Student Life in Manchester

Every year, hundreds of young students come to Manchester to study . It is obviously a difficult decision to make to leave one’s home , family and friends and come to a new country altogether and settle themselves . For the first few days, everything looks alien and one remembers friends and family more than anything. But as time flies, and one gets busy with academics and exploring the ways of this city; he/she comes to terms with the fact that they have to adjust to this place. Curiosity takes over and one tries to discover more about this city; to spend some time with friends to create memories which can be cherished throughout one’s life.

This post is an Audio-Interview of my friend, Lovelyn who came all the way from Malaysia to study in the University of Salford, Manchester. Here is how her life shaped up in this country.

 

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Lovelyn Anne Marie Goh

 

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Manchester : The City of Talent

Usually when I go to Market Street, it is for work purpose. But today when I went there for shopping something amazing greeted me. This lady (watch the video) blew my mind and those of many others with her amazing vocal skills. I have seen people perfoming illusional tricks, playing various instruments and singing in the streets before, but her vocal qualities were very different. Here, let me tell you I have seen her perform twice and this video was made on my second visit. What she does with her vocal chords have a unique beat and tempo which makes everyone around her drawn towards her performance. I was’nt the only one who recorded her amazing performance.

Here, is a short video which explains her talent further.

Tit- Bits To Try Out For This Festive Season

With Christmas on the doorstep, everyone is gearing up their taste buds to try the flavours of this season. Here are some of my top picks for this season, which are easy to make and are delicious to eat.

CHICKEN AND WAFFLE BITES

Fry readily available frozen potato waffles (you may use normal waffles if you do not get potato waffles). Sprinkle cheddar cheese on the fried waffles. (If you want to use any other cheese you may).Fry ready to eat chicken pops. Take cocktail sticks and attach a waffle and a fried chicken on each of them. Serve with any dip/ sauce of your liking.

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ROSE WATER RICE PUDDING

Heat two cups rice and half a litre whole milk. Add sugar when you see that rice has started absorbing the milk. Heat more 20-30 minutes more. Add rosewater as per your taste. Throw in the cardamom pods and stir. Serve in bowls when cooled. For garnishing you can add some crushed or whole pistachios and a dash of rose water.

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SPAGHETTI

Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic and onion. Add tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Put in some basil leaves and stir. In another pan cook the pasta in salted boiling water. After the pasta is cooked, drain the excess water and toss it with the seasoning that you just prepared. Garnish it with fresh parmesan cheese and serve.

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FRIED SPROUTS WITH TOASTED NUTS

Cook Brussels sprouts in salted boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Drain the boiled sprouts and place them in cold water. Toast some pine nuts in another pan and keep it aside (Alternatively you can also toast peanuts/ cashew nuts or any nuts of your choice). Melt butter in frying pan. Put the Brussels sprout and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve with toasted pine nuts and lemon juice.

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BERRY CHEESECAKE

Mix 150 Gms Biscuit Crumbs and 50 Gms melted butter. Press the base on a cake tin. Proceed to refrigerate it. In another bowl whisk Cheddar cheese (or any cheese of your choice), condensed milk, cream and lemon zest (optional).  Smoothen the mixture over the biscuit crumb base and set it to rest (min 4 hours to preferably overnight). For decoration you can use strawberries soaked in sugar syrup and blueberries.

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The Beauty of Wilderness

How many times in a day do you really try to close your eyes and take in the atmosphere around you? Well, for most of us including me the answer would be zero times. But today when I got a chance to go to Pomona Island, it was like contemplating life once again. Most of the times, I engage into writing travel posts directing people what they would find in a place, but this post would probably reflect my inner contemplations, a state of self realisation that I had in Pomona Island.

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The land is nothing but wilderness with wild grasses, flowers and buds growing in irregular zigzag positions throughout the land. In the midst of this wilderness runs an almost empty road which is extremely lucky to get a few visitors throughout the day. Apart from humans, it mostly cherishes the visits of its four-legged friends. The huge chunks of rocks are abstractly designed by graffiti’s. Nevertheless,it is a widely deserted place at the backdrop of a developing city.

