Friday, September 05, 2008

Cerita-cerita masa pegi UK aritu

Many friends asked what did we do in the UK during the 1 week vacation and I suddenly realized I didn’t blog about it. I posted the photos at Facebook, but I totally forgot to write about the trip. You can click on the following links even if you don’t have Facebook account:

Photos part 1

Photos part 2

Although we received many suggestions from friends before we departed the main agenda was still SHOPPING. Hey, it’s not my fault we managed to find places still having Summer Sales or Clearance or Moving Out or Closing Down tags, ok…

The first 1.5 days in London we spent snapping photos at famous landmarks. Only photos. We didn’t even go into any of the museums. It was a high speed city cruise, I couldn’t feel my legs when I went to bed at night.

                                             Right in the middle of Tower Bridge.

Then, the next 1.5 days we went shopping. I felt my wallet thinning by the hour. The kids were complaining as they were dragged along to every shop and they had to carry some of the shopping bags. Hehehe. Susah, kena jadi buruh paksa.

And they hated the tube. So did I. Regardless how efficient they are, I don’t think I can survive living in a city such as this and having to take tube everyday. Maybe because I couldn’t walk as fast as the Londoners. Or maybe metropolitan life is not so appealing to me. That’s why I hate Singapore too.

(I should be awarded Citizen of the year award because I only like living in Malaysia. Full stop.)

So, from London we rented an MPV to take the 6 of us (my family plus my SIL and her hubby – my biras) to Lancaster, where the other SIL lives. The original plan was to take a train there, but after some really wonderful suggestions from my trusted sources we decided to drive and make a few stops along the way.

We ended up stopping at Wembley, Oxford town, Stratford and Coventry for sight seeing, taking photos, eating, shopping and toilet hunt. No matter how often we stopped at the Services station along the motorway, the kids will still need to go to toilet when we reach the place. Maybe that was their main agenda – to visit every toilet at the towns we visited in UK.

                                                      Shawqi in front one of the toilets.

When we arrived at Lancaster it was already dark so we had dinner right away before retiring to bed. The next day we went to visit Manchester, specifically UMIST where Mr Hubby used to study. My SIL lent us her TomTom but we still got lost, how interesting. Anyway, I liked Manchester – quite peaceful and suitable for families with growing up children. We passed by Old Trafford a few times when Mr Hubby was looking for ‘Kedai Ayam Halal’, but we didn’t stop at the stadium.

A gift from Mr Hubby's friend. (No, the iPod was not included.)

We also visited Mr Hubby’s old friend at Manchester. He’s a Muslim Indian with 2 cute little girls: Sofea and Aisha. How funny, because I used to gossip Wazif with a girl named Sofea Aisha who went to the same daycare not long ago. Oh, he still blushes whenever I mentioned Sofea Aisha in front of him.

The kids clowning at Sofea and Aisha's house. 

While we were at Manchester, my SIL went to rent another vehicle for us to travel the next day. It was a minibus (in Malaysia we just call it Transit) that can fit 15 adults in it. So, you know what the agenda was the next day – Rombongan Che Kiah melawat Anfield. Hehehe. To the uninitiated, the TV drama ‘Rombongan Che Kiah’ was shown in Malaysia back in the late nineties when a group of kampong people came to KL to visit Stadium Bukit Jalil for the Commonwealth game.

Mr Hubby was rather frustrated because the Anfield tour was fully booked when we called. So, we just did some shopping, photo shoots and visit the museum there. As if Liverpool understood our need for adventure, we got a surprise one! After everybody was done with their shopping at the Liverpool Club Store, the Minibus passengers went back to have a snack break in the vehicle that was parked at a nearby road. Then, as my biras opened the door on the driver’s side a young hooligan came out of nowhere and snatched the TomTom. My biras (who luckily is skinny and fit – and not overweight like me) ran after the young man to get the Tomtom back. After a brief struggle (wrestling sikit-sikit la kot) he managed to seize the Tomtom and had a minor scratch on his hand. Luckily the Tomtom was not damaged; otherwise Rombongan Che Kiah will be lost for the rest of the day.

