Just got back from London after a very tiring hectic panic at the disco (??) weekend, yet my best weekend everhh in the UK!! Because guess what?
Umi was here!! My mum in law, that is. Ramai sangat Umi confuse la pulak hikhik. She was here since Friday night, leaving early on Monday morning (YES I IZ SADS LIKE MADS SOBS)
Anywhoo, I took the train to London arriving at 10pm last Friday, whereas Adam took the flight straight to London Gatwick. We met at Marble Arch underground station after a surprise gone wrong lol. Doesn't matter, the effort that counts darling!
But one thing that I thought reeeeaallyy cute was Adam was so very nervous to see Umi! It was cute and funny too since last year Umi came to London and Adam buat tak tau je (yes how could he I know!?) and this time around he was actually nervous about it! And Umi was being her usual self, cool, calm, and chill je. When she first opened the hotel room Adam was practically speechless! Dah macam jumpa first love pun ada hahahaha! But to be honest, I was over the moon too. Having your mum in London was just.. Too good to be true.
We spent the remaining time of the night (yes, remaining, because we got there at almost 1am!) by just sharing our winter travel stories. The three of us curled up in bed looking at the pictures with Adam being the most excited one (as always) until Umi was too tired to layan us and went to bed. Despite having to sleep in his sleeping bag while me and Umi shared the bed, I'm pretty sure Adam had the sweetest dream of all ;)
The next day we went to Las Iguanas near Waterloo for lunch because Adam just wouldn't stop rambling about it since he first had his Las Iguanas in Leicester the weekend before.
And Umi loves it tooo!
Oh by the way some of the pictures are already on my Instagram hence the square effect lol and some others are raw - taken from my iPhone, hence the high noise level. Nevertheless, the memory of it is too priceless :')
Love from London!
More love from London! Hahaha we were going down the escalator at Marble Arch underground and just had to make this panic roller coaster face! Love love love looove this picture eventhough I look the 'brown'-est of all. Nak buat cemano dah nama pun Melayu.
Another roller coaster look hahaha!
Looove the food!
Nachos for starter - "This is a big deal," says Umi. IT REALLY IS!
Umi's big burrito.
Of all the mains we ordered, Adam's Blazing Bird was still the best. Soooo people, two sure things to order at Las Iguanas would be the Blazing Bird and their Virgin Fizz. I didn't take the pictures since I've had them a few times before but because I'm so kind (and evil to make you drool heh) I dug up the pictures from Leicester branch where we had them. Yums!
The Blazing Bird with Vivo gravy.
And their Virgin Fizz!
We took our sweet own time eating and ended up spending two hours at the restaurant. BURPS.
Then we took a stroll along the "river" (?) Sorry I'm not a Londoner I'm so bad at remembering places! :S But you know, that sungai thing along Big Ben at the Westminster Bridge Road, where there's also the Eye of London and stuff. Took some nice family pictures, but they're all in Adam's phone. GRRR. Somehow we felt very tourist-y despite we're both in the UK (even me myself, one hour from London lol) and the fact that Umi was in Imperial College London in her teenage years (she's still very young btw ;) made it even funnier. In fact Umi being a Londoner herself was the one who showed us the way. Yes she still remembers! Dah tu nak buat cemano anak anak tak boleh harap langsung lol.
And later that evening..
We went to Royal Albert's Hall!
Yes the grand majestic Royal Albert Hall people! Alaa that place where Siti Nurhaliza became the first Malaysian to perform there tuu. THE PLACE WAS AMAZING. We actually went there for Cirque de Soleil, an acrobatic circus thingy tour. And guess what, IT WAS AMAZING.
Quoting Adam, "They wouldn't have it at Royal Albert's Hall it it weren't amazing."
How we got there was another funny story. Earlier that day we were wondering what to do and Umi was saying that she saw this Kooza - Cirque de Soleil poster in the underground. And Umi herself, having been to the similar show in Macau some time ago, found it very good, hence suggested that we go there in London. But it was already 1pm back then and the next same day show was at 8pm. After many attempts to find the tickets me and Adam finally found three non-split tickets and were so very excited but that time Umi was in the bathroom and we were all panicking because the ticker was going fast and Adam was jumping around asking Umi if we should grab it. IT WAS HILLARIOUS. Umi told us to get her credit card in her purse etc but Adam being such a very good son (and I guess he never really bought concert tickets with a ticker on the webpage so he panicked more hahaha!) used his card first. And beggars can't be choosy, so we landed ourselves at among the most expensive seats in Royal Albert Hall. I guess we're not beggars after all. But we would be, if not because of Umi.
At the hall while waiting for the door to open, Umi was telling the doorkeeper that it's our first time and she wouldn't be here in London for long, so she's giving her kids a treat to this show. And the doorkeeper went just like, "Lucky kids."
We truly are, indeed. Kalau bukan sebab Umi jangan haraplah kitorang boleh masuk Royal Albert Hall, duduk front seat, watching such great show. Thanks Umi :')
It's actually forbidden (woah the word!) to take pictures in the hall at any time, but because I'm a rebel like that, here are some very sloppy pictures taken out of rebellion and fear of getting caught lol.
Like any other live shows, the performers (or rather, the magicians?) would pick on some audiences to go on stage and do some stuff and make a fool out of themselves and whatnot. And us sitting among the frontest rows were such an easy target, with Adam sitting at the aisle. To be honest me myself was kind of scared if I were to be picked, with Adam no less scared that I was hahaha! But Umi was soo cool soo chill sooo lepak she could wave back grab a balloon cheer up and such when the performers were looking for some 'victims'. Looking back, I guess me and Adam hadn't lived our life full enough, not until we could sit in a live show without the fear of getting picked. After all it's Royal Albert Hall!
