UKay-UKay

It was last December 2015, me and my travel buddy Ai went back home for a two-week holiday. We went to Palawan, and after UK. It was supposedly a Japan trip, but Kris whom we travelled with in Turkey suggested for us to to all go to England and see Banksky’s Dismaland at Somerset. It was supposed to be in September of the same year, so we each got our visas. Then at the last minute, Kris’ said she couldn’t come because she’ll be busy at work. Ai and I were dismayed, but what else can we do? So come December, our Japan trip was scratched off and we’re off to UK!

As usual, it was again another ‘amazing race’ kind of a trip. Our IT was jam-packed as ever and we roam around from, Manchester to London, Liverpool till Northern Ireland. We were supposed to go to Edinburg and Glasgow too but because we had so much fun at the Titanic Museum, we missed our flight!

We arrived at Manchester from Manila, we chose that flight because it was cheaper than going straight to London. Though we really had not roam around the city, at least we had a glimpse of it. We took a train from there to London. We arrived so late in the evening to our hotel. We dragged our luggages in the rain for it felt like days from the bus stop where we got off from the train station. It seemed forever to get to the hotel. I can’t remember arranging a hotel-airpot transfers in all of our travels. I love commuting even with a huge luggage dragging behind me as I pull it through the asphalt pavement and the rough cobbled sidewalks of my commute from the airport to the hotel and back as I leave the country. I feel that I experience the country more when commuting via trains, buses and walking rather than arranging an easy taxi ride or private car ride around the place specially if it is only within the city. Plus, in ‘first-world’ countries, the transport system are very very efficient.

I think we arrived at the hotel around 7 or 8 I can’t remember. Or maybe later, I guess. And when we arrived there, the hotel has no lifts!! I think almost all hotels constructed in old buildings in Europe don’t have lifts to preserve their authentic architecture. So there we were, with no bell boy to even help us, we snaked through the stairs to the very basement floor. The room was almost livable except for the filthy smell of it. Weeks before we came, the city was hit by a massive rain fall and became flooded for days I think. Hence the foul stench of the room that they gave us. I wondered if they gave us that room because we were Asians and came from a ‘third-world’ country and somehow they felt that we won’t notice. Were not as vain and rich as some and most of the westerners, but we know how to live cleanly and with the right amount of sanitation. We requested a new room, good thing they obliged. But no one cared to help us again with our luggage. And they are heavy as a boulder! As a citizen of a tropical country, and a resident of Dubai, the only winter we know is roughly until 16 degrees Celsius. Which is the peak of summertime in most of Europe, some probably colder. So there we were, not knowing what to wear, we really don’t own any winter clothes so we thought layering is best. Like 5 or more layers of cotton clothes! But we are getting better in packing clothes for cold places of our trips now.

We arrived 31st of December. A few more hours and fireworks will be displayed at the River Thames near the London Eye to welcome the new year. Unfortunately, we missed it. Dang! Because we were so tired from our 12-hour or so flight and the non-stop travel till we reached our hotel, we immediately laid down and snored. I woke up hours before the fireworks. Took a shower and was ready to see the display. But Ai wasn’t budging from her sleep!! I was trying to wake her up but as usual, she’s dead rock. I can’t do anything so I slept my frustration away. I knew we will miss it. And we did.

January first, we went to see Stonehenge. It was a rainy day. Well it was for the rest of our trip.  I thought we could get near the Stonehenge. That is just in the middle of a field which anyone can just come and have a photo with it. But no, it has been protected and there’s an organized tour where you can get a ticket to see it. After which we roam around Salisbury and saw the Salisbury Cathedral.

January second, we went to Abbey Road Studios. Of course as a Beatle fan, I needed to have a photo crossing that famous pedestrian. And so were the other tourist. We were creating traffic, it was ridiculous. But I enjoyed it very much. Then we headed to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian. In the evening, we went back to see the rest of London. We rode the Eye, crossed the London and the Tower Bridges, ate at Borough market, met an old colleague from the Philippines at the station near the Big Ben. I admit, it was a very short stay and for sure, we have yet to see lots of the city. Hopefully we could have another chance someday.

On the third day, at dawn, we took a bus ride to Liverpool. But we were a bit early at the bus station. So we decided to walk to Westminster Abbey to have at least one photo of it. But it was a bit far from the station so we took a taxi and asked him to take us there and at the Palace front gate. We went to the Palace first. We just got a few photos because we immediately saw the guard inside coming forward the gate which seemed that he wanted us to stop taking pictures. So we ran towards the taxi in frantic. Next stop was Westminster Abbey. As we arrived, we got off the taxi as soon as it stopped. We immediately took like a million photos. But then the driver called our attention. He pointed to the other side, informing us that we are taking pictures of the wrong building. How embarrassing!!!!! So we got like five photos max I think, and headed back to bus station. We boarded the bus and onto Liverpool we go.

At the Liverpool bus station, we have no idea where to go, but we wanted to go to where the Beatle Story exhibit is. So, we wandered a little, found two employees of the station and ask. They said the exhibit is at the Abaduck. So off we went.

