*Stay tuned, more pictures will be uploaded later*
Ah, third day already are we? Nearly half way then. Alhamdulillah.
At 8.32 am sharp, I alighted at Southampton Airport Parkway straight from London Waterloo. This means I didn’t slept last night (remember the previous night’s fiasco?) and head off to the railway station right after Fajr.
Once I got off , Naili, my wonderful, wonderful host, is already waiting for me beaming. I couldn’t help beam as well, since this is only the second time I met her in person. The first time was during the YTN’s pre-departure orientation and I’m pretty sure I don’t even remember her name back then. After numerous emails, calls and sms, ade rezeki jugak kite berjumpa ye?
Ni je ke yang awak bawak balik Malaysia? ( Are these the only things you’re going to bring back home to Malaysia?)
Haahla. Baju je kan?Apa yang awak bawak? ( Its only clothes, what else did you bring back?)
Oh did I mention that her husband, Najib, is a Sarawakian from Kuching? You should see her face when we started conversing in Sarawakian slang once we knew our roots, although mine was a bit rusty.
Sik mauk nya ngelakar Sarawak si Naili tuk. Susah nya madah. Tiap kali coba mek ngelakar dengannya, nya madah balit dalam bahasa, camnikah mok blajar nak? ( She doesn’t want to speak Sarawak, its hard she said. Every time I tried speaking to her, she replied back in normal bahasa, how is she supposed to learn?)
Heheh. True, wives have it harder, my mother never got around speaking Perak slang, but my father is a pro at Sarawakian slang.
We’re lucky that they borrowed a car to get to somewhere that day, so I boarded my first UK car ever to their abode in the peripherals of University of Southampton.( back to right hand side driving!)
Salisbury ( Stonehenge )
Today I got the first taste of how geographically rest of England look like : rolling hills, thick grasses, meadows , rocks with sheep, cows, horses and lambs grazing around. Sometimes there were some particular type of forest (New Forest??) and rivers running across the wide, grassy land.
People always said that Stonehenge was a bit of a letdown. After all, you’re paying to look at ancient rocks accompanied by commentary. I beg to differ on some parts. If you stop at Stonehenge and declare that the day is over, of course it is a big bummer. However, Salisbury as a town itself shouldn’t be overlooked. It screams ‘medieval’ in every nook and cranny. The names of the shops are also very English , for example a tagline for a normal chocolate shop: ‘Purveyors of fine confectionary’. The Salisbury farmers market was a criss-cross between our very own version of pasar malam and westen style farmer’s market. The pasar malam part was people shouting “ One pound any bowl!” and people selling fake watches, shoes , hardwares, and moving toys.
The surrounding areas of Salisbury was some sort of a novelty to me (natives might find it common) and I delight on the sight of more rolling hills and grassy lands. I am definitely a happy girl to see shepherd dogs chasing sheeps, Cessnas flying over the hills and polo matches played in the meadows, the stinky smell of horses can already be detected from miles away.
Stonehenge itself evoked some mysterious air to it. I thought it was a bit unfair because UK Tourism Board received money for something they didn’t even build. They are responsible for the upkeep and Stonehenge has been maintained to remain standing, ensuring potential visitation in the future (channel more money). However, if one would like to visit for free AND have a look at the Stonehenge at close range, you can definitely book a place by applying online. Professional photographers usually jumped on this opportunity because not only they can capture the sight of Stonehenge during sunrise
(the viewing times was during the wee hours in the morning), they could bring all their gizmos and utilize it without having to jostle with other digicam tourists ( the places are limited per day). I think the greatest blasphemy of ALL tourist attractions are the gift shops. See sometimes they sneakily divert us all to the gift shop each time a visit nearly come to an end?
By 6.30 pm ish, the effect of not sleeping finally kicked in. I slept all the way on the train journey back. Naili was not at home and thank god she gave me a spare key. I slept once I hit the bed and Naili woke me up for prayers—this is a recurring theme during my length of stay here. Even though I’m capable of waking myself up, she knocked just as well to check, Fajr and Isyak. Indeed, it is sort of like living with a mother because another recurring theme every time I head out and I got back was:
“ Farah lapar tak? Nak makan nasik tak? ( Farah, are you hungry? Wanna eat?)”
I love my host.
Coming up next on day 4: Debauchery and religion mixing together = ???, bumping to a Malaysian picnic.
P/s: Still condemning self for not taking my hosts picture.