciate my stay there...and am slowly jing the old boys of aber, ha ha....manalah tau ank tak dapt pi uni mana mana in uk, appeal to aber masukkan anak I.

i remember kak Nita...rendang dia sedap.....and selalu mengendeng food dia...she's so sweet.

Myra Abdul Mutalib said...

Hello Mrs Nordin... Found you through Puteri's blog I think.

Btw just wanna say my first coat in England was red too ! Lovely...