I’m doing the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon this weekend, and I’ve always planned to fly into Manchester (’cause it’s cheaper). Then obviously there was the bombing on Monday, but I didn’t see any reason not to continue with my plan to land there Thursday (meaning earlier today). And I wondered how to talk about Manchester, because it feels like maybe I should talk with a tone of sadness, but really people here are so resilient and lovely and determined to live their lives with joy. All the news coverage might be sad, but the feeling in the city is this kind of joyful defiance.
There are of course still more somber moment though. There was a moment of silence at the airport. Apparently someone didn’t hear the announcement in the area where I was, because there ended up being a moment of silence except for one now super loud conversation. Imagine being in an airport and just every single person stops talking, people stop bustling about and whatever your conversation was is all that’s heard.
In my head, it would feel very disorienting, but that person didn’t even notice.
Anyway, moving on, I’d had a mad rush to leave New York. I was trying to accomplish a whole bunch of stuff before I left. Thankfully, I pretty much got it all done, but goodness was it a race to the airport and the plane. So, when I got to the airport, I took a second to catch my breath, arrange my stuff inside my luggage a little better, grab some pounds (since I didn’t have time to get them at JFK), and also book a hotel. (Yep, hadn’t gotten around to that part either…Yeah… Not the super best well-prepared.)
So, I got a hotel and made my way there.
The taxi driver was really nice and let me sit in the front seat… I asked if I could so I could enjoy the view of this backwards driving set-u from what I’m used to. (After all, I’d never say in the front left side and not been driving before.)
It’s funny, because I knew intellectually that in England they drive on the other side of the road. But it is surreal actually experiencing it. There are times when you do a turn or something that feels crazy and wrong and for a split second it feels like you’re gonna get in an accident because you think a car’s about to come from a way that it’s not going to.
I thought I did a really good job of not showing any of those silly moments, but he tells me he gets Americans all the time very thrown by it. (So, at least I wasn’t alone – even if we imagine that perhaps I wasn’t as cool as I thought.)
The hotel was cool. (The signs to the elevators said they were the signs to the Lifts!)
Of course I wanted to sight-see immediately, but I was also preeeeeetty tired. So, I figured I’d just take a little nap – and then I totally woke up in the early evening.
After that, I went and got my hair done at this awesome hair salon called Rush. [Edited to add: My sleek, healthy looking hair lasted for many days after that, like the longest a lil’ upkeep do has lasted for me. Amazing. Highly recommend Rush.]
(Most touristy things were closed and after my week of a bunch of miles a day/fitting everything around that in, my hair was just a wild mess. So, I needed help getting through it and thought, “Why not feel super refreshed at the top of this trip?”)
And this is where I’ll pick up next time.