Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Sequel (Norwich : 1988 - 1991)

I remember the summer before we went to Uni - there were 16 of us Oxbridge students who didn't go back to Malaysia. 8 girls and 8 guys (including 3 of my Cardiff guys), and all of us stayed at Malaysia Hall throughout the long hot summer holidays. With Ayah back in Malaysia for the break, it turned out to be a very long summer for me indeed - and a lonely one at that.

All 16 of us decided that rather than not doing anything, lazing around waiting for our A Level results to come out, we'd better earn some dosh, and all of us ended up working. Some of us ended up slaving away at Mc*, KF* (Oxford Street) or Sat*Ria (Bayswater). Some ended up working at Bal*y and Se*fri*ges. And some, like me who preferred easy, straight forward jobs, ended up working at Malaysia Hall itself. I became a part-time cleaner there, while my room-mate R*e helped out in the kitchen/dining hall/cafeteria. The pay was good, considering that we didn't have to pay rent or for our meals throughout our stay there! More importantly, it helped to keep my mind off Ayah somewhat.

I still kept my house in Western Avenue, Llandaff then (but, paying only half the rent throughout summer) as all my stuff were still there in the house. Furthermore, my juniors in Cardiff, O*a and Il*a who were going to Upper Sixth Form that year were planning to continue renting the place when they came back from their Summer break that September. And even though most of my stuff in Cardiff were all packed and sealed, I was still not sure of which Uni I would end up at in September as I had a few offers and it all depended on my A Level results.

I remember being very busy in the mornings in London, but very free in the afternoons and the evenings - which led me to feeling very blue most of the time, desperately missing Ayah. It became so bad that when I heard that Ros*an was going back to Cardiff for a few days, I even kirim through him to bring back the small Teddy Bear which Ayah had given me early in the year. I gave him my house keys, and three days later, being a sport he was, he came back to Malaysia Hall with the Teddy Bear! Now when I think about this, rasa kelakar la pulak...Si Ros*an tu pun, layan ajer I?!!

Ros*an was indeed like a big brother to me, and I remember every night he would intercom me from the second floor (all the guys were staying on the second floor, while the girls were on the third floor), and we would melayan each other. He was also missing K**or, his then girlfriend, and I was missing Ayah! Imagine two angaus on the phone/intercom every night talking about their bf/gf to each other! But, I guessed, in a way, it helped ease the pang somewhat. Even though I would get Ayah's numbered letters from Malaysia every now and then, it was just pure torture. Yes - the Summer of 1988 felt like it was the longest summer ever indeed!

Our A Level results finally came out and I was so happy as I got to go to the Uni I had hoped to go to in Norwich, and Ayah got to go to his Uni of choice in Newcastle upon Tyne.

I remember waiting desperately for him to come back to the UK that September after the long break. Ayah had in fact called a few times and had informed me of his flight details. He was flying Air Canada and I had blocked the date he was supposed to be arriving in London in my diary. Berdebar-debar macam first time nak jumpa pulak! I remember having difficulty sleeping the night before and I was so looking forward to seeing Ayah again.

But, I also remember feeling SO upset that morning when the receptionist at Malaysia Hall - K.Maz*i, conveyed me a message. It was from Ayah. Apparently, Ayah's flight had to be diverted to Bombay (then) due to some technical problems two hours into the flight! A few hours stop-over turned into a day stop-over...which in the end turned into a 5 days stop-over!!! Penantian itu, satu penyiksaan they say....What an understatement!

All our major life decisions by then would involve inputs from the other, and I was so looking forward to seeing Ayah - not just because I was missing him (of course!), but also because I had also started to don the tudung on the day he was supposed to arrive back in London!

We had discussed it before but never seriously, and Ayah had left it for me to decide whether I was ready to take the big step. He never indicated that he wanted me to wear the tudung. Neither did he indicate that he was against it. I guess he didn't want his opinion to influence me in such a personal matter. (However, I had the feeling that he was not really up to the idea then). So, you all can just imagine how anxious I was waiting for him then! I had not, till that point, informed him of my decision to go ahead with it, and it was meant to be a surprise...

And I had to wait for SIX days before I could surprise him eventually when he arrived at Malaysia Hall - looking all haggard and exhausted! Being stranded for five days in Bombay was no joke...He must have lost 3 kilos over the five days he was in India!

And I can still remember seeing him (despite being so jet-lagged and bushed) giving me a very pleasant, approving smile, when he first saw me in my tudung... The way he looked at me was...simply endearing...and for that I am forever thankful to him for making it easier for me to continue with my niat to don the tudung...IT REALLY MEANT A LOT TO ME...



