Day 20&21: Manchester

My second and last night in Liverpool was much better, but only because I was wise enough to make my covers into a sleeping bag, and wear clothes to bed… And because I was also wise enough to print my next ticket when I arrived in Liverpool, I didn’t need to feel the last minute anxiety. Sadly, the wisdom was lost the moment I got into Manchester

Looking at Deansgate, which apparently is a part of Manchester… I could smell the gloominess in the air with the clouds and the construction…

Until things got interesting as I got out of the train! Billy Elliot is on! But of course, as I seemed to have used up my luck in the first half of my trip, the musical won’t be on till tomorrow, and I leave first thing tomorrow! How dare they!

(I’m thinking about going to Liverpool in March to see this show now…)

After having breakfast/lunch with my host, I went back to town for People’s History Museum. I thought it’d be a somewhat open-minded, reflexive yet orthodox museum to learn about the local history… Well, it turned out to be a museum of radical movement. It talked about workers’ rights, immigration, women’s suffrage, and took a very harsh stance against Thatcher… Yes, it really does feed my personal opinions, but the feel in the Museum seemed a tidbit too… Passionate, maybe?

Met a fellow couchsurfer and took a little walk around Cholton Water Park today, looking at the swans and geese (they’re Canada geese!) The River Mersey is not as big as Wye River, but it does look like a proper river, and the lake looks it’d be quite spectacular on a sunny day… This is apparently another abandoned industrial site, too!

The other CSer and I went back to town to grab a bite, and had a very fascinating discussion about the Muslims… Now I want to be a Muslim! Then on my way back, the bus driver refused to drive until a person at the back got off… It took me a while to figure out that it was not about a bus fare! They eventually called the police and apparently the driver felt threatened by the way the man purchased the fare, saying that he pounded the glass and all that… I couldn’t tell the ethnicity of the man as he looked Caucasian enough for me, but a few other people were calling the bus driver a racist throwing an attitude. The man was reasonable enough and as people got frustrated and left the bus, the majority of them seemed to be more annoyed by the driver than the guy. Interesting…

A little note on the languages here… The accents turned rapidly north as I went from Cardiff to Liverpool, but Scouse didn’t give me much of a problem. I had a bit more problem here in Manchester, thought it is partly because my host’s flatmate is from somewhere really close to Liverpool. Scousers do talk in a very different tone, and I’ve been catching a few general northern changes like “bus” sounding like “boos”, and “me dad” instead of “my dad”. There’s also this feature change characteristic to only Scouse: s becomes sh in almost all environments, like “school” becomes “shchool”, “start” becomes “shtart” and all that. Also something I’ve only found in Manchester so far: they say “mate” almost like “meet”. But I’ve only met this on a few occasions so I can’t be sure whether it’s a general North feature or a Manchester-specific change. Very interesting indeed…

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