Good day, dear readers and I apologise straightaway for the little hiatus. I was in Manchester in the past four weeks to finally get my CELTA certificate and further my career as a teacher. It was a 4-week high-intensity course with the British Study Centre in Manchester, and it really was full-on, leaving me barely time to update this blog, but now it's back to normal.
In case you're thinking about doing your CELTA as well, I can really recommend the BSC in Manchester, as our tutors were fantastic and I learnt plenty despite having taught on and off for the past eight years. Now back, I want to find more teaching opportunities alongside my freelancing and writing to be among people a bit more and not die a weird loner (I reckon a fear many writers share).
Also, about Manchester, a few notes. It is a fantastic city inasmuch as it is nothing special (no offence). I enjoyed it immensely because it features all the bits you want in a city, like great shopping opportunities, cinemas, theatres and a fantastic nightlife, but isn't as overwhelming as London, for example. Sadly, though, I must admit I barely managed to see any of it, as I was trapped in the BSC school close to Piccadilly Gardens all day.
Doing the CELTA was also inasmuch wonderful, as I met truly fantastic people on the course and remembered what it feels like having a clique of incredible people who don't over-complicate , aren't overly sensitive or anything of the likes. It's high time to find more such people and enjoy the perks of going out and about a little more again (this turned into a philosophical post real quick, but no worries, I'm almost done). Having caught a sneak peek into the Mancunian life, I've devised 5 Things to Note About Mancunians that may be helpful if you ever decide to visit the white north and here they are:
1) Welcome to Manchester
The English weather is notorious for being, well, not ideal. The Brits are also notorious for constantly talking about the weather, it may be counted to one of their favourite leisure activities, in fact. Having lived in the UK before, I was no stranger to this phenomenon; however, Mancunians seemed to sum up their entire city with the predominantly grisly weather holding its grip on the industrial city. Whenever I remarked anything negative, especially about the weather, the Mancunians would simply drag up their shoulders in a mixture of matured resignation and a tinge of accusation masked as an apology and say, "Welcome to Manchester." Almost as if they wanted to apologise and say, "well, you chose to come up here, so it's really on you, isn't it?" Well, despite the weather - or probably because of it - I deemed the people to be quite friendly and welcoming, so, why not, welcome to Manchester.
2) To not shower or not to dry, that is here the question
Another peculiar phenomenon I noticed during my weeks in Manchester was the more than just occasional woman or man in the morning tram with drenched hair but dry clothes. Why do I mention dry clothes? Well, it might have been the constant drizzle that put them into such a state (Welcome to Manchester), but this phenomenon occurred on the odd sunny day as well, and their clothes were dry, too. So, my only conclusion to draw is a) they don't have hair dryers at home or, b) they haven't washed their hair in such a long time the level of grease lets strangers anticipate the hair could be wet. Now, I reckon it is clear why I have a problem with the latter scenario, simply because it is disgusting, but scenario a) is not much better. May I remind you I was in Manchester in OCTOBER and it was pretty cold outside already. If an individual hopped into the shower early in the morning, forewent the hair drying procedure and then marched out into the 10-degree day, this individual may as well call in sick on their way to work, as a bad cold is - at least in my world - the only plausible consequence. However, this point actually leads to...
3) October is still summer, right?
Picture this. Me, the Austrian, strolling up the road, caked in various layers of coat, scarf and a woolly hat to face off the ever-blowing cutting wind and soft drizzle that is a constant companion to the city like its red brick houses and hooting horns of the trams that snake their way through the ever-moving throng of Mancunians. Now, I am still walking down the road, remember, all swaddled up whilst an individual dressed in a breezy summer skirt wafting around her silhouette slowly braves the rain, her feet already embraced by the drops that cannot be stopped by the leather sandals she decided to don today. Various times I stumbled upon such an individual where I simply couldn't comprehend how this outfit choice could ever come together in the first place. Who wakes up, opens the curtains, gazes into the mist of grey that is everyday life in Manchester and thinks, "hey, tis the perfect day to wear leather sandals, to the closet!" To make matters even more confusing, I spotted individuals matching their fat, woolly scarves that wound around their necks and shoulders like an angry python with flip flops that showed off their pale, red toes, nibbled on by the cold. These two items would never even find together in my wardrobe, but hey, I am always a sucker for two unrealistic lovers...
4) Let's have a view of the...rain
Manchester has a pretty cool layout in my opinion. As it is not historically as laden as Cambridge, Oxford or London, the architecture is a bit more daring where modern and old intertwine pretty effortlessly. Having lived in Firswood, just outside Manchester centre, I went through Cornbrook and Deansgate Castlefield every morning on the Victoria tram. Looking out of the window (after having marvelled at the wet hair of my tram neighbour for a while), I noticed there are plenty of almost all-glass buildings that serve both as offices and flats. Mancunians seem to seek daylight as moths seek any kind of light apparently. Some of the flats I could easily look into had two full walls entirely made out of glass, allowing the few stray rays of sunlight make the most out of it. Also inside the city, there are many topped up glass boxes on old buildings that serve as flats and offices, giving the inhabitants great views over the Manchester skyline and the constant drizzle.
5) Know your football club
Manchester houses two of the best football clubs (or so I've been told, as I couldn't care less): Manchester United and Manchester City. Having no clue about football, I nevertheless quickly learnt you better support the right club or you may be kicked out of someone's house. From what I've mustered, the safer bet is Manchester United, as most people I met are die-hard ManU fans, deeply offended when you mix up the clubs (as I did) or hate you when you are, God behave, for Liverpool or any other club. So when in doubt, choose Manchester United and don red - for I think actually most football clubs have something red in them...right?
That's it for now from Manchester, but stay tuned for city updates on Liverpool, York and London, as well as accommodation reviews.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.