My first impression of Manchester? Busy.
And, I walk faster than everyone.
I mean technically my first EVER impression was that it was BIG. To be fair, I was around seven years old and everything was big to me but STILL it was so BIG. Anyway, let’s move to the present and pretend the first time I ever came to Manchester was when I started university. I remember returning home after my first day and instantly telling my Mum I’m in love with Manchester.
I can’t even explain why, it just felt right. I think it’s because I could actually imagine living a life there. That is quite a feat for a little old introvert like me.
For all of my life, I lived in such rural areas where you had to wait until the next working day to buy milk and you lived closer to an actual cow than the shop that sells the milk. Where there wasn’t much to do, chain stores were unheard of and a rooster woke you up in the morning.
So, I think when I came to Manchester, by myself, for the first time, one of my first impressions was that I felt overwhelmed. But in a good way. The kind of overwhelmed where all my problems seemed to shrink in the grand scheme of things. Where you start to hope, because the world’s a lot bigger than the small towns you grew up in. When you start to realise, there is a whole life out there for you.
Another one of my first impressions was that it is so ALIVE. The world I lived in always came to a stop. The sun would set, and everything would end until it rose again. Manchester, however, never stops. During the day, not a single place is empty, food smells are pulling at your nostrils from every angle.
Buskers are hoping to catch your attention while event organisers try and convince you on every busy street that you HAVE to dance until 6am even though you’re only here to try and get through every single shop before they close (not possible, by the way.)
The sun sets and that’s just when everything begins, concerts start belting out, pubs, clubs and bars are stuffed and even coffee stops stay open until 10pm. Which is another first impression of mine, coffee shops are EVERYWHERE. As they should be. Coffee is what God created on the eighth day.
Manchester also just felt new when I first saw it, it felt exciting as if this was only the beginning. I was right, because it just kept getting better. All the shops I found, all the restaurants I ate in and all the friends I made. I hope one day to move my live there. Maybe one day I will.