-------------------------------------------------------------

Our Uni years were somewhat not as eventful as the early years of our relationship. I guessed our hearts were very much settled, and we were continuously getting to know each other better. Those were the times when our true colours came out, and in a way those were the times when we were tested - whether, despite knowing that both of us had our own Jekylls and Hydes, we would still remain as an item. And syukur alhamdulillah, we learned to accept each other, faults and all, during our Uni years.

Our relationship continued to develop over the three years. Most of the times, Ayah would be the one visiting me in Norwich as accommodation was easier for him. I was staying at the Uni's Halls of Residence throughout the three years - sharing with both girls and guys, and every year there would be at least one Malaysian guy staying on the same floor as me! So, there was always someone's room he could bunk in at when he came for a visit. And again, he became a regular in Norwich...

One thing that I would always remember about his visits to Norwich would be this one time when I was pretty sick during one winter. I was down with a very bad flu, with a very bad lung infection and was flat for nearly a week, and I could not even walk to the public phone which was just 15 feet away from my room to call him! Even if I could, I would not have been able to talk to him as I had lost my voice totally! I had to miss a lot of my classes and I just could not bring myself to keep anything down. Whatever I ate just refused to be digested and would find its way down the sink every time!

Re*a (one of my MT friends who also ended up in Norwich with me) had pestered me to inform Ayah of my condition as she was getting pretty worried about me. But, I told her not to tell Ayah, as I did not want to worry him. It was after all, just a flu. However, after 3 unsuccessful days of trying to get me to eat something, Re*a decided to take matters into her hands and she called Ayah one evening behind my back. And Ayah who had not heard from me for nearly a week then, just dropped everything and took the first train out from Newcastle the next morning, and by lunch time he was standing there right in front of my room!

I was so touched, and what with feeling miserable and under the weather for quite some time then, I just broke down and cried - which was HELL, as I had such a sore throat and my cough was as good as killing me while I was sobbing away!

And Ayah stayed on for nearly a week looking after me - his worst patient ever! He dragged me to see the doctor (Yup - all those while I was sick, I refused to go to the Medical Centre!) He cooked for me. He washed my clothes. He did my grocery shopping. He even got the notes for all the classes that I missed out from my course-mates! So much so, that when I eventually got better, I berlakon sakit coz' tak nak dia balik Newcastle....Hahahaha!

So, THAT was one of the things I remember about our Uni days...

Both of us did pretty well in our studies at Uni. And by the third year, when both of us were 23 years old, we had already decided that whatever it was, God willing, we would ONLY tie the knot at the age of 26 - not later, not earlier. We had even decided on the wedding date! But, the funny thing was - Ayah had never ever proposed to me... and I guessed it would be an insult to me if he WERE to propose... It was understood.

And as I was preparing for my Final Exams and Graduation Day, there were a few matters which Ayah and I needed to sort out. Ayah had another 2 years before he was to graduate. And he was planning to continue with his MRCP after that. Would both of us be okay if Petronas were to ask me to go back to KL straight away after graduating? Would we be able to survive yet an even huger distance love affair considering how close we had become then?

We needed to buy time. We needed to think fast.

It was April/May 1991. And I was graduating in July that year...

To be continued...

49 comments:

Ayah said...

Alamak... sounds like cerita ni dah nak dekat penghujung aja... hmmm sedihnya...

rad said...

Owhhh...that's was SO sweet - the part of not proposing coz it's understood...

Pls, pls don't write in a hurry -however busy you're - coz we don't the story to finish ever!! Hehehe

P/s: I wonder how ur 'ayah' dealed (alasan apakah?) with being away from his own classes for one week while taking care of you?

MrsNordin said...

And yet, another lovely posting... :)

Shana, I need to ask you something about UM. Can I have your e-mail add, pls?

ila de cute said...

OMG...so sweet la... kak shana please elaborate more la..hehhe i dont want the story end...best...

Anonymous said...

huiissshhh K.Shana, memang baik betul saudara HHK :) Siap masak, basuh baju & buat groceries for you *tabik spring kat your sweet Tuan Dr* :D

rose '86

wanshana said...

Ayah @ 2.57a.m.,

You'll be surprised that there are still quite a few sequels to this! :)

You'll have to remember - this is a 10 years 4 months and 15 days punya story, you know...And we're only at the 7 years and a bit part! Hehehehe!

But, yeah...this is somewhat the tail end already :)

wanshana said...

