UK: Evening Walk @ Nottingham

It was a lonely week here in Nottingham. It became a routine for me to walk my way back to the apartment every evening after work. The office I am working in was located at NG2 Industrial park which is only 10 minutes walk from the town. So instead of taking a cab, I was taking the option to walk home so to burn some calories with an evening walk.The distance between office and my apartment is some 2.2 km, which is around 25 minutes slow walk.

The office building that I am working in right now. It is located at the right side of Queen's drive.

It was only 6pm in the evening and the sun was going down so early.

Walking out from Queen's drive, I reached at the Wilford street. The building with a triangle top is an Irish bar and restaurant. I was thinking to myself that I will visit it one day before I am going home in 5 weeks time.

Sky was getting dark real quick. Here is where the Canal is, cutting through the town from west to east.

Walking along the canal street towards the roundabout at London road.

A left turn at the roundabout will lead me to Belward street where my apartment is located at. Yea, I am home finally. The walk was taking around 25 minutes :).

When I was at the top of the Nottingham castle today, I spotted my office from the hill top :). It is in the red color box in the picture below.

UK: The Tales of Robin Hood

It has been a week since I arrived at Nottingham on last Saturday. It was a really stressful week for me in a new office working on something that I have no idea of what it is about. But anyway, since this is a Saturday, I am not going to think about work and how bad it could be. After all if things really not work out for me over here, I know that I always have an option - quit. I am not going to think about it for now at least. I don't really want to spoil my weekend mood.

So it was a drizzly Saturday morning, I was planning to visit the castle early in the morning but waited till noon for the rain to stop. The castle was located 1km away from where I am staying at the moment. It was a nice walk down the road to the castle, passing by the town center with lots of people around. It was some 15 minutes walk for me to reach at the castle.


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When people talk about the castle @ Nottingham, the stories will always be related to a hero in English folklore - Robin Hood. Here at Nottingham is the origin of the tales of Robin Hood. The story was about - Robin Hood, who robbed the rich to feed the poor. Whose favorite pastimes were tricking the Sheriff and poaching the King's deer. His adventures have captured the hearts and minds of ordinary people for 800 years. To know more - visit Robin Hood.

The statue of Robin Hood.

The hero who was a highly skilled archer at medieval time.

The entrance to the Castle.

Inside the castle, I was like going through a time tunnel and backed to old time as the people inside was dressing up like old English-men at Medieval time.

A merchant who was selling his hand made wooden sword.

Woman was starting a fire to boil water. This was how they do things during the Medieval time.

The way it was setup was really like bringing me back to the old time - a king was sitting there with his guards around. You may ask for the permission of this boy at the right side in the picture to lead you in to face the king as an emissary.

Merchant selling shields and armors.

Here is the entrance gate to climb up to the hill where the main castle building is located at.

Climbing up the hill.

The lion statue, or was it a lion after all?

The Nottingham Castle.

The main door to go inside the castle. There is an exhibition hall and a museum within the castle. I was just quickly walk through the halls and museum as I am not really interested in their history after all :p

Nottingham town view from top of the castle.

The sky was still cloudy after the drizzle stopped.

It was so windy and after some 30 minutes, the clouds were blown away and the sun came out :). It made my mood a little better when the sun comes out after a gloomy day.

I was thinking to myself that no matter how hard it is gonna be or how painful it is to go through a period of down fall in your life, you will always be bouncing back when you reach the bottom. Just like the sun will always come out after the rain. I have gotta stay on my feet and do the best I can. No matter how painful it is, I know there is always a better day ahead of me. I might be going through the darkest time of my life but I know tomorrow will always be better. I am feeling okay now :).

UK: Accommodation @ Nottingham

It was a long long flight to London. My flight departed at KLIA 10:45am in the morning and it was a 13 hours journey in the air at altitude of 10000. I was hardly able to sleep on the plane as was seated next to the emergency exit which was located right beside the wing where the turbo engine was. It was really torturing =_="!

My plane touches down at the Heathrow airport at 4pm UK local time. It was where my nightmare started =_=" I was going through a long queue at the immigration. I waited some 30 minutes for my turn to clear the immigration. I greet the immigration officer politely but no response was given by him. I handed him my passport and arrival card and the first question from him was "what is your purpose of entry?". I answered him politely that I am coming on a business trip for meetings and knowledge sharing at my mother company. He was not convinced though after knowing that I am going to stay there for 6 weeks. Here is where the embarassing moment started.