After that, we continued our shopping agenda at Chester – one of the famous factory outlets in the UK. Before Maghrib, we stopped at one of the mosques in Preston before we went to get Halal Ayam supply for the rest of the week. Being typical Malaysian Muslim women we headed straight into the mosque and asked where the toilet is. One of the elder men approached us and told us that women are not allowed to pray in the mosque. We were quite shocked (pura-pura je sebenarnya), but the man explained that they’re from a different Mazhab. He was nice enough to bring us to a nearby madrasah so that we could perform our solat.

Part of the Rombongan Che Kiah, waiting impatiently for the adults.

Actually that was my second experience. When we stopped at Coventry 2 days earlier, I was also not allowed to enter the mosque. The man simply told me in his thick Indian accent, “Women cannot pray here. You can go and knock on house number 82. A lady will open the door and let you pray there, insyaallah.” Thank god dekat Preston ada madrasah, kalau tak ntah rumah nombor berapa pulak kitorang kena pegi ketuk agaknya.

The next day, my two SILs and their families went up to Scotland in the minibus while we decided to go to Kendal for shoe shopping. We made a few rounds in the town but couldn’t find The ‘K’ Village – that’s where we’re supposed to get all the cheap, original Clarks shoes. That day we didn’t have the TomTom as the other group had to take it in the Minibus to Scotland. So, we had to be happy to bring the living TomTom instead – my nephew Amin. He’s a reliable living TomTom – he couldn’t even remember when was the last time he went to the place. Hehehe.

Luckily Mr Hubby talked to a few strangers and found out that ‘K’ Village has been closed and they’ve moved to another place which was very near to the place we parked our car. And then, the shopping frenzy continued. I bought 11 pairs of shoes – tak cukup banyak, kan?

That day we concluded our shopping (sebab duit dah habis) and went home to pack our bags.

Before I end this entry, you have to know that that was the longest vacation I ever took, even my cuti kawin was shorter. Looking forward to Europe Tour pulak - sometime in the future, insyaAllah. Kena kumpul duit starting today.


Anonymous said...

Bestnya jadik kak dayang. Banyaknya duit.


D.N.A.S said...

saya di sponsor le.. hehehe.
Cepat2 le cari sponsor.

Anonymous said...

nak carik kat mana? dulu pergi pun mara sponsor tapi kena bayar balik..huhuhu


wanshana said...

Waaaaaa!!! Bestnyer menyopping!

Kasut 11 pasang AJER?! Awat tak beli satu kedai? Hahaha!

Glad you all had fun. Summer sales kat UK memang boleh go crazy. I especially love to go to NEXT or GAP sales. I can spend 4-6 hours JUST in that shop!

Selamat mengumpul duit semula ;)

john f seademon said...

Hmm..teringat masa Raya Puasa kat sana...summer 1984. My housemate and I pergi la kat this little mosque. Kita pun ikutlah mazhab kita punya sembahyang...tak ada takbir 7 kali mula-mula..habis surah dia sebut Allahu Akbar...yang kitorang pun ruku'..rupanya orang lain takbir...tapi 5 kali je...

Ada qunut lagi...

First time sembahyang pandang muka member dengan penuh kepelikan...

Anonymous said...


dayang suruh ko carik lifetime sponsor..betul tak dyg? hehehehe

Maya said...

kasut tu memang bahaya..boleh caused access baggage and tertinggal flight..:)

why cannot pray in the mosque ?

D.N.A.S said...

Kak Shana,
I avoided Next sebab takut bila masuk tak keluar-keluar.

wah, ada qunut ye? Confuse tuuuuuuu....

iye betullll, aku nak suruh dia cari Cik Abang le yang sebenarnya. Boleh kumpul duit sama-sama.

ada tactic dan technique kalau nak bawak balik kasut bebanyak naik flight. hehehehe.

Mosque itu orang Mazhab Hanafi yang punya. Diorang tak kasi perempuan pegi mesjid. Perempuan sembahyang kat rumah aje.

fade0 said...

Your husband must hve been looking for K.M Halal shop in Old Trafford.

Popular with the undergrads at UMIST.

D.N.A.S said...

Hi fade0,
we were lost because we didn't know the shop name. Had no idea what to key-in to the TomTom.

Nour said...

I soooo miss UK...masa zaman belajar dulu kat Sheffield U, kalau time raya, the women sembahyang jugak tapi behind the curtains kat student union. Tapi with the mazhab yg berlainan...memang rasa pelik.

D.N.A.S said...

Hi Nour,
one of my SIL's housemates was also from Sheffield uni. Kawan u kot?