Posts Tagged ‘students’

Manchester Update

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I feel that I haven’t written a general “This is life in Manchester” update in sometime. As I am currently at a loose end with a desire to write something but a disinclination for that to be anything work related, Manchester has become my topic for this here post. It is like to turn into a ramble with no clear point or purpose and will therefore also be a clear insight into the nonsensical workings of my brain. Good luck, dear readers.

Date: 13 November 2014
Current time:
Windy and overcast but not raining. And it isn’t that cold, really. These are all very positive things.
Amount of sunlight left remaining in the day:
Not a lot. What is sunlight?

I am currently sitting in a room above one of Manchester’s hippest hipster bars. The same hip hop tunes that have been playing on repeat for the last month are continuing strong from the speakers in the bar below. I’m not sure how many more times I can hear that he is killing her softly with his song without turning to similar violence.

Winter is, thankfully, taking its time to arrive. Talk about town includes, “Gosh, it is unseasonably warm, don’t you think?” with most people not having pulled out their winter jackets yet. It won’t last, of course. Particularly not now that the Christmas markets are opening on Friday and people will be wanting to wander around outside.

The Christmas Markets are apparently going to be bigger and better than ever before, which I take to mean that instead of four over priced fudge stalls owned by the same company there will be five. And it will not be physically possible to walk across Manchester without being forced to walk past stalls selling tacky christmas ornaments and novelty hats. Step outside and you will instantly smell like a german sausage. Yes, I admit that part of me enjoys the sights, smells and fairy lights of the markets, but that’s the same part of me that wanted to go to Blackpool. Give me an hour and I will want to leave.

Santa statue

Mega Santa takes over Manchester.

Every weekend, the city centre seems to be getting busier and busier with the main shopping strip, Market Street, becoming a human wave of shoppers. In September and October it was the sudden influx of students that ruined my commute to and from work when suddenly I was having to dodge hundreds of students carrying pillows and staring at their mobile phones as I tried to walk home. Now everyone is getting into the ‘Christmas Spirit’ and is out shopping for Timmy, Susan and Pedro’s christmas presents. One day I want to walk down Market Street in a very straight line and see how many people I manage to walk into. It would be the ultimate game of Chicken and I think I would score quite highly.

On a more positive note, the warm temperatures have meant that while the sun doesn’t get up until after 7am and has disappeared by 4.30pm, the weather has been remarkably good. My morning runs haven’t turned icy yet although I am having to avoid running along dark canals in order to not be murdered.

With two months and 17 days left on my visa, time is rapidly disappearing. But the closer my imminent departure gets, the keener I am to stick around. Yes, Manchester is dark, dirty and drizzly, but I like this place. It is growing and changing and becoming a seriously cool city. So the plan is to next year become one of those annoying pillow-carrying students and walk up and down Market Street bumping into people. Mostly because students in Manchester get a discount on almost EVERYTHING and I love a bargain.

Old Woman Whinge

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

I warn you in advance that this blog post is likely to sound like an old woman whingeing about “The Youth of Today.” Feel free to move on and maintain a positive outlook on life and not be bogged down by my complaints. HOWEVER, I write this having been woken up at 5am to the sound of some sort of pre-dawn chorus. It sounded similar to cats being strangled but I believe it was a group of drunken students singing along to an unrecognisable song completely out of tune. I suspect their performance took place on one of the balconies of the surrounding apartment blocks, their voices bouncing off the concrete buildings, entering my bedroom window and attacking my sleeping ears. Just brilliant.

Now, I admit that I did reach my “There are a bunch of drunken students singing outside” call without any proof of a. who was singing or b. their sobriety. However, recent events in Manchester forced me to jump to this conclusion and really there was no other possible explanation for the unforeseen concert.  September has arrived and Manchester has been taken over by students. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. The centre of the city is swarming with young, barely-dressed teenagers buying pillows, saucepans and bottles of vodka. Now, my after work pop in to Aldi to buy vegetables for my dinner has become a elbow fight with 17 year olds carrying shopping baskets. Luckily, not many of them know what vegetables are so there’s still plenty left for me, but if I ever went mad and decided I wanted to buy frozen pizza, I would be in trouble.

Yesterday it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to catch a bus from Manchester city centre to West Didsbury. It is a five mile journey and one that I once ran in less time. Why did the bus take so long, I hear you ask? Because I happened to be taking the £1 Magic bus ride that goes past two universities and almost every location for student housing in south Manchester. I get it, students need to catch buses, too. But do they need to push the button at every stop and slow the bus down so frequently? Can’t they get off at the same stop (preferably mine) and walk a little bit?

The bus travel time isn’t helped by the fact that two or so weeks ago, a HOLE OF DEATH opened up on the main road into town (the road my bus drives down) and therefore traffic has been diverted onto smaller roads that can’t handle the extra traffic. This HOLE OF DEATH is really just a small gap in the already dodgy bitumen and not the massive sink hole the local authorities are making it out to be. Perhaps I should be grateful that they are looking after my safety, but really I’d just like to be able to spend less time on a rickety bus full of young people who say “Ummm… like totally.” a lot.

Ok. Rant over. I LOVE STUDENTS.