A Day in the Life in…
Alicante, Spain compared
to Manchester, England.
I cannot believe that here I am writing the first episode of my brand new series a Day in the Life in… It was only a couple of weeks ago that this was just an idea, yet here it is, on the internet, posted and ready for you to have a read.
This week, we’re in Manchester to bring you the similarities and the differences between living in Alicante, Spain and Manchester, UK.
Friday 21st September 2018:
It’s 12:03 so I guess that officially marks today as “documentation day”. I’ll be honest, I’m feeling a little nervous. What if it all crumbles to nothing? What if it’s boring.
The suspense is weird, it’s pretty intense. This is something completely new. Something I’ve never put out before. Something nobody else has put together before. This is my project. I want it to be perfect. Or as close as.
The nights are so hot it’s still near enough impossible to sleep so the fan is whirring gently in the background, though I can’t say it’s making much of a difference.
Rio is finding it pretty difficult to sleep too. His feet pitter and patter across the tiled floors as he searches for the cool spot.
Considering it is midnight, the noise of the cars and motorbikes fills the otherwise silent surroundings.
After a few games of clash royale, the dustbin van comes speeding by. That’s how late it is. It’s time to sleep.
I wake sometime around 10 and, of course, the day starts with a café con leche and a few games of clash royale. I’ve got to try and beat the triple elixir challenge.
I take a walk, thinking about the people who holiday here. Somewhere in the world, it’s freezing cold, yet here I am in a denim dress sweating in 27 degrees heat. I think of the people excited to land at Alicante airport.
I watch the glum faces pass by on the airport transfer. It’s a nice place to be. They don’t want to leave.
There isn’t a cloud in the sky and it’s hard to recognise where the sea ends and the sky starts. I am on route to shop at MABS charity shop, stocked up with my new bag from JoTotes and a few reusable carrier bags.
Rows and rows of clothes, piles of DVDs and books to fill any bookcase. There’s always something you want to buy.
I manage to pick up a few dresses, some books and DVD’s all for a mere 14€!
Getting back, Rio is excited as ever to see me. He didn’t expect me back. Do dogs expect you back? It was a nice surprise for him.
I have an hour (to try and stop sweating) before heading off to work.
The tram commute was no different from any other. It’s only a few stops. It’s nothing strenuous. It’s usually pretty full at this time, mainly because people put their bags on their chairs so people usually end up sitting on the steps.
I can’t help but think that this wouldn’t be socially acceptable in London. Everything is regimented. Here, it’s free.
I arrive at Mercadona and pick up a multipack of naranja con gas. 1.62€ for a pack of 6, I can’t complain.
Work is like a dream, again. Everyday smiling faces come running into my class. Ready to sing. Ready to dance. Ready to learn.
Their faces look puzzled when they learn a new word, but they absorb it like a sponge.
Alex meets me at work today. It’s only a short shift. Three hours. It’s been a year but I’m still thankful for my work/life balance.
We decide to head into the nearby city. Bustling streets lined with the most beautiful coloured houses perched upon the beach.
We’re lucky to have somewhere as beautiful as this.
The beach and the coloured houses make a beautiful setting for taking some photos for my Jo Totes sponsored campaign. I’m sitting on the beach wondering how this became my life.
Every opportunity I have to pinch myself. I still call my mum. I still call Alex. I still jump around the house with Rio.
Then, there’s that moment when I spot my next collaboration in the distance. It’s that moment that it really hits home. I’m here and I’m doing it. We’re here and we’re doing it. Together.
Five years ago, I looked up at this building. It felt like a second home. A life in Spain never felt possible. It was a dream.
Yet here I am. Sitting here about to return. A whole new person. With whole new dreams.
We walk around until we find a beautiful bar with the most gorgeous garden. Laura’s Garden. It’s an Italian restaurant but we only go in for some wine and a snack.
An hour or two passes before we leave for the tram. Have you ever left unplanned and it’s just in time for the next tram? I don’t think you can put that satisfaction into words.
I mean, its 20 degrees so sitting at the tram stop would be no hardship, but who wants to wait around for an hour when they don’t have to?
We walk down the mountain and there’s a welcomed gentle breeze. I appreciate the breeze whilst I can. I know once we get home, it’ll be stifling.
Dinner seems like too much of an effort for a Friday night so we head to the recently opened market at Carrefour. Hot dogs, fries and chicken fingers with another wine for 17.80€.
We’re only waiting 5 or so minutes before the food is ready.
The food was good. Very good in fact. Though, I was a little annoyed that I asked to remove the onions but I forgot to ask to remove the mustard. The hot dog had an imprint of the restaurant name on it too, it was a nice touch.
We get back home around 22:30. The darkness set in a few hours ago. The only sound is the insects chirping in the tree and the odd motorbike whizzing by.
Another day has come to an end in Benidorm. It’s time for bed.
Similarities and Differences between Manchester, UK and Alicante, Spain
I guess it would go without saying that there would be such a drastic contrast in weather. It’s bizarre to think that only 2 hours away can bring such a change. The thought of a winter coat makes me sweat at the thought of it. It’s mad that here it’s shorts and T-shirts yet in Manchester, the winter wardrobe has already arrived.
This will be our second winter here and it already feels strange. It’s incredible how quickly you become disconnected from what was the norm. No wonder we booked so many trips away to escape the winter blues. No wonder flights are filled everyday flying from Manchester and the rest of the UK to Alicante.
It was interesting, but hardly surprising, that Manchester has so many homeless living on the street. It’s becoming a huge problem nationwide. For a reason I’m not too sure of, we don’t seem to see anybody living rough near us.
I cannot even begin to imagine waking up at 7:00, let alone to do what Connie did! If there’s any comparison I took from it, it’s the struggle to get up early. Connie was up a lot earlier than I, but I imagine I ate a lot later.
I miss the social aspect of the UK, although this is coming from somebody who spent most of my time sitting in my bedroom with Alex watching films, the option to meet up with friends was there if I wanted it. Funny how the mind works.
Manchester seems to have a lot of lower buildings than those in Benidorm, or mini New York as a lot of people have started calling it. It’s incredible to think that Benidorm has the most high-rise buildings per capita in the world.
After a quick Google, I found out the population of Manchester is a whopping 510,746 compared to our little permanent population of 69,642. I can’t help but wonder how many people aren’t a part of that figure though.
I also found out that Manchester airport commutes 26 million passengers a year, compared to Alicante that carries 20 million passengers. I try to think that it’s a close figure, but then you think of six million more and you’re like, well, okay that’s a lot more.
Manchester has far more history in terms of growth and industry than Benidorm. Benidorm truly has boomed. Back in the 1950’s, this was just a small fishing town, yet here it is now one of the biggest tourism locations in Europe. Manchester, however, boomed back in the 19th century with its textile industry.
Rather interestingly, Benidorm comes from the Arabic word meaning “sons of” whereas Manchester derives from Roman and Latin descent.
Next time, we’ll be comparing the similarities and differences between living in Alicante, Spain and Orlando, USA.
Want to know all about living next to one of the world’s biggest theme parks and iconic locations in the USA? Well, stay tuned because next time, I’ll be teaming up with Taylor from tayloratdisney.com to bring you A Day in the Life in Orlando, USA compared to Alicante, Spain.
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