A Temporary Respite

This week was by far one of the busiest and most stressful weeks since university started. I had property and criminal law seminars which involved 80 pages of textbook reading, six cases, three mooting speeches to prepare, two problem questions to solve and an essay to write. This led to late nights which led to headaches which led to my disastrous fear and paranoia of headaches which led to crying at half past midnight over Skype and sporadic nightmares. The night before I had to present my two-minute (it was only two minutes but my throat still seizes up whenever I have to speak up in normal circumstances in seminars and everyone in my class is so intimidating, the lecturer included) mooting speech at my criminal law seminar in front of everyone, I barely slept and couldn’t eat after waking up so after the hour-long seminar finished (which concluded my seminars for the week as well), I felt the heaviest burden lift off my shoulders because I’d survived the week and even had Black Friday sales to look forward to as a reward for the relatively shitty week I’d just had.

Not to be dramatic but as soon as we left Williamson building, the sky looked clearer, the weather nicer, and my pimples also probably cleared up for a while there. If this was a descriptive novel, I’d even say I walked with a spring in my step. Probably skipped down the road if I wanted to be hyperbolic. That was how happy and relieved I felt, probably the lightest I’d felt in a very, very long time.

While crossing the road, Yee Lin said to me, “You could blog about this,” and I replied, “Yes, I definitely could.”

So at 2PM after class, Ee Min, Yee Lin, Ash and I headed for Arndale after having oily fried chicken for lunch at McTucky’s (healthy food be damned, now that my heightened anxiety had been diminished, I was in the mood for extreme comfort food). Arndale was even more packed than usual, and I savoured the moments of solitary window shopping, even ending up at Cathedral Street which I never even knew had existed before this. It felt like I was visiting the city of Manchester for real for the first time.

The crowds weren’t as crazy as I’d expected and the sales as good as I’d anticipated so my only haul for the day were a two-litre bottle of milk, a carton of 10 eggs, two boxes of cereal, an air freshener and a pack-of-six toilet rolls, like the Adult that I am. Until I was enabled by Ee Min to get a pair of new shoes which were on 50% discount and then we finally made our weary way home in the rain as I started to feel the fatigue from the lack of sleep the previous night settling in my bones.

That night I even had a mini Thanksgiving dinner at Rumin’s flat with her flatmates and also Jia Yang, Choo Chin and Brian and it was a really, really good feast. I can never exhaust the usage of superlatives in my writing but. One of the best tasting meals I’ve had here so far? I’d probably say so.

The night ended with a Noragami Aragoto episode and also a short hangout with Taliza and Karu which involved a lot of weeaboo-shaming and jaw-aching laughter until 3 in the morning . And now before the weekend ends, I just want to savour the minimal leisure time I can afford to have before the next week rolls in and I’m faced with another round of textbook and case readings that attempt yet again to pull me under.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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