Saturday, 23 January 2010

Huddersfield.....down memory lane

Lately i'm feeling nostalgic...I miss Hudderfield :-( I graduated from University of Huddersfield n I love the place. Why the sudden urge to reminisce? I guess it was triggered by my niece n nephews. They had just completed their SPM and they had been attending education fairs n naturally I shared my student days stories with them.

It made me realize that I should document whatever I can remember now before I forget them totally, who knows one day when I've money to spare I'll visit Huddersfield again and visit the places that I used to frequent when I was studying there...

I've forgotten about most of the places but thank Allah with google map (satellite view) it managed to trigger old files stored deep inside my brain :-)

My first day in England
We (MARA students) arrived in Heathrow, MARA had rented a coach for us n all of us got into the bus. Along the way, students were dropped off to their respective universities - Luton, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester etc. Every time the bus stopped we'll take photos n bid goodbye to each group. Then we reached Huddersfield! It was cold (autumn) and wet September. The university organized a little reception for us. Temporarily we were given accommodation at Hollybank House in Lindley. That night a M'sian family who resides in Huddersfield prepared dinner for us.

Next day I woke up early (jet lagged) at 5am! But it was already quite bright. So I went out n explored the surrounding area. No one was around. Very quiet n I enjoyed the new sights, new experience...... (I remembered a pizza place n google reminded me it is called Pizzeria Napoli) and I did this everyday during my stay here before my body adjusted itself to the new time zone.

A few days later, JPA students arrived. And the university was ready to sort out our 'permanent home'. Some of us preferred to rent a house and stay with friends while others prefer to stay at residence hall (hostel) - my residence hall was in Warrenfield Hall (room 32, Warrenfield Hall, 221 Deighton Road, Sheepridge Huddersfield HD2 IJL) 2.3 miles (3.7km) to Huddersfield University.

Direction to Warrenfield Hall (now demolished and Warrenfield Court a residential homes occupy its site),+Huddersfield,+HD1+3DH,+UK+(University+of+Huddersfield)&daddr=warrenfield+court&geocode=FZKLMgMd59bk_yknGxMSc9x7SDHwKSGzq2nBUw%3BFenwMgMdxRbl_ymLYfKDL9x7SDFIO5qxzwGnPQ&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=53.667661,-1.769979&sspn=0.000745,0.002411&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=13&dirflg=d

Next day we explored the surrounding area, can't remember other places but I do remember a church, kebab shop n fish n chips shop. Couldn't recall the name of the shops but I managed to google the name of the church.

Woodhouse Christchurch, 43 Ashbrow Road , Sheepridge , Huddersfield , HD2 1DX

Very old church. They have been Church of England on this site since 1828. When we took photos at the church (with cemetery) it was foggy, trees were without leaves n it reminded me of vampire movie ha ha.... I couldn't find pictures online, perhaps later I'll scan my pic n post here.

What I remembered most about this place?

Yorkshire accent :-) n they addressed you as 'love'..

Hmm.. I was carrying grocery bags (after I got down from a bus) and was walking to my hall when an English guy basically ran after me n offered to carry my bag! Very chivalrous :-)

2nd incident? A bus driver grabbed my hand n refused to let me got out of the bus ha ha. Why? He was dating my friend and she decided to ignore him so he wanted to find out from me what happened to her! I told him off n asked him to let go of my hand n he did..

next memorable incident? My hall was a co-ed hall with toilets separating boys n girls sections. Some of the students loved to hang out at the corridor outside the toilets :-) these students loved to party n drank themselves silly, one night a girl was really drunk n she was pissed with one of the guys, she brought a pail n went from one room to the other asking us to deposit any liquid that we have into the pail - shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, washing liquid etc then she poured the content onto the poor guy's bed! ha ha it was a cold night n i didn't know where he slept that night.....

I loved my morning shower too.. the students woke up late n they don't shower in the morning, so I had the shower to myself..

