LEEDS, MANCHESTER & EDINBRUH.

Is it really awful of me to acknowledge the titles of my own posts on my own blog? Cause Ima do it anyways. I didn’t spell Edinburgh wrong, I’m just hilarious.

From London, we caught a coach to Leeds to meet up with Claudia’s friend, Ellie from her summer camp, whom I had previously met during our stay in NYC. She had just started attending Leeds University and we stayed a night there, before catching the train with her back home to Manchester.

I can’t really vouch too much for Leeds or Manchester, because we weren’t there for long enough and anything we actually did there didn’t really enrich my knowledge of these places. In Leeds, we ate Nandos, got drunk with Ellie’s uni friends, tried to get into a club that we lined up for an hour for, and were then told that we probably wouldn’t even get in. The security guard was the most disgusting human being I have ever witnessed. He only let through a select number of girls, with 10 layers of makeup on and hardly any clothing- talking about how he couldn’t wait to have a taste later. It was enough to send us back to Ellie’s place, dressed in our pyjamas and eating dominoes until 2 am.

In Manchester we shopped around the city and then went back to Ellie’s house- an extremely tall building of stained glass windows, a range of comforting homewares and a bathroom with a lounge in it. In that moment, it became official, my future house wouldn’t be complete until my bathroom had a sofa in it.

Before venturing to the bar that Ellie worked at whenever she was back home, we of course ordered Indian food, because the English just adore that stuff (this is not me complaining, alongside Mexican, Indian is my preferred choice of cuisine). Ellie worked at a trendy, and surprisingly packed bar, called “Town Bar”. They offered the widest and most exquisite range of cocktails that forced me to take a photo of the menu in hopes that I could recreate some of these beauties back home to woo all of my friends with (can’t say that I’ve been particularly successful with this, but I also can’t say that I’ve attempted to make any of these ingenious concoctions).  There being five of us, we ordered rounds… and more rounds. I think we all probably did nearly three rounds each. Each arguing over which cocktail to try next and then, always the most daring; the shots. By the time we got started on the shots, my vision was blurred and I wasn’t paying attention to majority of the conversation, not because I was being rude, but because I simply wasn’t capable of holding that much information in my mind, which had decidedly changed to the size of a peanut after a few beverages.

At this very point in my trip, I was super stressed because it dawned on me how ridiculously expensive traveling was and how stupidly careless I had been with my money. It was this day that I franticly messaged my mum, explaining that I didn’t think I could afford the rest of the trip. The whole financial side of things became nothing but an emotional roller coaster and it’s the main part of my trip that I definitely don’t want to focus on, or remember for that matter, because it was something that consumed my thoughts a lot of the time and, I’m not going to say that it “ruined” my trip, but it contributed to most negative aspects of the trip.

So we make a girls journey to the bathrooms, and I’m connecting to the wifi while doing my business, my dad sends me an extremely heart felt message (this text literally brings me to tears; but now, as I say that, I’m reflecting on how inordinately pissed I was) telling me that he loves me and do the best he can to help “keep me afloat” financially. After this incident, we’re exiting the bar, deciding what to do next and I am by far the most drunk out of the lot of us. Which normally isn’t that strange, there’s always one person who’s intoxicated state is obviously stronger than the rest, this person however, is not usually me.

Ellie doesn’t really know much about where to go out in Manchester, but we catch a cab with a guy named Joseph, who for some unexplained reason, we insist on calling “yosef” and he ends up shouting the entire taxi ride, after we had spent the last 25 minutes screaming and asking him where we could get some cocaine (which we didn’t even really want). He took us to a fairly empty bar, but promised the drinks would be cheap. Shame for yosef, because we got them even cheaper. The bartender, a tall dark man with a bit of stubble, sporting a plain black T and a Pittsburg Pirates hat basically gave us 5 shots for the price of 3, as long as we all gave him a kiss. We all followed through for each round and he continued to do shots with us until we left in hunt for a better, more crowded place.

Word on the street said that the Black Dog was the place to be- we hunted for it, up and down the main strip countless times. Everything seems repetitive but fairly quick after a few drinks, and this was not an event that passed by shortly, I felt like we were searching for this place for quite some time. It’s possible that I was super drunk and super impatient though, since I do recall running (yes, running, something that usually isn’t said alongside my name without a negative in front of it) and scabbing cigarettes off of male bystanders.

The Black Dog didn’t truly have the greatest atmosphere; the music wasn’t vampy enough to keep my eyes open and the lack of lighting assisted my slumber. Ellie and Claudia made the executive decision that we were leaving- not just the club, but we were going home- and Tenaya and Olivia weren’t too impressed, considering they had just down 4 shots each to get them going. I’m fairly sure a sly and slurred argument soon ensued, but I wasn’t really apart of it to be honest. We made it back to Ellie’s and I crawled into bed, half passing out and half praying I didn’t vomit and truly ruin our welcome in her household.

The next day, Ellie’s dad dropped us to the bus station where we would catch a coach to Edinburgh. That bus trip was long, I remember that much, but no specific events because all of our train trips and coach rides blur into one. It’s fairly likely that we played Eye Spy and/or Fuck, Kill, Marry (where you name three people and you have to choose who you would fuck, who you’d kill and who you would marry. I loved playing this game). Something else that always took over when boredom consumed us, was our very own game called “Who’s turn is it?”. What started out as Never Have I Ever eventually turned into an extremely vague questionnaire to pass the time. It’s safe to say I know some of the most minuscule details about those three girls, as they do for me. Like the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten (sick question, Olivia).

Edinburgh was one of my favourite places that we visited. It was one of the most comfortable hostels we stayed at, and the first in which we stayed in a shared dorm. It was located right across from the Castle Rock, which we spent a solid day exploring. Otherwise, there wasn’t a lot that we knew about this place; what there was to do or what there was to see. I think we may have gone into a museum, but I can’t really remember what we did in there or what we saw, just that we entered. Our budget was very manageable here, we made most of our own food in the hostel kitchen and cozied up in the “movie theatre”.

Something I regret deeply about our stay here was all the opportunities that we let pass us by so easily. A number of girls in our dorm invited us to go to cool bars with them, or out to dinner. People in the main lounge area asked us to join them on pub crawls and ghost tours; which, for no real reason in particular, we all politely declined. This was before we really entered the true world of travelling; the world that involves new people, different experiences and absolutely forcing yourself out of your shell. After far too many “No thank you’s” it was time for us to fly to Dublin, and leave a beautiful green, untouched (by our standards) land behind us, to enter a knew one. One that you would imagine to be most green, but really kind of lacked in colour altogether.

Approximately 1500 words down, over who knows how long, and my memory is slowly fading as we have passed the one year mark of this particular adventure. A year ago today, I would be in Budapest (stay tuned) where I would be about to consume the most amount of alcohol I ever have and meet some truly influential people in my present life.

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