Sunday, 21 December 2008

On This Shortest Day of the Year

NINETEEN SEVENTY-NINE was coming to a close and the media was busy reviewing the year’s events. There was the exile of the Shah of Iran, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the gruesome discovery of Pol Pot’s atrocities, the revelation by Voyager 1 and many more. Personally, the end of 1979 opened a new chapter in my life in a new country, in a new role. I arrived at the crack of dawn on 20 December in Britain, which was not only in the grip of winter but also that of Margaret Thatcher.

Standing at the exit of the plane in my batik kebaya and an excuse of a cardigan, I felt the brutal force of the British weather smack on my trembling knees and as I gasped for air, out came a cloud of smoke not unlike the experience when you open the freezer. I nearly let go of my precious vanity case as my hands felt numb.

Home then was a warm, cosy room in what was then Coburg Hotel in Queensway on the top floor with a view of Kensington Gardens. The trees were bare and straggly and the sky was grey. Five days before Christmas, people were out doing their last minute shopping and we joined the crowd in Queensway moving towards Whiteleys, then the biggest and one of the oldest departmental stores in London, to get jumpers and gloves. I remember stopping at shops along the way, enjoying the blast of warm air at the entrance and feeling reluctant to go out into the cold again. Whiteleys provided a brief respite from the cold when we needed to go to Asiatic Store, our local halal butcher, or to Khans Restaurant, our favourite haunt until today.

It is a different Whiteleys today filled with shops from the high streets as well as cafes. Yesterday, we sat having tea at Costa Café, and I looked out to see what else is left of Queensway today. Gone is the cinema that we used to frequent at the top of the road. In its place is TGIF. Whiteleys has eight cinemas and the price is astronomical! Boots the chemist has replaced Underwoods at the corner of the road leading to the present day Malaysia Hall. Woolworth, a favourite store and a poor cousin of Marks and Sparks had long been replaced by one supermarket after another. By the first week of next month, all remaining chains will close down for good. Many shops came and went, but one is still standing proud. London’s oldest coin operated laundrette is still as busy as the day I took my laundry there twenty-nine years ago.

And suddenly what passed before our eyes brought us back to the here and now. Three lads walked past where we were sitting in Costa Café, temporarily obscuring our view of the laundrette. One of the lads was our son, out with his friends. He was born a year after our arrival, so Queensway is very much a familiar territory to him as we took him everywhere in his pushchair or perched high on his father’s shoulders.

Queensway couldn’t be a better place for someone so homesick even after a few months away. The Mara hostel was just a few streets away from where we were. Most days we'd bump into Malaysian students making their way to universities. The warden and wife were friends of my husband. In fact, my first temporary coat was a borrowed one from the wife. When they left, they gave us something which I have until today – batu tumbuk sambal.

Not far from us was Bunga Raya restaurant, another place we frequented in search of crab sambal. I remember the first time we had lunch there, I choked on my rice as I heard Sharifah Aini singing some of my favourites from a cassette player in the kitchen.

I remember my first leather jacket and knee high boots with heels that made walking such a painful experience, especially on icy roads. The husband has a knack of saying wherever we were going was only 5 minutes away. And I’d be ouching in my boots for half an hour before reaching any destination.

Sitting where I am today, feeling all nostalgic, I just couldn’t imagine that I could survive this long here. I can still smell the repulsive smell of smoked mackerels served in the breakfast room of Coburg Hotel, the equally nauseating smell of boiled cabbages that filled the corridors of the block of apartments where we lived temporarily along Queensway and also the sweet and inviting aroma of chestnuts roasting on open fires at street corners and carol singers singing jingle bells in front of Selfridges. I remember the disasters in the kitchen, the pangs of missing families back home and the expensive phone calls that temporarily cured the pain. I remember Mak's first visit, the search for jobs and the changing seasons.

There have been three Prime Ministers since Thatcher, the economy has gone up and down and down, Britain has been involved in several wars; some on her own home grounds. There were as many joys too to make this 29 years memorable; the children came in quick succession, we've sighted the Haley Bop and made many good friends.

I am thankful that I arrived in a Britain that was already familiar with the taste of curry, its music and songs influenced by the upbeat sound of reggae and its restaurants served halal kebabs and satay.