He was asking for my invitation letter or any documents to prove that I am actually on a business trip. I was not given any letter from my company so I handed him my business card, company name and even gave him my office's number in UK. The first response from him was:"What makes you think that I should call your company? It is your responsibility to get the documents ready. You have no invitation card, no official letter and you don't have any prove that you're on a business trip. This is UNITED KINGDOM! It is not a place that you can come and go like your own house."

I was totally stunt =_=" I stoned there for a second and quickly gave him my flight ticket and hotel reservations as a prove that I am on a business trip (the accommodation reservation was arranged by my company with their details). He was not convinced though. I was out of idea. I shown him everything I have got, I told him what I am coming for but yet, he was not impressed. I felt so helpless and was thinking I am on the next flight home :) really! Surprisingly he changed his mind in the very last minute and granted me visa and thrown me backed my passport without saying a single word. I was confused as I always do. I got my beg and stuff and walk to the other side. Politely, I said thank you to him but he was not even looking at me at all. Sigh, as if i really stepped on his tail like that =_="

Phew, I cleared the custom with my luggage and walked to the arrival hall. I was greeted politely by the cab driver who was arranged by my company to come and pick me up. He was a really nice man. With lots of jokes, lots of information, we were on our way back to Nottingham. He dropped me off at the Park Plaza Hotel and these are the pictures took in my room.

Breakfast @ Hotel's Restaurant

Early morning, I work up as early as 6am. I was still adjusting to the different time zone. First Glance at Nottingham City:

I packed up my stuff after breakie down at the hotel restaurant and checked out from the hotel 11am to catch a cab to the apartment where I will be staying for the coming 43 days - The Ice House. Upon arrival, I was told by the receptionist that I will not be able to check in until 2pm as the cleaners were busy cleaning up the rooms. She was a really nice lady with a big smile on her face always. As she promised to take care of my things before the room is ready, I was heading out to the city for a walk and to take my lunch. I was heading down to Goose Street which is only 1 minute walk from my apartment.

Market Square:

Tired of walking around, I stopped at the Cape cafe and take my lunch herea.

Hot Choc!

Chicken Tikka Masala:

The color of autumn:

After lunch, I headed back to the apartment at 2pm but was told that the room was not ready yet. ARGH... I felt so tired and just wish to go to bed immediately =_=". I sat there and waited till 4pm to get my room and quickly rush into it to put my stuff before going out for last minute groceries shopping (shops close at 5pm on sunday).

My room @ Ice House (Premier Apartments):

It was a really tiring day indeed.

I woke up early in the morning to get myself prepared before going to work. This would be my first day in the Nottingham office. After breakfast, I took a taxi to the office at 8:20 in the morning. The office is actually kinda near to the city, about 2 km away. I spoke to the receptionist about my purpose of visiting to Nottingham office and she got me Julie to come down and pick me up.

First sight on Julie, she is a really nice lady in her mid 40s and she was super friendly. She took me around the office, shown me the way and even bought me a cup of coffee! Julie introduces me to people in the office and I met up with lots of familiar faces like Martins, Neil and I met our legendary team who is working on the IDAP framework - Craig, Pranav, Mike, and lots of other people who I still couldn't remember their name. Julie put me with Craig and I was just sitting next to him. He is a really nice guy and very helpful. Craig introduces me to lots of the other team members in the development team.

Anyway, I felt kinda awkward to sit among them and I felt kinda nervous when I am in a conversation with them. Maybe I am not used to talking to them at all. Just like a new boy going to the office on the first day. I remember that I had a same feeling 10 months ago when I first joined the Malaysia office. Well, I hope this kind of feeling will recede in the coming days. I was too shy to talk to them really. I don't know why =_=" I just failed. I know that I am not really good in small talk. Sigh...

Anyway, first day in the office was bombarded with tonnes of information. My brain started to turn off around 3pm as it was about 10pm Malaysia time =_=" ... I struggle till 5pm and quickly pack up my stuff and headed home. Phew, the first day is always gonna be the toughest day. I am totally agree with that! I am just wishing that I will do a lot better in the coming days to mix around with the people around in the office. "Cheer up, Michael"!