Rad,

Hmmmm....Kalau dah at every opportunity we got asyik ke hulu ke hilir together, you would assume that the relationship was heading towards marriage wouldn't you? Kalau tak, memang kena pelangkung le kot Saudara HHK! Hehehe!

Everything has to end, whether we like it or not :(, and I can't be writing about my Cerita Chenta forever, can I? Hehehe! But, it had been a nice experience for me ging down memory lane ;)

AS for Ayah's excuses for going AWOL that one week, I'd better let him tell his side of the story.

wanshana said...

mrsnordin @ bj,

:)

As for my e-mail address, maybe you can write to our srikandi85 yahoogroup add?

Cheers!

wanshana said...

Ila,

I'm afraid this is already the tail end, my dear :( Lebih kurang lagi 2-3 sequels aje lagi kot? I think we need to tag somebody to start his/her own Cerita Chenta pulak after this?

But, thank you for following this Cerita Chenta of mine from Day 1 :)

Take care!

wanshana said...

Rose,

Kusangka panas hingga ke petang, rupanya hujan di tengahari - lepas kawin, sorry lah Tuan Doktor nak masak, basuh baju, etc for me! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

No lah...just joking, he still cooks sometimes, and if he's free he would do the groceries :) But, basuh baju?!! Errrr...NOT ever, kot?!

But, I still love him to bits ;)

MrsNordin said...

I don't know how to do that. Tell me.

Mr Engineer said...

Ahhh...Norwich....I remember Haizal taking me there to visit you. But I can't remember the exact year. I think it was during the Christmas break of 1990.

But what I remember clearly was you cooked us a great meal. I still got photos of that eventful day!!

Was T*BS (R*ha's then bf and now hubby) at Norwich?

wanshana said...

BJ,

srikandi85@yahoogroups.com

:)

wanshana said...

Mr. Engineer,

Oh yes - of course I remember the time you came visiting - it was just a day visit, and then you guys had to go back to London as Haizal's whole family was there, right?

Masa tu, I was not prepared to meet "the in-laws-to-be" lagi even though I was sure his Mom knew about us! Hehehe!

These things - we wanted to do them properly and at the right times...Haizal had everything figured out - exactly when to tell his parents 'officially', exactly when to get engaged, exactly when to get married. You know him...

If 1990 - Yes, Re*a's T*BS was already in Norwich, tapi they only became an item AFTER Re*a left Uni!

Mr Engineer said...

I remember before or was it after breakfast that morning Haizal asked me not to tell his parents that we were going to Norwich. Hahahaha. But I suspected his mom knew where we went that day!

wanshana said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I suspected he did that ;D!

But, you know what? Years later, I THINK my MIL did mention to me that she remembered the day you guys took the car and went somewhere, and she knew you guys were going to see me! HAHAHAHA!

He was SO worried if his Mom would be worried if he could not concentrate on his studies, etc with a girlfriend towing behind! That was why he never mentioned me to her until later. But mothers being mothers...Hehehe!

Typical Haizal - he's a good son :)

Mr Engineer said...

Hmmm....come to think of it, Haizal might have used me as an excuse to take the car and take me jalan-jalan. But instead, we ended up in Norwich!!

wanshana said...

Mr. Engineer,

Anda telah menjadi mangsa dan telah DIPERGUNAKAN oleh sahabat anda?!!!

Oh tidak!!!

HAHAHAHAHA!

Ayah said...

Err..Mr Engineer... Did it REALLY take you all that time to figure this out??? Now let me think. Was there something else I didn't tell you...? Hahaha... :D

Rad, if I could find excuses to be away a number of times from my boarding school during A levels, then it was not the hardest thing in the world to be with someone I loved who was sick even though I had classes/tutorials. It was something I had to do...and I did... :)

Anonymous said...

K.Shana,

after reading all the comments posted here, i faham sangat-sangat why you still "cairrrrrr" whenever he does anything for you. He's hopelessly devoted to you!! :) Bab tak nak berapa tolong masak, basuh baju & buat groceries for you, boleh tolak tepi already.. Bab setia dan chenta tu yang tiada dua dan tiganya :D

rose '86

Anonymous said...

Kak Shana, must really thank you for sharing with us your cerita chenta!!! Reading them all in that order has I am sure evoked lots of your readers to reminisce their own cerita chenta. For the past few weeks I have been reflecting on mine.

It is amazing how things turn out when at one time, odds were all against you and Abg H being together. Having a relationship at such a young age and able to sustain it over number of years before getting married is something extraordinary in my books.

I like the fact that Abg H had it all mapped out where the relationship was heading to. I like it when the guy takes charge of things like that, call me old fashioned/conservative.I know some women might see it as taking away their say of matters.

