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Hello and Cheers! from Manchester, UK!
makikoigami wrote in vanira
I have decided to post a few things from what I did here, most probably on a weekly basis because I hardly have time to write anything during the week. I'll just give you a short overview here first before I move on to the fotos.

As you may remember, I had to take my planes early Tuesday morning, having me arrive at the FDM office here around 12 o'clock where I was placed immediately into my course, where they were doing basic Professional Skills. Being more dead than alive at that time because I had not slept much and traveled far, I felt like a Zombie most of the time. The only other girl in my group took pity of me and took me out to lunch at 1pm, and we had some McDonald's at the food parlor of the Arnsdale Mall, of which I will tell you a lot more in the future, because it's the biggest shopping centre I've ever come across.

After we were finished with our course around 17:30, I asked the staff where I had to go since I had effectively forgotten to out down the address where I will be living for the next weeks. They gave me that, but had no idea how I had to go there and just told me to get a bus. Hui - the name of the girl in my group - was worried about me and had nothing of me trying to find my way on my own, so she told me to come with her to her house and she'd get her car and drive me there. Which she did. Unfortunately though, her GPS chose a route that took us over the M602, one of the motorways here and due to something, it was closed ahead. Therefore, a HUGE traffic jam formed itself there and it took us one and a half hours for a way that should have taken 30 minutes.

When we arrived though, I had managed to reach Paul's wife on the phone and she had told me that we had missed each other at the office due to me and Hui leaving so quickly and because nobody seemed to have passed on to the staff there that she was going to pick me up, which could have saved us all a lot of trouble actually.

Anyways, she told me a few basic things - like Paul was out on site for the remainder of the week - and that she'd be leaving around 7:20 in the morning. So I set my alarm to 5:45, checked a few things on the internet and went to sleep around 9.

The next time started with me hurrying to get up, showered and dressed... and then I had an hour left before we left. I say we, because Max took it upon her to take me to work with her, since the offices are not that far apart. I was there about 8:30, bought myself a sandwich meal-set at Spar and started my second day at FDM.

During Lunch break, I wanted to get a Sim Card for my Xperia, to be able to use my GPS on that, the maps and all these things. I didn't manage though, because getting lunch took too much time again. Therefore, I went home without having done that.

We were told to prepare both our CV and a small presentation for Thursday and Wednesday, and I had to get my account name changed as well, since they had spelled it Kaston... Anyways, I had problems deciding what to do a presentation about, so I talked to the instructors for a while and we kind of agreed on that I would talk about the Berlin Wall, since I can talk about that for ages, basically.

So, we had Thursday morning mostly for writing our CVs. They have an interesting template, where you write a short summary of what you did at the job you did, not just what job you did. I think it helps a lot to convey what you were doing and makes it easier for the employer to ask you questions in the interview. Therefore, we also had a mock interview Friday morning, but first back to the presentation we had to do.

We had a schedule posted to us via email and I was to go in last. And, because of the topic and because I really know a lot about it, I had a perfect score. XDb Good pace, good voice, good gestures, good material, too. I focussed mainly on the building of the wall, because if I had to talk about how it came down, it would have taken another 10 minutes and I was only to use 5 Minutes. Took me 6 in total, but that was okay. At least it did not take me 15. XD There were a lot of questions afterwards though, because of the sectors of Berlin and the inevitable "Why was the wall torn down again?"-question, so it took a total of 20 minutes, I think, but that wasn't my fault. ^^;;

Anyways, afterwards we returned to tweaking our CV, and after that I FINALLY managed to go out and get myself a Sim-Card. I went to the Carphone Warehouse first, where I asked the guy at the till - prettiest guy I'd seen so far - what would be the best for me and he told me that probably Vodafone and told me to get it in the Vodafone shop down Market Street, which I did. The young man who sold me the card - without inquiring for my name, address or anything as he did - helped me set up everything as well, so that was quite the success. Afterwards I went to Aldi and bought Bavarian Ham and German Salami. After having bought Nutella on Wednesday at Tesco's for £1 only, it almost feels like home here. XD I even found my fennel-tea for 99p, so that'll be fine. :3

On Friday, we had our mock interviews. I did okay, felt terribly self-confident and cool as I did so, even though I forgot to research about the employer we were supposed to talk to. OTL. Did a few little mishaps, like used the wrong words, and had a not so good first impression, so that are things I need to work on. Also, on Thursday evening, I met Paul for the first time, after we had apparently seen each other at the office the day before, and he took me to work early in the morning, so we were there at 7:30 and the doors were still closed. I signed in at 7:45 after Sean arrived (he was at the assessment centre in Berlin) and unlocked everything. I basically did nothing except for having breakfast and looking at the exercise questions for the interview. After the interview... We just sat there. Doing nothing. Because we didn't know what to do, except for preparing the UNIX-courses next week, but to be frank, I was bored after clicking through the first three modules, because I had had all these things at university before. Still, I will look in to the documentation later, just for the heck of it.

