Can I still call myself a MANCYPINO (Mancunian Filipino) if I'm leaving Manchester to start a new life in London? I have been working my three-month notice for what seems like forever, and whilst October seemed so far away back when I gave my boss that white envelope with my brief but polite resignation letter on it, my departure from this great city is imminent. In three weeks, I shall leave this city I have called home for more than 12 years.
As our possessions become reduced to boxes, I ponder how I'll miss Manchester. From the great shopping to my favourite Chinese restaurant, Happy Seasons (trust me, it's the best - I've tried loads of other restaurants), Manchester has welcomed me with open arms. Despite the constant rain, it's a brilliant city to live in. Mancunians are a proud people - and they're proud to be Mancunian.
What I'll miss about MCR:
- The famous European Christmas Markets - drinking mulled wine on a freezing cold winter's evening, munching on Bratwurst and buying too much cheese, this month-long market really brings the festive spirit to the city.
- Half price dim sum in Tai Wu on Oxford Road - char siu bao, congee, siu mai, prawn cheun fan. Sundays just wouldn't be the same without it!
- Platt Fields and Heaton Parks - I have enjoyed many a picnic and fun runs in the city's famous parks. I've been to a Diwali festival, bonfire night and open-air concerts here.
- The Northern Quarter - from eclectic vintage shops to cool bars and cocktail joints, NQ is a great place to soak up the city's vibrant atmosphere
- The Curry Mile in Rusholme - you can smell the lovely aroma of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine from this street of eateries, shisha cafes and ice cream parlours. I have enjoyed many meals with family and friends here (and my fair share of dodgy tummy, too!)
- Museum of Science and Industry - as a tribute to the city's industrial heritage, this is a great museum for engineering type geeks, but has also loads of cool stuff for techy geeks like me!
- Castlefield - on the rare days where we get scorching hot weather, Castlefield has played host to many lazy Saturday barbecue get togethers with friends. It's where I met Chris Tarrant during a PR event for work, had a number of shindigs in Albert Shed, and countless eaving dos in Dukes.
- Key103 - I can't imagine going through the rush hour traffic without Mike & Chelsea's daily banter. I love that they unashamedly play great cheesy pop and top 40 hits to wake me up before I've had a cuppa
- MMU and Salford Uni - these are the two places where I spent most of my days - at work. I have made many friends in both unis and have learned loads, too. I've had the best (and the worst) bosses during my time, and can honestly say I love working in Higher Education, even if the pay is pants.
- Arndale Centre, The Shambles, Exchange Square, & the Trafford Centre - I love to shop and these places have given me countless hours of retail therapy!
- King's Church - filled with amazing people who love God and who desire to make Jesus famous (for the right reasons!). From the leadership to the wonderful friends I have made in this body of people, I have been blessed, supported, challenged and spurred on.
Of course there's more I can add to this list but these are the ones that come to mind as I write this. If you're a Mancunian, I salute you. You have a wonderful city, filled with warm and generous people. If you've stumbled upon this blog and have never been to Britain's second city, please give it a go - I promise you won't be disappointed.
Manchester, I'll miss your humour, your steely determination, your quirky sense of style. It's not goodbye...but see you again soon. And I'll do my best to visit often.