Uhmmm....I wait with anticipation, though it is coming to the end, I'm predicting much more juicy stuff coming out!! Am I right?

Murni x

kerp said...

i think the part where doc ayah dropped everything and bought the first train ticket available the next morning touches me the most in this sequel. maybe 'the sweetest deed' would be best to describe it but aiseh, you know lah kak shana, a guy calling another guy sweet doesnt sound right...right? heehehe...i'm sure you get my point. you da man, doc. kak shana, tepuk belakang dia sikit on my behalf.

IBU said...

Shana,
Tuan Doktor pandai ( or rather, reti ) masak?!!! Uwaaa.... err...smoke detector/alarm went off tak? hehehe...

En Injin,
Tuan Doktor ada pergi kaw pergunungan u ker?

rad said...

K.Shana,
Wawawa...The Man has spoken again:

"It was something I had to do...and I did... :)"

So heroic lah!! I can just imagine how cool he is while sayin' that...wakakaka!!!

Mr Engineer said...

Puan Ibu,

As a matter of fact, Tuan Doktor tak datang ke kawasan pergunungan. He went to New York for a week where we met up with B*gg. It was during one chilly winter and we stayed at B*gg's apartment in Brooklyn. The heater broke down and we had to tido in our jackets! Can't remember whether we showered or not....

wanshana said...

Ayah,

Aaaawwwhhhh...that was so sweet!

Thank you :)

wanshana said...

Rose,

Couldn't agree more :)

wanshana said...

Murni,

You're most welcome :)

Yes, I do realize that a few readers had started reminiscing their own cerita chenta after following my sequels ni - which is a good thing, I must say.

So often, we forget how we started out with our spouses and this often leads us to forget the susah payah we went through together. Sometimes we don't appreciate what we have because kita terlupa about the early years of the relationship.

Nobody can stop A.Haizal when he's on a mission. He would always have a specific plan laid out, and he would make sure that everything would be executed accordingly and timely. Very melancholic. That's one thing that attracted me really :)

Memang banyak obstacles in our relationship. Those obstacles have made us what we are today :)

wanshana said...

Kerp,

Tak salah if a guy thinks that another guy is sweet (in his doings, la that is!) laaaa.... especially if something can be learned from it. Betul tak?

Tak sempat lagi nak tepuk belakang Doc Ayah...Will do it later :)

By the way, I've been having problems accessing your blog la, dek oiii! Dah 2 hari tak dapat baca your posting(s)! Why aaaarrr?

wanshana said...

Ibu,

Jangan tak tau - pada suatu masa dahulu he could cook up a mean Nasi Ayam, and even Mee Rojak, you know?!

Tapi, itu pada suatu masa DAHULU laaaa... :)

wanshana said...

rad,

Ha-ah, kan? Heroic gitu!

Ala-ala Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator when he said, "I'LL BE BACK!"

Hahahaha!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

entahlah akak oii...nobody can access to my blog, not even myself! its been like that since more than 3 days since i couldnt post anything. and now i am back being a blog-squatter.

btw, i have the feeling the day you guys got engaged is just around the corner. possibly by the next sequel. my bet is 1994. tepat tak? heheehhehe...

wanshana said...

Mr. Engineer,

I remember that time when he went to meet you guys in NY - deep winter, right?

He was telling me that the INSIDE of Bo*g's apartment was actually colder than the temperature OUTSIDE, and you guys were sleeping clothed like Eskimos every night!

Errr...he didn't tell me about NOT taking his showers though! Eeeeewwwww!!!

wanshana said...

Kerp,

Our engagement?

Tunggu and watch this space. But, I have to say - My MIL is from Negeri Sembilan, and very kuat adat. So, no cutting corners ;)

Everything must be done properly, and "rushing" is NOT in the vocabulary...

Ayah said...

Mr Engineer: Yup, it was NY's coldest winter in 100 years. I remember we walked the length of the Brooklyn bridge with wind chill temp of -30C!!!...We were beyond crazy then!

And I remember 'hugging' the heater (it was a big pipe along the wall) whilst sleeping with my muffler and wooly hat! :D

Ibu: Hahaha...The only thing I boleh masak now is..err..masak air je kut. Itu pun takut kettle terbakar je! ;p

Kerp: Is my sugar level high? :)

Mommy: Yeah..it is nice when we take a trip down memory lane. It has certainly made our hearts grow fonder. We haven't really been doing that lately because of the 1 million and 1 things that are happening around us. I hope that all those crazy enough to read our little story here will make time to go back to the past when it all started for them...

