February 3, 2011 by jessperriam
The most amusing thing about being an Australian moving to the UK in the middle of winter is the reaction of the English when they meet you.
“Why have you come to England?”
“Why on earth did you choose to move to Manchester?”
And it’s not so much asked in an aggressive tone as it is bemused.
Yes, the thought of someone giving up a perfectly good summer for what I can only describe as grey (yes, I can see outside my window right now) is much akin to madness.
But the why is simple: I wanted to live somewhere different, experience something different, work somewhere different and flex my independence for a while. It was for the challenge, for the knowledge that I’d never die wondering.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia. But right now I love seeing her from afar and gaining that perspective.
Why on earth (yes, the italics are necessary to emphasise the stress placed on that word) did I come to Manchester?
Well, in the beginning it was pure practicality and a deep desire not to move to Little Sydney, London. There will be a few job opportunities here in the coming months and I want to be in on that. Plus, it’s pretty much in the middle of the country so it’s easy to get to different places and escape the entire country all together by plane if necessary.
But Manchester has grown on me. I’ve found a nice group of really inclusive friends. Now that I’m no longer staying in an 8-bed hostel dorm, life is beginning to feel a little less frenetic and a little more calm. The feeling of cooking dinner over a stove rather than microwaving it is overwhelmingly calming. Also, not having to wear earplugs to bed is a definite bonus.
The next few weeks will be interesting as the job hunt continues.
But right now I’m content with where I am and what I’m doing. I feel as though I’m winning each day.
*Photos of Manchester (and a few of a weekend in Norwich)
*The British pre-conceptions of Australia and Australians (yes, they do think we all have phraseologies similar to Alf Stewart’s)