Today on 21st December, I remember exactly 29 years ago, my husband of hardly two weeks, tried to cheer me up by promising that the day would get longer by two minutes each day. And it did.

Kak Teh's walk down memory lane:

Did you know....?
Down Memory Lane

64 comments:

nuriyah said...

are those your first boots?? very nice but definitely not for beginners! I don't go to Queensway/ Bayswater very often but i do enjoy it. And I love the seafood fried rice at CNG - but not as much as i love the nasi goreng kampung at Satay House.

Kak Teh said...

Oh no Nuriyah, my first pair of boots are somewhere in a recycling centre long gone. But certainly the heels are that high! I have never been to CNG but the best nasi goreng kampung is at Holiday Villa - Leinster Gds, a street away from Malaysia Hall. I have yet to try nasi goreng at satay House. Tapi garlic chicken dia sedap. Satay house too used to be my kitchen away from hoome.

Ms B said...

Kak Teh,

Khan and the laundrette have been there that long?!?! Wow! There is spot along that row where the shops keep changing. So these two places must have good feng shui. *smiles*

But AG is right. It gets better somehow (trying to cheer myself up knowing that I might be staying here longer than planned).

Kak Teh said...

Ms B, most of the shops are new. As for whiteleys, the building was renovated in the nineties, i think and was closed down for a few years. Queensway and Bayswater stations have undergone facelifts too. Oh yes, the flower shop outside the pub opposite Boots - that has been there for a long time. Oh God, I have been here a long time too!!!

A Tabib said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Honoured that you dropped by the blog ma'am.

Salam Hormat

Kak Teh said...

A Tabib, thanks for the lawatan balas.

mekyam said...

kt,

kneelength boots with a good bit of heels used to be one of the things i heart abt cold weather. pasal suddenly perasan mcm kaki panjang dan strides pun tetiba jadi mcm elegant sikit. :D

tapi once the poundage starts stacking in the odd places and you have to park your spreading behinds and swing the legs high in order to zip or lace or latch dem boots instead of simply bending sideways to do those things as you run down the steps buttoning your coat with the other hand, "delusions" of legginess seem sooo not worth it somehow. i do that now and i'd probably end up with a broken neck.

this winter, i can look quite dispassionately at all my heeled boots and booties and made a mental note to get myself one of those colourful wellies that are so popular now. darn thing... age! ;D

kt, do you realize that you've been a londoner longer than a denizen of any one malaysian town?

Kak Teh said...

mekyam, oh i know the feeling so well. When once it used to make you feel all sexy and vogue, now it'll make you break your back or bring back the slipped disc. I should have kept my boots supaya boleh dilontar kepada yang berkenaan apabila peluang sebegitu muncul. Tapi apa kan daya.

Yes, I realised that too - I have spent more years here than being in Alor star, yan and kuala lumpur put together.

Chahya said...

Gosh, I love those boots.
The ones I had were not knee length. Ok, I'll write that in my wish list.

Aida said...

Oh Kak Teh,

I love winters.... since I was a little girl my parents would take us for a two week holiday to either the UK or US and it had always represented a very magical time. I guess with the cold weather and smoke from ur mouth made it all magical hehehehe

It was then when I went to the Royal School in Bath at 10 did I realise that winters was not prefered... cos autumn, with not so cold nights and cooler days was better ehhehe. But winter was still magical. During my student days in Uni ('96-98) the Eid celebrations coincided with the winter holidays ... oh that was fun... we did not have to go to many classes and could have indulged in all day open houses and sleepovers.

Ok I have now get to work already.

Happy Holidays kak Teh.

MrsNordin said...

Kak Teh!!

My husband stayed at the Mara Hostel when he first arrived in London in 1979/80. You probably had crossed path with his bunch of friends too!!

It's true what Mek Yam said, you've been a Londoner longer than a denizen of any Malaysian town..

p/s Met Ibu yesterday. She told me about meeting you at the Malaysian Hall. How nice..

Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim, kucing ray yg alim.

Cantik betul boots itu, kata Pak Malim sambil menggaru kutu. I bet U looked trendy in it, kata Pak Malim sambil menyanyi lagu 'Beat It'.

Life for Beginners said...

