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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I remember when...

1) I was heading to Tesco and know that I only have ₤5 to spare
2) I was at Tesco asking for cash back of ₤20 when I know its my last ₤20
3) As I stepped in Top Shop I alrady knew I could not buy anything
4) Spending ₤60 on Acupuncture shoes when I received some money for the week from my wages
5) Wishing that I am no longer in University so I don't have any "issues" with money
6) Going into town for the weekend before Christmas
7) Asking for a Ted Baker jacket as a Christmas Present
8) When he walked in and passed me the bronzing cream from Boots after 2 days of arguing about whether I needed it
9) Millennium party with his family
10) Christmas morning before the roast chicken and potato's

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Festivals

When I first heard about Reading Festival, I thought it was a festival where you read books. And what's the fun in that? Don't get me wrong, Ive always been into books, but not until i would want to attend a festival for!
So anyway, C (my then bf) said we should get tickets and join the rest of our friends for the festival. After reading about Reading Festival, i thought, why not? i mean, 3 days of music, friends, eating junks and not worrying about studying would be fun. Wouldn't it?

So, we bought tickets.

It was very last minute. The festival or shows starts on the Friday. But most people would already have their tents set up on Thursday. We basically could not drive down with our other friends as they have left on Thursday, we had to rent a car on Thursday night to leave on Friday morning. But guess what?
It was not until Friday morning we got the car in the end. (due to unavailable cars). So we ended up arriving at Reading quite late. By the time we got there (around 6ish), there was still people that just arrived (probably after work crowd). I was amazed seeing car of a bed design, toilet designed motorbike an a few others I cannot remember now.
After parking at seem like too far away from the camp site (secured, apparently), we took out our gears and headed to where we were told to meet our friend. (Thankfully, Mobile fones were already invented then).
On the way to where our friends camped, I saw a naked (yes, complete with hs bits hanging out) naked men dancing around a camp fire. 2 police men was at the side waiting just to take him away for indecent exposure, but I guess they wanted him to "calm down" from what ever he was on at the moment.

That was a shocker for me. C was smiling when he saw my reaction. All I could say to him was "I don't normally see naked men running around in the open back home"

We finally managed to set up our tents (when i said "we" I meant C) :) at about 8 ish. Lucky the tents were only small. The show already started, so we had to basically rush to get ready (by getting ready I meant taking all our valuables into our small pack) zip our tents up and head towards the inside of the festival...

All on all, I really enjoyed my time there. The experience was exhilarating. When we didn't feel like watching the show, the dance tent was a blast to be in.

We had to Que up (for hours, depending what time you get up) for the showers (its a common shower place, where there's about 40 shower heads and thousands of people- so do the maths).

The portable loos:-

Over the 2 years of going to festivals, I learned that one should never go in the loo on the last day of the festival, as there's always people who' waiting for you to get in, and then push the very last portable loo so that the portable toilet will tip and there goes all the wee/sh^%e on you, and I guess you'll end up smelling like the portable loo for your journey home.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


One morning, I went to the bank. I knew I only had ₤5.49 left in my bank account. I know that the cheque I banked in yesterday have not cleared. But it as worth a try. I keyed in ₤20. And to my surprise, it the machine spit out ₤20. I took the money and my card and requested for a receipt. I checked the receipt, I had a balance of ₤11,135.49 in overdraft.
I immediately put my card back in the machine to check my balance again. What was stated really made my eyes popped.

Overdraft - ₤11,150.00
Balance Overdraft - ₤11,135.49
Last withdrawal- ₤20.00

Hmm, so it means that I have an overdraft of ₤11,000.00???!!! I didn't inform the bank, instead I went home to discuss with my housemates. They told me they have an overdraft of ₤1,150.00 We're all in our 3rd year of studies, which meant, someone in the bank did a mistake by adding an extra 0 in my overdraft facility.

I contemplated on whether to inform the bank. Thinking back, I knew I should have done it immediately, as at the end of the day, te overdraft has to be paid off upon starting work. And paid off 3 years after I graduate.

Instead, I bought a futon, a telly, festival and concert tickets, partied with my house mates and obviously some new clothes nd accessories....

After a month, I got scared. Ignoring my housemates advice, I went into the bank. Told them their mistake. Sat down (with a cup of tea- the bank manager was that nice), informed them that I should not have that much overdraft, and yes, I should not have spent unnecessarily. They were very calm and admitted their mistake. They made a deal with me. (At this point, I spent about ₤1500.00 from the overdraft), which is ₤350 more than the actual overdraft. Instead of asking back the ₤350 (which I obviously didnt have) immediately, they agreed to give me ₤1500.00 overdraft instead of the normal ₤1,150.00.

Luckily, I managed to sell off the futon and the telly, and after I graduated, I managed to get some money from the extra hours I put in for my part time work. Paid off the whole overdraft before I even started my career.

I was living on the edge for the last few months just to pay off the unnecessary purchase I did when I realised the bank made a mistake. My advice is, when you know the bank made a mistake, be sure to tell them earlier, and not use the money which you have to pay back in the end anyway. And if you think about it, I actually spent the whole of my "actual" overdraft facility within a month! How scary is that?!!!