عايشه منيرة

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Rawang, Malaysia
A living flesh with a soul made of glass.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Balik Kampung Cheetham: Manchester



After a good night rest, packed everything, ate breakfast and checked out for our early shopping trip. Firstly we went to Asda. Its basically the 'Aeon' for us back then. Everything was darn cheap, from the clothing to the food. It feels weird buying things and then multiplying it by 6, just to compare the Malaysian value haha.








Back then, we hated going to this place. This is my parents playground..lol



So at Boundary Mills, I looked for a jacket because the weather didn't feel like summer, as stated on the weather forecast. Not when its 11 or 13 degrees outside. Umi, my sister and I managed to score some really cool ones with a fairly good price. I decided not to spend so much before coming here because I know its much cheaper and more choice to choose from.
And then it's time to say goodbye to Burnley, we're off to Kampung Cheetham :)



Coming back here, memories started to flood my mind. Cheetham Hill is not that big, but not that small either. Its basically the Asian hub of Manchester. Easy to find halal food. So buying groceries wasn't that hard. I remember having Malaysia lauk everyday cooked by my mum because the ingredients are more or less the same like Pakistani or Indian's food. 

So the first place that we decided to visit was our house, 48 Faraday Avenue and 4 Holst Avenue. These houses holds the most memories of me growing up here as a child. Those times when I played outside when it's summer, those times when it snowed (picture below), those times when we had to walk to school and Aisyah Haziqah came and knocking on our door. Bittersweet..and yes I enjoyed every bit of em and never have I felt a sense of regret. I never complained because obviously I wouldn't get to re-live anywhere else.


Me and my sister, 2007



Us, now 2017 at 48 Faraday Avenue

As you can see, our house was very small and compact. Door open, take 2-3 steps and then it's the road already. But then again, we never complained about our house either. At that stage of life, it was comfortable enough to fit the 5 of us. All the basic needs of a decent house was there. We even had a room to ourselves. Small kitchen but my mum spent most of her time cooking and feeding us in the morning (and packing the best lunch ever) after we got back from school hungrily. The living room and dining room was also adequate for the 5 us, we could fit a TV. My little sister could play all her toys and we had guests coming over. It was enough for everything.







4 Holst Avenue.

So this is the house that we stayed before coming back to Malaysia in 2005. Dec 2003 until some time in 2005. I was around 10-11 years, puberty didn't hit me just yet haha. But still, a lot of memories here too. I spent the summer playing outside a lot. We had bikes, scooters and rollers blades that were bought cheap from car boot sales. Became good friends with the neighbour next door too. Both Pakistanis :)


Just a few hours after we arrived in the UK :)


Before heading to school.

Just a few pictures of us back then, before and after. Well physically it's quite obvious right? haha
And then we just strolled around the neighbourhood. Nothing much has changed to be honest.





This was the kedai runcit for us. Cash and carry. Lol. The uncle is still working there but the butcher was no where to found. Dulu my sisters would always tease me with the butcher guy because he likes to mimic to what I say and I find him very annoying lol



1.99 pound milk. 


Time for lunch! Donner kebab is our main target. Tak ada donner kebab I am just gonna cry in the corner haha. The shop that we used to buy either for delivery or takeaway does not have a place to eat, so we had to eat at this takeaway called Faisal's. It was okay for me, still tasted the same as well. Donner kebab means achievement unlocked!




I'm drooling now mashaAllah.....

And then we hit the road back again. Next destination: Marlborough Primary School and North Manchester General Hospital, where Saufi was born :)



The red building behind, is the school's main building. Opposite of the building on the left side is our playground for play time. We had a chat with one of the staff and surprisingly the uniform is still the same as well!


My mum used to pick us up but not from the main entrance as shown above. Somewhere around the back entrance where she had to fetch Nurul first from Nursery. And yes, nothing much has changed here, even after 10 years! We were tempted to go inside the building but it didn't feel nice just to storm in the school even though we were alumnus lol

Then...


with Devon


That blue tudung ruled me those days. I would go on for days because I was really obsessed with the color haha



Saufi's birthplace. Umi started recalling her fond memories of delivering my not so little brother. The treatments, medical care and midwife was amazing and satisfactory. Midwives even came to check on Saufi when he was around 2-3 weeks old. I must say their healthcare is top notch too.



Poor Saufi, he didn't remember much of those days. Well duh, he was just a baby back then. He was born on the 15th February 2005, and it was snowing heavily that time. We called him the snow baby :P


Me being the kak long, of course la dapat pegang my newborn baby brother kan hehe


There's more for the next destination. But I will hold this recent trip closely dear to my heart. Coming back here, it was a therapy actually. A reminder, I used have the blissful life that I didn't pray for but Allah decided to choose all of us to be here. I was happy growing up and negativity didn't take me in that much. Islamophobia? None. Nada. Zero. Everyone was pretty much tolerating with the differences we all had, and we respected those differences. Obviously the way to distinguish our differences was based on what we wear, our language or what we eat, things that are tied to the culture. But still, no hate. That's why coming back here, I had that 1% of feeling slightly nervous about my presence there. Being a muslim in this era puts all of us at stake. Everywhere we go, whatever we decided to I always had this precaution to be mindful and this isn't my country and I shouldn't just do or say whatever I like. Back then, the most threatening question that I used to get was,

"What's that on your head?"
And I answered them thoroughly. All the bits that they need to know about my religion and why I had to do it. I even asked my dad if I were to be asked about my head scarf, what are things that I should say. Sometimes people are just curious, and it's not wrong for them to ask, to be educated. Even though the buildings, the landmarks and the roads seemed to look the same, the mentality and how people perceive definitely has changed. 10 years was probably enough to change the public's mindset on the differences that we all had, and we all know it's the media that does all the hard work right?

Anyways this is one long post. An emotional one, allow me to indulge in this moment please? lol...haha. So I'll continue more on the next destination as it's getting quite late. InshaAllah.





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