"The husband has a knack of saying wherever we were going was only 5 minutes away. And I’d be ouching in my boots for half an hour before reaching any destination."

Hehe, we call this selective dissemination of information. If only to annoy our better halves. :P

Roti Kacang Merah said...

Kakak...any plans to make a book out of this...?

*sniff*

back then Abg AG must have had his hands full to make his new bride happy in a foreign land, ey... mesti dia risauuuuu aje takut kak teh sedih.

J.T. said...

Time does fly, doesn't it? You have seen so many changes being in one place for so long.

As for footwear, I still own a pair of high-heeled boots but am not sure if I will ever wear them again unless there is a guarantee I will not walk more than 50 steps before getting a break. :)
These days, I am most comfortable in flats.

Pokku said...

Queensway have migrated to Penang (at least the name).
Wonder when you and AG coming to KL again. Pak Daud showed me AG's old house in Tanjung. I think the house misses you both.
Salam.

Manal said...

You are so right on the shop changes (sambil tetiba2 terbayang cafe costa).

Is it true that Woolworth will be closed down across the nation including that one at edgware road, kakteh?

I have always wondered that the TGIF mustve been once a cinema long time ago from the shape of its building.

Kak Teh said...

chahya, I cant imagine wearing boots now, excpet for garden boots! hhehe, not very sexy eh - and they are called wellies.
Yes, put it in your wish list.

Aida, yes, there's something magical about winter. It is certainly mostly the lights and the Christmas decor that made it so, and also the movies that we watch about winter and Xmas.
Oh Eid in winter is not so much fun. Sekejap saja dah gelap and tak dapat nak melaram dengan baju cantik2.

Mrs N!! Am sure he knows Bahadur and Faridah - now Datuk and Datin. We used to visit them in Mara Hostel and am sure while merayauing along Bayswater and Queensway, we must have bumped into Mr N. In the early 80's we were already at the NST apartment in Chapel Side - off Moscow Road. Am sure he knows the place.
Had I known there was going to be a bloggers meet, I would have sent some souveineirs! next time.

Have a good break, ladies!

Kak Teh said...

Pak Malim, Nak bergaya mestilah sakit sikit, jalan terhencut-hencut balik kaki lenguh dan kulit melecet, teringat kak teh sambil tukar tayar pancet. Memang lah nampak trendy, balik rumah sakit sendi, keluh kak teh sambil tengok filem hindi.

Kenny, selective dissemination of information indeed! Reminds me of the story of the aboriginese when ask how long would it take to get to a place. he said only a cigarette away. Along the way, he put out the cigarette many times and it lasted him two days before they got ot their destination.

Roti, a book? Now that's a question I need a n anwer to as well. Three months after arrival, i got a job - so tak lah teruk sangat.

Kak Teh said...

JT, even when there's changes in London, you'd still be able to recognise it. But not so KL.

Have a good Xmas!

Pokku, thanks for the visit. Such an honour! and our salam rindu kepada Pok Daud. Such a wonderful man! Queensway in Penang?

Manal, all woolworth shops will go. Sedih kan? I'd buy my chocolates there because they were cheaper than most places. Most things were cheaper there. Am sure they'd be a clearance sale soon. Yes, TGIF was once a cinema, o think it was called ABC or the locals called it Queens.

maszuzu said...

kak teh...i've been reading yur down memory lane and can't help but trying to imagine how you look 30 years ago...heheheh..mesti lawa kann... anyway, yur down memory lane sure bring in lots memories for me too..though mine is only 3 minus the 0...

london has taught me more about life than kl did for me...my struggles n all...and I must thank london also for the career that i'm in now...

Kak Teh said...

mas, three or thirty years being anywhere will leave an impact, if we allow it. I am sure that three years of yours have helped shape your future too.
me thirty years ago? hmmmm...entahlah. nanti nak cari gambar lama.

mamasita said...

Hai KT?
Berangan jugak kalau I dapat pakai boots macam tu now.
Tapi I know if I attempt it now,gurantee tak de my size and gurantee terponggeng jatuh!hehehe

And gurantee my family will disown me!hahaha

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Teh

Everytime I read your blog, there is a sense of sadness rasanya. I dont know whether you have mentioned this in any of your posts, if I may ask you and not too personal, why choose to bermastautin in London?

pugly said...

