Tuesday, 15 February 2011

two days, two posts... now that's progress!

Check me out, updating my blog in a timely fashion like I promised I would two weeks ago. Personal growth, people.

As for my life here in Manchester, Pout last night was a bit of a letdown seeing as by the time we showed up, the queue was monstrous and the bouncers had cut admittance off. But that's ok because we had a great pre-game. One of the international students from William and Mary, Dio, always hosts the pre-game (known as pre-drinks here) at his flat, which is apparently the hottest new club in Fallowfield (or so Dio says...). A bunch of the internationals were there in their Valentine's best including pink polos, sexy red lips, tightless legs, etc. Overall, not the night I was hoping for seeing as I never really made it in the club, but fun and definitely memorable nonetheless.

I had originally wanted to post about my past few weekends in this update, but I'm awfully tired and I've got an early start tomorrow, so I am just posting to get myself into a pattern. Plus, I want to include pictures from Edinburgh, Liverpool and Stratford-upon-Avon in that post, and I haven't yet figured out how to do that, haha. If anyone knows, please teach me your ways! (That means you, Lindsay...)

I will end with some news on what the next few weeks will hold though. This weekend I'm heading to London for three nights, then the next weekend I'm hoping to go to Bath and Stonehenge. The first weekend in March I'm off to Paris for four nights (already dreaming about all the wine, cheese, crepes and macarons I will be eating...), and then I'm taking a weekend off to rage in Manchester for Amanda's birthday (Amanda is another international from William and Mary). And then that brings us to Dublin for St. Patty's and a quick bus ride across the Emerald Isle to visit Nicole Clark in Galway for a few nights! So so excited for the next month... things are finally starting to take shape on the traveling front!


Monday, 14 February 2011


As it so happens, this whole "updating my blog everyday" thing has proven a bit too challenging for me. The past three weeks have kept me more than busy with classes during the day, going out to the countless bars, pubs and clubs of Manchester at night, and spending the weekends gallivanting about the UK countryside. But no more. I intend to put this blog to good use starting now.

Although I feel it's a bit too late to recount the day-by-day events of the last three weeks, I do want to create a vivid image of what my life here in Manchester is like so far for all you folks reading this. The best way I can think of doing this is just by summing up a few key points and pieces of information that I have learned or experienced in the last few weeks that will most likely have an effect on the coming months.

Firstly, for those of you familiar with London, there is a BIG difference between the north and the south of England. It is often known as "the North-South divide." The accents, way of life, general friendliness you encounter on the street, and most notably the PRICES are very different up here in Manchester than they are in London. The accents are very heavy, almost Scottish-sounding, and littered with endearing slang such as "luhv" (not to be mistaken with "love"... they sound quite different). Furthermore, "Cheers" is much more commonly heard than "thanks" or "you're welcome" (although these are obviously used as well). Life up here is a lot less hustle and bustle than it is in London. While over 8 million people call the greater London area home, only about 400,000 do the same for Manchester, and about 20% of them are students. Considering that the area in which I live, a student community called Fallowfield, lies on the same road and bus route as the university and the town's city centre, it seems I almost only see students everywhere I go. This keeps the town pretty relaxed but still very hip and VERY fun.

This brings me to one of my favorite things about Manchester: the nightlife. As someone not yet of legal drinking age in the States, I am simply LOVING how accessible the nightlife is in this town. There are a good number of bars within walking distance from my residence hall in the Fallowfield area, as well as nicer bars and some truly great clubs as you head into the city centre. So far, I have only been to the same bar twice ONCE, but I have gone out about 3 out of every 4 nights (if not more). Since there are so many options to choose from, every night of the week usually has 2 or 3 really big events going on among all the bars and clubs. For instance, Monday is THE night for the Deansgate (very posh area near city centre) location of a chain of bars called Revolution. The night is known as Pout and is QUITE the event. Tonight will be absolutely huge seeing as it is Valentine's Day, and I am very very excited.

Another great thing about the nightlife here: the English boys LOVE American girls. And boy, am I loving it. As soon as they hear an American accent they absolutely freak out. As soon as they find out I'm from LA, well... they ask me to say "oh my God, like totally!" Which I do... for a small price. They have to say something from Harry Potter in exchange. So far I have gotten them to say "wingardium leviosa" and "Professor Dumbledore." Extortion? Maybe. Pricelessly entertaining? Obviously. This brings me to how easy it is to talk to people in this town. A lot of the guys that find our accents amusing genuinely just want to talk to us. What a refreshing change of pace from the LA bar and club scene. It is SO easy to strike up a conversation with anyone here, be it on the bus, in the laundry room, or at a bar. From my limited time in London, it seems people mostly go about their own business when taking the tube to work or walking around the busy city. In the north, however, it's often hard to avoid conversation with any number of passersby.

Well, I do feel I've rambled on a bit here, but hopefully that will keep everyone at home feeling moderately satisfied with an update from across the pond! I really do intend to start updating more regularly now that I'm settled in and beginning to have weekend adventures. Still to come- posts on my trips Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Stratford-upon-Avon. I'm heading to London this Friday so I promise I'll update before then!

Oh and one last thing... Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

ps- brief explanation of my blog's title

I know I said my last post would be the only one for the day, but I thought I would explain the blog title that seems to have little to nothing to do with Manchester, haha. For those of you who have not seen An Education (you really should...), it's a British coming of age film about a seventeen-year-old girl named Jenny who lives in 1960s Suburban London and dreams of growing up and being fabulous. In a scene at the end of the movie, she visits her teacher's flat and comments how lovely all her books and pictures are. When her teacher responds that they're nothing but paperbacks and postcards, Jenny observes that those are all you really need.

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of traveling across Europe and seeing as many beautiful, cultural cities as I could. However, until last week, these dreams had been largely limited to what I read in books and saw in pictures. But now that I'm here... let the European adventure begin!

touching down in London

Hi everyone!

Well, I have been in the UK for over a week now, and I am just now starting my blog. Even halfway across the globe, I still procrastinate in true Emme fashion. However, since today was my first rainy day in Manchester, I figured I would spend the afternoon updating everyone back home on my English adventure thus far!

As you all know (or should, at least), I am spending the Spring 2011 semester studying business in Manchester, UK at the University of Manchester. My term started this past Monday, but I stopped in London for two nights with my dad before heading up north. We arrived last Tuesday around midday and headed into the city from Heathrow to a cute little hotel near Little Venice on the northeast side of town (they even had a cat that wandered around the lobby... I was in heaven). Despite getting very little sleep on the plane, we spent the next two days getting in plenty of sightseeing. Big Ben, Parliament, some window shopping in SoHo, plus dinner and a pint at a pub called Shakespeare's Head the first night, and a hop-on, hop-off double decker bus tour, the London Eye, the Tower of London and a river cruise down the Thames the second day. We even ate at this cool pub called Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese that was REbuilt in 1664! Crazy!

One of the things I enjoyed the most about London- the tube! As someone who has had to take public transportation in Los Angeles, possibly the biggest city with the worst public transportation, I must say that I am seriously in love with this super simple mode of transportation! 6 pounds for an all day pass! And it takes you everywhere!

Well, I want to keep my posts relatively short and as we all know, brevity is not my strong suit... haha. So I will post all about my first week in Manchester tomorrow!

Cheers for reading!