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Photo Courtesy: Dimple Meera Jom

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It is indeed interesting to just stand in the middle of the road and notice your surroundings. The first observation that you make is the beauty of wilderness in front of a heavily developing city with construction cranes rising up as overhauling towers. Quite faintly and after certain intervals of time, you can hear the rushing of the tram wheels. The heavy winds blowing past you and hitting the trees that line  road makes a rustling sound that instantly hits your ears. Sometimes, when the velocity of the wind is too high you might notice a blanket of dried chestnut leaves floating in front of you or behind you before ultimately hitting the road where it would lie till eternity, being trodden on, or till one of the wind blowers moves it aside.

My visit to Pomona Island is a feeling similar to what one achieves when meditating in a silent room. It is an environment which is much desired once in a while but is mostly not accessible due to the hustle and bustle of the busy city life. But here was a place lying in the heart of the city which can make you enjoy the beauty of wilderness and bask in the music of silence. This is a place which should be cherished and looked up to every time one needs a little bit of ‘me time’.

However, on the flip side Pomona Island is also having a long drawn controversy between people who want the wilderness to stay the way it is and those who would prefer to invest in developing the area so that it is fit for human residence. Both have their own pros and cons, and it yet to be seen who wins. But till then, it is a really great idea to visit the place and enjoy the beauty that it portrays in nothingness.

Sometimes, doing nothing and just admiring your surroundings does you a lot of good.

Stepping out of the well, Manchester Homeless Crisis

Anyone who has walked through the streets of Manchester will have noticed that our city is, and has been for a while now, in a serious homeless crisis. With Halloween that just passed and Christmas round the corner, many mancunians are now getting ready for a festive end of 2015. Unfortunately for an increasing number of people, this coming winter will just be a long challenge for survival.

Probably entire libraries of books have been written already on the origins of such a phenomenon in our modern societies, but nevertheless the problem persists and nobody knows how many will die this winter in our very streets.

The range of reasons which can lead to homelessness is large and varied but ultimately it often leads to very sad stories. The process of ending in the streets is like a long, painful fall into a deep well. Once you reach the bottom, you could think things won’t go any lower, but in reality it is only the beginning of a journey on one of the only two paths available: stay and die in this well or try to pull whatever resources and strength that might be left in an attempt to get out of it. In any cases, both directions will lead to a person’s greatest life-changing experience.

Regardless of the so-called technologically advanced world- that is our modern society, whatever the number of so-called development and assistance programs our governments run, many will just inevitably get pulled toward the first path. And how could they be blamed? The circumstances, which led to the fall into the well, would have often strained to the maximum the resources and strengths of the person. Once at the bottom, totally dried out of any sort of possibilities to even attempt to get out of that situation, many will let destiny decide what to happen next.

And then there are those who once at the bottom, luckily, still find a way to pull together whatever is left of hope, will or even faith. During this long, never-ending, journey toward the ultimate goal of getting out of this deep well, every steps will be as difficult and painful as the next one. Sometimes, even personal will and strength is not enough, often one will feel to even abandon. In other times, the smallest external intervention of mercy and compassion can prove decisive. It could take just that little gesture from one person, compassionate enough to come and help, to throw a rope into the well and get him or her out. The question is: Can we be that compassionate person? And if yes, how can we go about it?

Well, all around the country, there are already a great number of people who have come together and decided to act, to be that person who comes and throws a ray of hope. The number of organisations trying to help homeless people is ever increasing, in all major cities. In a way it is unfortunate as it shows the direction our so-called liberal societies are taking. On the other hand, these NGOs, charities and volunteer groups are the last line of defence for our civilisation to remain in the realm of love, mercy and compassion, basic characters of humanity.

In Manchester, one of them, The Homeless Hub, has been working for years now to maintain this last ligne of hope for the ever increasing number of homeless people our city bears.

The Homeless Hub describes its mission as follow:

Our mission is to bring change to the lives of those we touch by creating opportunities for the marginalised and disengaged to change their lives. We work with the homeless and the marginalised across Manchester. We want to change our world. We are not afraid to lead the way and challenge the status quo.

The organisation operates a variety of projects and events, including food banks and street feeds. Wether you think you could participate in person to distribute hot food, drinks and clothes or help by giving a small financial donation, please, remember that no matter how small you think your help is, it could be that one crucial step taking one man or woman out of the well.

If you think you could help in any way, please visit The Homeless Hub now and register your interest.