This black maxi skirt I wore has been very fortunate to travel with me from Malaysia to Glasgow then to London and finally to Istanbul. I have also worn it to Edinburgh and Rome. I got this maxi skirt when I was 16 in Sungei Wang. Those were the days when I loved to hang out there. Good and cheap shopping!
I am not someone who takes good care of my stuff. My laptops and cameras are normally scratched within months of purchase. But I am very particular with caring for my clothes. I hang most of my dresses and shirts with velvet or wooden hangers to keep them in shape. Those that can’t fit on my clothes rail are folded and organised by patterns and colours. I hand wash most of my clothes, which explains why my laundry bag is always full, because it is impossible to clean all of them at the same time. I vacuum-seal my accessories, stuff paper into handbags to keep them in shape and store most of my shoes in clear plastic boxes with air holes to allow them to breath.
I have many clothes which cost only a few pounds, but what makes it worth the effort is that I once fell in love with them. I get very upset if I find out that an item is out of shape or is damaged. But many times I do not even remember owning certain clothes! Once, I left some clothes in Malaysia and didn’t realise it until a year later when I saw one of my sisters wearing them. As they say, out of sight out of mind.
I am currently having a ‘fun time’ packing my stuff! I ordered 5 big cardboard boxes expecting to use only 3. I clearly underestimated the amount of remaining items I have. Alex shipped all of his stuff as well as most shared items when he left. My bags and shoes alone has already taken up the space of 3 big boxes. I escape the guilt by telling myself I collect art in the form of fashion…
What I wore in Istanbul..
URBAN OUTFITTERS stripe top | Black maxi skirt I got when I was 16! | BALENCIAGA Padlock bag | MELISSA shoes | TRAFFIC PEOPLE multi colour bracelet | SWAROVSKI Gold plated crystal ring | JANE CARR silk scarf | PALOMA PICASSO sunglasses
Last Thursday was my second food poisoning of this year! The first one happened on the first day of this Lunar year.
This time, I had to deal with it all on my own. I started to feel sick near midnight following the common symptoms – diarrhoea and nausea. My stomach was cramped throughout the whole night, so much so that I was unable to sleep well. There was a sense of deja vu but without having Alex around for comfort or to get a glass of water at any time. There were moments when I questioned myself for deciding to stay here all alone. I went to the kitchen at 4am and was glad to find one last pack of medicine among all the expired ones.
I was still feeling rather weak the next morning and reluctantly called in sick. Calling in sick to work is necessary and normal for someone is really not feeling well, but the self-conscious-me always feel very guilty for doing so. I did it anyway.
With the fridge empty (as I was supposed to restock it after work if I have been to the office), the only meal I could prepare was a plate of spicy pesto spaghetti with pancetta and broccoli. On second thought, I shouldn’t give my stomach a hard time, so I dragged myself to the local supermarket for some fresh ingredients to make myself a bowl of chicken and carrot congee for that day.
So, this is the joy of living alone. I am glad I managed and survived, as if I have any choice..
While I was excited about this new adventure of staying alone, I started to realise that it is not only loneliness that I would have to deal with. Obviously I am not the only one in the world doing this – staying abroad alone, but my situation also seems to be more difficult without having any family members, housemates, or many close friends around.
On the first day after Alex left, I got locked out of my own apartment. My cousin and her husband were staying with me during that weekend, and had mistakenly locked the second lock of my main door which I did not have the key for. I was glad to be able to wait at a friend’s house nearby. This incident made me realise that I will need to be extremely careful with my keys in the future. I shall leave a set of keys in my office or with someone else, in case my landlord is not around.
Not only that, I’ve also realised that I can not to afford to lose my debit card as well, especially during the weekend when the bank is closed. I am used to making every payment with the card, so I keep hardly any cash in my wallet. In the past, if I can’t find my card, I would still be able to use Alex’s card.
Last but not least, I am not good in running errands because I tend to forget about them easily. Obviously there are reminder apps and notebooks, but my biggest problem was also that I would make lists and then promptly forget that I made them. Now, I have to cultivate a habit of using the reminder list because my verbal reminder (Alex) is about 11000km away and 8 hours ahead.
It has been exactly 10 days since Alex flew back to Malaysia, while I have chosen to stay here for a few more months. There are quite a few reasons ranging from the prosaic— my cousins and friends are coming to visit this month and next month respectively, and I had promised to be around when they are here, to the professional— It wasn’t easy to secure the position in my current job, so I really appreciate the chance given to gain more experience here. The longer I stay here, the more I learn.
Alex has been a wonderful boyfriend and has taken very good care of my daily life. There should be nothing to resent with a boyfriend who is able to make me feel secure. However, it also made me rely on him so much so that I started to doubt my ability to take care of myself when he needs to be away. It is time to regain my independence. One needs to know how to take care of him/herself before taking care of others.
Plus, staying together with Alex for such a long period has blurred the boundaries of our strengths and weakness. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and we obviously have affected and changed each other in many aspects. I shall take this opportunity to know myself better again.
ASOS maxi dress | BALENCIAGA Padlock bag | OASIS wedges | Green
scarf from Bangkok | COAST pearl necklace