Aaah ... the nostalgia of Queensway. Some of my good mates were living there while I was studying, so it became sort of my second residence back then. I do remember Whiteleys & the huge corner Boots. & Hyde Park.

Wow, 29 years is indeed a long, long time. Does it lessen your homesickness having stayed there for almost 3 decades, Kak Teh? (Okay, aside from missing the food, of course)

Word veri: worse

Kak Teh said...

mamasita, if we cant wear it for real, kita pakai dalam angan-angan pun cukuplaa. Kalau jatuh tertungging tak ada orang nampak, kan?

tireless, after our stint with the NST here , I got a job at the BBC for almost 12 years. By then the children came, went to school and we got into the trap of - nak balik, dia orang amsih sekolah, and then, ke college and then masuk uni. Many parents fall into this trap. Kalau nak balik, balik awal2 lagi. Kalau tidak susah nak uproot them. But at the same time, we are also in a role where we can still work for malaysian agencies as well as a few companies here and abroad. So far, insyaallah. We made that decision to stay. Thanks for asking.

Kak Teh said...

Pugs, Queensway is almost kampong for me because that was where I lived during the first few years and then to where we are now. We are there frequently, to shop, to have tea, and of course Malaysia Hall and Holiday Villa are there. I feel quite at home there.

HOmesick? well, with the world so small now, with the internet and cheap phonecalls - tak lah sebegitu macam dulu-dulu. And foodwise - semuanya ada. Tak macam dulu lagi.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh,

Sorry for the late arrival. Kinda got detoured by the Makcik meet.

Ahh..those boots, who could have forgotten them. Agree with the rest, it'd be more of a health hazard wearing and even attempting to wear them now. But they look so chic on oneself kan?

Woolworth closing? Wow!! Saw so many of them going strong, well the Aussie ones at least.

Anonymous said...

tireless - what Kak Teh said its true - have been here quite a while as well and its hard to uproot with children and career- for me I have integrated well into British society while at the same time keeping to my identity as a Muslim - its been a real eye opener for me working at a high level within a very diverse British society - you learn tolerance, respect and most important of all to show the beauty of Islam in through your actions and acts of charity - there is so much stereotyphing of Muslims here but at the same time its enriching to be part of a society that takes you for what you are - its sad really but I feel more comfortable here at times than when I get home to KL with its politics and materialism - here you can be different and accepted as different.

Anonymous said...

but what happened Kak teh to skinny you - almost fell off my chair when i saw your photo - you have put on tons and kilos- feeding the cats or feeding urself?? or a case of keeping up with the cats?? He, he jangan marah ye bergurau senda aje - i pun dah nak gemuk macam u so incentive now to go on diettttt!

Kak Teh said...

aaah anon, if you can put on weight, so can i. May be i am competing with the cats!

it is true about what you said abt being yoruself and be accepted. we can be in our own country and sometimes not be accepted - so I reckon home is where we feel at home.

ps i think i know who you are.

Kak Teh said...

kay, all woolworth stores will close down by 5th January next year. it is indeed sad. i just heard on the news that everything is now going at 60per cent discount.
things are quite bad here - very gloomy forecast.

GUiKP said...

Kak Teh
I actually send a comment to the wonderful journey that started with a splendour of colours, but somehow it didn't reach you, I gather. Anyway this is so lovingly written, and i look forward to more, with great expectations.

I arrived in London for the first time several months after you, in September 1980. Malaysia Hall in Bryanston Square was our first stop. Hated the daily breakfast of baked beans, toast and cereals. But couldn't get enough of the daging masak kicap prepared by the Jamaican/Carribean ladies. Loved the Indian takeaway in Paddington, a walking distance from Malaysia Hall. Anh how about the ahem shops around Paddington ...

MrsNordin said...

Kak Teh,

MrN said, "Of course I know Bahadur and Faridah. They were our warden!" And he said your name sounds very familiar.. Zaharah. Must have bumped into each other, one way or another!

When you mentioned Khan's, I remember I've eaten there once when I was studying in the UK. I remember the food was delicious... can still remember the curry aroma. And the restaurant was really posh (to a student's standard lah at that time)...

Tak payah kirim apa2, kirim salam tu je dah cukup!

