The Only Souvenir I Forgot is the Accent

It took me approximately 19 hours to fold and put away laundry this morning. This is due to two things: it is my least favorite step in the entire laundry process and I was Skyping with Jill. It went about like this: fold a shirt or two, type some witty quip, read her response, roll on the floor whilst laughing, put said shirt (or two away). A sample interchange is as follows:

  • Jill: So if I’m eating a yogurt that expired, ohhhh 6 days ago, what are the odds I’m going to die?
  • Me: Slim to 50%
  • Jill: I’ll take it.
  • Me: So I may or may not see you for running today? Is that what you’re saying?
  • Jill: Yeah, I don’t think so. Or ever, because I’ll be dead.
  • Jill: See ,people that only see our hilarious wall posts don’t even know that these are like all our conversations. We’re this funny all the time.
  • Me: How do we put a trademark on our hilarity?
  • Jill: Two words: Comedy Troupe.

Jill and I have dreams of becoming a Dynamic Duo, taking our shtick on the road. I can see us now, jumping on a tram doing the double-wave screaming, “Hoizame!!!! Wie geht’s?!”  (Hello All! What’s up?!) After our routine is over and people are slowly stitching their sides back up, we will once again throw the double-wave and exclaim, “Thank you Banhof ______!! You’ve been awesome!” But, for now this is just an aspiration I often alight on while riding home on the train. Until then I guess we will have to settle for clever commentary via Skype, Facebook, and face-to-face communication.

Now for more important things: I just got home from my trip to England! It was great. I really liked seeing the country again, as well as checking out a new city, Manchester. And to be totally honest, it was nice to be in a place where I didn’t feel guilty for speaking my Mother Tongue. I arrived in Manchester on Friday night and set out to do some exploring. My hostel sent me a handy guide with places to see and visit. I started with the first place in the “Nightlife” section, Trof. It’s a three-story bar located just down the street from my hostel, which sits in the Norther Quarter. The NQ is Manchester’s trendy and upcoming neighborhood. I’m really glad I ended up staying here because not only could I glean some tips on how to become cool someday, but it also had a hip vibe and I enjoyed seeing the area without many tourists; it gave me more of a native feel. I grabbed a pint at the bar at Trof and started talking to the Manager. I asked him if he had any suggestions of where to go and he sent me to The Ruby Lounge, a sort of underground club around the corner. A couple bands were playing there, and although the crowd was considerably younger, I still had a good time.

The next day was for sightseeing and aimless wandering, both at which I have become quite proficient. Manchester is definitely a place you want to see with others as it’s a very social scene. I got along fine, however, browsing through vintage clothing and record stores and perusing the streets. The Manchester Art Gallery was also a good stop with an especially interesting photography exposition. The weather was great and I managed to relax in a park with Mancunians and travelers. As I mentioned earlier, the John Mayer concert was cancelled (cue me shaking my fists at the sky) so I had to find other means of entertainment. The bar Night N Day across the street from the hostel was having a concert, similar to every other joint in the city. Seriously, you couldn’t walk down the street without hearing live music. So for £6 I could listen to 6 different bands, including: Polka Party, The Books, Loubeta, and Rubika. They were all surprisingly good and it was great to listen to the local sound, which differs slightly from what I am often drawn to.

On Sunday I headed to Cambridge for another concert and more exploring. It was a soggy day, which made my 6 hour bus journey a little more palatable; at least I wasn’t missing any sunshine. I arrived and was picked up by my Couchsurfing host. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this experience, basically people can connect all over the world by offering up their place of residence. This is a great way not only to meet people, but also save money while traveling by skipping the expense of a hostel/hotel. After I explained it in further detail to mom she also said I could have died doing this, but that is not what I chose to focus on while finding a host to stay with. It’s actually a great idea and offers a great way to see an area with a local who can often show you interesting bits about the city you might have otherwise missed. For example on Monday, Mark, my surfer, offered to take me to the Evensong service at King’s College Cathedral. It was an amazing experience that I might have otherwise missed out on. In any event Cambridge was great. I hadn’t been there since my high school trip so it was fun to see it again. It was fun to watch students exploding out of buildings as the finished their end-of-term exams. Champagne bottles were being popped and there was a general air of celebration. The night was topped off by an out-of-this-world show by Band of Horses. It was almost as if they came up to me before the show and said, “What would you like to hear tonight? And in what order?” Seriously, it was that amazing; all my favorite songs were on the menu.  They played at a relatively small venue, which gave it an intimate feel. Overall, I was very pleased with their performance. Tuesday was reserved for travel, and thankfully I made it home with no incident. And how great was it starting the work week on a Wednesday?!

To only add to my joy this week, the weather has finally improved! It is beautiful and sunny, and today I will enjoy a run by the lake. The following song is one of my favorites to run to. It’s so upbeat I can’t help but smile as I run. That action combined with the inevitable sweating make for quite a sight.

Manchester Cathedral

Canal Street in Manchester

Trinity College in Cambridge

King's College Cathedral, the place of the Evensong

Cambridge is known as "Cycle City"

Excellent spot for people watching

Students on Cambridge grounds


2 thoughts on “The Only Souvenir I Forgot is the Accent

  1. I was literally doing the rolling emoticon whilst reading this.

    Thank you–you’ve been excellent!! (insert double wave)

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