When we arrived at the venue, we saw a signage. It says, ‘Albert Dock.’ Oh my gulay! Another embarrassing moment for us. When we climbed in the taxi, we said to go to Abaduck. For some bizarre reason, he understood it. What a thick accent they have!

The exhibit was awesome.

Later that evening, we took another cab to the John Lennon Airport for Northern Ireland. But before we go to the airport, the taxi driver was kind enough to drive us around and stop at John Lennon’s house with Aunt Mimi, Penny Lane and the Strawberry Field Cemetery to take some photos. It’s a pity we didn’t see the city at day time. John Lennon’s childhood  home they said was open for tourist during the day. But a photo at the front gate was good enough for me.

Next stop Belfast.

I think we planned to visit Belfast in just a day. I already forgotten what’s the itinerary is, but the plan was to go to the Giant’s Causeway and a tour on the way to where the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series film set are. But the first day, the tour offers only the Causeway tour. It rained almost the entire day. It was gloomy and it was difficult to sight-see.

We thought the Belfast tour is over. The next day I was still under the weather since the Palawan trip, so the following day we stayed at the hotel all morning. And our flight was in the evening same day. Before we headed to the airport to Scotland, we stopped by at the Titanic Museum. It was almost closing time when we arrived and only a few hours from our flight but still we saw it. And it was amazing. Even though I got disheartened when we missed our flight.

So back to our hotel, we booked another Giant Causeway tour and this time with the Game of Thrones tour too. And it was sunnier this time around.

Then it was time to head back to Dubai.

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The case of Clingy Claire

Clingy Claire is like any other normal woman. Except that she is clingy.

She came from a good family, they are an extended family, but nevertheless almost a perfect family. All siblings finished college and had their own degrees, the older two brothers have their own families, she being the third is still single, and the youngest sister is with a long time boyfriend. Her mother is still alive, all are fine and well. She has a number of friends. Her closest are from high school which is very fortunate of her, until this day she is still friends with them and still have communication, talk like they are just in high school back in the day.

She’s living far away from her motherland since a year or two after graduating college to look for work to have a better life. She has been living there for more than a decade. She has gone through a lot of tough times, but as well as the good. She’s doing averagely at work for she’s always saying that she would love to get a different job and build a good career out of that, whichever that might be. But after a decade of working at the same company in the country she is living in, it is a bit hard to start over again in a different field in a different company and let go of where she is at right now. Or maybe she’s just accustomed to her current work and would not want to change the status quo. So she just do work as what she is expected, not more, not less. Not sure if this contributes to making her life a bit miserable, but she sometimes feel that it is.

Her romantic relationships is not as clear. She has been in a relationship with a significant person since back in college or from her first job, but did let go of him to seek a better life in another country where she has build a life of her own successfully. Then a new handsome man came into her life. She loved this man so much. She thought that this is the guy. The one. But is wasn’t so. It was a complicated relationship. For sometime, they have been on and off the relationship, the guy not only on and off with her, but with another. Not sure how many others, but theirs is not as solid as she has wanted it to be. Part of it she blames her self, little did she know that the guy has a different plan of his own for his future that she’s not a part of. After finally saying goodbye to this man, she has been terribly hurt like a normal woman should be after a breakup. And this I believe, made a significant effect on Clingy Claire. Who wouldn’t when it comes to love, right?

Days, weeks, or months had past and a new relationship bloomed. It is not clear how long this special relationship had been going on. Not sure if it had overlapped with the man that she claimed to be in loved with, if not ‘so much in like’ with. This new relationship is between her and a female colleague at work. It is also not clear if the female has the same feelings towards her or if she is reciprocating the ‘love’ that Clingy Claire has been showing her. But as she puts it, they have an understanding. The female special friend is heterosexually married and have a kid or maybe two of her own. Not sure if Clingy Claire is expecting this relationship to have a future, or she is just happy that she has a ‘girlfriend’ in her at that moment in time. But what is apparent, is when she migrated to Canada along with her family, Clingy Claire got devastated. More devastated than saying goodbye to his former male love relationships. It is also apparent that this is not the first homosexual relationship she has been with. She has engaged sexually with a female before at some point in her life, but with this particular special friend, it is not evident if it is indeed sexual. She took this separation so badly that it seemed that she has been depressed for months after that.

After this devastation, another distressing event has occurred in her life. Her boss that she loved so much too got into a terrible politic-ing. She was sent back home to her motherland. Clingy Clair could not take what had happened to her boss. She felt that her work-life crumbled. Because of this, she developed a horrible anxiety. The worse symptom of hers is vomiting. Because of this, she became so thin. She looked very sickly thin. She suffered from vomiting and abdominal pains for months too. Doctors couldn’t find what is causing her abdominal pains. She and her friends thought that all the doctors who checked her up are stupid and useless. But one doctor did got her symptoms right. She gave her medicine for her anxiety disorder. But naturally, she didn’t take this seriously and refuse to take her meds. Or maybe she did, but not as timely as the doctor recommended. And she didn’t take the diagnosis seriously either. She refuse to admit she’s depressed nor have anxiety disorder.