So next on the bucket list, to be picked and go on stage in a live show!
The place was such a grand majestic hall, and the show was fantastic. Yes go watch Cirque de Soleil at some point of your life and have your pockets burnt at least for once. Worth every penny, I tell you.
Done for the night. Time to go home! The classic London bus ride :D
The next morning, Umi went to have her breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Yes, just Umi because me and Adam were only sneaking around in the hotel room when the room was just meant for a single person. Because we're rebellious like that lol.
And this is our morning activity.
Was snuggling cuddling lazying around when Adam suddenly pushed me away and said, "Okay dah, Power Rangers dah start." OMG SERIOUSLY??!? But we had fun screaming GOGO POWER RANGERS together hahahahhaha!
The rest of Sunday was spent with just us three lazying around cramping in the bed. Or perhaps, the two of them since I wasn't too well. Oh yes masa ni lah nak sakit OH GOD WHY. Told them to go out have lunch without me because I couldn't leave the room, but turned out that they went to grab some takeaway fish and chips and we had our takeaway lunch in the room together. I felt sooo loved :')
The three of us berguling bergolek atas katil watching Harry Potter on Sunday afternoon before everyone dozed off to sleep. Hahaha!
That night I felt a little better, and we went out for dinner at Maroush Restaurant near the hotel.
Despite his effort to 'merendahkan' diri and be at my height, I am still waaaay shorter than him. Pfft.
It was snowing that night, which was something we weren't really looking forward to.
But then again it was that night when I saw this soothing familiar sight again.
Adam would always hold Umi's hand when they walk together, even when we were still dating. Sometimes he'd put his hand on Umi's shoulder and Umi would be relax je chill as usual. I find it too cute considering Adam is taller than Umi, yet he's a child again when he's with her. When there are three of us, he'd be in the middle holding our hands on each side. Sometimes I even wonder if it's hard for him to divide his undivided love for us.
But my mum once said,
"Lelaki even kalau dah kawen pun, his mom is always the first. So remind your husband that his mother comes first despite whatever, and you'd have to understand that. But you, once you're married, your husband is your first priority. As much as I love you, I understand that whatever happens, you have to turn to Adam first."
Sekian tazkirah rumah tangga kali ini. Lol.
Truth is, I know I am so blessed to have this amazing family. And I can only thank Allah for that.
Now back to Maroush (lol)
For a Lebanese restaurant, the food was okay. I've been to some Middle East restaurants in KL, near Jalan Ampang and at Setapak (because that's where Pak Arab sangat ramai), and I couldn't say the food at Maroush was better. They tasted the same, back in KL and here. But maybe it's because I'm not really a big fan of Middle East food, hence the boring remark.
Umi's flight to Dubai was at 9am on Monday, so she had to leave the hotel by 4am. When she woke us up before leaving, that sudden pang of sadness kicked in. It was the same feeling when Ayah woke us up at PV8, telling that the cab was there and he's leaving. Sedih yang macam, okay, so lepas ni we'll be on our own, again, macam tu? When she left, me and Adam were like, numb. But us being us, went back to sleep and forgot everything and woke up later at 11am. Kalau dah nama anak tuu. We do what kids do. Mehh.
Checked out just before 12pm, feeling like we owned that place haha! Well it's not everyday that we get to stay at a luxury hotel in central London, all paid for (thanks to Umi and the company haha), and checked out like a boss, so might as well act like one lol.
Where we stayed, The Cumberland, just by the Marble Arch underground station. And it was still snowing, with some rain. Typical London weather, I guess.
And next, food hunting (again)!
Ikan keli masak sambal with paru goreng and telur masin for lunch at Malaysian Hall. The only time where Malaysian food is a luxury!
And all these managed to cost us £18. It's like having two plates of nasik campur for lunch, at the price of almost RM100. You people in Malaysia, be grateful. And again, we had to forgive ourselves for the price because there's no way we can get such food again.
The rest of the afternoon was spent at Malaysian Hall. The warden's house, to be exact. Had another round of lunch with Kak Na and Abang Man (the warden) and had Farzan to join us later on. It's the only place we'd crash in when we're in London with nowhere in particular to go. We're not really a big fan of London afterall, so to us London always means Malaysian Hall and of course, bugging Farzan for direction and stuff lol.
My train back to Leicester was at 8.30pm on Monday, while Adam's flight at the same time leaving from Stansted airport. We parted ways at King's Cross St Pancras where he continued his journey to Tottenham Hale and further up to Stansted Airport, while St Pancras was where I had to catch my train.
The familiar sight of London St Pancras, where reality kicked in again, hard.
It was the most amazing weekend I ever had in the UK, and I never felt more loved. You know, I sometimes sit back and ponder, what did I do to deserve such an amazing husband, with amazing in laws and all. Like how Umi always uses "my kids" when she's referring to us, not "my son and his wife" or "my daughter in law". It's love, too much love. I never really thought I could love my other family the way I do now, but I've had my fair share of days with them, like my first Raya, and I could say the love is just too much. Like Umi said, "We are family."
When at the hotel, we were exchanging pictures through WhatsApp and all, and Umi sent me this.
Said she made this while she was playing around with her Galaxy Note. And these pictures were taken two years back, when me and Adam were still dating. Am I too blessed or what?
Family, familiar faces, familiar unconditional love.
Alhamdulillah. Thank you Allah.