Our Story – Part I

[Yanti & I, 84 Stafford Street, Spring 1998]

Scene: Can’t remember the house number, Stafford Road, Sheffield

Season: Winter 1996

Temp: Freezing cold!

Background: Clueless the movie blaring from a distance. Zeera relentlessly cooking a dish with Yus the ever-obedient helper, hovering near. Something good was bubbling on the stove for dinner. Me lazily reading Yorkshire tabloid with yet another juicy gossip of the famous royal family. Nurul was strumming the guitar on a battered sofa – completely oblivious to her surrounding. Yanti came down, fished a jacket out from the rack. Where this insane woman could possibly be going in this kind of weather?

Yanti: “Mish, nak ikut aku gi train station?” she asked nonchalantly.

Me: “Why?” I shot back at her with a frown on my face.

Yanti: “Because En is coming!

Noren, our dear friend would religiously endure the 5-hour-train-ride from Cardiff to Sheffield every fortnight to spend time with us.

Me: “Why do I have to go? Apsal Nurul tak payah? Apsal Zeera tak payah?” I childishly confronted her.  Please take note that it wasn’t me talking at this point, it was the narcissm in me.

Yanti: “Apsal ko nih? Zeera kan tengah masak, yang ko dengki kat Nurul tu apsal?

I could see Nurul poking out her tongue at me. The brat!

Me: “Okay lah…

Off we went to pick En at the train station. First we passed Amin’s sundry shop, then the Cho Suey bar, then the Barracuda fish shop. Further up, we crossed the council flats. Stop for a while to catch our breaths. It was so freezing, conversation would be a torture.

We trudged down hill, passed the supertram station, went up the connecting bridge between the tram and the actual train station. Ah, finally! A glimmer of the platforms. A sure sign that this torture would soon end.

Ten minutes later, a British Railway train from Birmingham pulled over the platform. Hordes of travelers alighted from the coach. One small figure in a brown bubble jacket carrying her overnight suitcase rushed over towards us. We hugged. I took En’s bag and we headed back to the house. The rest of the weekend in this far away place was great with En around.

That’s Yanti. Who is always quick to slap me with a dose of reality. Who sees logic in all circumstances thrown to her. Yanti, who cheekily pushed the window beside her bed every morning, wiggled her hand through the small opening to know the extent of the day’s coldness then decide what to wear. As to why she didn’t believe in the room thermometer back then? Don’t ask me, I don’t know.

22 thoughts on “Our Story – Part I

  1. kekekekekkee………..continue laaa…….

    pehhh… sedap jer ko suruh aku continue. Ideanya? Dah lah banyak kena sensor hih. :-))

  2. picture too small… is that asturiyanti isyak?

    Dearest Zewt,

    Thanks for dropping by.

    No, that is not Asturiyanti. That’s my friend – Yanti. But hang on! I also know of Asturiyanti. We have mutual friends. This yanti of yours works in Ambank right? What a small world we live in Zewt! My regards to Asturiyanti.

  3. No room thermometer huh? I think Yanti rather assess the cold air herself. I do that sometimes (in winter). The mercury shows sub-zero temperatures yet I still open the window and feel the chill. That way I know exactly which jacket, gloves and cap to use.🙂

    Dearest Sister Jac,

    Yeah, the land was freezing man! I always loose my gloves. Given up on the idea after sometimes. Sheer waste of money.

  4. that’s kindda cool to do… should have done it in winter the last time I was in Ohio but all the windows were sealed, takleh bukak during winter… tak beku ka tangan dia tu? I can feel the winter chill by just reading your story la Elviza…
    cepat2…continue this story… then kita main galah panjang eh… glad you finally come down, dok risau apa you bertapa lama sangat wehh…

    Dalilah Dear,

    Oh sorry buat you risau….. banyak sangat benda dalam kepala nih (plus no idea what to write also!). Bila kita nak jumpa nih? Bila bila?