Clingy Claire gained her healthy self and body back when she joined a new family household after months maybe a year after the diagnosis. It is the household of one friend she met through a common friend. She has been with this family for two years now, and all is well and dandy. Until recently, that her friend felt suffocated with Clingy Claire’s ‘friendship’ towards her. She was supposed to be moving in with a high school friend and her husband and Clingy Claire’s sister, all of them in one flat. That was the original plan. But her friend got pregnant unexpectedly. The friend decided to leave work and went back to her homeland to give birth to her son, with no solid plans of when she and probably along with her son be returning back. Clingy Claire again, according to her was not mad nor furious, but disappointed. According to Clingy Claire, she was the kind of person who expects too much of things and from people, specially from people who promises and makes plans with her. And if the plans do not go accordingly, she gets very disappointed. Because of constantly being disheartened and being let down by people and friends, she said she now doesn’t make plans at all. She said she just go forth with life as it comes to her, and just rolls with it. Looks like this is where she got her clinginess.

Her childhood, attitudes towards life and behaviour is not known. It is currently not evident if she possesses this clingy attitude for as far as when she was just a child. Strangely, she admits now that she is indeed clingy. As she admits she is as she says clingy, she also is little by little telling a few friends that she is now also a lesbian. Up to what extent, no one knows for sure yet. Maybe not even her.

Now she told her housemate friend that she ‘like’ her. If not sexually, it seemed that she has been accustomed to being with her almost most of the time. The good thing is Clingy Claire looks happy and content with her present situation. Looks like she is envisioning that the future, her future, Clingy Claire’s future is living a life with this female friend. Because her company makes her happy. It seems that she would love to anchor her life with hers, not making plans of her own, and the masterplan is to go along to whatever her friends’s plan on life is to be. She has started planting the anchor, hooking it to each and every chance she can and on the process, trying to convince her friend that she too is a lesbian. Clingy Claire annoyed her friend somehow when she had a Gchat conversation one day that she too will soon be a lesbian. That it is inevitable for her to be a tomboy, and that it’s just a matter of time. Since then, it has been a concrete evidence to her housemate friend that Clingy Claire is indeed clingy.

The problem is, that this female friend of hers doesn’t want to be her lesbian partner. She has her own future, a different future in mind. Even though Clingy Claire insists that she hasn’t been injecting herself nor trying to intrude herself on her friend, her friend felt that her personal boundaries has been slowly invaded. That she felt that if she somehow tried putting a wall to that personal boundary of hers, or slowly pull away for a bit to breath, Clingy Claire might not be happy and be disappointed and read the intention as a rejection. Worse, she might misread it as she’s going to be abandoned. Again. Knowing of her previous history and from what she has seen with Clingy Claire’s behaviour every time when she’s been left behind, been disappointed with plans unrealised, she breaks down unaware, gets to a depression and an anxiety disorder. Clingy Claire won’t admit this for sure. But is has happened before. Her decision to be a lesbian seems to be part of her being clingy. It seemed that her interest in boys, her sexual attraction towards the opposite sex disappeared for an unexplained and no visible reason, and as a result, she tends to cling to women who she thinks might give her value and might guide and accompany her through life. This is kind of occurance is not new to us. Homosexuality is everywhere and little by little it is being accepted as the norm. There’s nothing wrong with it in a humane perception of things. Who are we to judge?

Clingy Claire’s housemate friend loves her so much as much as she loves all of her other friends. But that’s about it and nothing more. She hopes and pray for her friend Clingy Claire that if she has decided whether to be a lesbian and come out, or remained a heterosexual, she hopes that she would be happy and healthy and with a mind that is stable and be confident of living her life fully even if it means living by herself alone, and not depending on anyone’s happiness. And now that Clingy Claire knows about her housemate friends feelings for her, that Clingy Claire feels that there is nothing wrong with her, and it is her friend’s issue with it, and not her, her friend only hopes that Clingy Claire will stay friends with her but less clingy. And somehow find a way to be happy and live a good life on her own independently.

Coincidentally, as I write this post, the TV is on and the movie, ‘Inception’ is showing. Next movie is, ‘Total Recall’. Both plots has something to do with manipulating the mind. The mind is indeed a powerful thing. It can make or break people. Depression and anxiety disorder is still curable. As they say, ‘it’s all in the mind’. Maintaining your mind as well as your body healthy and full of positiveness and good vibes, everything in life will be easy and fulfilling. But most importantly, I believe, if your heart is with God, then all of life will make sense. Nothing to worry about, nothing to feel insecure, depressed and or lonely.

If you happen to be aware that you are clingy or a friend boy/girlfriend is showing signs of clinginess that is unhealthy to your relationship, this article may help you resolve your issues with it:

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Less-Clingy

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/9-ways-less-clingy-your-relationship.html

 

If you have a friend who is depressed and have an anxiety disorder or you think might be, these are some sites that can help and are good reads:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety/anxiety-and-depression.aspx

https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression/symptoms

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/what-wellbeing

 

God bless Clingy Claire, and you all.

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