Work (smothered in play)
Trip Start Apr 04, 2012
15Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
I am going to pick up from where I left it last time, my latest trip to London. First port of call back in Manchester was to do my construction course (equivalent to a white card in NSW). I assumed it would be run along the same lines as home with a full day course followed by a quiz. This was set up more like a driving test where I sat in a booth and did a multiple choice test straight off the bat. Lucky things over here are similar at home in terms of safety otherwise I would have been in strife!
I start work the following day, which means I only have a two-day week before Ben (Quinno) and Chris (Pige) come down for the Parklife Weekender festival
Chris and Ben get down on a Friday evening and we get stuck into a few beers in the Northern Quarter, which I have heard is the hip place to go in the city centre. We sink a few ales and meet some local lasses who take us to some random underground dance club. First real taste of Manchester and I don’t mind the flavour. The hostel was all booked up for the next night so it was lucky that Pig and Quinno were down so I could crash on their floor. I was actually pretty glad to get out of the hostel by the end of it, bit sick of sharing with randoms. Let me give you an example: After having a few ales the night before I got home to discover I had a roommate for the night. Had a bit of a chat the next morning and he was an Aussie in his mid forties doing a bit of the backpacking thing. No dramas there, what was creepy was that he had a shower (it was an ensuited room) for about half an hour and the whole time he was making theses groaning sounds like he was having the wank of a lifetime! Now that I think about it I probably should have just left the room, I must have subconsciously enjoyed it.
Watched Wales take on the Wallabies the next day before making our way down to the festival. On the way down went through Rusholme that is home to the famed curry mile. And they don’t lie it is a solid stretch of all types of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Need to get amongst that before I leave Manchester. Down to the festival and in typical England style it was/had been pissing down with rain. We did have the forethought of investing in £6 shoes from Primark (super cheap clothing store) but were wishing we had wellies. The festival itself was pretty awesome, I think there were 7 stages and a heap of dj’s and other various artists. I watched Jenga Jenga who was pretty sick, and then we walked around talking shit and getting bulked. Another highlight was Crystal Castles they were epic!
Can I just say that Manchester and potentially UK in general froth on drugs! That place was an absolute hive of it; I think it was harder to spot someone not off his or her head. Keeping this in mind we started a pretty funny game. At one of the stages I found what was probably a Primark jacket on the ground, the spare buttons were still attached. What caught my eye was the fact that the spare buttons were housed in a satchel much like what you would find drugs in
Buses and taxis out of the place were ridiculous after the festival so we ended up walking in to town, took about 40 minutes. I didn’t have a bed to stay in so my £5 sleeping bag got a run on the floor.
We chilled out in the city the next day being having a nice brekky, and then it was time to move into my new residence. I had lined up a short-term stay in a share house about 20 minutes from the city. The setup turned out to be a couple, Ric and Moira, in their early sixties who rent out their children’s rooms now that they have moved out. There is another Irish guy living there as well. Pretty cheap rent and they provided sheets, towels and the kitchen was well equipped so no need to buy any housey stuff. Ric and Moira are really great people, definitely the easy-going type that would have caused a bit of mischief and by the sounds of still do! The only bad thing about where I am living is the one-hour commute to work, the joys of not owning a car. But the feeling of unpacking my bag into draws was soooo good!
Another 2 weeks of work before I was off on a much-needed (haha) two-week holiday, the days basically melded together and didn’t do anything too exciting during the weeks other than book flights/trains/hostels for the upcoming break. I think every night I got to watch at least one game of the EURO tournament, which I cant really complain about.
One thing I am still struggling to get used to is the daylight hours here. I am not complaining at all at the amount of light, I think it gets dark at 10:30PM and is light again at 4:30AM (rough guestimates). What is weird is that I am used to setting my alarm and waking up and driving to work in the dark. My alarm is set for 6:00AM here when it is completely light outside, and almost every morning I wake up earlier than my alarm panicking and thinking that I have slept through my alarm and am late for work. Somehow I don’t think I will have that problem in the winter with only 6 hours or something retarded like that of daylight. I reckon I will be missing Aus at that stage!
Another thing to note during this period was my ability to lose things without any effort. Those of you who know me well know that 90% of the time I’m not confident on the whereabouts of my phone and wallet. This proved costly as I lost my Aus Sim card at some stage. This caused a sizeable issue because all of my travel money is in my savings account which I can only access with a verification code sent to my Aus number. So no access to my money! Instead I had to get a code sent home to Dad but it expired before I got to use it. Then another code sent in express post. So eventually after almost a month of using my credit card for everything including cash I have access to my money again. Didn’t seem costly when I first lost the sim card but will have to wait and see what the bank thinks. Oops
During the quick stint in Manchester I did manage to sneak a wee trip to York in the middle weekend. Met up with Quinno and his work mate Lochie in Leeds and we had a pint before driving up to York and chilling out at Lochies place for the arvo. We ventured out into the town and York turned out to be a picturesque place. The main centre had the traditional city walls and I’m lead to believe Willy Wallace tried to storm its gates a few years back. Good night out too I might add.
By the time we were up and not feeling sorry for ourselves I was time for me to get the train back to Manchester. I need to go back to York as a tourist and get into the history and take some snaps, but at least I got the most important thing out of the way.
Quick update: I’m currently in Manchester having an extremely quiet weekend after solid week at work and a two week bonanza before that. Taking the down time to reminisce via blogging and do some washing as mundane as it seems. So hopefully in the next few days I can get back up to date with my blog and keep it that way!
Asta pronto (I think that is how it is spelt).