So, on 22 May, I flew into Manchester. This was, you’ll probably note, not a very good day to fly into Manchester. Nor a good day to leave your suitcase in the airport. Not really a good day all around.
I was lazing around the hostel in the evening, drinking and watching American Pie 2 (because it was like the only fucking dvd actually in its case) with a bunch of Aussies and another token American — who, oddly, had also been in DC on 9/11. (He’s like yeah I was in third grade and I’m like oh god I’m old.)
He gets a phone call and goes out into the hall, comes back in, shaken, and is like, uh… guys? So… there was just a major terror attack, like, a mile from here.
(Why is this not the first time I’d been in this situation??)
It was not, like, DC on 9/11 levels of strange and terrible, but still pretty strange and terrible, and the numbness and helplessness vividly threw me back to the feeling of sitting in my college apartment with my roommate watching the news, and listening to the sirens, and thinking well, there is a highly non-zero chance we might die today.
I hope to go back, because Mancunians were some of the nicest people of all the many places I’ve been, and just resilient and seemed to react to the horror of it by being even kinder to folks from elsewhere. And from what I saw of it, Manchester is gorgeous and grey and exactly my kind of city. I did not, however, do a whole lot of exploring and photo-taking in the following day or two I was there.
(Plus I discovered Primark, after awkwardly going up to the hostel person and being like uh so I lost my suitcase and have no clothes anymore please advise. And the fact that Primark is now in Boston is definitely another tick on the move-back-to-Boston-someday checklist.)
Next I went to Wales for about a week, to see Eddie Izzard (!) and then Neil Gaiman (!!!) along with Stephen Fry and Chris Riddell (!!!!!) so hopefully I will have more to say and show about that other than just like… this was a huge thing that happened and I don’t know how to talk about it.