Being M'sian I loved to cook spicy/smelly food (chilly, belacan etc) so I avoided cooking at the common kitchen with the rest of the English guys/gals. (kitchen was in separate building from our rooms - ha ha just to have dinner I had to go through through snow and ice)

I normally cooked in my room by using rice cooker where I cooked rice n after that boiled Brahim dish (pre-cooked M'sian dishes) or I'll cooked late at the kitchen after everyone had their dinner. So, one day I was happily cooking my sambal tumis bilis n suddenly an English guy ran to the kitchen breathlessly.. he asked me what I was cooking because he can smelled it from outside the building and he was sneezing ha ha...

hmm..being students, some were very naughty, so one cold night we were sleeping n fire alarm went off so everyone scurried outside as they were without coats or shoes! Very very cold brrrr n it was false alarm..

My friend Linda and I decided to check out what was the fuss about going out at night to Student Union, so off we went one night n students were drinking n dancing. A group of English guys approached us and asked to us to kiss one of their friends (they claimed it was his birthday) we declined n they teased us and accused us of being lesbians... I stopped going there but Linda loved it n she frequented the place often.

I also remembered making a call to my parents (they were at my aunt's house) but they didn't sound excited to hear from me, I guess they were concerned of the cost calls.. anyway after that cold reception I never bothered to call them again. I just wrote to them occasionally.

After few months, they had vacancies at Hollybank hall (81, Hollybank House, Hollybank Road, Lindley, Huddersfield HD3 3BP, 2.6 miles (4km) from Huddersfiled University). Hollybank had better facilities, in safer area and I moved there. I shared a house with common kitchen with a Nigerian, 2 English ladies and 4 M'sians (including me).,+Huddersfield,+HD1+3DH,+UK+(University+of+Huddersfield)&daddr=warrenfield+court&geocode=FZKLMgMd59bk_yknGxMSc9x7SDHwKSGzq2nBUw%3BFenwMgMdxRbl_ymLYfKDL9x7SDFIO5qxzwGnPQ&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=53.667661,-1.769979&sspn=0.000745,0.002411&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=13&dirflg=d

Memorable experience here? the Nigerian lady was in her 40s, we were in our 20s, perhaps to her we were like her children. She told us that she was from a rich family, she used to vacationed in London (when she was residing in Nigeria), never washed her hair by herself etc. Because she was a newcomer, we helped her to acclimatize, my roommate Linda (ha ha the same girl who dated the bus driver) took her shopping n accompanied her to church. What did she do? She treated Linda like one one of her employees! Linda had to carry her shopping bags n followed her around! Anyway, I didn't like her that much n I couldn't be bothered with her. One day she had a bleeding nose (most newcomer experienced that because of the cold temperature) n she went to a hospital, when she came back I didn't rush to ask her how she was doing and she went ballistic and called me heartless! Ha ha what a drama queen.....

One day I woke up slightly late, by the time I got to the bus stop the bus had just drove off. I ran after the bus and of course the driver didn't see me and just drove off. One lady driver took pity of me and gave me a lift to the university. She told me her sister worked (or holidayed?) in M'sia before and the malaysians were very nice to her. Ha ha I guess that was safer days, I mean I got into her car without question! Anyway, thank Allah there were still good people in this world.

Other things I remembered - got excited whenever I took filled milk bottle n replaced it with empty bottle outside the door (used to watch it on tv n I was experiencing it myself), I loved UK milk, very tasty, used to enjoy it with cereals - morning, noon, night ha ha. I don't quite enjoy m'sian milk as much.

what else? Huddersfield was quite near to a strawberry farm, whenever friends visited us from other cities, we'd take them to the farm n brought back baskets of strawberries. Ha ha what did u do with so much strawberries? cakes, puddings, all kind of desserts... the Nigerian lady was not all bad, she helped to bake cakes etc :-)

What else? the house had paid phone inside, I used to chat with friends for hours...

