Yesterday was my first commuter trip out of Nottingham as a [wanna be] British person. I registered for a conference directed towards students interested in the media industry that was held at Manchester University. The only reason I even knew of it was because of Cat. Thank god I have her to look after my networking.
I went up to Manchester Wednesday evening to meet Cat—who is lucky enough not to have class so she travelled there earlier in the day—and her brother—who attends Uni there and was nice enough to let us stay at his for the night. I arrived and after settling into my home for the night hit the town with Cat to meet some of her friends. Cat worked in Manchester last year so she was very excited to be back and to see her friends. We met at a local bar, made conversation and watched the fresher’s complete whatever pub crawl they were challenging themselves with. We saw some very slutty looking girls in fluffy mini skirts, lots of argyle prints—which I assume was pub golf wear—and lots of boys hands riding up the fluffy mini skirts. Oh, to be 18 again.
After exhausting the cocktail menu, we parted with some of our group and moved on to a bar called Ponana—pronounce and interrupt that as you wish. It happens to be a chain bar that offers a dark underground atmosphere and some sort of ethnic/indie type music. It was actually very cool. I just wish I had been able to drink more and knew how to dance to the music. I was too exhausted. Class all day makes Lizzy a tired girl.
This was the end of my Manchester night tour. This tour also included a meet and greet with the Manchester scum. I ran into a relatively young but dirty and speech challenged woman on the bus on our way into town. She continuously asked me where the bus was going and then yelled at me—“Why the fuck you get on bus if you don’t know where it going”—when I told her I hadn’t a clue. I don’t know what made me think she might pick up on the accent considering she was incapable of pronouncing words herself. I actually think she might be related to the woman who used to yell at me in Penn station. Ha! I think I experienced enough of the culture for one night.
Thursday we spent the whole day at the MediaGuardian INSIGHT Conference. It was surprisingly very informative and useful. I am used to boring myself at student directed industry presentations but this industry is all new to me, so it was exciting. It included a number of panelists and various individual speakers from the BBC, The Guardian, Yahoo, Round 8, Push Media, etc. I attended this for my own benefit but since I had not completed my article assignment this week for my newspaper skills module, I knew this was my only hope to get something remotely decent on paper—even if the assignment was for Nottingham city centre not Manchester… oops! I saved my interviewing for an unnamed employee in a recruitment role for Round 8. What’s Round 8? I haven’t a clue but he was soooooo cute. He presented on ‘types of jobs in the media industry.’ His presentation was excellent, as were they all, but I was definitely not the only one who noticed his looks. The second he finished a line formed at the side of the auditorium to speak with him, kiss his butt, hand in a resume, touch his hand, whatever… I joined the line in a quest to receive a direct quote for my article. I got one and I got a big smile when I complimented him on his presentation. (Turns out he didn’t think it went that well because he was very hung over… but I’m not supposed to tell anyone that ☺.)
The following presentation didn’t compare but I did get to practice my shorthand skills. I think I completed 100 words in ½ hour?? I’m almost there—haha!!! (I must complete 100 words a minute to pass the course.)
We left an hour early mostly due to boredom, not lack of interest in the conference. We went back to our home away from home and I typed up my ‘crap of an article.’ Cat’s brother then took us to a pub under the train station (was cooler then it sounds) for some dinner and drinks, but turns out they don’t serve food… so we just had the drinks. And now here we are, Cat and I, on the train back to Nottingham. I must say, I miss commuting a bit… just a little bit… a very, very little bit. The view of the cities through the trees from the train window vaguely reminds me of the LIRR. You know the bit where you see Sunrise Highway through the “forest” of LI. But when I look closely all the cars are driving on the wrong side and I remember where I am. (Not to mention I’m lacking the anxiety I had knowing PwC was waiting on the other end… JUST KIDDING PWC!)
There you have it—I travelled like a British commuter. No camera, no map, no travel guide. Just me and my luggage (and my Mac of course ☺ ).
Tomorrow it’s back to reality. Class all day and I’m back to work this weekend. It’s been a while since I served beer to grungy drunken hockey fans—my bank account has noticed as well. It’s not all work though—I plan on throwing myself out of a plane a few times this weekend. (Can you tell I’m obsessed with skydiving?)