Friday, April 11, 2014

Attacked by a bald men on the way to work

It was during my placement year when I realised the world is not as safe as I thought is. Yeah, silly, I know. I took it for granted before that day. Taking public transport late at night on my own. Making eye contacts or even small talk when I'm bored at the bus stop/train station with people (who I wasnt sure if was on drugs or just drunk). Anyway, back to the drizle Tuesday, 7.45 am, I was on my way to work in Derby. As usual, I got the train from Sheffield to Derby at the same time and got off at the main station, and walked about 20 minutes from the station to office. On lazy days, I would get a taxi, but would cost me just over 5 pounds, which I thought was a waste of money when I can easily walk. So since I had my brolly, and I was wearing my new Accupunture shoes, I thought I'd just walk it. The walk itself is not dodgy (or I thought was not). Its straight through town, under a small short 2 minutes tunnel (where cars pass by to cross) and after the tunnel, you pass a few pubs/restaurants/chippy on the left and just before the end of the road, you turn left and its a 2 minutes walk to the office. Though the road is slightly quiet, there is a man selling hot dogs (always) and he is quite a nice bloke, so I always made sure I would say hi or stop to buy a drink from him, (to make sure he is my friend and not "enemy") plus the fact that the food smell is so lovely everytime I pass his stall.
Anyway, that rainy day, as I was walking through the tunnel, there was a lady pushing a pram, me (a few feet away) and I heard some footsteps walking close behind me. My instict says I should cross the road to walk on the other side, away from the guy behind me. So I did. And then I immediately stop to pretend to tie my shoe laces so he would walk ahead of me. And he did. So after the tunnel, I walked extra slowly so that he would still be ahead of me. I then crossed back over to the prepare myself to turn left into the road that would lead to my office. The minute I turned in, I started walking quickly, as I knew he was already ahead of me. And then I head "Scuse-Me..." Unfortunately, I stopped and said "Yes?" Bald Men with gold earring: "How do I get to ---- road? I think I'm lost" Me: "Oh, I dont know, sorry, I'm not from here" Bald Men with gold earring: "Oh really...where are u from then? You're very pretty" And with that, he put his hands on my vagina area (trying to rub it) I was in shock. I pushed the umbrella in my hand towards his face and immediately ran as fast as I could. I ran towards the hot dog van and cried for help. The hot dog man said "its ok luv, he's gone, but you go straight to your office and call the police. I will stop him if he comes this way again". And I ran and ran straight to my office. I told my bosses. His wife called the police. I stayed in the toilet for an hour. Cried my eyes out. Didnt know who to call or what to do. The coppers came. They took my statement. They got a sketch artist over and I was amazed how my details could draw him up. I remember the gold earrings. I remember that crooked smile. When all that was over, my boss and his wife decided I should use the company peugoet 206 to drive to and from work. They also told me I should take a few days off work. I cant remember if I did or not. But the week after, the coppers came to tell me that I was very lucky as the next day, a girl got raped at the park near the tunnel. They think it was the same guy who did it. Until today, I dont know if he was ever caught.

The cousin story...

It was my second week in England. Coming from someone who has never lived alone (ever), it was quite crucial for me to make friends who I will basically turn to as my family. It was actually my 19th birthday. My college mates wanted to celebrate the special day with me. So we made plans to meet at the pub/club which was quite popular for students at that time. It was only a bus ride away, so I obviously said Yes to their suggestion. And I'm glad I did. I was walking around with the Hooch in my hand. And then someone called out to me... And she suddenly said "Eh, you kat sini?" And I was shocked. I thought I was seeing things. My ex school mate from my country, who is ALSO my cousin (ok, quite a distant cousin I have to add, but so what...its still blood relation), was in the same city as I was. And I didnt even know about it. Full on depression dissapeared. I was literally hugging her so tightly. I remember her laughing saying "I know you were in this City, but I havent gotten round to looking for you yet". We ended up exchanging numbers, addresses etc. Chat for quite a while before we both had to head off to different clubs (or was it the same, I cant remember). The 3 years we were in the same city, she was my sister, my mother, my best friend, the person who made sure I ate well, the person who thought me how to make Roast chicken. :) I'm glad we are still close now, even though I dont even get to see her once a year anymore. She lives miles away, but she will always be in my heart.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Sarah Story