Pak Tuo said...

Kak Teh dear,

I wonder how's the Pak Chik and Mak Chik feel after readind the new.
heres the link:

http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2008&dt=1223&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Dalam_Negeri&pg=dn_02.htm

Well,you and some are lucky lots where buying a ticket homw is paid for or being paid.
Do you think it is nessary?

Thought provoking?

For some when they left Malaya,bilik mandi perigi,sumbu disumbat dalam gelas pakai minyak tanah.

But now,mentol philips.

From my six sense.Dimana bumi dipijak disitu langit dijunjung.
Whats the logic for such a move?

Sana sini pun boleh nampak surga dan neraka Kak Teh dear.
Burdensome kot?from tax payers point of view.

Me,I come ,I see but I do not conqure.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Kak Teh,

What a beautiful write up. I could identify with so many things you mentioned. Oh Whiteley's of course. A familiar place for me too. Khans, M&S, Costa's, the cinemas...I can imagine being there just from your descriptions.

Oh you were a boots person too eh? Ha ha...that's the epitome of glamour kan? I love wearing boots..only not quite so apt here in KL, ahh...what the heck, for fashion's sake..just do it..ha ha.

Wow...29 years...you're practically a Londoner lah.

Happy hols K Teh.

Kak Teh said...

GUiKP, I really dont know what is happening with blogspot. I have had emails from people saying that their comments did not appear. Sigh!

anyway,i didnt realise malaysia hall at that time gave beans on toast for breakfast! hmmm - the nasi lemak provided by Ani and Art or Tok Din and Midah when they were running the canteen ws something to die for! I will write about it one day.
OOOhhh! THOSE SHOPS!!! I remember those - quite notorious but but more. Paddington has become quite respectable. In those days a young girl ( as I was then) wouldnt dare walk alone in the evening for fear of being accosted by some Pak Arabs. Even in daylight they do that!

Kak Teh said...

Mrs N, I knew your husband looked familiar though I couldnt place him. I didnt have many friends then, but i knew a few girls from Mara Hostel. Met up with one of them a few years ago.
Khans restaurant tu penuh dengan Malaysians. That is one restaurant that has survived the ups and downs,economically. and the food has been consistently good.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Tuo, thanks for the link to the article. There is indeed an effort to urge overstayers to leave - and paid for too by the IOM.

I cant quite follow your flow of thoughts but I will try to reply. It is true that di mana bumi di pijak, di situlah kita mncari rezki..tapi kenalah cari rezki dengan halal. Ramai orang yang rajin bekerja, esp when you are in a foreign land, you work, you dont depend on handouts. The British and UK governments are targeting malaysians who not only overstay but also abuse the system and regulations. banyak yang dah menyerap masuk dan hilang entah ke mana. bila terjadi sesuatu jenayah baru gah satu dunia.
I think the proposal to pay those who want to return is genuine. they have done so with many overstayers from many countries and they even helped these people to start their own business and rebuild their lives again. I hope we are on the same page here.

Kak Teh said...

Ruby, Queensway was my London. Was sad to leave it after almost three years but we are there almost every other day. Last night suddenly the husabnd said, let's go out for tea or something. So, off we went to Waffles House. Along the way, where we parked the car near our old house in Moscow Road, and also near Mara Hostel, we walked along Queensway. We noted many shops have gone. The chinese restaurants are still there, Kam Tong, Hang Toa and the indian restaurant, Maharaja. Oh the newsagents - selling newspapers from the middle east are there although they must have changed hands a few time. We sat eating waffles and icecream and just looked at the Queensway that has changed. The arabs are still there - in droves. There are the younger ones, no long those in robes carrying stacks of cash in their hands...oooh, more and more kenangan coming back now and there will certainly be a sequel.

Boots ya...love them! Tapi nak tanggalkan when you are in a rush nak pi toilet ya amatlah susah!!

Pak Tuo said...

hmmm...Salam Kak Teh,

Thanks for the speedy reply,rajin Kak Teh bangun awal sembayang tahjud. (smiling)

Yes,the question of economic immigant seems to be a no ending stories.
30,000 plus plus is a big number Kak Teh.
Jobs,Hospital,Schooling etc etc seems to be the key question.At home ground,at this economic slow down.I am sure you are well aware of the Fiherman Mogok is on.
Am not sure wwhether its still on.