During winter, we built our first snowman inside the compound (the house had huge compound).

Food - we (malaysians) shared our food, we took turn to cook, one of the girls never cooked in her entire life, during her turn she fried chicked without the usual salt n tumeric n washed the chicken with water without flour (to remove the smell) that was her last cooking turn, we told her to wash dishes instead. One day we decided to share our dinner (fried meehoon) with our housemate the English lady. She was crying as the food was really hot but she kept on eating it as it was delicious ha ha..

During my 2nd year at Huddersfield we had to move out of residence hall n find our own accommodation (students were only allowed to stay 1 yr in residence hall due to insufficient rooms, priority was given to 1st yr n final yr students).

This time I moved to a house in Victoria Road (couldn't find correspondence for the full address) but it is nearby Jamia Mosque (google helped me again) only 2km to the university. I walked to school everyday.,+Huddersfield,+HD1+3DH,+UK+(University+of+Huddersfield)&daddr=warrenfield+court&geocode=FZKLMgMd59bk_yknGxMSc9x7SDHwKSGzq2nBUw%3BFenwMgMdxRbl_ymLYfKDL9x7SDFIO5qxzwGnPQ&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=53.667661,-1.769979&sspn=0.000745,0.002411&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=13&dirflg=d

I shared a house with 3 other M'sian girls. They were my juniors. Same arrangement - we shared rent, bills n food hence the need to share house with muslim mates. All of us were quite good with cooking and we ate good food everyday - chicken rice, nasi tomato, nasi lemak, rendang, kerutuk etc.

Memorable experience?

As I mentioned I walked to school everyday hence my slim figure (ha ha even though my staple food for lunch was crisps n snickers and occasional sandwich n fish & chips n takeaway lunch from Marks & Spencers), anyway one day it was raining and very windy. The gale swept my umbrella away n while trying to hang on to my umbrella my glasses flew off! I was frantically looking for my glasses n one lady stopped to help but we couldn't find it. I went home n used my spare glasses n next day I found the broken glasses :( since it was expensive to make glasses in England, i forwarded my prescription to my sis in M'sia so that she could make a new pair for me n posted it to me. Thanks :) wasn't super thrill with the glasses that she chose for me, so I used it temporarily n changed the frame later.

I joined parachuting club, cost me a pretty penny. Learned all the techniques, everytime we were scheduled to jump, weather was bad. One day everything seems ok n we drove to Doncaster for our jump. On the way we visited fellow club member who broke his leg during a jump (we were already very scared after the visit), after that we reached the field n tried sitting in the helicopter (plane?) - how to sit, sequence of jumping etc slept there for one night then we waited for our turn. Weather was bad n we returned home. Happened many times, I guess bad timing to join the club n I didn't manage to jump at all.... sigh..

I love bowling n no bowling alley in Huddersfield. What did I do? took a train to Leeds (15 min ride) to bowl. Took my swimming lesson there too but stupid decision as I took the lesson during winter n I gave up....:-(

During summer a friend came from Liverpool n we toured areas surrounding Huddersfield - countryside, Castle Hill, Haworth, Yorkshire moors etc. We left the house in the morning n came back at night for few days. Very nice n tiring ha ha.

I love travelling and I was short in cash so I worked during summer wrapping soaps, gift baskets etc. The money was good and enough to finance my Europe backpacking. During my sandwich year (internship year) I was paid for my training and I used the money for my almost 4 weeks USA trip. I'll blog on this later.

Apart from Europe & the USA, I visited London (visiting friends n visited famous spots), went to Lake District with a friend, visited York, joined tour group to Scotland, joined tour group to Amsterdam (I used coupon in newspaper in my first week (or month?) in England) n of course various cities where we could get free accommodation ha ha (friends' house) - Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, New Castle etc.

