The Pan American’s Ayesha Zahid will be blogging this summer from the United Kingdom. Ayesha is a 19-year-old bibliophile studying at UTPA. She is currently a junior and is chasing after a Creative Writing degree, which surprises some people because: “How do you make money writing, anyway?” She will gladly answer that question over a cup of tea with you, provided you aren’t allergic to cats because she is covered in cat hair most of the time. Ayesha was born in Pakistan and has lived in the valley for a little over four years. One of the things you should not ask her is, “How do you say this in your language?”, or “Can you say something in your language?” She loves Harry Potter and Doctor Who.
View Ayesha’s Journey in a larger map
Well there go the fish and chips…
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Can you go a day without eating? Well, of course. Can you continue travelling and adventuring and trekking around English cities and towns on an empty stomach? We can find out.
For Muslims around the world, the holy month of Ramadan is here. In your basic average English language, that means Muslims wake up before sunrise every day, eat, pray, then go the entire day without food or drink, and finally break their fast at sunset.
So this is what I’m doing in England. I have a month left to explore, and the month of Ramadan is upon us!
Not complaining–I’m finding things to do which don’t require too much energy. Like going to the National Space Center at Leicester, for example (at least, that’s the plan for today!). Or staying at home with my cousins and planning an epic puppet show of all proportions. Or babysitting my baby niece who loves Elmo and frogs.
The point of Ramadan isn’t just not to eat and drink, though. You’re actually supposed to try and be good this month (cue the laughter). Worry not, folks, being nice is something I am rather good at. (Well, you’re also not supposed to boast, so I really shouldn’t say that …)
I love the feeling of not eating during the day, though. Reminds me that if I really want to stay away from something, I can. So I can think twice the next time I’m going to do something.
Anyway. That’s enough goodness for now. Missing the Valley just a little bit. A month’s gone by too fast! I don’t want these vacations to end!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
As I type, I’m getting ready to go to Birmingham. Something interesting: When I Facebook-messaged my cousin with a list of things I wanted to do when I got to England, I put down, “Visit the Birmingham Palace,” when I really meant Buckingham. It’s become a household joke now, me and this Birmingham Palace of mine.
Title this whatever
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Almost two weeks later, I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. I could easily get used to this, you know. The travelling bit. It’s like knowing you’ve got a home wherever you go, because you’ve got someone to share it with, yeah? It’s no use going on a trip to all these places if no one’s going with you. Unless that’s just the way you roll—and I’d like to someday—but not yet.
You know what the best part is? The train stations. The bus stops. The feeling that you’re always moving—never staying in one place for long, never waiting for things to repeat themselves. Because as soon as something starts to turn around and come back in a circle again, you pick up your bags and run on along down the line. And when you’re tired of running, you put your bags down and sit with them for a while. Read a book. Drink coffee with the change left over from when you bought that book at a second-hand bookstore.
Or, if you’re tired and hungry, you eat. It doesn’t matter when you spend money on eating. You need to get the energy back. And eating brings back the energy like nothing else will.
For the past few days, I’ve been running around all over the place. My adrenaline’s almost running out and I’m ready to take a few days’ rest (probably because I managed to get sick on the way to Bristol from Exeter!).
But let me tell you a little about Cardiff. It’s located in South Wales and has a really nice bay and view of the water … when the weather is nice.
Being from Texas, you’d think that grey clouds and some rain is really wonderful (I thought so my first week, too) but—I think I really get it now, what someone means when they say, “It rained all over my plans for the weekend!”
(Or does no one actually say that anymore?)
Anyway, I’ve explored some of London by now. And, in all honesty, none of the Google Images do justice to the beauty that is the Big Ben. I’ll give you guys some history in the next post—right now I’ve got to stop typing because my cousin is asleep in the room and I might wake her up.
The British, you know. Sensitive.
P.S The tea stereotype is true, true, true. At least with my cousins. Tea is essential to British survival. And that is all.
I mean … 50 pence!? Really!?
Devon cream tea & scones
Sunday, July 1, 2012
And I wish you were here
Thursday June 28, 2012
… I slept for two days. The best update I can give you is that I was wrapped up like a gift and presented to my cousin who had no idea that I was visiting her family. She screamed when I jumped out at her. Screamed a lot.
Adventures start this weekend; the family and I are going to the seaside (somewhere between Wales and here) for a few days. The weather is warmer than usual, although no sign of the sun! At the airport, my cousin, Maheen, excitedly told me, “You came at such a good time! It isn’t as cold, and we might actually get to see the sun!”
“Oh, god, no. I just came from Texas …”
But no sun as of yet. On my way to Hatfield from Heathrow airport, I saw green, rolling hills. The best description I can give you is located on almost every page of the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, which is to say, the area is beautiful.
Haven’t explored much yet (body is confused, jetlagged and mortified that I woke up at three in the morning, ready for a new day) but will this weekend!
Hope the Valley is doing well; I miss home just a tiny bit!
Here we go!
Monday June 25, 2012
It’s 2012 & there isn’t much time before the world ends. London is going crazy with the Olympics, Tumblr is taking over the world, Pride is dominating June in New York like never before — & I still haven’t packed for my trip to Europe.
By the time you read this (if all goes according to plan), I’ll be on a plane to London’s Heathrow airport. My biggest concern right now is not getting lost at the airport, getting there on Monday, & not accidentally eating served pork during the flight.
My travels start in London and expand outward. I’m Britain-bound for two months–so lots of time to travel, eat and make new friends!
Scotland, Wales, & England. Sound fun? Good. I’m in the mood for adventure. Even if I do get lost on my way there, I’ll keep calm & blog on.