Last week,I was at a local market,daily shopping,theres no fish on display at all.
Again,it seems the overstaying factor causes the probs.
Well.The box is not a place to ponder on social issues Kak Teh or is it?

Well,on a lighter note En. Bahadul,yes,the warden.when En Bahadul left taken over by Abg.Kamal and Kak Dr.Yati.

Bayswater,Queensway was my way too.Dickie Dirt,24 hrs mart,Khan's.Turkish Bath,Matahari,Thai Shop at Craven Hill,the ordean,the laundrett seems jes like yeaterday i left home.

Happy New Year.

p.s chating with Afly yesterday and I asked,
Do you like Malay Girls Afly,
hahaha the reply he gave was......was..
well I keep it to myself.
sometime later I crack the pot.
Cio.Kak Teh.Salam to Abang.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Tuo, for your information, no one knows where that figure of 30,00 came about. It was quoted by the press some months ago. And I believe, even the British authorities dont know the exact figure.

As the recession bites, people scramble for jobs, food, housing and resentment will certainly arise because locals dont want immigrants to take over. It is happening in our country, everywhere ; countries that initially took in immigrants for their own benefit. Now, they are treating them differently.

Thank you for adding more names and places that's Queensway of yesteryears.

n.i. said...

kak teh,
i was in london from sept 1986 - sept 1987, following my dad (arwah) who was doing some research at the Uni. of London... at that time I was merely 9/10 years old... ntah2 kita pernah jumpa kat malaysia hall ke, kat open house raya ke... hehehehe...

the only memories i had of london were from the few photos we have... bila agaknya nak sampai london? hehe

Kak Teh said...

ni.i. Oh you were so young then!! Tapi tahun-tahun tu rasanya kak teh belum lagi pernah menjejak kaki ke Malaysia Hall atau pun bertandang rumah orang untuk Open House. Masih malu2 kucing. Actually, the first few years we kept very much to ourselves and a few friends. Ada juga saudara mara di sini. May be kalau tengok gambar boleh kenal, kut!

Anonymous said...

wow thats great if u no who i am - a little birdie told me recently that u were blogging so thought i'd surf on the net - not that I have much time - good stuff -makes me nostalgic especially about ur mum -maybe time to be a bit more proactive with the London melayu scene - difficult tho up here in hertfordshire.

MrsNordin said...

Pne of MrN's friends when he was staying at Mara Hostel was this girl from Kedah. She's now the wife of a prominent Minister. Very bubbly character. We still keep in touch with her these days altho' she's somewhat busy nowadays with her datin programs. Wonder if you know her..

Zawi said...

Salam Kak Teh,
Pak Zawi nak book sebiji buku Kak Teh In London bila di terbitkan nanti.
Please don't use the boot to throw at George Bush, it might kill him.

Kak Teh said...

anon, thanks.

Mrs N, I wonder who. I do know that the minister Zaharah sulaiman's husband was there, but a lady married to a minister? hmmm, give me a clue? but i didnt know many. a clue might help.

zawi, insyaallah, doakan. and as for the boots, I've been aiming it mentally. hehehe!
oh . had dinner with Jafflam and wife last nite. They are here. and will be meeting again tomorrow.

Kak Teh said...

Mrs N. I tak publish your answer to my question...aaah so! I tak kenal - tapi suami dia dan seorang anak dia pernah lah jumpa. I dengar dia orang kedah, kan?

Kak Teh said...

ooooh okay - nanti nak baca.

Anonymous said...

this fuss bout immigrants Pak Tuo -unbalanced - people tend to associate immigrants with ethnics from 3rd world countries - wat bout the Aussies and Kiwis - too many of them now - Khans - butter chicken dia really sedap n beriani - ne1 dah try??

Little Outlet said...

on the 21st of december 1979, i was 1 month and 8 days old hehe.

don't remember much about the goings-on back then.

but it's really nice to read what you went thru when i was just an inkling of a baby, as opposed to a gigantor of an adult now. (although my heart is still that inkling of a baby)

=)

wanshana said...

