Who would have thought time could fly pass so quickly. A combination of exams, quizzes, coursework, assignments, events and reports really make you lose your grasp on time. Given that I only have two years here in the UK, every single moment over here is extremely precious and I constantly think about how to make full use of my time here (more travelling!).
It’s that time of the year when students are preparing to choose their choice of the university and many have questions about University of Southampton (especially Part II students in USMC). How’s the food here, how much is the living cost, what do you do during your spare time and etc. Therefore, I have decided to write a brief look back on the 6 months I have spent here in Southampton with miscellaneous events and activities.
I have probably mentioned in previous posts that I am a member of the Pottery Society. This is the only club that I have never once failed to attend its weekly meetings on Thursday. I think it is extremely important that you have at least one committed society to look forward to and have fun after a busy week. Personally I am more of an artsy fartsy person and lack athleticism (of which I am guilty of), I need to exercise more. Anywho below are some of my creations.
A Totoro cup to store all my pence and a mug for my toothbrushes (how practical!)
It’s around 18 pounds per semester, which I think is a rather good bargain considering you get to do it every single week and the price for one session in a pottery workshop outside is almost the same price.
I’ve also joined several meetings of the Cake Decorating Society to decorate cupcakes. What’s more fun than being able to decorate and devour your creation afterwards.
When I first came here I go back my hostel to cook during lunchtime. Which is bearable for a while but as classes and work get busier, travelling back and forth is out of the question. The above set I got in the University’s cafeteria, Piazza for about 4 pounds. A half chicken, a can of Coke and chunky fries. Yummy. Otherwise, you can have breakfast set complete with the usuals (sunny side up, ham, sausages), sandwiches with drinks within the range of 3 to 5 pounds.
Once in a while you will have severe Malaysian food cravings. It could be easily satisfied by buying a Rendang packet from the local asian store or head down to Town to have a feast with friends. The best Malaysian meal I’ve had thus far is the one is Portsmouth!
Otherwise, the Malaysian Student Association organises regular events to make you feel a bit more at home with themes like Chinese New Year, Ohana, Pasar Malam and many more. Malaysians unite!
Many were considering which halls to choose, it seems like the top 2 popular picks are Glen Eyre and Wessex Lane. But look at the amazing river and those cute swans at riverside park near Wessex! I’m pretty sure the choice isn’t that hard.
If Mamak is your favourite hangout spot in Malaysia and you’re not much of a party person. Gelato bars will be your new favourite spot in the UK, for about 2 pounds per scoop. I mean, what can go wrong with ice screams?
Although IKEA isn’t technically a Malaysian thing, but PJ/KL-ians have been accustomed to heading down to IKEA to look at those pretty furniture that your parents will probably never let you buy and end the trip with cheap and delicious IKEA food (swedish meatballs!). There’s a huge IKEA here in Southampton town and the food quality is equally if not better than Malaysia’s.
I feel like i digress, it sort of became a food blog posts. But we Malaysians love food, so I guess it’s appropriate to centre around this theme.
However, eating out is not feasible if you are a bit tight on cash. You can opt for a part-catered hall in Connaught if you really don’t want to cook, it covers your breakfast and lunch/dinner. You don’t need to be Gordan Ramsay or Jamie Oliver to be able to cook a simple everyday meal. Groceries are relatively cheap here, you generally spend about 10 to 18 pounds a week depending on your appetite. There’s Tesco express and Sainsbury’s Local 5 minute walk for university if you need a quick shop or 5 minutes bus to big Sainbury’s, Iceland and International Food Market at Portswood.
Settling in is really easy and although British food is pretty easy to get tired of, no offense. But you’ll get used to cooking on a daily basis pretty quickly, otherwise ready-made meals are a cheap and quick alternative.
Trivia: UK’s national food is Fish and Chips andddddd… Chicken Tikka Masala (Indian-style). The Brits love Indian Food.