I met a girl named Sarah when I was working at coffee dot com. She was still in college then, (now she's a nurse, thanks to FB, we got reconnected a couple of years back). She is one person who I will NEVER forget. She was wild, fun, fearless, FUNNY, blonde, pretty, and can drink buckets. I'm not sure if I have ever posted about her before. But this post is dedicated to her... After one of our dead tired shifts at coffee dot com, we decided to pub hop (and I think it was becuase we got paid that day for the week). So from Uni (me)/ College (her), we did a 4 hr shift at coffee dot com, and then got ready to hit the pubs. We went through quite a few nice pubs, I cant quite remember how many. We did go to Frog and Parrot, a famous one amongst the students. By 10, she was totally red in the face, and was getting funnier by the minute. (But is was one of those moments that you have to be there to find it funny).
In between the shots, the glasses of wine, the bottles of hooch, we managed to make new friends, got free drinks from the bar tender (I think), the new found friends, called our then boyfriends to tell them we might need to be 'rescued' home. I remember we walked out a few pubs with a few shot glasses in our bags, pint glasses, ciggaratte machine sticker stuck on our forehead and probably some other things that I cannot remember. I also remember walking in an alley becuase she wanted pee. I remember vaguely she taking a wiper off a car. I also remember we nearly got taken by the street cop because she spanked him with the wiper, and then ran. This was somewhere near the Moor. But I dont quite remember how we ended the night. I remember the next day when we met at coffee dot com we were laughing so much. I will always remember Sarah. She is one of the memories of student life that I hope will never ever fade....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Living on £5 a day

Student life was never just about trying to finish off as much beans, cheese and toast a week or going to as many classes as you can or saving as much money as you can when doing your grocery shopping so that you have more money to party for the student nights. Student life was about making loads of friends, getting the qualification you want AND living on £5 or even less a day if possible.
So what did I use to do when I "took up that challenge" myself? There's a few don'ts here, I wouldn't advise anyone to do it now. Publishing this could also cost me some embarrassment or even slaps on my wrist, but I think I have covered it back up with the extortionate pounds in taxes and charity to the poor when I started work. 1) Get a bi-weekly bus ticket. in other words; get a weekly bus ticket, scan it for the next week (I wont tell u how we used to do it, coz Im quite sure its not legal). So you save about £16 a month. Obviously, there are times when I do not feel good about getting on the bus, so I just walk it. 2) Buy nearly expired bread, milk, pasta, rice etc. You can save quite a lot here. 3) Only party on student nights, where the ticket is on £5, you get a free drink. Which means that is the £5 u spend on that day (but u do need your weekly bus ticket, bring food from home when going to Uni n eat dinner at home before you go out) 4) Eat Chicken pasty from Gregs for lunch and dinner. 5) Buy cheap soda drinks (those that are £0.29 a can) and stock it up :). They don't taste as good as Coke, but you get the same effect of feeling full afterwards anyway. 6) Avoid walking in Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, River Island, Next etc.. You can try £1 shops. :) 7) Use the university Gym, dont bother signing up gyms you have to pay for. 8) Wash your own clothes at home. Hang it on the radiators instead. (If your student flat doesnt have a dryer) 9) Live in a student flat where you pay yearly. It will include electricity, heater and what not. So u dont have to figure out how to pay for the gas later on in the year. last but not least 10) Stock up on Pasta, beans, cheese and corn beef. They do fill you up miraculously. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remember when...

We were waiting for a taxi to go home from Republic. I had a bit too much of mixers. I fell on the ground and a taxi immediately came by. My housemates decided to take me to the hospital (as advised by the taxi driver). I went home with crutches (I injured my leg). AND... I had an interview with Eurostar the very next day in London. *ps: I didnt get the job...

