Mohd Adnan Mohd Nor (Adi) came to Norwich from Malaysia in 1973. He was an international student on a Construction Course at City College Norwich from 1973-75. He studied for an Ordinary National Diploma in Building.
Great memories of Norwich
Adi tells us coming to City College Norwich and staying in Norwich was very memorable for him.
“The staff, my friends at college and the public too were very kind to us. They made us feel at home and helped us settle in well – especially the staff members Mr Ken Lilles, Mr Fowler, our Maths teacher and our British classmates.”
What did they do?
Well they studied, played and performed during the International Night in the Great Hall, (which is now the Information Store).
Living accommodation for Adi was in Southwell Lodge, and thankfully the janitor and the housekeepers were very kind and patient with him and his friends as they adjusted to the local culture and practices. Some of Adi’s favourite pastimes were watching cricket near the Cathedral, the boat rides and visiting Great Yarmouth.
He tells us
“I love Norwich City Football Club and still follow the Canaries from Malaysia! I also wanted to join the College rugby team, but when I went to the trials everyone else was a giant compared to me!”
Getting up to mischief!
One moment sticks in Adi’s mind which looking back he does think wasn’t so sensible! He told us
“Some students had come back from a trip with the college van and we saw them put the keys under the doormat. A group of friends and I took the keys and went driving around the college grounds for the weekend! None of us had a licence so we weren’t brave enough to take it out on the road – thankfully!”
Adi decided he’d like to bake a cake and thought he give a a cake kit out of a can a go. He was boiling it in a saucepan in the shared kitchen when it exploded all over the ceiling!
“The caretaker was really cross and asked who had done it and although everyone said “Ooh what a mess”, no one gave Adi’s name and he didnt own up to it either!”
We bet it was a mess!
Adi’s many firsts while at College……..
Adi experienced a trampoline for the first time in the Sports Hall, he enjoyed new heights he’d never reached previously!
The first time Adi ever had an interaction with a dog, was when he went to the Doctors Surgery. Having accidentally entered via the Doctor’s personal entrance he bumped into his dog who promptly put both front paws on Adi’s shoulders proving quite a face to face experience!
They didnt have milk deliveries in his home country so seeing the Milkmen on their floats was quite a unique experience that he recalls.
Whilst doing his construction course, they were the first to use nail plates. These only came into use in the 1970s and consists of a metal plate used on roof joists.
Falling foul of ‘British’ customs!
Adi & his friends unintentionally came foul of etiquette when going out to eat in an Indian restaurant: the drinks were very expensive so they bought their own drinks and asked for glasses. They also only ordered one plate of food and shared it.
The staff asked them how long they had been in the UK – “2 days” they replied.
The group were told that it showed and not to share meals in future or bring their own drinks to a restaurant. Additionally they were told they weren’t welcome to come back to that particular restaurant! A bit unfair we think………
As he was in the UK for Christmas, one of Adi’s lecturer invited him for Christmas dinner. Whilst there the lecturer showed Adi that he had half a cow chopped up in his freezer! The lecturer took great pride in explaining how it was so much cheaper to buy a whole or half a cow and chop up to place in the freezer.
Adi considers that this was a good life lesson in home economics!
Adi recalls going to the pub on the last Friday of every month and he had most certainly got used to British customs by the end of term!