...and then share it with us, of course!!! :)

Mr Engineer said...

It was so cold inside B*gg's apartment that when we talked, berasap-asap mulut....

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

doc,

aint gonna say anything but you definitely deserve a pat in the back.

kak shana, kasi back rub sikit!

jabishah said...

Hi Kak Shana,

I was away like a week & so terus dpt baca 3 sequels in a row. Baru thrilled. Mcm tgk marathon CSI every Sunday night ;-)

What a beautiful story... Consider yourself very fortunate to have each other. Why do I feel you are luckier than Ayah... hahaha! Jgn marah, nanti kena jual!

Have a great wkend & happy belated birthday!

wanshana said...

Mr. Engineer,

I think Ayah has a photo to prove that - "asap" berkepul-kepul keluar...and you guys were IN the apartment!

wanshana said...

Kerp,

DONE! :)

wanshana said...

Jabishah,

Welcome back! I bet you must have missed the girls while you were away in Dubai, and you're pampering them like nobody's business now! :)

And thank you for the well wishes.

Yes, we are very fortunate indeed to have each other. And in a way, you're right - I APPEAR to be the luckier one...(Don't worry - no need to jual me. Hehehehe!)

BUT, BUT, BUT!!! If AYAH is the one who's writing this Cerita Chenta, I bet it'll paint a different picture - and HE would appear to be the luckier one!

Tak percaya?!! Nanti I kumpul affidavits to support this...Hahahaha!

Ayah said...

Jabishah...

"Why do I feel you are luckier than Ayah... " That's not a fair statementlah..n Mommy is right. If I were to write my version of the story it would sound different, although intipati ceritanya sama.. :)

And yes...we are fortunate to have each other... :)))

U.Lee said...

Hi Wanshana, I read your this posting very slowly enjoying your experiences.
How you managed to study or concentrate, ha ha.
Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women like to be a man's last romance, ha ha.
Bila nak add the spices, ha ha, so far only lemon grass and limau perut, ha ha, just kidding.
You stay romantic, Wanshana, and have a great week, Lee.

wanshana said...

Ayah,

Kira "TIE" lah, ya?

:)

wanshana said...

Uncle Lee,

If I add all the Garam Masala/ Five Spice, etc, it'll be TOO hot too handle pulak! Hahahaha! (Anyway, without the lemon grass and limau purut - there won't be one kicking Tom Yam what...)

(Furthermore, my kids read this blog, maaa!!!) :)

Here's wishing you a great week ahead, too.

Take care, Uncle Lee.

jabishah said...

Hi Kak Shana,

Well, I really have to be careful with what I jot here... Takutlah dgn Doc tu ;-)

Salam Ayah,

My apologies. I was merely joking ;-)

ps- It's meant to sound unfair anyway.. hehehe. As to provoke the other party to write his version *hint *hint

wanshana said...

Hi Jabishah,

Hahahaha! No offence taken laaaahhh!!! No worries, okay? :)

Hmmmmm...Ayah's version?! Who knows? Miracles might happen and he might somehow find the time to share his full version of the story?

(But, errrrr...don't hold your breath, dear!)

Take care! :)

Anonymous said...

shana dear...
with all these postings mmg terbuktilah kesah chenta you and dr H wins hands down..kalau buat pilem, harus penuh panggung, and i for one will be amongst the first ones to queue for tickets (tho' I WILL BE EXPECTING FREE TICS..)Hehehe...all these while, since i first met dr h & u (well, as a couple lah, sebab u i dah lama kenal kat sekolah), i was always thinking that u all ni memang teramatlah sesuwai...never did know the real details of your love story, tau sikit sikit je..that is until now and i must say..WOWWWWW...
at the same time, mmg brings me down memory lane...:-D
definitely "tercipta untukmu" huh shana..
tk care sis..

along

wanshana said...

Along,

Memang terchepta untukku :)

As you've discovered through the sequels, our cerita chenta ni banyak putar belit masa initial stage. Tu yang kekadang dulu malas nak story-story kat kengkawan, etc. Most would know bits and pieces aje coz' I tak kuasa lah nak cerita all the zigzags and corner sana-sini. Hehehe!

All these sequels came about after my posting on our 24th Anniversary of Getting-to-Know-Each-Other in April hari tu. I decided, I'd better get it over and done with and share the cerita chenta with friends who had been asking me how we got to know each other, etc.

Tak sangka la pulak ada quite a number who actually followed the sequels :)

Nanti kalau keluar pilem, kita buat special screening kat GSC Golden Class Lounge, boleh? Hahaha!

You take care, too, sis!