Kak Teh,

Bayswater is like a second home for me and Ayah. We spent most of our times in the UK all over the country (mainly in Newcastle) but, we would go down to London whenever we had the chance. We would stay at Ralph Court (just behind TGIF) even until now when we visit London.

Khans is also a fav of us (even though the service was quite
'brutal' sometimes - jenis baling-baling ajer pinggan kat meja when they serve you, kan? Hehehe...)

And do you remember Matahari Supermarket? That was where I used to get my sambal oelek :)

Insya Allah, the next time we're in London, we'll be heading to Ralph Court again :)

* Oh ya, Kak Teh..,you've been tagged. Ampuuunnnn!!! Do drop by my blog, ya? Thanks :)

Al-Manar said...

You took a trip down the memory lane and so did Abang Ngah. What a coincidence that is. The difference is that Abang Ngah's stretched a good 50 years,when winter was colder and snow whiter! It is so far and blurred that I had to rely on an old diary.

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Salam Kak Teh..

Talking about boots..hahhahah..i had a painful experience in Tokyo..hahha..tu la my boots punya heels about 2 inches..i walked for about 20km! Punya la sakit kaki...hahha..ni dah balik Malaysia pun, my soles are numb..hahha. Tu la biar papa asalkan bergaya!

Kak Teh said...

anon, I will certainly try the butter chicken - i love mutton mughalai that they serve there and the pilau rice is consistently good!

Little Outlet, you are still very young - still under 30! Thanks for the visit.

Wanshana, I know Ralph Court. I think a few malaysians ada apartment kat situ, kan? Bayswater penuh dengan malaysians. Senang nak cari makan.
tag? Oh no!!!!!! I think i have revealed enough abt me here...ok , will find 'window' to do it.

Kak Teh said...

Abang Ngah, you have a lot to share with us. And please do so in your blog - the old diary must be the most precious thing. we all have old diaries and I think I must now collect them and see what rubbish I scribbled in them.

Ida, welcome back! ya, I know - biar sakit asal bergaya!

Lyana Mauseth said...

Kak Teh, dah lama saya melawat blog akak ni tp belum komen apa2...tp bila tgk boots tu, hati ni meronta2 nak komen haha...i ni jenis pakai boots...masa kat U dulu i rasa i ni la manusia yg satu2nya pakai boots dgn kebaya dlm panas2 matahari tu...alasannya sbb i ni jenis jalan laju, pakai boots senang...so skrg masuk tahun baru ni dah 7 tahun i cari boots, belum jumpa yg berkenan. last i tgk boots yg i suka last oct but sadly, kulit itu binatang pulak kat dlmnya...sedih la...boot yg i pakai sekrg husband i yg belikan sbb dia dah tensen dgr i mengeluh pakai boot lama dan sakit kaki haha

BTW, kak teh ni mesti orgnya yg sungguh tenang kan...sbbnya bila i baca your blog, tenang je rasa...bila lah i boleh tulis mcm u...:D

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

And in December 1979, I stopped over London en route to Boston (for my studies) and I visited you in your new marital home.....

Seems like yesterday....

I never even thought of 2009....like it was light years away!

Take care, Ah...

Kak Teh said...

Lyana, thanks for the visit. Ish, kalau kak teh tak tenang pun, bila menulis kenalah menenangkan diri - menulis ni macam therapeutic jugaklah.

ena, yes, i di remember that day we went to fetch you at the airport. there was sulo too. It was like a mini nst reunion! at that time, i never even thought i'd be here for almost 30 years, kan?

SOHO Mama said...

Hi Kak Teh..wahh lamanya u dah tinggal kat sana ye..! It's so touching to imagine how a newly married couple trying to adjust new life together in a new place! Must be strong for each other, eh? My husband sometimes joke (ye ke?) about working overseas..I dont know if I can do it..making changes, adapting. I've stayed overseas sekejap je - when I was 7 (for a year) & uni (2 years)..masa kat sana rasa bestlah. Tapi the thought of leaving home for a new place sometimes scares me..*chicken* hee hee..

Kak Teh said...

SOHO Mama, we never planned for it to be this long - tapi kalau dah rezki di sini - mana-manapun bumi Allah, kan?

wanariahamiza said...

I can say nothing but seriously i can imagine your experience kak teh. :)

Kak Teh said...

Thanks for taking time to read, Wan HAnif!