  5. Salam elviza:
    Finally U are out of the tree house. Alhamdulillah.
    I like reading stuff like this, about experiences living abroad. The trials and tribulations of living di negeri omputeh.
    Too bad I cant relate personally to all this. Tak pernah hidup di luar dari Malaysia. I think sometimes that I’m like a katak dibawah tempurung bcoz of that. Years ago Mrs TA wanted to pursue her masters in UK or USA but I said no. I regretted that action now. If I had allowed….
    keep on writing about your previous life in UK.
    Salam.
    ps-kalau kena makan ubat jangan pulak culas-culas tau.

    W’salam brother,

    Yeah, cina roti tuh bising suruh I turun bayar duit dia. So I came down, besides he got ice cream potong perisa kacang merah! Hahahahaha! Ah brother, never regret the past things. If it is fated for you to ever live abroad, you will. You know I laugh out when I read your sentence of “….jangan pulak culas-culas tau.” Lama tak dengar orang guna perkataan culas2🙂

  6. Can I be so presumptuous as to assume that the bond that binds took root those days in cold,drizzy Sheffield. Those bonds are hard to break and those bonds make us what we are today. Write on girl.

    My dear Zorro,

    No you are not being presumptuos. You are absolutely right on that score. The bond is stronger than the oldest roots. Will I see you tomorrow at Kak Ton’s?

  7. Aaah, so glad. I told you plenty kerenggas and semut api’s up there in that tree house of yours. Mine’s been fumigated by rentokill….
    Err, Filey St. jauh tak?

    Brother!

    Hahahahhahahahahaha, no it isn’t far from Filey Street. You might want to email me personally about this!

  8. lookingg fwd to the next episode😉
    i threw away a few albums of my varsity years. i looked like a balloon! imagine in the winter season, doing nothing much but going to class and cooking and eating and more eating.
    you know what it was like right? somehow we used to do a lot of makan-makan with friends back then. unfortunately, i was and still am the type of food lover. mmg gone case.

    K’ron dear,

    I cant believe you threw away the albums! Duh….. but I understand…I have plenty of pictures of yester years that make me cringe now. Kisses for Amar & Sarah

  9. hi shell,
    cerita pasal winter kat negara omputih ni membuatkan aku tak percaya yg aku sekarang ni kat kensington london, tak pernah termimpi pun nak dtg dan duduk kat sini, ini pun sebab ikut my husband transfer kat sini, dapat ler merasa nengok snow turunnnnn masa winter hari tu . Kalau tak aku dok kerja kat raja eleena lagi ler nengok muka ym hari2 he he. Mungkin dalam 3 tahun aku dok kat sini, meh ler dtg sini holiday.

    Emie dear,

    Jauh nya ko sekarang……. tapi betul lah, baik ko duduk kat Kesington tu diam2 dari tengok muka YM tiap2 hari. Kalau mood memanjang baik tak pe lah jugak, kalau angin dia datang…. ALAMAK!!! takut…. (I fervently pray that he doesn’t read the blog!). Nak pegi holiday kat London???? Kali tujuh ongkos nya beb! Baik aku gi umrah dulu…🙂

  10. your recollection of your varsity days back when you were overseas did bring back memories of mine when I was in Canada. Your description of the things going on in your apt was very vivid to me. Somehow I could picture the scene you described. Its was lovely huh back then, even with some disagreements that would have come by. It was worth the experience. Hope to read more of these experiences. I’m enjoying this.

    Dearest Tony,

    Ah Canada, a dear friend went there for a holidays and pictures are to die for. Thanks for the support my friend

  11. No room thermometer ar? Easy only…Stick out your tongue, and if it freezes, means cold lor…If it melts, means hot lor…Kekeke…
    *Shudder*…Now I pulak rasa sejuk lar…
    Hehehe…Kerana mulut, badan binasa…
    Ni lar…
    Kakakaka….