Saturday then. The time to do much needed shopping for a hairdryer and some other things. I put down the pictures here, so you can walk with me for a while there. First I went to Tesco's, trying to see how long it'd take me to get there, then I took the other bus to get into the city, and walked around there a bit. First I went to get some snack since my breakfast was already digested or something and had some pocket at Gregg's - that's supposed to be SO GOOD, coming from Hui - with Chicken...something filling, probably Indian, that I was still eating by the end of the day. Then I went to the Manchester Cathedral, took a look around there, walked around the city for a bit, then got to Piccadilly Station, where I had arrived coming from the airport on Tuesday and took a look around there. Then I went to the tourist information to get some postcards, and then to Primark. Which is an entirely evil shop, considering that you can get reasonably fashionable clothes there for very little money. Got some socks, because I was freezing my legs of the night before, and two long-sleeved and -legged pyjamas. I also went to get that hair-dryer at a shop called Argos, because it was only £4 there. Just going there was interesting though, because you don't go there and pick stuff out of the shelves, instead, you choose it from the catalogues lying around, write down the number on a piece of paper and then go over to the check-out where you pay for it and then people get it from the stock room. Much like IKEA, just without the big store where you can look at the things. Unfortunately though, at the first shop where I tried it was out of stock and I had to go to another. The lady at the check-out was nice enough to reserve it for me and told me where it was and thus I traveled to my first retail park ever. There I quickly got what I wanted and left again. I had initially wanted to walk around there a little more, but I was so tired already that I took the first bus back to Little Hulton/Walkden, which is where I am right now. I stopped over at Tesco's first though, bought myself some dinner and lunch for today and then hurried home, hiding under the covers, because I was just so cold. Which I still am, but my new pyjamas helped me a bit.

tl;dr Now on to the pictures.

What we did last week: Making more or less interesting pictures and charts of various sorts.

On the curiousness-sites: This device was used to vacuum the streets early int he morning, when the bus I was on passed this shopping centre.

China Town parking Space

My initial goal was to photograph the arch for China Town, but the cab over there was a good motive as well. ^^;

On my stroll towards the city yesterday, I came across this little fella here, who felt very comfortable in his owner's flower beds... Reminded me of somebody else's cat.

The closest shopping centre here. It's serious giant, but not as big as the Arnsdale Centre in Manchester itself. This is where we usually go here to do some grocery shopping.

A little to the left.... As you can see, next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken there's a McDonald's, too. And over there is a Subway's, too, just like there's a Pizza Hut on that parking space as well. @.@ At least I won't get too hungry. XD

This is me on the bus towards the city centre, just passing by some old-ish houses...

That belong to Chapel Street and are going to be torn down and remodeled right now.

A former Cinema that is now a Church for the New Harvest Christian Fellowship. Not looked much into that.

That's a railway bridge over Salford Central Rail Station. The first time I saw it I almost freaked over how pretty it was, just coming from that area of being remodeled. ^^;

I got off a few stations earlier than usual, and took a look into the back streets. Mostly because the gray house in the background had such a pretty plate, but it's too small for you to see, I guess.

Nice houses in pedestrian zones...

One of the more Main Street looking like Streets. XD As you can see, Bella Italia is everywhere.

Okay, so on the right we have Harvey Nichols, that sells higher class clothes. Right in Front you have the Wheel of Manchester. But I was on my way to the Manchester Cathedral.

It looks a bit off now, on such a busy street and coming from such a busy district... Kind of reminded me of the Cologne Cathedral, just a LOT smaller than that.

Inside the cathedral. I apologize for the blurriness, I have shaky hands because it feels quite cold here and it was a little too dark within the cathedral. Apparently though, in 2007, Her Majesty and Her Husband received service in this cathedral.

The main entrance hall... which I did not capture nicely enough.

The Regiment Chapel. I'm gonna put down a summary of the description from the pamphlet I got at the cathedral: This part was destroyed virtually in 1940 by enemy action (I love that description). The 'Fire Window' in the back had to be restored after damage from the IRA bomb which exploded near the cathedral in 1996. I DID love all the old flags around though. Some of them are from WW1.

