00:06

Working in a takeaway has taught me many things; one of which is tolerance.

The saying, ‘The customer is always right’ is only sometimes correct in the food industry. People feel entitled to free food, people can be rude and demanding, and people can complain like there is no tomorrow.

At the end of the day the business I work in consists of 3 people: my uncle, my aunty and I. I take the orders (either over the phone or in person), give these to my aunt and uncle in the kitchen, and they cook the food. I receive money from the customers, then help pack the food up in the kitchen, and bring the food to the customer. When there are delivery orders my aunty drives there herself leaving only my uncle and I in the shop. It is a small business and is family run. When I am not available to help them out; my cousin works. The business is lacking in staff but we get by.

Thus I find it frustrating when people do not seem to appreciate the hard work that is put into providing (what seems to them to be a simple) service.

Of course I cannot express my annoyance or frustrations at the customers but need to internalise these thoughts. I have learnt to tolerate people who may act rudely and not let others’ misdemeanours affect my service. Luckily there are more pleasant customers than unpleasant, who appreciate the time and efforts put into preparing and making their food. As with any job there comes a learning process, and learning to tolerate customers is a valuable skill which will benefit me in the future.

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01:42

‘I like to see people reunited, maybe that’s a silly thing, but what can I say, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.’

Jonathan Safran Foer – Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

16:27

It is rare that I will do a day time post but busy evenings call for irregular posting!

Yesterday I had the chance to go on a roadtrip with friends up to Glencoe. We visited Loch Lubnaig, The Green Welly Stop, Loch Tulla viewpoint, Three Sisters and Ballachulish.

There were two visitors to the UK amongst our group, one from Sydney, Australia, and the other from Vancouver, Canada. There were 7 of us altogether and we had a lot of fun exploring these different places and taking in the amazing views. The visitor from Australia had never encountered snow before so we made sure to stop and play in the snow, as well as checking out frozen lakes and skimming stones.

The Highlands are really scenic and beautiful! The snow capped peaks are awe-inspiring and the drives through the landscapes are spectacular!

Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig

Clear waters of Loch Lubnaig

Clear waters of Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig with snowy peaks in the background

Loch Lubnaig with snowy peaks in the background

Scenic drives!

Scenic drives!

The Green Welly Stop

The Green Welly Stop

Hours of driving totally paid off

Hours of driving totally paid off

Loch Tulla viewpoint

Loch Tulla viewpoint

Stop at the side of the road to take photos

Stop at the side of the road to take photos

One of the Three Sisters

One of the Three Sisters

Another of the Three Sisters

Another of the Three Sisters

Ballachulish

Ballachulish

Frozen lake

Frozen lake

00:33

I  finished reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I think my brain is still trying to process the story as a whole rather than as individual plots.

I found the book quite a slow starter but as I got to the halfway mark it quickly picked up. I actually read the latter half within 3 hours on the same day whereas the first half I picked up and left off quite often over a week or so.

There were a lot of interesting ideas and cultural teachings to be gained from the book. There were times where I forgot that the book had been translated into English, and that is a wholly Japanese book. Notions of suicide and mental illness seem to be addressed more informally in Japanese culture in comparison to the Western world.

This is not your average love story. Expect to become attached to the main character, to feel the lulls when he does, and the highs when he does too. I thought it was fairly dark in some places and some concepts were difficult to grasp (due to my own inexperience and lack of knowledge).

I look forward to reading more from Murakami’s collection.

01:46

Yesterday I did another clear out of my room, this time being my Edinburgh bedroom. Over the past 3 and a half years I have accumulated a lot of things. Some of these things can be sorted into the category of junk while other things are ‘keepers’.

Some items I kept in the past for nostalgia’s sake because they reminded me of an event or experience. Some I kept because they held emotional significance to a certain person or time in my life. Some items I kept simply because I thought they would come in useful one day.

I carefully sorted through my nostalgic things and decided which ones made the cut. I considered why I had kept these things and whether I would remember the experience without the physical item. I also considered whether I still held that memory close to my heart, and for many I no longer did. For the items that held emotional significance I thought about my relationships with the people that they represented. Was that person still in my life today? I found that often they no longer were, so the items were discarded. The things I kept because I thought they would be useful in the future had been untouched for weeks, months and even years. They clearly had no further use and were thrown out.

While this way of organizing and tidying may sound ruthless to some, it is a necessary step for me. There are some things which are obviously worth holding onto, but moreover there are things which no longer have a place in my life. I always feel lighter and less burdened when physical items in my vicinity have been removed. My room feels clearer and tidier, and most importantly organized.

23:06

Today I went to donate blood and there I met a nurse who was so friendly that I could not help but write a blog post about it.

I try and donate blood every 12 weeks because I feel like I should give to the community in any way I can. Also I feel like if I should ever need a blood transfusion, someone elses’ blood could save me, thus I need to give someone else that same opportunity. I have been giving blood ever since I became eligible to, and I find it quite relaxing to do so.

The nurse that accompanied me during my blood donation was so friendly and pleasant to talk to. She asked me what I studied and the general small talk questions, but took a step further and took a real interest in my degree. She shared information about herself and her own experiences in relation to my field of study, and I found it very interesting to talk to her. We spoke about a certain forensic pathologist based in the Edinburgh area who occasionally gives lectures in the hospital. She kindly wrote me a note with all the information on so I could research it more for myself. She also wished me the best of luck in my studies.

A further thought was that while it was clearly coming to the end of the nurse’s shift, she did not rush through the donation etc but took the time to talk to me. Her genuine interest in what I did as a student was refreshing and it made me feel good. It is not often that people take a deep rooted interest, even my own friends do not, let alone a stranger!

23:28

I am back in Edinburgh!

On my journeys back and forth from my hometown I always make sure I bring a book (or two). This time round I brought with me Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.

Once I get into a book; I get into a book. There was one point in my train journey that I was so engrossed in my book while at a station that I almost didn’t see my connecting train pull in. I have missed reading so much! That feeling of wanting to find out what happens is such a rush! With being busy with university and all, it was nice to have a break and read.

Thoughts on this book? Wonderfully written! Bravo J.R.R. Tolkien, bravo. I have watched all of the LOTR films but there is something about the written word that makes things all the more magical and mystical. One of my favourite parts was the descriptions of the elves. They are described so beautifully and down to every detail, and I believe the films also did well to capture that beauty and elegance.

Next conquests? I think I am going to leave the LOTR trilogy for now simply because my university term is starting again and The Two Towers is pretty hefty. My gift of Norwegian Wood is of reasonable length, and looks to be something I can easily pick up when I have time. Norwegian Wood it shall be!

00:35

Yesterday I tidied out a lot of things from my old room and rearranged items around. While I am at university in Edinburgh for the majority of the year my younger brother uses my room as his own.

I am known for being quite the hoarder so getting rid of things takes longer than it should. I am sentimental over small things such as film tickets or birthday cards, and these take up room in my already small living space. I have birthday cards dating back to when I was in my teens and I hold onto them because they remind me of how far I have come now. I keep holiday memorabilia and old presents because they show me experiences and fun times from the past.

I have managed to condense a lot of my old things so they can be stored in boxes and put neatly away. I have put my small collection of books in order and also slotted in my old childhood favourites.

I have a little bit of tidying left to do today before I return to Edinburgh on Friday, but I am looking forward to having my room exactly how I want it. As the saying goes, ‘a clear room makes for a clear mind.’ Or something along those lines…