I was preparing for my final exam, all my housemates were already on holiday n were visiting other cities. I received a call from my friend wishing me 'Selamat Hari Raya (Haji)! I didn't even realized it was raya haji n was wondering why pakistanis were walking past my house in their finest dress n there was something going on at the mosque n i thought it was a wedding!

What else? I remember my first trip to Sainsbury at Market Street picture here shelves n shelves of bread - various brands of thin cut, medium cut, thick cut, wholemeal, etc click here to see what they are selling . Never before that I saw that many choices just for bread (I guess if an English guy shops at our supermarket he'll be overwhelm with our choices of rice too). Due to proximity of Sainburys to the bus station I did my grocery shopping here. Ha ha one day I bumped into this really cute English guy at the bus station. I thought he was really good looking but I never saw him again :-( n he smiled at me ha ha. Perhaps he was hoping to bump into me again too (I wished).

Tesco - when I was there I preferred Sainsburys to Tesco (located at Viaduuct Street). But I did shopped here occasionally, sometimes I also visited Iceland at Trinity Street n of course when I visited Manchester my friend there preferred Asda.

Lunch - my staple food was crisps from Sainsburys (I bought them in boxes) n snickers. Occasionally I'd buy packed rice from a M'sian student (she sold it at the surau), sometimes it would be egg or tuna sandwich from a shop near the market n library aka Princess Alexandra Walk / Piazza Shopping Centre (couldn't recall the sandwich shop name, googled n couldn't find it I guess they had moved), I enjoyed having my sandwich on the bench al fresco.. typical british style. Sometimes I visited Marks & Spencer at New Street for their lunch to go yummy!! n of course sometimes I enjoyed typical british staple food - fish & chips...

Pizza - I was excited to try pizza n went to a pizzeria couldn't recall the name but from the map it could be Sole Mio, anyway I ordered 4 seasons n when they sent to me I saw sausages on the pizza, they told me it was pastrami/pepperoni I was like..ummm they said what's wrong, I said I couldn't eat them because of my religious diet, n they said ' no problem, just put it aside when u eat the pizza.' Since I've ordered the pizza I paid n asked them to pack it for me. I went back to my hall n gave it to my non-muslim friends. I also enjoyed going to The Deep Pan Pizza chain opposite lloyds bank. I googled but I guess the restaurant had either closed down or moved somewhere else.

Shopping? read here

Banks - when we first stepped onto Huddersfield we had lots of money - tuition fees, allowance etc. Of course all the banks tried to lure us to become their customers - very attractive offers, deposited certain amount of money n they'd pay us 100 quids! Ha ha being typical kiasu M'sian we subscribed to all the banks with good offer, collected their goodies n closed the accounts except those most convenient to us. I opened my accounts with Barclays at New Street, Natwest at Market Street and Lloyds at Westgate. I kept my Barclay's account n closed the rest.

Recently my sisters n I were talking about our next year holiday plan - London! My sis asked if we want to visit Huddersfield, I was like of course I'd love that but in term of tourist spots nothing much to see and it is 310km from London. It has no direct rail line to London - passengers have to change at either Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds or Wakefield Westgate

but I guess we can do things which I did but not typical agenda for M'sian tourists, we can stay in Huddersfield (ha ha when I was studying I always wonder what will it be like to stay in George Hotel , from there we can explore Haworth (30km) , Yorkshire Dales n which is about 32.2 miles (51km) and York (77km) from Huddersfield.

I guess 4 days in Huddersfield is good, perhaps 5 or 6 days in London...

You Tube
• London (330km north to Huddersfield)
• Greenwich (10km from London)
• Oxford (95km south from London)
• Canterbury (97km south London)
• Stonehenge (139km south from London)
• Cotswold (162km south from London) n
• Stratford-on-Avon (167km south from London)
• Bath (185km south from London)
• Huddersfield n
• Haworth (30km from Huddersfield)
• Yorkshire Dales (51km from Huddersfield)
• York (77km from Huddersfield) n
• Lake District (220km from Huddersfield)