That's a moder depiction of the birth of Christ... I liked how alive it looked. And the baby was cheek-pullingly cute. XD

That's the choir. Again, I apologize for the blurriness.

Something that reminded me of Japan (among MANY MANY other things): Here you could put up your prayers and wishes on a small wall.

I liked this Chapter House. Basically it was an octagon room with benches on the walls.

Now back into the city. Apparently, on the left, there's something called the Triangle, behind me is the Wheel of Manchester and in front we have the Printworks. The green bus in the middle is one of the three free lines in the city of Manchester that takes you to all important stations and shopping centres.

Within the Printworks, the Hard Rock Café is located. I haven't been inside of it yet, but there's probably a lot from Oasis there.

The insides if the Printworks. As far as I have gathered from it's name and the looks of it, it's an old factory hall of paper printing, for papers and everything. Now you have a lot of good-looking restaurants there and a large ODEON-cinema. 1 Adult £7.50 per show. @.@

After my short visit to the Printworks, I wandered around town a little more and came across a few pretty gems in the middle of newer and run-down looking buildings.

An old Market Hall. I do hope it's going to be remodeled, but for some reason I doubt it's going to happen any time soon.

I photographed this because of its windows... though I'm not sure if you can see them.

I was on my way to find out something about the next building that I saw, and ended up in a quarter of the city that's called Ancoats. I was looking around so fervently afterwards that some guy asked me whether I was lost. XD But thanks to my GPS-phone I was not! :D

That's the building I saw from afar and wanted to know more about. But apparently the only entrance is on the other side of the building and it was closed as well. =3=

More of the small, backstreets' charms.

After some more shopping, grabbing something to bite in the Arnsdale Shopping Center - the seriously largest mall I've ever seen - I had to take the bus to somewhere to pick up a hair dryer I had reserved at Argos, and passed by this little gem. Unfortunately my phone reacted a little too slowly to take a nice picture.

That's on my way back. I was so tired from walking around all day and my feet hurt like shit, so I sat down and took photos from the front row on the upper level of the bus. Unfortunately though, the window was so dirty that you can see it on the photos... where they're not blurry, that is.

On the left, there's the Town Hall. And don't ask me what the flag up there's doing there... I think it's the Irish one. Not sure though. No wait, I do: They just started with the general festivities for St. Patrick's Day (March 17th). I need to find out whether this is a holiday here or not. *squints*

More buildings in Manchester centre on my way back out.

The bridge from earlier, now from the other side. Not AS pretty, but still notably nice to look at.

My bus is going to go left right now...

This is the view to the left though.

And into Chapel Street. Remember that old cinema? It's to the right.

I wanted to make this photo prettier, but my phone was too slow. xD

And this is the university I pass by every morning. There's a train station on the other side of the street, too.

That's the Swinton Town Hall, the next bigger looking city district from here.

More administrative buildings and an Italian and an Asian restaurant with an all you can eat buffet.

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Klingt alles total spannend, ich werd' deine Erlebnisse hier auf jeden Fall verfolgen.

Und aah, toll, so viele Fotos. Das "Backstreet's Charm"- Bild find ich besonders interessant, hätte auch geglaubt, das sei irgendwo in Amerika. =D

Ich hab irgendwann vollkommen verplant, wo ich bin und so, aber in solchen Situationen findet man die besten Orte. xD

Und mich erinnert hier alles fürchterlich an Japan... bei den Schuluniformen angefangen, über die Massen an Fast Food usw... @.@;

(Screened comment)
...Was lässt dich denken, dass Manchester in den USA ist? *HIRN reich*

Ich hab bei den Bildern spontanes Edinburgh Feeling bekommen (hey, das ist wenigstens die gleiche Insel XD)

XD Pfft, ja, und SO weit is Schottland von hier jetzt auch nicht entfernt. Wales ist näher dran, aber egal. xD

Fun fact: Ich hab n Koreanisches Restaurant gefunden, das weitab von China Town liegt. Und der Chinesin heute den chinesischen Bäcker gezeigt, den ich gefunden hatte.

Irgednwie haben die Grossbritannier es besser mit den asiatischen Läden drauf, als wir hierzulande :( Ich bin im April in Edinburgh und würd glatt rüberhotten, aber eine Woche ist doch ein bischn kurz für einen Spontantrip ;)

Gib's doch zu. Du fährst nur so häufig nach UK, um dort mal so richtig Asiatisch einkaufen zu gehen. Ich würd's tun.

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