    Sister,

    You are funny. Really

  12. Hi dear Elviza,
    If you are the one with white tank tops, doe eyes, elevated nose not even softbones injections could replicate, chisseled cheeks, I must say, you are a beautiful lady. And hell, I really enjoy ‘hanging-out’ with Malay girls. I love you, girl. Anytime, anywhere, and right away.

    Dear Mason from Kuching,

    *Blush Blush Blush* malu lah! Please my friend, that’s all the technic of the camera. Thanks for the compliments anyway, (still blushing)

  13. My only time really away from home was when i visited my bro in london in autumn 84. he said after eight years there it still did not snow. i told him it will when i leave. true enough, it did when i left. and i missed it!

    My dear Sister,

    The snow hey? They are all nice when they first come. As they are melting….. not nice at all. Glad that you are back from the holidays.

  14. ahha my dear Elly,
    looks like another best seller is in the making…Pt. 1 errrh. Good that you have such a vivid memory and you’re putting it on your blog…otherwise with time and nature’s course in ageing we tend to forget the details… so write on my dear… and archive those memories… one day you’d be so glad you documented these moments and pass it on to your kids to wonder what “ice-cream potong” is !!!
    write on elviza…right on !
    Cheers !

    Stephen dear,

    where got best seller one…. told ya I write without sense of structure what so ever! I ll make sure to keep the treasure of ice cream potong brother. I had a great time with you all yesterday

  15. It’s rare these days to see young people writing. writing appears to be a vanishing art. Writing transcends race barriers. Writing keeps everything in perspective. Keep on writing all the good stuff, young girl. Cheers.

    Dearest Nstman,

    I hear you, writing appears to be a vanishing art. Thank you for you support, all this while.

  16. Hi Elviza,
    Look forward to more of Our Story, particularly summer 1997 (31 August to be exact). We all remember vividly how our morning was broken that fateful day, don’t we? A dear friend called me around 8 am from London, and immediately after his salam I hollered “Yes, I’ve heard the sad news” and he retorted “what sad news?”.
    aMiR

    Dear aMiR,

    I assume you are talking about the day Lady Diana died right? Hmmm, I was glued to the tele that day. It was summer break.

  17. What would you do with RM50? ….. Very interesting story. Ko buat aku berasa bersyukur pada Illahi. Ingat pada mereka yang benar2 memerlukan. I just found your blog from a friend saying about RM50. Eager to know about it. Aduhhhh….sedihnya.
    Elviza, keep writing …. love to read your blog. TQ

    Dear Iskandar,

    The pleasure of hosting you is all mine. Thank you for dropping by. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

  18. Elviza
    Yes, indeed. I was refering to the fatal car accident involving Lady Diana on that tragic Sunday. And the dramatic events surrounding the death; glorious yachting holiday in the Sardinia and Corsica, Blair’s tribute – The People’s Princess, no half-mast flag at Buckingham Palace, ugly protest from the hoi polloi – Where is our Queen? Speak to Us, Ma’am, a fiery and defiant eulogy from Diana’s brother at the Wesminster Abbey, etc etc.
    aMiR

  19. Heheh… Mich… this is too cool!! Can vividly picture the route to the train station, and the Trekker Cafe, and the Student Union Cafe across the road, the adjacent bus interchange…. and Queen’s Head Public House where Zeera & I usually had our rather meager yet tasty breakfast.
    And these people want sequels… how ’bout it? Maybe it can brighten up the day for some of us… like mine here… cold, gloomy and stressful with deadly deadlines….

    Dearest Yus,

    Cool eh? Sheffield holds many memories dear to us all….

  20. Hi, I googled my own name (because I’m bored at work) and came to your blog site.
    Seems that we are of acquaintance🙂
    Do keep in touch, my e-mail address is yantiishak@gmail.com

    Yanti dear,

    Hello, how are you doing? It has been so long since we last met. Two? three years? Hope all is well on your end. My email is elviza@gmail.com. Jefree & I had a baby boy sometimes last year. He is now a year and two months old. Keep in touch friend and take care

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