Thursday, 26 July 2012

For all the memories and to new beginnings

Now that all the packing is all done, it has finally hit me to the fact that I am leaving; and when I thought I am not the emotional type, I was clearly in denial... I am missing this place already... a place now I called, home.

I came to Sunderland seven years ago to start university. I was just seventeen and freshly graduated from high school in the States. I guess I wanted an adventure and oh... I got a great one! The past seven years have been truly amazing. I still remember my first days here. I used to live in a student accommodation which was quite far from the town centre, and not knowing the area and with no internet access at the time, I thought the little shops around the accommodation were the only places in Sunderland. There was a small supermarket, a fruit grocer, a couple of pizza joints, a Chinese take-away place, a pasty shop and a tanning saloon. I immediately thought that I made a very bad decision and I didn't know how I would cope living here for the next three years. And out of the seven rooms in my accommodation block, I was the first one to arrive, so I also didn't have anyone to talk to. Like a stereotypical student, I spent my first couple of days eating tinned baked beans and pot-noodles.... 

Soon enough, I began exploring outside this little street and I found the town centre where there's life and civilisation. Hooray! I went to the university for orientation and I made new friends. Not so many. There were only nine of us in the course and by the time of graduation, there was only three of us who made it to the ceremony. Through sport clubs, societies, local choir and church, I made plenty more friends; and soon enough my then American accent was influenced by the local 'mackem' accent. 

I also experienced many life 'first' moments here. Like, tasting your first long island iced tea. You know that a mixture of vodka, gin, tequila, rum and coke would not end up well, but you drink it anyway. I'm not gonna go into the gruesome details of what happened when I woke up the following morning. Believe me it's not nice and I am disgusted just thinking about it. And to this day, I still don't know the full details of the things that happened that evening. Perhaps, it's better for me (and you) not knowing the details.

When I graduated four years ago, I started working for the university and I moved to my current flat. This was the second flat that I viewed and because I loved it so much, with no hesitation I signed the contract and I started to make the empty flat my new home...

And tonight, looking at the flat empty once more, I began to reminisce all the memories. The lovely dinners, the surprise parties, the day my friend Adam tasted chicken for the first time in his life, the break-ups, the hook-ups, the night I decided to start a blog and all the good times my friends and I spent here. Oh my, who am I kidding... I am sentimental. Sorry.

During all this time, I am very fortunate to have all the support from my friends... I will miss all of you. And if I don't say it enough, I want to say to say the deepest Thank You from the bottom of my heart. And to all of you with your kind comments and emails. I also Thank You

But I think this is the right time for me to leave and it's time for a change... a new adventure. In a few hours time, I will be heading to London and will be spending a couple of days there. I look forward to watch the Olympics opening ceremony with the crowds. It will be incredible. I am already buzzing with excitements. Then on Saturday, I will be flying back to Indonesia to spend time with family. I don't know where life will take me from there... well, I do have plans (one of the plans is to attend culinary school), but we all know what happen to plans... So, I am keeping an open mind to possibilities that will come. And just in case if I get homesick, with me I take a jar of marmite, golden syrup and English mustard :)

Earlier I cracked open a bottle of champagne that I've been saving... and I made a toast, "for all the memories and to new beginnings"... 

I'll be back again soon... x.


  1. Sunderland is losing it's biggest smile! Best of luck, Michael! xxxx

  2. What a fantastic post, Michael! Thank you for sharing all of that. Good luck to you, although I know no matter where your plans take you, you will be amazing!

  3. I liked reading this post. I wish you luck in your new beginnigs

  4. Wow. Truly exciting. Best of luck, Michael.
    Lou. X

  5. Well,thank you for entertaining us with your blog. Loads of luck in your new adventures and I'm looking forward to hearing about them.

  6. You may soon be gone, but you will not be forgotten. You know my email address in case you ever want to write. Oh, maybe you don't know it. Best, Stephen

  7. Such a beautiful,and well written post Michael!
    Are you saying that...not only you are moving back to Indonesia, but you are also saying 'goodbye' to your foodblog?...or just a goodbye, for now!

    I will certainly be sad to see you leave your blog, but at the same time so happy for you to re-connect with your family, and friends, back home. It will be a whole new beginning for you, and perhaps a culinary degree, as you mentioned...I would love to see you in the culinary field; you are so talented, and natural! (referring to the awesome video you made several months ago)

    I wish you all the best in your future endeavor, and your new life!...always here for you as your friend; you know my e-mail address, so drop me a line every-now-and-then!
    Big hugs to you!

    1. Hi Elisabeth, thank you so much for your kind words. You are such a wonderful friend. No, I am not saying goodbye to the blog :) just Sunderland and the UK for now. I know I will be back again sooner or later.

      I look forward to re-connect with friends and families; and also new adventures ahead.

      Again, thank you for your support and encouragement. Have a great day!

  8. Good luck with whatever you do! To the future :)

  9. Oh Michael...such a nice post...I hope you are having fun in London and wish you luck and happiness in whatever you decide to do :)