New Country, New Everything

As my first week abroad in England has passed, I have seen and experienced things that I have only imagined once before, and it’s only week one! The day I arrived I took an hour bus ride from the airport to my “accommodation” (dorm) and got off at the stop that I was hoping was mine.  Once I found the reception center, I was given my keys, the wrong keys I might add, and arrived at my flat.  It sounds a lot cooler to say that you live in a flat, right?  It surprisingly and oddly wasn’t too cold outside at the time, I rolled up my sleeves thinking “wow, this weather really isn’t that bad!” I someone managed to bring all my belongings with me up to the fourth floor and I entered my room. It was small, but cosy; it was even fully equipped with green walls, green curtains, green doors, and a green radiator.

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University of Manchester

I met my flatmates and they were so kind and welcoming! One of the girls was named Fran, and I couldn’t help but think of that tv show, The Nanny, on Nick at Nite.  She took me to the local grocery store, Sainsbury’s.  The store looked exactly the same as an American store would, but when you look closer, you see things that are so different that you have no idea what it even is half of the time.  As I was settling in and setting up wifi ,which is an undeniable necessity I may add (jokingly but half serious), I decided to email my parents. I told them of my brief interactions and how ecstatic I was about the nice weather.  As I finished the email, I glanced out my window and saw a sky full of gray clouds. It then began to rain.  Later that day, it hailed.

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The Wheel of Manchester

Later that week, myself and some other exchange students decided to explore City Centre.  We took the bus to Piccadilly Gardens, which is the central train station and bus station, that had endless amounts of shopping, dining, and site seeing. The first thing I see is this giant “Ferris Wheel” that looks just like the London Eye.  Right across from that, I see the infamous Primark. Everyone talks about this shop and you never go a day without seeing someone with a Primark bag in their hands.  It’s basically a four story shopping store that sells anything and everything for a really cheap price.  I would compare it to a Forever 21 in America, but better!

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We then went into the Arndale shopping center for one sole reason: to get Nando’s for lunch.  Eating at Nando’s was on my list since day one because I always hear Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, other celebs talking about their amazing peri peri chicken; I just had to be apart of the hype I guess! To no surprise, I can claim that Nando’s was the best meal I’ve ever had in the UK.  But I guess that’s not saying much since I’ve only been in the country for a week!

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Manchester Cathedral

After lunch, we decided to walk further into town and fully explore. We saw the most beautiful buildings and cathedrals. You could stare at these buildings and feel like what you were seeing wasn’t real. We walked around for a couple of hours constantly finding the most unique shops, pubs, and buildings.

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St. Albert’s Square

We were lucky because it wasn’t raining that day so we actually could take our time to see everything. So far I’ve learned that if there is ever a time when it is not raining, take advantage because that time will soon pass… because at some point… it will eventually end up raining!

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