Coffee and crumpets

As I am sitting in Starbucks drinking coffee and having a crossant, I remember the days when I was in a coffee place sipping tea and having scones. Those days doesnt come often, those were luxuries. A cup of tea and scones would cost me about a fiver. And that seems to be a waste of 5pounds at that time... I would rather spend the fiver on something else. Which would leave me feeling happy for the next 4 hours. And damage my brains for the next 4 years. But those days are gone. Sitting in an expensive coffee or tea place was something I wished I could do more then. But...With miminum wage, and working in a coffee place to "survive", So why would I spend a fiver on tea and scones when I can very well get them free at coffee dot com. Those days when my boss would see how my eye glittered when the carrot cake was sliced too small (we had to slice it at a perfect size for the customers), or how I would sit down at the end of the day and count my tips, he'd make me a cup of tea and cut a slice of carrot cake and served me like I was his customer. Ah, bless Mr Gary. He was such a star. Once, one of the other staff (Kelly) did not show up for work for 4 days. (She has a then 2 yr old, her partner was a heroin addict) and Gary always had a soft spot for the "troubled" or "poor" ppl (girls or guys). He was always wanting to help out. Anyway, he asked me to contact Kelly (as she was not returning his calls) so I made arrangements to meet up with her at a student upper class (ie 4pounds for a pc of toast and poached egg) restaurant (Kelly having lack of money also did not know her priorities when it comes to food and drinks). So, Gary and I closed coffee dot com at 7, went to see Kelly at 7.30pm. She was not happy to see me bringing Gary. But she was glad he did come in a way. So, he didnt sack her, instead, he told her to think about working again, and he has "forgiven" her about not turning up for the last 4 days...Ane he paid for our dinner that night, gave her a tenner for her taxi home. (which Im sure she took the bus and kept that money for something else) Bless that Gary Like Kelly, I'd have my priorities up side down sometimes. I'd earn about 4 pound and hour at the pub, about 4.50 at coffee dot com. Being able to sip expensive tea was like walking around town in a prada shoes and bag... because I was brought up to like the "finer" things in life, to like "being seen as someone who would have no problems with money" whatsoever, and brought up thinking money grew on trees. I only realised those were on cloud nine fantasy when I arrived in the UK for my studies. The first year was quite a bliss, come the second and third was not something I would want my daughter to go through. Not making it sound like a bitter old lady, I still think about those days and cringe. But, like I said, I went through it, I passed my "test" and it made me realise that money is not everything in the world. The more you want people to think you have it, the more it destroys you. Live by your means. Drink tea that suits your needs. Eat crumpets or scones to fill you up, not to be "seen".

Monday, December 27, 2010

Boxing day

It was Boxing day year 1996. We were in Marks and Sparks. Mom was going crazy over the suits on sale. Dad and brother was at the biscuits counter. My sister and I was at the bras and knickers section.
The alarm went off. Everyone stopped browsing and people at the counter was trying to tell the cashiers to hurry up.
There was a PA System announcement. It said "Dear customers. Please evacuate the building immediately. Please follow the instructions of the sales assistance and head towards the exit immediately"
Almost everyone panicked. I then heard someone said "Its a bomb scare...lets get out"

I grabbed my sister's hand and we rushed to the closest exit. I met my mom, dad and brother outside. My dad had a basket full of biscuits and chocolates. My mom had a basket full of clothing, and a handful of suits.
She said "Darn, how am I going to buy this now?"

We waited for almost a good hour. There were people walking out with their unpaid items. The sales assistance were trying very hard to let them wait for the "safe" announcement.
There was a few who simply walked out chucking their items into their shopping bags. I'm sure some didn't even pay for the items. Oxford Street was busy at this time of the year. No one took any notice of the alarms setting off in almost all the shops surrounding Marks and Sparks.

The police, ambulance and fire brigade came almost the next minute. They rushed in, told everyone to stand back. And 30 minutes later, they came out and said Coast is clear...

After all that wait, it suddenly hit my mom that there could actually be real threat in Oxford Street. So we headed to Bond Street instead, leaving all the unpaid items at the entrance and hope that someone else picks it up to return it back on the racks.
When I mentioned this to my uni mates they simply said "clueless person you people. Should have just did what everyone else did. Could have saved yer mum a few quids there"

Well, what can I say... We're just honest. Not clueless.... hahahaha